The biggest comeback tunes in history

7 May 2023, 09:00

Strong comebacks: AC/DC, Daft Punk and The Stone Roses
Strong comebacks: AC/DC, Daft Punk and The Stone Roses. Picture: Clayton Call/Redferns/Ken Faught/Spencer Weiner/Los Angeles Times/Toronto Star via Getty Images
Radio X

By Radio X

Sometimes an artist needs to go away for a while for you to truly appreciate them. Here are some of the best tunes that heralded a great comeback.

  1. AC/DC - Back In Black

    AC/DC - Back In Black (Official Video)

    When original Acca Dacca singer Bon Scott died after a night of drinking in February 1980, it seemed like the curtain had come down on the Aussie band's hard rocking career. However, they reconvened with former Geordie singe Brian Johnson five months later and began work on the aptly-named Back In Black. AC/DC stomped into the 1980s with one of the heaviest riffs in history.

  2. Daft Punk - Get Lucky

    Daft Punk - Get Lucky (Official Audio) ft. Pharrell Williams, Nile Rodgers

    Following the release of Human After All in 2005, Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo and Thomas Bangalter kept their hand in by recording music for the Tron: Legacy soundtrack in 2010, but it wasn't until this stellar collaboration with disco legend Nile Rodgers and former N*E*R*D man Pharrell Williams. An album, Random Access Memories, followed, but couldn't live up to the excellence of this single.

  3. The Stone Roses - Love Spreads

    The Stone Roses - Love Spreads

    Five years seemed like an age - but that's how long it was between the release of the Roses' debut album in 1989 and the follow-up, The Second Coming in December 1994. All we'd heard from them in between was the one-off single One Love and when Love Spreads hit the stores, fans were surprised by the Led Zeppelin riffs and bluesy rock style of the new material.

  4. Blur - Go Out

    Blur - Go Out

    Apart from a couple of one-off singles (Fool's Day and Under The Westway), the Magic Whip album in April 2015 was Blur's first full length outing since 2003 and heralded the return of guitarist Grahan Coxon into the fold. The record was started in Hong Kong when the band found themselves stranded in the city after a festival was cancelled and the songs - and the videos - reflect the locale.

  5. U2 - The Fly

    U2 - The Fly (Official Music Video)

    As the band's Lovetown tour wound down in January 1990, Bono announced on stage that "We have to go away and ... and dream it all up again." What this meant was relocating to Berlin and radically reinventing their sound. The first taste of the Achtung Baby album was the distorted guitar of The Fly, with the frontman taking on a sleazy, eccentric character named after the song.

  6. David Bowie - Where Are We Now?

    David Bowie - Where Are We Now? (Official Music Video)

    Following his retirement from live performance because of health issues, Bowie didn't release an album for ten years after 2003's Reality. Where Are We Now? dropped unexpectedly onto the iTunes Store on Bowie's birthday, 8 January 2013 with an announcement that a new album, The Next Day, would follow. The song was accompanied by a typically artistic video.

  7. The Libertines - Gunga Din

    The Libertines - Gunga Din

    Anthems For Doomed Youth signalled a return of the Carl Barat and Pete Doherty songwriting partnership after a gap of eleven years. Gunga Din was the song that previewed the album, a classic quirky Libs ditty.

  8. Johnny Cash - Hurt

    Johnny Cash - Hurt

    The Man In Black gained a whole new generation of fans when he covered a track by Nine Inch Nails in 2002. His career had been ticking over in the 80s, but as the 90s dawned, the country superstar met producer Rick Rubin who gave him a new lease of life.

  9. Aerosmith and Run DMC - Walk This Way

    RUN DMC - Walk This Way (Video) ft. Aerosmith

    Aerosmith entered the 1980s without founder members Joe Perry and Brad Whitford and a set of drug problems that threatened to sink the band. The original line-up reformed in 1984, but the precarious situation within the group meant that their 1985 album, Done With Mirrors, tanked at No 36 in the Billboard charts. Enter Run DMC, who covered Aerosmith's 1975 classic Walk This Way, with Perry and singer Steven Tyler as guests. The collaboration marked a revival in the band's fortunes and the rest of the 80s was theirs for the taking.

  10. Red Hot Chili Peppers - Californication

    Red Hot Chili Peppers - Californication [Official Music Video]

    1995's One Hot Minute had seen former Jane's Addiction man Dave Navarro on guitar duties, but aside from a minor hit in Aeroplane, the album was considered a poor follow-up to the stellar Blood Sugar Sex Magik. Fast forward to 1999 and John Frusciante was back in the band and the Chilis had a renewed focus. Californication - both the album and the title track - was more introspective, considered and something of a rebirth.


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