Relight My Fire or My Wallet?

Robyn Wainwright discusses whether or not reunions can be truly successful and takes us through the good, the bad and the potentially incredible artists who re-grace the stage.

Robyn Wainwright
27th February 2017

Reunions can be an exciting spectacle. Hearts of thousands of 40 year old women stopped when Take That reunited, and the Guns N’ Roses reunion for Coachella saw the world of rock welcome Gods back to the stage. However they can also be a complete disaster showing an embarrassing desperation and a reliance on past successes.

"the world of rock welcomed Gods back to the stage"

The Good

Take That are probably THE success story when it comes to reunions. All three of the bands reunion albums made their way to number one in the charts. The members, Gary, Mark, Jason and Howard admitted in an interview with the MailOnline that they were shocked by the band’s remarkable comeback success.

For bands McFly and Busted, who together reunited to make ‘McBusted’, their reunion tour was met with speculation. Sure most women in their 20s would want to see McBusted perform if not solely to relive their days of jumping round in their school uniforms singing along to ‘Crashed the Wedding’ in their mirrors. Yet, critics and fans lapped it up. McBusted released a new album and even made a documentary.

Dire Straits and Black Sabbath are another two bands whose reunion tours and albums proved extremely successful. Dire Straits 1996 reunion album On Every Street proved a huge chart topping success, while Black Sabbath’s original line up reunited in 2011 with their number one comeback album 13.

The Bad

The Sex Pistols reunion tour of 1996 was a freely admitted money making scheme. As the Rolling Stone magazine states ‘When the Sex Pistols reunited in 1996, they didn't even try to pretend it was anything but a cash grab’. They didn’t attempt to write a new song, as they had just enough songs to fill out a proper show. Johnny Rotten Rolling Stone in 2012 ‘Occasionally, a re-enactment is a fine thing. I love Civil War re-enactments." The Sex Pistols have toured twice since then, 2002-3 and 2007-8 both met with underwhelming reactions from fans and critics.

"a freely admitted money making scheme"

The Doors reunion was a tragic tale of trying to emulate past success. Formed by members Ray Manzarek and Robby Krieger, and including former drummer John Mensmore, ‘The Doors of the 21st Century’ played old Doors material until the death of Manzarek in 2013. Many critics claimed that without Jim Morrison, the band lacked the charisma needed to entertain fans to the same standard. The band failed to find a footing, it poses the question why they even tried to recapture their former success.

Reunions in 2017?

The White Stripes: They’re young enough to make a relatively long come back, maybe Coachella or a charity event will bring them back together. Here’s hoping.

Oasis: Although the past few years has saw brothers Noel and Liam relentlessly attacking each other in the press, both have expressed desires to reunite, even if just for a one of tour of performance.

R.E.M: Despite Stipe telling CBS ‘I despise nostalgia’, it would be incredible to see the return of these talented musicians, showing that age is just a number.

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