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Reunions that Weren't Sad or Terrible


28 replies to this topic

#1
Pong Messiah

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This morning, somebody sent me a link to a fan interview of Rodney Anonymous, and I was shocked to be reminded that The Dead Milkmen are still making albums.

 

I'd kinda forgotten about The Dead Milkmen since they lost their way after Beelzebubba. I really wanted to like their newer, "less silly" stuff, but it was just too uncomfortable, tired, and self-conscious to get in to. Albums with two or three good songs out of 15 in an era where you couldn't easily do à la carte purchases/listens wasn't good enough; their demise/hiatus felt more like a mercy killing.

 

Despite those negative last impressions, I decided to let bygones be bygones and gave The King in Yellow (2011) a listen, and am listening to Pretty Music for Pretty People (2014) as I type this... and am happy to be able to say neither album is sad or terrible. Further listening will probably reveal they are nowhere near as good as the first four Dead Milkmen albums, but I'm comfortable declaring them both (even though I'm only halfway through Pretty Music) better than anything they've done since Beelzebubba.

 

How rare is that? I can maybe count on my mittens all the bands that have gotten back together after a long hiatus and recorded an album of (new) original material that didn't totally suck. These guys have managed two!

 

What reunions can you think of that weren't sad or terrible?



#2
El Chalupacabra

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The Pink Floyd 2005 Live 8 show, the Eagles Hell Freezes Over, Iron Maiden reuniting with Bruce Dickenson, Led Zep back in 2006 (or 07?) with Bonham's son,& the late 90's Ozzy/Sabbath reunions come to mind.  If you count Alice In Chains with William Duvall, that turned out pretty well. If you count one-offs, a couple years back Mustaine rejoined Metallica for a few songs, too.



#3
Pong Messiah

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Black Sabbath (13) and Iron Maiden (several albums) have reformed and released new material. And I know Pink Floyd puts something out every few years that fans argue about. What about the Eagles, Zep, Chains, and Mustaingallica? Did any of those reunions produce new music?



#4
El Chalupacabra

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Black Sabbath (13) and Iron Maiden (several albums) have reformed and released new material. And I know Pink Floyd puts something out every few years that fans argue about. What about the Eagles, Zep, Chains, and Mustaingallica? Did any of those reunions produce new music?

Well, to be technical, Pink Floyd hasn't really put anything new out since 1994, until this year's Endless river, which was largely rejects from 1994's Division Bell.  What I was talking about was the one-off re-union show.  Ditto with Metallica/Mustaine & Led Zep.  They didn't produce new music, but I didn't know that was a qualifier.  I was just saying i remember seeing those shows (either online, or televised), and they sounded good. 

 

AIC has produced 2 new albums, Black Gives Way to BLue (2009) & The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here (2013), the former being decisively and overwhelmingly the better of the two.

 

The Eagles I haven't really followed that much, to be honest.  The Hell Freezes Over album was a reunion album from 1994, and I remember it being pretty good at the time.  It's been years since I listened to it, to be honest.



#5
Iceman

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They didn't produce new music together, but Ann and Nancy Wilson reuniting with the original members of Heart for their Rock 'n Roll Hall of fame induction was pretty awesome. In fact they also played a song with their new band members and it showed how much better they are with the original line up. There was so much more energy. I wish they would do a new album together to see if they could recapture the magic of those 70s albums.


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#6
El Chalupacabra

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I believe that.  I saw Heart in 2011.  I think Ann and Nancy were the only originals, but they were AMAZING. Nancy was moving on stage like she was 25, too. 


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#7
Pong Messiah

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I didn't even see it, and I can totally believe that (seriously, they're great)!

 

Side note: "Barracuda" is the reason I cite when people ask me why I hate "classic rock radio." It's an awesome song with neat lyrics and fire-in-the-belly performance, but having heard it on classic rock stations so many billions of times growing up before I liked Heart, it's one of the most likely tracks I'd skip over if listening to a compilation. Those program directors have a special way of sucking every ounce of life out of a good tune.


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#8
El Chalupacabra

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Yeah, Barracuda definitely is one of those played out songs.  It ranks right up there with almost everything Led Zeppelin, particularly Stairway: good songs that just have been hammered to death.


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#9
Copper

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Toad the Wet Sprocket released a lovely album in late 2013 after having been broken up for over a decade. Probably more like 15 years? Anyways. They were never huge or anything but they are one of my favorite bands from childhood. 



#10
Duke

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I´m only counting bands who actually split up, not bands with returning members here:

 

Deep Purple´s "Perfect strangers" was a great album. Too bad everything since has been between boring and horrible.

 

Exodus also started out with a strong comeback, "Tempo of the damned". Then went the same way as Purple.

 

Errr... that´s about it. And both have turned out sad and horrible pretty soon. Semi-reunions with original members returning have been everything from OK-ish (Maiden, Priest) to horrible (KISS, Motley Crue). With a few exceptions like the two times Dio returned to Sabbath and the three (!) times Gary Moore went back to Thin Lizzy. Neither lasted very long though... Gary´s personal best with Lizzy was staying in the band for one fantastic album, "Black Rose", followed by half a hilarious tour with him and Phil Lynott almost starting to hit each other on stage when trying to one-up the other. Good times!



#11
Darth Lohr

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I agree that modern Maiden is "OK" (solid, but unspectacular). However, I think that Priest is still (or, rather, started once again) playing at a rather high level. Angel of Retribution is a strong album and Redeemer of Souls is probably the best thing they've done in thirty years (though it was done without K.K., so not sure where it stands in the whole "semi-reunion" status).

 

KISS' reunion went well from a live standpoint. The resulting studio album is a mixed bag (including how involved all four original members actually were), but it's still better than anything that's been released since Ace and Peter left again.

