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Musical comebacks – the bands who relit the fire

2022 is here, and with it we hope the true excitement of live entertainment will carry us through a lovely full year.

FILE - This March 19, 2009 file photo shows John McVie, left, and Stevie Nicks of Fleetwood Mac performing at Madison Square Garden in New York. Fleetwood Mac is heading back on the road with a 34-city U.S. tour kicking off April 3, 2013 in Columbus, Ohio. (AP Photo/Charles Sykes, file)
FILE - This March 19, 2009 file photo shows John McVie, left, and Stevie Nicks of Fleetwood Mac performing at Madison Square Garden in New York. Fleetwood Mac is heading back on the road with a 34-city U.S. tour kicking off April 3, 2013 in Columbus, Ohio. (AP Photo/Charles Sykes, file)

Though theatres, gig venues and arenas have now been able to welcome acts and performers back for a while, this new year feels like the fresh start we need to truly get comfortably acquainted with our old friend Mr Live Entertainment once again.

If there’s one thing that can be said about the Great British public, we sure do love a comeback. As the entertainment industry looks forward to the comeback of a full year (fingers most definitely crossed) of live music, and many artists who we thought had hung up their boots are ready and raring to go once more, here we take a fun look back at some of the biggest and best musical comebacks of the ages.

From Elvis to Led Zep and The Monkees to a certain Miss Miley, the world of pop, rock and, indeed, roll loves to play host to the return or even reincarnation of its favourite sons and daughters.

So now, while getting excited about old faces we may soon see again, we honour those troubadours who in the past, when we thought the lights had gone out, came back swinging. For those about to rock, pop, funk, soul, and hip-hop once again... we salute you. Here are some of the comebacks you’re going to have to beat...

Spice Girls

British girl band The Spice Girls (L-R) Victoria Beckham, Melanie Chisholm, Gerri Halliwell, Emma Bunton and Melanie Brown pose for the media as they arrive at the Greenwich Royal Observatory in London, June 28, 2007. The Spice Girls are expected to announce a reunion tour on Thursday, ending months of speculation about the five-member band that brought "girl power" to the music scene. REUTERS/Dylan Martinez (BRITAIN)

I’ll tell you what we want, what we really, really want...

Over the years there have of course been a number of Spice Girls reunions. Following Geri Halliwell’s departure from the girl power gang the group hung up their heels in late 2000 with a number of them pursuing solo ventures.

To the delight of fans they reformed in 2007 and treated us all to a tour, alas quickly going their separate ways once again. It would not be long before spice was once again in our lives though as all five of the girls would get back together for the closing ceremony of the London 2012 Olympics.

Seven years later, the ladies (though minus a certain Mrs Beckham) got together for a 2019 tour.

Word is we may be looking at another Spice Girls reunion soon...

Cher

Cher

If there’s a lady who’s never in fact needed to turn back time, it’s her...

One of America’s most iconic artists of all time, Cher has enjoyed a variety of comebacks across an incredibly long career.

She’s certainly had her ups and downs, with 1998’s Believe in fact being her first US number one since Dark Lady in 1974, but she’s always managed to turn the tide. Once dubbed the ‘queen of comeback’ by the New York Times, this great lady is simply inescapable.

Take That

Take That

Gone for a while and then back... for good!

After Robbo left the lads back in ‘95 the group chose to split only months later. However, in 2005 the boys reunited (though without Mr Williams), releasing an ‘Ultimate Collection’ that would spawn a new phase for the band, and put the lads back in the limelight with a run of successful singles, albums and tours.

Robbie himself has even been back for bits and bobs along the way, most notably for the band’s 2010 album, Progress, and its subsequent tour. Jason Orange however left the group in 2014, and since then, Take That has essentially been a three-piece. Though Gary, Howard and Mark haven’t done anything together since 2019, leading man Mr Barlow reportedly said last year that 2022 will be a planning year for the band, and that 2023 could be a big year with potential new music and a tour. Relight the fire lads...

Elvis Presley

Elvis Presley

Forever keen to set the souls of the world on fire, the king of rock and roll in fact staged a TV event entitled his ‘Comeback Special’ in 1968, having not taken to the stage for eight years.

The special was praised for re-igniting Elvis’s career, and a comeback that gave birth to some of his most iconic hits, including Burning Love and Suspicious Minds. Than’ you very much...

Miley Cyrus

Miley Cyrus

We’d known her as Hannah Montana, and then she came in like a wrecking ball...

Following her bright-eyed Disney days, Miley returned to the world of music with a brand-new provocative persona and promptly set about smashing the charts apart.

2013’s Bangerz became a number one album in the US, while more recently, 2020’s Plastic Hearts was Cyrus’s first entry on the Billboard Rock Chart and has become her most acclaimed record.

