Updated: 09/10/2018 04:25 PM | First Published: 09/10/2018 01:56 PM

10 Most Popular Band Break-Ups! Pink Floyd, The Beatles and More

Hollywood is a "make or break" business. This can be implied not only for films and actors but also for the music industry. The news of fallout of bands makes the headlines more often than not. Oasis didn’t live forever, and The Beatles didn’t hold our hands when we were distraught about them breaking up. Led Zeppelin showed us good times and bad times whereas AC/DC walked all over us quite literally.

Various artists from different backgrounds are bound in a band. This can proceed in two ways: Either the band rises to the occasion and flourishes or the band falls apart. What breaks a band is the artistic differences between the members of the group with an addition of ego or other external influences like drugs or other substances. 

The temptation of carrying out a solo career has also turned out to be a reason for the splitting of many famous bands. Time plays another heavy role in the break up of a band. There is never a good story behind the dismantling of any musical group. Whatever the reason, it’s the fans who always come out on the losing side when their favorite band decides not to make music together anymore. Let’s look at some of the most popular bands that have gone through breakups due to their viable reasons.  

#10. Oasis

Formed back in 1991, Oasis is one of the biggest rock bands to come out of the United Kingdom. Their albums, Definitely Maybe (1994), Heathen Chemistry (2002), and Dig Out Your Soul (2008) have paved the way for the younger generations to light the fire ignited by the band. After having a very successful musical journey all around the world, the band sadly parted ways in 2009.

One of the biggest rock bands to come out of United Kingdom, Oasis

The break up was very messy and included physical altercations between the band members and brothers, Noel and Liam Gallagher. The brotherly spat was going on for more than a decade until both decided that it was nearly impossible to work together. This led to the dismantling of the band. The fans came out as victims of this situation as they won’t be able to hear any new music from Oasis anytime soon.

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#9. Rage Against The Machine

Rage Against The Machine is undoubtedly one of the most transcendent bands of their time. The two time Grammy award winning group always fiddled with something new and created the rap-rock music that we know and love. RATM was popular mainly due to their top tier album production and their crazy antics on the stage. The band was no well-oiled machine though. Speculation of the ongoing spat between the members always surrounded the band.

A group picture of Rage Against the Machine

On October 18, 2000, fans were sent on a frenzy as the lead singer, Zack de La Rocha, decided to leave the band for good. Zack later announced that his decision to leave the band was due to artistic differences among the members. The fans were given a treat when all the members came together in 2007 as an oldies act. Fans are still desperate for a reunion project, but the band is way past that.

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#8. System Of a Down

System of Down: Band Members

Although System Of a Down didn’t actually break up, their hiatus was one of the most bizarre things to happen in the music industry. The heavy metal band has not put out any new music since their 2005 albums, Hypnotize and Mezmerize. The lead vocalist, Serj Tankian, has taken all the blame for being responsible for the band's hiatus. Serj, an artist in his own right, was not entirely satisfied with the band’s latest albums. The band was not in touch for the most part of six years but later reunited in 2011 for touring purposes. SOAD has still not given the fans a very anticipated sixth studio album which is long overdue.

#7. Guns N’ Roses

Picture of Guns N' Roses band members

GNR smelled like trouble from the get-go. The hard rock band, formed in 1985, has delivered fans six studio albums that have sold more than 100 million copies worldwide but the group has always been regarded as dysfunctional. The group was highly involved in substance abuse. After three years of the release of their debut album, they kicked out their drummer, Steven Adler, due to severe drug addiction. The band finally broke up in 1993 to no one's surprise. The relationship between Axl Rose and Slash took a turn for the worst after the group parted ways. Don’t hope for a reunion in this scenario.

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#6. AC/DC

AC/DC is one of, if not the most popular rock band, of their generation. The Australian band has released a total of eighteen full-length studio albums which have sold more than 200 million copies worldwide. The band has gone through many changes in their original lineup and fans called the band unstable and a ticking time bomb. After the death of vocalist, Bon Scott, in 1980, the group was in disarray and was likely to disband. 

