The pros and cons of band reunions -- Two EW writers argue their positions

By Whitney Pastorek and Leah Greenblatt
July 15, 2005 at 04:00 AM EDT

Bands Reunited

If love means never having to say you’re sorry, being in a band means never, ever having to say goodbye. Reunions, especially lately, have run rampant. But is that a good thing? Here, two very different opinions.

VH1’s Bands Reunited was good. I liked watching them track down paunchy, catty ex-rockers, and saying ”Kajagoogoo” never stops being funny. NBC’s Hit Me Baby One More Time, on the other hand, just reeked of desperation — and I didn’t know I could actually feel more sorry for Arrested Development. One-off reunions like Pink Floyd at Live 8 aside, getting the band back together does nothing but take advantage of our good memories for a quick, nostalgia- fueled buck. No one should have to pay $140 to hear Simon & Garfunkel‘s seriously-we-really-like-each-other stage banter; Dinosaur Jr. tickets are cheaper, but I don’t think they even bother with banter. Gang of Four do not need to rerecord songs that were perfect the first time around, and a Smashing Pumpkins reunion would probably be just as bad as Zwan. Doesn’t anybody stay broken up anymore? — Whitney Pastorek

Who are we kidding? We live in a nation built on nostalgia. Half the movies out right now are remakes of old TV shows; oldies stations thrive in every radio market; even our clothes are usually barely tweaked recyclings of old trends. We get all teary-eyed just thinking about the good old days of last week. That’s why the Backstreet Boys, who haven’t been boys for years, landed their comeback album in the top 10, and why Hit Me Baby One More Time is a ratings smash. The Pixies reunion was great because the Pixies are still a great band, and seeing Juice Newton again, well. . .who didn’t love ”Queen of Hearts”? Now, the goateed guy from Bad Company is no Freddie Mercury, but if he wants to front Queen and put out a CD, well, more power to him. We are the land of second chances, and we’ll take it. — Leah Greenblatt

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