State of the Reunion: 5 bands that should go on tour again

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It seems like 2011 is the year that bands are getting back together again. Every month I feel like I hear about another group that is going on a new tour after “x” amount of years, or ones that are rumored to return. This spring, Soundgarden, The Monkees, The Cars, and Buffalo Springfield all announced tours. The latter two completed short runs in May and June respectively, and Buffalo Springfield is planning more dates for the fall.

Some bands are the frequent subject of rumors about possible reunions. Most turn out to be fruitless, but occasionally something actually happens. For example, Davy Jones of the Monkees denied rumors of a reunion for several years, and then in January he announced one. So, with that in mind, I thought of five bands that I think should tour again, and judged the possibility of it happening.

Led Zeppelin

Why They Should Do It: Since breaking up in 1980, they've occasionally gotten back together. Unfortunately, every time they've worked together (1985, 1988, 1995, and 2007), it's ended in disaster. But I think there's hope. Jimmy Page, John Paul Jones, and Jason Bonham (son of the late drummer John Bonham) seem willing to work together. So it's only a matter of convincing Robert Plant to get on board.

Why It Might Happen: While a full tour seems unlikely, a one-off gig is certainly possible. As I mentioned above, they've done it before. Also, even though Plant insists that a tour will never happen again, that doesn't exclude the possibility of a single performance. The prospect of anything from these guys is slim right now, but time will tell.


Why They Should Do It: People still love ABBA. You only need look at the popularity of Mamma Mia! to see that. Patrons can't see the band live, so they go do the next best thing. Of course, the musical couldn't do well without a good plot (see Spider-Man), but I think the music selection is a big draw, too. And if you need more proof that fans want to see them back, take a look at this (admittedly unscientific) survey from about two years ago, where they far out-polled other bands.

Why It Probably Won't Happen: There's no interest among the band members. They've repeatedly stated that they will not be getting back together, with Bjorn Ulvaeus once saying, "There is simply no motivation to re-group. Money is not a factor and we would like people to remember us as we were."

Of course, categorical denials are worth little in an industry where bands re-form all the time after saying they won't. However, their actions might indicate a lot, as they once reportedly turned down $1 billion for a 100-city reunion tour. If a big payday won't draw them back, then only interest will.

Pink Floyd

Why They Should Do It: It's Pink Floyd! Where do I start? They have so many great albums and songs, and people are definitely interested in hearing them, judging by the success of Roger Waters' still-running Wall Live Tour. I think fans would quite eagerly buy up tickets to a reunion tour.

Why It Might Happen: The three remaining members of the band have previously appeared together a couple of times. The first was at Live 8 in 2005, and the second was on May 12 of this year in London. While David Gilmour says that he sees no reason to think the band will re-form, it's interesting that they seem to keep playing together.


Why They Should Do It: There are few bands that could drum up quite the same level of excitement as these guys (though I may be introducing my own bias here). A Queen tour would probably sell out faster than you can blink.

Furthermore, they've been dangling the music industry version of a carrot in front of fans for years now. In 2005 and 2006 they toured with Paul Rodgers, and they've had two high-profile appearances on American Idol. Yet every time it seems like Queen is going to do a full-scale tour again, they yank that idea away.

Why It Probably Won't Happen: While they're not officially broken up, Queen lacks members, and they're less a band now than a duo. Freddie Mercury died in 1991. Since then bass guitarist John Deacon has retired from music. There was brief speculation that Adam Lambert might join up after Brian May and Roger Taylor performed with Lambert and Kris Allen on a 2009 episode of Idol, but nothing ever came of it. Unfortunately, I think Queen's heyday is far, far behind them.


Why They Should Do It: I think Oasis is one of the best bands of the last 20 years or so. Right when things seemed to be going downhill in the last few years, they came back strong, lending hope that a rock band could still make it big. Then Noel and Liam Gallagher started fighting. Noel left and the rest of the band continued on as Beady Eye, and now it seems as though an era is ended forever.

Why It Might Happen: Feuds like the one between Noel and Liam can become permanent, but they sometimes only last for a while. We've seen this kind of thing before. Back in 2005, Blink-182 entered an "indefinite hiatus" period. They went their separate ways to do new things. Much like Oasis, the members formed new acts. Tom DeLonge formed Angels and Airwaves, while Travis Barker and Mark Hoppus created +44. Then in 2009 they reformed for a reunion tour, and they've been back ever since. So while there are no guarantees, anything can happen.

Which bands would you like to see reunite for a tour?