Sometimes it’s better just to quit while you are ahead. Of course, there are a few very famous musicians who have apparently never heard this saying before. They have stayed active long past their prime or reformed in order to reignite their popularity. Sometimes a forced retirement is just a more graceful way to go out.
A lot of people believe the time has come for the Rolling Stones to call it quits. The Stones are still a great band and can still put on a great concert, however. There is nothing wrong with them staying around. The same is true for bands like Aerosmith, who still have all their original members. Then there are those other bands; bands that never achieved the amount of success that the Stones did, but for some reason they are still hanging around.
These are the bands that need to call it quits. They need to just admit the fact that their years of immense popularity, as well as their creative high point, are a thing of the past. This is a very hard thing for these guys to do. It’s never easy to admit when you have worn out your welcome. This is especially true when you are used to hordes of people worshiping the ground you walk on. But all good things must come to an end. These bands just need to sit back and count their money and remember all the good times they had. It is like The Beatles said just “let it be.”
10. The Backstreet Boys
It’s a bit creepy that these guys are still out there shaking and dancing for a bunch of young girls. Ok, so some of their fans aren’t so young anymore either. But whatever success these guys had is better left in the 90s. The Backstreet Boys were formed in Orlando, Florida in 1993. At the time, the boys were all in their late teens and early twenties. Walking down the halls of any middle school, you would see girls with folders featuring the band and posters of them in lockers. With over 130 million albums sold worldwide, The Backstreet Boys are the best -selling boy band in history. It has been over twenty years since their start. In 2006, the band officially dispersed. Some members would occasionally come together to work on new studio projects. In 2012, it was announced all five members were getting back together and would do a world tour. If nothing else they should at least rename themselves the Jailbait Guys.
9. Green Day
It’s time for Green Day to call it a day. It’s not because they are a terrible band or cannot produce a good record. When it comes down to it, lead singer Billy Joe Armstrong just cannot stay sober. Life on the road is tough. Every time Armstrong feels he has gotten to a point where he is good, the band goes on tour and he ends up falling back into his old habits. Since 2012, Green Day has been forced to cancel multiple concerts and even entire tours because Armstrong has had to go back into rehab. It seems the band has been trying to keep extra busy in recent years, releasing a trilogy of forgettable albums in 2012 entitled ¡Uno!, ¡Dos! and ¡Tré! Ending Green Day now is the best thing that Armstrong could do in order to get his life back under control.
8. Blink 182
Formed in 1992, Blink 182 became one of the most popular new wave pop-punk bands that dominated the airwaves in the late 1990s and early 2000s. There musical influence can still be heard today through bands like Fall Out Boy. Blink originally broke up in 2005 and reunited in 2009. Since getting back together the band’s sound has completely changed. The early albums have a happy vibe and lyrical content about growing up. However, now the lyrics have turned very dark and are mostly centered on death. These lyrics are coupled with unfitting music filled with electronic synthesizers and a sound that has completely deviated from the early days that made the band as successful as they were. Sure, every band goes through some sort of evolution, but the band seems to have really lost the spark that made them great 15 years ago.
7. Black Sabbath
In 2013, Black Sabbath reunited to release an album and go on a world tour. However, this is not the same Sabbath that gave birth to heavy metal in the 1970s. The big talk around the world tour was all about Ozzy Osbourne and Tony Iommi coming together again. However, the band’s reunion did not include one very important piece. Drummer Bill Ward was not included due to contract disputes with the rest of the band. Ward’s used of heavily syncopated beats are what gave Black Sabbath the sound that created the basis for heavy metal. Since Ozzy was kicked out of the band in 1979, the members have reunited on several occasions. They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2004. The problem is without Bill Ward the group playing is not Black Sabbath. More importantly, their tenure as the greatest heavy metal band of all time should remain where it belongs: the 1970s. Intense drug abuse has also taken its toll on the band, especially on Ozzy. Some things are better left untouched.
