The Hidden Reasons Why Our Favorite Bands Broke Up

There must be a song we keep listening to time after time, even 10 or 20 years since it was first released. Sometimes we remember the time we used to dress like our favorite stars and the months we would wait for their new albums. Their music was very important for our lives and was really sad when our favorite bands decided to split up. But do we know the real reason they broke up? The following list will show why our all-time favorite bands decided to separate and the secrets behind it. See #25, #9 and #1!

Photo: Courtesy of Direct Expose.

#25. Guns N’ Rosses

The American hard rock band formed in 1985 with Axl Rose as the vocalist, lead guitarist Slash, rhythm guitarist Izzy Stradlin, bassist Duff McKagan and drummer Steven Adler. The debut album Appetite For Destruction (1987) was #1 in all rakings around the world. We still rock with hits like “Welcome To The Jungle”, “Paradise City” and “Sweet Child O’ Mine”. They became an iconic band for rock music and they were called “The Most Dangerous Band In The World”. But the fame and the excesses would have consequences in their lives.

Photo: Courtesy of Direct Expose.

Apparently, the first cracks appeared early in the band. First, most of the members were really angry with Axl because of his tardiness at shows. Later, it became really hard for them to play together because of the differences between the types of music they wanted to do. Although, the real reason behind the separation of the band was because Slash wanted to play for Michael Jackson and Rose didn’t let him do that. In 1996, Slash left the band and later the other members. Later, in 2017 the band reunited in a new series of concerts.

#24. Fleetwood Mac

The American-British rock band formed in London in 1967 and nowadays they are considered one of the world’s best-selling bands. Vocalist Lindsey Buckingham and guitarist Stevie Nicks became part of the band in 1974. Their self-titled album Fleetwood Mac (1975) reached #1 in the U.S and their second album, Rumors (1977), became one of the best-selling albums in history. The band was also well known because of the romantic relationships between the members and the problems they went through while recording of the second album.

Photo: Courtesy of Direct Expose.

The relationships in the band were between John and Christine McVie and the other, between Buckingham and Nicks. Apparently, the problems started when some of them wanted to do experimental music while others wanted to continue with their style. But everything changed one night in August 1987. They had a ten-week tour scheduled and the band reunited at McVie’s house before the tour. However, things got really awkward when, according to Fleetwood’s biography, there was a physical altercation between Buckingham and Nicks. Buckingham left the band the next day. Since then, the band hasn’t been reunited.

#23. The Beatles

What can we tell you about the most influential band of all time? The English rock band formed by John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr won international fame in the early 70s. They innovated the culture of rock music by incorporating unconventional recording techniques and experimenting with a number of styles that ranged from ballads to Indian music. There is nothing we have to add about the success they had and their influence, which still lingers.

Photo: Courtesy of Direct Expose.

We know the love the story between John Lennon and Yoko Ono because, allegedly, she was to blame for the band separation. Actually, the real reason was hiding in the release of The White Album (1968) when they returned from their meditation retreat in India. Harrison asked Ravi Shankar to teach him to play the sitar because he wanted to use it in an album but McCartney wanted to play more classical happy songs and Lennon was trying to make experimental music. Different types of music and different egos made this amazing band split up.

#22. Eagles

The American rock band formed in 1971 by Glenn Frey, Don Heney, Bernie Leadon and Randy Meisner. Their albums Their Greatest Hits (1971-1975) and Hotel California were ranked as one the 20 best-selling albums in the United States. We still sing out loud songs like “Take It Easy”, “Peaceful Easy Feeling” and “Best Of My Love”. They were one of the most successful band in the 80s but everything changed when one of the members decided to include politics in their music…

Photo: Courtesy of Direct Expose.

Don Henley and Glenn Frey decided to use the band for their own personal interesting when they decided to promote the campaign of a politician. This was the last straw for Don Felder. The two of them were supporting the campaign of a California senator and they also invited him to a concert. The day of that concert and things were really tense as Frey and Felder didn’t stop threatening each other between songs. After that day, Felder quit Eagles and filed a lawsuit against him.

