Bands/Musicians The Best Music Side Projects  

Adam Tyler
1.2k votes 196 voters 9.2k views 60 items

Like everyone else in the workforce, even our favorite rock stars need some time off from seeing his or her bandmates on occasion. This is why side projects have existed and why rock bands have spawned other bands and at times, been more creative and experimental than what fans are used to. Sometimes, the result is as good, if not better than the original outfit.

Though that doesn't happen often, it does happen from time to time that the side project is the best, most creative outlet for individual members that he or she can't achieve in their regular band. It can mean experimenting with synths or hardcore, or music like IDM or even EDM. Other times, it means powerhouses like Bob Dylan, Tom Petty, George Harrison of The Beatles join forces, same for hip hop icons Jay-Z and Kanye West. Here are some of the best side projects in music history, which vary from genre to genre.

The end result is the same however: the better the individual parts, the better the band. If a side project like the Traveling Wilburys or Atoms For Peace doesn't have the components like each respect project has, then they're unlikely to get the recognition. Even a group like indie super side project The Postal Service wouldn't be as known if not for the participation of Ben Gibbard and Jenny Lewis.

Here are some of the top side projects of all time.

 
list ordered by

1
65 26
Traveling Wilburys is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Music Side Projects
Heartland rock, Rock music, Folk rock

2
50 25
Gorillaz is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Music Side Projects
Hip hop music, Alternative hip hop, Synthpop

3
13 4
Derek and the Dominos is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Music Side Projects
ElijahKaganer added Blues-rock

4
33 26
A Perfect Circle is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Music Side Projects
Rock music, Experimental rock, Neo-psychedelia

5
33 28
The Raconteurs is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Music Side Projects
Blues-rock, Rock music, Garage rock

6
13 7
Temple of the Dog is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Music Side Projects
ElijahKaganer added Blues-rock, Rock music, Grunge

7
23 18
Them Crooked Vultures is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Music Side Projects
Rock music, Alternative rock, Hard rock

8
26 22
The Breeders is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Music Side Projects
Alternative rock, Indie rock

9
10 5
The Highwaymen is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Music Side Projects
ElijahKaganer added Outlaw country, Country

10
22 18
Mad Season is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Music Side Projects
Blues-rock, Rock music, Grunge

11
15 13
The Dead Weather is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Music Side Projects
Blues-rock, Rock music, Garage rock

12
6 3
The Last Shadow Puppets is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Music Side Projects
Mike Williams Mendes added Britpop, Alternative rock, Mod revival

13
5 3
Power Station is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Music Side Projects
Mike Williams Mendes added

14
17 17
Mike + The Mechanics is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Music Side Projects
Adult contemporary music, New Wave, Pop music

15
9 8
Velvet Revolver is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Music Side Projects
Mike Williams Mendes added Rock music, Heavy metal, Alternative rock

16
13 13
Gov't Mule is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Music Side Projects
Blues-rock, Boogie rock, Rock music

17
17 18
Gnarls Barkley is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Music Side Projects
Hip hop music, Alternative hip hop, Neo soul

18
11 12
Tom Tom Club is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Music Side Projects
Synthpop, New Wave, Dance-rock

19
5 5
Tin Machine is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Music Side Projects
Mike Williams Mendes added Rock music, Grunge, Alternative rock

20
10 11
Eagles of Death Metal is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Music Side Projects
Blues-rock, Rock music, Garage rock

21
3 3
Mr. Bungle is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Music Side Projects
Mike Williams Mendes added Noise rock, Experimental rock, Funk metal

22
2 2
Jesus Loves You is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Music Side Projects
Mike Williams Mendes added Acid house, Balearic beat, Pop music

23
2 2
The Wreckers is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Music Side Projects
Mike Williams Mendes added Country pop, Country

24
17 20
The Plastic Ono Band is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Music Side Projects
Rock music, Experimental music, Art rock

25
16 19
Atoms for Peace is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Music Side Projects
Electronic music, Experimental rock, Alternative rock

26
11 13
The Good, the Bad & the Queen is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Music Side Projects
Rock music, Alternative rock

27
8 10
Method Man and Redman is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Music Side Projects
Hip hop music, Hardcore hip hop, East Coast hip hop

28
3 4
Bleachers is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Music Side Projects
Mike Williams Mendes added Alternative rock, Indie pop

29
3 4
Bell Biv DeVoe is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Music Side Projects
Mike Williams Mendes added Hip hop music, Pop music, Contemporary R&B

30
2 3
Electronic is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Music Side Projects
Mike Williams Mendes added New Wave, Madchester, Electronic music

31
11 14
Foxboro Hot Tubs is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Music Side Projects
Pop punk, Rock music, Garage punk

32
11 14
Broken Bells is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Music Side Projects
Space rock, Alternative rock, Indie rock

33
3 5
Me First and the Gimme Gimmes is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Music Side Projects
Mike Williams Mendes added Pop punk, Skate punk, Punk rock

34
2 4
The Desert Sessions is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Music Side Projects
ElijahKaganer added Stoner rock, Hard rock

35
2 4
The New Barbarians is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Music Side Projects
clash1977 added

36
2 4
Arcadia is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Music Side Projects
Mike Williams Mendes added Synthpop, New Wave, Pop music

37
6 9
Sebadoh is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Music Side Projects
Indie rock, Lo-fi music

38
1 3
VCMG is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Music Side Projects
Mike Williams Mendes added Electronic music, Techno

39
1 3
The Other Two & You is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Music Side Projects
Mike Williams Mendes added The Other Two & You

40
9 13
She & Him is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Music Side Projects
Indie pop, Pop music, Rock music

41
4 7
Broken Social Scene is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Music Side Projects
LarryLeeHill added Shoegazing, Experimental rock, Dream pop

42
7 11
Grinderman is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Music Side Projects
Noise rock, Garage rock, Alternative rock

43
7 11
Divine Fits is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Music Side Projects

44
10 15
The Postal Service is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Music Side Projects
Indie pop, Synthpop, Electronic music

45
5 10
Brad is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Music Side Projects
Rock music, Neo-psychedelia, Alternative rock

46
5 10
Monsters of Folk is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Music Side Projects
Folk music, Folk rock, Alternative rock

47
5 10
Jack's Mannequin is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Music Side Projects
Pop punk, Rock music, Piano rock

48
4 9
Captain Murphy is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Music Side Projects
Captain Murphy

49
6 12
The Swell Season is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Music Side Projects
JacksonMay added Folk rock, Indie folk

50
6 12
Dashboard Confessional is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Music Side Projects
Rock music, Emo, Folk rock