Top 10 Worst Band Reunions

Some bands are meant to stay out of the limelight when they quit. Here's the most disappointing reformations of all time.

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Plenty of bands break up, but whether they're good or bad, some of them are just never meant to come back. We asked Ultimate Guitar readers to nominate and vote for the most disappointing rock reunions ever. Hundreds of nominations and thousands of votes later, and we've got the most miserable bunch of rock sell outs imaginable (okay, that's a little harsh, but so were the voters). Ready?

10. Creed

When they broke up in 2004, Creed swore they would never reform. But in 2009, guitarist Mark Tremonti told fans they were back together, even though it was "the last thing I expected." But despite cries from those who opposed the ultra-mainstream band, they've come back and continue to record and tour.

9. Sublime (with Rome)

Sublime went out of action when frontman Bradley Nowell died in 1996. His family weren't happy when the band decided to reform in 2009 with the new singer Rome Ramirez, and legally challenged their right to use the name. The solution: naming themselves Sublime (with Rome), and thus escaping the technicality.

8. KISS

KISS seem like they've been going for decades, but you might not realise they went out of action in the 1980s when their fame and fortune had almost dropped off the radar. In the '90s, a wave of nostalgia for their extravagant stage presence brought the original lineup back for what became the biggest grossing world tour of 1996/97.

7. The Doors

Even though their irreplaceable frontman Jim Morrison had died in 1971, the band tried replacing him before just disbanding in 1973. They came band and cleverly recorded backing music to Morrison's old poetry in 1978 with what became a hit album, but in some ways it appeared a tasteless cash in on their old name.

6. Van Halen

Technically, Van Halen never really broke up (despite a hiatus in the early 2000s) - but then, they've had so many lineup changes that it's hard to say they're the same band they used to be. Their reunion with Dave Lee Roth last year for "A Different Kind of Truth" is probably what Ultimate Guitar readers voted for, but in the band's credit, that album was considered by many to be a solid comeback. Here's a look at their '90s reunion with Roth.

5. Backstreet Boys

Not that anyone here will care, but the best-selling boy band in history never actually broke up. They just had a big comeback a few years ago. Meh, we don't really care to find out more. Let's just mention they're no more boy band, because it's not trendy anymore.

4. Spice Girls

And now the biggest girl band of all time. Their comeback in 2007 with a "Greatest Hits" album coincided with a massive world tour. Metal fans gave precisely zero f--ks.

3. Queen

Queen isn't Queen without singer Freddie Mercury, and the band have been careful to list themselves as "Queen with..." preceding the singer's name. Paul Rodgers fronted them in the mid 2000s, and more recently Adam Lambert was recruited to front a major forthcoming festival in the UK - which was then cancelled.

2. Fall Out Boy

In February this year, Fall Out Boy torched their previous albums to mark a new beginning for the band. Let's see if the forthcoming EPs they've announced will live up to their promise that it'll feature more aggressive guitar work inspired by playing in hardcore bands in their younger years.

1. Guns N' Roses

The early '90s lineups of Guns N' Roses remain some of the greatest in rock n' roll history. We have respect for the current Gn'R as talented musicians, and Axl Rose can still blast out a solid tune despite letting himself go, but it's not Guns N' Roses. No way. And it never really will be.

That's the end of our roundup of the worst reunions of all time. Which one strikes you as the most disappointing reformation ever? Do you disagree with any of the above nominations? Post your thoughts in the comments.

