Which classic bands still haven't reunited... and why?

18 October 2020, 19:00

Which groups still haven't done the decent thing and got back together? Radio X takes a look at the bands who haven’t reunited... from The Smiths to our old friends Oasis.

The Smiths in 1985
The Smiths in 1985. Picture: Ross Marino/Getty Images
  1. The Smiths

    Like the clocks going back, you can usually expect a "Smiths reunion" story to surface with reassuring regularity. We will not be satisfied it's true until we see Morrissey, Johnny Marr, Andy Rourke and Mike Joyce on the same stage together playing Vicar In A Tutu or something. With Johnny enjoying a solo career and Mozzer still on bad terms with Joyce due to a court case the drummer brought over royalties, it seems like we'll need to keep the daffodils in the garden where they belong.

  2. Oasis

    Oasis before their Knebworth show in 1996
    Oasis before their Knebworth show in 1996. Picture: Stefan Rousseau/PA Archive/PA Images

    Will they? Won’t they? Liam and Noel Gallagher both have flourishing solo careers at the moment, but the rumours that Oasis may rise again will never go away. But as the animosity between the bruvs shows no signs of disappearing, we’re not holding our breath. Get the full story here.

  3. Led Zeppelin

    Led Zeppelin in 1970
    Led Zeppelin in 1970. Picture: PA/PA Archive/PA Images

    Since the death of drummer John Bonham in 1980, the remaining member of the Zep have only appeared together on a handful of occasions, even though Jimmy Page and Robert Plant issued a pair of successful albums together in the 1990s. A full-blown Zeppelin tour COULD happen, with Bonham Jr (Jason) on tub thumping duties, but do they need to do it? We say: REMEMBER LIVE AID.

  4. Pink Floyd

    Pink Floyd in 1972
    Pink Floyd in 1972. Picture: PA/PA Archive/PA Images

    The saga of the Floyd is one of ups and downs. No! Bassist Roger Waters was incandescent with rage when guitarist Dave Gilmour took control of the name. Yes! Waters appeared with the other members onstage at Live 8 in 2005. Yes again! Gilmour and drummer Nick Mason appeared with Waters at one of his Wall shows in 2011, following the death of keyboard player Rick Wright. No! Gilmour says it's not something he wants to keep doing. Maybe! Nick Mason is touring early Floyd material with his own band, Saucerful Of Secrets.

  5. Mansun

    Mansun in 1997
    Mansun in 1997. Picture: FIONA HANSON/PA Archive/PA Images

    Best known for their classic debut album Attack Of The Grey Lantern, the band called it a day in 2003. However, a collection of unreleased tracks and b-sides, Kleptomania, was issued in 2004. Singer Paul Draper claims that a reunion won't happen unless all the original members are interested… and they're not.

  6. R.E.M.

    They split in late 2011 after three decades in business. Michael Stipe told Radio X that there would be no reunion, that was it. It seems perfectly amicable, however, so never say never.

    R.E.M. in 1993:  Mike Mills, Michael Stipe, Peter Buck, Bill Berry
    R.E.M. in 1993: Mike Mills, Michael Stipe, Peter Buck, Bill Berry. Picture: Michel Linssen/Redferns/Getty Images
  7. The Jam

    After Paul Weller called time on the Mod uberlords in 1982, he went onto forge a hugely successful solo career, while bassist Bruce Foxton and drummer Rick Buckler tinkered with various different bands. After not speaking for 20 years, Weller and Foxton buried the hatchet and the bassist appeared on The Modfather's Wake Up The Nation album in 2010. However, it seems that a full reunion of the original trio seems unlikely as Paul 'n' Rick are still reportedly not talking.

    The Jam in 1977:  Paul Weller, Rick Buckler, Bruce Foxton
    The Jam in 1977: Paul Weller, Rick Buckler, Bruce Foxton. Picture: GAB Archive/Redferns/Getty Images
  8. Talking Heads

    The NYC art rock pioneers released their last album, Naked, in 1988. While David Byrne went solo, the other members released an album without him, although Byrne took legal action to stop them using the name. Apart from a reunion for their Rock 'N' Roll Hall Of Fame induction in 2002, further collaborations seem unlikely - in 2020, drummer Chris Frantz wrote his autobiography which dealt with Bryne in less than glowing terms, and told The Guardian that the frontman “doesn’t know where he ends and other people begin. He can’t imagine that anyone else would be important.”

    Talking Heads in 1977: Chris Frantz, Tina Weymouth, David Byrne, Jerry Harrison
    Talking Heads in 1977: Chris Frantz, Tina Weymouth, David Byrne, Jerry Harrison. Picture: Gijsbert Hanekroot/Redferns/Getty Images
  9. The Kinks

    The ongoing saga of Ray Davies vs Dave Davies continues unabated after over 40 years. The two brothers have fallen out properly, and the likelihood of a reunion for the original line-up of the 60s pop legends seems remote, especially since the death of bassist Pete Quaife in 2010. In November 2019, Dave Davies said that he was working with Ray on a reunion project that would see the pair revisit some unreleased, older material, but added "There's a lot to do."

    The Kinks in 1965
    The Kinks in 1965. Picture: DPA/DPA/PA Images