#21. The Clash

The English band formed in 1976 as a punk rock band. They have also contributed to the post-punk and new wave movements. Their most remarkable albums are The Clash (1977) and London Calling (1979). In 1982, drummer Nicky “Topper” Headon, who wrote the hit “Rock The Casbah”, left the band. He said he was going through personal issues and couldn’t be part of the band. But his exit had a domino effect for the rest of the band.

Photo: Courtesy of Direct Expose.

One year later, the lead vocalist and guitarist, Mick Jones, left the band after internal friction. The band continued playing with new members but finally disbanded in early 1986. The rock world and fame maybe it’s not the best place for everyone, as the case of The Clash. They couldn’t manage these things and they finally ended with their group. Although, the band is still considered as one of the most influent in punk rock music. Up next, another #1 British band!

#20. Oasis

Oasis was an English band formed in Manchester by the Gallagher brothers: Liam and Noel. Their international fame during the 90s made them one of the most successful bands around the world. (What’s The Story) Morning Glory? (1995) sold over 11 million copies worldwide. Other important albums of the band are Be Here Now (1997), Standing On The Shoulder Of Giants (2000), Don’t Believe The Truth (2005) and the last one, Dig Out Your Soul (2008).

Photo: Courtesy of Direct Expose.

Apparently, since the second album, the relationship between the Gallagher brothers was not exactly the best. In 2009, the band did their last tour which ended up with a fight between the brothers. According to some witnesses, Noel didn’t like the crazy life of Liam as he missed a concert because Liam said he had laryngitis but Noel didn’t believe him. In August of 2009, Noel announced his departure from the band after a backstage altercation with Liam. 

#19. Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars

The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars (1972) is the fifth studio album by English musician David Bowie. The name of the album is a clear apology to the story of the band and the Bowie’s alter ego Ziggy Stardust. Apparently, Ziggy was an androgynous bisexual rock star who acted as a messenger for extraterrestrial beings. The band made tours through the United Kingdom, Japan and North America.

Photo: Courtesy of Direct Expose.

Ziggy Stardust has been described as glam rock, rock opera and proto-punk. Everything ended drastically for the band when Ziggy announced on stage that the concert was going to be last for the band. It was a surprise for the fans, clearly; however, the members of the band were even more shocked! Apparently, some members were getting paid more than others. The differences between the fame of the members of the band ended in their separation. According to a Ziggy’s song: “I had to break up the band”.

#18. Crosby, Stills & Nash

Crosby, Stills & Nash, known as CSN, is a vocal folk rock supergroup formed by American singer-songwriters David Crosby and Stephen Stills and English singer Graham Nash. Their most remarkable hits were “Suit: Judy Blue Eyes” and “Marrakesh Express”. Fame may have brought to this band struggles with illegal substances and personal problems. The last member of the band, Neil Young, abandoned and rejoined the band many times.

Photo: Courtesy of Direct Expose.

In 2016, Graham Nash announced that Crosby, Stills & Nash would never perform again because of this recent Crosby’s own alienation following his divorce. Apparently, another important reason was the unkind treatment of David Crosby to former members Neil Young and Nash. Recently, Crosby made a public apology. Could this be the return of the band? Who knows!

#17. The Kinks

The story between brothers and music doesn’t always end with a happily ever after. The English rock band The Kinks formed in 1964 with the brothers Ray and Dave Davies, who reached international fame after the release of their third album “You Really Got Me“. The band had five Top 10 singles on the US Billboard chart and they had been sharing the stage for almost 30 years until everything changed during one tragic birthday party.

Photo: Courtesy of Direct Expose.

In 1996, The Kinks gave their last public performance after personal problems between the brothers. Apparently, in Dave’s 50th birthday party, Ray gave him a little surprise. According to witnesses, Ray decided to get up on a table in front of all the people and gave a weird and egocentric speech. After all that show, he trampled Dave’s birthday cake and that was the end of the band.

#16. Blondie

The American rock band was pioneer in the early American new wave and punk scenes. The founding members were singer Debbie Harry and guitarist Chris Stein, who ended up in a romantic relationship. We still sing songs like “Heart Of Glass”, “Call Me”, “Rapture” and “The Tide Is High”. The voice of Debbie was powerful and full of energy but accounting problems caused the separation between the members of the band.

Photo: Courtesy of Direct Expose.

