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When Musicians put aside their Day Job

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

After making his name in the White Stripes and the Raconteurs, this week rocker Jack White debuts Dead Weather, a supergroup featuring members of three other indie-rock bands. It raises the questions of what makes for successful side projects or supergroups, and why do artists take them on? Today we explore this tradition with Wall Street Journal pop music critic Jim Fusilli and Mark Beaumont, music critic for London's Guardian newspaper.


Mark Beaumont, and Jim Fusilli

Comments [12]

Brian Flahive from Leonia, NJ USA

Remember the rock record "Super Sessions" with Mike Bloomfield, Al Cooper and Stephen stills from the late 60s?

And then there was the McCoy Tyner jazz double album "Supertrios" with Jack DeJonette, Ron Carter, Tony Williams and Eddie Gomez from the mid 70s.

Both are great. And I love your show John.

Brian Flahive
(remember "Airworks"? I co-produced it together with Julia Prospero and Ray Gallon)

Apr. 15 2009 02:49 PM
Chris Oken from ny ny

what about ASIA? Audioslave?

all super - boring...!

Apr. 15 2009 02:25 PM
Michael from Brooklyn

Why are rock fans so obsessed with the media hype of terms such as "supergroup"? When true musical geniuses such as Miles, Trane and Ornette Coleman played together their listeners just enjoyed the moment of a great collaberation!

Apr. 15 2009 02:24 PM
Ellen Bremner from New London, CT

Genesis is AMAZING

Apr. 15 2009 02:22 PM
Codey from New Jersey

What about Oyster Head? Just as good, if not better, than the groups those guys came from.

Apr. 15 2009 02:21 PM
Ted Shred from Atlanta

Never was a particular fan of Jack White, but I have new respect with a Gary Numan cover! That's a great song; I just replaced my vinyl version of Replicas last year.

Supergroups though, eh. All these bands (once the members are acclaimed) are usually created for supersuccess, and that is the problem. Typically, where is the room for creativity when you are custom built to be a commercial vehicle? But then again maybe a ramshackle fringe bunch of folks like White or like a Beck or someone could pull it off.

Apr. 15 2009 02:20 PM
Ken from New Jersey

Let's not forget that Crosby, Stills & Nash (and then Young) were not a supergroup when they came together. They were all members of briefly popular bands that had not presented any individuals as stars. Very few people knew who Crosby, Stills, Nash or Young were.

Eric Clapton was the only one in Blind Faith who was a real star with a following of his own. Steve Winwood was simply the boy-wonder in the Spencer Davis Group and Traffic.

Apr. 15 2009 02:18 PM

Velvet Revolver wasn't bad.

Apr. 15 2009 02:17 PM
Noah from Brooklyn

Oyster Head = Amazing. A super group done well

Apr. 15 2009 02:16 PM
tom evan from massapequa ny

Super groups hardly ever are..there is always one style that outweighs the others...they nevr have a new sound, they never expand or move outside their comfrot zones...and frankly the songs are usually trite and plain stupid.

Apr. 15 2009 02:12 PM
Dave Lewis from NYC

Please don't fail to discuss Blind Faith and the hype that attended their short lived success at the end of the Sixties. The album went to number one, but on their sole American tour they had to fill out the set playing Cream and Traffic numbers. A lack of songwriting collaboration undermined the kick of virtuoso musicians playing together, egos emerged, and a seminal supergroup dissolved in acrimony.

Apr. 15 2009 02:06 PM
Richard Mitnick

For me, The Super Group is The Traveling Wilburys. I have the CD's, Olivia's movie, and a whole bunch of videos surrounding the group, plus a one hour video biography or Roy Orbison. No matter what else I do in music, a trip into Jazz, listening to all of Philip Glass on my Zune, whatever, I always come back to the Wilburys.

Apr. 15 2009 01:25 PM

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