Dead Kennedys Jello Biafra against band reunion

Top 10 Most Wanted Band Reunions in 2017

Some say it’s better to have loved and lost than to never loved at all. When it comes to bands, people seem divided on this philosophy. Is it better to leave the memory of your favourite band in the past, uncorrupted by an unsuccessful reformation. Or would the high of reliving your heyday alongside the best band ever prevail? There have been a few brilliant and fruitful reunions over the last few years, from My Bloody Valentine, Blur and Sleater-Kinney, all dishing up killer albums we thought we’d never get. Maybe wishing is worth the risk.

We asked the Discogs community which bands you would most like to see reunite in 2017 and were met with a furore of enthusiastic responses. Whether any of these reunions ever come to fruition ranges from possible to ridiculously unlikely. But these are weird times we’re living in, and even Ringo and Paul are back into the studi0, so don’t rule anything out.

Here are 10 of the most wanted band reunions:

oasis

1. Oasis
You can’t choose your family, but you can choose your bandmates. The Gallagher brothers seem to have always had a somewhat rocky relationship, even before it became one of the bitterest rivalries in music. They put up with each other long enough to release 7 albums together before abruptly calling it quits in 2009, so maybe they could put their differences aside once again for a reunion? While a reunion has always seemed unlikely given the pair’s history, neither have ever ruled it out. In November NME reported that Oasis are booking support bands for a 2017 reunion tour. Maybe 2017 could be your lucky year.

2. Pavement
Despite their union coming to an end in 1999, the Californian indie rock band did reunite once in 2010 for a world tour. If it’s happened once, maybe it can happen again, although it looks unlikely. Frontman, Stephen Malkmus said as their 2010 tour was coming to an end that it would be disingenuous for the band to continue, even though they had had fun on their tour. However, new music from the band seems unlikely, as Bob Nastanovich told Spin in an interview in 2011, “At this point, Stephen does not write songs for Pavement anymore, or songs in the Pavement mindset.” Well, at least we still have The Jicks.

3. Fugazi
Forming out of the ashes of Minor Threat in 1987, Fugazi never officially called it a day, instead playing the indefinite hiatus card since 2002. Fact Magazine drew mirth from fans last year when they announced that Fugazi would reunite for a 5 song anti-Trump EP as an April Fools’ gag. When asked about a Fugazi reunion in 2011, Ian McKaye didn’t rule it out, but he didn’t exactly inspire a lot of hope either, saying “We have the desire to play, but there’s a geographical issue. Joe currently lives in Rome and that makes it hard to practice. There’s also a time issue. Everyone is super busy. You’ve got to remember that when Fugazi was actually working we usually practiced 5 days a week from 4-6 hours a day.” According to this interview with Culture Creature, the band does still play together, just not publicly. So never say never.

4. Talking Heads
Rumour has it that all members of Talking Heads are keen for a reunion, minus one hold out. No prizes for guessing who. David Byrne has described a Talking Heads reunion as taking “quite a number of steps backwards as far as being perceived as a person who does a lot of different things”. Which is a fair perception, as Byrne is indeed someone who does a lot of different things, including collaborative projects with other artists, like St Vincent, Arcade Fire and Anna Calvi in recent years, and most recently a musical centered on Joan of Arc, starring singer Jo Lampert. So unless those other creative endeavours dry up, it seems Talking Heads fans are probably out of luck.

5. The Smiths
While the rift between Morrissey and Johnny Marr has been known for years. Both have said that it doesn’t make sense for them to reunite The Smiths. While they no longer harbour any ill-will, there is no friendship left between the two, who also find themselves at odds over political issues, like Brexit and leaders like Nigel Farage (Morrissey has spoken in favor of both Brexit and Farage). Despite the fairly frequent denial of any plans to reunite, it doesn’t stop fans for wishing for it and others trying to make it happen. Coachella even proposed turning the whole festival vegan if the band were to join the lineup.

6. Rage Against the Machine
After coming to an end in 2000 following rising tensions in the band (guitarist, Tom Morello said of the time “There was so much squabbling over everything, and I mean everything. We would even have fist fights over whether our T-shirts should be mauve or camouflaged!”), the members took a while to cool off, but reunited for Coachella and a list of subsequent concerts in 2007. Despite regrouping, the band didn’t record any new music together but continue to be musically active with various projects; Morello, Wilk and Commerford are recently worked alongside Chuck D of Public Enemy and B-Real of Cypress Hill in a supergroup dubbed Profits of Rage, which Morello described as the true, burning spirit of Rage. Notably absent in the supergroup lineup is singer, Zack de la Rocha, whom Morello says they have nothing but love and respect for as he continues to work on his own music.