133 comments sorted by best / new / date

    My Last Words
    "And now the biggest girl band of all time. Their comeback in 2007 with a "Greatest Hits" album coincided with a massive world tour. Metal fans gave precisely zero f--ks." Just change the name to ultimate-metal already if it's this obvious..
    AWACS
    I like playing playing many more genres of music than metal, and like many of them more. I would really like to see more artivles etc., regarding music that isn't metal. But I guess complaining here won't help.
    azrael667
    It's ultimate guitar. Obviously most people are going to be fans of the one genre that features heavy guitars.
    Kyyper
    check the top100 tabs and get dissapointed
    metalmania46
    I get the feeling that the reason the Top 100 Tabs is the way it is, is because guys on here have girlfriends they need to impress. Not saying that in a bad way though, considering I'll definitely be one of those guys.
    N7Crazy
    The comment section doesn't reflect the majority of visitors to the site - The most viewed tabs are often pop or simple rock songs. Additionally, those who actually create an account to "discuss" and review music are usually interrested in more than a single genre, though I'll give you that metal is the genre most active users here have in common.
    sinodira
    For sure. No body really cares at this point, but just be up front about it.
    Burrito5911
    Actually metal fans must of given more than one **** about the spice girls reunion if they took the time to vote for them
    iommi600
    Sublime with Nowell: awesome. Sublime with Rome: slightly less annoying version of Baha Men.
    suicidehummer
    Seriously, what do they see in Rome? Brad had more soul in his ballsack than Rome's entire body. They should have got the singer from Pepper, he's got soul and sounds quite a bit like Brad.
    FlyingPirahna
    Not quite sure how GNR counted when, if you want to be a stickler for technicalities, they never actually broke up. inb4 downvotes inb4 flames
    iommi600
    Yea, I'm with you on this one lad. Axl just locked himself in a studio for 15 years and would fire and hire musicians week after week. I don't see how it counts as a reunion either. If anything, it is the polar opposite of it lol.
    MaggaraMarine
    I would actually say that they broke up but the new GNR is definitely not a reunion. IMO reunion means that the original members get back together. If a band just decides to continue after a breakup but with a different lineup, I would consider that a comeback.
    samwiseboarslay
    I honestly think slash is one of the most overrated guitarists of all time, and that Ron Thal (Their new lead guitarist) is infinitely more skilled than slash could EVER even dream to be.
    MaggaraMarine
    So what? Who cares about how technical he is? Without Slash there's no real GNR. It's not about technical skills, it's about style. Also, Slash can play the guitar very well. He isn't the most technical guitarist but he's a good guitarist. I think it was Bruce Kulick who said that every professional guitarist could play in almost any band - playing the songs would be not a problem. But it's more about the style and chemistry. Some guitarists just fit some bands better. It's all about style, not about technique.
    Fub McGillicudy
    i beg to disagree, although style is important you can't say that it's all that matters, that's just rubbish. one should know that technique is also important, and so is groove, a good ear and a good taste. the combination of all these makes a good musician, add drugs, sex and alchool and you have a rockstar
    MaggaraMarine
    Yeah and do you think Slash doesn't have a good ear and groove? I was talking about professional musicians, not basic bedroom shredders. Almost any guitarist in almost any professional band could play all Guns N Roses songs and solos. But that doesn't mean they are the right guitarist for the band.
    l0ld4v3
    This doesn't make sense. As the previous post said "every professional guitarist could play in almost any band", so all that groove and technique shit is implied in being a pro musician. Style made bands unique, not technique or groove.
    sickassfoo
    if we are going to talk about the best guitarist to ever be in guns n roses, lets bring out buckethead. i hate guns n roses but i only even considered them cool only when bucket was in there. now that he is out i give no more s h i t s about that band.
    LoadedGeorge
    You're right about that. I think the closest thing to a GNR reunion was the Hall of Fame introduction; where everyone except Axl from the original Lineup played together. Last time before that this happen in what-1990?
    rockfreak611
    I disagree with the Van Halen reunion being on here. I mean, they DID bring us world peace in the newest south park episode after all...
