Music can define the soundtrack of our lives. Whenever a band comes out with a hit song, sometimes we can relate to what they’re singing about. However, when they break up, can totally devastate their fans.
Whether your a fan of pop or rock, this will shine a light on why these bands fell apart. Some didn’t like the pressures of fame, while others just went their separate ways. You’ll be surprised to learn why R.E.M broke up.
The Smashing Pumpkins Couldn’t Handle All Of The Success
The alternative rock band ranges from whispery ballads to face-melting guitar explosions. Nevertheless, Billy Corgan’s insistence on playing a variety of instruments on Siamese Dream would add fuel to the fire with his bandmates. Plus, bassist D’Arcy Wretzky was really struggling with a drug addiction, which didn’t help matters.
On May 23, 2000, in a live radio interview, Corgan announced the band’s decision to break up at the end of that year following additional touring and recording.
Black Francis Had A Savage Way Of Breaking Up The Pixies
All the band members were in complete shock when the Pixies broke up in 1993. That is, everyone except for lead singer Black Francis, who broke the news to his bandmates through fax. What’s even worse is that during an interview with BBC Radio, Francis made the announcement before discussing it with everyone else.
Francis blames the blowup on undue stress caused by the band’s promotion. Their popularity grew in the years following their breakup, leading a sold-out world tour following their reunion in 2004.
The White Stripes Got A Divorce
One of the sole forces saving rock and roll and ushering it into the new millennium are the White Stripes. From the beginning, they did something a little different and publicly presenting themselves as brother and sister. However, on February 2, 2011, the duo announced that they had officially ceased recording and performing music.
The announcement denied any artistic differences, but cited that Meg’s lack of enthusiasm for the project contributed to the duo’s breakup.
Rage Against The Machine Didn’t Like One Member’s Plans To Pull A Prank
Bassist Tim Commerford had a prank planned for the 2000 MTV Video Music Awards. The rest of the band weren’t impressed with the plan at all. When the band lost Best Rock Video to Limp Bizkit, Commerford went ahead with it anyway, climbing on stage “in protest” — and ended up getting arrested.
Frontman Zach de la Rocha announced he was quitting after nine years with the band. The VMA stunt may have been the final domino to fall on the politically spoken group.
The Violent Femmes Had A Dispute Over A Song Used For A Commercial
The college punk masters had already briefly disbanded in 1986. However, as it would turn out, when they broke up a second time, it was because of a lengthy legal battle that lasted for over two years.
In 2007, Gordon Gano angered Brian Ritchie by selling advertising rights for “Blister In The Sun” to Wendys. The band would officially disband in 2009 as a result of Ritchie’s lawsuit against Gano.
The End Of A Marriage Was The End Of Sonic Youth
Thurston Moore and Kim Gordon were already an item when they created Sonic Youth. Their marriage came crashing down nearly thirty years after their marriage and the band’s creation.
Moore had been unfaithful to Gordon, and was caught having an affair with another woman, which would affect the band’s future status. The news was too much for the band to handle. The band would split in 2011 after Moore and Gordon’s marriage came to an end.
Blame The Gallaghers For The End Of Oasis
Noel and Liam Gallagher have had their fair share of fights and stupidity. Despite routine brawling, they managed to stick it out all the way to 2009. Liam missed a concert, claiming laryngitis was to blame, and Noel was sued for saying it was a hangover.
Not so surprisingly, the brothers went at it backstage in Pairs with Liam chucking a plum at his brother. There were worse fights than that one, but it was always a matter of time before the band broke up.
Destiny’s Child’s Split Wasn’t As Dramatic As It Sounds
The late Whitney Houston told the ladies to stay together. Obviously, they didn’t listen to her at all. They didn’t technically break up, but they simply disbanded to do their own thing. After their formal disbandment, all the members resumed their solo careers and have each experienced different levels of success.
Since then, Beyoncé and Michelle Williams have continued to collaborate on each other’s solo projects through song features. The group reunited at Coachella in April 2018.
Janes Addiction Battled Drug Addictions
Janes Addiction was one of the first bands from the early nineties alternative rock movement to gain mainstream attention. A little over a year after Ritual de lo habitual hit double platinum, half of the band were battling substance abuse issues.
However, the band’s initial farewell tour in 1991 launched the first Lollapalooza, which has since become a perennial alternative rock music festival. The band would briefly reunite in 1997, with the original lineup reuniting in 2008.
