A supergroup is a musical performing group whose members have successful solo careers, are members of other groups, or are well known in other musical professions. The term can sometimes also be applied to a group that has no specific preferred genre. The term is usually used in the context of rock and pop music, but it has occasionally been applied to other musical genres. For example, The Three Tenors—composed of opera superstars José Carreras, Plácido Domingo, and Luciano Pavarotti—have been called a supergroup.
A supergroup sometimes forms as a side project, with no intention that the group will remain together. In other instances, the group may become the primary project of the members' careers. It became popular in the late 1960s rock music for members of already successful groups to record albums together, after which they normally split up. [ self-published source? ] Charity supergroups, in which prominent musicians perform or record together in support of a particular cause, have been common since the 1980s.
Rolling Stone editor Jann Wenner credited Cream, which came together in 1966, as the first supergroup.Eric Clapton, formerly of The Yardbirds and John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers,; Jack Bruce formerly of the Graham Bond Organization and John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers, and Ginger Baker formerly of the Graham Bond Organization, formed the band in 1966, recorded four albums, and split up in 1968. Guitarist Clapton and drummer Baker went on to form Blind Faith, another blues rock supergroup which recruited former Spencer Davis Group and Traffic singer, keyboardist, and guitarist Steve Winwood and Family bassist Ric Grech. The group recorded one studio album before dissipating less than a year after formation. Also in 1968 Jack Bruce joined Tony Williams Lifetime, composed of bassist and vocalist Bruce, and three famous Miles Davis alumni: drummer Tony Williams, guitarist John McLaughlin, and keyboardist Khalid Yasin (née Larry Young).
The term may have come from the 1968 album Super Session with Al Kooper, Mike Bloomfield, and Stephen Stills.The coalition of Crosby, Stills & Nash (later Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young) in 1969 is another early example, given the success of their prior bands (The Byrds, Buffalo Springfield, and The Hollies respectively).
In 1974, a Time magazine article titled "Return of a Supergroup" quipped that the supergroup was a "potent but short-lived rock phenomenon" which was an "amalgam formed by the talented malcontents of other bands." The article acknowledged that groups such as Cream and Blind Faith "played enormous arenas and made megabucks, and sometimes megamusic", with the performances "fueled by dueling egos." However, while this "musical infighting built up the excitement ... it also made breakups inevitable."
Eric Patrick Clapton, is an English rock and blues guitarist, singer, and songwriter. He is the only three-time inductee to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: once as a solo artist and separately as a member of the Yardbirds and of Cream. Clapton has been referred to as one of the most important and influential guitarists of all time. Clapton ranked second in Rolling Stone's list of the "100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time" and fourth in Gibson's "Top 50 Guitarists of All Time". He was also named number five in Time magazine's list of "The 10 Best Electric Guitar Players" in 2009.
Cream were a British rock band formed in London in 1966. The group consisted of bassist Jack Bruce, guitarist Eric Clapton, and drummer Ginger Baker. Bruce was the primary songwriter and vocalist, although Clapton and Baker also sang and contributed songs. Formed from members of previously successful bands, they are widely regarded as the world's first supergroup. Cream were highly regarded for the instrumental proficiency of each of their members. Tensions between Bruce and Baker led to their decision in May 1968 to break up, though the band were persuaded to make a final album, Goodbye, and to tour, culminating in two final farewell concerts at the Royal Albert Hall on 25 and 26 November 1968 which were filmed by the BBC and shown in theatres, then in 1977 released as a home video, Farewell Concert.
John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers are an English blues rock band, led by singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist John Mayall. While never producing a radio-friendly hit on their own, the Bluesbreakers' greatest legacy is as an incubator for British rock and blues musicians. Many of the best known bands to come out of Britain in the 1960s and 1970s had members that came through the Bluesbreakers at one time, forming the foundation of British blues music that still appears heavily in classic rock radio. Among those with a tenure in the Bluesbreakers are Eric Clapton and Jack Bruce, Peter Green, Mick Fleetwood, and John McVie, Mick Taylor, Aynsley Dunbar, and numerous other musicians.
John Mayall, OBE is an English blues singer, guitarist, organist and songwriter, whose musical career spans over sixty years. In the 1960s, he was the founder of John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers, a band which has counted among its members some of the most famous blues and blues rock musicians.