In 1982, they released the sixth studio album, The Hunter, and that was the last. The band was reaching all kinds of success around the US and UK but everything stopped when Blondie’s accountant didn’t pay their taxes. Things got a lot worse when Stein was diagnosed with pemphigus, a rare autoimmune disease so the band finally decided to part their ways.

#15. The Violent Femmes

The American folk punk band, The Violent Femmes, founded by Gordon Gano, Brian Ritchie and John Sparrow won international success after the release of their self-titled debut album and wonderful hits like “Blister In The Sun”, “Kiss Off”, “Add It Up” and “Gonne Daddy Gone”. It’s usual that bands separate….once…but this band had two breakups in their history!

Photo: Courtesy of Direct Expose.

In 2007, Gano got into an argument with Ritchie due to his selling advertising rights for the classic “Blister In The Sun” to the fast-food franchise Wendy’s. The worst part is that Gano didn’t ask the rest of the band for permission. Not to mention the fact that Ritchie was a vegetarian! So he filed a lawsuit against Gano in August 2007 and finally, they split up in 2009 after a court’s decision on the issue.

#14. Creedence Clearwater Revival

Creedence Clearwater Revival often referred to as CCR was a successful band in the late 60s and early 70s. The band was formed by songwriter John Fogerty, his brother guitarist Tom Fogerty, bassist Stu Cook and drummer Doug Clifford. They played in a Southern rock style with lyrics about catfish, the Mississippi River and other characteristic elements of the south of The United States. We all remember songs like “Proud Mary”, “Cotton Fields” and “Lookin’ Out My Back Door”. 

Photo: Courtesy of Direct Expose.

In 1972, the dreams and hopes of CCR stopped abruptly when Tom decided to abandon the band and one year later, his brother did so too, arguing that he had differences about the business and artistic control of the band. After that, he sued the other members of the band. Everything ended so tragically, that he refused to perform with the two remaining members at CCR’s 1993 induction into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame.

#13. Bananarama

The English female pop music band was formed by Sara Dallin, Siobhan Fahey and Keren Woodward. This trio was reached their fame in the earlies 80 and between 1982 and 2009 they had 28 singles that reached The Top 50 of the UK Singles Chart. The most memorable singles are “It Ain’t What You Do..”, “Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye”, “Cruel Summer” and “Venus”.

Photo: Courtesy of Direct Expose.

The youth mixed with fame and luxury maybe was not the best combination for this group of girls. In 1988, after the release of their third single, Wow!, Fahey married Dave Stewart and decided to leave the group because of the direction it was taking. But the real reason for her departing was the fact that the other members were starting to be really mean to her. She said that they didn’t invite her to hang out anymore. The band continued up to these days and Fahey created a new band called Shakespeare Sisters.

#12. ABBA

The Swedish group formed in 1972, with Agnetha Fältskog, Björn Ulvaeus, Benny Andersson and Anni-Frid Lyngstad. They became the first group from a not English speaking country that reached international fame around the world, especially in the United States, Ireland, Canada and the United Kingdom. Also, they won fame in Latin America because of their Spanish songs. It’s said that the problems between the couples, Agnetha and Björn from one side and Anni-Frid and Benny, were the reason why the band split up.

Photo: Courtesy of Direct Expose.

Songs like “Mamma Mia!”, “Honey Honey”, “Dancing Queen”, “Waterloo” and “Voulez-Voz” are still in our hearts. These songs reflected the air of the band during those years, happiness and love. Everything changed when the couples of the band started to have problems between them and we can see the fall of them in songs like “The Winners Takes It All”. Another reason to add is that Benny and Björn were offered to write with the iconic Tim Rice for theater and they couldn’t refuse the offer.

#11. Sonic Youth

The American rock band formed in 1981, with Thurston Moore, Kim Gordon and Lee Ranaldo. The band became an icon in the noise rock groups in the 80s. They were known for the variety of unorthodox guitar tunings and for preparing guitars they played. After almost thirty years of success and hits in the world of alternative and indie rock movements, the band announced that they decided to separate or as they said in an interview “ending for a while” after Kim and Thurston got divorced. 

Photo: Courtesy of Direct Expose.