    AwesomeOne3
    I think they were meaning the 2004 reunion with Hagar. But yeah they did represent world peace in South Park, and they were awesome.
    rockfreak611
    whoops didn't realize the video i used was crap, can't find a better one though since the original one got taken off youtube. This is the second part from the episode:
    Chickendirt
    Backstreet Boys and Spice Girls didn't have that bad of a comeback. It may not be popular on this website, and I'm not and never will be a fan, but it wasn't a bad reunion at all for what they were/are.
    slipknot3325698
    "Axl Rose can still blast out a solid tune despite letting himself go" Seriously? That was literally THE worst concert I've ever been to.
    clegganator259
    At the NEC I spent 80% of the concert not being able to hear him, and the other 20% realizing why the sound guys decided to turn him down
    shanept
    Agreed. His voice seems unreliable these days, and I'm yet to see any new material that seems to come from the same guy.
    axeslinger0u812
    Agreed. Still, that isn't a "reunion". It's a band reformation. Like the Queen entry and the Sublime entry as well. The band is not reunited. It's reformed with different members. You can't reunite if you were never united to begin with.
    Salvo416
    Van Halen shouldn't be on here.. I know they said it earlier but their last album was one of their best albums.
    bubkusjones
    Yeah, and they've got a pretty solid live show. At least it was when I saw 'em this past tour.
    richard.warts
    Actually found this list rather disappointing. KISS wasn't so much a bad reunion as it was an obvious cash grab for Gene and Paul. Peter and Ace got paid peanuts compared, hence one of the main reasons they left again. I don't mind the way Queen have done it, considering they recognize that they'll never be the same without Freddie and haven't so much tried to replace him as they have just continued to semi-regularly tour with featured singers. Gunners just plain never actually broke up. Who even gives a crap about the Spice Girls? Van Halen is a difficult one. Their reunion attempt in '96 was sad for all involved, but I've quite enjoyed their new album. And as for their touring, Diamond Dave will never be the same as he used to be, granted, but they still put on an amazing show. And honestly, Wolfie imo is a better bassist than Michael Anthony anyway.
    Denkigan
    So, according to the article, it is physically impossible to be a fan of metal AND be a fan of the Spice Girls. Because everyone is as closed-minded as the writers of UG articles....
    Bleh?
    Fall Out Boy at number 2? The second worst reunion in history? Come on, they've only just got back together, at least give them a while to see what they come up with.
    fieryfenderz
    And it isn't even accurate since their punk EP is already out, and this was written well after its release.
    ztmusic09
    Honestly...Creed didn't sound that bad.
    sklaiss24
    The problem with Creed isn't that they sound that bad, it's that there's nothing that good about them either. They're just bland, and every song sounds pretty similar.
    phds
    You mean to tell me that songs by the same artist sound similar? What a complete shock!
    pedroziese
    I think KISS (aside from most of the 80's stuff) has always been an amazing band. And their mid-90's reunion with the original members was just awesome. I can't see why some people have problems with it.
    Crimson Ghost
    Their mid 90's reunion was great. Gave me and many others the chance to see the original line-up. If people want to complain about the albums they've released since, I can't think of one band that writes their best stuff 20+ years into their career. Also, I have to say that the Queen "reunion" with Adam Lambert is awesome. I was never a huge Adam Lambert fan but I had the chance to see one of their shows in September. His vocals were incredible live, and it was one of the best concerts I've been to.
    Tobester95
    I do agree with your point, although Red Hot Chili Peppers came out with their best stuff 20 years after they formed. The triple whammy of Californication, By The Way and Stadium Arcadium.
    henrihell
    True. And UG has been at it again. They made it sound like they'd called it quits in the 80's, while it was just Ace and Peter who left and the other 2 kept rolling with different lineups.
    BjarnedeGraaf
    I agree, saw them live at rock am ring 2010 and they killed it. sure it might have been a cliché show with lights pyrotechs and paul stanley "flying" and landing on a different platform. but it was aweasome to see they were still good.
    niksu
    Where is Misfits? I mean Jerry Only singing? Nope. It sounds ****ing awful.
    CalumCanavan
