The history of rock music is filled with legendary supergroups that have left an indelible mark on the industry. However, not every collaborative endeavor has enjoyed the same level of enduring fame and recognition. This article shines a spotlight on 30 forgotten rock super bands, highlighting the acts that have faded from public memory over the years.
While bands like Cream and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young have attained legendary status, there exists a vast array of supergroups that have fallen into obscurity. These acts struggled to sustain their initial momentum, with many barely making it past a single album and tour cycle. Internal conflicts, lackluster reception, or the fleeting nature of side projects often led to their eventual demise.
Some supergroups emerged as exciting experiments, allowing musicians from different famous bands to explore new musical styles outside their main acts. These ventures provided an outlet for creativity and experimentation but were not necessarily intended to have long-lasting careers.
The Gak was a one-off supergroup formed by Sebastian Bach (Skid Row), Axl Rose, Slash, and Duff McKagan (all from Guns N’ Roses), and James Hetfield, Kirk Hammett, and Lars Ulrich (all from Metallica). This unique lineup came together for a party in Los Angeles and took their name from a slang term for cocaine.
Big Dirty Band
Led by Rush’s Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson, Big Dirty Band was an all-Canadian supergroup formed for the movie adaptation of the TV show “Trailer Park Boys.” Members from Big Wreck, Three Days Grace, Die Mannequin, and The Tea Party joined forces to record a cover of Bobby Fuller Four’s “I Fought the Law.”
Lord Sutch and Heavy Friends
Fronted by eccentric British horror rocker Screaming Lord Sutch, this 1970 debut album featured contributions from stars such as Jimmy Page, John Bonham, Jeff Beck, Nicky Hopkins, and Noel Redding. Despite the impressive lineup, the album received mixed reviews and achieved limited commercial success.
Steampacket was a unique reverse supergroup formed in 1965. Long John Baldry, Rod Stewart, Julie Driscoll, Brian Auger, and Vic Briggs came together for a brief period, with Stewart leaving early on. Although their time together was short, each member went on to achieve greater fame in their respective careers.
Lou Gramm, former lead singer of Foreigner, teamed up with guitarist Vivian Campbell (Dio, Whitesnake) and drummer Kevin Valentine (Donnie Iris and the Cruisers) to form Shadow King. Their self-titled album, released in 1991, showcased their talents but received limited commercial success.
Created during a Rolling Stones hiatus, SuperHeavy featured Mick Jagger, Dave Stewart (Eurythmics), Joss Stone, Damian Marley, and A.R. Rahman. They recorded a self-titled album in 2011, showcasing a diverse range of musical influences.
Led by singer Paul Rodgers (Free, Bad Company), The Law was formed with drummer Kenney Jones (The Who, Small Faces) and featured contributions from Phil Collen, Bryan Adams, Chris Rea, and Dave Gilmour. Despite notable collaborations and guitar work from Gilmour, their self-titled album in 1991 received limited commercial success.
The Dirty Mac
The Dirty Mac was a one-off supergroup formed for the Rolling Stones’ “Rock and Roll Circus” TV show in 1968. Comprised of John Lennon, Eric Clapton, Keith Richards, and Mitch Mitchell, they performed memorable renditions of “Yer Blues” and backed Yoko Ono on “Whole Lotta Yoko.”
Former Cream bandmates Jack Bruce and Ginger Baker joined forces with Irish guitar legend Gary Moore to form this power trio in 1993. Their album, “Around the Next Dream,” showcased their musical prowess but the collaboration was short-lived.
Eric Clapton’s Powerhouse
In 1966, producer Joe Boyd assembled a group of London’s blues scene stars for a blues compilation called “What’s Shakin’.” Eric Clapton, Steve Winwood, and members of Manfred Mann collaborated in the studio, foreshadowing the formation of Cream.
Damnocracy was formed for a VH1 reality program called “Supergroup” in 2006. The band consisted of Sebastian Bach, Ted Nugent, Jason Bonham, Scott Ian (Anthrax), and Evan Seinfeld (Biohazard). After the show, the members returned to their respective bands.
Formed in 1971, Captain Beyond blended prog-rock intricacy with blues-based psychedelia. The band featured original Deep Purple singer Rod Evans, guitarist Larry “Rhino” Reinhardt, bassist Lee Dorman (both from Iron Butterfly), and drummer Bobby Caldwell. They released three albums during their initial run and continue to tour with a different lineup.
Rock Star Supernova
Following the TV show “Rock Star: INXS,” a second season featured a supergroup competition to find a new lead singer. Tommy Lee, Jason Newsted, Gilby Clarke, and Lukas Rossi formed Rock Star Supernova and released an album in 2006.
In 1983, Sammy Hagar collaborated with Neal Schon (Journey) to form HSAS, which also included bassist Kenny Aaronson and drummer Michael Shrieve. Their album, “Through the Fire,” was recorded live and featured a cover of Procol Harum’s “A Whiter Shade of Pale.”
