From Them Crooked Vultures to Gorillaz, these are the best music hook-ups ever
As news breaks of a secret album by Josh Homme, Matt Helders and Iggy Pop (‘Post Pop Depression’ will be released in March), we round up the most exciting supergroups ever to strum a six-string, bang a drum and pluck a bass.
Iggy Pop, Matt Helders and Josh Homme: Technically not a supergroup, but in a particularly exciting turn of events, Iggy Pop, Josh Homme and The Arctic Monkeys’ Matt Helders have joined forces on Iggy Pop’s new album ‘Post Pop Depression’ and the sound is as exciting as you’d expect. Watch them preview first track ‘Gardenia’.
The Postal Service.
The Postal Service. Death Cab For Cutie’s Ben Gibbard and Jimmy ‘Don’t Shake Me’ Tamborello of Dntel joined forces way back in 2003 for the hugely acclaimed electro-indie album ‘Give Up’, reissued this year ahead of a world tour. Still no sign of a follow up though, making it rocktronica’s ‘Chinese Democracy’.
Them Crooked Vultures.
Them Crooked Vultures. Get the three hardest rocking alt.rock he-men – Dave Grohl, Josh Homme and Led Zep’s John Paul Jones – to challenge each other to a desert rock drag race and you’d get a chest-beating cracker like Them Crooked Vultures’ self-titled 2009 debut.
Credit: Dustin Rabin
The Traveling Wilburys.
The Traveling Wilburys. They were all a bit trad and gnarly by the time they got it together, but The Traveling Wilburys – Bob Dylan, Tom Petty, George Harrison, Jeff Lynne and Roy Orbison – played on their tongue-in-cheek antiquity to create a remarkably fresh few albums as the most legend-stuffed supergroup ever.
Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds.
Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds. Bringing together not just the frontman from The Birthday Party but members of Einsturzende Neubauten and Magazine in 1983, Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds would go on to produce some of the most sublime and seditious music of the next three decades.
Credit: Cat Stevens
Electronic. Manchester’s finest minds of the 80s – Johnny Marr and Bernard Sumner, taking occasional contributions from The Pet Shop Boys and Karl Bartos of Kraftwerk – combined in the late 80s with the intention of anonymously releasing Italo-dance white labels as Electronic. The world, inevitably, listened.
Broken Social Scene.
Broken Social Scene. Refusing the tag of ‘supergroup’, BSS were a collective of Canadian musicians variously numbering between six and 19 members of acts including Stars, Metric, Feist and Do Make Say Think, who concocted psychedelic baroque pop headfucks throughout the 00s.
Credit: Andy Willsher / NME
Monsters Of Folk.
Monsters Of Folk. Consisting of M Ward, Jim James of My Morning Jacket and Conor Oberst and Mike Mogis of Bright Eyes, MOF were perhaps the quietest supergroup ever on their formation in 2004, and so laid-back it took them until 2009 to release a debut album. For those about to folk, we saluted them.
The Raconteurs. For Jack White’s first foray into proper what-the-hell-is-that-big-guitar-with-four-strings-the-guy-over-there’s-playing? band-dom, he teamed up with master hooksmith Brendan Benson and a couple of Ohio indie legends The Greenhornes to make freewheeling highway rock like 2006 classic ‘Steady, As She Goes’. See also: The Dead Weather with Alison Mosshart of The Kills.
Credit: Andy Willsher/NME
Gorillaz. Ostensibly a bunch of weird zombiefied illustrations playing music, closer investigation revealed the string-pullers of Gorillaz to be Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewlett, conducting a shifting array of contributors including remaining members of The Clash, The Verve’s Simon Tong and Senseless Things’ Cass Brown. And every legend-level star guest imaginable.
Credit: Andy Willsher