Readers' Poll: The 10 Bands That Should Break Up - Rolling Stone
Home Music Music Lists

Readers’ Poll: The 10 Bands That Should Break Up

Your picks include the Beach Boys, Nickelback and the Who

DRAFT- Weekend Rock

Buda Mendes/Getty Images; Rob Harrison/Getty Image

Mötley Crüe aren't just going on a farewell tour this year – they also signed a legal document stating that they will never, ever reunite after 2015. It was a smart move because fans are sick of shelling out big bucks to see groups like Kiss and the Who say "farewell," then reunite just a few years later. (Nobody is going to stop them from burning that contract at a reunion tour press conference in 2017, though.)

Still, the news of Mötley Crüe's demise got us thinking about other bands that have worn out their welcome. We asked our readers to vote on which bands they'd like to see split next. Click through to see the results. 


Limp Bizkit

Kharseev Oleg/Kommersant Photo via Getty Images

10. Limp Bizkit

Few bands are more despised than Limp Bizkit. The funny thing is, Fred Durst doesn't totally disagree with all of the criticism. "I got abused a lot growing up," Durst told Rolling Stone in 2009. "For years, I looked into the crowd and saw a bunch of bullies and assholes who tortured me and ruined my life. They were using my music as fuel to torture other people, even dressing like me. The music was being misinterpreted and the irony affected me and we stepped away." The group reformed that year and cut a new album, though almost all of their touring has been overseas. It seems like American fans aren't quite nostalgic for "Nookie" yet. 

The Who

David Wolff - Patrick/Redferns via Getty Images

9. The Who

No sane rock fan can dispute that the Who are one of the greatest bands of all time. Live music simply does not get better than their concerts in the 1960s and early 1970s, and their run of albums from 1965 to 1975 is simply staggering. Each one is radically different from the previous one, though no less brilliant.

That said, even before Keith Moon died in 1978, they were a band in decline. They bounced back in a huge way in 1999 when they stripped back to a five-man lineup, but just three years later, bassist John Entwistle died. It was a devastating blow. The band is literally half-dead now.

Roger Daltrey's vocal problems aren't as bad as they were a few years ago, and their recent Quadrophenia tour was impressive, but it's far from crazy to suggest they think about hanging it up. The group agrees and are planning their "last big tour" in 2015. 

"We have to be realistic about our age," Daltrey said last year. "The touring is incredibly grinding on the body and we have to draw a line in the sand somewhere."


Christie Goodwin/WireImage

8. Coldplay

Coldplay has been a divisive band since they first broke through in 2000 with "Yellow." Many fans loved them from the start, but a very vocal minority saw them as a poor man's Radiohead circa The Bends. They've only grown more popular since then and still pack arenas, but even Chris Martin knows they'll never be cool. He's more than willing to settle for being filthy rich, hugely successful and married to Gwyneth Paltrow, though. 


Jonathan Leibson/Getty Images for J/P Haitian Relief Organization

7. U2

It's hard to become as massive as U2 without picking up a ton of detractors. People have been labeling them "sellouts" ever since they first landed on MTV with "Gloria." Some fans of their early 1980s college rock-period didn't like arena anthems like "Pride (In the Name of Love)," while the futuristic sound of Achtung Baby lost them some fans they picked up when "With or Without You" topped the charts. When you change as much as they do, it's impossible to hold onto everybody: even fans who stuck around through Pop found some of their 2000s work a little safe and underwhelming. The 2009 record No Line on the Horizon really deserves a second look but, still, when you factor in the relatively dud sales and the Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark debacle, it's not surprising that some people have had enough. 

U2 are extremely aware they have something to prove this time out, and they've spent years and years prepping their new album with producer Danger Mouse. It'll be fascinating to see what they come up with. If history is any guide, they do their best work when their backs are against the wall. 

Bon Jovi

Robert Cianflone/Getty Images

6. Bon Jovi

Say what you will about Bon Jovi, but their staying power is quite remarkable. Who would have guessed back in 1984 that 30 years on, these guys would remain one of the biggest bands on the planet? They are huge in America, yet somehow they're even bigger in Europe and parts of Asia. They're so popular that they dumped guitarist Richie Sambora early on in this tour and just kept chugging along like nothing happened. Most fans at the shows didn't even seem to care; they were happy just to hear Jon sing "Livin' on a Prayer" for the nine millionth time.