    I definitely disagree with Creed being on here. I thought Full Circle was their best album.
    theTYTAN
    Full circle was definitely their best album... It's just that everything Alter Bridge has ever done is better than Creed's absolute best songs.
    EdguyRule_22
    Haters come at me but I actually like most of Creed's stuff. I'm not a fan of their 2009 Full Circle album, they were perfectly 90's and should have left it there. Need to just stick with the Tremonti project and Alter Bridge.
    CJSchecter96
    I agree. I saw them just last year and they were fine but creeds time has passed. Keep the AB albums coming.
    TenTonHammer
    Tbh I really like Full Cirle; it's darker and heavier than their other stuff and seems more similar to AB... not quite sure why they're on this list either.
    EthanWark
    People bitch about Creed, but Full Circle in 2009 was a great album that no doubt got tarred with the same brush as their earlier radio hits.
    Witt1975
    I was thinking the same thing. Full Circle is a good album and Overcome and Bread Of Shame are killer songs.
    D4CE
    Their reunion was one big flaw. During live shows they'd only play 1-2 new songs, so it all was one big nostalgia reunion. They were supposed to record an album last year, but they couldn't agree on a producer, so Tremonti did his solo album in stead and later on they started working on a new Alter Bridge album. Now Scott is acting all burthurt in interviews, subtly attacking the other guys and saying Creed is done. Then there's also that time that Scott Stapp started banning all Alter Bridge fans on Creed's twitter, because he didn't want any "cross promotion" (literally: "oh, that person has a Alter Bridge profile picture, let's ban him"). Now he's using Creed's FB and Twitter to promote his own solo album. Creed's done..
    biff022
    You have to have terrible taste in music to know enough about Creed to write a post that long.
    Clayden82
    Seems ridiculous to say KISS fame and fortune disappeared off the radar in the 1980's when two of their biggest selling albums came out in 1983 and 1987
    richard.warts
    You're right. Creatures of the Night from '82 is one of my favourite albums, and Lick It Up from '83 is probably one of their most successful as well as being a damn good listen. Wasn't big on Crazy Nights (apart from the title track) but you can't argue that it DID go platinum and even charted pretty decently.
    Patres87
    UG are dickheads, the VH reunion sucked in '96 because it was just a big tease with Roth at the VMA's and the reunion never happend until 2007 and that was what every Van Halen fan has been waiting for. Get your shit together UG.
    GenerationKILL
    Hey man, I am a metal guitarist and I was pretty jazzed when I saw the Spice Girls reunite for that half-assed one-off at the closing ceremonies of the london olympics. Mostly because Geri Halliwell was my first redheaded crush when I was a young lad, lol. Never liked their music, but lets be honest, they were fine to look at, haha! The recent sublime with rome album isn't nearly as bad as everyone thinks it is, its only the butt-hurt ska purest's who bitch and complain about it. And for that matter I am surprised the current Alice in Chains line up hasn't made it on here, based purely on people whining and complaining... The CCR "reunion" is also legitimately a joke too, two different bands traveling as "CCR?" what a gongshow!
    13korn13
    how was creed bad lol they sold a million copies of the new cd lol and they sounded great live , stupid people wrote this
    DifferentWorld
    I really actually quite like Queen with Adam Lambert. Don't get me wrong, I'm not really a fan of Lambert himself but as sad as I am to admit it the guy ****ing kills it as a replacement for Freddy Mercury. He has the range to do it and the same flamboyant showmanship - I think a lot of people are just upset at him because of the way he rose to prominence.
    richard.warts
    Exactly right. Say what you will about the guy but you can't deny his skill and stage presence.
    christopher1126
    Stop having stupid ****ing kids right out of college writing these goddamn articles. Nobody knows what they are talking about!
    Face R1pper
    Its better than having middle schools kids who just learned how to swear writing the articles.
    danny.kopij
    Personally I think Blink 182 should have been on here. I saw them twice pre break up and they were fun, energetic and tight as hell. Then they got back together and I saw them twice again and while Travis Barkers drumming was nothing short of perfect and Hoppus held it down- Tom Delonge was just bad. Didn't seem like he cared or tried on either reunion show I saw, his vocals weren't on key for a single note and his guitar playing was all over the place not to mention "Neighborhoods" and "Dogs Eating Dogs" just seemed half assed and over produced. And it was enough to make me never wanna see a band I grew up on ever again.
