If You Could Reunite Your Favorite Defunct Band, Which One Would It Be?
It’s always a pop star’s prerogative to change his or her mind. Even if he or she is as certain and emphatic as Sting was some 15 years ago when he more or less told me during an interview not to ever expect a Police reunion. “There would be only two reasons to do that,” he said to me. “For nostalgia, or for money. I’m not big on nostalgia, and obviously, I don’t need the money.”
Either he’s more sentimental than he thought, or really bad with his finances. A few years ago, the Police entered the pantheon of great disbanded bands you never expected to reunite that did. Roxy Music, the Eagles and Led Zeppelin (whose members, minus the late John Bonham, have reunited for infrequent one-off concerts) are also in that hallowed domain.
The last 10 to 15 years have brought other less highly unlikely returns, including such ’80s favorites as Echo and the Bunnymen, Psychedelic Furs, Yazoo, the Pixies and the original line up of Duran Duran. Will ’90s and ’00s outfits soon follow suit? The Verve did a few years ago, but after one album and one tour, renewed quarreling led to the band’s third break up. On a more positive note, Blur is playing together again, and later this year, Take That will release its first album since 1995 to feature original member Robbie Williams. On the other side of the Atlantic, I’d say that the eventual regrouping of Destiny’s Child is, um, their destiny, but I’m not expecting Justin Timberlake to ever bring his sexy back to ‘N Sync. That ship has sailed. Wave bye bye bye.
But we can still dream. Though it probably would be a royal waste of time holding your breath for a reformed ‘N Sync, or the Beatles reunited (two of them, after all, are no longer with us), there are plenty of other disbanded acts who could regroup for one last hurrah before the curtain falls for good. Here are 10 that top my personal wish list.
Sometimes the sum is definitely greater than the parts. Although Morrissey has flirted with brilliance as a solo star (most notably on 1992′s “Your Arsenal” and 1994′s “Vauxhall and I”), in the 23 years since the Smiths split, neither he nor guitarist Johnny Marr have approached the creative heights that they scaled during the Smiths’ three short years as a recording unit. Nor have the band’s four former members, to my knowledge, been in the same place at the same time. Given that Morrissey would rather “eat my own testicles than reform the Smiths,” I’d say what we’ve seen is what we’re going to get: absolutely nothing.
Around 1990, I would have paid anything to see these four Swedes onstage, performing together again. At this point, nearly 30 years after ABBA harmonized for the last time, I’m not sure that I want to watch a quartet of sixtysomethings prancing around on a stage singing “Dancing Queen.” Not even Meryl Streep could make that work in “Mamma Mia.” Though it’s about as likely as a reunion between Queen and Freddie Mercury, I’d still pay good money for an album of all-new ABBA music.
I don’t get it. I love Stevie Nicks as a solo artist, and I find Lindsey Buckingham and Christine McVie to be quite listenable on their own, so two out of three should be even better than one, right? Wrong. Take any of them out of the Fleetwood Mac equation, and I’m just not buying it. If they ever get around to recording yet another “reunion” album, let’s hope they remember to drag McVie from that castle or farm or wherever she’s retired to and into the studio with them. Otherwise, I’ll just wait for Nicks’s next solo album.
If ever a band never got a shot at reaching their huge potential, it would be the Roses, which disbanded in 1996 after two studio albums and one perfect rock & roll jam, “Fool’s Gold.”
I refuse to acknowledge the current incarnation featuring Heidi Range and two girls I wouldn’t recognize if I woke up next to them in bed. I’m talking about Sugababes 2.0, with Range, Mutya Buena and Keisha Buchanan, whose voices can forever be heard on the trio’s greatest hits like “Round Round” and “Push the Button.” Also on my girl group-reunion wish list: Sisters With Voices (otherwise known as SWV), the Judds, and Bananarama, featuring current members Keren Woodward and Sara Dallin, and the long gone Siobhan Fahey.
I lost interest in Björk quite a few albums ago (circa 2001′s “Vespertine”), so perhaps the way to make her intriguing again would be to bring that love-him-or-hate-him loudmouth Einar back into her musical orbit.
Apparently, the recently incarcerated George Michael has as much interest in his solo career as the U.S. market does. So if this is what it takes to keep him off the streets and from behind the wheel when he’s sprung from jail for driving under the influence of way too much pot, I’m all for him waking up and go-going at it again with Andrew Ridgely.
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