A word of warning for Pearl Jam’s Mike McCready and Duff McKagan, who this week announced a supergroup: Most of the worst come from the world of US rock. The ultimate example being Chickensh… sorry, Chickenfoot, wherein Sammy Hagar and Michael Anthony from Van Halen met RHCP’s Chad Smith and Joe Satriani to make old-bloke radio rock about being “your hoochie-coochie man”. Supermeh.
Touted as the band Guns’n’Roses could have been, the non-Axl Roses recruited Stone Temple Pilots drug fuck-up Scott Weiland as their surrogate frontman for Velvet Revolver and set about pouting and noodling their way to Number One with a grunge pop formula that did neither party justice.
The epitome of prog, with their symphonic rock and jazz meanders lifting classical riffs wholesale, ELP – the union of King Crimson’s Greg Lake, The Nice’s Keith Emerson and Carl palmer from The Crazy World Of Arthur Brown – sold over 40million albums despite being unbearably pretentious twaddle from start to painfully drawn-out conceptual finish.
King Crimson had a lot to answer for in the way of shit 70s supergroups, as their Boz Burrell joined members of Free and Mott The Hoople to form classic rock mainstays Bad Company, responsible for the pheromone howl of ‘Feel Like Makin’ Love’.
Imagine how bad a supergroup consisting of old lags from King Crimson and ELP would have been. Now add in ex-members of Yes. And all of them trying to hang on to their prog-pop stylings well into the 80s. Asia, presumably, being where they should’ve been exiled to at birth.
The Power Station: The other ones from Duran Duran and Robert Palmer were in danger of actually making a serious dent on international charts with their cheesy New Romantic take on T Rex’s ‘Get It On (Bang A Gong)’ in 1985. Luckily the world quickly saw sense and had them humanely destroyed.
From the look of Mike Rutherford’s backing band these days, he might well have picked them up at a panel-beater’s convention. But Mike + The Mechanics actually initially included Paul Carrack from Squeeze and Sad Café’s Paul Young.
Another supergroup recidivist, Slash pieced together his Snakepit from old Guns’n’Roses mucker Matt Sorum and Gilby Clarke, Alice In Chains’ Mike Inez and Jellyfish guitarist Eric Dover. They were, ahem, The ‘Pits.
A Perfect Circle’s 1999 debut ‘Mer de Noms’ was a minor classic. But a cringe-worthy covers album of anti-war songs in 2004, including a pompous doom rock take on ‘Imagine’, was way too corny for the Tool, Nine Inch Nails and Smashing Pumpkins alumni involved.
Where A Perfect Circle were merely disappointing in the long term, Audioslave were offensively awful from the off, a painful flushing of the combined talents of RATM’s Tom Morello, Tim Commerford and Brad Wilk into the grunt rock cesspool that Soundgarden’s Chris Cornell called home.
It sounded ok to us in a psychedelic grunge sort of way, but Billy Corgan can no longer listen to Zwan’s 2002 album ‘Mary, Star Of The Sea’, recorded with ex-members of Slint, Tortoise and A Perfect Circle. He says that, because of all the inter-band shagging, drugs and deception, it sounds like “thousands of lies upon lies upon lies”. So just like the average Scottish Catholic sermon then?
We’re all for artists growing up, but for someone made famous by puerile penis pop, it was tough to – like, hur-hur – swallow Tom DeLonge of Blink-182 getting all sincere and meaningful in a cod-U2 style as Angels & Airwaves with various ex-bods from The Distillers, 30 Seconds To Mars, Box Car Racer, The Offspring and Lostprophets.
We’ll never know how awful the thunk-heavy combination of Mani, Peter Hook and Andy Rourke (plus singer Gary Briggs from Haven) could have been since Freebass acrimoniously split without releasing a single thumb-slap. We’re guessing pretty awful though.
NKOTBSB: What rancid sub-demon crawled out of his degenerate corner of Hades to suggest the mass communal guzzling of Satan’s quickly shriveling cock that was the joining together of New Kids On The Block and The Backstreet Boys? Just give us one machete…
fun.: The most inappropriately-named supergroup of all time, this bunch of faux-emo folk-pop pricks were once members of Steel Train, Anathallo and The Format. Our idea of fun – FULL STOP – would be ironing their faces.