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The music business can be so fickle; one minute you’re the best thing since sliced bread, the next the spotlight has moved onto someone new and you’re not even recognised in the street anymore.

There are so many ways to discover new music, and be discovered as a new musician, so in a saturated industry it’s no wonder that fame can be quite fleeting, but it is possible to make a comeback once you slip out of the limelight.
Here at The Insurance Emporium, we love our music, so we’ve put together a list of some of the best musical comebacks in history. So, turn the volume up and let’s get stuck in!


After suffering a heart attack at a festival in 2004, Bowie cancelled any remaining dates and stopped performing headline shows. So it was a pleasant surprise for everyone when on his 66th birthday in 2013 he released ‘Where Are We Now?’. Sparse and reflective, it was released quietly without any media fuss, but there was no doubt the Thin White Duke was back and by midday it was at the top of the iTunes chart.


Since hitting the big time in 1977 with their classic album, Rumours, Fleetwood Mac were a pretty solid presence in the world of rock, entertaining us with great music and behind-the-scenes fallings out among its band members (read more about some classic music feuds in our blog), before going quiet in 1987. But ten years later they reunited for The Dance, a live album that sold five million copies in the US, and they’ve stuck around ever since.

Green Day perform at the When We Were Young festival in Las Vegas, Nevada on 21 October 2023.


Formed in the late 80s, under various names, Green Day were a post-punk alternative rock band from California who found huge success with their third album, ‘Dookie’ in 1994. They had moderate success with consecutive albums but found a whole new generation of fans when they released ‘American Idiot’ in 2004. Twenty years later they’re doing it again with ‘Saviours’, released at the start of this year, and as a lot of their music is a commentary on the state of US politics, it looks like they’re not going to run out of material any time soon.


Formed in 2002 after appearing on the TV show Popstars: The Rivals, Girls Aloud are one of the most successful pop groups of the 21st century. They released twenty consecutive top ten singles before taking a break in 2009 to concentrate on their solo careers. They re-formed briefly in 2012 before announcing a final split in 2013. 22 years after they formed, they recently announced that they’ve got back together in secret and are planning a reunion tour this summer. This is partly in honour of their bandmate, Sarah Harding, who sadly died of cancer in 2021.


The ‘Princess of Pop’ shot to fame after appearing in the Australian soap, Neighbours in the 80s, having a string of hits including ‘I Should Be So Lucky’, which perfectly summed up the pop/dance songs of that time. Since then she is constantly re-inventing herself; swapping Charlene’s dungarees for gold hotpants for ‘Spinning Around’ in the 90s, and the classic white jumpsuit of ‘Can’t Get You Out Of My Head’ in 2001 from the album, ‘Fever’. She’s only the second artist to have a number one hit in three consecutive decades, after Madonna, and was named one of the most influential people in the world by Time magazine. Read about more influential women in music in our blog.

London, United kingdom - June 15, 2023: (L to R) Howard Donald, Gary Barlow and Mark Owen of Take That attend  "Greatest Days" World Premiere at Odeon Luxe Leicester Square in London, England.


Take That split up the year after Robbie Williams left in 1995. In 2005 they reunited with a greatest hits album and went on a reunion tour – ‘The Ultimate Tour’. Jason Orange left in 2014 and they released their first single as a three piece – ‘These Days’. Last year they released their ninth studio album, ‘This Life’ after performing together at King Charles III’s coronation concert at Windsor Castle and are currently touring the UK.


Described in 1996 by the New York Times as the ‘Queen of the Comeback’, Cher holds the Billboard Hot 100 record for having the longest gap between number one singles; her auto-tuned classic ‘Believe’ became number one 33 years and 7 months after ‘I Got You Babe’. This wasn’t her first comeback though, after her split from her then husband, Sonny Bono, she released a couple of classics including ‘Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves’, but Believe was the big one, sending her straight to the top of the charts at the age of 52.


One of the most surprising additions to the Coachella line up, No Doubt hadn’t performed together for nearly ten years. Their hit record ‘Just a Girl’ was released nearly thirty years ago, and their last studio album came out in 2012. It’s not yet clear whether Coachella was a one-off, or the start of a comeback tour, and in the meantime, Gwen Stefani continues to tour as a solo artist, but fans are very excited.

Viersen, Germany - June 9. 2022: Closeup of ioslated of Rolling stone music magazine cover with The spice girls group from the nineties (focus on center)


Over the 23 years since they first got together, there have been a few Spice Girl comebacks. After Geri Halliwell left in 1998 that seemed to be it for a while, but they reformed briefly in 2007 before going their separate ways again. A brief reunion for the closing ceremony of the 2012 Olympics in London was the last time all five members performed together, but their 2019 Spice World tour, without Victoria, sold out in minutes. There have been rumours of a new album and a possible tour in 2025, rumours that have recently been fueled by a video of all five of them performing together at Victoria Beckham’s 50th birthday party. Watch this space!


Comebacks don’t always happen intentionally. Kate Bush’s 1985 hit, ‘Running Up That Hill (Make a Deal with God)’ featured in the Netflix hit ‘Stranger Things’, where it is listened to on repeat by one of the main characters. This means that, to the delight of their parents, a younger generation have recently discovered her music. This is partly thanks to a clip from the show – one of the emotional final scenes which features the song – that has done the rounds on TikTok. A perfect combination of the classic and the new, working together.


Even Elvis needed a bit of help and wasn’t immune to a comeback. In 1968, he hadn’t performed live for seven years, and although he’d produced a few underwhelming albums and films, he’d been out of the public eye for a while. He staged a Christmas Special, a show that was later renamed the ‘Comeback Special’. It has since been called the show that re-launched his career and saved his reputation. It was watched by 42% of the viewing audience at the time, and the soundtrack was in the top ten. Sadly, he died less than ten years later, but the image of him in that show, clad head to toe in black leather, is one of the most enduring images of the King.

Rome, Italy: January 02, 2019: Collection of cd covers of the famous Swedish ABBA group. one of the most successful and beloved pop groups in the history of music


We’re ending with one of the most unusual comebacks on our list. In 2021, forty years after the last album they released ‘The Visitors’ in 1981, the Swedish supergroup released ‘Voyage’. The band have always said that they would never perform live together again, but in 2022 they got around that by starting their digital residency at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, a show that features virtual versions of the band (known as Abbatars by the band themselves) alongside a 10-piece live band. It’s been so successful that it’s still going strong two years later. The band had already had a comeback of sorts when a whole new generation discovered their music through the film of their musical Mamma Mia! In the early 2000s.

With the rise and fall of musical tastes, it’s no wonder that fame is such a rollercoaster, and it takes a lot of guts to reinvent yourself with new material after being in the limelight.

And it happens to the best of them, for a whole range of reasons. Artists such as Pink Floyd, Frank Sinatra, Johnny Cash; Meat Loaf, Duran Duran, Britney Spears and Tina Turner have all had comebacks at some point. While other bands, such as AC/DC and Joy Division, were forced to reinvent themselves after their lead singers sadly died.

Whatever the reason, there’s ‘ABBA’-solutely ‘No Doubt’ we love the hype that surrounds a comeback!

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