2007: the year of reunions and more …

“They just kicked out another band member? Is there anybody left?”
“What in the name of all that is good would possess him to move in with Courtney Love?”
“Is THAT really metallica?!”
“So they are finally releasing Chinese Democracy…. again?”

warningThese questions say a lot about recent years, as well as this one, in music. We could not think about one to sum it up as it was an amazing year, musically speaking, from numerous points of view despite the fact that reunions are definitely in the center of attention; some gods of music got back together while other bands argued or even disbanded. Some released masterpieces while other disappointed. There is no doubt about the fact that reunions are the headline of this year so they are going to be the center of our attention here but other interesting things that happened.

Smashing Pumkins
Photo by Danny North

For some it was a year with glory and shame combined. Just take a look at the [tag]Smashing Pumpkins[/tag]. It was indeed a year full of glory for them as the long-awaited Zeitgeist marked the band’s “reunion,” and the release was met with plenty of fanfare from legions of fans from every corner in the world. So…that was the reunion? Oh just drummer Jimmy Chamberlin and Corgan actually showed up and Zeitgeist received so-so critical reception; that has got to hurt. Another big hit of the year was [tag]Velvet Revolver[/tag] who released the brilliant CD Libertad. The supergroup made fans and critis alike drool over the back-to-basics, riff-heavy sound and Slash proved once again that he was pretty much the coolest guitarist around. Things appeared to be going so well when all of a sudden Scott Weiland was arrested on suspicion of a DUI this December, and given his drug-tainted past, this could spell bad news for Velvet Revolver. He denied the charges so let us hope he is a man of his word and that there is no need for another trip to rehab. Now a bit about this year for metallica. We were all of course a bit worried after seeing the psychologically unstable state of [tag]Metallica[/tag] in the documentary film Some Kind Of Monster but this year was a bit brighter for them and they finally showed they have a bit of fun from time to time by showing up in Guitar Hero III, not to mention allowing their music to be featured in the new game Rock Band. Now now quit thinking about money; their hears are in the right place. So it would appear that it was a very good year for them even as they showed up in October to play an acoustic charity gig for the Bridge School Benefit concert, and they weren’t paid a dime. But face it after the disappointing 2003 release St. Anger we would expect them to try very hard to redeem theirselves but alas we are again dissapointed. The band’s most recent press release stated that the progress of the record was “status quo, consistent, constant, invariable, unaltered, unchanged, unfailing, uniform, unvarying.” Wow, in the amount of times you spent looking through the thesaurus, you probably could have written 3 new songs – but thanks for the update.

Sex Pistols
Photo by ignatiuscrespo

Now for the reunions; it probably is better to sort them in a random order since it is quite very hard to say which was better than the other. Well Ace of Base sounds good to start with since their name starts with an A; they went on a world tour and from their first appearance they sold out. Aqua and Blur tours look set to happen soon and we await them eagerly. The [tag]Sex Pistols[/tag] stirred up a lot of people when they got back together and sang. In July Virgin announced that it would release a special 30th anniversary edition of the classic Sex Pistols debut album Never Mind the Bollocks… Here’s the Sex Pistols. Also re-released were the band’s four classic singles: “Anarchy in the UK”, “God Save the Queen”, “Pretty Vacant” and “Holidays in the Sun”. Also they are going to appear at the Isle Of Wight Festival 2008 as the headlining act on the Saturday night. [tag]Crowded House[/tag] released a fantastic record called Time on Earth and they sound as good as ever. On July 7, 2007, they performed songs in front of thousands at Live Earth in Sydney, Australia. They are back and they are staying in the headlight. Another great reunion was that of [tag]Genesis[/tag]. After much speculation regarding a reunion, Banks, Collins and Rutherford announced Turn It On Again: The Tour on 7 November 2006; nearly 40 years after the band first formed. On 12 May 2007, the band were honourees at the second annual VH1 Rock Honors, along with Ozzy Osbourne, Heart and ZZ Top.

The Police
Photo by kk+

How could we not say anything about [tag]The Police[/tag] who opened the 49th Annual Grammy Awards on 11 February 2007 in Los Angeles, California, saying that “We’re The Police. And we’re back!” before launching into “Roxanne.” The Police opened their Reunion Tour in Vancouver on May 28 in front of 22,000 delighted fans at one of two nearly sold-out concerts. Also My Bloody Valentine announced they are recording an album “100%” . . . “unless we die or something…”. On November 15th 2007, My Bloody Valentine announced three upcoming live gigs in the UK for 2008. Not that big but we are still eager to see them.

Photo by mark+angie

It is hard to say but probably the bands which earned the most attention due to a reunion were [tag]Eagles[/tag] and [tag]Led Zeppelin[/tag]. In 2007, the Eagles consisted of Frey, Henley, Walsh, and Schmit. On October 30, 2007, the Eagles released Long Road Out of Eden, their first album of new material since 1979. It has sold huge and it is very good work from them; old fans were thrilled and they definetly made some new fans. Alas among the best albums of the year Long Road Out of Eden could very well be their last album. In an interview with CNN, Don Henley declared, “This is probably the last Eagles album that we’ll ever make.”.

Led Zeppelin
Photo by NeverOffside

Probably the gig which had the most interest focused around it was the Led Zep one. With supporting acts such as Paul Rodgers, Bill Wyman’s Rhythm Kings, Paolo Nutini, Chris Squire, Keith Emerson, Alan White, and Foreigner as supporting acts they rose up to their old legendary skills and sang about as they did in the glory days despite the fact that Robert Plant had a changed voice which did not thrill some. Tickets were made available via a lottery system through Ahmettribute.com, costing £125 / $250 with all proceeds going to Ahmet’s own charity. The website exceeded its bandwidth allowance and crashed almost immediately following the announcement, with the promoter predicting that the gig would cause the “largest demand for one show in history”, due to the ticket request site receiving one billion page impressions, with one million people registering for fewer than 20,000 available tickets. It was fantastic. Celebrities which were at the gig included Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl who praised Jason Bonham’s performance, Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer Chad Smith, BBC Radio 1 DJ Chris Moyles, Lostprophets drummer Ilan Rubin, Paul McCartney, Brian May, David Gilmour, Oasis brothers Noel and Liam, Arctic Monkeys, U2’s The Edge, Bernard Sumner, Dave Mustaine, Peter Gabriel, Mick Jagger, Juliette Lewis, Richard Hammond, Jeremy Clarkson, The Verve’s Richard Ashcroft, Marilyn Manson, actor David Boreanaz and many more. That pretty much says it all. Page has suggested the band may start work on new material, and has more recently suggested that a world tour may be in the works so we wait for it.

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