Which Band Will Reunite Next? Placing Odds on 14 Groups, from Led Zeppelin to N’Sync – Rolling Stone
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Which Band Will Reunite Next? Placing Odds on 14 Groups, from Led Zeppelin to N’Sync

We gauge the chances for a reunion of Oasis, REM, Pink Floyd and 12 other dormant acts

Paul Westerberg, Bob Stinson, Tommy Stinson and Chris Mars of the The Replacements

Paul Natkin/Wire Image

After months of rumors, The Replacements finally announced the first dates of their upcoming reunion tour last night. They haven't announced the exact line-up of the band, but it's certain that frontman Paul Westerberg and bassist Tommy Stinson will be back. Original drummer Chris Mars is still alive and healthy, but he's completely retired from music and fully devoted to his art career. Still, the chance of a big fat payday might get him back behind the kit. Guitarist Bob Stinson died in 1995, so it's very unclear who will get that gig.

When we first put together our list of possible band reunions last year we said the odds of a Replacement reunion was 60%. In hindsight, we were probably lowballing them. Click through to see our predictions regarding the possible reunions of Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, The Kinks and many others. 

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Pink Floyd

Why They Split: Band relations hit a real low on the band's 1980/81 Wall tour, but after Roger Waters left in the early 1980s, the remaining trio of David Gilmour, Richard Wright and Nick Mason got along quite well and turned into a functioning unit. They also packed stadiums all around the world, but after 1994's massive Division Bell tour David Gilmour had enough. They quietly went on an indefinite hiatus when the tour wrapped after a long run of shows at London's Earls Court in October of 1994. 

Last Performance: The classic line-up of Gilmour/Wright/Mason/Waters did a four-song set at Live 8 in the summer of 2005. Three  years later Richard Wright died of cancer – forever ruling out a complete reunion. In May of 2011 David Gilmour performed "Comfortably Numb" with Roger Waters at London's 02 Arena, and Mason (playing tambourine) came out with Gilmour for "Outside The Wall." 

Odds Of A Reunion: Another charity event may bring the surviving trio again for a handful of songs, but David Gilmour has been extremely clear that he has absolutely no interest in a Pink Floyd tour  – with or without Roger Waters. He has more than enough money to stick by that pledge, so we're gonna put the odds of an actual reunion tour at 15%. 

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Why They Split: The band survived the departure of Peter Gabriel in 1975, and against all odds became a much bigger band. That luck didn't hold when Phil Collins walked after the hugely successful We Can't Dance album and tour in 1992. They brought in new singer Ray Wilson, but their 1997 LP Calling All Stations tanked hard and they split after a brief European tour.

Last Performance: Peter Gabriel called a band meeting to discuss a reunion tour in the 2004, but he quickly changed his mind when he realized how much time it would entail. With him out of the picture, the three man line-up of Phil Collins, Tony Banks and Michael Rutherford decided to go on a reunion tour in 2007. It packed stadiums and arenas all over the world, but Phil Collins had no interest in carrying on any further. 

Odds Of A Reunion: Soon after the 2007 tour ended, Phil Collins developed physical problems that made it very difficult for him to play drums. That doesn't bode well for a reunion tour with Peter Gabriel. Neither does Peter's complete disinterest in such a tour, which he explained to us at great length the last time we spoke. "I won't say never ever," he said.  "But it's in the outside department of the betting shop." We'll translate that into a 15% chance. 

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The Talking Heads

Why They Split: To simplify a rather complex story, the other members of the band got sick of the public seeing them as David Byrne's backing band. At the same time, Byrne grew increasingly uneasy about having to share creative responsibilities with a band. The result was a very dysfunctional band. They didn't officially split until 1991, but their last tour was the legendary Stop Making Sense tour of 1983.  

Last Performance: The group shocked many when they agreed to perform at their induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2002. "It had been a long time since we'd had much of a conversation," Chris Frantz said in 2009. "We'd bump into David at Lou Reed's house or something like that. But that was the first time we'd sat down and talked." Unlike many sloppy Rock Hall reunions, the four of them put aside their differences and carefully rehearsed a killer three-song set of "Psycho Killer," "Life During Wartime" and "Burning Down the House."

Odds Of A Reunion: David Byrne is pretty stubborn fellow and he's made it absolutely clear he has no interest in ever doing this. Still, the other three are extremely interested and a gigantic check may possibly sway Byrne to change his mind. We're gonna say 20%. 

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Why They Split: When your band consists of two married couples, things are always going to be fragile. In 1979 Björn Ulvaeus divorced Agnetha "Anna" Fältskog. Maybe they could have survived that, but in 1981 Benny Andersson split up with Anni-Frid "Frida" Lyngstad. They limped along for another year, but they ended the group in 1982. They'd been together for a decade at that point and had become so popular there was nowhere else to go but down.

Last Performance: In 1986 the four members of the group reunited on Swedish television to perform their early song "Tivedshambo" to honor their manager Stig Anderson on his 55th birthday. 