Planet Us was a short-lived supergroup formed in 2002 by Sammy Hagar, Neal Schon, Michael Anthony, and Deen Castronovo. Joe Satriani replaced Slash after he declined the invitation. Although the band didn’t last long, their formation laid the groundwork for another supergroup, Chickenfoot.
In 2011, Ian Gillan of Deep Purple and Tony Iommi of Black Sabbath joined forces to raise funds for a music school in Armenia. They enlisted the help of Jon Lord, Jason Newsted, Nicko McBrain (from Iron Maiden), and Mikko Lindstrom (HIM) to form WhoCares. The supergroup recorded two songs, “Out of My Mind” and “Holy Water,” followed by a two-CD set featuring rare tracks from Iommi and Gillan’s careers.
Prog-rock guitar virtuosos Steve Howe (Yes, Asia) and Steve Hackett (Genesis) formed GTR in 1985. Alongside singer Max Bacon, they achieved moderate success with their self-titled album, which reached No. 11 on the Billboard album chart and spawned the Top 20 hit “When the Heart Rules the Mind.”
Hardline emerged in 1991 as a glam-metal supergroup led by brothers Johnny and Joey Gioeli. The lineup also included Todd Jensen, Neal Schon (Journey, Bad English), and Deen Castronovo (Bad English, Tony MacAlpine). While their self-titled album showcased their talents, the band disbanded after its release.
Featuring former Journey members Ross Valory (bass) and Steve Smith (drums), along with Gregg Rolie (founding Journey keyboardist) and Kevin Chalfant (707 vocalist), The Storm delivered a power ballad hit with “I’ve Got a Lot to Learn About Love” from their self-titled debut album in 1991. Despite their initial success, the supergroup dissolved two years later.
Blizzard of Ozz
Ozzy Osbourne’s first project after leaving Black Sabbath was initially intended as a supergroup. Randy Rhoads (Quiet Riot), Lee Kerslake (Uriah Heep), Bob Daisley (Rainbow), and Don Airey (Rainbow) joined Osbourne to form Blizzard of Ozz. Although the band’s album was ultimately credited to Osbourne alone, their collaboration produced influential songs and marked a significant chapter in Osbourne’s solo career.
Former Genesis guitarist Steve Hackett teamed up with bassist Chris Squire of Yes to create Squackett. The duo released their sole album, “A Life Within a Day,” in 2012, showcasing their collective musical prowess.
Cream bassist Jack Bruce and ex-Procol Harum guitarist Robin Trower united to form B.L.T. in 1981. Although drummer Bill Lordan joined for their debut album, “B.L.T.,” Trower and Bruce continued to collaborate on subsequent releases, including “Truce” in 1982 and “Seven Moons” in 2008.
After leaving Motley Crue, singer John Corabi formed Union in 1997 with guitarist Bruce Kulick (late-era Kiss), bassist James Hunting (David Lee Roth), and drummer Brent Fitz. The band released three studio albums before disbanding in 2002.
Brides of Destruction
Founded by Nikki Sixx (Mötley Crüe) and Tracii Guns (L.A. Guns), Brides of Destruction emerged in 2002. With various lineup changes, they released their debut album, “Here Come the Brides,” in 2004, followed by “Runaway Brides” in 2005.
During Motley Crue’s hiatus, Nikki Sixx formed 58 with guitarist Dave Darling, Steve Gibb, and drummer Bucket Baker. Their album, “Diet for a New America,” showcased a fusion of genres and featured unique interpretations of classic songs.
Paice Ashton Lord
Following the breakup of Deep Purple’s Mk. IV lineup, founding members Ian Paice and Jon Lord joined forces with veteran singer Tony Ashton. Their 1977 album, “Malice in Wonderland,” explored R&B and funk, departing from Deep Purple’s trademark hard rock sound.
Bassist Chip Z’Nuff of Enuff Z’Nuff collaborated with former Guns N’ Roses drummer Steven Adler for a self-titled EP released in 2011. Combining their musical talents, the duo offered a collection of rock-infused tracks.
After parting ways with Ozzy Osbourne, guitarist Jake E. Lee formed Badlands with vocalist Ray Gillen (formerly of Black Sabbath), drummer Eric Singer (later of Kiss), and bassist Greg Chaisson. Their self-titled debut album arrived in 1989, followed by “Voodoo Highway” in 1991, before the band disbanded in 1993.
Duff McKagan’s Loaded
Originally formed as a backing band for Duff McKagan’s 1999 solo album, “Beautiful Disease,” Loaded continued as a full-time project. The group released albums such as “Dark Days” (2001), “Sick” (2009), and “The Taking” (2011), showcasing McKagan’s songwriting and performing abilities.
Punk rock legend Steve Jones (Sex Pistols) assembled Neurotic Outsiders, a supergroup featuring John Taylor (Duran Duran), Duff McKagan, and Matt Sorum (both from Guns N’ Roses). Their sole album, “Angelina,” arrived in 1997 and offered a raw and energetic blend of punk and rock influences.