Worst musical comebacks

Return of forgotten stars to the scene ends either with a triumph or with a loud failure. We recall those whose musical comebacks we would rather not have seen.


The Doors

The death of the lead singer of The Doors Jim Morrison will forever remain a mystery. You can write novels, film movies, but Doors without Morrison is not the same. The keyboardist Ray Manzarek and the guitarist Robbie Krieger, however, felt otherwise. In 2002 they renamed the band to The Doors of the 21st Century, asked Stuart Copeland, the drummer from the band Police and Ian Estbury, the lead singer from The Cult to join, and went on a tour around America. They couldn’t conquer the country again though. Estbury, although similar in appearance to Morrison, on the stage looked unconvincing. Manzarek and Krieger continued to experiment with the comebacks until 2013 – they renamed themselves to D21C, Riders on the Storm, and even simply to Manzarek-Krieger.

Mariah Carey

Recently the blond R&B princess from the noughties got a star on the Walk of Fame in Hollywood. At this solemn moment in her career it would have been logical to put an end to it. The popularity of the singer started to fall from the release of the album Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel in 2009. Her last commercially successful release was the collection of Christmas hits Merry Christmas II You in 2010. A two-year old record Me. I Am Mariah … The Elusive Chanteuse, even in spite of the stellar duets with Miguel and Jason Derulo, did not see the same success as her hits released in the 2000s.

Geri Halliwell

This is not the first time Spice Girls reunite. Previous and a very successful comeback happened in 2007. But the Ginger Spice Hollywell solo career was not so successful. On the eve of the release of the third album Passion in 2005, Hollywell got on the list of the most annoying British according to the Daily Mail. The release of the album was delayed, and the tour in its support was cancelled. The official reason was the need to re-record some songs. Rumour has it that the real reason could be slightly different: tickets to her concerts were simply not selling as expected. When Passion finally came out, it saw some really cold reviews in the press. The Guardian, for example, gave it only 2 stars out of 5 possible. So, the queen of the British charts left the industry.

Gwen Stefani

Gwen Stefani is another singer on our list who is now more likely to sing in a British carpool karaoke show with James Corden rather than to thousands of fans from the stage. Vocalist significant of the famous No Doubt took up solo work in the noughties, started a fashion brand L.A.M.B., got four backup dancers from Japan and tried to get back into singing, mostly Pop and R&B. In 2016 she released an album This Is What the Truth Feels Like, the release of which was postponed for two years. Singles that preceded the record were frankly unsuccessful, and then Gwen had a creative crisis. This Is What the Truth Feels Like received neutral-positive reviews in the press but did not bring former popularity to Gwen.

Guns N’Roses

The Chinese Democracy album by Guns N’Roses actually hit the first positions on several Billboard charts. However, despite the popularity, even the most dedicated fans of the band did not fall for this comeback. The first release in 15 years cost a band 13 million dollars and was recorded in more than 10 different studios with 70+ minutes of airtime. However, at the time of the recording, apart from Axl Rose, almost everyone left the band: guitarist Saul Hudson (Slash), bassist Duff McKagan, and drummer Matt Sorum. Even though they got replaced by other talented members, the shift of the sound from hard rock towards industrial was not appreciated by the fans.

Text: Irina Gorskaia

Image: Billboard

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