Don’t Call It a Comeback

1/23/07, 5:18 pm EST

Jay-Z, CherWhat do David Bowie, Cher, Jay-Z and your grandma have in common? (Hint: It’s not their groundbreaking dance moves.) No, the unifying principle among the aforementioned is that they all made noise announcing their respective retirements. Unlike Nana, however, the music icons on that list must’ve had their fingers crossed. Bowie, Hova, Cher and lots more artists have succeeded in psyching us out and simultaneously turned the “musical comeback” into a musical cliche.

Our theory as to why so many musicians stage a retirement? Well, at a certain point the encore gets a louder applause than the show. (”Applause” in this case is synonymous with “money.” Case in point: Cher sold 20 million copies of her highly anticipated comeback album Believe in 1998 — almost twice as many as her previous best-selling albums.)

Which isn’t to say there aren’t some artists — Johnny Cash for instance — who justifiably enter self-imposed retirement to battle addictions and illnesses before making unexpected returns to the stage. Right or wrong, we’d be lying if we said we weren’t stoked to see some of our faves return after a hiatus. Others not so much.

Let’s examine, shall we, the waffling musicians whose careers we’ve seen come and go and come again:

  • Seventeen years ago today, David Bowie announced his “last world tour,” Sound and Vision. Did he envision that he’d go back on his word in ‘03? Most likely yes. Either way, we’re glad he did.
  • Pink Floyd turned heads in 2005 when they kissed and made up after a decade of in-fighting to headline the London Live 8 concert. Seems they were willing to put aside their differences in the name of African hunger. For a night.
  • Jay-Z made headlines when he “retired” four years ago with the release of The Black Album, but subsequent collabos with Linkin Park and Beyonce hinted that he wasn’t ready to hang it up. And then came Kingdom Come. Oh Hova, you trickster you!
  • Celine Dion, who took a T-O from music in 1999, relapsed in 2002 with the sensibly-titled A New Day Has Come. Although we weren’t keen on Dion’s return, we don’t mind if her heart goes on and on. Just keep it confined to Caesar’s Palace, m’kay Cece?

Tell us what you think. Who’s encore do you really want (more)? And who do you hope will keep their freaking promises and stay retired?


the israel family | 4/9/2007, 8:30 pm EST

we are all proud of you lots of luck, mazal-tov tali yaron may belle & eli xoxoxo

may israel | 4/9/2007, 8:23 pm EST

great article.way too go. im so proud of you and i cant wait to read your next article.

J Schwartz | 2/13/2007, 12:57 pm EST

Hey Nat. Great article. I’m glad to see you are doing well.

miccc | 1/31/2007, 5:53 pm EST

Thank God the three surviving members of Led Zeppelin have had the rare grace and class not to attempt a full scale reunion. Bonham is utterly irreplaceable and Zeppelin’s unique chemistry died with him. In other words, Led Zeppelin died with John Bonham. I would, however, like to see a Yardbirds reunion.

La la lady | 1/27/2007, 11:21 pm EST

Hey Pete Townsend, any of us got caught with the kiddy smut you did on your hard drive, we’d be at least doing small time like Gary Glitter did. He had the balls to apologise even.

Zorch | 1/27/2007, 10:54 pm EST

Hey Natalie, good thing your shills are talking you up ’cause your writing is just standard.
& keep that kiddy porn creep Townsend out on the limb where the creep belongs. Join him Cher.

difjuz | 1/27/2007, 5:36 pm EST

Cocteau Twins

Hugh Zaskin | 1/27/2007, 9:52 am EST

Jethro Tull

MT | 1/27/2007, 9:46 am EST

I would say the Jackson 5 should make a come back together. I know what everyone thinks about Michael and I feel the same way but when it comes to his art, I think he is one of the best.

DrSaamah | 1/27/2007, 2:05 am EST

The Smashing Pumpkins reunion will make EVERYTHING else that has happenned in the past 7 years look like a joke. There will be a mass suicide of artists across the world once they come to the realization that they will never top Billy Corgan’s amazing musical vision.

