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The 12 biggest music reunions and comebacks that still haven't happened

Written by
Brent DiCrescenzo

Music festivals are running out of worthy headliners. How else do you explain Sam Smith? As these massive concert events balloon in size, they must justify their hefty ticket prices by nabbing Hall of Famers and household names. Booking at least one long-awaited reunion has become an unspoken requirement for summer fests. In recent years, critical darlings like the Stone Roses and the Replacements have returned to larger audiences. Lollapalooza dusted off Black Sabbath. Ride, Slowdive and My Bloody Valentine have led the shoegazer revival. Dolly Parton dazzled Glasto with a headlining set—and smokin' "Yakety Sax" solo. Problem is, the biz is running out of these big names. The Ramones are all dead, and the Beastie Boys can never come back (it totally sucks typing that sentence). Pink Floyd is full of such miserable, grudge-fucking bastards, it will never happen. But there are some big gets out there, however unlikely they might seem. We call them the White Whales. Here are the 12 biggest Moby Dicks of the music industry, and the odds of their returns.

The Eccentric Geniuses

David Bowie The Thin White Duke has been active lately. His comeback album, The Next Day, was brilliant. He popped up on an Arcade Fire album. The MCA exhibit "David Bowie Is…" floored us. Despite his age and that lollipop incident, Bowie's return to the stage seems more a matter of when, not if. One last time for Millennials. Please? Odds: 4:1

Kate Bush There's never been anything quite like Bush. Last fall, she played her first gigs in 35 years in London, and the people went mad. Thing is, in the UK, she's a national treasure, but only a cult phenomenon here in the States. Also, she only toured once. For six weeks. In 1979. In case you haven't noticed, these are largely pipe dreams. Odds: 50:1

Missy Elliott After stealing the show at the 2015 Super Bowl halftime, America caught Missy fever. Frankly, it was shocking she didn't immediately surf the wave of goodwill and drop new music or announce a comeback. It's been a decade since her last record, and she's been working with Pharrell. This is bound to happen. Probably. Odds: 4:3

The Pink Floyd Memorial Hate Bracket

The Smiths Morrissey hates most of humanity, especially omnivores, but his former bandmates even more so. It's probably pretty mutual. So there's that. Yet the biggest obstacle to this comeback is concessions. Morrissey mandates that his tour venues go vegetarian. Madison Square Garden did it, but would a major music festival give up all that greasy burger cash? You're better off betting on the Browns to raise the Lombardi. Odds: 1,000:1

Guns N' Roses Slash is up for it. Quite recently, the top-hatted guitarist replied "never say never" to a reunion and that it "might be fun at some point." Duff has played with Axl's current mutant incarnation of "Guns N' Roses." As impossible as this once seemed, the original Gunners could come back when desperate enough. Odds: 20:1

Oasis Noel Gallagher, the best interview on the planet, laughs off the idea of reigniting his sibling rivalry. His new record is better that later Oasis, anyway. Liam, meanwhile, has been pondering an Oasis comeback minus Noel. Which is idiotic. But, that's Liam. Still, this seems inevitable, perhaps as soon as 2016. Odds: 3:1

Classic Rock (the Hate Bracket Part 2)

The Kinks Speaking of brothers who never got along, the Kinks are the last juggernaut of the 1960s to not go nostalgic. Which is odd, considering the Kinks held on longer than the rest, into the 1990s. The Who and the Stones are on the road. Look, if Mike Love and Brian Wilson can squeeze out a tour, you can, too, Davies Brothers. Give a generation a chance to hear those riffs in person. Odds: 10:1

Talking Heads The band last played at the 2002 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction. Some quotes since then: "We did have a lot of bad blood go down," said David Byrne. Tina Weymouth called the frontman ""a man incapable of returning friendship." So, yeah. Odds: 100:1

Led Zeppelin The metal gods played O2 Arena in London in 2007 with Jason Bonham on drums. Afterward, Jones and Page considered a tour with a new singer, reportedly. (Queen did it, remember.) Robert Plant doesn't seem to hate his bandmates, so much as the idea of returning to the material. He'd rather explore desert blues, and more power to him. Odds: 70:1

The Punk Icons

Operation Ivy The Bay Area ska-punk act is holy to anyone who grew up with a skateboard. Their lone album, Energy, and a compilation CD have sold into the millions, supposedly. Guitarist Tim Armstrong went on to form Rancid. The holdup here seems to be singer Jesse Michaels and good old punk principles. Screw those rose-tinted cash grabs, right? Still, how amazing would it be to hop around to "Sound System" in a field? Odds: 250:1

Fugazi If this were to ever happen—and that is a pretty big if—there is no way Fugazi would headline a festival. They would play a free show on the National Mall. Though millions would give an arm to see Guy and Ian rip through "Waiting Room" again, it is inconceivable to see "Fugazi" written alongside "Drake" and an AT&T logo. Odds: 400:1

Jawbreaker It's weird that this hasn't happened. Jawbreaker strikes us as the perfect Riot Fest "get," and a reunion has been rumored since the band split 20 years ago. Again, principles seem to be the issue here. Blake Schwarzenbach has been gigging with his band Forgetters. Drummer Adam Pfahler keeps the remastered records in print. This would mean so much to so many. Odds 4:1

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