R.E.M. Just Got Tired Of Making Music
The reality of the music industry can ruin a musician’s dream of writing and playing what they love. Drummer Bill Berry already called it quits way back in 1997, but it wasn’t until 2011 when the rest of the band followed suit.
Lead singer Mike Mills wanted to back away and guitarist Peter Buck had the same thought in mind. R.E.M. announced via its website that it was “calling it a day as a band.”
Blondie Was Mismanaged
Debbie Harry delivered new wave and boot-kicking to the group’s sound. However, dating bandmate Chris Stein was never the reason why Blondie broke up. Instead, it was mismanagement that would torment the group.
The accountant for the group didn’t do a good job of paying their taxes through their string of hit songs. When Stein came down with a skin disease in 1982, the group decided it was too much and decided to part ways.
Bananarama Blames Immaturity
Bananarama was the soundtrack of the eighties. But behind the scenes of the British pop queens, the dancing wasn’t all that anyone thought it would be. The trio blamed it all on youthful immaturity and even getting worked up over the littlest things, like showing up 10 seconds late to rehearsals.
In 1988, frustrated with the direction she felt the group was going, Siobhan Fahey left the group to form Shakespears Sister.
Two Members Of ABBA Moved On To Other Projects
Few pop groups have achieved the level of success that ABBA did. The band was formed of two couples and continued to knock out hit singles even after the internal relationships had fizzled.
Benny and Björn were offered an opportunity to write for the stage with the iconic Tim Rice. They enjoyed it so much that they couldn’t go back. ABBA has never officially announced the end of the group, but it has long been considered dissolved.
The Police Grew Apart
Fame had broken their marriages. Fighting for the spotlight, public brawls, and frontman Sting’s rising career added to the tensions brewing within the group. In 1984, Sting and the band went on hiatus after the Synchronicity tour.
Each band member continued with his solo career over the next 20 years. Stewart Copeland became a prolific producer of movie and TV soundtracks, while Andy Summers recorded a number of albums as a solo artist while collaborating with other musicians.
The Mamas and the Papas Faced Allegations Before Their Split
The group had survived the rumors of Michelle Phillips cheating on her husband, bandmate John Phillips. But, when they broke up, it may have had to do with something with a member of the Rolling Stones.
Cass Elliott already had a growing solo career and John embarrassed her in front of Mick Jager. He attempted to explain his recent arrest and she wasn’t having any of it. After a lawsuit between the band and the record label was settled, the group split.
The Brothers In Creedence Clearwater Revival Left At Different Times
The group perfectly represented everything that was going on in the late ’60s, but the dream ended with the decade. In 1971, when bandleader John Fogerty’s brother, guitarist Tom Fogerty, split, John thought it was time to relinquish creative control over the band.
After bad album reviews and terrible business decisions, John would quit the band a year after his brother. He would go as far as hiring session musicians to replace at the group at their Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction.
The Zombies Backed Out At The Height Of Their Fame
The group achieved plenty of success thanks to the British Invasion. However, by the time their single “Time of the Season” was released, the band had already disbanded. There was no arguments or disputes, and instead, the group grew disappointed by the success of the album Odessey and Oracle.
The original line-up declined to regroup for concerts following the success of “Time of the Season.” After being nominated in 1989, the Zombies will finally be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Cream’s Early Problems Would Mark The Beginning Of The End
Cream’s crunchy blues grooves spawned a new era of heavier rock music. From the band’s creation, the group faced fundamental problems that would lead to its dissolution. Plus, the clashing personalities between drummer Ginger Baker and bassist Jack Bruce added more tensions in the band.
Eric Clapton felt that the members didn’t listen to each other enough. He spoke of a concert during which he stopped playing and neither Baker nor Bruce noticed. Cream broke up in May 1968.
Pink Floyd Lost Its Founding Member
The space pioneers recording sessions of The Final Cut opened a can of worms. David Gilmour was not amused by Roger Waters’ politicizing, and the new creative direction led to arguments. Waters went as far as filing a lawsuit to bar his bandmates from performing under the name Pink Floyd.
After all the disagreements during the sessions, The Final Cut was the band’s last album to feature Waters, one of the founding members, bassist, and songwriter.
The Smiths Tried To Sue Each Other
Despite their continued success, tensions emerged within the band that threatened their split. Johnny Marr was exhausted and took a break from the band in June 1987, which he felt was negatively perceived by his bandmates.
Marr left the group because he erroneously thought an NME article entitled “Smiths to Split” was planted by Morrissey. Mike Joyce and Andy Rourke would sue Morrissey and Marr for leaving them a little share of royalties.
