Subscribe to our newsletter

(Credit: Alamy)

Music

10 iconic bands we wish would reunite

There are bands that have broken up, there are bands that should have broken up, and there are some bands that still haven’t broken up. But there are also bands that have broken up, who shouldn’t have broken up, and although they can’t rectify the damage, they can make up for it by reuniting for their fans.

Although we’d love to hear Pink Floyd perform onstage again, Richard Wright’s death has prohibited this from happening. The same could be said for Led Zeppelin, no matter how well Jason Bonham can swing in his father’s place. For a bonafide reunion, we’ve decreed that all members of the classic lineup need to be alive and well for the reunion to occur.

Because as long as there’s breath in our bodies, we should do what makes others happy. What we do for ourselves die with us, but what we do for others outlive us. These altruistic gestures will outlive the bandmembers in the future when their songs have outlived the creators.

As it was during their heyday, as it will be in the future, these ten outfits will live long in the memories of their fans. And with their music in the public domain, it would be a great shame to let this opportunity go to waste.

10 iconic bands we wish would reunite:

10. Cocteau Twins

Scottish band Cocteau Twins were one of the progenitors of dream-pop, a form of music the world needs desperately as it wakes up after a two-year pandemic. And Cocteau Twins could revive their audiences with a convoy of glistening work furnished for the stage. 

Vocalist Elizabeth Fraser hasn’t shown an interest in reuniting the band in recent years. She seemed determined to hide from the public from 1998 until 2009, feeling her privacy cloaked her from the clawing spotlight, but she’s said to be returning with her own music soon. 

“I don’t remember it being that much money and in any case that’s not the reason [for reforming],” she told The Guardian. “But people get so fucking carried away. Even though something’s staring you in the face, people just cannot see it. I knew it wouldn’t happen and it didn’t take long to want out.”

9. The Sex Pistols

Depending on your persuasion, The Sex Pistols were either the greatest embodiment of punk or a boy band put together for the amusement of their manager, Malcolm McLaren. But whatever your view, one thing is for sure, and that’s that the band know how to play. 

Bassist Glen Matlock doesn’t seem to have much time for John Lyndon, but there’s no doubt that he recognises the importance of the material, considering how often he plays their songs in his solo concerts. If the price is right, he might just put his personal feelings aside for the fans. 

The Sex Pistols reunited during the 1990s, highlighting their desire to make as much money as they could from the concerts. Lydon seems more interested in steering Public Image Ltd., the band he formed off the back of The Sex Pistols.  

8. Black Sabbath

Yes, we hear you know: 13 is an excellent album, but it didn’t feature Bill Ward on percussion. And considering how neatly Ward laced himself around the pummeling riffs of the band’s early career, that isn’t good enough. 

What the world needs is an album featuring Ward playing behind Tony Iommi and Ozzy Osbourne, preferably in the next few years as the band remain healthy and fit enough to go through the motions. And this time, they could record with T Bone Burnett, who changed Robert Plant from a colossal rock-giant into a cerebral songwriter. 

Osbourne seems open to the idea, considering that he recently invited Iommi to play guitar on his forthcoming solo album. And bassist Geezer Butler will be happy to reform the band that showcases his spiritual lyrics and towering patterns. 

7. Spacemen 3

Psychedelia or neo-psychedelia? I don’t think the band care how they’re represented, as it was the music that mattered to the outfit. And there’s a growing number of second-generation fans who would do anything to hear the band play the numbers again. 

It’s been a long time since their 1980s heyday, and the shadow of the outfit has only grown more mystical and mythical in the decades since. Pink Floyd cannot reunite, but Spacemen 3 can fill in that spacey void with a live run-through of ‘Walkin’ With Jesus’. 

Spacemen 3 helped fill in the gap that psychedelia had left in its wake, and by curating a soundscape that was impressionistic in its resolve, they catered for an audience who couldn’t identify with either rock or pop. 

6. The La’s

It’s hard to imagine that the band ever existed because they only released one album that wouldn’t have seen the light if songwriter Lee Mavers had his way. And yet there was a tremendous beauty heard on ‘There She Goes’ and ‘Timeless Melody’, captivating the hearts of single people all over the British Isles. 

They’ve scarcely appeared in the public eye since then, let alone released another album, so the chance that Mavers will rally the troops for a final gig is virtually nil. And yet wouldn’t it be nice if they did?

If they reunited for a collection of blinding performances at the O2 in London, they would probably make enough to set themselves up for the rest of their lives. And if they want to make the really big bucks, they could probably pull off a small tour of America, where the dollar bill is king.

5. The Jam

This powerhouse trio enjoyed immense success in Great Britain before calling it a day in the mid-1980s. Although they never quite conquered America the way they conquered Europe, The Jam still holds a place in the hearts of the generation that saw them the first time around, and the next generation who were robbed of that chance. 

The band are best known for ‘Going Underground’, ‘That’s Entertainment’ and ‘Town Called Malice’, tunes that are commonly heard on the radio all over the British Isles. They were known for tight performances and their rapier-sharp harmonies. 

Restricted membership did not inhibit their sound, especially on ‘Beat Surrender’, which features a furious assembly of notes placed on top of each other. “We always said we were a four-piece band with three members,” drummer Rick Buckler recalled. “People might say it was strange how three people could make so much noise!”

4. Talking Heads

The esoteric art-rock band have gone on to inspire a horde of imitators, but none have equalled the pioneering four-piece. They were three-quarters Led Zeppelin, and a quarter John Cage, as their frontman David Byrne brought the outfit into icier, more idiosyncratic territories. 

Unsurprisingly, Byrne seems the one member most opposed to the reunion, but he seems to highlight the differences between the bandmates as opposed to it contrasting the music he is creating at this moment in his life. 

A studio album is almost certainly out of the question, but there’s certainly an audience out there who would lap up a rendition of ‘Once In A Lifetime’ with the original lineup. 

3. R.E.M.

Now, this is as likely to happen as a Beatle reunion, but all four members are happily still alive and remain on good terms with one another. The reason for their split in 2011 was to preserve the integrity of the band, as the art-rock group felt they had done everything they needed to do. 

It’s admirable that they should stick to their principles, but it would be nice to hear ‘Everybody Hurts’ in a live setting, especially for those of us who never saw the group onstage. The album track is special, but a collective chanting of the track would be magical. 

Bassist Mike Mills and singer Michael Stipe offered a reason as to why the band will not get back together, citing their uniqueness in an industry of continued reunion as their answer. 

2. Outkast

The 1990s hip-hop duo certainly made an impression on the public with ‘Ms.Jackson’, which launched the two artists from one certain decade into a less certain one. They continued harnessing their craft until they went their separate ways in 2007. And the world has missed them ever since. 

What they brought to the masses was swagger, style, confidence and character, creating a soundcraft that was high on energy and low on contrast, casting them as the perfect soundtrack to the rising adolescence of the new Millenium. 

They seem better suited to the studio than the stage, and any chance to hear these two come up with a feisty new recipe is good in our book. What the world needs now isn’t love-it’s Outkast!

1. Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young

The four men have come together to protest against Spotify, and now they should bandy together to show what Spotify is missing out on. We’ll take C.S.N., but there’s something extra special about Neil Young’s presence, bringing an added dimension that spans past rock into art. 

And when you consider the catalogue they have all come up with, between one another and separate from each other, you can safely say that Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young can conjure the fifth form of energy that emanates from all of them working together.

An album seems unlikely, but there’s no doubt that the quartet could go on stage with their guitars and sing those crisp choir-like harmonies, curating a sound that belongs to them alone.