7. Dead Kennedys
Dead Kennedys’ fans waiting for a reunion have their hopes dashed once again, as frontman, Jello Biafra once again definitively ruled out a Dead Kennedys reunion just a few days ago. The band were offered a slot at Riot Fest, which has been the catalyst for successful reunions in the past with The Replacements, Screeching Weasel, and the Misfits reforming for the show. However, this shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise to anyone who follows Biafra, who has always been disdainful towards nostalgia and motivations of greed. Since breaking up in ’86, the Dead Kennedys’, relations (or at least relations between Biafra and the rest of the band) have been messy, with Biafra being taken to court by the rest of the band in the 90s over unpaid royalties, as well as multiple spats over reissues, reforming and licensing decisions. Biafra is highly critical of all of it, slating it as “cashing-in” and against everything the Dead Kennedys stood for.

8. The Jam
When asked about a reunion of The Jam, Paul Weller has said “Absolutely, categorically, fucking no”, which leaves little for debate. However, last year, bassist Bruce Foxton claimed that the trio could have reformed at The Jam memorabilia exhibition ‘About The Young Idea’ in London a few years ago, if only drummer Rick Buckler had shown up. Foxton and Buckler continued to play together following The Jam’s split, but Buckler reportedly quit their side-project after Foxton became friendly with Weller for the first time in 2010 since Weller ended the band in 1982.

9. Hüsker Dü
There’s a group on Facebook called 1,000,000 Strong for a Hüsker Dü Reunion. So far the group is only at 2,502, but I’m sure once they get the numbers Bob Mould and Co. will spring back to action. Joking aside though, while there seems to be a constant rumour about the band reforming, Mould dispelled it last year, telling Stereogum that while he and former bandmate, Grant Hart had made amends, they have no interest in working together again. A reunion may look near impossible, but perhaps fans can take heart in the fact that all three members are talking now, which is something for a band that collapsed due to in-fighting.

Swedish pop group Abba reunion slated for 2018

10. ABBA
In 2014, founding member Benny Andersson told The Telegraph: “I think we’re doing [the fans] a favour by not doing [a reunion]! I thinks it’s better that everybody remembers it as it was, when we had the energy.” Despite this statement only coming a few years ago, the group did perform together in Stockholm in June 2016 for the first time in 30 years. Now they’re set to make a comeback in 2018 with what they’re calling “a full virtual and live experience”, backed by Simon Fuller, creator of the ‘American Idol’, ‘So You Think You Can Dance’ and The Spice Girls. Time will tell if ABBA holograms will live up to the real thing, it’s definitely the one of the more interesting reunions we’ve heard about.

As with all things, maybe it’s better to be careful what you wish for? Bands reforming can be awesome, but maybe the lead creative forces behind a lot of these bands are holding out for a good reason.

Which band reunion are you holding out for?


Return to Discogs Blog
15 Comments
  • Jan 31,2018 at 15:05

    Screaming Blue Messiahs. Missed them live first time around :(

  • Jan 26,2018 at 19:17

    My chemical romance!!

  • Jan 24,2018 at 06:50

    This one’s easy:

    In the US:

    The Byrds. Granted the unrelated Gene Clark (co-vocals/guitar) and Michael Clarke (drums/Brian Jones doppelgänger) are otherwise occupied in Rock n’ Roll Heaven. Touch wood. But Roger McGuinn still has his voice and Rickenbacker 12 string, Chris Hillman his country-tinged vocals and trusty bass…and David Crosby his silky-woven harmonies, guitar chops, maybe the stylish black cape and his legendary persnicketiness. (The latter attribute, which reportedly alienated him recently from Neil Young and Graham Nash, means David has time for unfinished Byrds business.) Go for it, guys!

    In Canada (a tie):

    Bachman Turner Overdrive. Good ol’ BTO sold semi-truck loads of albums between 1974 and early 1977. Written off as a has-been after exiting the Guess Who in 1970, Randy Bachman persevered and ended up outselling and outdrawing his old band with Overdrive. For a time BTO was the top rock draw in North America and boffo box office in foreign territories, especially Japan.

    Randy long ago made his peace with Burton Cummings and there have been two acclaimed/authentic Guess Who reunions in 1984 and 1999-2003. A couple of halfhearted BTO ‘80s/early ‘90s reunions aside (and a more recent Randy Bachman/Fred Turner album and tour), time is ticking down for a real-deal Overdrive rendezvous. Ideally, that would include Fred on bass, Randy on guitar, brother Robbie Bachman on drums and Blair Thornton on second guitar. They did reunite a couple years back for induction into the Canadian Music Hall Of Fame. A full-on Overdrive reunion would sizzle even more if original co-guitarist (and third sibling) Tim Bachman took part. Whatever, it would be a great career bookend for Randy Bachman.

