Reunion albums

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twentysixdollars
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Reunion albums

Post by twentysixdollars »

Another thought inspired by the fusillade of hatchet-buryings that was 2007: I see no reason why the reunited Verve shouldn't be extraordinary, but it's true that reunion albums tend to be (and are almost proverbially) disappointing. It seems to me, oddly enough, that Urban Hymns might be the best one ever - but perhaps it doesn't count, since the Verve were broken up only very briefly (a matter of months, or even month) and arguably were never properly disbanded at all. At any rate, no matter how uninspired we may understand them to inevitably turn out, we never stop demanding them; I mean, let's be honest - the contingent here that doesn't want Spacemen 3 to reform is probably a very small minority, even though they have now been broken up something like three times as long as they were together and the two principals have produced a lot of more than estimable solo material and probably stand to lose more than they could conceivably gain (i.e., it's not like they're going to expand their audience).

A couple that I think about a lot:

Byrds (1973) - Most reviews at the time, and even today, belabor how it could have been better, but the fact is it could also have been much, much worse. Clark and Hillman both brought their A games, especially Clark, though Hillman's songs are underappreciated; and Crosby deserves credit for the rough-hewn remake of "Laughing", which is much more alluring than the overslick version with Jerry Garcia on his solo LP. True, Crosby is otherwise a tyrant, imposing an anemic soft-rock sound on the proceedings and a lousy mix (muffling Hillman, whose basslines - revealed upon close listening - are as intriguing as ever, and seemingly punishing McGuinn for the five OK-to-great albums he released with the reconstituted band, but perhaps he had it coming because his two songs and listless guitar performances are a crap-out). But I enjoy the harmonies and the atmosphere, and am glad it got made. I still play it all the time, and it sounds really nice on CD. To me, its major disappointment was its failure, which ensured there would never be another Byrds album, and, in a very indirect sense, killed Clarence White.

Television (1992) - When this came out I wasn't too conversant with their original albums.Though the leadoff single ("Call Mr Lee") struck me as mannered and overly flashy, I was otherwise impressed, and surprised by how up-to-date it sounded, which is to say, like virtually any other late eighties college rock act, and so today it's disastrously dated. The melodies are sometimes obvious, the words and vocals insincere and more irritating than they ever were in the seventies, and worst of all the sound (especially the rhythm section) is stiff and brittle, lacking the richness of their proper work, and the short tunes aren't allowed to build much structural momentum, even in a modest, "Dream's Dream" sort of way.

Moby Grape tried it at least three times!

I don't think reunion live albums count, like the VU '93 or the inevitable Zep one.

There are definitely a few Motown ones (Tempts, etc.) with which I'm otherwise unfamiliar, generally understood to be worthless.

What is the general profile of a reunion album, other than being disappointing? Deviates from original sound? Hews too close to it? Let's have some examples - favorites, obscurities, Buzzcocks, Soft Boys, Fairport, etc.

Stuart X.Hunter
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Re: Reunion albums

Post by Stuart X.Hunter »

twentysixdollars wrote:Another thought inspired by the fusillade of hatchet-buryings that was 2007: I see no reason why the reunited Verve shouldn't be extraordinary, but it's true that reunion albums tend to be (and are almost proverbially) disappointing. It seems to me, oddly enough, that Urban Hymns might be the best one ever - but perhaps it doesn't count, since the Verve were broken up only very briefly (a matter of months, or even month) and arguably were never properly disbanded at all.
It was a wee bit longer than that $26. Think they broke up after the release of History (autumn '95)and McCabe didn't re-appear (sorry to all you McCabe nuts but he is a fuckin Houdini) until the late recording of UH (sometime in '97).

Yes it is the greatest re-union album of all time and rightfully so but you're quite correct they never dis-banded.

I'm not entirely sure in my music lifetime (1990 to present day) if a band i like have split, than re-formed.
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a beautiful shonn
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Re: Reunion albums

Post by a beautiful shonn »

hmmm, the buzzcocks reunion was the shit! they were amazing, and the TV screens everywhere was awesome.

as was the specials reunion with terry hall. that was great.

MC3.2??

i for one don't really want bands to reunite, not the valentines nor the spacemen3.

leave history where it is, in the past.


me.

p/s- and that V/U reunion gigs really doesn't count, we shall never speak of it around here again.