Craig David

British singer Craig David speaks during a conference at the 3GSM World Congress in Barcelona, Spain February 15, 2006. The world's top handset makers have launched new models at the 3GSM wireless trade show in Barcelona this week, ranging from leading-edge niche products by BenQ Siemens to potential volume sellers from market leader Nokia. The event runs until Thursday. REUTERS/Albert Gea

Came out for a gig on Monday, had a few hits on Tuesday, he was number one on Wednesday, and on Thursday and Friday and Saturday, but gone on Sunday...

Fair play to Craig David – he released a strong selection of bangers in the early noughties, but – as often occurs – he eventually faded from the limelight.

However, 2016 was to be a big year for David, who after signing a recording contract with Insanity Records released his sixth studio album and managed to re-rewind to his glory days with the record debuting at number one on the UK Albums Chart, giving him his first number-one album since 2000’s Born To Do It. And the crowd said Bo Selecta...

Sex Pistols

Sex Pistols

Born in the dirty days of 1975, punk rock powerhouse group Sex Pistols are regarded as one of the most iconic British bands of all time.

In perfect keeping with the chaos that was their image, Sex Pistols only enjoyed two and a half years of relative harmony before drug addiction and scrapping in the band led to its end.

However, the four original members (one of which Sid Vicious was not) did in fact reunite in 1996 for a highly successful tour, and further one-off performances and short tours followed over the next decade.

Blink-182

Blink-182

And that’s about the time he walked away from them...

US pop punks Blink-182 took a hiatus in 2005 when singer-songwriter and guitarist Tom DeLonge quit the outfit.

However, the lads re-convened in 2009 to put together their 2011 album Neighborhoods. However, The reunion of the band’s golden line-up was fairly shortlived, with DeLonge departing once again in 2015.

The Monkees

The Monkees

A pop rock group formed in LA back in 1966, The Monkees’ originally parted ways in 1970.

However thanks to a revival of interest in their television show in 1986, The Monkees ended up embarking on a series of official reunion tours, hosting a television special, and over the next 35 years released four new full-length records. Fair play lads – keep monkeying around!

Led Zeppelin

(NO SUB AGENCIES IN UK, FRANCE, GERMANY, HOLLAND, SWEDEN, FINLAND, JAPAN.) Led Zeppelin (Jimmy Page, John Bonham, John Paul Jones, Robert Plant) 1969 during Led Zeppelin File Photos at the Led Zeppelin File Photos in Various, United Kingdom. (Photo by

One of the greatest bands ever born of the British Isles formed in 1968 and in doing so set four men on a path that would take the music world by storm.

Following the tragic death of drummer John Bonham in 1980, Led Zeppelin chose to disband, feeling that they could not go on without such an integral cog in their incredible machine.

However, in 1985, Jimmy Page, Robert Plant and John Paul Jones reunited for the Philadelphia Live Aid concert. Their greatest reunion reception would come years later though in 2007, when the band played at London’s O2 Arena, poetically joined by Bonham’s son Jason on the drums. Perfection.

The Velvet Underground

Lou Reed of Velvet Underground

Hailed by many as the architects of alternative rock, The Velvet Underground enjoyed their fair share of turbulence from their formation in the 60s until a final parting in 1973.

Though original line-up members reunited for a highly anticipated and well-received European tour in 1993, old tensions came to the fore again between leading members John Cale and Lou Reed, and the band once again went their separate ways.

Fleetwood Mac

FILE - This March 19, 2009 file photo shows John McVie, left, and Stevie Nicks of Fleetwood Mac performing at Madison Square Garden in New York. Fleetwood Mac is heading back on the road with a 34-city U.S. tour kicking off April 3, 2013 in Columbus, Ohio. (AP Photo/Charles Sykes, file)

All you can really do in the end is go your own way...

Known across the world for ups and downs, side to sides and absolute somersaults of drama, Fleetwood Mac are as famous for their umpteen gazillion line-up changes as for their incredible contribution to music, best captured in iconic 1977 album, Rumours.

Rumours was recorded in the band’s heyday and Fleetwood Mac’s personnel remained pretty stable through three more studio albums. However, by the late 1980s the group had begun to disintegrate.

Things then went relative tepid for the band until however, its most prolific line-up (Stevie Nicks, John and Christine McVie, Mick Fleetwood, and Lindsey Buckingham) reunited for a one-off performance at Bill Clinton’s 1993 inauguration. This led to a full reunion four years later, and the release of Fleetwood Mac’s fourth US number one album.

The group has since continued its penchant for membership changes, but the magic of this reunion will never be forgotten.

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