The term "Supergroup"

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by MikeH1, Jan 24, 2002.

  1. MikeH1

    MikeH1 Screenwriter

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    If one has read the thread on the 80s I mentioned the word Supergroup and thought I would start a topic. I personally do not like this labeling of bands because it makes them sound unstoppable. And while in some cases its true, in others its not. I remember Genesis getting to this status and died a very quick death after We Can't Dance was released in late 1991. Sure, they did the world tour for that album and were very busy in 1992 but unfortenetley they dissapeared. Music had changed just too much I guess, although I know the band started having some problems.
    How about INXS? Did they ever reach Supergroup status?I'll compare INXS and REM. The latter almost reached it with Out Of Time in 1991 and that sold 10 million copies, and when Automatic For The People came out the following year it was official: SUPERGROUP. But so did INXS sell 10 million copies in the late 80s with Kick and with X being released in August of 1990 (and being a much bigger seller in Europe than North America, the opposite as Kick) and them performing to a sell-out crowd of 72 000 on July 13 1991 at Wembley Stadium it was official: SUPERGROUP. Or was it?
    I have never thought of INXS as a supergroup. I never heard them labelled that although I believe they were within one more top ten single of reaching it. But perhaps it was just too late. We all know what happened that autumn with the music industry and when the album Welcome To Wherever You Are was first played in length on radio in August of 1992 the damage was already done. A kind of new new breed of supergroups now had been born.
    That summer of 1991 though, at least for that one night at Wembley, they were on top of the world. In thinking, that was probably the pinnacle of their career. INXS is still around and just about as far away from the supergroup title as a band can get. To me, thats good but its also sad for without the frontman it just isn't the same.
    INXS - The supergroup that never really was. [​IMG]
     
  2. Kirk Gunn

    Kirk Gunn Screenwriter

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    I always thought the term "Supergroup" labelled short-lived gatherings of various superstars, like Asia, Willie and the Poor Boys or The Travelling Wilbury's.

    INXS definitely had there 15+ minutes, how quickly tastes change. Is the rest of the band still performing after Michael Hutchins (sp?) suicide ?
     
  3. Paul D Young

    Paul D Young Second Unit

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    Like Kirk said, that is the only way that I have heard the term "supergroup" used.
    My favorite supergroup:
    The Dirty Mac
     
  4. StephenA

    StephenA Screenwriter

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    I too thought a supergroup was coined for groups with alot of famous people coming together. I heard Cream and Blind Faith being called supergroups. Of course they both had Eric Clapton, which helped alot.
     
  5. MikeH1

    MikeH1 Screenwriter

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    hmmm 3 votes for what I thought not was. Perhaps some of these ideas apply but I have heard U2 being called a supergroup countless times, as with REM, Pink Floyd, Rolling Stones, Guns and Roses in the early 90s and some others. I always thought it was bands that had huge sales, huge concerts and had many fans and thus become a "supergroup". But the most important aspect is that they withstood the test of time, that regardless what decade(s) they performed in and released albums in that they still had a huge following and could still have a top 10 single. Or in Metallica's case debut at #1 on Billboard with the Black album to huge fanfare and little past radio play.
    This is how I always took it...maybe I'll check on Rolling Stone's website for a definition. Oops... won't bother, they will have Britney or The Backstreet Boys as examples I'm sure.
    As for INXS Kirk, yes they are still performing. They use the name still (thats how Michael would have wanted it I have heard the band say) and will probably be releasing a new album in the next 2 or 3 years. The rest of the members have been doing production stuff and working on solo careers. One must remember that even though the voice and frontman died, the bands writer, Andrew Farris is still writing music. However, its quite obvious that things will never be the same.
    On a sidenote, in the spring, INXS, Midnight Oil and Men at Work were going to tour North America calling it the "Great Australian Bite Tour" but apparentely Midnight Oil dropped out and messed up the whole idea. Too bad, I would have camped out in line for weeks for tickets. Unfortenetly, I think I would have been alone [​IMG]
     
  6. Paul D Young

    Paul D Young Second Unit

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  7. MikeAW

    MikeAW Second Unit

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    Unfortunately the term has turned into a hype, Public Relations term, that has NOTHING to do with the music and everything to do with selling Product.

    What's interesting is that in the sixties, it actually was used to mean a collaboration of talented, Big Name Music Artists...like Mike Bloomfield, Al Kooper, Harvey Brooks, etc., then it just became short-hand for getting your attention and a red-flag for alot of Junk.

    Like "Eric Clapton is God", it's just alot of good Public Relations and NO substance, when push comes to shove!
     
  8. Charles Gurganus

    Charles Gurganus Supporting Actor

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    A supergroup is a group who's seperate parts are viable stars on their own. Pretty simple. So INXS doesn't fit.

    CSN&Y would fit. The original Genesis wasn't a true supergroup because they evolved (and didn't combine as individual super artist like CSN&Y did)from original form. In other words, the members were not considered famous and individual stars BEFORE the group was formed. They were certainly super however, with Gabriel, Collins and Rutherford all doing pretty well on their own.
     
  9. Ken_McAlinden

    Ken_McAlinden Producer
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    My understanding of Supergroup is pretty much as Charles and Kirk described it, a group of well-established musicians who form together whether briefly or not. Groups like Blind Faith, The Traveling Wilburys, and (giggle) The Power Station.

    Regards,
     
  10. Mike Broadman

    Mike Broadman Producer

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    Hey now, you guys are forgetting the greatest Supergroup of all time:
    Damn Yankees [​IMG]
     
  11. Anthony Hom

    Anthony Hom Supporting Actor

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    I agree with the definition of a Supergroup, that all of the artists were or already established either in other famous groups, or on their own. I'm not sure if one time duets count. to get more detailed, the members of the group must have some past history that is generally known. So groups like The Beatles, Rolling Stones, The Who, and Led Zeppelin, although big, started out mostly unknown group members when they started.

    This would limit it to specific groups, like CSNY, Blind Faith, Traveling Wilburys, Asia. When Asia changed it's line-up, did they lose their supergroup status?

    You might also consider USA for Africa and Dionne Warwick and Friends. those were projects that lasted only one album or song. They may not be rock, but could fall in the same definition.
     
  12. Kirk Gunn

    Kirk Gunn Screenwriter

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    Since the "Clapton is God" phrase has been bantered about as a badge of dishonor for EC, it's intersting to note 2 of his comments about it: (paraphrased)

    In the picture, there is a dog urinating on the wall under the phrase "Clapton is God". That is most appropriate.

    Anyone who thinks I am God has never seen Stephen Stills play the acoustic guitar.

    Power Station - Bang a Gong - that is a giggle !
     

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