AC/DC band members sitting on a couch

The mantle was passed to Brian Johnson to be the next lead vocalist for AC/DC. But Brian was dealt a major blow when his hearing power was decreasing on a daily basis. This didn’t stop the band from releasing what would probably be their last album, Rock or Bust, in 2014. Plagued by many differences, the Australian rock band is still considered as one of the most influential bands of their time.  

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#5. The Rolling Stones

The Rolling Stones carried on the torch passed by The Beatles and reignited the British music industry on their own at times. The band was formed in 1962 and since then have put out 25 studio albums that have sold more than 250 million copies all around the world. However, the band itself has never been quite stable. 

The Rolling Stone band members

The group has gone through extensive member replacements from the get-go. Keith Richards has talked about what horrible things the band has gone through in the late 80’s. It’s a miracle, how good the band has been able to get, through all the hardships while still releasing critically acclaimed albums throughout the period. After an eleven year hiatus, The Rolling Stones released their studio album Blue & Lonesome, which came as a treat to the fans. 

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#4. Eagles

With more than 150 million album sales in the books, it’s safe to consider the Eagles as one of the most important and popular American rock bands in history. Founded in the city of Angels in 1971, the band has put out seven full-length studio albums that have received a tremendous amount of love from their fans worldwide. 

Eagles paying tribute to Glenn Frey in 2016

The early success of the band, however, is what led to the downfall of the group. There already was tension between Don Henley and Glenn Frey. The situation boiled over in 1980 during a benefit show for Senator Alan Cranston. Glenn Frey threatened guitarist Don Felder on stage, but luckily no physical altercations ensued. The band released probably their final studio album, Long Road Out Of Eden, in 2007 after a 28-year break. Sadly, a founding member of the band, Glenn Frey, left the world in 2016 and Don Henley confirmed it as a final farewell.

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#3. Pink Floyd

Pink Floyd is another intensely famous British rock group that captured millions of hearts during their time. Pink Floyd added creativity to already shining lyrics and created music that was way ahead of its time. Their 15 studio albums have amassed more than 250 million sales worldwide. There is only so much you can do creatively in music. The co-founder of the band Roger Waters thought that the creativity of Pink Floyd was going downhill and decided to leave in 1983. 

Pink Floyd band members are holding wine glass in their hands

However, Richard Wright thought otherwise and continued the legacy of the band to resounding success. In 2005, fans were beyond rejoiced when both Waters and Wright shared the stage for a set implying that the tensions have cooled off. 

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#2. Led Zeppelin

Counting down the list of band breakups, another insanely popular British rock band, Led Zeppelin comes to mind. The band was formed in 1968 and has found its way to massive success all around the world with more than 300 million sales of their nine studio albums. The band stooped down a level after the tragic death of John Bonham in 1980

Led Zeppelin young band members

Two months later, the group decided to hang up their guitars and retire for good. The band decided to honor drummer Bonham’s legacy by refusing to recruit a new drummer. After retirement, the reunion of the remaining band members has been bleak. But, the rock group will always be remembered for their soul pleasing music and their incredible live performances that cannot be matched.

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#1. The Beatles

The Beatles are easily the most successful rock band in the history of music. They revolutionized rock music and became legends along the way. Formed in 1960, the Beatles has sold over 800 million copies of their 13 studio albums which have made them the top-selling band in the music world. However, the huge success they received was followed by harsh criticism. 

Young band members of The Beatles

The members started drifting apart after the death of their manager Brian Epstein in 1967. The creative differences between Paul Mccartney and John Lennon started to rub off on the other members of the group and the band split in 1970. The news spread like wildfire and the moment can easily be considered as one of the biggest tragic moments in music. The members all went on to continued successful solo careers before Lennon’s tragic death in 1980.

Which of these band's history would you like to see us cover next? Let us know in the comments.


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