 

One reunion that I think went amazingly well was the Police's 2007-08 tour. It didn't result it any new studio releases, but the CD/DVD release shows how strong of a force they were once again. The songs may have all been old, but they were played with passion and energy and and many were made fresh by new arrangements. I was fortunate enough to see them on that tour, after missing out back in the 70's/80's, and it ranks among my favorite concerts I've ever attended.



#12
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I´m with you on "Angel of retribution" - funny, I´m wearing that concert shirt right now! And "Nostradamus" is underrated, as a single disc it might have been as good. Not that fond of "Redeemer of souls" though - and shame on you for ranking it over the mighty "Painkiller". Couple of great tour though, even though Halford´s voice couldn´t crack the toughest songs. Guess I was a bit disappointed when the albums came out since Halfords "Resurrection" was so much better than any of them. Same goes for Maiden, nothing after the reunion has been close to Bruce´s (and Adrian´s) "Chemical wedding".

 

I´m really not counting "Psycho circus" as a reunion album. Ace plays on a total of three tracks and Peter on one... the crap one he sings, "I finally found my wheelchair" or whatever. Title track and "Into the void" are great, the rest is lackluster. I actually rank "Sonic boom" higher. Live, it was a gas seeing them together, first time for me! But listening to the bootlegs now I wonder how much was wanting it to be great. Peter especially was terrible. Not as bad as the "Dynasty" tyour, but bad enough. The setlist was unbeatble though and at least for the first tour, Ace was on fire. Sometimes litterally.



#13
Darth Lohr

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To be fair, I did sort of forget about Painkiller when I made that comment, but I think I still stand by my comment. That's not at all a knock on Painkiller - that's simply how much I love Redeemer! It makes me sad that you haven't been able to fully appreciate it for its metally goodness! :no:

 

Spoiler



#14
Duke

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Well, you did start out with the two best songs on the album there! Unfortunately, it´s back to the old Priest sin (after sin) of being terribly uneven. I might change my mind after seeing them live at SRF this summer, but I doubt it. Last few times it´s been painful in the wrong way to see Halford hunched over a monitor trying to reach his old wails. Pain-KILLLAAAAAAAH and "Angel of retribution" were IMO exceptions to the rule of being almost totally complete albums. Otherwise, you have to go back to "British steel" to find an album that doesn´t contain too many fillers. That said, I take failed experiments over the last few Maiden albums with sticking to the same formula: making the songs way to long and have a chorus that consists of repeating the title until you wanna puke. A brave new world, in a brave new world, a brave new world, in a brave new world, a brave new... SHUT UP!



#15
Darth Lohr

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Yep. You could live with it occasionally on songs like "Somewhere In Time" and "Seventh Son", but going on thirty years later, you'd think maybe they could find a new formula. At least every now and then. :no:



#16
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Indeed. The few songs that don´t follow that formula have been great though. "Paschendale" and "Ghost of the navigator" are without a doubt my fave songs since the reunion. Both are long and epic but escape being repetitive. The last two albums have been incredibly forgettable. I guess "Coming home" was good on the last one. It sounded more like something from Bruce´s solo career. Funny how the Big Two of British metal have taken totally different roads since the classic singers came back. Maiden have lackluster albums but are still a force of nature on stage. Priest have done much better albums but have lost most of their power live.


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#17
Duke

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Can´t be bothered to start a new thread and it´s kinda connected...

 

Next Maiden album will end with an 18 minute song written by Bruce. He´d better surprise me. Maiden´s decline into prog wannabes is starting to get sad.



#18
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They been around so long and have been prolific in that span. You're gonna have hits and misses. But yeah it has been a while since a solid beginning to end album for Maiden.

#19
Duke

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Oh I´m fine with hits and misses. It´s the ten minute songs with choruses that repeat the title of the song 16 times in a row that are bugging me. And that Maiden has made the same album four times in a row now, this looking to be the fifth. Not to mention that if you really, really have to make a ten minute song (not to mention an 18 minute song), it´s nice if something, you know, happens in it. I love epics just as much as the next guy, but Maiden just can´t make the dynamics work for all their extended tracks with a few notable exceptions like 7th son and Paschendale.


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#20
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That's the loneliness of a long distance runner. ***rimshot***

#21
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AIC has produced 2 new albums, Black Gives Way to BLue (2009) & The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here (2013), the former being decisively and overwhelmingly the better of the two.

 

 

Both are pretty awesome, in my opinion.  But, then again, they can sing the phone book and I would love it.



#22
Duke

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That's the loneliness of a long distance runner. ***rimshot***

Thanks for reminding me of probably the most boring song from the first seven albums. I worship this period of the band. EXCEPT that damn song! I guess that´s the blueprint for all the post reunion albums as well. And I AM a long distance runner, but imagine having this in your head for an entire marathon? Physical pain would be the least problem in the last few miles.



#23
Duke

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Can´t be bothered to start a new thread and it´s kinda connected...

 

Next Maiden album will end with an 18 minute song written by Bruce. He´d better surprise me. Maiden´s decline into prog wannabes is starting to get sad.

And of course the SOB did surprise me. The new album is amazing and "Empire of the clouds" is the best of the bunch. I stand happily corrected.


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#24
Pong Messiah

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I'm surprised you liked it!

 

Will give it a listen now.



#25
Pong Messiah

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Holy crap, Duke!

 

I don't know how the songs will hold up to repeated listenings, but there is so much energy here and the drums and guitar sound amazing! Bruce Dickinson... he's definitely an interesting character but his voice has always been kinda lol. Still, considering his age and recent health issues, he sounds awesome (I actually like that he can't go quite as high as he used to... thank god). Anyway, thanks for the pleasant surprise.





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