The Best and Worst Comebacks in Music

Posted on 15 September 2011
By Samantha Maine
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As The Cure conquered Bestival last weekend with their stonking 32 song set, Purple Revolver thought it appropriate to look back at some of the best and worst comebacks in music.



Jarvis & co couldn’t have picked a better time to reignite their flame as kings of Brit pop. After a nine year hiatus, it was time for some Disco 2000.

Taking to the Park stage at Glasto this year was THE gig to see and be seen at. Even Kate Moss couldn’t get past the burly security bloke, as the area literally had be put on lock down.

The band continued to take the summer by storm, playing festivals such as Primavera and Wireless. Every reveller and reviewer couldn’t fault the band, the songs or the show.

The rumour that Jarvis only did the reunion to cover his costs for his recent divorce and grab some fresh lady action wasn’t at all apparent in his comeback thrusting. Ladies, make an orderly queue.


Back in 2009, another of our Brit Pop heroes took a stab at making some extra cash. The band played an astonishing 25 song set to the Hyde Parkers, including favourites ‘She’s So High,’ ‘Song 2’ and ‘Girls and Boys.’

‘Park Life’ was an obvious high light, with Phil Daniels returning to the limelight to reprise his role in the song.

The band continued to triumph in their return, after closing that year’s Glastonbury with a faultless set.

It’s just a shame that the last Gorillaz album wasn’t really up to scratch, and Alex Jones continues to write cringe-worthy columns banging on about country life. How ironic.

Kate Bush

Queen of the quirky, Miss Bush lived up to the anticipation with her 2005 offering of ‘Aerial.’ After taking a twelve year gap to concentrate on all things Kate, this album proved she’s still got what it takes.

The album also earned her a well-respected two Brit award nominations (although she’s far too OUT THERE to actually win one.)

Now, after another six years off the radar, Kate will return with a Christmas album ’50 Words for Snow.’

Stephen Fry even hinted at the comeback back in September, tweeting ‘Just done a lovely amazing recording thing with a lively amazing musician. Wish I could say more but bound by secrecy for the moment.’ What a tease.


Bristol giants Portishead took a gruelling eleven year gap back in 1997, much to the devastation of West Country folk.

They bounced back in 2008 with ‘Third,’ that is arguably the band’s best album. Instead of clutching onto the past trends of trip-hop, the band moved onwards and produced something truly beautiful.

They then continued to release a new LP back in January, with Geoff Barrow demolishing any hopes of that lovely addition we like to call commercialism.

“There will be NO additional content,” he wrote. “There will be NO corporate partners. There will be NO fashion lines. There will be NO tabloid pictures. There will be NO £25 unit cost. There will be NO street team. There will be NO MySpace. There will be NO celeb producer. There will be NO Twitter. There will be NO press/blogger gig. There will be NO acoustic session. There will be NO meet and greet. There will be NO edited version. There will be NO iTunes-only. There will be NO press launch. There will be NO Asian version. There will be NO radio friendly.”


Take That

Now, don’t get this wrong. No one appreciates a boy band returning to haunt their dreams, but you’ve got to give it to these guys.

No Robbie? Fine. Gary’s no longer a little chubby around the middle? Awesome. Mark Owen’s solo career didn’t really get off the ground? REUNION.

The, err, man band smashed records with their comeback albums and tours and even managed to get Robbie back on side. He seemed to be drawn to the millions of pounds wafting under his nose.

So, now Gary’s on the X Factor. Robbie’s doing his usual ‘I’m the naughty one of the band,’ and around 80% of women over the age of twenty are happy. At least it’s not Bieber they’re after. Ugh.


Grandmaster Flash

Oh, Flash. You were so good. You were better than that; you were a trend setter, a movement and a legend.

Why then, do we keep receiving these half-arsed attempts at a comeback? After mixed reviews of ‘Flash is Back’ in 1998, he kept on going with a new offering of ‘The Bridge: Concept of a Culture.’

Despite appearances from Q Tip, Busta Rhymes and Snoop Dog, the album failed to ignite the flame that Grandmaster used to so proudly flaunt.
Stop being the Grandmaster and settle on being the Grandfather of hip-hop. We’ll love you for it. Honest.

East 17

After noticing how well Take That were doing, these Mancunian lads thought it best to pop their eyebrow piercings back in and give it a good go themselves.

Channel 4 even showed an interested, after broadcasting ‘East 17: The Reunion,’ which then led to a bust up between Brian and Tony. At least they were still living up to their, err ‘bad boy’ reputation.

East 17 without that coke sniffling, chav-tastic, only-one-that-can-actually-kinda-sing Brian Harvey? It just wouldn’t work.

No matter how much you love chucking your parker on and singing along to that Christmas tune.


Another boy band disaster – Lee, Simon, Anthony and Duncan decided to bring the colour back into everyone’s lives and represent the U.K. in the Eurovision.

That’s your first mistake right there guys. Everyone knows that Abba simply got lucky, and that if you ever attempt to do the Eurovision, your career is over already.

At least the guys have something to fall back on. Anthony actually did quite well in the West-End, playing a main role in Blood Brothers.

Simon’s ex missus is trying to woo Gavin Henson on Channel 5, Lee is still getting himself arrested and Duncan came out as bisexual. Anthony can now snigger at those ‘ugly one of the band’ comments.


Destiny’s Child

So, we know it should be called Beyoncé and the backing singers but what we’d give for a full rendezvous of the sassiest, sexiest, (not) single ladies in the world.