10 Reunions Of The Noughties: The Good And The Not So Good
If the Noughties taught us anything, it was that what a band actually mean when they ‘split up’ is that, ‘We’ll be back when nostalgia makes you miss us’. So, here are 10 of the reunions that fired– or should that be ‘failed to fire’?! – our imaginations during the last decade. This is in no particular order.Rob Halford returns to Judas Priest – 2003. After 12 years away, during which time he’d dabbled with increasingly extreme music, and even industrial, The Metal God finally came home, as the band decided that their future was rosier with him rather than replacement ‘Ripper’ Owens. So far, it’s proven to be a success. Although some have baulked at the band doing a concept album about Nostradamus. As for that epic track Loch Ness…
Diamond Dave Jumps back into Van Halen – 2006, They’d tried the reunion thing once before with David Lee Roth. In 1996. But that fell apart after the frontman had embarrassed himself and the rest of the band at the MTV Music Awards. Still, a decade on from that, getting Dave back again appeared to be a good idea – amazing what the scent of money can make you forget. Mind you, bassist Michael Anthony was missing, having been displaced by Wolfgang Van Halen, Eddie’s son. The resultant American tour sold out big time, but what next? New album? New hair style? A UK show? Another split?
Led Zeppelin’s one off ‘farewell’ – 2007. When Atlantic Records founder and Zeppelin confidante Armet Ehtegun died at the end of 2006, some bright sparks decided that a special tribute show should happen, At the O2 Arena in London. Only ‘problem’ was that, as soon as it was announced that Zeppelin were getting back together for their first live performance since 1988 at the Atlantic Records 40th Birthday Bash in New York, that overshadowed everything. Over a million people applied for tickets. And, with Jason Bonham on drums, the band acquitted themselves well enough to have folk calling this the musical event of the decade. Carried away, Jimmy Page, John Paul Jones and Bonham seemingly made plans for a subsequent tour. Robert Plant quickly distanced himself – and that should be the end. There again…
Faith No More reunited – 2009. It’s not happening. Ever. No way. Forget about…oh, hang on Mike Patton’s just announced we are reforming. That’s the way information seeped out last year that Faith No More were back. Typical of the haphazard and unpredictable manner in which FNM conduct affairs. So, with the secret now in the public domain, all the band could do was get on with it, headlining the Download Festival, refusing to do interviews – probably bored in advance of the obvious ‘Where’s Jim Martin’ probing – but generally reducing old time fans and new converts to tears of joy. Can they stay civil to each other long enough for this to carry on? Now, there’s the big question.
Megadeth overcome Mustaine’s arm injury – 2004. So, in 2002 Dave Mustaine breaks up Megadeth, after falling asleep on his arm, and damaging the nerves. He might never play again, is the fear, Two years later, he’s back, with a totally new line-up and also some bitter words about former bandmates. Whatever other value there is in Megadeth, it is great to have Mustaine back in his most acerbic form. And the music’s decent, too.
Anthrax back with their ‘classic line-up’ – 2005. Anthrax wanted to be on the US Ozzfest tour, They were told to get Joey Belladonna and Dan Spitz back, and then they’ve a chance. Who cares about John Bush anyway? So, that’s what the band do. The result is a total nostalgia feast as Anthrax tour around the world. Then, it all comes to a shuddering halt, as Scott Ian, Charlie Benante and Frank Bello realise – again! – why they got rid of Belladonna in 1992. He just cannot write good songs any more. Since then, it’s been a continual soap opera, with a revolving cast list. But the upcoming Big Four Of Thrash shows (with the ‘Thrax firmly in fourth place) could boost their morale.
Alice In Chains risk replacing Layne Staley – 2006. The Seattle heroes had done nothing since 1996, as Staley fought a losing battle against addiction. He died in 2002, at which point we all thought that would be the end. But back they came, with new bloke William Duvall. Well, everyone reasoned, Jerry Cantrell wrote the songs anyway, so this’ll be like his solo albums – as if we remember those. However, against all the odds the Chains appear to have made it work. The near hysteria that greeted last year’s album Black Gives Way To Blue suggests most people are on their side.
Heaven & Hell. Sabbath under any other name – 2007. The reunion that isn’t actually one. What do you have when Ronnie James Dio, Tony Iommi, Geezer Butler and Vinnie Appice get together for the first time in 14 years? No, not Black Sabbath. Legal and pragmatic reasons prevented that name being attached, so long live Heaven & Hell. Great live shows, a more than decent new studio one, and…well, dates being announced for this Summer, including the High Voltage Festival in the UK. By which time, we all hope that Ronnie Dio will have made a full recovery from stomach cancer.
Rage Against The Machine rage against Simon Cowell – 2007. The band fell apart in 2000. And, while Zack De La Rocha pursued his ambitions of becoming a rapper, the rest of RATM teamed up with Chris Cornell in Audioslave, with diminishing returns over three albums. So, when Cornell ended up in rehab, and there was no chance of a tour to bolster third album Revelations, the trio of musos were left kicking their collective heels, probably wondering whether De La Rocha would answer the phone. However, his career wasn’t about to give Snoop Dogg or Lil Wayne sleepless nights. So back came Rage in 2007. But who’d have guessed that, two years later, disaffection with The X Factor would propel Killing In The Name to the top of the charts for Christmas? So, we get a free Rage Against The Machine gig in the UK at some point this year. Amazing.
Accept bring in an American (again) – 2009. The archetypal Germanic metal troops storm back with a new singer. One Mark Tornillo from TT Quick. It seems that Udo Dirkschneider just doesn’t wanna know. He got back with the band briefly for a few reunion shows in 2005, and then decided that was the end of the matter. However, the rest want to do an album for the first time in 13 years, so they’ve got this new chap. Now, no judgements can possibly be made until we hear the results later in the year. But, forgive us, didn’t Accept try something similar with David Reece on 1989′s Eat The Heat? Remind us again, how did that go?
Tags: Accept, Alice In Chains. William Duvall, Anthrax, Armet Ehtegun, Audioslave, Black Sabbath, Charlie Benante, Chris Cornell, Dave Mustaine, David Lee Roth, David Reece, Download Festival, Eddie Van Halen, Faitn No More, Frank Bello, Geezer Butler, Heaven & Hell, Jason Bonham, Jerry Cantrell, Jim Martin, Jimmy Page, Joey belladonna, John Bush, John Paul Jones, Judas Priest, Layne Staley, Led Zeppelin, Mark Tornillo, Megadeth, Michael Anthony, Mike Patton, Rage Against The Machine, rob halford, Robert Plant, Ronnie James Dio, Scott Ian, Simon Cowell, Tim 'Ripper' Owens, Tony Iommi, TT Quick, Udo Dirkschneider, Van Halen, Vinny Appice, Wolfgang van Halen, Zack De La Rocha