Earlier this week, the Rolling Stones announced an expanded, remastered edition of their 1973 album “Goat’s Head Soup.”
As I read the press release, I could feel my wallet lightening. I’m a sucker for the Stones, especially that 1969-1974 period with Mick Taylor on guitar.
By the time I read that the album included a bonus track featuring the work of one Mr. James Patrick Page, I was practically throwing banknotes at the screen. The Stones and Led Zeppelin are two of my all time favorite bands. The prospect of those two entities combined into one glorious rock ‘n’ roll supergroup? Of Messrs Richards, Jagger and Page together on wax at last? Shut up and take my money.
Once I remembered that Amazon has a pre-order button and picked all those banknotes off the floor, my mind wandered onto the subjects of ‘70s supergroups.
Admittedly, these combinations of all-star musicians are rarely the sum of their parts. But, nonetheless, there’s something exhilarating about taking great musicians out of their natural environment and mixing and matching them.
This got me thinking: if I could choose any five musicians for my ultimate fantasy ‘70s supergroup, who would they be and why?
Then, being the nerd that I am, I decided that there needed to be some rules for this hypothetical supergroup.
I only got one pick from any given band, the line-up needed to result in a functioning group (I couldn’t have four piano players and a percussionist for example) and supergroup members needed to have featured on a prominent album released in the 1970s (So U2, for example wouldn’t count; while they played live from ’76 onwards, they didn’t release an album until 1980).
I decided not to set a minimum or maximum number of group members: so long as the band fit the “functioning group” criteria, that didn’t matter.
With those entirely arbitrary boundaries in place, I then started the whittling down process. This was much more difficult than I expected. As I quickly realized, just choosing your favorite drummer, bassist, guitarist, keyboardist and singer and sticking them together in a (hypothetical) room does not a great band make. I started aiming for a group that I thought would have genuine cohesion, that could function, and make records that people would actually listen to.
So, after much hemming and hawing, I give you my ultimate fantasy band:
Vocals: Rod Stewart
Guitar: Rory Gallagher
Bass: Cliff Williams (AC/DC)
Drums: Mick Fleetwood
So that’s my dream ‘70s group – I went for a hard-hitting blues-rock combo in the end – but what is yours? Who would you chose for your dream ‘70s supergroup, and why? Let us know your picks in the comments section, as well as why you chose them. Once the suggestions are in, we’ll compile a list of our favourites; a dream ‘70s supergroup superfestival line-up if you will!
So, what do Keith Richards, Charlie Starr, Robert Johnson, Joni Mitchell, Rich Robinson and Lowell George all have in common? They all play differently, work in different genres, and are even generations apart... The common element is that they’ve tuned their guitars to Open G. This is one of the more common open tunings there are and provides a great starting point for those who want to experiment with something beyond standard tuning. It’s also fun for those who want to try and play slide guitar.
The Motown Sound. Everybody knows what it is. Even if you don’t know what it is, you’ve certainly heard it. You’ve heard it with Marvin Gaye, The Supremes, The Four Tops, Little Stevie Wonder, The Temptations, Gladys Knight and the Pips, Martha and the Vandellas, Smokey Robinson and The Miracles, and The Jackson 5, among many, many others.