The Big Reunion begins the 31/01/13 on ITV1 9pm with an 8 part series that lift the lids on the highs and lows of six chart topping groups, reunited after dramatic break-ups.
Here’s what we think about reunions, what are your thoughts?
The classic songs from back in the day, the iconic dance moves from the 90s, the memories from concerts you attended years ago… Do you want to be reminded of these times or should the old school remain in the past?
A recent trend is emerging in the music industry, where old bands that previously split up reunite. But a key question is, have they still got it or is the magic gone? Should these bands be welcomed back with open arms, or shrugged away, pronto?
It’s an obvious one, but you would think that bands reuniting would naturally make their followers happy, as old positive associations come flooding back. Some fans will be quick to unravel the folded up posters they stuffed away years ago when their favourite group split, and eagerly rush to purchase new gig tickets or read up on their latest interviews. Others however may groan at this prospect, as it could potentially ruin good memories from yesteryear if bands don’t live up to the high expectations they set in the past.
Security guard Avi Shutkever takes the viewpoint that when bands reform, old feelings can be lost: ‘Sometimes when bands reunite and continue to make music it isn’t the same as it was before,’ he mused. ‘It can go downhill and your feelings may change when listening to them years after being apart.’
However, third year Criminology student Hannah Jones quashed this idea, saying that when bands reunite, good feelings from childhood are unearthed. ‘I remember that one of the happiest moments of my life was when I saw Steps over ten years ago,’ she grins. ‘So I was really pleased when they reformed.’ Steps, an iconic pop group, made their comeback after a decade, and were soon back at the top of the UK album chart, as well as embarking on an ultimate UK tour.
Hannah was one fan who attended a Steps concert at the Birmingham NIA last April, and she believes the magic is still there, even if time has moved forward, and with that, the music industry too. She said: ‘Even though they are a pop group of the 90s, I wanted to go and see Steps again because they were all I listened to as a child. They definitely lived up to my expectations. I enjoyed them when I was little and I still like the music now.’
Reminders of the classics
When groups rejoice, there is an instant reminder of their old hits as they belt them out at recent gigs, even if the songs are dated from years back.
When the Stone Roses returned last summer after a previously unexpected reunion, despite the prospect of new music, fans were overjoyed even just to be reminded of the old classics that made them fall in love with the band in the first place. They played sets containing old gems, delivering the tracks that people wanted, and no doubt, anticipated, much to the delight of many, including massive Stone Roses fan Phil Loney, who declared: ‘Heaton Park 2012 was the best gig of my life!’
Better when they’re together?
Meanwhile, in pop world, Girls Aloud reformed at the end of 2012, bringing out an album packed with their old hits, yet also returning with ‘Somethin’ New’, a catchy track which is all about girl power, of course. After a temporary split in 2010 to pursue various other projects, the girls were reunited last year, joining forces again to show that they really are better together.
Popularity and success
Take That are a classic example of a group from the 90s that have reunited in the noughties to great success, with powerful hits such as Rule the World. Age hasn’t deterred the members from carrying on with their musical journeys, as dental receptionist Amie Williams coos: ‘If the group were popular then of course it’s good for fans. The Take That reunion was great, and has been a success for both the fans and the group.’
Are some artists just doing it for the fame, the money, the attention? And if they do reform, is it just a sign of desperation? Did they just miss their time in the limelight and fancy another slice of the fame pie? Student Thomas Thorn would agree with this theory, saying: ‘Most of the time, it just seems the members have run out of money and it is a get-rich scheme.’
Let’s face it; the hint of a reunion is going to get people talking. Whenever Liam and Noel Gallagher are interviewed, talk of an Oasis reunion always seems to crop up. The idea is usually shunned, but the rumours always continue to float around. There is, undoubtedly, that delicious anticipation of ‘will they/won’t they?’ and the whole discussion that surrounds it, which is of course great publicity for the individuals involved, whatever the outcome.
People who have only just heard the works of several bands may also be grateful for musical reunions as it gives them the opportunity to go and watch them now when they didn’t have the chance to before.
Cinema worker Ben Highway said: ‘I spent ten years listening to Faith No More and never thought I’d get to see them live but then they got back together and I was really happy! Reunions give younger fans an opportunity to see a band they missed before, and as long as the band still has the enthusiasm and isn’t just cashing in, then they can really be something incredible.’
Something that has to be considered is: what does the future hold for these bands? Are they supposed to produce fresh material? Can they pull it off? With so much to mull over, the longevity of such classic groups hang in the balance.
Written by Grace Montgomery @grace_monty