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10 Bands We'd Like to See Reunite

Posted by Billy Gil, January 29, 2014 11:11am | Post a Comment

Two of our favorite bands of all time — OutKast and Slowdiveare officially reuniting. OutKast announced it a couple weeks back, with news that the Southern rap legends will headline Coachella and play Governernor’s Ball in New York, though it seems likely we’ll see another Big Boi album before a new OutKast album (and we’re OK with that!). Meanwhile, shoegaze titans Slowdive yesterday confirmed rumors (that they themselves flamed) that they’d reunite, playing Primavera in Barcelona in May and “a couple of gigs,” including a show at Village Underground in London May 19 (better book your tickets now!), in order to raise funds for a new LP.

With those two reunions locked down, we thought we’d turn our attention from bands we liked that reunited to bands we’d like to see reunite.

Talking Heads

talking heads amoebaThis one seems a no-brainer. They exactly been quiet since they first broke up in 1991, from briefly “reuniting” onstage in 2002 to play three songs for their Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction, to David Byrnes solo career (including a one-off album with St. Vincent), to the other members’ activity, including The Heads and Tom Tom Club. And the band seems more popular and prescient than ever. So, everyone’s still alive and working.

How likely is it?

Meh. We’ll give it a 3 out of 5 on the likelihood scale. Byrne and the rest of the band don’t exactly get along. But that didn’t stop the Pixies.

 

The Kinks

the kinks amoebaCriminally underloved during their long run and subsequently venerated, British rock greats The Kinks should top just about any music fan’s fantasy for a reunion. The band last played all together in 1996.

How likely is it?

About a 50-50. Frontmen and brothers Ray and Dave Davies seem as consistently interested in a reunion as they are at odds with one another. Original bassist Pete Quaife died in 2010, making a true reunion impossible, and Dave Davies health struggles following a stroke in 2004 add to the reunion issues. Still, the Dave Davies as recently as last year said he was interested in a Kinks reunion.

 

XTC

xtc amoebaThe new-wave torchbearers for The Kink’s underdog flame, XTC are now rightly considered one of the best bands of the 1980s.

How likely is it?

Despite releasing some new songs on the 2005 Apple Box set, lead singer/songwriter Andy Partridge and bassist/vocalist Colin Moulding weren’t on such great terms, last we heard. Moulding had said he wasn’t interested in music anymore, then there were attempts to play without Partridge. But … people get broke. Reissues need to be promoted (and seriously, guys, we need some new reissues). And Coachella money can be very persuasive.

 

Elastica

elastica elastica amoebaElastica’s self-titled 1995 debut has to be one of the best albums of the ’90s—not most original or influential, just best, rewriting bits of Wire and Stranglers songs into Britpop gold. They lasted another frustrating six years or so, only releasing one more real album, 2000’s so-so The Menace, before calling it quits.

How likely is it?

Despite an amicable breakup, it doesn’t seem too likely. Band members are all doing their own thing, with frontwoman Justine Frischmann now living quietly as a painter. Still, she resurfaced to co-write songs with M.I.A. in the early 2000s, including “Galang.” Seeing as how that was one of the best songs of its era too, she obviously still could get it together and it would probably be amazing.

 

Husker Du

husker du amoebaDubbed creators of “alternative rock,” they took hardcore and put as much emphasis on melody and traditional songwriting. It sounded revolutionary and amazing then and still does. The band broke up in 1988.

How likely is it?

Bob Mould and Grant Hart did a mini one-off reunion at a 2004 benefit concert, and Mould played some Husker Du songs with No Age at All Tomorrow’s Parties in 2010. Plus Mould recently released the excellent Silver Age, so he’s still active and writing good stuff. Bassist Greg Norton seems to intermittently come back to music while running a restaurant with his wife. And what’s Grant Hart up to now? This one seems as likely as any.

Black Flag

henry rollinsBlack Flag is still around. They released an album late last year called What the… But that was without their best-known lead singer Henry Rollins, who left the hardcore band he founded in 1986.