A rage against the machine reunion will also be cool though. Audioslave is not what we need in this day and age.

Clark | 1/26/2007, 5:22 pm EST

Yeah, in a perfect world Bruce Palmer would still be alive and the Buffalo Springfield would reunite. Deservedly, they were one of the most pivotal and exciting bands of the rock era.

JimKaml | 1/26/2007, 4:24 pm EST

Cream should have done a few more dates. The Alice in Chains reunion was pretty sweet. Pink Floyd needs to tour, as does Soundgarden (I bet it happens)the Police and the Talking Heads. Van Halen, on the other hand, should stay home.

Jersey Girl | 1/26/2007, 4:04 pm EST

Little Steven and the Diciples of Soul. “Men Without Women” was one of rock’s greatest overlooked albums!

Tomi | 1/25/2007, 8:43 pm EST

Love the article! It’s soo cool to still be able to see your personality through your writing on “ROLLING STONES” magazine!! Everytime I watch that show on MTV, I think of you.. =)

I’d actually like to see Michael Jackson’s comeback and I know that sounds ridiculous cuz everyone thinks he’s disgusting but music and dancing was actually the one descent thing he had in his life, so I truly believe that if he tries it again, he’ll gain his respect back and it’ll take the attention away from all of this drama..
I know I write alot but w/e. I LOVE YOU AND GOOD LUCK!

Orit & Yosi Levy | 1/25/2007, 8:36 pm EST

I spoke to your mom & she is so proud of you,I had to see your first article, you are an amazing girl that you acomplished what you always wanted .I guess now every month we need to get the Rolling Stone Magazine.
Good Luck in everthing you do,we are so happy for you.

Josh | 1/24/2007, 10:28 pm EST

I say Nirvana should make a comeback just get ghroll to do lead vocals and find a new drummer

Mike/Houston,TX. | 1/24/2007, 5:57 pm EST Exclusive: Van Halen Reuniting With Roth For Tour!
Sources tell a contract could be signed as soon as today for Live Nation to produce a 40-date amphitheatre tour by Van Halen this summer, with original frontman David Lee Roth back in the fold for the first time in more than 20 years. Eddie should face it: The ROTH version of Van Halen is their bread & butter!

Sharon family Israel | 1/24/2007, 5:15 pm EST

We are so proud!
Avremale, Yaeli, Amit, Maya, Tal

Eryn Kelleher | 1/24/2007, 4:34 pm EST

Great article Natalie! You are so talented, and such a great writer. Congratulations on your first publication in Rolling Stone!

As for who I’d want to come back, I’m not sure how you feel about this, but maybe Rage Against The Machine? That would be sick! Too bad I didn’t enjoy them while they were around, now I can only hope.

אלינור אטיאס | 1/24/2007, 3:40 pm EST

כל הכבוד! ממש מגניב… :)
כיף לקרוא את הכתבה… המון המון בהצלחה!
גאים בך! נשיקות!

אלינור אטיאס
ד”ש מעליזה וחיים

Jessica from UCF | 1/24/2007, 2:33 pm EST

GO NATALIE!!!!!! So awesome to see your name in print for such an awesome and well known publication. Just think, you were once my editor for the school paper. So proud!

Jessica Lindblad

Jorge Flores | 1/24/2007, 1:48 pm EST

The Stone Temple pilots would be an awesome comeback, also Soundgarden & Temple of the Dog

marcy | 1/24/2007, 1:05 pm EST


lik roper | 1/24/2007, 12:58 pm EST

MARCH ON WASHINGTON DC - MARCH 27, 2007 ~ Assemble on the National Mall, between 3rd and 7th Streets, at 11 am ~ Rally 11am-1pm ~ March will kick off at 1pm - to go:

Joe | 1/24/2007, 11:41 am EST

Garth Brooks! One of the best entertainers of the last century!