Metallica was formed in 1981 by Lars Ulrich and James Hetfield. Guitarist Kirk Hammet joined in 1983. The band then became one of the pioneers of trash metal with albums like Ride the Lightning and Master of Puppets. These early albums were favorites by fans of the underground heavy metal scene of the 1980s. In 2000, the band famously came out against illegal music downloading when it sued Napster. This move alienated many of its hardcore fans. The band lost even more fans over it next string of albums which were more radio friendly and lacked the excellent metal guitar work the band became famous for. In 2003, Metallica got a new bassist in Robert Trujillo. The band was inducted in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2009. Throughout their entire existence there has really only been one thing that has remained constant. Lars Ulrich has always been criticized for being a terrible drummer.
Like Black Sabbath, Queen is one band that was better left in the 80s. Queen was formed in 1970s and over the next twenty years became one of the world’s high grossing stadium acts. Then in 1991, lead singer Freddie Mercury tragically died from AIDS. The memorial concert for Mercury included some of the biggest names in music. Following this the band dispersed. Then, in 1997, Queen went back into the studio to record with various musicians taking lead vocals. In 2006, Bad Company’s Paul Rodgers became the first full time singer for the band since Mercury’s death. Rodgers stayed with the band for the next three years. In 2011, Queen began playing with American Idol’s Adam Lambert. Lambert is now the band’s full time lead singer and is going to be included on their world tour for 2014. Do we need to say any more?
4. Jefferson Starship
Jefferson Starship was the second incarnation of one of the biggest bands of the psychedelic 1960s, Jefferson Airplane. Starship was never considered to be as good as the Airplane. The only member to stay with Jefferson Starship from the Airplane days is guitarist Paul Kantner. The early lineup from Starship included some of the biggest names in rock music including Kantner, Grace Slick, David Crosby, Graham Nash, Jerry Garcia, and Mickey Hart. Since then, Jefferson Starship has had 37 different members. When a band goes through that many lineup changes, it’s time to stop.
3. Lynyrd Skynyrd
Lynyrd Skynyrd is the band that popularized Southern Rock. Their debut album Pronounce (Len-nerd Skin-nerd) was loaded with some of the biggest hits the genre ever had including “Simple Man” and “Freebird”. In 1977, the band was destroyed after a horrible plane crash killed three of its members, including lead singer Ronnie Van Zant. Ten years after the plane crash, the surviving members of Lynyrd Skynyrd came together in the studio with Ronnie’s younger brother, Johnny Van Zant, on vocals. Skynyrd still tours to this day, but the only original member in the band is guitarist Gary Rossington.
2. Guns N’ Roses
It is amazing that Axl Rose still calls his band Guns N’ Roses. GNR was formed in 1985 by Rose, Izzy Stradlin, Duff McKagan, Steven Adler, and the legendary guitarist Slash. The band’s first album, Appetite for Destruction, was a massive commercial success. It went on to sell over 28 million copies worldwide, making it the best-selling debut album of all time. The original lineup dispersed after Slash left the band in 1996. Axl Rose retained legal rights to the band name. Rose formed a new version of Guns N’ Roses in 1999. The band still tours, but Rose is the only original member in the new incarnation of GNR. In 2012, Guns N Roses were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Only the original five members were included.
KISS was formed in 1973. The band became popular by stealing Alice Cooper’s live theatrics and caking enough make up on their faces to distract the audience from their inability to play instruments. Since their inception, KISS has been through ten different band members. The current lineup includes Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons, but has replaced Peter Criss and Ace Frehley with Tommy Thayer and Eric Singer. The band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame this year. KISS made headlines because they were unable to decide on what lineup to use. Criss and Frehley refused to play with Thayer and Singer dressed in the two original members’ costumed. Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley refused to play without Thayer and Singer. The result was no KISS at the induction ceremony. This was not a bad thing, as it allowed for the remaining members of Nirvana, who Simmons notoriously bashed before the Hall’s voting was finished, to be given more time to perform.