When Rock Reforms – Revival of the Fittest

March 8, 2013 4:44 pm

It seems apparent that every Tom, Dick and Harry (aren’t they members of Mcfly?) in the rock music business that hung up their glory-day guitar picks and drumsticks in the 70’s/80’s is looking to make a nostalgic comeback.

Why, I ask you?

Every band or artist that has come back and done just this brings a little something different to what’s becoming an increasingly crowded table. The Who bring a bit of a `rags to riches’ back story, a few scrubby lads from Shepherds Bush who went from packing out pubs in the East End of London to selling out stadiums worldwide; The Rolling Stones, who dabbled in the typical drug-fuelled lives of 70’s rock artists but can still put on a bloody good albeit overly wrinkly spectacle, and most recently Fleetwood Mac, whose members endured a rather scandalous end to their careers more befitting of The Jeremy Kyle show than The 02 Arena.

Return of The Mac

But every one of these bands that decides to reform has a little something about them, and thousands of eager fans would agree. Whether they be the original followers, complete with 20-year old band t-shirt, or whether they’ve inherited their musical tastes from their mother, father or a slightly bat-crap crazy uncle, the goal is the same; to say “I was there when that group/singer that said they would never, ever come back…came back”.

However, somebody who won’t be there is the star man himself, David Bowie. Despite releasing a new album (due for general release next week, in fact), Bowie has adamantly stated that he will not be going on tour again. Whether he keeps that promise remains to be seen, but it just proves a different point – you don’t necessarily need to show your face these days to be able to sell records. I mean, Elvis did it and he’s been dead for years.

Or, has he…..?

The point I’m trying to make before I go completely and utterly off topic, is that what with the uprising in music downloads (be they legal or not) and the dominance of social media, stars like the aforementioned Mr David Robert Jones don’t necessarily need to deal with a back-breaking tour schedule, they can just release their image and their music back into the wild and reap the benefits.

A point seconded by the shy and retiring Noel Gallagher in the most recent edition of NME, who claimed that Bowie’s latest album “proved that reunions are f**ing s***e” – a clear and concise opinion as ever from Gallagher, who portrayed his love for hearing new music and new records in lieu of comeback tours.

Gallagher; looking forward in anger.

So, that’s officially put paid to an Oasis reform then, Noel?

There are of course problems with so many of these reunion tours as well as the obvious upsides. Yes, in some cases a band or artist you may not have seen or barely even heard much from in decades decides to play Wembley, or the MEN, or an equally impressive arena; yes, they come back armed with their greatest hits, a killer production and yes, you leave knowing that you’ve witnessed something that you’ve waited a long, long time for after previously being told it’ll never happen again. But there’s bound to be an occasion where somebody doesn’t quite live up to expectation and whether it’s you, a well-trusted member of the media, or even Gallagher that criticises them for doing so, you’ll be left wondering if a comeback was perhaps the right thing to do.

Don’t get me wrong, I bloody love the majority of the groups that are choosing to reform. Their motives on the other hand are another matter. Is it a sudden lack of money? Perhaps a desire to re-ignite their glory days? Perhaps a mixture of the two? It’s an interesting thought to ponder over. I mean, some artists will be recording and producing great songs and shows until they perish – I point to the likes of the recently touring again Stone Roses, The Eagles and Bruce Springsteen. The Spice Girls, for example? Not so much. But it proves that if you’ve ever had the popularity, especially on the global scale that those 5 shy lasses had, then no matter what state of affairs the 21st century music scene is in, there will always, always be room for a little bit of nostalgia.

With every single successful reform and subsequent tour, there are more and more groups from days gone by who will be forcing themselves to dust off their spandex (just speculating here) and endeavour to make it big for just one last time.

I just cannot wait to see who else comes back next.

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