10 Bands Who Retired and Then Changed Their Minds

Keep Dallas Observer Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Dallas and help keep the future of Dallas Observer free.

On Saturday George Strait is supposed to play his last live show ever, with the caveat that while he won't be performing live any longer, he does have a five-album deal to fulfill for his record label, MCA Nashville. This is the sort of "retirement" we constantly see in the music world, as acts who hang it up are lured back by a big pay day or a love of going out and feeling the adoration of a live crowd. We're not saying King George won't be good to his word; we've just won't be surprised by whatever happens down the road. In honor of the occasion, we collected 10 of the worst offenders of the "retirement" con.

The Rolling Stones

The Rolling Stones have had so many farewell tours that it's not even a joke at this point. They were talking about calling it a quits in the '80s and even took a seven-year break between tours. Of course they just went on a tour celebrating their 50th year as a group. It's like they're cursed by the death of Brian Jones and doomed to tour the world for all eternity in hopes of staving off the icy grip of death that looms large over the senior citizens that make up the group.

The Dance - Garth Brooks from BlueHighways TV (BHTV) on Vimeo.

Garth Brooks Brooks "retired" after a series of shows that broke box office records, and a group of televised specials. Of course he returned in 2009 with a five-year residency in Las Vegas (this happens a lot) and is continuing his retirement by selling out shows in Ireland within 20 minutes. No word on that second Chris Gaines album has been put out yet; 15 years and counting on that one.

Jay Z

Man, Jay couldn't make it two years before putting out an album. Like owning a basketball team, retirement couldn't keep Jay's attention and he's been pumping out albums, songs and Broadway adaptations at a steady clip ever since. Hopefully fatherhood keeps his attention; hate to see him lose interest in Blue Ivy once she hits two. (Backs away from joke.)

The Eagles

34 years ago the band said hell would freeze over before they played again. Predictably, 14 years later they reunited, put out an album named

Hell Freezes Over

, made all the money in the world and have toured non-stop since. Your dad thinks this is awesome. You, me and Jeffrey Lebowski think it's hell on earth.

Hologram Tupac

Not even death could stop Tupac from putting out six studio albums, roughly 800 singles, a few mix tapes and making an appearance at Coachella 16 years after his burial to perform with Snoop Dogg and Dr. Dre. Continuing to endlessly work while being dead, that's some real dedication to not retiring.

Kate Bush

The British songstress has only toured once in her career, in 1979, and has only performed live sporadically in here decades long career. That is until this year when it was announced that Bush would have a 22-night stand at the Hammersmith Apollo theater in London. Tickets sold out in 15 minutes for all 22 nights.


Kiss had a farewell tour in the year 2000. Since then they have toured almost non-stop, made an endless amount of cash, and given the world a Gene Simmons sex tape. Thanks a lot Kiss, fans who spent so wildly on the 2000 tour: you doomed us to a Gene Simmons sex tape.


Cher retired in 2007 by announcing a three-year-long Las Vegas residency. She then followed that up with a three-year-long tour. That was then followed by a new album and a new tour this year. I don't think Cher knows what the word retirement means.

Ozzy Osbourne

Ozzy. Bro. You were supposed to have retired in 1993, which was 21 years ago. Since then you've put out five new albums and toured endlessly. You are the least retired person who is utterly incoherent of all time. Even Larry King thinks you need to hang it up.

Christine McVie

Unlike her Fleetwood Mac bandmate,s McVie hadn't gone on the victory lap tour circuit since calling it a quits from music in 1998. That is until this year when it was announced that she would be joining the band on some upcoming dates. Not even a history of infighting, drug abuse, tour issues and endless royalties could keep Fleetwood Mac from fully reforming.

Billy Joel

Though he's said he'll never put out another album and that he was done with music, Joel has toured, and played, almost endlessly. He's the Joe Paterno of music. Many think he'll play "Piano Man" till he's on his death bed, and that the only way he'll see a death bed is if he ever stops playing... Or goes for another late night drive.

Keep the Dallas Observer Free... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Dallas with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.


Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.