    AlexGreat123
    I like Sublime With Rome. I mean the Sublime With Rome album isn't a bad album. Sure Rome's vocals are a bit whiny for my taste but the music is solid
    axeslinger0u812
    How are van halen on here? Obviously biased, but seriously? Tattoo was awful, but damn, that's a mighty fine guitar-oriented album, otherwise. Even Creeds last album was decent. Would've been less surprised to see limp bizkit on here, but it seems they've reached irrelevance, even with Borland back in the fold. This is a strange guitar site...
    Vypor
    Limp Bizkit never broke up, and continued to release albums even after Wes Borland departed from the band.
    christopher1126
    Hey *******s!!!!! "Technically" Kiss never ever ever!!!!! Broke up! They are the hardest working band in the industry and put out 5 ****ing platinum albums during the 80's! I swear! What is wrong with you so called authorities on music and these stupid ****ing lists! They don't belong anywhere near this list!
    sn00ze
    Without a hate, tell me why KISS reunion in 1996 was bad? I would say quite the opposite - one of the best reunions ever.
    BjarnedeGraaf
    TBH i think UG voted for EVH with that dude from Extreme as the frontman... that was just bad.
    bubkusjones
    I don't get the Gary Cherone hate. Yeah, he's a solid #3 of Van Halen's list of lead singers, but still, I didn't think he was terrible. VH3 had a couple decent songs and Cherone didn't have this phobia about singing Roth or Hagar-era material like the other two often did.
    Izzy-Sweet
    You answered your own question; he's the third best. Why would anybody want to hear a band with an even worse singer than what could have been possible? I'm not saying Cherone's bad, but I can understand the disappointment in VH fans.
    FlameOn
    What a load of crap! Kiss never went out of action - they released an album nearly every year of the 80s and they all went gold or platinum in the US.
    SGplayer1991
    As a huge Backstreet Boys fan they never broke up. Kevin, one of their members just came back to the group after a 6 year hiatus. The rest of the group kept going.
    pnkr0cker
    this article doesn't actually describe why the reunions are bad... And how is Fall Out Boy's reunion 2nd? They didn't even break up, they were on hiatus, and before they stopped playing, there were a lot of internal issues, and then they came back stronger than ever much healthier than before. also, the EPs aren't hardcore, they are punk, and you can stream them online...
    ecpete86
    audio life why dont you go to fall out boys home and lick there balls you back them up like there the greatest band in the world and they are just another awful band who need to go away
    Kylianvb
    And nobody can hear that the 'The Doors' reunion video there is actually done by great musicians, and is as tight as can be? Chyeah. They needed a guy on vocals, because the songs had vocals; Replacing Morrison was never the idea. I'm very grateful I got to see Manzarek and Krieger anyways, they were amazing.
    haifisch234
    Ok, but there hasn't been any "The Doors" reunion, it was something named "Manzarek and Krieger of The Doors" as far as I remember. In case of Queen - it wasn't a reunion either, just a collaboration of those two who are remaining with a different vocalist(Rodgers or Lambert), named "Queen + somebody". And by the way - last year's "Queen+" comeback was truly amazing, fortunately I've been to one of those few concerts.
    Sebo
    I really thought the (current day) Misfits would make it into the list. Also they really suck live imho
    Guitar Skater
    Sublime one gets me upset since Eric Wilson is only 1/3 of the original lineup, it makes no sense it should just be a new band.
    Dannym95
    "but it's not Guns N' Roses. No way. And it never really will be." Yes, it is. They record under that name, and they tour under that name. They are called Guns N Roses, and if they weren't, someone would have filed a successful lawsuit and stopped them from using the name by now. I hate it when people say the currently existing version of a band "is not (insert band name here)" just because the lineup or musical style or both are different to what they were when the band was at its most successful. You don't have to like them as they currently exist (I'm not big on the current lineup of GnR either) but don't bitch about how it's not the band they say they are like they have an unfulfilled requirement to change the name.
    NarwhalG2G
    I dunno, I really liked the Queen and Fall Out Boy reunions. I agree with the rest of the article though.
    Brandon1993
    Thank ****ing god they cancelled that stuff with Queen. Adam Lambert can not ****ing sing Queen songs.