The Avalanches have updated all of their social media accounts with the same image, once again prompting comeback rumours. The Australian group released ‘Since I Left You’ back in 2000 and we’ve been waiting for a follow-up for over 16 years now. But that’s nothing compared to these other famously tardy releases.
2012’s ‘mbv’ closed the door on 22 years of speculation over whether My Bloody Valentine would ever follow up ‘Loveless’. Reunions came and went across the years that a new LP was imminent; a live reunion happened but there were no new songs; before finally on a wintry February night in 2013 nine new tracks were uploaded to the shoegazers’ website for download. Better late than never, guys.
Cult Newcastle-born songwriter Vashti Bunyan released just one album, 1970’s ‘Just A Diamond Day’, before quitting the music industry, disillusioned by how few copies it’d sold. 35 years later, after becoming a sleeper favourite among indie bands like Joanna Newsom and Animal Collective (who she later collaborated with), a sequel finally emerged: 2005’s hushed, magical ‘Lookaftering’.
Before ‘Blank Project’, the last time Neneh Cherry released an album (1996’s ‘Man’) John Major was British Prime Minister and mobile phones were the size of shoeboxes. 16 years in the making, the Swedish singer-songwriter’s return was a NME 8/10-approved gem. Good things come to those who wait, eh?
…Or maybe not. You could have completed a life sentence in prison in the time it took for Axl Rose to release Guns N’ Roses’ 35-years-in-the-making ‘Chinese Democracy’, the group’s first material since ‘The Spaghetti Incident’. Of course, by this point Axl had sacked all his band mates and gone a bit Marlon Brando-up-the-river-in-Apocalypse Now, and the record was met with lukewarm reviews.
Black Sabbath returned last year with ’13’, their first fully realised album in 18 years. The follow up to 1995’s ‘Forbidden’, original members Ozzy Osbourne and Geez Butler were spurred into reuniting by guitarist Tony Iommi’s cancer diagnosis, telling NME it was “now or never”.
There was a five year interim between Bob Dylan’s ‘Love and Theft’ in 2001 and 2006’s ‘Modern Times’ – a bit of a Slow Train Coming by the usually prolific Zimmerman’s standards.
There was a nine year wait for Leonard Cohen to follow up 1992’s ‘The Future’. His tenth studio album ‘Ten New Songs’ (2001) was his first to be recorded digitally and featured Diano Ross collaborator Sharon Robinson on co-writing and instrumentation duties.
34 years passed between The Stooges ‘Raw Power’ in 1973 and 2007 follow-up ‘The Weirdness’. Luckily, Iggy Pop is some kind of ageless vampire man who defies aging so had no problem keeping up with the unrelenting punk of that sequel.
Slow moving and precise, just like their music, trip-hop innovators Portishead weren’t about to rush their follow up to their self-titled 1997 release. The darker, bleaker ‘Third’ came 11 years later in 2008, wowing fans and critics alike.
It took Dinosaur Jr. 10 years to return to follow 1997’s impeccably noisy ‘Hand It Over’ with ‘Beyond’ – even more significantly, their first album with their original lineup since ‘Bug’ in 1988.
A long 21 years passed between The Vaselines’ 1981 release of ‘Dum Dum’ and their 2010 album ‘Sex With An X’ – long enough to have a child and watch them grow to legal drinking age in the US. The Scottish band split shortly after the release of their debut LP but watched their popularity skyrocket thanks to the support of Kurt Cobain. Their long-anticipated studio was quickly considered a triumph.
Never one to rush new material (this year’s new album will be his first since 2009), Morrissey’s sequel to 1997’s ‘Maladjusted’ came a whole seven years later. Released in 2004, ‘You Are The Quarry’ was “undoubtedly the best thing he’s done since ‘Vauxhall & I'” in the eyes of NME’s reviewer.
Seven years passed between Springsteen’s ‘The Ghost of Tom Joad’ and his record ‘The Rising’ in 2002 – the prolific rocker’s longest ever downtime. It was 9/11 that sparked him back into action, inspiring the album’s stirring title track. The record went on to win a Grammy for Best Rock Album in 2003.
Did Dr Dre break a mirror after ‘The Chronic’ and not want to risk bad luck derailed his follow up? That’d explain the seven year wait for ‘2001’, released in 1999 to mighty acclaim. His next album, the fabled ‘Detox’, however, we’re still waiting for.
2004 single ‘Bam Thwok’ and a cover of ‘Ain’t That Pretty At All’ aside, Pixies’ 2013 release ‘EP1’ was their first recording in twelve years. The successor to 1991’s ‘Trompe Le Mode’, it was the first album they released without founding member, bassist and backing singer Kim Deal.
Blondie’s ‘The Hunter’ was released in 1982, the same year that Time Magazine named ‘The Computer’ as person of the year and the world welcomed wee babe Prince William. It would not be until William was a rambunctious teenager that Blondie would release ‘No Exit’ in 1999. The agonisingly long-awaited album saw the band gain a number one in the UK for a third consecutive decade.
Fleetwood Mac’s 17th studio album ‘Say You Will’ was released in 2003, and it was another decade before they released ‘Extended Play’ in 2013. The four track EP was released via iTunes last year without a label, and the tracks were played live frequently in their 2013 tour.
It took London from 2005 to 2013 to plan, stage and clean up an entire Olympic Games – the same span of time it took Daft Punk to follow up ‘Human After All’, an Olympian undertaking if ever there was one. Luckily, last year’s ‘Random Access Memories’ was a star-studded cosmic funk adventure, bouyed by ridiculously catchy lead single ‘Get Lucky’, featuring Pharrell and Chic legend Nile Rogers.
Linda Perhacs first released ‘Parallelograms’ in 1970, the same year in which the ten-shilling note ceased to be legal tender and the 50p coin was born. Over four decades later, the psychedelic folk singer announced that her second record ‘The Soul Of All Natural Things’ would be released in March of this year.
Now this is how you do a comeback. David Bowie, after months of whispers that he was in ill health, released a new single ‘Where Are We Now?’ on his 66th birthday last January, swiftly followed by his poignant ‘The Next Day’, ten years after what was presumed to be his swansong, 2003’s ‘Reality’. Dame Dave, we salute you.