In 1984, Moore and Gordon got married and stayed together until 2011, when they divorced. At first, they announced the band was not going to split up but, apparently, problems started to grow bigger and the members couldn’t handle them. In 2014, Moore declared that Sonic Youth was in a hiatus and the decision seems to be definitive.

#10. Rage Against The Machine

Rage Against The Machine formed in 1991 with Zack De La Rocha, Tim Commerford, Tom Morello and Brad Wilk. Their music had the objective to protest about politics and they were considered as a revolutionary band. In 2010, the band had sold more than 16 million records around the world. Their most memorable albums are Rage Against The Machine (1992), Evil Empire (1996) and The Battle Of Los Angeles (1999).

Photo: Courtesy of Direct Expose.

In 2000, the band started to have internal problems about the artistic direction the band was taking. De La Rocha started his solo career and the other members formed the rock group Audioslave with Chris Cornell. This was the official reason the band gave to the public but the real reason was behind the 2000 MTV Video Music Award when Commerford decided to climb the set’s stage props in an act of protest. The result of the act was that he ended up in prison. The members decided that was the end for them. 

#9. Black Sabbath

The world of rock, fame and excess can bring bands to such a point that they can’t resolve their issues by themselves. The English rock band Black Sabbath is considered the creator of the metal of all time. Maybe without them, we wouldn’t know what metal is. The band reached international fame around the 70s and 80s, but the personal struggles of the members, especially of singer Ozzy Osbourne, made things more complicated.

Photo: Courtesy of Direct Expose.

Ozzy’s personal problems with excess made the members of the band try to help him. While Ozzy’s life went out of control, the band began falling apart. In 1979, Ozzy decided to quit the band and was replaced by Ronnie James but the band didn’t go on for so long. After many years of separation, the band reunited in 2014, when they decided to do a final goodbye tour for their fans. The world tour was a success in Europe and America!

#8. The White Stripes

The American rock duo formed in 1997, with Jack White as a songwriter, vocalist, guitarist, pianist and mandolinist. His wife, Meg White, was the drummer and vocalist. They were the innovators of the garage rock and their single “Seven Nation Army” became a hymn and their characteristic song. Their most famous albums are White Blood Cells, Elephant, Get Behind Me Satan and Icky Thump. But everything changed when personal problems came to surface for this duo that was keeping their life in privacy.

Photo: Courtesy of Direct Expose.

The last studio album was released in 2007 and after a long pause. the band dissolved in 2011. The success they earned was nothing compared to the struggles the couple was going through, both musically and personally. They had to cancel their 2007 tour because of Meg’s anxiety and since then, the long hiatus for the band started. Later, the couple got divorced.

#7. The Police

Not so many rock bands from the 70s and 80s can say they’ve survived through time and fame like The Police. Originally formed by Sting, Andy Summers and Stewart Copeland. They played rock music with influences from punk, reggae and jazz. Their debut album Outlandos D’Amour (1978) reached Nº 6 in the UK Albums Chart. They continued harvesting success after their second album Reggatta De Blanc (1979). We all still remember and sing, of course, their remarkable songs like “Message In A Bottle”. “Don’t Stand So Close To Me”, “Everything Little Thing She Does Is Magic” and “Every Breath You Take”.

Photo: Courtesy of Direct Expose.

After their third studio album, Synchronicity, in 1984, the band entered into a hiatus up to 2007, when they reunited for a final world tour. But what happened to the band in 1984? Sting had also started his solo career during that time. However, the band reunited two years later to try to amend the situation. The plans changed when the night before the meeting Stewart fell out of his horse and suffered a collarbone injury. The band decided to separate in order to help Stewart’s rehabilitation. 

#6. The Smiths

Sometimes money problems can make best friends separate. Sadly, this is the case for The Smiths, the most famous British indie band. Money and suits separated them without a chance of turning back. In 1987, the band split up in the middle of internal tensions and since then, we haven’t seen the band together. What a loss! Keep on reading to see what really happened to The Smiths!

Photo: Courtesy of Direct Expose.

The legal battle between the members of the band started when Morrisey and Marr took more percent of the royalties of the recordings and performances than Joyce and Rourke. This made the half of the members feel less than the other half. Of course, Joyce and Rourke started legal proceedings against Morrisey and Marr. Another reason to add in the middle of this mess is that a tabloid stated that the band had already split up —which hadn’t happened yet! But that was the last straw for them.