Odds Of A Reunion: According to multiple reports, they have turned down a billion dollars to reunite for a world tour. "I haven't seen it in writing," Benny Anderson told Rolling Stone in 2009.  "I really doubt it, if you ask me. Who would pay that? We were supposed to do a year and a half of X number of concerts, but we never even contemplated going into negotiations because we didn't want to do it." Odds are real slim for this one. We're gonna say 5%. 

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The Kinks

Why They Split: If The Everly Brothers invented sibling rivalry in rock and roll, The Kinks perfected it. Ray and Dave Davies were at each other's throats from nearly the moment The Kinks burst onto the rock scene with "You Really Got Me" in 1964. Somehow or another, they stuck together until 1996 when they split in the face of lagging record sales and declining attendance at their concerts. Much like The Ramones at the exact same time, they had been around so long that people began to take them for granted. 

Last Performance: Ray and Dave Davies (along with various former Kinks) have appeared in public at numerous award shows and functions over the past fifteen years, but they haven't performed since 1996 at Dave's 50th birthday party at the the Clissold Arms pub in London. 

Odds Of A Reunion: Ray and Dave were talking about a reunion in 2004 when Dave was sidelined by a stroke. It's unclear if he's physically capable of performing a full show these days, but both Ray and Dave have told countless interviewers that they've talked about a reunion in recent years. The death of bassist Pete Quaife in 2010 means that a reunion of the original line-up is no longer possible, but his replacement John Dalton is still active in music and would presumably be available to fill his slot. This one is going to depend largely on Dave's health. We're putting it at 50%. 

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The Everly Brothers

Why They Split: The Everly Brothers despised each other when The Kinks were practically in diapers. During their years of success they were able to put up with each other, but by the early 1970s they just couldn't fake it any longer.  They barely spoke for nearly a decade, but reformed in 1983 and toured off and on during the next two decades. 

Last Performance:  They hadn't played together in about three years when Paul Simon asked them to play on the Simon and Garfunkel reunion tour in 2003.  "They basically came out of retirement for us," Paul Simon told Rolling Stone in 2004. "They met in the parking lot before the first gig. They unpacked their guitars — those famous black guitars — and they opened their mouths and started to sing. And after all these years, it was still that sound I fell in love with as a kid. It was still perfect." Things went so well that they did a brief European tour in late 2005. American dates were announced for 2006, but then canceled without explanation. They haven't performed together since. 

Odds Of A Reunion: The Simon and Garfunkel tour and the quick European tour that followed really felt like a farewell. Don is 75 and Phil is 73, and they don't seem to have any desire to return to the stage. Sadly, we're going to say 25%. 

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Led Zeppelin

Why They Split: Zeppelin drummer John Bonham died in 1980, causing the band to split. The remaining trio reformed at Live Aid in 1985, an Atlantic Records anniversary concert in 1988 and their induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1995. Despite pleas from his bandmates and fans, Robert Plant has refused all offers of a reunion tour. 

Last Performance: In December of 2007 Led Zeppelin performed their first full concert since Bonham died in 1980 at London's 02 Arena in honor of the late Ahmet Ertegun. They spent months rehearsing a stellar two-hour show, but nothing more came of it. Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones were so frustrated with the situation that they auditioned a bunch of singers in 2008 and even looked seriously into a tour without Plant, but wisely canceled the whole thing before it got off the ground. 

Odds Of A Reunion: Robert Plant has been extremely clear that he has absolutely no interest in ever fronting Led Zeppelin again, and that he viewed the 02 Arena show as a perfect way to end the band. They could play every stadium in the world and make a billion dollars, but Robert Plant is rich enough and this is almost certainly never going to happen. 10%. 

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Why They Split: Sometimes a band just runs its course. R.E.M. had an incredible thirty year run, but last year they mutually decided it was time to move on. "There is sadness because I will never play on the same stage as Peter and Michael again," Mike Mills told Rolling Stone in September. "We're doing this for good reasons, and we end up looking back at all the fun, the joy and the incredible opportunities we had…"We needed to prove, not only to our fans and critics but to ourselves, that we could still make great records. And we made two" – Accelerate, released in 2008, and Collapse Into Now. "We thought, 'We've done it. Now let's do something no other band has done: Shake hands and walk away as friends.'" 

Last Performance: The band wrapped up their 2008 world tour in Mexico City in November in 2008. The following March they played "E-Bow The Letter" with Patti Smith at their own tribute concert at Carnegie Hall. 

Odds Of A Reunion: The band say it's never going to happen, but they all say that at first. Let's see how they all feel in ten years. Of course, they'll be in their sixties then. We're going to say 30%. 