How likely is it?

Doesn’t seem to be very likely. Rollins is very active in a number of other things, including activism and a great radio show on KCRW. And the rest of the band seems content enough to go on without him, with lead guitarist and songwriter Greg Ginn continuing to let the Flag fly. But … sigh. It’s just not the same without Rollins. A boy can dream, can’t he?

 

Smashing Pumpkins

smashing pumpkinsThis was a band that meant everything to me and many others like me in high school. The alternative band’s long fall from grace can’t erase that. Frontman Billy Corgan still going strong-ish with hired hands, releasing the decent Oceania in 2012. It’s just not the same without drummer Jimmy Chamberlin, who played with Corgan after the Pumpkins first broke up in 2000 in the underrated Zwan and on Zeitgeist in 2007. Corgan said in 2013 he was working on “a pair of albums,” and recent comments by him suggest he’s ready to bury the hatchet with guitarist James Iha, whom he famously has derided since the breakup, and maybe even with bassist D’arcy Wretsky.

 

How likely is it?

Though Corgan has seemed at his most grounded with all three original bandmates with him, a full reunion seems unlikely, given the level of bad blood—he has called Iha a “piece of shit” and vaguely said Chamberlin lied about why he finally left the band. Wrestsky has wrestled with drug addiction and arrests. But last year he praised his former bandmates in an interview. So we can hold out hope.

 

Ride

ride amoebaNow that Slowdive is back together, how about a renewed push to see another of the best bands of the shoegaze era, Ride, reunite? Even Swervedriver and Chapterhouse did it, come on, guys!

How likely is it?

Most of the members seem to be active—drummer Laurence Colbert has played in the reunited Jesus & Mary Chain, among others; bassist Andy Bell has played in Oasis and Beady Eye; singer/guitarist Mark Gardener has toured as a solo act; while Steve Queralt has seemingly retired from making music. They released the mostly improvised EP Coming Up for Air in 2002 and have been spotted at each others shows, expressing interest in working together again. This one seems like it’s in the bag.

 

The Smiths

the smiths amoebaIf I need to tell you anything about The Smiths, you probably got to this blog through some freak Internet accident.

How likely is it?

How soon is … maybe? Everyone says it’s not going to happen, Morrissey loudest of all, devoting 40 or so pages of his recent Autobiography to a bitter retelling of drummer Mike Joyce’s lawsuit against the band for unpaid royalties. Yet there is much love in Autobiography for the talents of Johnny Marr, which has been somewhat overlooked in coverage of the book. Marr played with bassist Andy Rourke in November, jamming on Smiths classics like “Please, Please, Please, Let Me Get What I Want” (which should be the name of a book about Smiths fans dying for a reunion). Even Joyce recently has said he’d do it, though he said it was never going to happen in the same breath. So maybe it’s not so hopeless after all.

 

Cocteau Twins

cocteau twins amoebaCocteau Twins basically invented a musical language, stringing Elizabeth Fraser’s warped English over Robin Guthrie and Simon Raymonde’s fantasy creations. Though they never achieved commercial success before breaking up in 1997, their fanbase remains one of the most dedicated.

How likely is it?

This one seems the most heartbreakingly just out of reach. A 2009 reunion was supposed to take place at Coachella, but Fraser backed out, saying that basically, she couldn’t bear to be back in a band with people who meant so much to her, including the father of one of her children (Guthrie). As all members have remained musically active, including Raymonde’s Snowbird, which will release their debut album, moon, Feb. 4 on Raymonde's Bella Union, it’s still possible but unlikely. Still, we now live in a world in which My Bloody Valentine finally released another album. Anything can happen!

 

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Band Reunions (1), Reunions (1), Talking Heads (15), Outkast (3), Sloweive (1), Coachella (33), The Kinks (7), Xtc (3), Elastica (1), Husker Du (6), Black Flag (27), Smashing Pumpkins (14), Ride (5), The Smiths (33), Cocteau Twins (16)