MegaSudz | 1/24/2007, 10:31 am EST

Sound and Vision Tour was the last retiring the old songs. He actually threatened to retire when he was unhappy with his RCA contract. Who rights this stuff, Tony Snow?

rockstar70 | 1/24/2007, 10:05 am EST

all 5 original memebers of GnR!!

Jared | 1/24/2007, 10:04 am EST

Uncle Tupelo por favor.

JDO | 1/24/2007, 9:18 am EST


Larry | 1/24/2007, 9:09 am EST

Your article about David Bowie is incorrect. The Sound + Vision tour was the last time he was going to perform “greatest hits” strictly for the mainstream audience. He was tired of singing Space Oddity and Changes. Yes, he sings some of his classics now, but not because of the audience. He performs the songs he wants to hear. Big difference. Get your facts correct.

dougie | 1/24/2007, 8:57 am EST

The Spice Girls!!

Diane Meyers | 1/24/2007, 8:49 am EST


Adam | 1/24/2007, 8:28 am EST


morad | 1/24/2007, 7:04 am EST

thank you

Patrick Cotter | 1/24/2007, 5:54 am EST

Why hasn’t anyone mentioned The Smiths, no way Johnny Marr hasn’t written songs in the last 20 years he is secretly keeping for Morrissey

Martin | 1/24/2007, 5:03 am EST


Crowded House are currently auditioning for a drummer to replace Paul Hester (RIP) prior to a reunion.

As for being a “one-hit wonder” … what fuckin’ planet were you on between 1986-96 ?

William | 1/24/2007, 2:30 am EST

First of all..Cher can do whatever the hell she wants to… but I’m waiting to hear what she does next…right now, I’m waiting for Michelle Phillips to acknowledge the loss of a friend…Denny. Hope to see that in the next Rolling Stone. BB

Scott | 1/24/2007, 1:56 am EST

Pete Townshend has all the money in the world he’ll ever need and then more some. Say they’re not as good as they were, fine. Say they’re literally only half the band they once were, fine. But I’m getting tired of hearing they’re just in it for the money now. Pete could do whatever he wants and is enjoying focusing his time on “The Who” as a creative outlet. Also, let’s get it straight, The Who had one and only one farewell tour in 1982. That’s one, as in more than zero, but less than two. You could say “they’ve done tons of farewell tours” as a joke, and a REALLY funny one that I’ve never heard before at that, but you would be wrong. Also, it would be cool if Guns N’ Roses reunited. However, when Axl Rose reunites with Axl Rose it is not a reunion. Chinese Democracy will be a $13 million dollar piece of garbage.

alfredo | 1/24/2007, 1:49 am EST

the greatest reunion would be the yardbirds but with all three guitarists: Eric Clapton, Jimi Page and Jeff Beck

mohamed | 1/24/2007, 1:43 am EST

i want to get all somaali songs and music

stephen kohlmann | 1/24/2007, 1:33 am EST

Tears For Fears had a great reunion album about 2 years ago that went virtually unnoticed despite appearences on everything from Leno to Conan to Regis & Kelly (?!). It is a great album, forget about who/what you think they are, there’s more than a few songs to “Shout” about. Though I hear the theater/club tour was a big success for them, I know most of the shows sold out.

Sam | 1/24/2007, 1:24 am EST

Sleater-Kinney & Rage Against the Machine should come back. Please come back.

Andy | 1/24/2007, 12:48 am EST


The Wolf | 1/24/2007, 12:45 am EST

What about a comeback for Tribe Called Quest? Great beats and the voice of the greatest rapper ever Q Tip.
Also looking forward to the new RATM album which should be out early 2008.

duro | 1/24/2007, 12:34 am EST

Gun n’ f… Roses are back…are you ready for the last rock band alive…..chinese domocracy will be among us really soon….

jim | 1/24/2007, 12:27 am EST

the beatles jus stick James mercer in at rythm guitar and john vocals, clapton at lead, n throw in at lead. U say blasphemy, i say interesting.

