The most famous bands of the last century and why they broke up

All the good things in life come to an end. Just like the relationship with the person you’ve met at can end, your favorite band can split. The fans don’t see what happens behind the scenes, so they only learn the real reasons for everything in retrospective. Below are the brief stories of the five famous bands that broke up. Keep reading!

The Beatles

This legendary group once swept the world off its feet. When they split in 1969, there was no official announcement and the public found out about it much later. John Lennon decided to leave The Beatles in 1969 but only made a formal statement in the following year, when Paul McCartney announced his own solo album.

There were many causes for the Beatles’ breakup. It’s been more like a chain of events rather than a single reason, starting from the end of touring in 1966, the death of Brian Epstein who’s been a band’s manager, etc. Rumor has it that Lennon’s wife Yoko Ono also contributed to the breakup of the band. However, Sir Paul McCartney has stood to her defense in one of his TV interviews.

The Clash

Speaking of the bands that broke up, this band had it long and painful. The Clash were the British punk rock classics with a pretty complicated history. Before they officially parted their ways in 1983, they already went through a little turmoil. The reasons for this was multiple. The first time they had to replace the band member was in 1976 when the drummer Terry Chimes decided to leave. Soon, they had to replace the drummer again because one had a heroin addiction.

As the band was becoming more popular, its members were slowly drifting apart because each member had a different creative vision. In 1983, when The Clash was on tour in the US, Mick Jones was fired by Joe Strummer and Paul Simonon, and this effectively ended the clash. People say it was inevitable because the band members just couldn’t get along. They were arguing ceaselessly. Too bad for the fans!

Creedence Clearwater Revival

CCR has been extremely popular in the late 60’s ‒ early 70’s. They have risen like a rocket, having produced eleven Top 20 hits over the period of only four years. Unfortunately, they had fallen just as fast. So why did Creedence Clearwater Revival join the club of the bands that have broken up?

They split mostly for artistic and ‘creative-financial’ differences. The first signs of break up can be traced back to the time when the co-founder of CCR Tom Fogerty decided to leave. People say he just couldn’t stand the leadership of his brother John Fogerty, who took too much control over everything. Not only the band never managed to produce anything worthwhile after Tom’s departure, but the two brothers never reconciled. Sad story.

The Smiths

Another prominent member of ‘the bands that broke up’ club is The Smiths. This band was often called by the critics one of the most influential British indie groups in the 80’s. Naturally, there is more than one reason for their split. It’s a combination of different factors, such as the drug addiction of Andy Rourke, creative exhaustion of Johnny Marr, and the lack of proper business management.

Here’s the generally accepted story. Johnny Marr was wearing many hats in the band. Not only he was a guitarist and a co-author of all their songs, but also he performed the role of the band manager and the musical director. That’s a lot for one person, and when Marr decided to take some time off, the rest of the band interpreted that as wanting to quit. After a series of rumors and misunderstanding, he eventually did. That’s a complicated story. In fact, Marr talks about it in Songs That Saved Your Life book. Check it out some time if you want more details.

The Mamas and the Papas

Although their career was pretty short, this band has been extremely popular and influential in the context of counterculture of the 60’s. The Mamas and the Papas only produced several albums, which mostly consisted of cover songs. The band officially broke up in the late 60’s, made one more album in the 70’s, and that was pretty much it.

So why did they break up? There are so many versions and rumors that it’s difficult to tell what exactly made the band part their ways. One of the versions is that all four band members were involved in a messy affair with each other and that they were never able to reconcile their differences. However, some critics believe this is not the case, presuming that The Mamas and the Papas simply became irrelevant and couldn’t keep up with the changing times

All in all…

It’s pretty sad that these bands are no longer together. Although the fans will never see them play on the stage, they still can enjoy all the beautiful music they made.

Author: Buddy Iahn

Buddy Iahn founded The Music Universe when he decided to juxtapose his love of web design and music. As a lifelong drummer, he decided to take a hiatus from playing music to report it. The website began as a fun project in 2013 to one of the top independent news sites.