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Supergroups That Lived Up To The Hype

Sep 21, 2013 | 11:00am EDT


Previously the sole preserve of aging prog-rockers, the concept of the supergroup has recently been embraced by artists from the worlds of EDM (Swedish House Mafia), indie-rock (Tired Pony) and hip-hop (Slaughterhouse) and even the odd boyband (NKOTBSB). But only a handful ever live up to their 'super' billing. Here’s a look at five of the best from the 21st century.

Lucy Pearl

The brainchild of A Tribe Called Quest DJ Ali Shaheed Muhammad and former Tony! Toni! Tone member Raphael Saadiiq, Lucy Pearl then became worthy of their supergroup tag when they recruited Dawn Robinson as a last-minute replacement for D'Angelo. A glorious mix of neo-soul, funk & R&B, their 2000 self-titled debut album produced a string of classic singles ("Dance Tonight," "Don’t Mess With My Man"). But following the En Vogue star's departure, the whole project sadly disbanded just two years later.

Atoms For Peace

Named after a speech by former US President Dwight D. Eisenhower, Atoms For Peace saw Thom Yorke form an unlikely alliance with permanently shirtless bassist Flea alongside longtime Radiohead producer Nigel Godrich, Beck drummer Joey Waronker and Brazilian percussionist Mauro Refosco. Their debut album's sketchy and minimalist blend of IDM, post-garage and experimental electronica may have confused fans of Red Hot Chili Peppers' funk rock. But Amok proved that their random line-up wasn’t the only intriguing thing about them. 



Despite featuring the bassist from arguably the world’s biggest band, Apparatijk's cinematic blend of post-rock, indie and electronica has been all but ignored since they first came together to record the theme tune to BBC documentary, Amazon. Which is a shame as Coldplay's Guy Berryman, A-Ha's Magne Furuholmen, Mew's Jonas Bjerre and producer Martin Terefe have produced two albums (We Are Here, Square Peg In A Round Hole) which stand up against any of their respective groups' output.

The Last Shadow Puppets

Allowing Arctic Monkeys' Alex Turner, former The Rascals frontman Miles Kane and Simian Mobile Disco's James Ford to embrace their love of '60s orchestral pop, The Last Shadow Puppets reached number one in the UK and even earned a Mercury Prize nomination with a grandiose debut album, The Age Of Understatement, which recalled everything from the classic Bond themes of John Barry to the wondrous The Walker Brothers.

Magnetic Man

Pioneers of the dubstep sound, Benga, Skream and Artwork then took the genre to new commercial heights with a 2010 self-titled debut album under the guise of Magnetic Man which featured inspired collaborations with the likes of John Legend and Ms Dynamite and also introduced the talents of a young Katy B.

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