~Aviva Zfat~ | 1/24/2007, 12:04 am EST

Kapachuna, A is for Accelent, and you are an A+. Spread your wings, because you can fly, higher than an bird and lighter than air. What once was only a “thought”, today is reality and the most amazing thing is, that I know its just the beginning.
–The Luckiest Mom

rob | 1/23/2007, 11:47 pm EST

If Creed returned, I would have to stab myself in the throat. GNR reunion is overated. Crowded House was a one hit wonder. Next People will be wanting a Soft Cell reunion. Sting is to old. I think once retired, stay retired. JayZ’s new album was horrible.

jill hives | 1/23/2007, 11:35 pm EST

all are piss compared to the candlebox reunion, man.

roo | 1/23/2007, 11:24 pm EST

neil finn and crowded house are rumoured to be coming back. great new zealand music.

Bill | 1/23/2007, 11:11 pm EST

I would love to see Rod Stewart, Ron Wood, Ian McLagen and Kenny Jones reunite for a “Faces” reunion. An album and tour would be fantastic. However, I don’t think the agos would allow for all of that.

Beltway Greg | 1/23/2007, 10:54 pm EST

Sting and the Police…please stay retired. In their prime they really weren’t all that much. I saw them in Memphis in the summer of 1982. Joan Jett opened and tore the place apart and then Sting & Co. arrive and started that Da Do Do Do stuff, you get the picture.

Reunion? Dude, Whitesnake with Richie Blackmore and David Coverversion. Cause they rocked so hard.

Sabah Spielberg | 1/23/2007, 10:54 pm EST

Very inspiring article.

Havah, Nagila Havah…….
Nagila Ve’Nismecha…..

ryan | 1/23/2007, 9:35 pm EST



why hasn’t rolling stone mentioned this yet as news, i think it trumps everything else in terms of importance

rollingstonesaretooold | 1/23/2007, 9:22 pm EST

I would like to see the stones stop touring. They should have stopped 25 years ago. How about a Zeppeling reunion in their place?

Joshua S. | 1/23/2007, 9:17 pm EST

Insanity, Natile a dream come true. I’m sure that there is only better material on the way.

Warzawa | 1/23/2007, 8:49 pm EST

Who doesn’t wanna see CREED reunite??? I’ll welcome them back with arms wide open hoping they’ll take me higher like they used to.

(couldn’t resist)

Elan | 1/23/2007, 8:48 pm EST

Can you say “superstar writer”? Great article, keep up the fabulous work. Much Love!

Danielle Zfat | 1/23/2007, 8:40 pm EST

Wow! Natalie, your article is amazing!! You truly kicked ass!! Im so proud of youu…xgrinning ear to ear, keep it coming!!
your sister
–Danielle Zfat
P.S.- Rolling Stone, remember me, only 8 more years until I’m out of college and I can intern for your magazine!! Google me :)

Coz | 1/23/2007, 8:37 pm EST

Zeppelin! With Grohl on the drums. Oh yeah

- Coz


Lauren F. | 1/23/2007, 8:36 pm EST

Natalie - I am soo proud of you, you have no idea! amazing article, you are really doing a great job!
I love you,
lauren F.

Joe | 1/23/2007, 8:36 pm EST

U2 with Dik Evans (Edge’s brother) on rhythm guitar and Gavin Friday’s Virgin Prunes opening

reuven zfat | 1/23/2007, 8:17 pm EST

my daughter first article in the rolling stone .com I am so proud

Whalespoon | 1/23/2007, 8:12 pm EST

I have seen two of The Who’s “farewell tours” and they both were only pale imitations of the band at their height. Now there’s only Roger and Pete left. Guys, do something musical if you need to, but please don’t call it The Who.

jungleland | 1/23/2007, 8:11 pm EST

Crowded House, The BoDeans, Jason & The Scorchers, Gin Blossoms all retired / broke up and waited a few years in order to come back when the climate was more favorable. I guess it makes people care again. It may have to do with labels (a way out) or money (a way in)or the fact that the solo projects never work out as well.

