It’s always hard when a band we love breaks up. There’s always promises of solo careers or the glisten of a reunion in the distant future, but often its never the same again. Our writers have picked their favourite tracks from bands who are no longer together.
‘Happily’ – One Direction
There’s only one band today’s song could belong to. With five albums of nostalgic tunes to choose from, picking just one wasn’t easy but ‘Happily’ perfectly sums up everything I love about this band. I remember the day in March 2015 when I heard the (devastating) news that Zayn was leaving One Direction, followed later that year with the bombshell that the nation’s favourite boyband were going on hiatus. After seeing them play at Wembley in 2014, 16-year-old me was a little bit heartbroken. But fast-forward five years with all five members having found their own paths as solo artists, the split was probably for the best. There with me through milestones of my teenage life, whenever I hear their music I can’t help but smile. Sad as it may be that they’re no longer together, I know they’ll always be waiting on Spotify.
‘Baddies Boogie’ – Babyshambles
Babyshambles split up in 2014 and not managing to see them live before then is one of my big musical regrets. Pete Doherty formed Babyshambles after The Libertines’ dramatic breakup and fairly unusually for a follow up project of a member of a successful band they’re brilliant. ‘Shotters Nation’ is probably in my top ten albums released this century and ‘Baddies Boogie’ is my favourite song of theirs. It’s beautiful, nostalgic and the lyrics are amazing. The fact that The Libertines have reformed makes up for the loss of Babyshambles slightly and I’ve seen them on every tour they’ve been on since they got back together, but I’d love just one more Babyshambles gig so I could make up for missing them first time round.
‘I Want to Break Free’ – Queen
There’s only one choice for today’s theme, and that is Queen. Without a doubt, Queen are one of the best bands to have existed and one of the bands to display amazing talent in all areas, from John Deacon on the bass, Roger Taylor behind the drums, Brian May and his amazing mop of hair on the guitar, to iconic front man Freddie Mercury singing lead vocals. Queen songs are often the ones everyone knows the words to, no matter what kind of music you’re into, easily accessible with memorable lyrics and instrument solos, they were utterly brilliant. Even if May and Taylor still perform with Adam Lambert, it’s nowhere near the level they had with Deacon and Mercury. As for the song choice, I want to break free is a very shared theme between many students at the moment, especially me as I’m coming into squeaky bum time with my dissertation!
‘Come As You Are’ – Nirvana
‘Come As You Are’ is arguably my favourite Nirvana track, one that certainly makes me wonder what might have been in store for the band, had the tragic circumstances that led to their dissolution been avoided. Kurt Cobain’s unique voice shines through in this song, pouring emotion and anger into lyrics that, after his untimely death, become increasingly prescient. Like much of Nirvana’s catalogue, there is a raw feeling to ‘Come As You Are’, with the guitar sound that Cobain creates capturing that energy that made the band so popular in the early ’90s. When listening to Nirvana, there is always that tinge of sadness, but ‘Come As You Are’ is an excellent song from a band whose journey was short, and whose ending was devastating, but who certainly made their mark whilst they could.
‘Acquiesce’ – Oasis
I can see this being a somewhat popular choice for today’s briefing. While many fans have many opinions on whether Oasis should reform, or more importantly Noel and Liam have their own views, that doesn’t stop people my age wishing that they could’ve seen Oasis live before they split. Oasis, as Liam likes to remind people, were the biggest rock and roll band on the planet. Whether at Knebworth or Maine Road they brought massive guitar riffs, piercing vocals and equally powerful attitude. One track of theirs which I’ve always been fond of would be ‘Acquiesce’. It’s everything you want out of an Oasis track and more.
‘Seven Nation Army’ – The White Stripes
I had considered picking Oasis, Queen, The Police or so many other bands, but I didn’t want to clash with other writers. Plus the last two in that list have reformed at least once since splitting. Instead I’ve picked The White Stripes. ‘Seven Nation Army’ is the band’s most recognisable song. How could it not be with the iconic riff that almost any person hears the song knows? The band split in 2011 after 14 years of making music all down to what was said to be down to a lack of commitment to the project by one of the members. The world may never know what it has missed out on with this bands breaking up, but at least we still have gems like this song to listen to.
‘His Masters Voice’ – Monsters of Folk
If you’d asked me this months earlier, I’d immediately have a direct answer, Bright Eyes. But if there’s one good thing to come out of 2020 it’s that Bright Eyes has gotten back together to do one more album! I kinda had to search for another band I liked that had disbanded, and said why not cry for more like a greedy child and wish that another one of Oberst’s projects be revived, The Monsters of Folk. A folk supergroup consisting of literal giants of folk Conor Oberst, Mike Mogis, M.Ward and Jim James. They made just one self-titled, perfect album, and if we’re being honest it was enough, but I am greedy and want more, like a chimp gorging himself on oranges he later throws up. This is no doubt the most beautiful track on the album; give it a listen.
‘Road to Nowhere’- Talking Heads
1991 was the year that Talking Heads disbanded after lead singer and creative mastermind David Byrne decided to pursue a solo career. Still, the new wave band from the Big Apple have one of the most impressive discographies of anyone in music. ‘Road to Nowhere’ is easily one of their biggest hits and for good reason. Byrne delivers one his most iconic vocal performances accompanied by a small choir. His carefree lyrics dance around life’s tendency to look like there’s nothing at the end of our road at times. Let’s not forget that iconic run from the music video too. Since 1991, Talking Heads have had two comebacks but with the last one being in 2002, it doesn’t look like a reformation is on the cards any time soon. We can dream eh…
30 day song challenge 30 days of music aquiesce babyshambles baddies boogie come as you are happily his masters voice I Want to Break Free Monsters of folk Music Nirvana oasis one direction Queen road to nowhere seven nation army talking heads The White Stripes
Last modified: 29th April 2020