With all the bands reuniting these days, it's hard to say anything is forever in the world of music. Bands are even getting smart and putting themselves on "indefinite hiatus" rather than actually "breaking up." See, they're just going away for a while. A "break up" would be too much of a commitment.
We can say with certainty that some bands are never, ever coming back though, and sometimes that's not a bad thing. Sometimes, a band should have never existed in the first place and we are thankfully blessed that they will never grace our presence again.
5. Tin Machine
By the end of the '80s, David Bowie's career had fallen into the abyss. I mean, he was still internationally known and acclaimed, but let's face it: If you liked Never Let Me Down or his version of "Dancing in the Street" with Mick Jagger, congratulations, you must actually be Mick Jagger. Even Bowie hated those things and lamented them.
So what's an aging rock star who has sold his soul to bad bubblegum pop to do but, of course, get in touch with your "roots" with a stripped-down garage-rock band? Enter Tin Machine, Bowie's attempt to do just that. I'll give Bowie this: There were a few good tracks here, like the video for "Under the God" seen above (plus dig Bowie's beard!). But luckily Tin Machine faded fast and Bowie returned to the pop world, and we're all much better for it.
4. The Singing Senators
It's hard to diss a charity band, but I'm game. The Singing Senators were a group of Republican senators who did barbershop-quartet songs. If you can think of anything lamer than that, let me know. On baritone was the senator from Missouri, John Ashcroft. Larry Craig, senator from Idaho, took on the lead role. Senator James Jeffords from Vermont was the tenor and Senator Trent Lott from Mississippi was the bass.
Do those names sound familiar to you? Yeah, they should. Ashcroft ended up being Bush's Attorney General, a rather undistinguished position for anyone and singing this solo track. Lott lost his position as Senate Majority Leader after publicly embarrassing himself by saying Strom Thurmond, known racist and segregationist, should have won the Presidential election in 1948 on a ticket based entirely on the issue of segregation.
Craig resigned in disgrace after getting arrested for allegedly trying to hire a male prostitute in a bathroom. Jeffords proceeded to get the hell out of dodge and left the Republican party. All those things killed this group once and for all, for the good of humanity.
3. The Firm
Well, how could this one have gone so terribly wrong? Probably by taking place in the '80s. The Firm was a supergroup consisting of Jimmy Page (of Led Zeppelin), Paul Rodgers (of Free and Bad Company), Chris Slade (of Manfred Mann's Earth Band and AC/DC), and Tony Franklin (because every supergroup needs one guy who isn't really famous for anything).
All these guys had had their biggest fame and acclaim in the '70s and wrote some of the greatest rock and roll of all time. But when they came together in the middle of the '80s, they were burnt out and struggling to keep up with the changing sounds of the time. The result was a watered-down rock sound with all the worst elements of '80s production. They lasted two albums and hundreds of "yes, I'm serious, I wrote this and stand behind it" interviews from Jimmy Page before they dissolved for the rest of time.
2. Fine Young Cannibals
Christ, was there any worse '80s single than "She Drives Me Crazy"? It's the song that just won't go away and it's been refusing to die for more than 20 years now. These guys were essentially one-hit-wonders, although at a glance their Wiki makes it seem like they were quite a bit more active then they were.
Thankfully, in reality, they only graced us with two albums of bizarre soul mixed with pop-rock before they were gone, save for a brief 1996 reunion. Apparently, aside from that one annoying song, nobody really wanted to hear a J. Geils cover band playing "Suspicious Minds" or Cole Porter songs, so even touring efforts from Fine Young Cannibals front man Roland Gift (titled Roland Gift and the Fine Young Cannibals) have fizzled out.
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With apologies to their fans, I wake up every day thanking my lucky stars that ABBA is still defunct. Has there been a worse band? Probably. Has any worse band inspired such a cult following? No. My confusion over ABBA's enduring popularity into 2012 will never cease. Luckily for those of us who would rather endure waterboarding than watch Mamma Mia!, ABBA is remains dead with no intentions to reunite.
Even as disco once again becomes relevant to the musical landscape, ABBA clearly has the good sense to realize, sure, they could exploit their place in that and come back for the money, but unlike George Lucas, they've asked themselves if they should and made the right choice. Thank you, ABBA.