An Exploration of Musical Supergroups

Welcome to the Sonic Collective, and another one of our exploratory podcast episodes.

In this episode, we’ll explore musical supergroups. So what is a supergroup? Well, for us, it’s a musical performing group of three or more persons, whose members have successful solo careers, are members of other groups, or are well known in other musical professions. They come together to form an epic alignment of mighty musical talents. For us, this isn’t a duo and they must have released at least one full-length album. These supergroups can also come from any genre. The term can sometimes also be applied to a group that has no specific preferred genre. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t, and today, we’ll touch on a few that fall in both categories and some in between.

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Albums that Influenced–Afrika Bambaataa & Soulsonic Force: Planet Rock

Afrika Bambaataa & Soulsonic Force - Planet Rock

For a change in pace, we decided that the 4 Sonic Collective members should select albums from a randomly selected genre for everyones next pick. Hip Hop was chosen and for the second pick of this round member Scott Coates chose A Tribe Called Quest: People’s Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm.

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Albums that Influence–A Tribe Called Quest: People’s Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm

For a change in pace, we decided that the 4 Sonic Collective members should select albums from a randomly selected genre for everyones next pick. Hip Hop was chosen and for the second pick of this round member Scott Coates chose A Tribe Called Quest: People’s Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm.

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What Makes a Great Album? Featuring Broadcasting Legend Alan Cross

There’s been one common thread regardless of genre, time period, or concept, that’s run through each of our album selections. The search for a great album. The entire package. A group of songs that work together to create more than just a few good singles, rather an experience and journey for the listener. So what makes a great album? This is the question and discussion we had with Alan Cross, an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. Enjoy.

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Review Gil Scott-Heron: Pieces of a Man

Gil Scott-Heron’s Pieces of a Man was mentioned often as a very powerful influence, namely the song ‘The Revolution Will Not Be Televised’, which is a spoken word politically powerful piece that highlights the struggles of the black population in the United States during the late 1960s. We listened, we mostly liked, and we learned a lot about GSH.

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Review of Jeff Buckley: Grace

Jeff Buckley’s Grace was his only album. Shortly after the release of this album Jeff died in a strange drowning accident. None of us really knew this album, but with heavyweights like David Bowie and Jimmy Page citing it as one of their favourite albums, we knew it had to be great … right? Well… it didn’t quite go the way we thought. Listen and find out why.

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Gil Scott-Heron: Pieces of a Man

PHOTO: MICHAEL OCHS ARCHIVES/GETTY IMAGES

 

Darren Scott, April 2020

Our four Sonic Collective members decided it would be fun to pick a random genre of music that we could use as a guide for a round of album selections. Member Scott Coates spun virtual wheel like a champ and in the end the winning genre was ‘Hip Hop’.

As I (Darren) get to kick off the round I was really excited. I love my Soul, Funk, Hip Hop and Rap. As a huge fan I wanted to do something different. I decided to go back to the artists that influenced the Hip Hop and Rap genre. Listen to my selection audio and find out what lead me to select Gil Scott-Heron. Hey, we can always use more of the name ‘Scott’ in our group! Ha ha.

Gil Scott-Heron: Pieces of a Man Wikipedia

Rapping History on Wikipedia

On Spotify:

Other artists I though about picking this month were:

Pigmeat Markham, Grand Master Flash and the Furious Five, DJ Kool Herc and A Tribe Called Quest (My favourite!)

Review of Van Halen: Van Halen

Van Halen cover art

Please read and listen to Alain DuPuis’ pick  Van Halen: Van Halen before reading and listening to our reviews below.

Quick Summary: 

  • Would we recommend?
  • Influence us and our tastes?
  • Overall
5

Review of Van Halen: Van Halen

Just like this album, we had way too much fun recording the podcast review for Van Halen’s self-titled debut album. Sonic member Alain DuPuis selected this California Rock/Metal album for February 2020 and we got to go back and listen to this classic. This album definitely highlights a lost art of selecting tracks to listen to in order to create a party/story for the listener. As we now live in an age of releasing singles and rarely listening to a full album in order from an artist, it is nice to go back and remember this lost art form.

We had a blast with this one and it is one of few that received a perfect score from us. Stop reading this and go listen to our podcast now and then get that album queued for your next gym session.

We invite you to hear our four differing opinions of this album and learn something with us. In this podcast you will learn the following about Van Halen’s debut album and much more:

  • Why did the band choose to have 2 cover songs on their debut album anyway?
  • There was a crazy rumour about Van Halen after this album debuted that related to the band Kiss, what was it?
  • Scott Coates points out which song was sampled from this album for a very famous rap tune.
  • Now that vape pens are legal in Canada how did Darren do trying to get through his scattered thoughts? Thanks to 420 Premium Market for the Top Leaf Florida Lemons Vape Cartridge.

Listen to our thoughts and see if this is worth going back to and let us know what your experience was with this album.

The Sonic Collective

Individual Review Scoring

Alain DuPuis:

Overall opinion: 5
Would I recommend?: 5
Influenced my tastes: 5

Darren Scott:

Overall opinion: 5
Would I recommend?: 5
Influenced my tastes: 5

 

Scott Coates

Overall opinion: 5
Would I recommend?: 5
Influenced my tastes: 5

Scott Gregory

Overall opinion: 5
Would I recommend?: 5
Influenced my tastes: 5

Review of Beastie Boys: Paul’s Boutique (w/Bonus Rush: 2112 mini review)

Please read and listen to Scott Coates’ pick  Beastie Boys: Paul’s Boutique before reading and listening to our reviews below.

Quick Summary: 

  • Would we recommend?
  • Influence us and our tastes?
  • Overall
4

Review of Beastie Boys: Paul's Boutique (w/Bonus Rush: 2112 mini review)

Note: Due to the passing of the great Canadian Neil Peart from the band Rush, we decided to also listen to and do a mini review of the Rush 2112 album. It’s only 5 minutes long so be sure to listen at the end.

It was great that Scott Coates selected this adored Beastie Boys album. Paul’s Boutique is often talked about as one of the key albums in the history of rap. Considering the Beastie Boys were know for goofy white kid moronic rap (Sorry, but it was kinda true), to have their next album take such a leap in style and production was… well… amazing. 

We invite you to hear our four differing opinions of this album and learn something with us. In this podcast you will learn the following about Paul’s Boutique and much more:

  • The lyrical interplay (Alain’s words) between the members was impressive. They were masters of riffing off of each other. The rhymes were complicated and quick.
  • Learn why Scott Gregory described some of the tracks as “soggy” and why we had to agree with him.
  • Learn why eating too much Foray Vanilla Chai Milk Chocolate edible cannabis isn’t such a good idea before a particular podcast.

Listen to our thoughts and see if this is worth going back to and let us know what your experience was with this album.

The Sonic Collective

Individual Review Scoring

Darren Scott:

Overall opinion: 4.5
Would I recommend?: 4.5
Influenced my tastes: 4

Alain DuPuis:

Overall opinion: 4.5
Would I recommend?: 4
Influenced my tastes: 2

Scott Coates

Overall opinion: 4.5
Would I recommend?: 4.5
Influenced my tastes: 4

Scott Gregory

Overall opinion: 4.5
Would I recommend?: 4
Influenced my tastes: 4