Stuart X.Hunter
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Re: Reunion albums

Post by Stuart X.Hunter »

a beautiful shonn wrote:
i for one don't really want bands to reunite, not the valentines
agreed although in the spirit of harmony i would like entrenched positions to be sorted out with some bands.
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bunnyben
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Re: Reunion albums

Post by bunnyben »

echo and the bunnymen- evergreen

ian mcculloch perfected his song writing with his first solo album- candleland- so this album was a new mature, reflective man, who's voice was now a beautiful croon combined with one of the best gutairists. for me it still stands up more then urban- and they both came out in the same year
'raging and weeping are left on the early road
now each in his holy hill
the glittering and hurting days are alomst done
then let us compare mythologies
i have learned my elaborate lie
of soaring crosses and poisened thorns'

Multi
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Re: Reunion albums

Post by Multi »

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Last edited by Multi on Mon Apr 09, 2012 5:49 am, edited 1 time in total.

toomilk
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Re: Reunion albums

Post by toomilk »

My opinion for the worst reunion album ever is The Stooges' The Weirdness.

Complete shit.

angelsighs
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Re: Reunion albums

Post by angelsighs »

theres a little bit in the new Q about the new Verve album- McCabe gives us a few hints on what it sounds like (Love Unlimited Orchestra produced by Scratch Perry if I remember correctly). They have 35 songs, the vast majority of which came out of jams. I'm very excited.

I think its a moot point whether its gonna be as good as the earlier stuff- probably not. But is still probably gonna be brilliant.

I am also struggling to think of a good reunion album.

is
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Re: Reunion albums

Post by is »

I like the new Dinosaur record. It's true it doesn't really get us anywhere new, sounding more or less like a J Mascis continuation project (to me), but it sounds ok - and that's got to count, no?

twentysixdollars
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Re: Reunion albums

Post by twentysixdollars »

Read that bit in Q. Along with Thaw Session, very encouraging. (Has Nick ever been this enthusiastic about - well - anything? And just look at Simon Jones, who, in Youtubed gig vids, is even singing along to "Velvet Morning".)

The Weirdness is, indeed, pretty disastrous. But does not Raw Power count as a reunion album as well?

The recent 1/2xNew York Dolls album was not bad, though it kind of goes without saying that it is their worst album.

Stuart X.Hunter
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Re: Reunion albums

Post by Stuart X.Hunter »

Multi wrote:
Many consider Jesus & Mary Chains reunion work (Stoned & Dethroned and Munki) as their best work. I don't, but it's to be included.
I wasn't aware/sure if they disbanded. I was teetering on saying S&D as to me it's a gorgeous album.
It's so laconic and fluid; a bit of a revelation to me when I was a slip of a lad.

Cheers
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angelsighs
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Re: Reunion albums

Post by angelsighs »

twentysixdollars wrote:Read that bit in Q. Along with Thaw Session, very encouraging. (Has Nick ever been this enthusiastic about - well - anything? And just look at Simon Jones, who, in Youtubed gig vids, is even singing along to "Velvet Morning".)
Nick was similarly proud of A Northern Soul at the time if i remember correctly. And yeah, Simon is giving it loads on this tour mouthing most of the words.

It is borderline but for what its worth i don't think Urban Hymns counts. Only Nick ever left the band for any great period of time and the whole gap between albums only took 2 years. Some bands take holidays that long.

Live reunions can often work it seems but not new material. Pixies didn't even try. Not sure i'd wanna hear a new Led Zep album (although I've heard good things about the Page & Plant stuff).

sunray
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Re: Reunion albums

Post by sunray »

Multi wrote:
Many consider Jesus & Mary Chains reunion work (Stoned & Dethroned and Munki) as their best work. I don't, but it's to be included.
The Mary Chain hadn't actually split up before these albums just their normal 2-3 year gap between releases. The new album due out this year will be their reunion album which, even though i love them, im sure will be no better than average.
S&D and Munki are great albums imo, though the latter could've done with trimming about 5 songs off it.
Where's the sacrifice? Oh get off the cross, we need the wood.

sunray
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Re: Reunion albums

Post by sunray »

a beautiful shonn wrote:

i for one don't really want bands to reunite, not the valentines nor the spacemen3.

leave history where it is in the past.
Couldn't agree more.
Where's the sacrifice? Oh get off the cross, we need the wood.

runcible
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Re: Reunion albums

Post by runcible »

The Valentines occupy a different area in that an actual split never officially took place - more an intense period of inactivity. You might describe the June 2008 gigs that many of us are already getting worked up about (you too Shonn if you can swing that plane ticket!) as a comeback but as they never actually split up its merely an overblown pause. Part of me always had a hope that they'd play again and I'm delighted its happening - and I'm confident about the quality of what will result. Zeppelin's demise was through John Bonham's death - they'd have continued otherwise.