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The White Stripes

Why They Split: In the mid-2000s Jack White became interested in expanding his musical palette beyond The White Stripes.  Sometimes one guitar and one drummer just isn't enough. Despite the success of the Raconteurs, he came back to the White Stripes in 2007 for Icky Thump. They hit the road to support it, though the final thirty dates were called off due to drummer Meg White's "acute anxiety problem." They announced their split in February of 2011. "The reason is not due to artistic differences or lack of wanting to continue," the post reads. "Nor any health issues as both Meg and Jack are feeling fine and in good health. It is for a myriad of reasons, but mostly to preserve what is beautiful and special about the band and have it stay that way. Both Meg and Jack hope this decision isn't met with sorrow by their fans but that it is seen as a positive move done out of respect for the music that the band has created. It is also done with the utmost respect to those fans who've shared in those creations, with their feelings considered greatly."

Last Performance:  On February 20th, 2009 they returned from their break to perform their 2002 track "We're Going To Be Friends" on Conan O'Brien's final 12:30 NBC show.  

Odds Of A Reunion: They're young enough that it seems likely their paths will cross again at some point down the road. Maybe they'll headline Coachella in 2020. We're going to put the odds of a reunion at some point at 80%. 

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The Fugees

Why They Split: It's often easier for bands to deal with failure than success. The Fugees were a functional three-piece group from their formation in 1992 until the huge success of The Score in 1996. Then everything just fell apart. Wyclef Jean and Lauryn Hill broke up as a couple, bringing all sorts of complications into the group. Lauryn then turned her attention to her solo career, which blew up in 1998 with The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill. It turned her into a solo star, and thus she had no real use for The Fugees. They called it quits in 1998. 

Last Performance: In 2005 they reformed for the critically reviled new single "Take It Easy," and they performed at Dave Chappelle's Block Party and the BET Awards before launching a European tour. Lauryn was often late to the shows, causing all sorts of backstage tension. The whole thing quietly ended in early 2006. Things reached a new low the next year when Wyclef told the press that Lauryn was in need of therapy, and Pras said there was a better chance of "seeing Osama Bin Laden and [George W.] Bush in Starbucks having a latte" than a Fugees reunion. 

Odds Of A Reunion: There's no love lost between the various factions in The Fugees. Pras even came out against Wyclef's run for the presidency of Haiti last year. That said, they would make a lot of money at some point in the future by putting aside their differences. Lauryn can't keep putting on this same solo show forever, and it seems like her new album is never actually going to happen. It might take another decade or two, but we figure that that The Fugees will probably share a stage again some day. We'll put the odds at 80%. 

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Why They Split: Justin Timberlake is no dummy. In 2002 he realized that the boy band craze was quickly coming to an end. He called for a group hiatus and began to focus on his solo career. The others thought about carrying on as a four-piece, but wisely decided against it. Meanwhile, Justin went onto a huge solo career – before completely giving it up to focus on movies. 

Last Performance: The group did a Bee-Gees medley at The Grammys in 2003, and the next year sang the "Star Spangled Banner" at a charity basketball game. 

Odds Of A Reunion: Being an aging member of a boy band is shockingly lucrative. Just ask a member of the New Kids On The Block, or even the Backstreet Boys. They're raking in millions by singing the hits to nostalgic moms. N'Sync could make a killing – especially if they wait another six years or so – but don't hold your breath for this one. Justin doesn't even want to make new music on his own, let alone with N'Sync. All that said, it's possible in 15 years he's offered a stupid amount of money for three months work. Stranger things have happened. We'll say there's a 30% of some sort of brief reunion at some point in the distant future, but virtually no chance that the group reforms for any extended period of time. 

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The Smiths

Why They Split: The Smiths accomplished a lot during their five-year run, but when guitarist Johnny Marr quit the band in the summer of 1987 they simply couldn't continue – despite a brief attempt to soldier on with guitarist Ivor Perry. 

Last Performance: London's Brixton Academy on December 12th, 1986. They finished the set with "Hand In Glove," which was their first single just four years earlier. 

Odds Of A Reunion: Relations within The Smiths have been extremely poor for quite some time, especially after drummer Mike Joyce sued Morrissey for recording royalties. (Read this 2005 letter for Morrissey's take on the situation.) Morrissey hates even being asked about the possibility of a reunion, famously saying that he'd rather "eat his own testicles" than reunite with The Smiths. This one seems really, really unlikely. We'll say 10%. 

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Why They Split: Years of tension within Oasis finally reached a boiling point backstage at a Paris festival in August of 2009. Reports vary wildly about what happened, but the Gallagher brothers got into some sort of physical altercation and then refused to take the stage. The rest of the tour was canceled. "With some sadness and great relief I quit Oasis tonight," Noel Gallagher said in a statement. "People will write and say what they like, but I simply could not go on working with Liam a day longer."

Last Performance: The final gig took place August 22nd, 2009 at the V Festival in Weston England. The Paris fight was six days later.  

Odds Of A Reunion: When Oasis split, Liam Gallagher continued on with the rest of the band as Beady Eye. Noel formed Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds. Both are rather successful, but not nearly on the same level as Oasis. The brothers have spent the last two and a half years attacking each other in the press, even as Liam expresses a desire to reform Oasis in 2015 to celebrate the 20th anniversary of (What's The Story) Morning Glory. We obviously aren't sure if that's going to happen, but a reunion at some point seems extremely likely. We'll say 85%. 

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