The Spice Girls, Black Sabbath, Madness, Fleetwood Mac, Fall Out Boy, B*Witched…the list is endless it seems. Reform fever has well and truly hit the music industry! Whether it’s simply a last-ditch stab at fame and fortune, or simply a desperate attempt to have a career, bands and artists are wriggling their way back into our lives.
As bands and artists releasing new material and venturing out on a tour after years out of the public eye, many do not receive the reception they initially expected. For instance, S Club 7 (give or take a few members) have been touring all over the UK in intimate venues for the last couple of years with little to no recognition and when 5ive reformed no one batted an eye-lid even if they got wind of the news. But the likes of The Spice Girls and Steps have enjoyed success their second time out, with huge tours and much publicity.
Even compared to a decade ago, reality television has also taken hold of the public’s television schedules, with Big Brother, The X Factor and Britain’s Got Talent being some of the most popular programmes around. When fused together, musical comebacks and T.V. seem a killer combination for publicity and eventual ticket sales! Steps enjoyed their own show on Sky Living after splitting in 2001. They planned a 14-date tour which sold out in about 10 minutes and evolved into a 22-date tour consequentially and also released a new album ‘Light up the World’ just in time for Christmas last year.
With the success of Steps, other 90s favourites are jumping on the comeback bandwagon! The likes of B*Witched, 5ive, 911 and Atomic Kitten are taking part in an ITV2 reality documentary series about their own reunion stories called The Big Reunion. Bands taking part are also said to be in talks about a full UK tour following a one-off show at London’s Hammersmith Apollo in the 26th of February 2013. Tickets for the concert sold out within five minutes of the first show airing on New Year’s Eve 2012.
Financially speaking, it is logical for bands and artists to split-up at their peak of success and reunite several years later than it would be from them to attempt to override changing musical horizons. More money is to be made through embracing the cheesy and nostalgic vibe as opposed to struggling through the industry somewhat unnoticed.
Even Fall Out Boy have jumped on the bandwagon. Being one of the most popular Pop Punk/Emo bands around from their 2001 inception, Fall Out Boy basked in the glory of tetchy teens and peaked at number 4 in the UK Album Chart. Despite fans have grown from discontented, angsty school kids to adults, the internet-based hype around the reunion is astounding, with endless rumours of tours, albums and basically, the biggest comeback in Emo history is in full swing!
The mass reunions are simply proof that music is like fashion; same old same old. Once something popular is pin-pointed it’s made use of, manipulated, evolved and eventually overdone until there is no longer a reception for it. But fashion is cyclic and audiences are clearly ready to welcome music from their past into their present, judging by recent ticket sales.