Like young love, some bands aren’t meant to be. However, that doesn’t make music any less enjoyable, love any less pleasant, so much as the people involved weren’t conducive to a healthy discourse. With the death of a band, the chance to create anew is given, something perhaps even better than before. And sometimes musicians just need a rebound. Here are ten bands which rose like phoenixes from the ashes of previous musical acts:
10. New Cars
Not conspicuous at all, all the members of 80‘s new-wave rockers The Cars sans Ric Ocasek (and the late Ben Orr) wanted to return to the live circuit regardless of Ocasek’s refusal. While not operating under the name that would make a revving comeback this year in full style, the fellas took the name “New Cars” to keep legal as well as to keep a trace of their original namesake. Of course, without Ocasek, there is hardly any Cars, nor hardly any driving very far to see the dregs of a great musical entity dying from the inside. Now that Ocasek is back, eyes and ears are truly open.
9. Alter Bridge
These anthemic 90’s grungers were the most wholesome group in the scene, with a name like Creed and songs like “With Arms Wide Open.” That is until vocalist Scott Stapp’s alcohol and drug abuse impinged upon his ability to remember his own lyrics during a show, and the band, which he founded, crumbled. While Stapp did some solo stuff, the remaining members, with Myles Kennedy, who sings for Slash’s current side project, formed Alter Bridge. Which lasted until the inevitable Creed reunion, one band of many long past their prime jumping on the 90‘s revival bandwagon.
8. Love and Rockets
With the departure of frontman and midnight monster movie marathon-evoking vocalist Peter Murphy, who went on to pursue a solo career as a sort of an evil David Bowie, the rest of the seminal goth band Bauhaus kept going under the name Love and Rockets, adopting a more strummy psychedelic sound less then that of a horror sideshow. In the last few years Bauhaus has gotten together, recording a new album as well as playing live shows, and once again Murphy has performed the song “Bela Legosi’s Dead” while suspended upside down like a bat.
7. New Order
When lead singer/guitarist Ian Curtis committed suicide, effectively disbanding Joy Division, the rest of the guys wasted no time getting right back on the horse as New Order. They’ve created music in a separate but similar vein, a little more studio-polished and computer beat-heavy and bassist Peter Hook taking on vocal duties; the darkness of the predecessor is audible in albums like Low-Life, however optimistic moments are way more frequent in other albums.
6. Stone Gods/Hot Leg
Tongue-in-cheek classic rock scholars The Darkness made a contemporary sort of tribute to the falsetto and wailing guitar solos that characterized the most flamboyant of 80’s hair metal. Frontman/guitarist Justin Hawkins made Freddy Mercury seem restrained by comparison, and the hooks were just catchy enough. Then Hawkins got his wish as a living sex rock cliche, letting his drug-fueled ego destroy his band after only two albums (songs that parody reckless drug use). In the wake of the band’s premature death came two bands: the first was Stone Gods, a slightly harder band which attempted to pick up where The Darkness left off, consisting of the original members of the former (including Hawkins’ brother) and a vocalist slightly evocative of Joe Elliot from Def Leppard. Then came Hot Leg, the closest in sound and vision to The Darkness, being that it was Justin’s band. All the gender-defying flamboyance and joke-y song content remained, as well as those flailing, infectious vocals. Recently, The Darkness has gotten back together and played out, and hopefully Hawkins will keep Steven Tyler’s autobiography by his bedside to avoid any future mishaps.
5. Babyshambles/Dirty Pretty Things
Neo-garage rockers The Libertines was the brainchild of Carl Barat and male Amy Winehouse-equivalent Pete Doherty. It was in Doherty’s libertine-esque behavior that the band died after only two well-received albums. In and out of rehab (and jail) for crack and heroin problems, Doherty still found himself creating and performing with side act Babyshambles, with which he made two albums. In the meantime, hardly-Libertines with Barat and the drummer and substitute guitarist formed Dirty Pretty Things, putting out one album and fizzling. In recent times The Libertines have reunited for shows, but the two musicians’ relationship seems stilted and more fan-appeasing than legitimate, and no new material has been forthcoming.
4. Beady Eye/ Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds
Another band plagued with inner-turmoil, Oasis crumbled a few years ago right before they were scheduled to perform a show. That is the story of rivaling brothers Noel and Liam Gallagher. The former is the apparent brains of Oasis, whereas Liam is just the unwarranted ego and just completely delusional (he claims to be “channeling the spirit of John Lennon” and revels in every opportunity to say something vile for NME to hastily publish). For now we have two bands and completely unlevel weight distribution; Beady Eye makes throwaway tunes, the likes of which the Beatles would scrape off their shoes. Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds, however, makes completely obvious who was actually responsible for Oasis’s success.
A mash-up of two former Van Halen members, the drummer for Red Hot Chili Peppers, and guitar virtuoso Joe Satriani, this band is the collective left-over lunch of three different Thanksgivings. Notably, former Van Halen bassist Michael Anthony and vocalist Sammy Hagar have seem to found a day job in Chickenfoot where their former act struggles with debilitating alcoholism and/or is occupied by on again-off again singer and wildman David Lee Roth. Fans of “Van Hagar” rejoice at this partnership, most just rubberneck for a moment, then keep on driving (going faster than “55” no doubt).
2. Velvet Revolver
This band is mostly Guns n’ Roses (Slash plus the former drummer and bassist of Gn’R), with an additional guitarist (the heavily resumed Dave Kushner) and Scot Weiland of Stone Temple Pilots taking the egotistical place of Axl Rose (who boldly carries on alone with the G n’ R namesame). The result is the essential sound of the former act dipped in grunge vocals. More than anything else, this act was just another opportunity for the mad-hatter to keep shredding, fans delighting all the way to his current eponymous act for all the ongoing material.
1. Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young
Solo musicians in their own rites as well as members of prevalent sixties acts such as Buffalo Springfield, the Byrds, the Hollies, and Crazy Horse, CSNY came together to make a new thing only after taking a good look at themselves as well as what else was out there. Coming together, they all shared their collective zeal for bright vocal harmonies and overcrowded acoustic guitars. Supergroups rarely remain so intact nor memorable as these way-pavers. Let’s see where Chickenfoot is in ten years time (more likely than not, taking Hagar’s lead and just living in Hawaii off of personal booze-brand royalties).