    The Collectors. The vast majority of Discogs readers grunt “Huh?” And then “Who?” This five-man Vancouver ensemble was once introduced to California audiences by late impresario Bill Graham as representing the future of “where music is going.” Blessed with two great singers, mastery of assorted instruments, a penchant for Gregorian chants, Shakespearean hey-nonny madrigals and a creative-yet-solid rhythm section, The Collectors spent nearly two years (1967-1969) in LA.

    There, they cut two Warner Bros. albums under the aegis of producer Dave Hassinger (RIP) that were far more nuanced than standard psychedelic fare. Band members were session players for The Electric Prunes when that psych/garage band briefly went highbrow with Hassinger at the helm. Oddly, the first Collectors album released by Warner Bros. didn’t include arguably their finest song Looking At A Baby. Released by Barry DeVorzan’s Valiant label (first home of The Association), Baby was a huge Canadian hit and got airplay up and down the Pacific Coast. Warners then bought Valiant and the band began touring incessantly from its new California base.

    Alas, The Collectors and main singer Howie Vickers parted ways in late ‘69. Remaining members carried on back in Vancouver, but then became Chilliwack. After many false starts, Chilliwack had three Top 40 Billboard hits in the early ‘80s—most notably My Girl (Gone Gone Gone). By then, guitarist/singer Bill Henderson was the only carryover from the original Collectors. Henderson, Vickers, multi-instrumentalist Claire Lawrence and drummer Ross Turney are still alive. Bassist Glenn Miller passed in 2011. A swan song album would be bucket list worthy.

  • Oct 21,2017 at 16:22

    The 80s King Crimson lineup: Robert Fripp, Bill Bruford, Tony Levin, Adrian Belew. I’d love a reunion tour!

  • Oct 17,2017 at 16:59

    I think my ultimate most wanted reunion is going to be Led Zeppelin … so many rumors over the years about it happening, some have said Richard Branson has put up a boat load of money, etc …

    After the Celebration Day release I think all it did was fuel this even more.

    A side note – I got to cross off another entry on the bucket list this summer – a concert I had long written off from happening. I got to see The Who outside of Rochester NY back in June as they hop skipped and jumped from here to there on their way to Vegas. After the super bowl half time show they did, I did not expect much, but the show was PHENOMENAL :D

  • Sep 19,2017 at 10:26

    Thanks for the good article! You wrote “Profits of Rage” instead of “Prophets of Rage” in the RATM paragraph… was it humor or a kind of Freundian slip?!

  • Jul 18,2017 at 18:59

    Aside from Talking Heads, the only band I’d care about as far as a reunion is Dead Kennedys. To be sure, Dead Kennedys is definitely my first choice. I’d pay good money to see them! I don’t know much about the drama, but I do know these reunions are very difficult to pull off; I say that as a former drummer in a band for 10 years. Aligning four other people all those years later, relearning the material, scheduling the time to do it when people have kids and commitments, etc. VERY tough. Regardless, I’d love to see Dead Kennedys. I saw a rare Biafra appearance when I saw Revolting Cocks live when they toured with Ministry (many overlapping members) in 2006. Biafra is one of those “too smart for his own good” kind of guys, but that’s why the Dead Kennedys had so much integrity. Maybe they’re best left alone (Dead Kennedys)…haha… Good article!

  • Jun 18,2017 at 20:48

    Porcupine Tree seriously need to be on this list. So many people are asking but it’s not looking liking Steven Wilson is in any rush to even consider it yet.

  • Jun 3,2017 at 03:42

    Oysterhead.

    Not that they “broke up”, but I’d be nice for them to do at least one show since their last was in 2006. Maybe even a tour, or dare I dream… a record?

  • Mar 7,2017 at 11:47

    @allmodcons65 and Crack22, I totally agree. They were great then but there’s no way it would be the same now. They’re best left in the past.

  • Mar 6,2017 at 01:55

    I’ve seen a few reunions. Some things are best left alone lest they tarnish the memories.

  • Mar 5,2017 at 18:03

    I’m so glad the jam and the smiths will never reform,I want to remember these bands as they were,especially the jam who I first saw when I was 14 in 1979 at Manchester Apollo and went on to see them a further 10 times,i still remember Wellers passion and even though I still see weller live these days it’s just not the same.

  • Feb 28,2017 at 16:30

    Kyuss.

  • Feb 23,2017 at 18:14

    I’d love an Operation Ivy, Jawbreaker, Zeppelin, and Lemon Jelly reunion.

  • Feb 22,2017 at 20:56

    I’m holding out for The Black Crowes to get back together.

Leave A Reply