Joe Walsh And John Entwistle’s Temporary Supergroup, The Best
Many artists desire to try different things and get together with fellow musicians to work on new projects. Sometimes, these collaborations turn into supergroups. Seeing your favorite musician join forces with another prominent name is a big thrill for many. Still, most of these supergroups don’t survive long enough because they often remain overshadowed by the artists’ own bands or stay in the background due to the musicians’ other commitments.
Following Led Zeppelin’s disbandment, Jimmy Page decided to form a supergroup. However, he had to put this project on the shelf later on. Geddy Lee also co-founded a supergroup that isn’t widely known by his fans. Many other names in the scene joined forces, like former Black Sabbath bandmates Tony Iommi and Ian Gillan, Mick Fleetwood and Steven Tyler, John Lennon, Keith Richards, and Eric Clapton, who founded the Dirty Mac.
It turns out that the Eagles icon Joe Walsh and the Who bassist John Entwistle also wanted to work on a project. The two formed the supergroup the Best, which featured Keith Emerson, Jeff Baxter, Simon Phillips, and Rick Livingstone. Although these names promised so much initially, the Best ended up becoming a temporary effort without any albums released under their name.
According to a Rolling Stone interview with Rick Livingstone in 2021, the Best’s initial line-up was playing in the Los Angeles China Club, where other artists would also join them on the stage. During one of these shows, some promoters from Japan suggested they form a supergroup. When Baxter approached his fellow musicians, they all agreed to be involved in the project. Livingstone wasn’t their first choice, though — they first approached Terry Reid, who declined the offer.
Each band member wanted to sing their own songs, but things worked out pretty well in the studio, where they played together before embarking on a tour. “We went into SIR studios in Los Angeles for a couple of weeks,” recalled Livingstone. “We worked out the details of the set. It was a real juxtaposition of genres, but it moved together really smoothly.”
The Best then hit the road to play four dates in Japan and one in Hawaii. However, following the tour’s conclusion, each member returned to work with their own band, and the Best remained a short-lived supergroup. Years later, fan footage of their performances showed up on YouTube. Sadly, the Best’s only release was a 2010 DVD of their performance in Yokohama, Japan.