All groups, whether they want to admit it or not, have a best-before date. Many of them struggle beyond that day with varying degrees of success and failure. But then there are the groups who knew exactly when to call it a day. In other words, they went out on top.
In your opinion, which bands fall into that category?
I’ll start: The Beatles. They had seven glorious years, from 1963 to 1970. And then that was it. As harrowing as their breakup was to fans, in retrospect, the timing was brilliant. They left everyone wanting more and steadfastly refused to reunite, which is why we’re still talking about the Beatles almost 50 years after they broke up.
Another one: The Smiths. Five brilliants years–1982-87–and then that was it. Things were starting to slip towards the end, but circumstances led to a breakup. Fans wailed, but again in retrospect, this is what needed to happen for the legend of the Smiths to take hold. Again, no reunion. Wise.
The Clash came close. They should have folded when Mick Jones left the group, but Joe insisted on carrying on with the awful Cut the Crap album. Had they stopped after Combat Rock, it would have been perfect. But at least they refused all overtures to reunite before Joe died.
Who else falls into this category? Let me know and I’ll report back on my radio show on 102.1 the Edge tomorrow.