This is the age of epic (or sometimes less than epic) band reunions. Blur is back, the Replacements just wrapped a victory lap, the Eagles basically can’t stop touring, and that’s all just in this year — with the proliferation of big budget music festivals and a healthy amount of nostalgia to help, the band reunion tour has become so popular that “getting back together” is a new rock and roll cliché.
But that doesn’t mean it’s for everyone. While Outkast, Soundgarden, Wu-Tang Clan, Pavement, My Bloody Valentine, Neutral Milk Hotel, The Pixies and more have all reunited in the past few years, there are plenty of hold outs who haven’t and may never play together again.
Here are five band reunions that still haven’t happened, but we wish they would.
There was a rumor some years back that the Swedish pop quartet had been offered $1 billion to reunite for a world tour, but that never materialized. Even earlier this year, reunion rumors resurfaced again but proved false. ABBA may have been one of the most commercially successfully acts in popular music history but it was also comprised of two married-then-divorced couples, creating an understandably difficult situation. “It’s kind of good to be the only group that never came back,” former member and songwriter Bjorn Ulvaeus told Billboard this week.
Guns N Roses (original lineup)
Axl Rose tours with a band as Guns N’ Roses, but a reunion with the original lineup of Slash, Duff McKagan, Izzy Stradlin and either Steven Adler or Matt Sorum is almost too good to imagine. It’s been nearly 25 years since the band’s last release, ignoring 1993’s The Spaghetti Incident? and 2008’s Chinese Democracy, and there was plenty of trash talk has filled that gap, but somehow this still feels possible. And in the end, no one would benefit more than Rose, who might manage to salvage his tarnished image if only he could bring the original bad boys back to the band.
Breaking up and getting back together is more or less engrained in Oasis’ messy band culture. But since they split up with the Gallagher brothers going their separate ways — Liam and the rest of the band as Beady Eye, Noel with Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds — in 2009, it looks like this split could stick. In true Gallagher fashion, there’s been plenty of back and forth over the years since breaking up. But who knows? This year marks the 20th anniversary of (What’s The Story) Morning Glory and if there were ever a record worth celebrating that’s one of them.
The Smiths are basically the gold standard for reunions that probably won’t ever happen. Since the Manchester quintet’s last show at London’s Brixton Academy on December 12th, 1986, after only four years together, every member of the band has been heavily involved in the music industry. Still, after Morrissey famously turned down $5 million to perform at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival —a reunion—it’s been pretty clear this isn’t happening. Moz once said he’d rather eat his own testicles than reunite, in case you needed that image to make his stance clear.
The Talking Heads
Though The Talking Heads didn’t officially break up until 1991, the band’s last tour was 1983’s Stop Making Sense tour, which was followed by years of dysfunction. Basically, David Byrne grew uncomfortable sharing creative responsibilities with the band and the other members were fed up with being seen as Byrne’s backing band. Though there are reports Chris Frantz, Tina Weymouth and Jerry Harrison are interested in trying things out again, save an ace performance at their 2002 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction, Byrne has said there’s no chance the legendary New York quartet will reunite.