Still want to see The Replacements back for some actual shows…and The Police

jay z is a bum | 1/23/2007, 8:05 pm EST

jay z is bum

Rich N. | 1/23/2007, 8:05 pm EST

Bring back The Jam! Paul Weller, Bruce Foxton and Rick Buckler. Weller says it will never happen, but I hope it does.

KEM | 1/23/2007, 7:59 pm EST

husker du

Bodi | 1/23/2007, 7:52 pm EST

I guess Axl never really retired, just dissapeared for a decade or so. I’m waiting for Chinese Democracy and we are close. Not March 6 close but closer than ever before.

evdog | 1/23/2007, 7:46 pm EST

with all the shit going on in the world today, we NEED a new Rage Against the Machine album…with the reunion coming we are one step closer.

mikechamp | 1/23/2007, 7:30 pm EST

Smashing Pumpkins with the original lineup, including Darcy, for the sake of her own health and sanity. I bet when they pull her out of whatever gutter she crawled into she’ll look like Mick Mars when Motley Crue reunited. THAT’S HOT in a “we-both-did-too-much-heroin” sorta way. Either way, shoot her up, dress her and the boys up in shiny silver space suits, make a concept album about how you’ve conquered the universe and proceed to rock my face off. Thanks in advance.

Mike/Houston,TX. | 1/23/2007, 7:20 pm EST

Fleetwood Mac with CHRISTINE McVIE back in full force. New album & tour. That would be a miracle.

Mike/Houston,TX. | 1/23/2007, 7:17 pm EST

Pete Townshend - SOLO - I’d rather hear him singing all his WHO compositions than Roger Daltrey screeching through them aimlessly. Check out Pete’s SCOOP series of cd albums - you’ll agree.

Mike/Houston,TX. | 1/23/2007, 7:13 pm EST

The RASPBERRIES! What the hell happened to the reunion after all those sold out shows two or three seasons ago? They were welcomed back in full force and anticpation of a new album and tour were left undone. Cher selling 20 million copies of “Believe” album - that is astonishing! You gotta have Cher - she goes way back and contributed to some classic pop-rock aside her own samsh hits. Many of us were children during her 60’s heyday, teens through her 70’s glory, young adults thru her 80’s rebirth and face it: she can sing “live” & put on a much better show than lame Madonna. Cher reaches through the barriers of all generations -now, that’s entertainment!

paul | 1/23/2007, 7:01 pm EST

Jay-Zs comeback? Didn’t know he ever was, What does he do? it’s not music it’s not singing or playing an instrument! Talking and posing is not talent!!

Owen | 1/23/2007, 6:55 pm EST

Queeeeeeeeen! Someone exhume Freddie for God’s sake!

leeron marcovich | 1/23/2007, 6:52 pm EST

i really liked the article it was gerat

leeron marcovich

Jim | 1/23/2007, 6:42 pm EST

The ones I DON’T ever want to see (again):
The Who (give it a rest already)
One word>Vanilli

Jim | 1/23/2007, 6:39 pm EST

I just read that Crowded House, Smashing Pumpkins are reuniting.
Other ones I’d like to see:
Uncle Tupelo
Mahavishnu Orchestra
Jeff Beck Group feat. Rod Stewart

LISA | 1/23/2007, 6:30 pm EST


Tim | 1/23/2007, 6:30 pm EST


i know we’re not talking about arena-sized stuff here, but it would be glorious for those interested

Joe | 1/23/2007, 6:09 pm EST

The anticipation of the Police reuniting is palpable. THAT more so than any other so-called “reunification tour” seems to hold water….

I guess we could call GNR a “comeback”, although it’s getting a little tiring waiting on Chinese Democracy | 1/23/2007, 5:28 pm EST

every tour THE WHO has ever done since..oh i’de say about 1981, has been their last tour…it all comes down to more $$$…

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