Top 10 Side Projects

artist: misc date: 08/02/2013 category: entertainment
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Top 10 Side Projects
So this week we decided to delve into the iffy domain of side projects as we asked you to name your favorites in our traditional Wednesday question. As we said, it's a world of hit and miss efforts out there, but we decided to focus on the best and give the web UG community's pick of side projects' creme de la creme. Before we proceed to the list, we should note that several acts made the top 10, but were disqualified as supergroups rather that side projects. These include Audioslave, Atoms for Peace and Them Crooked Vultures, with the latter even reaching No. 1 spot. So without further ado, here are the top 10 side projects of all time.

10. Scars on Broadway

System of a Down axeman Daron Malakian gets to kick off our list with his Scars on Broadway side project. Officially announced in 2005, the group was founded after the release of the latest SOAD record, 2005's "Hypnotize." The four-piece released their self-titled debut in 2008, featuring singles "They Say" and "World Long Gone." Interestingly enough, Scars on Broadway story dates back to 2003 recording sessions, also featuring bassist Shavo Odadjian. What makes the sessions especially important is the fact that they produced "BYOB," one of System's greatest hits.

9. Tremonti

With his 2012 solo debut, Creed/Alter Bridge guitarist Mark Tremonti decided to slightly venture away from modern rock and even submerge into thrash metal waters. Apart from playing the guitar, the record also saw Tremonti handling the vocal duties. As a critically acclaimed effort, "All I Was" managed to crack the Billboard 200 top 30 with such tracks as "You Waste Your Time," "So You're Afraid" and "Wish You Well."

8. The Dead Weather

Consisting of Jack White, Allison Mosshart, QOTSA's Dean Fertita and Jack Lawrence of the Racounters, the Dead Weather were formed in 2009. Four-piece kicked it off with a prolific two-year period, releasing two records, 2009's "Horehound" and 2010's "Sea of Cowards," within a single year. Your votes earned the gang the No. 8 spot, with such hit singles as "Will There Be Enough Water" and "Die by the Drop" probably giving notable contributions.

7. Liquid Tension Experiment

As a prime representative of the prog world, Liquid Tension Experiment came to be as a brainchild of Dream Theater drummer Mike Portnoy who joined forces with keyboardist Jordan Rudess and bass legend Tony Levin. Initially, Portnoy wanted to hire late great Dimebag Darrel to handle the axe, but couldn't due to conflicting schedules. After his second and third choice, Steve Morse and Jim Matheos of Fates Warning, also proved to be unavailable, the stickman invited his fellow DT member John Petrucci to join the fold. Despite facing high expectations, the four-piece delivered high-quality work with their two records, unleashing such monster prog tracks as "Acid Rain," "Paradigm Shift" and "Universal Mind."

6. Mad Season

We're now moving to Seattle and a time when the grunge movement was at its peak. The year was 1994; members of three of the scene's prominent acts - Alice in Chains, Pearl Jam and Screaming Trees, joined forces and formed a group called Mad Season. Featuring Layne Staley on vocals and Pearl Jam's guitarist Mike McCready, the band released their debut and final record "Above," in 1995 only to go on a hiatus the next year. Bassist John Baker Saunders' 1999 passing officially marked the band's end; Staley passed away two year later.

5. The Racounters

Mr. Jack White gets to crack our list in half with his second appearance and the Racounters side project. Founded in 2005, the group released a total of two studio efforts so far. With hit singles such as "Steady as She Goes" and "Salute Your Solution," both albums reached No. 7 on the Billboard 200 chart, earning a Gold sales certificates in the UK along the way.

4. Down

As Pantera just propelled into metal superstardom with "Cowboys From Hell," the one and only Philip H. Anselmo also got involved with another group called Down. Two decades and three studio albums later, the band is still kicking and screaming, rightfully earning a spot in the upper half of the list. Singles such as "Stone the Crow," "On March the Saints" and "Witchtripper" speak for themselves.

3. Temple of the Dog

Founded in 1990 by Soundgarden frontman Chris Cornell, Temple of the Dog is often considered a Soundgarden/Pearl Jam supergroup. However, the band actually predates Pearl Jam, making the supergroup label unacceptable. The band's only record, self-titled "Temple of the Dog," dropped in 1991, fetching critical acclaim with the title track becoming its most prominent tune.

2. A Perfect Circle

Maynard James Keenan's most well-known side project, A Perfect Circle, gets to be our top 10's runner up. Founded in 1999, the group released a total of three albums so far, with their latest effort, 2004's "Emotive," dropping almost a decade ago. But despite not being too active in recent years, the band still remains popular among the rock crowd with such tracks as "Passive," "Judith" and "The Outsider."

1. Gorillaz

When Blur frontman Damon Albarn founded Gorillaz with Jamie Hewlett in 1998, he managed to set the bar pretty high and prove once and for all that side projects can become a major global success. Their debut single, 2000's "Clint Eastwood," launched the group into superstardom, making Gorillaz one of the most successful acts of the last decade. Tunes such as "Feel Good Inc." and "On Melancholy Hill" only contribute to the band's popularity, making Gorillaz this week's champions.
That about wraps up this week's list. Did your favorites make the top 10 and get the props they deserve? Or do you think someone else should also be up there in the big league? Let us know in the comments.
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