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Monday, October 01, 2012

In the 21st century all groups will reform

The latest rumour is that The Smiths will reform for Glastonbury next year. I don't know whether this is true. I doubt whether anyone does. But I wouldn't be surprised. All groups eventually reform because:
1. It's almost unknown for an individual to achieve as much outside a group as he did within a group.
2. And even if he did (as was probably the case with Sting) his name doesn't resound like theirs does.
3. Because the group has been off the market for years the price they can command is far greater than they could command as individuals.
4. There are always a couple of members who really need the money and no matter how bitter the relationships within the band you'd be very cold-hearted not to want to help them out.
5. Band reunions always come along when the solo career of the most bankable member has stalled or become routine.
6. Great excitement surrounds reunions and bands crave excitement.
7. All musicians reach a stage where they realise the best is behind them and they're just as keen to revisit those glory days as their fans.
8. In the last twenty years the life expectancy of pop brands has changed radically. It used to be that bands were at their most popular at the beginning of their careers. They're now far more popular at the end of their careers. Their fanbase is swelled by each new generation. There are far more people who want to see The Rolling Stones now than wanted to see them when they were in their pomp because in those days only people between the ages of 18 and 30 were interested.  Take That are far bigger now than they were in the early 90s. Leonard Cohen is still touring in front of crowds that dwarf the crowds he played in front of when he first recorded the songs he's delighting them with.

It will be the same with The Smiths. If they do reform they'll get their original fans plus the people who've decided that they're now Classic Rock plus the youngsters who are drawn to anything that looks like a legend. And all those tens of thousands of people who are drawn to whatever everybody else appears to be drawn to.