Top five band break-ups

As One Direction decide to call it a day Mark Casci looks back on the top five band splits that have broken fans’ hearts.
The Beatles in BlackpoolThe Beatles in Blackpool
The Beatles in Blackpool

1) The Beatles j7wa_VZOTYo

It was the news that sent shockwaves across the world. The biggest band in the history of rock n’roll had long since retired from touring and were rarely seen in public.

However in October 1970, after ten years together, The Beatles confirmed they were no more.

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The break-up is the most documented in musical history, with the death of manager Brain Epstien, John Lennon’s marriage to Yoko Ono and their increasingly divergent musical paths all playing a role.

In the years running up to the split both Ringo Starr and George Harrison had quit the band only to return shortly afterwards, but in 1969 Lennon indicated that he wanted to leave for good.

A compromise was agreed in which the Fab Four agreed to one more record, Abbey Road, recorded last but released before the Let It Be record.

Hopes of a reunion remained until Lennon’s tragic murder in 1980.

2) Abba

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The Swedes shot to public fame after winning the Eurovision Song Contest in 1974 and went on to sell millions of records the world over.

However in the early 1980s the band fizzled out after the usual combination of internal strife between the group and their manager escalated and the band members never convened for new material.

3) Take That

The Manchester-based boy band of Gary Barlow, Mark Owen, Jason Orange, Howard Donald and Robbie Williams became the biggest boy band in the country at the time. A series of massive selling records and number one singles followed but in 1995 Robbie Williams quit the group after growing disenchanted with the boyband lifestyle. The following year the group announced their split, leading to a helpline having to be set up for distraught fans.

In 2005 the band reconvened minus Williams for a hugely successful comeback album and tour. Williams briefly rejoined the fold in 2010 before quitting again with last year founder member Jason Orange quitting, leaving the band as a three-piece.

4) Oasis

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The mid-90s resurgence of British guitar music was spearheaded by two brothers Noel and Liam Gallagher from Manchester, trading together as Oasis. Their phenomenal success in the charts saw them produce the fastest-selling debut album in history and led them to play sold out shows at Knebworth that saw five per cent of the country apply for tickets.

Noel GallagherNoel Gallagher
Noel Gallagher

Their success on stage was indelibly linked to the combustible relationship off the stage. The pair frequently came to blows and the group had to tour the USA without singer Liam after he refused to join the group.

Miraculously the only members to remain constant were the Gallaghers until 2009 when elder brother Noel finally reached his breaking point and departed following a row ahead of a Paris gig. He posted online that he simply could no longer work with his brother any more. He has since enjoyed a successful solo career but rumours of a reunion persist.

5) The Police

Formed by drummer Stewart Copeland, along with schoolteacher Gordon “Sting” Sumner and guitarist Andy Summers the band enjoyed colossal success worldwide.

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Tensions mounted Sting took control of the band, with the remaining members frustrated that their songs never made it onto records while Sting’s went on to sell millions.

Sting pulled the plug in 1984 after a long stadium tour in support of their massive album Synchronicity. The band reconvened for a tour in 2007 but failed to produce any new material.