Two Members Of The Kinks Endured Many Ups And Downs
Dave and Ray Davies were rock heroes of The Kinks. The Davies weren’t always all that happy together after they endured over thirty years of nervous breakdowns, fights, substance abuse, and marital woes.
When Ray threw his little brother a 50th birthday party, he delivered a self-centered speech and stomped on Dave’s birthday cake at the end. Of course, all of that nonsense was enough for the Kinks to dissolve.
David Bowie Revealed Shocking News To Fans At A Show
David Bowie gained massive stardom with his gender-bending avatar, Ziggy Stardust. At the height of the band’s fame, Ziggy announced onstage that it was the last show they’d ever do.
The fans weren’t pleased by the news, but his backing band, the Spiders from Mars, were just as shocked as everyone else. But, while on tour, the group discovered that some of the band members were getting paid more than others. The rude awakening disintegrated the band.
One Of The Members Of Black Sabbath Had To Deliver The News To Ozzy Osbourne
The Brit rock group had countless hits in the sixties. However, in the seventies, things got much worse, especially for frontman Ozzy Osbourne. It was the singer’s outrageous partying, drug habits, and the constant skipping of rehearsals that added fuel to the fire.
However, when it came time to kick Ozzy out of the band, it was drummer Bill Ward who had to break the news. Ironically enough, it was Ozzy’s future wife, Sharon, who suggested his replacement.
Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young May Or May Not Reunite
Their second live performance was at Woodstock, and they endured decades of struggles with chemicals, as well as mental and physical illness. In 2016, Graham Nash finally announced that they would no longer be touring together.
It was David Crosby’s unkind words about Neil Young’s partner, and his unkind treatment of Nash, that caused the latter to send his wooden ships out to sail for good. Since then, Crosby has apologized, so maybe there’s hope for a reunion.
The Allman Brothers Band Was Racked By Substance Abuse
Singer Gregg Allman lost two band members, including his brother Duane, to motorcycle accidents in the same city in the same year. But, even his friction with guitarist Dickey Betts wasn’t the worst thing to happen to him.
Because of clashing personalities and spending too much money, the band would stumble in 1976. Gregg testified on trial when a person connected to the band was arrested for drug possession. His bandmates saw that as betrayal, which imploded the Southern rockers for good.
The Clash Had A Few Reasons Why They Called It Quits
The 1982 hit “Rock The Casbah” was written by drummer Topper Headon, but he was already gone from the band at that stage. According to reports, it was exhaustion, but his bandmates knew Headon had a drug problem.
The loss would serve as the last domino, worsening pre-existing differences of opinions within the group. Grueling touring, different musical tastes and the behavior of guitarist Mick Jones didn’t help much either. The Clash broke up four years later.
The Eagles Had A Fight On Stage
Substance abuse and fatigue had reached a breaking point for the “Hotel California” band. When members Don Healy and Glenn Frey used the group to promote a political campaign, Don Felder wasn’t having it.
Before the concert, a California senate campaign came backstage with Felder sarcastically talking to the candidate. Frey wasn’t pleased with the remarks, and the two threatened each other while playing onstage. Frey then cut all ties, listing attorneys in the credits of their last live album.
Fleetwood Mac Had Too Many Affairs
The group is known for their tangled romantic relationships between each other. It was more complicated than any other group, but their 1978 breakup was still very jarring. Stevie Nicks embarked on a solo career, which skyrocketed her fame over the years.
The rest of the group would record one more album before Lindsey Buckingham backed out before their tour. Buckingham would eventually return, but was fired from the band in 2018 and replaced by Mike Campbell.
The Beatles Break Up Started With The Death Of Their Manager
By 1967, the fab four were a massive success. In the summer of that year, their manager, Brian Epstein, passed away, marking the beginning of the end of the group. Epstein was a mediator for the group, especially whenever there was a dispute.
After his passing, Paul McCartney took total control over the band. Of course, his demands weren’t okay with the rest of the group. With the members growing tiresome of each other’s music, they split in 1970.
Guns N’ Roses Couldn’t Stand Each Other
Two members had backed out. One for his substance abuse and the other because singer Axl Rose was gaining the wrong kind of reputation for being late to shows. Rose began feuding with Slash, who wanted to play for Michael Jackson.
The two fought over creative control, with Slash departing from the group in 1996. It remains an open wound to this day. Even Rose refused to attend the band’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction.
