Ok, we kick off this list with a band that rose to fame in the 1980s and thus, were considered the pioneers of alternative rock. By the end of the decade, the band had established their signature musical style blending alternative rock with elements of jangle pop and folk, and were one of the biggest bands of the decade. The band took a five-year hiatus from touring in the early 1990s and barely even played a show for five years at that point. In late 1997, drummer Bill Berry retired as he felt he just didn’t want fame anymore and also, in part due to suffering from an aneurysm during their 1995 comeback Monster tour, which led the band to postpone and cancel many shows. The band continued as a trio for the remainder of their career but broke up in late 2011 after thirty years as the band decided it was time to move on.
Now, this is possibly one of the biggest bands of all time, with which many consider had an unexpectedly short career. They were one of the pioneers of hard rock and heavy metal, that blended elements of blues and folk and on later albums, progressive rock in their sound. They were possibly considered the biggest band of the 1970s, especially the first half of the decade. However, by 1975, the band’s career was declining as Robert Plant was seriously injured in a car accident, resulting in the band semi-retiring from touring and becoming a studio act. The band embarked on a disastrous controversial North American tour in 1977 and played Knebworth in 1979 and a European tour in 1980. In September 1980, drummer John Bonham died after excessive drinking after years of drug and alcohol abuse. The band canceled their 1980 US tour and broke up in late 1980.
Another example of a legendary band – considered the most legendary progressive rock/psychedelic rock band of all time, the band initially rose to fame in the late 1960s led by lead vocalist and lead guitarist Syd Barrett, who was fired from the band in early 1968 due to his mental health issues. The band became one of the biggest bands of the 1970s until Roger Waters took control of the band by the late 1970s, leading to tensions with David Gilmour and the rest of the band – keyboardist Richard Wright was fired in 1979 due to his lack of contribution. The ongoing animosity between Roger Waters and David Gilmour and Roger Waters left in 1985, with David Gilmour continuing the band and Richard Wright returning, as a contributor, in early 1987. The band broke up after their last tour in late 1994/early 1995. Syd Barrett died in July 2006 after decades of living a recluse and keyboardist Richard Wright died of cancer in September 2008, ending any possibilities of any future reunions.
Now, this band is a legendary example. This new wave/experimental rock band rose to fame in the late 1970s and were popular on the New York club circuit playing venues such as CBGB and Max’s Kansas City. The band abruptly stopped touring and playing live in 1984, but continued as a studio act for the remainder of their career. The band went on hiatus at the end of the 1980s due to tensions between David Byrne and the other three band members, as David Byrne was taking control of the band. The band broke up in late 1991, after being on hiatus for years.
In the early 1970s, a new genre of rock was taken to a whole new level with the birth of heavy metal. Not to mention that the band also marked the beginning of the career of the Prince of Darkness himself, Ozzy Osbourne. They were considered the biggest metal band of the 1970s before the genre went more commercialized in the late 1970s with bands such as Iron Maiden and Judas Priest. By the late 1970s, however, tensions between Ozzy Osbourne and the other three members got out of hand, particularly due to his drug and alcohol use and in early 1979, Ozzy Osbourne was fired as a result. The band continued with Ronnie James Dio, but it didn’t work out for drummer Bill Ward, so he was drinking heavily and quit the band in late 1980. The band hired Vinny Appice as their new drummer. After Ronnie James Dio and Vinny Appice both quit the band in late 1982 due to tensions over their first live album, the band, particularly Tony Iommi, continued with various line-up changes until the four original members reunited for a series of tours beginning in early 1997, with Bill Ward returning on-and-off. The lineup stayed together sporadically until late 2005. After which, Ronnie James Dio reunited and performed with the members as Heaven and Hell until his death in May 2010. After Ronnie James Dio’s death, the original lineup minus Bill Ward reunited for a world tour and new studio album, although the 2012 European tour was postponed to 2013 due to Tony Iommi’s cancer diagnosis. The band embarked on a farewell tour in 2016, which lasted well into the first few weeks of 2017 and after the tour ended, the band broke up. The band stopped touring as a result of Tony Iommi’s health.
