Band Reunions That Felt Forced

Very few bands last forever, and that's okay. Some of the best music of all time comes from groups with a shockingly short shelf life. The Beatles lasted ten years, and only revolutionized music for about half of that. The problem comes when these bands decide they've been divorced long enough and a reunion is in order. This almost never works, because once a band loses their musical chemistry (or just plain hate one another), everything after becomes pure atonal misery. Here are some reunions that were clearly forced into happening, and never should've even been considered.

Smashing Pumpkins

In 2000, the Smashing Pumpkins broke up. It happens. What also happened, sadly, is that seven years later, Billy Corgan realized nobody cared about Zwan, his follow-up band, or his solo stuff. As a result, the Pumpkins' "okay, fine" reunion was in full swing, except for the part where half of them weren't there. He scored original drummer James Chamberlain, but had alienated bassist D'arcy Wretzky by calling her a "mean-spirited drug addict" and outright blamed guitarist James Iha for the band's dissolution. On LiveJournal, no less, so you know he was super serious.

In 2009, Corgan fired Chamberlain too, making him literally the only original Pumpkin, a guy only keeping the name because it somehow still sold tickets. By 2015, he decided to start selling even more by welcoming Chamberlain back into the fold. The next year, months after claiming he wanted "peace" with Iha and Wretzky, but not a reunion, Iha joined him onstage for several Pumpkins performances. He's not an official band member yet, but a few fat checks should change that. Time will tell if Wretzky, too, answers the call of renewed relevancy.

The Police

It's tough to convince a band guy who exploded as a solo act to ever return to the band, but that's exactly what happened when Sting reformed the Police in 2007. After 20 years of not working with drummer Stewart Copeland nor guitarist Andy Summers, insisting that he'd have to be certifiably insane to ever do so, the trio magically came together to tour and make all the money in the universe. Sting's reasoning? He had just put out an entire album of lute music and wanted to surprise people in a totally different way. He conveniently left out the part about how the lute album flopped big-time.

As it turns out, Sting learned the hard way that reunions rarely work. In 2010, he outright said, "There was nothing new in it—no new songs, no new energy, no desire to take that as a platform and move somewhere else." He then called it "purely an exercise in nostalgia" and compared working with the other two again to a divorced couple getting back together. In this case, the divorcee very quickly remembered why he had ended the marriage in the first place, and would rather swim in the millions he already made rather than make a few more by hanging with his exes again.


After Creed blew up in the early 2000s, their lead singer, Scott Stapp, quickly began alienating everybody with the combined powers of alcoholism and a judgmental, holier-than-thou attitude directed at just about everyone. By the time the group disbanded in 2004, Stapp was basically the only person who still liked Stapp. The rest of the group formed another band called Alter Bridge, with guitarist Mark Tremonti straight-up saying a Creed reunion would never happen. By that, he apparently meant "five years," because that's how long it took for the band to hold their noses and work with Stapp again for the sake of earlier-that-decade nostalgia. Problem was, Stapp and Tremonti's relationship was just as terrible as it was back in the day. According to Tremonti himself, the two haven't been friends since 2006, which means they were stone-cold dead to each other during the entire reunion, which lasted a mere two years and one album.

Tremonti appears to have since learned his lesson, and is now very cautious about re-reforming Creed again, even if the price is right. Stapp wants another reunion, likely because Stapp doesn't have anything else. But Tremonti has Alter Bridge and his dignity, and is quite happy to hold onto both for a long, long time.

Sex Pistols

Many classic acts go for the big money grab once they start to grow old and irrelevant, and nowhere was this more obvious than when the Sex Pistols randomly decided to reunite in 1996, 18 years after recording a single album and then breaking up. But only having one album's worth of material and the death of their iconic bassist Sid Vicious in 1979 clearly wasn't about to stop the surviving members from cashing in and pretending they were anything close to relevant. They called it the "Filthy Lucre" tour, which is cute, but outright saying you're only doing something for the dirty money doesn't make it any less shameful when you do it.

The only way a bunch of old punks reuniting purely for money's sake could possibly be worse is for them to do it again. And again. And again. The Pistols have reunited in 2002, 2003, and 2007, snail-mailing in performances and cashing healthy paychecks each time. It's better than making money by endorsing butter, but not by much.

Guns n' Roses

Just because this reunion has barely started as of the time of this writing, doesn't make it any less transparently artificial or forced. On Axl Rose's end, it's happened just as he lost two long-time band members in under a year, and is getting ready to "celebrate" his eighth straight year of not putting out music, despite claiming that a whole album's worth of rock is already recorded. Slash, meanwhile, hadn't done anything of note in years, his Velvet Revolver side project lost its singer with the death of Scott Weiland, and somebody finally convinced him that the money coming from working with Axl again would be more than worth swallowing every ounce of pride he's got and dealing with rock n' roll's problem child once again. Besides, nobody ever said he had to speak to, look at, or acknowledge Axl's existence in any way during the shows, and he's clearly taking full advantage of that loophole.

If that's not enough, this isn't even a full reunion! Yes, we're getting Axl and Slash, along with Duff McKagen, but that's it as far as the original Appetite For Destruction members go. Guitarist Izzy Stradlin and drummer Steven Adler are nowhere to be found, and in their place are the same new players who made up a band that was Guns in name only. So basically, they're minus 40 percent of the reason they got famous in the first place, and are in such a rush to make easy tour money, they can't even begin to care. Neither should you.