Wednesday, March 25, 2015

READERS REVENGE - YOUR Top Greatest Musical Comebacks Of All Time

I can admit that sometimes I am wrong.

When I do a top 10 sometimes I agonize over getting the right picks.  I think and think and think some more.  Then I wait.  Then I think again.  When I finally feel the list is complete I post it.  Then, almost immediately, someone will throw a perfect suggestion or two out there that were right in front of my face the entire time but somehow I managed to overlook them.  Below are five such cases omitted from my original Top 10 Greatest Musical Comebacks Of All Time.

New Order / Movement - How can a bands first album be a comeback?  When your lead singer commits suicide on the eve of your first American Tour and you find a way to carry on.  Bernard Sumner, Peter Hook, and Stephen Morris were left with only some unrecorded material after Ian Curtis of Joy Division left this world.  They added Morris's girlfriend, Gillian Gilbert, on keyboards and Sumner took over vocals and the rest was history.  They had made a pact that if any member of the band should leave they would not continue on under the name of Joy Division.  Thus the beginning of New Order.  Their early sound was a continuation of Joy Division but it soon took on a life of its own becoming night club favorites with hits like Blue Monday.  Now if Hooky and Sumner would stop writing books about each other and finally get back on stage together THAT would be a comeback.

Erasure (Vince Clarke) / Wonderland - Is it possible for one man to find the winning combination not once, not twice, not three times, but FOUR times.  Why yes,,,yes it is.  Just ask Vince Clarke. A founding member, and main song writer for Depeche Mode.  He felt the grind of pop stardom was too much so he walked away only to form Yaz with Allison Moyet.  His songwriting and her bluesy vocals hit it big but Vince always thought of Yaz as a one off project. Even though they did release a second album he walked away.  This time he formed The Assembly.  A project that was meant to have a different singer on each single.  The first single, 'Never Never' featured Feargal Sharkey of The Undertones and hit number 5 on the UK charts.  Again, Vince walked away.  This time he placed an add in Melody Maker for a singer.  In walks Andy Bell.  16 albums later Erasure is still as relevant today.  Vince's departure from Depeche Mode set them up for a comeback as well.

Depeche Mode / A Broken Frame - You are a young band and your first album hits #10 on the UK charts and goes gold.  Then your main song writer leaves.  Wah, wah, waaaahhhh.  That is when most bands throw in the towel.  Instead, Martin Gore is tasked to hone his songwriting skills.  A Broken Frame is a far cry from Violator but it was a start.  Songs like 'Leave in Silence' and "See You' were transitional songs where the darkness is just starting to seep in.  As the band progressed so did Martin as a songwriter, and musician, and a vocalist.  The band replaced Clarke with classically trained, session artist, Alan Wilder.  The build up led to sold out Arena tours before it all fell apart due to ego's and drugs.  They still record to this day, minus Wilder, and the results are good even though the songs are not radio staples.  Gahan has even become a decent songwriter himself.  Still one of the best concerts I have seen to this day.

Electronic / Electronic - When The Smiths dissolved I expected much larger things from Johnny Marr than I did from Morrisey.  Boy, was I wrong.  Morrisey bolted out of the gate with a string of hits and Marr just jumped from band to band, blending into the background.  He worked with The Pretenders, The Talking Heads, and The The.  None of these collaborations were earth shattering.  Then one day Bernard Sumner is working on a solo album and he decides he doesn't like working alone.  "Ring, Ring...Johnny Marr?  Will you come play with me?!?"  Hello Top 10 US hit.  The collaboration was beautiful.  I always hoped for more but I will have to settle for Marr's contributions to Modest Mouse instead.

Santana / Supernatural - Carlos Santana was and is a guitar god.  In the 70's he was churning out platinum album after platinum album.  After over a decade of success, their popularity started to wain in 1982 and continued to decline throughout the 80's.  By 1985 their albums failed to reach gold status.  In 1992 the band decided to stop recording even though they toured for the next seven years.  In 1998 the band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.  The spotlight did something to them and their next release in 1999 was a HUGE commercial success. It rested on the shoulders of the first single 'Smooth', featuring Rob Thomas of Matchbox 20, and went on to sell 15x platinum in the US alone.  Although future releases sold well they never reclaimed the magic of Supernatural.

There you have it folks.  Once again I have eaten my words and proved there are no wrong answers when it comes to music.

See you when the needle drops!


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