That's the thing that bothers many people, though: it's the same songs over and over and over. Many people could happily go their entire lives without hearing "Wanted Dead or Alive" ever again. It's hard to survive 20 minutes in a karaoke bar without hearing someone do a Bon Jovi song. It's no wonder some people are ready to see them put out to pasture. Don't count on it, though – these guys will probably still be selling out stadiums in 2025. 

Fall Out Boy

Theo Wargo/Getty Images for Clear Channel

5. Fall Out Boy

When Fall Out Boy went on hiatus in 2009, they were in pretty rough shape. The emo scene was rapidly dying and Pete Wentz's endless tabloid drama was completely overshadowing the group. Factor in the relative failure of their 2008 LP Folie à Deux and you've got quite a formula for Fall Out Boy backlash. There's also the simple fact that a young rock band that appealed to a hugely female audience was always bound to have a lot of haters. Their 2013 reunion was more successful than anyone expected but, clearly, the haters haven't gone away. 

the rolling stones

Simone Joyner/Getty Images

4. The Rolling Stones

Contrary to widespread belief, the Rolling Stones never went on any sort of farewell tour. Before every tour, they're asked if it's the final one, and they've never answered in the affirmative. Still, with only two new studio albums in the past 20 years, they're hardly at the peak of their creativity. The band is simply a touring machine and thus a money-making juggernaut. Some tickets on their last tour were upwards of $800, meaning they're pricing out a huge deal of their fanbase. Factor in a setlist that is a little less than adventurous, and even many diehard Stones fans are disillusioned.

All that said, their last tour was their best in years and bringing back Mick Taylor (even on a few songs) was an inspired move. If they come back to America, their show is well worth checking out. You never know when it's going to be the last one. 

Lynyrd Skynyrd

Larry Marano/Getty Images

3. Lynyrd Skynyrd

Lynyrd Skynyrd drummer Artimus Pyle survived the 1977 plane crash that killed frontman Ronnie Van Zandt, guitarist Steve Gains and backup singer Cassie Gaines. He is no longer in the band. Guitarist Ed King – who cowrote "Sweet Home Alabama" and counts off the song at the beginning – is alive and well, but no longer in Lynyrd Skynyrd. Original drummer Bob Burns, who left in 1974, is also no longer in the band. Of all the pre-plane crash members, only guitarist Gary Rossington remains. (If you want to keep really technical, current guitarist Rickey Medlocke was briefly the band's drummer in 1970.)

The current-day Lynyrd Skynyrd is almost like a tribute band featuring one original member and the brother of the lead singer. They've played "Freebird" and "That Smell" more times than you could possibly imagine, so it's no wonder fans are hoping they call it a day. They could also invite back some of the other surviving members, but that seems unlikely. 

Mike Love the Beach Boys

Rob Harrison/Getty Images

2. The Beach Boys

Whether fairly or unfairly, Mike Love is widely portrayed as rock & roll's ultimate villain. Many see him as the guy who bullied his sensitive cousin Brian Wilson, mocked his brilliant work on Smile and grabbed control of the Beach Boys in the 1970s and turned them into a state fair act. In his defense, many others see him as the man who cowrote and sang the group's biggest hits and helped them survive (and even thrive) after Brian stepped aside.

The truth is probably somewhere in between but, with the exception of their 2012 50th Anniversary tour, he's toured as the Beach Boys without any other original members since the late 1990s. For whatever reason, he'd rather play shows with John Stamos than with Brian Wilson and Al Jardine. To many Beach Boys fans, this is sacrilegious and they just wish he'd put the group out of its misery. Don't count on that happening anytime soon. 


Buda Mendes/Getty Images

1. Nickelback

At a certain point, you have to feel a little bad for the guys in Nickelback. These four guys from Canada simply wanted to release albums and play rock concerts. They never claimed they were the Beatles. They never claimed what they were doing was brilliant or even that radical. But ever since "How You Remind Me" broke big in 2000 and brought them into basketball arenas, they've absorbed more hate than just about any band of the modern era.

Maybe it's because they broke at a time when the Strokes and the Hives were supposed to be the next big rock bands, but they faded away and Nickelback just got bigger and bigger. They started to embody everything that was wrong with rock & roll over the past decade, and that's a lot to put on the shoulders of a single band. They are merely one in a long line of crappy bands, and they're also the top group our readers hope go away forever. 

Arrow Created with Sketch. Calendar Created with Sketch. Path Created with Sketch. Shape Created with Sketch. Plus Created with Sketch. minus Created with Sketch.