John Symon Asher Bruce was a Scottish bassist, singer-songwriter, musician and composer. He gained popularity as the co-lead vocalist and bass guitarist of British rock band Cream. After the group disbanded in 1968, he pursued a solo career and also played with several bands.
John Graham McVie is an English bass guitarist, best known as a member of the rock bands John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers from 1964 to 1967 and Fleetwood Mac since 1967. His surname, combined with that of Mick Fleetwood, was the inspiration for the band's name. He joined Fleetwood Mac shortly after its formation by guitarist Peter Green in 1967, replacing temporary bass guitarist Bob Brunning. McVie and Fleetwood are the only two members of the group to appear on every Fleetwood Mac release, and for over forty years have been the group's last remaining original members.
Blues rock is a fusion genre combining elements of blues and rock. It is mostly an electric ensemble-style music with instrumentation similar to electric blues and rock: electric guitar, electric bass guitar, and drums, sometimes with keyboards and harmonica. From its beginnings in the early to mid-1960s, blues rock has gone through several stylistic shifts and along the way it inspired and influenced hard rock, Southern rock, and early heavy metal. Blues rock continues to be an influence in the 2020s, with performances and recordings by popular artists.
Richard Malden Heckstall-Smith was an English jazz and blues saxophonist. He played with some of the most influential English blues rock and jazz fusion bands of the 1960s and 1970s.
"Sunshine of Your Love" is a 1967 song by the British rock band Cream. With elements of hard rock, psychedelia, and pop, it is one of Cream's best known and most popular songs. Cream bassist and vocalist Jack Bruce based it on a distinctive bass riff he developed after attending a Jimi Hendrix concert. Guitarist Eric Clapton and lyricist Pete Brown later contributed to the song and drummer Ginger Baker plays a distinctive tom-tom drum rhythm.
"White Room" is a song by British rock band Cream, composed by bassist Jack Bruce with lyrics by poet Pete Brown. They recorded it for the studio half of the 1968 double album Wheels of Fire. In September, a shorter US single edit was released for AM radio stations, although album-oriented FM radio stations played the full album version. The subsequent UK single release in January 1969 used the full-length album version of the track.
Blues Breakers with Eric Clapton, colloquially known as The Beano Album, is a studio album by the English blues rock band John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers. Produced by Mike Vernon and released in 1966 by Decca Records (UK) and London Records (US), it pioneered a guitar-dominated blues-rock sound.
Graham John Clifton Bond was an English rock/blues musician and vocalist, considered a founding father of the English rhythm and blues boom of the 1960s.
Janet Godfrey is a British songwriter, known for being the first wife and occasional writing partner of bassist Jack Bruce. Together, Godfrey and Bruce had two sons, Jonas (Jo) Bruce, who grew up to play keyboards in his father's band and formed a band called AfroCelts, and Malcolm Bruce, who grew up to play the guitar with his father and played with Ginger Baker's son, Kofi. Jonas died in 1997 from respiratory problems many years after Janet and Jack had ended their marriage in 1980.
John Weider is an English rock musician who plays guitar, bass, and violin. He is best known as the guitarist for Eric Burdon & the Animals from 1966 to 1968. He was also the bass player for Family from 1969 to 1971.
Hughie Flint is an English drummer, known for his stint in John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers, for his group McGuinness Flint in the early 1970s and for his subsequent association with The Blues Band.
What's Shakin' is a compilation album released by Elektra Records in June 1966. It features the earliest studio recordings by the Lovin' Spoonful and the Paul Butterfield Blues Band, as well as the only released recordings by the ad hoc studio group Eric Clapton and the Powerhouse, until they were reissued years later.
"Steppin' Out" is a blues-instrumental composition recorded by American blues musician Memphis Slim in 1959. It was released by Vee-Jay Records as a single and on Slim's At the Gate of the Horn album. Although both releases list L. C. Frazier as the writer, Vee-Jay owner James Bracken is often credited on versions by other performers.
Richard Roman Grechko, better known as Ric Grech, was a British rock musician and multi-instrumentalist. He is best known for playing bass guitar and violin with Family as well as in the supergroups Blind Faith and Traffic. He also played with ex-Cream drummer Ginger Baker's Air Force.
The discography of English blues rock musician John Mayall, including the band John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers, consists of 35 studio albums, 34 live albums, 24 compilation albums, four extended plays (EPs), 44 singles and four video albums. Mayall's 36th studio album was released in 2019.