Super Friends

Supergroups & Opinions on Mos Def

Mix one famous musician and stir in some others. The results can be a recipe for success, or disaster. Jim and Greg discuss rock's best and worst Supergroups. Then, they review the newest album from Mos Def.

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Music News

First up in the news, Pepsi is launching a music label in China. This is a strange, but perhaps smart move considering the large, untapped market there. The soda company will produce a "Battle of the Bands" television show to find artists to record. In addition, those artists will be featured in Pepsi ads.

Two sad news items follow. First is the death of Mink DeVille frontman Willy DeVille. DeVille was one of the key artists from the CBGB punk scene. But, he distinguished himself from the Blondies and Ramones with his unique sound. He was more a child of the Brill Building music of the '60s, and actually introduced Jim and Greg to a lot of those influences. To honor DeVille they play his Jack Nitzsche-produced track "Spanish Stroll."

John HughesAnother recent death is that of director, writer and producer John Hughes. While Hughes isn't necessarily a music figure, Jim and Greg know that he was a huge fan. His musical choices in films like "The Breakfast Club" and "Sixteen Candles" influenced what young people heard, and for many teens it was their first exposure to "alternative" music. In honor of Hughes, Jim and Greg play the original version of "Pretty in Pink," by the Psychedelic Furs.



Jim and Greg ponder the history of the supergroup. This is the rock phenomenon where musicians from different bands join together to form a new group. Sometimes this is a great success, and sometimes the ingredients just don't mix. Recently there have been a number of new supergroups such as Them Crooked Vultures, Tinted Windows, Dead Weather and Monsters of Folk. For Jim the keys to a winning supergroup are that the members be individually“super,”and that they have chemistry together. Greg adds that there needs to be more compelling the super-union than just business.

Here are some hits and misses throughout history:

  • Traveling Wilburys
  • Chickenfoot
  • Million Dollar Quartet
  • Cream
  • Blind Faith
  • Crosby, Stills, Nash (and Young)
  • UK
  • Golden Palomino
  • Electronic
  • Temple of the Dog
  • Audioslave
  • Lucy Pearl
reviewThe EcstaticThe Ecstatic available on iTunes

Mos Def The Ecstatic

Mos Def first gained attention as a member of Black Star with fellow rapper Talib Kweli. He went on to have a successful solo career, but these days more people might recognize him as an actor than a musician. Now he is back with The Ecstatic. Jim and Greg both thought his rap career was all but over, so this record was a welcome surprise. Jim heard it more like an unfocused mixtape than an album, but he loved Mos Def's energy and the work of his producers. Greg found the rapper more engaged on this album and calls it a triumphant return to form. The Ecstatic gets two Buy Its.


Featured Songs

  1. Mink DeVille, Mixed Up, Shook Up Girl, Cabretta, Capitol, 1977
  2. Mink DeVille, Spanish Stroll, Cabretta, Capitol, 1977
  3. Simple Minds, Don't You (Forget About Me), single, Virgin, 1985
  4. Yello, Oh Yeah, Stella, Vertigo, 1985
  5. The Psychedelic Furs, Pretty in Pink, Talk Talk Talk, Columbia, 1981
  6. The Traveling Wilburys, Handle With Care, Traveling Wilburys, Vol. 1, Rhino, 1988
  7. Damnocracy,“UltrAlive Pt 1,”demo, 2006
  8. Chickenfoot, Soap on a Rope, Chickenfoot, Redline Entertainment, 2009
  9. The Million Dollar Quartet, Just A Little Talk With Jesus, The Million Dollar Quartet, RCA, 1990
  10. Cream, Swlabr, Disraeli Gears, Reaction, 1967
  11. Blind Faith, Can't Find My Way Home, Blind Faith, Atco, 1969
  12. CSNY, Teach Your Children, 4 Way Street, Atlantic, 1971
  13. UK, Night After Night, Night After Night, E.G., 1979
  14. Asia, Heat of the Moment, Asia, Geffen, 1982
  15. The Golden Palominos, Omaha, Visions of Excess, Celluloid, 1985
  16. Electronic, Get the Message, Electronic, Warner Bros., 1991
  17. Temple of the Dog, Hunger Strike, Temple of the Dog, A&M, 1990
  18. Lucy Pearl, Don't Mess With My Man, Lucy Pearl, EMI, 2000
  19. Mos Def, Supermagic, The Ecstatic, Downtown, 2009
  20. Mos Def,“Life in Marvelous Times, ”The Ecstatic, Downtown, 2009
  21. Rich Boy, Drop, Drop, Interscope, 2009
  22. Blondie, Hanging on the Telephone, Parallel Lines, Chrysalis, 1978
  23. Pelican, Lost in the Headlights, City of Echoes, Daymare Recordings, 2007
  24. M Ward, Were You There, Duet for Guitars #2, Ow Om, 2007
  25. The Fiery Furnaces, Ray Bouvier, I'm Going Away, Thrill Jockey, 2009

Footnotes Pepsi Launches Own Music Label in China Punk pioneer Willy DeVille dies Jim's John Hughes obituary Them Crooked Vultures Mos Def