#5. Pixies

The Pixies is an American band formed in the mid-80s by Black Francis, Joey Santiago, Kim Deal and David Lovering. Their alternative rock music was so famous around the world, especially Europe and The United Kingdom, that influenced bands like Nirvana, Radiohead, The Smashing Pumpkins and Blur. Their first full-length album Surfer Rosa was released in 1988 and became “The Album Of The Year”, which included singles like “Melody Maker” and “Sounds”.

Photo: Courtesy of Direct Expose.

In 1993, Francis announced in an interview that the band had split up. But, shockingly, the members of the band found out the news at the same time the entire public did! Apparently, Francis notified via fax he was not going to continue in the band anymore. The life of a musician is not always easy and Francis declared he needed a moment to relax and being away from the stage. Fortunately, everything went well for the band and they reunited in 2003. 

#4. Destiny’s Child

Never was the power of women better represented than by the American group Destiny’s Child, formed by Beyoncé Knowles, Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams. The trio reached international fame in 2000 after the release of their third alum, Survivor, which included iconic songs like “Independent Woman”, “Survivor” and “Bootylicious”. The girl group has sold more than sixty million records around the world and it’s considered as one of the best musical trios of all time.

Photo: Courtesy of Direct Expose.

In 2005, during the successful world tour Destiny Fulfilled… And Loving Tour when they announced that that was going to be the last time together on stage. They decided to make a last and amazing tour to close their cycle together. The group sent a letter to MTV explaining their decision, for them, it was the end of a phase and the beginning of a new one. The singers continued their solo career and we got to know what true female empowerment is by the hand of our Queen B.

#3. R.E.M

The alternative rock band R.E.M formed in 1980 by Bill Berry, Peter Buck, Mike Mills and Michael Stipe. Their debut album Murmur (1983) was critically acclaimed and they continued building their reputation through underground music. Their most remarkable albums are Out Of Time (1991), Automatic For The People (1992) and Monster (1994). They are considered the pioneers of the alternative rock but everything ended for this band in 2011.

Photo: Courtesy of Direct Expose.

After they released their fifteenth album Collapse Into Now (2011), the band announced via the website, they had split up. They declared it wasn’t an easy decision for them but after a long and successful career, they wanted to end everything in peace with the band but also with their fans. According to some tabloids, the internal problems between them were due to their own views on politics, and sadly, the only thing they could agree on was to break up the band.

#2. The Zombies

Sometimes, musicians are not kings or queens in their own land but that doesn’t mean they can’t reach international fame with their music. That was the case of the English rock band The Zombies formed by the keyboardist and vocalist Rod Argent and vocalist Colin Blunstone in the 60s. We still sing songs like “She’s Not There”, “Tell Her No” and “Time Of The Season”. They became famous across the Atlantic Sea, in the United States, where they did an incredible tour.

Photo: Courtesy of Direct Expose.

In 1968 the band was in the middle of incredible success in the United States but back home, it was not the same. According to some tabloids, the influence of The Beatles was really strong for English musicians. It must have been really hard for bands to do music meanwhile The Fab Four were playing. The Zombies decided to separate and continued with their solo careers. Fortunately, Argent and Blunstone continued their friendship after the separation. 

#1. Pink Floyd

Sometimes the best bands of all time started as the dream of young boys, like the case of the English rock band Pink Floyd formed in 1968. The founders of the band were Syd Barret, Nick Mason, Roger Waters and Richard Wright. They are considered as one of the best bands around the world, as they achieved international fame because of their progressive and psychedelic music. Their most famous albums are The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn (1967), The Dark Side Of The Moon (1973) and The Wall (1979), which inspired a movie.

Photo: Courtesy of Direct Expose.

After Barrett left the group in 1968 because of personal problems, Water took the lead of the group and maybe that was the reason for the success of the band. The members of the band wanted different directions for their music, that’s why Wright left Pink Floyd in 1979 and Waters did the same in 1985. We had to wait almost twenty years to see these four together on stage again. The band reunited for the global event of Live 8, as a gift to their fans. Sadly, Barret died in 2006 and Wright in 2008.

Related posts: