20 of the Greatest Supergroups In Music History

Supergroup is a musical project (usually) consisting of members coming from groups who are known and successful already. Sometimes they can evolve to a separate band on their own, like Asia or Journey.

(In alphabetical order)

1) Asia

Original Line-up:

John Wetton (King Crimson, Uriah Heep, UK)

Steve Howe (Yes)

Geoff Downes (The Buggles, Yes)

Carl Palmer (Crazy World Of Arthur Brown, Atomic Rooster, Emerson Lake & Palmer)

Most Successful Album/Song: Asia (S/T) (1982) US #1 / Heat Of The Moment (1982) US #4

2) Bad English

Original Line-up:

John Waite (The Babys, Solo)

Neal Schon (Santana, Journey)

Johnathan Cain (The Babys, Journey)

Ricky Phillips (The Babys)

Deen Castronovo (Session Musician)

Most Successful Album/Song: Bad English (1989) (S/T) US #21 / When I See You Smile (1989) US #1

3) Band Aid

Original Line-up:

See here .

Most Successful Album/Song: No Data / Do They Know It's Christmas? (1984) #1 (in many European countries) & US #13

4) Blue Murder

Original Line-up:

John Sykes (Thin Lizzy/Whitesnake)

Tony Franklin (The Firm)

Carmine Appice (Vanilla Fudge)

Cozy Powell (Rainbow, Whitesnake, Black Sabbath)

Nik Green

Most Successful Album/Song: No album or song made it in the charts, but their Self-Titled debut (released in 1989) is considered their best work.

5) Brilliant

Original Line-up:

Martin Glover (aka Youth) (Killing Joke)

Jimmy Cauty (Zodiac Mindwarp and the Love Reaction)

Guy Pratt (Session Musician)

Andy Anderson (The Cure)

Most Successful Album/Song: Kiss The Lips Of Life (1987) UK #83 / It's A Man's Man's World (1985) UK #58

6) Cream

Original Line-up:

Jack Bruce (Blues Incorporated/The Graham Bond Organisation)

Eric Clapton (The Yardbirds/The Bluesbreakers)

Ginger Baker (The Graham Bond Organisation)

Most Successful Album/Song: Wheels On Fire (1968) US/AUS/CAN #1 / White Room (1968) AUS #1 US #6

7) Crosby, Stills,Nash and Young

Original Line-up:

David Crosby (The Byrds)

Stephen Stills (Bufallo Springfield)

Graham Nash (The Hollies)

Neil Young (Bufallo Springfield)

Most Successful Album/Song: Deja Vu (1970) US/NL #1 / Just A Song Before I Go (1977) US #7

8. Damn Yankees

Original Line-up:

Ted Nugent (The Amboy Dukes)

Tommy Shaw (Styx)

Jack Blades (Night Ranger)

Michael Cartellone

Most Successful Album/Song: Damn Yankees (1990) (S/T) US #13 / High Enough (1990) US #3

9) Emerson, Lake & Palmer

Original Line-up:

Keith Emerson (The Nice)

Greg Lake (King Crimson)

Carl Palmer (Crazy World Of Arthur Brown, Atomic Rooster)

Most Successful Album/Song: Tarkus (1971) UK #1, US #9 / Fanfare For The Common Man (1977) UK #2

10) Hear 'N Aid

Original Line-up:

See here

Most Successful Album/Song: No Data / Stars (1986) UK #26

11) Journey

Original Line-up:

Gregg Rolie (Santana)

Neal Schon (Santana)

Ross Valory (Frumious Bandersnatch)

George Tickner (Frumious Bandersnatch)

Prairie Prince (The Tubes)

Most Successful Album/Song: Escape (1981) US #1 / Open Arms (1981) US,CAN #2

Note: Although most people remember Journey as a highly successful Melodic Rock/AOR band from the 80s, with Steve Perry as the lead vocalist, they actually started as a supergroup (or a Santana's side-project more or less) with a different style (a mix of Art Rock/Jazz Fusion/Progressive Rock) before they reached mainstream success.

12) Mike + The Mechanics

Original Line-up:

Mike Rutherford (Genesis)

Paul Carrack (Ace, Squeeze)

Paul Young (Sad Cafe)

Peter Van Hooke

Adrian Lee (Toyah)

Most Successful Album/Song: Living Years (1988) UK #2 / The Living Years (1988) US/IRE/AUS/CAN #1

13) The New Cars

Greg Hawkes (The Cars)

Elliot Easton (The Cars)

Todd Rundgern (Utopia, Solo)

Kasim Sulton (Utopia)

Prairie Prince (The Tubes, Journey)

Most Successful Album/Song: Actually they were more like a The Cars' tribute supergroup, and the only new material they recorded for this project, were three songs only. Particularly, Not Tonight, Warm and More.

14) Paris

Original Line-up:

Bob Welch (Fleetwood Mac)

Glenn Cornick (Jethro Tull)

Thom Mooney (Nazz)

Most Successful Album/Song: They had no commercial success, they released only two albums in 1976. Particularly their Self-titled album and Big Towne, 2061.

15) Phenomena

Original Line-up:

There's no stable line-up here, since I couldn't find any particular data. It was a project based around Tom Galley. Many famous musicians were part of this project though, like Brian May from Queen, John Wetton from King Crimson, Uriah Heep and Asia, Kyoji Yamamoto from Bow Wow, etc.

Most Successful Album/Song: Phenomena (1984) UK #63 / Did It All For Love (1987) (It didn't chart, but it's their most recognizable song)

16) Power Station

Original Line-up:

Robert Palmer

John Taylor (Duran Duran)

Andy Taylor (Duran Duran)

Tony Thompson (Chic)

Most Successful Album/Song: The Power Station (1985) US #6 / Some Like It Hot (1985) AUS/CAN #4, US #6

17) Rainbow

Original Line-Up:

Ritchie Blackmore (Deep Purple)

Ronnie James Dio (Elf)

Craig Gruber (Elf)

Gary Driscoll (Elf)

Mickey Lee Soule (Elf)

Most Successful Album/Song: Difficult To Cure (1981) UK #3 / I Surrender (1981) UK #3

Note: Although it's questionable if Rainbow are actually a supergroup or not, personally I'd say they are. They started as a collaboration between the band Elf and Deep Purple's guitarist Ritchie Blackmore (the core member of the band) and later they evolved into a separate band.

Maybe collective is the best word to describe Rainbow, since many musicians from bands with good reputation, came and went in this band.

18. Streets

Original Line-up:

Steve Walsh (Kansas)

Mike Slamer (City Boy)

Billy Greer

Tim Gehrt

Most Successful Album/Song: Although they never met commercial success, they released two really good albums. 1st and Crimes In Mind.

Note: Although they were described as a mini-supergroup since Billy Greer and Tim Gehrt were local stars mostly, this unfairly forgotten AOR band deserves a mention for sure.

19) Traveling Wilburys

Original Line-up:

Roy Orbison

Bob Dylan

George Harrison (The Beatles)

Tom Petty (Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers)

Jeff Lynne (Electric Light Orchestra)

Most Successful Album/Song: Traveling Wilburys Vol. 1 (1988) AUS #1, US #3 / Handle With Care (1988) AUS #3, NZ #4

20) Visage

Original Line-up:

Steve Strange

Rusty Egan (Rich Kids)

Midge Ure (Rich Kids, Thin Lizzy)

Billy Currie (Ultravox)

Dave Formula (Magazine)

John McGeoch (Magazine)

Barry Adamson (Magazine)

Most Successful Album/Song: Visage (1980) GER #1, Fade To Gray (1980) GER/SWI #1


Most Helpful Girl

Most Helpful Guy

  • nice! you definitely are an 80's queen:)!

    a few in thre I hadn't heard of... but look at the lineup of the Travelng Wilbury's... that's some serious dudes.

    Not many girls represented...
    Where's the Bangles? Bananaramaah...;) lol.

    but I never noticed John Wait was wearing a dress in that album... funny!

    • Bangles and Bananarama weren't supergroups.

Join the discussion

What Girls Said 1

  • My then boyfriend (now husband) had the Blue Murder CD for just one reason - so he could learn to play the song "Jelly Roll" on his guitar. He learned to play it so well his only groupie (me) threw the damn CD away because I was so sick and tired of hearing the song.


      But anyway playing the same song all over again is annoying indeed... but still you cannot throw such a good album like that. It's not some shit like Nirvana or Radiohead.

    • Show All
    • Not like the "hair metal" stuff? How come?

    • Not my cup of tea. I'm more into classical musicians as I was trained in concert piano and flute since I was seven. My husband is a bit of a rocker bit I'm pretty much a lame-o lol

What Guys Said 8

  • ABBA is only outsold by the Beatles. Neither made this list. Wonder why...

    • ABBA and The Beatles weren't supergroups.

    • This list was about supergroups, which are bands formed by people who had already been mainstream successes prior to forming the bands. The Beatles and ABBA were formed by people who were unknowns prior to those bands.

    • @WeaponZero Actually 3/4 among The Beatles came from The Quarrymen.

  • I've heard of Asia, Power Station, Visage, Band Aid, Phenomena and The New Cars... but the others are completely unknown to me - probably not my genre of music.

    • Never heard about Journey or Rainbow? Kinda surprised. You might have listened to "Separate Ways" or "I Surrender" by Journey and Rainbow respectively.

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    • Send Her My Love, and Faithfully... I know these songs, well, thanks for the info.

    • Yeah no problem.

  • Lemme guess... they all rocked in 80s?

    • Cream were a 60s group.
      C/S/N/Y, E/L/P and Paris were 70s (Paris never had commercial success though)
      Rainbow and Journey started in the 70s but they found bigger success in the 80s.
      Damn Yankess were an early 90s group
      The New Cars were a 00s group but they were a tribute band (to The Cars) as I said, who found success in the 70s and in the 80s.

      Everyone else was in the 80s.

    • Thanks for correction.

    • No problem!

  • Not even the Beatles bruh?

    • Beatles aren't a supergroup. Do you know what Supergroup means?

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    • Wawawawawa I don't speak with beatles haters

    • They are not the best band in history as most people think. I prefer Beach Boys or The Doors from that era.

  • I only know Journey

  • Not my pick, but whatever. To each his own.

  • Audioslaves.