I have a theory that musical trios are as cursed as any non-musical threesome. Alliances of two against one and ego imbalances are inevitable. Dinosaur Jr. were able to reconcile, but here are three archetypical power trios who just couldn't keep it together.
CREAM [1966-1968] | Cream were three immense egoists who found a way out of dealing with one another by turning up the volume and loosening up the pop song. The result was, as they say, sheer heaviosity: the amps multiplied, the decibels climbed, and the song lengths crept into the 20-minute range while the audience watched each band member ignore the other two entirely. Their output may sound quaint today, but noise-mongering trios everywhere owe a debt of gratitude to the massive egos of Jack, Ginger, and Eric.
THE POLICE [1977-1984] | Sting, Stewart, and Andy upped Cream's ante in terms of being three self-centered assholes turning internal issues into #1 hits. Amid the punk class of '77, they stuck out as overachieving jazzbos secretly longing to write chart toppers while smuggling reggae undercurrents into the overground. But beneath the veneer of success was a deep unease, as Copeland's unwillingness to be controlled clashed with Sting's not-so-secret wish to go solo ? which, as we know all too well, he did.
MCLUSKY [1996-2005] | What rock trio have deconstructed the rock-band mythology as deftly as Cardiff's Mclusky? The bitterness and resentment that seep out of sneerfests like "Collagen Rock" and "To Hell with Good Intentions" made 2002's Mclusky Do Dallas (Too Pure) a Rosetta Stone for deciphering the modern rock unit. A disagreement after having their shit stolen during a 2004 US tour led to the perma-defriending of singer/guitarist Andy "Falco" Falkous and bassist Jonathan Chapple, leaving sad fans with nothing to do but read between the lines of "Fuck This Band."
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