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

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. 

Play video


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%. 

Play video

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%. 

Play video

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%. 

Play video


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. 

Play video

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%. 

Play video


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%. 

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