Things Got Awkward Between Uncle Tupelo’s Members
You may or may not remember Uncle Tupelo as an alternative country rock group with a lot of potential in the late ’80s and early ’90s. Known for songs such as “Moonshiner” and “New Madrid,” Uncle Tupelo was over when co-songwriter Jay Farrar decided to leave.
Farrar went on to Son Volt, while the remaining members formed what is now Wilco. While this split caused tension, Farrar has also stated that Jeff Tweedy was getting inappropriate with the former’s wife.
Queensrÿche Fired Their Lead Singer Over It
Queensrÿche was one of the most promising heavy metal bands of the ’80s. Hits like “Silent Lucidity” had metal heads rocking out all the way until the original lineup was changed. Lead vocalist Geoff Tate was acrimoniously fired when he refused to turn over merchandise management to an outside company in 2012.
The band took it upon themselves to fire all of Tate’s family who worked as crew members before giving him the boot as well.
He No Longer Wanted To Be An Everly Brother
Things can get pretty tough between brothers, but they can be even more complicated when those brothers are two halves to a hit rock-and-roll band. Don and Phil Everly made up The Everly Brothers, a country rock-and-roll act that had folks in the ’50s and ’60s bopping to songs like “Bye Bye Love” and “All I Have to Do is Dream.”
But one day in 1973, Don told his brother Phil that he was “tired of being an Everly Brother” and showed up to his next show drunk. This upset Phil who left Don to do the show alone.
Adam’s Ants Were Stolen Out From Under Him
New wave punk band Adam and the Ants was known for their love of pirate-wear and for their songs “Ant Music” and “Stand and Deliver.” Unfortunately, music manager Malcolm McLaren poached all of the Ants and left Adam by himself.
The Ants in question were paired with teen Annabella Lwin to form Bow Wow Wow. The result was “I Want Candy.” As for Adam, he simply went about his business and found some new “Ants.”
My Chemical Romance Decided They Had A Good Run
My Chemical Romance was a favorite among emo kids of the early 2000’s. Regardless of whether you identified as such or not, you know at one point you were moved by 2006’s “Welcome to the Black Parade.”
But eventually they knew that all good things must come to an end and decided to call it quits in 2013. There was really no bad blood between Gerard Way and his fellow band mates however.
The Verve Probably Never Stood A Chance
The Verve came onto the scene with hits like “Bittersweet Symphony” and “The Drugs Don’t Work.” The band broke up in th emid-’90s but after working out some differences, they got back together by 1997.
Unfortunately, the reunion didn’t last. They did reunite in 2007 and in 2008 for the Glastonbury Festival. But in 2010 they were over for good as members of the band felt lead vocalist Richard Ashcroft was just using them to get his solo career up and running.
Alice Glass Left Crystal Castles For Personal Reasons
Canadian electronic group Crystal Castles raged their way onto the music scene in the early 2000’s and released their eponymous EP in 2008. Vocalist Alice Glass announced her departure from the group in 2014 saying that she couldn’t honestly express herself with the band.
She later claimed that the duo’s other half, Ethan Kath, had inflicted sexual, mental, and physical abuse on her. She has been replaced by vocalist Edith Frances.
Rilo Kiley Changed Over Time
Rilo Kiley was one of the most promising indie rock bands of the early 2000’s, but unfortunately they’re not together today. They made their major-label debut with 2007’s Under the Blacklight and pretty much ghosted fans shortly after.
Lead guitarist Blake Sennett told AOL Spinner, “I think that stuff will rear its head in anything you do, depending on the personnel you surround yourself with, things change over time and people change and relationships change.”
There Was Trouble Between Simon & Garfunkel
In the late sixties, Garfunkel began acting while Simon focused more on music. The recording of Bridge over Troubled Water was difficult since the pair’s relationship had deteriorated. Even after the release of the album in 1970, both musicians became rather independent.
The duo’s last performance at the time was at the Forest Hills Stadium in Queens, New York. Outside of a few reunions like the “Concert In Central Park” show in 1981, the duo hasn’t made music together in over 40 years.
The Postal Service Was Too Busy
Yet another band that actress-turned-rocker Jenny Lewis was a part of was The Postal Service. This indie band was started in Seattle and also featured singer Ben Gibbard and producer Jimmy Tamborello.
After the success of their debut album Give Up, The Postal Service played coy about releasing new material. Instead, they ended up disbanding as the members were involved with other projects. Their last show ever was in 2013 at the Metro Chicago.