Seven bands from the 80s we wish would reunite
Children of the 1980s, rejoice – the original Bananarama line-up is back together at last. Which got us thinking – lots of 80s bands have reformed over recent years but which ones are we still wishing would reunite?
1. Frankie Goes To Hollywood
Liverpool band Frankie Goes to Hollywood, fronted by Holly Johnson, are still best remembered for their debut single Relax, which was famously banned by the BBC in 1984 due to its sexual lyrics but topped the UK singles chart for five consecutive weeks.
The band went on to become only the second act in the history of the UK charts (after Gerry and the Pacemakers) to reach number one with their first three singles when Two Tribes and The Power of Love also hit the top spot.
But their glory was short-lived. Their second album, Liverpool, released in 1986, failed to live up to expectations and a backstage bust-up between Johnson and bassist Mark O’Toole at their final gig at Wembley Arena sounded the death knell.
While various reincarnations of the band have since reformed, we’re still waiting for the original line-up to hit us “with those laser beams.”
2. The Smiths
Never gonna happen. Yes, we know. But just imagine! Johnny Marr and Steven Morrissey formed the band in 1982 with bassist Andy Rourke and drummer Mick Joyce.
They went on to release 17 albums and four studio albums, becoming one of the most influential bands of the 1980s.
Hits included This Charming Man, Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Now, How Soon is Now?, Big Mouth Strikes Again, Panic and Girlfriend in a Coma.
But the dream combo of Marr’s melodies and Morrissey’s musings was broken with the band’s acrimonious split in 1987.
In Marr’s autobiography Set The Boy Free, he revealed that the official version of him walking out on the band wasn’t the full story.
The tipping point, says Marr, was when Morrissey didn’t turn up for the video shoot of the single Shoplifters Of The World Unite, and ordered him to sack their latest manager.
Whatever the truth, Marr also wrote that he and Morrissey discussed the possibility of a reunion back in 2008. We’re still waiting.
3. Curiosity Killed the Cat
Ring a bell? We’ve been wondering whatever happened to the beautiful beret-wearing Ben with the exotic-sounding surname Volpeliere-Pierrot (although Smash Hits preferred to call him Ben Vol-au-vent Parrot), not to mention Julian, Nick and Migi.
The band enjoyed 80s success with soulful pop hits including Down to Earth, Ordinary Day, Name and Number and Misfit.
They split after a last hurrah with a cover of Johnny Bristol’s Hang On In There Baby in 1992. While Ben has joined some 80s tours singing solo the band have never reunited as a four-piece.
It’s 20 years this year since Misfit and Ordinary Day entered the charts, so perhaps now would be a good time to hit the road again?
4. Style Council
It’s well documented that Paul Weller would only reform The Jam if his children were “destitute”.
But what about his later band, Style Council, which he formed with Mick Talbot, formerly of The Merton Parkas and Dexy’s Midnight Runners?
The Style Council had hits such as Walls Come Tumbling Down!, Shout to the Top, You’re the Best Thing and Long, Hot Summer.
The band broke up in 1989. Weller has since said they didn’t get the credit they deserved.
“I thought we were quite misunderstood and misrepresented. Yet, at the end of the day, we made some good records and I wrote some good songs around that time, songs I still stand by, and I think that will last as well.”
5. The Housemartins
Formed in Hull in the 1980s, The Housemartins line-up changed frequently over the years but most of us will remember its most famous members, Paul Heaton and Norman Cook AKA Fatboy Slim.
Caravan of Love and Happy Hour were probably their best known hits and Heaton and Cook went on to further success with The Beautiful South and Beats International/Fatboy Slim.
In 2009, Mojo magazine got The Housemartins’ original members together for a photo-shoot and interview but they said they would not be reforming.
So it looks like we won’t be hearing from “the fourth best band in Hull” – as The Housemartins often described themselves – anytime soon.
6. Bronski Beat/The Communards
While Bronski Beat continued following the departure of vocalist Jimmy Somerville in 1985, they are still best, remembered for the hits they had with him at the helm, including Why?, Smalltown Boy and It Ain’t Necessarily So.
Somerville, of course, went on to form The Communards with Richard Coles, who is now a Church of England priest and Radio 4 presenter.
But will we see either of these bands back together?
Larry Steinbachek, former keyboardist with Bronski Beat, sadly died at the age of 56 in January.
And the Communards? Coles and Somerville fell out, not least because Coles lied when he told Somerville he had HIV.
The two are back in touch now but with Coles’ commitments to the Church, a reunion seems unlikely.
7. The Thompson Twins
Yep, it’s our wildcard entry – the band that was named after the two bumbling detectives Thomson and Thompson in The Adventures of Tintin.
The band had various line-up changes over the years but they were best known as the mid-80s trio consisting of Tom Bailey, Alannah Currie and Joe Leeway.
Their hits included Hold Me Now, Doctor! Doctor! and You Take Me Up but Leeway left the band in 1986 and Bailey and Currie could never replicate their earlier success (although they did have a dance hit in 1991 called Come Inside).
The pair had two children together and moved to New Zealand. While they did briefly reunite with Leeway on a Channel 4 show in 2001, they have so far resisted the urge to go down the nostalgia road and reform.
In 2014, Bailey began performing the band’s hits as The Thompson Twins’ Tom Bailey and continues to tour in 2017.