John Hiatt already did the job for me, when he picked Ry Cooder, Nick Lowe, and Jim Keltner to help him make his Bring The Family album. Just as people are known by the friends they keep, singers and songwriters are by the musicians they surround themselves with. This ensemble (including Hiatt) later made an album under the chosen name of Little Village, and it was a disappointment.
Another great group was Emmylou Harris’ Hot Band: Rodney Crowell, James Burton (later replaced by Albert Lee. Damn!), Glen Hardin, John Ware, Hank DeVito, and Emory Gordy, Jr.
More recently, Marty Stuart has done the same with His Fabulous Superlatives band: the great Nashville studio drummer/singer Harry Stinson, guitarist Kenny Vaughan (formerly with Lucinda Williams), and bassist/pedal steel player Paul Martin. In my opinion, Marty Stuart and His Fabulous Superlatives are currently the best group in the world!
Sometimes putting groups of people with proven raw talent doesn’t produce the expected or hoped for results because they don’t jibe together as a group. The synergy just isn’t there.
I recall a group with Paul Rodgers and Jimmy Page in the 1980’s. I think it was called The Firm. I eagerly bought their first album. It sucked.
I also remember Box of Frogs with former members of the Yardbirds. I bought their first album. It didn’t suck but it wasn’t great either.
Then there was Asia with Yes and King Crimson members. They had some success but still probably less than the sum of they’re parts.
Fun to imagine of course, but not always what one would expect.
Okay, didn't intend to be a wet blanket so how about Mark Knopfler, Van Morrison, Geddy Lee and Stewart Copeland. Hah!
Having heard Yoko Ono cover Adele, I think Adele should be added to the supergroup so that they can sing duets while looking lovingly into each other's eyes:
The concept of the Supergroup always seemed to be flawed in that it's so hard to size up or predict chemistry between the musicians. They always seem to disappoint I think because they take a professional approach to producing their music under this platform instead of being really emotionally derived. I know I'm generalizing but chemistry is so important...it is art after all.
I had never heard this about Zeppelin but I suppose supergroups were formed at younger ages than today. I think Plant and Bonham were only 20 when Zeppelin formed. But then again Clapton was only 21 when Cream formed and that was certainly a supergroup (and one that worked!). By the age of 21 many of these guys had a lot of years of experience in that era.
21? Marty Stuart joined Lester Flatt's band when he was 14. Levon Helm joined Ronnie Hawkins' band The Hawks the day he graduated from high school, and immediately left for Canada, where he eventually met the other guys who one-by-one joined The Hawks. In 1968 The Hawks became known as The Band, the Super Group of all Super Groups. Eric Clapton broke up Cream after hearing their debut album Music From Big Pink, went to West Saugerties in upstate New York to hang with them at Big Pink, waiting to be asked to join the group. Naw Eric, we got it covered. ;-)