Four much-missed acts are gearing up for potentially mind-blowing comebacks

The Police
What’s up? Stoking rumors of a reunion tour, frontman Sting recently said: ”It is [our] 30th anniversary. We are discussing something.” One source confirms: ”It’s happening…. The deal is all but signed.” Who’s in? ”We’re still great friends,” Sting said of his original bandmates, guitarist Andy Summers and drummer Stewart Copeland. Why care? With buzz at a fever pitch, the creators of hit LPs like 1983’s Synchronicity could still fill stadiums.

The Stooges
What’s up? The punk forefathers return March 6 with their first LP in 31 years. Who’s in? Original members Iggy Pop (vocals), Ron Asheton (guitar), and Scott Asheton (drums). The Minutemen’s Mike Watt fills in for late bassist Dave Alexander. Why care? 1970’s noisy Fun House rocked harder than nearly anything before — or since. And Ron Asheton assures us the new jams are as raw as ever: ”It’s still the Stooges. It’s still sex, it’s still anger.”

The Smashing Pumpkins
What’s up? Expect a CD by July and possible gigs, manager Paul Geary tells EW. Who’s in? Head Pumpkin Billy Corgan and drummer Jimmy Chamberlin. A source says founders James Iha and D’Arcy Wretzky are out. Why care? ”We are four songs deep and about a hundred guitars in,” Chamberlin wrote on the band’s MySpace blog last fall. At that rate, they might match 1993’s grandiose Siamese Dream.

What’s up? The pop icons will tour Europe this summer. U.S. dates should follow. Who’s in? The 1977-96 lineup of drummer-vocalist Phil Collins, bassist-guitarist Mike Rutherford, and keyboardist Tony Banks. Why care? Without a new album, the trio’s sure to play what nostalgic fans really want to hear: synth-heavy ballads from discs like 1986’s Invisible Touch.