Nothing divides opinion quite like a musical side project.
Over the years there have been some moments of pure magic, and equally some bands we’d rather forget.
Here are 7 of the best musical side projects of all time:
In 2004 Libertines frontman Pete Doherty was kicked out of his beloved band at the peak of their success, and arguably at the peak of his most profound songwriting phase. Pete would go on to became a huge tabloid figure due to his highly publicised drug use and relationship with model Kate Moss. In late 2005 Pete released one of the best indie rock albums ever recorded in the from of Babyshambles’ ‘Down In Albion’ – re-affirming his status as indie rock hero, and silencing many of his critics. The band released two further albums titled ‘Shotter’s Nation (2007)’ and ‘Prequel To The Sequel (2013)’.
6. The Last Shadow Puppets
Consisting of Artic Monkey’s frontman Alex Turner and former Rascal’s singer Miles Kane, The Last Shadow Puppets captured the public imagination with their uber-1960s, Scott Walker inspired 2008 debut album ‘The Age of the Understatement’. The record peaked at number one in the UK, thanks to its brilliant singles ‘Standing Next To Me’ and ‘My Mistakes Were Made For You’. The band recently scored their second UK number one with follow up album ‘Everything You’ve Come To Expect’ in 2016.
5. Gnarls Barkley
DJ Danger Mouse and singer CeeLo Green first met whilst on tour together in 2004. After immediately hitting it off, the duo began to compose a number of tracks that would end up forming their debut album ‘St. Elsewhere’ (2006). The duo are perhaps best known for their massive single ‘Crazy’, which was the first single to hit the number one spot purely based on download sales. Gnarls Barkley are currently rumoured to be working on their third studio album.
4. Atoms For Peace
After the success of Thom Yorke’s debut solo album ‘The Eraser’, the mysterious Radiohead frontman set about forming a new band to perform his songs live. Yorke initially called on the talents of longtime producer Nigel Godrich before adding bassist Flea, drummer Joey Waronker and percussionist Mauro Refosco to the mix, and Atoms For Peace were formed. The band released their brilliant debut album ‘Amok’ in 2013, and fans have been hoping for a follow up ever since.
3. The Breeders
Former in 1989 by Pixies bassist Kim Deal and Throwing Muses guitarist Tanya Donnelly, The Breeders became one of the most successful side project band’s of the 1990s following the release of their hit single ‘Cannonball’ in 1993. As of 2017, The Breeders have released a total of four studio albums, their most recent ‘Mountain Battles’ coming out in 2008.
2. The Travelling Wilburys
Perhaps the greatest supergroup in rock and roll history, The Travelling Wilburys were formed in 1988 by rock legends Roy Orbison, George Harrison, Bob Dylan, Jeff Lynne and Tom Petty. The band released two studio albums between 1988 and 1990, and eventually won a Grammy Award for Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group. Despite achieving moderate chart success, The Wilbury’s will forever be remembered as Roy Orbison’s last hurrah, giving a fitting end to the glittering career of one of rock’s first heroes.
When Gorillaz first appeared in the pop charts back in 2001, nobody was quite sure just who was behind the genre-spanning virtual band. It was later revealed that the group was the brain child of former Blur singer Damon Albarn and comic book artist Jamie Hewlett. Gorillaz are now considered to be one of the most exciting acts on the planet, and have enjoyed huge success with their astounding studio records ‘Gorillaz’, ‘Demon Days’, ‘Plastic Beach’, ‘The Fall’, and new album ‘Humanz’.
Have we left out one of your favourite side projects? Leave us a comment with your suggestions.