Spacemen 3 is a different area entirely. Almost the most acrimonious split ever (setting aside Scandinavian metal bands that resorted to eating each other) and one which, in retrospect, was inevitable. No matter how much I might yearn for some kind of a reunion if anything were to happen I'd be amazed if it was under the banner of Spacemen 3, more likely an appearance by either Pete or Jason on each other's records. Even that looks seriously doubtful but I'll always keep my fingers crossed.

twentysixdollars
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Re: Reunion albums

Post by twentysixdollars »

runcible wrote:The Valentines occupy a different area in that an actual split never officially took place - more an intense period of inactivity.
That's not really true, unless you're of the opinion that Kevin Shields is My Bloody Valentine - a defensible position considering he played all the instruments on Loveless, but regardless, many would disagree. And Debbie Googe and Colm O'Ciosoig definitely did leave the band, effectively disbanding the group when Shields and Butcher were no longer involved.
Spacemen 3 is a different area entirely. Almost the most acrimonious split ever (setting aside Scandinavian metal bands that resorted to eating each other)
Ha! But that only happened once, and it wasn't a break-up - if my memory hasn't failed me, the lead singer shot himself to death and the rest chowed down on bits of him in tribute. Allegedly.

But you're probably right about Jason and Peter's likelihood of ever working together. Seems to me we're more likely to see Jason on a Spectrum album than any other sort of collaboration, and even that is highly unlikely.

Multi
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Re: Reunion albums

Post by Multi »

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moop
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Re: Reunion albums

Post by moop »

i'm guessing a lot of people on here won't agree with me on this one, but here goes:

new order - get ready

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Re: Reunion albums

Post by spzretent »

toomilk wrote:My opinion for the worst reunion album ever is The Stooges' The Weirdness.

Complete shit.
Totally agree here. Not one redeeming song on this. And I so looked forward to it.
moop wrote:i'm guessing a lot of people on here won't agree with me on this one, but here goes:

new order - get ready
I'm with you on this one.
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sunray
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Re: Reunion albums

Post by sunray »

runcible wrote:The Valentines occupy a different area in that an actual split never officially took place - more an intense period of inactivity.
Sounds like my life for the last couple of years! :lol:

Never got round to hearing The Stooges 'The Weirdness' so cant comment but i have to say the gigs have been amazing, although in fairness i think they've only played one new song on the couple of occasions i've seen them. Maybe the reason's obvious. :wink:
Where's the sacrifice? Oh get off the cross, we need the wood.

natty
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Re: Reunion albums

Post by natty »

I thought Jane's Addiction's "Strays" held it's own. Obviously not in the same league as their earlier work, but still a decent album. Perhaps not a true reunion album as Eric Avery didn't play on it?

angelsighs
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Re: Reunion albums

Post by angelsighs »

moop wrote:i'm guessing a lot of people on here won't agree with me on this one, but here goes:

new order - get ready
its okay

The Janes Addiction one is pretty good, forgot about that.

seifukusha
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Re: Reunion albums

Post by seifukusha »

bunnyben wrote:echo and the bunnymen- evergreen

ian mcculloch perfected his song writing with his first solo album- candleland- so this album was a new mature, reflective man, who's voice was now a beautiful croon combined with one of the best gutairists. for me it still stands up more then urban- and they both came out in the same year
yh, it was a good record..and getting liam g on the backing vocals of NLF didnt hurt.....

i liked ians second, mysterio. when i met him, he was very happy i liked it

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Re: Reunion albums

Post by scratch »

Bauhaus - "go away white" to be released on the 4th of march

weak first song, excellent first line: "I want to be something better - a better singer" sung to yet another beatle taxman bassline theft, and there are some fucked up sounds and harmonies on half of the songs that sound a bit too close to their own back catalogue.. but.. damn it.. some of the other songs are good

Bowie should listen to Murphy´s singing style for inspiration :twisted:
"the greatest example of self-violation in the history of art"

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