While there are some bands that break up way before their time has come, several others outstay their welcome in the industry by years, if not decades.
Breaking up can actually help bands regain popularity and swing the momentum back in their favor. Here are 10 bands we'd like to see take a leave of absence, possibly permanently.
See also: 10 Accurate and Honest Breakup Songs
10. Aerosmith If you ever want to be impressed with how good Mick Jagger looks for his age, keep in mind that Steven Tyler is four years younger. Aerosmith as a whole could still be remembered as one of the greatest rock bands of all time, but in the present, they look like a bunch of elderly women who've spent too much time in tanning beds and still wear the clothes they used to go out in decades ago. Actually, that's pretty much exactly who they are at this point (except for the whole "women" thing).
9. Backstreet Boys With the birth of a new generation of boy bands, some of the groups from years past decided to get back together to tour again or put out new music. Sure, that generation of boy bands introduced the world to Justin Timberlake, and we should all be thankful for that, but some things are better left in the '90s. Of course, this doesn't apply strictly to the Backstreet Boys, it goes for all aging pop bands who ran out of money and decided to reunite "for the fans."
8. Nickelback Remember those two weeks when people actually liked Nickelback? Yeah, that was a weird time. You know what's even weirder? Nickelback is still making music and playing shows all over the world. Really though, we're not sure why Nickelback ever happened, and we're even less sure of why they're still around today.
7. Kid Rock Technically, Kid Rock is one of two performers on this list who isn't part of a band, but he's a pretty special circumstance. Had Kid Rock dropped out of the public eye immediately after releasing Devil Without a Cause, there's a good chance he'd be fondly remembered. Aside from leaving at the top of the rap-rock movement, he also never would've gotten in a fight at Waffle House or sampled Lynyrd Skynyrd and Warren Zevon on the same song. As a bonus, had he died around that time, he also could've been a member of the legendary 27 Club.
6. Bad Religion It's not uncommon for a punk band to lose their edge as they get older; it happens to the best of them. While Mike Ness has managed to keep Social Distortion relevant despite having to replace the rest of the band and only releasing two albums in over 18 years, Bad Religion has been gradually slowing down over the past decade. Bad Religion, we still think you're awesome, we just want to ignore the past decade of your existence.
5. Queen When your band centers around the dramatic vocal stylings of your iconic lead singer, it's probably best to move on to another project when the vocalist passes away. Imagine if Queen's last acts had been Wayne's World, the Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert, and the posthumous Made in Heaven album. Maybe have a holographic Freddy Mercury play with the band decades later at a huge music festival? Yeah, Queen might've been better off had the remaining members hung it up back in the day, but we think they should call it quits now rather than have another tour with an American Idol runner-up.
4. Soulja Boy Some people are better left as one-hit wonders, and Soulja Boy really would've been one of them. Although he hasn't released an album in years, and his biggest hit since "Crank That" was "Pretty Boy Swag" (yep, that happened), we wish Soulja Boy would just admit that he's already left his mark and retire in his mid-20s. Don't act like you didn't know the ridiculous dance from his one big song in 2007.
3. Green Day If you asked someone to compare Green Day and Blink-182 in late 2003 or early 2004, they would've told you how terrible Blink's self-titled album was and that Green Day was the best pop-punk trio on the planet. Less than a year later, Green Day released one of the most successful rock albums of all time and Blink broke up. The unrelated events caused the public's pop-punk preference to sway in Blink's favor, as their career was suddenly viewed through rose-colored lenses while Green Day became entirely too mainstream for the fan base that loved Dookie and Insomniac. Upon returning in 2009, Blink had more fans than ever before, and everyone forgot how much they hated their last album. Green Day could benefit from some of the same absence-induced love, and maybe to stop trying to sound so much like the Clash and/or the Beatles.
2. Pearl Jam Much like Green Day and Blink, Pearl Jam was generally regarded as a better band than Nirvana through the early '90s. Then Kurt Cobain died, Eddie Vedder turned 30, and Pearl Jam continued to make decreasingly edgy and impactful music for the next two decades. In the words of Cobain (and many others before him), it's better to burn out than to fade away.
1. U2 At one point, U2 was one of the biggest and most important rock bands on the face of the planet. These days, Apple has to make special instructions so people can take the free U2 album off of their iPhones after it was unwillingly shoved on to their hard drives. Combine that with a memorable South Park episode and the complete inability to count to four in Spanish, and U2 is a better joke than a band these days. If anyone should consider hanging up their instruments and unplugging their amps for fear of damaging their legacy, it's U2.
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!
Find any show in Metro Phoenix via our extensive online concert calendar.