Many band breakups have shaken the music industry in its entirety, while others slide under our radar, barely catching attention from the media. In recent years, we’ve seen some of the worst breakups and have had to say goodbye to some of the most influential bands in this history of music.
Here are some of the bands that have broken up, but fans are still eager to see them together again.
The Smiths (1982-1987)
Many people fail to realize that The Smiths were only active for five years, yet have been considered one of the most influential bands of the ‘80s. The band originated in Manchester, England, and released a total of four studio albums that all peaked in the Top 10 of the U.K.’s music charts. They originally broke up because members became annoyed with each other when frontman Steven Morrissey refused to be musically flexible and guitarist Johnny Marr’s moved to Los Angeles to play with other bands. Officially, Morrissey blamed management and business issues for the breakup.
The Smiths were first nominated for induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2014, but haven’t received the induction for almost four years. There have been speculations that the band would at some point get back together, but Morrissey refused to play at Coachella in 2006 and 2009, while Marr continues to think there will be a reunion in the future. As a longtime fan of The Smiths, Morrissey and their influence on glam rock, I sure hope that one day the band will perform at least one last time for the fans.
Oasis began in Manchester, England. Two brothers, Liam and Noel Gallagher, were the main faces of the band and the reason for its horrific breakup. They’ve released seven studio albums, which won them six Brit Awards, three Grammy nominations and 17 New Musical Express Awards.
Unfortunately, while active, the Gallagher brothers couldn’t look past their differences to continue creating music. In August of 2009, tension between the brothers led to an outright fight in a backstage dressing room, when Noel told Liam he couldn’t advertise his clothing label in the Oasis tour program. After yelling at each other backstage, Liam took a guitar and swung it at Noel, breaking it against the ground. Neither brother has talked to each other since, and both refuse to create any new music under the Oasis name. Today, they’ve followed their own musical pursuits, whether that be solo creations or creating other bands. Songs like “Wonderwall,” “Champagne Supernova” and “Supersonic” will remain lasting legacies.
The White Stripes (1997-2011)
Born out of Detroit, The White Stripes was once a rock duo of the now divorced Jack and Meg White. It’s likely that if you go to any sporting event, there’s a 95 percent chance you’ll hear “Seven Nation Army.” Because of this, there’s no one in the alternative or rock world who hasn’t heard their name. What’s unfortunate is that after 13 years, the band announced its breakup, which is speculated to be caused by Meg’s stage fright and lack of enthusiasm when recording.
The band released a total of six studio albums that helped bring about the revival of garage rock. It received two Brit Awards, six Grammy Awards and one NME Award throughout the course of its career. Today, Jack White creates his own music as a solo artist and runs his own record label, which is responsible for releasing any future unreleased material of The White Stripes.
My Chemical Romance (2001-2013)
MCR is known as one of the biggest punk-rock bands of this generation. The band originated in New Jersey after lead singer Gerard Way witnessed the falling of the World Trade Center towers in 2001. This ignited a passion to take life in his own hands and create a band. As MCR’s roots were created in an unconventional manner, it only seemed fitting that their style of music would as well.
Unfortunately for die-hard fans, over the course of the band’s 12-year run, it only created four studio albums. With these records, MCR redefined alternative rock by gathering fans across all demographics and being marked in the industry with a controversially emo status. Way has always rejected the notion of their music as being “emo,” but in American pop culture, that’s their legacy. The breakup in 2013 was accepted by all members when they posted on their website saying, “It has come time for it to end.” Unlike other bands, MCR’s breakup hit fans really hard and broke news across the nation, but the band ended on good terms with each other as they’re all still pursuing music on their own.
Smith Westerns (2007-2014)
Smith Westerns is one of those true indie bands that pursued music on their own terms and didn’t let a record label tell them what sound to create. This band came out of the great city of Chicago, following influences like David Bowie, T. Rex and Oasis. During its seven-year career, the band released only three albums, which were all released from different record labels. The band was best known for taking its own spin on glam rock, a genre that began in the U.K. in the ‘70s.
In 2013, after releasing “Soft Will” and traveling with the Sky Ferreira tour, the band took a break from its constant touring and skyrocketing fame over the course of four years. It was only a matter of time within that resting period that the young band members were burnt out from creating any new material for the Smith Westerns. Although all band members were OK with the breakup, frontman Cullen Omori has never left the music scene. Smith Westerns was a small indie band with a lot to say, and because of their breakup, their music has become that much more important for other smaller bands when they hit a creative halt.
As mentioned above, all of these bands hit the charts and gained a great amount of fame only a little after debuting. That fast claim to fame can quickly fizzle, especially for those bands who can’t get along. Thankfully with music, we’ll always have their records to remember them by, and maybe one day we’ll witness the news of reunion tours.
Maddelynne Parker is a sophomore media arts and design major. Contact Maddelynne at firstname.lastname@example.org.