Creedence Clearwater Revival
One of the pioneers of roots rock/southern rock, the band was known to combine elements of blues, country, and even folk, into their swampy-sounding music. The band was a lot much older than people think forming originally in the late 1950s as The Blue Velvets, before changing their name to The Golliwogs in the early/mid-1960s. But, it is CCR’s brand of swamp rock that fans of most well known for. By the start of the 1970s, tensions between John Fogerty and the rest of the band came to a head as John Fogerty was taking control of the band. As a result, in early 1971, rhythm guitarist Tom Fogerty – John Fogerty’s older brother – quit the band. The band temporarily continued as a trio, with bassist Stu Cook and drummer Doug Clifford both sharing lead vocal duties on their final studio album, but the band broke up in late 1972 due to these ongoing tensions. In September 1990, rhythm guitarist Tom Fogerty (John Fogerty’s older brother) died of respiratory failure in September of 1990.
Now, thus, considered the greatest band of all time. The Fab Four were considered not only the most famous band of the 1960s but also the most influential band of all time. As the band rose to fame by 1964, the band’s style changed from 1950s-influenced rock and roll to folk-rock/psychedelic rock and would get even more experimental that the band quit touring in late 1966 and continued as a studio act for the last few years of their career. By the end of their career, tensions between all four members came to a high, particularly between John Lennon and Paul McCartney, during the recording process of their self-titled album where the band was beginning to return to their roots. The band broke up in early 1970; John Lennon had already quit by the end of 1969. The band also considered touring again before they broke up, with Billy Preston on keyboards.
Another new wave band that rose to fame in the late 1970s, the band was known for their eclectic musical style blending elements of punk rock, post-punk, and reggae into their new wave sound. In the early 1980s, tensions between the three band members – mainly Sting and Stewart Copeland came to a head. In early 1984, the band went on hiatus. The band reunited in mid-1986 and tried to record a sixth studio album, but the sessions were halted, as drummer Stewart Copeland was injured and unable to play drums. The band did, however, re-record their past 1980 hit singles Don’t Stand So Close to Me and De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da. The band broke up in late 1986, after years of being on hiatus and a failed comeback attempt.
The band, known as The Band, along with Creedence Clearwater Revival, were one of the founders of roots rock/southern rock and blended elements of folk, blues, and country in their music. The Band was originally known as The Hawks and were the backing band of rockabilly musician Ronnie Hawkins. After parting ways with Ronnie Hawkins, The Hawks changed their name to The Band and were Bob Dylan’s backing band when Bob Dylan changed his music style – moving away from solo acoustic protest songs to electric blues-rock/folk-rock. In mid-1966, Bob Dylan was injured in a motorcycle accident and at that point, would not tour for nearly a decade. The Band would then part ways with Bob Dylan and start a career of their own. The Band became one of the most successful bands of the late 1960s and early 1970s. In late 1976, The Band broke up after hosting a farewell concert called The Last Waltz, a film directed by Martin Scorsese, featuring several guests – friends of the band such as Joni Mitchell, Neil Young, Ronnie Hawkins, Bob Dylan, Muddy Waters, Dr. John, Van Morrison, Ringo Starr, Eric Clapton, Ron Wood, Bobby Charles, Neil Diamond and Paul Butterfield. The Band broke up as they were tired after years of touring and Robbie Robertson wanted to move on with his life. The Band reunited in early 1983 and toured extensively for nearly two decades without Robbie Robertson and also continued without keyboardist Richard Manuel, who committed suicide in March 1986. In December 1999, bassist Rick Danko died. The Band broke up after his death. In April 2012, drummer Levon Helm died of cancer, after battling the disease for nearly a decade and a half.
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