Bands/Musicians The Best Music Side Projects  

Adam Tyler
1.4k votes 218 voters 9.4k 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
71 28
Traveling Wilburys is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Music Side Projects
Heartland rock, Rock music, Folk rock

2
53 27
Gorillaz is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Music Side Projects
Hip hop music, Alternative hip hop, Synthpop

3
18 6
Derek and the Dominos is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Music Side Projects
ElijahKaganer added Blues-rock

4
38 26
A Perfect Circle is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Music Side Projects
Rock music, Experimental rock, Neo-psychedelia

5
18 7
Temple of the Dog is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Music Side Projects
ElijahKaganer added Blues-rock, Rock music, Grunge

6
14 6
The Highwaymen is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Music Side Projects
ElijahKaganer added Outlaw country, Country

7
26 19
Them Crooked Vultures is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Music Side Projects
Rock music, Alternative rock, Hard rock

8
25 18
Mad Season is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Music Side Projects
Blues-rock, Rock music, Grunge

9
14 8
Velvet Revolver is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Music Side Projects
Mike Williams Mendes added Rock music, Heavy metal, Alternative rock

10
27 23
The Breeders is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Music Side Projects
Alternative rock, Indie rock

11
22 18
Mike + The Mechanics is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Music Side Projects
Adult contemporary music, New Wave, Pop music

12
33 30
The Raconteurs is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Music Side Projects
Blues-rock, Rock music, Garage rock

13
7 4
Power Station is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Music Side Projects
Mike Williams Mendes added

14
19 19
Gnarls Barkley is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Music Side Projects
Hip hop music, Alternative hip hop, Neo soul

15
15 15
Gov't Mule is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Music Side Projects
Blues-rock, Boogie rock, Rock music

16
15 15
The Dead Weather is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Music Side Projects
Blues-rock, Rock music, Garage rock

17
6 5
The Last Shadow Puppets is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Music Side Projects
Mike Williams Mendes added Britpop, Alternative rock, Mod revival

18
6 6
Me First and the Gimme Gimmes is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Music Side Projects
Mike Williams Mendes added Pop punk, Skate punk, Punk rock

19
11 12
Eagles of Death Metal is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Music Side Projects
Blues-rock, Rock music, Garage rock

20
9 10
Method Man and Redman is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Music Side Projects
Hip hop music, Hardcore hip hop, East Coast hip hop

21
19 22
The Plastic Ono Band is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Music Side Projects
Rock music, Experimental music, Art rock

22
3 3
The Wreckers is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Music Side Projects
Mike Williams Mendes added Country pop, Country

23
4 5
Mr. Bungle is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Music Side Projects
Mike Williams Mendes added Noise rock, Experimental rock, Funk metal

24
4 5
Bell Biv DeVoe is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Music Side Projects
Mike Williams Mendes added Hip hop music, Pop music, Contemporary R&B

25
17 21
Atoms for Peace is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Music Side Projects
Electronic music, Experimental rock, Alternative rock

26
11 14
Tom Tom Club is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Music Side Projects
Synthpop, New Wave, Dance-rock

27
5 7
Tin Machine is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Music Side Projects
Mike Williams Mendes added Rock music, Grunge, Alternative rock

28
3 5
Electronic is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Music Side Projects
Mike Williams Mendes added New Wave, Madchester, Electronic music

29
11 15
The Good, the Bad & the Queen is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Music Side Projects
Rock music, Alternative rock

30
2 4
Jesus Loves You is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Music Side Projects
Mike Williams Mendes added Acid house, Balearic beat, Pop music

31
11 16
Broken Bells is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Music Side Projects
Space rock, Alternative rock, Indie rock

32
11 16
Foxboro Hot Tubs is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Music Side Projects
Pop punk, Rock music, Garage punk

33
3 6
Bleachers is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Music Side Projects
Mike Williams Mendes added Alternative rock, Indie pop

34
4 8
Broken Social Scene is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Music Side Projects
LarryLeeHill added Shoegazing, Experimental rock, Dream pop

35
7 12
Divine Fits is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Music Side Projects

36
7 12
Dashboard Confessional is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Music Side Projects
Rock music, Emo, Folk rock

37
7 12
Grinderman is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Music Side Projects
Noise rock, Garage rock, Alternative rock

38
10 16
The Postal Service is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Music Side Projects
Indie pop, Synthpop, Electronic music

39
6 11
Sebadoh is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Music Side Projects
Indie rock, Lo-fi music

40
9 15
She & Him is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Music Side Projects
Indie pop, Pop music, Rock music

41
2 6
The Desert Sessions is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Music Side Projects
ElijahKaganer added Stoner rock, Hard rock

42
2 6
Arcadia is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Music Side Projects
Mike Williams Mendes added Synthpop, New Wave, Pop music

43
2 6
The New Barbarians is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Music Side Projects
clash1977 added

44
1 5
VCMG is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Music Side Projects
Mike Williams Mendes added Electronic music, Techno

45
1 5
The Other Two & You is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Music Side Projects
Mike Williams Mendes added The Other Two & You

46
5 11
Captain Murphy is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Music Side Projects
Captain Murphy

47
5 12
Monsters of Folk is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Music Side Projects
Folk music, Folk rock, Alternative rock

48
5 12
Jack's Mannequin is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Music Side Projects
Pop punk, Rock music, Piano rock

49
5 12
Brad is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Music Side Projects
Rock music, Neo-psychedelia, Alternative rock

50
6 14
Mariachi El Bronx is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Music Side Projects
Mariachi El Bronx