Best Comebacks In Music | Features | MN2S

We take a look at some of the most impressive and exciting musical comebacks of all time.

There are ups and downs to every musician’s career. Some remain current for decades, topping the charts and making headlines year after year. But some artists drop out of the charts, and some start making headlines for the wrong reasons.

But you don’t have to go completely off the rails to stage a stunning career comeback. If you go from one of the biggest artists in your field to someone seen as “past their peak” and somehow turn that perception around by bringing about a new golden age, that is a true musical comeback.

So let’s take a look at some artists, MN2S and otherwise, who went from hero to zero and then all the way back to hero once again.

1. Rick Astley

Rick Astley was one of the biggest selling singers of the 1980s. His second solo recording, ‘Never Gonna Give You Up’, held the UK number one spot for five weeks, and topped the charts in 24 countries worldwide, including the USA and Germany.

Astley’s combination of baritone vocals and synth-y dance pop kept him as a regular chart fixture throughout the 80s, with help from writer-producers Stock, Aitken and Waterman. But it didn’t last forever. In 1990 Rick left Stock, Aitken and Waterman, taking his music in a more soulful direction. While a noble move, this music did not connect with the public in the same way as his earlier, more timely work.

Astley could have kept singing, establishing himself as a respectable presence on the adult contemporary scene, but instead he retired from the music business in 1993, choosing to spend more time with his family.

A decade later, Astley was back behind the mic. He released a string of moderately successful material throughout the early 2000s, but his comeback was just beginning. When 2007 rolled around, the internet phenomenon Rickrolling began to take off, thrusting ‘Never Gonna Give You Up’ back into the public consciousness.

He capitalised on this trend by Rickrolling the entire city of New York at the Thanksgiving Day Parade, spent some time touring, and then returned to the studio. 2016 was when he truly returned, with the album 50 reaching the number one spot on the UK album chart, beating fellow veteran Paul McCartney and newcomer Drake to the top position.

2. Santana

Carlos Santana was the lead guitarist of his self-titled band throughout the 60s and 70s, achieving huge success with his trademark blend of Psychedelic Soul and Latin American rhythms.

The band Santana’s appearance at Woodstock was very well received, and it established Santana as one of the era’s premier guitar icons. When it came to the 80s and 90s, though, the band struggled to adjust their sound with the trends of the time.

It wouldn’t be long before Carlos came back, though. Even in the quietest time of his career, more popular guitarists such as Prince were citing him as a key influence.

Throughout the 90s, Santana began working on an album that would feature an extensive roster of featured artists including Lauryn Hill, Cee Lo Green, Wyclef Jean and fellow 60s guitar legend Eric Clapton.

When Supernatural was released it was a hit. Santana had returned to mainstream success once again, winning 8 Grammy Awards. This, it had turned out, was the most successful period of Santana’s career, proving it is never too late to measure up to or exceed your past success.

3. Craig David

Craig David brought UK Garage to the forefront of popular culture in the 1990s with the now classic ‘Re-Rewind (The Crowd Say Bo Selecta)’, a collaboration with DJ & production duo Artful Dodger.

The track, and David’s album Born To Do It topped the UK charts and established Craig David as a major force in UK Garage and Soul. He had continued chart success throughout the 90s and 2000s but nothing came close to touching Born To Do It in terms of sales and cultural influence.

After stagnating in the late 2000s and releasing a covers album to lukewarm reception, David switched his focus to TS5, his weekly party in Miami, at which he DJs. TS5 soon became the hottest ticket in town, and David eventually took it worldwide.

Following that, the singer teamed up with grime king Big Narstie for the single ‘When The Bassline Drops’, which was his biggest hit in decades. Two years and a lot of hard work later, Craig David is one of the biggest artists in the country with his Following My Intuition album reaching number one, and his career resurgence winning him Best Male Act at the MOBO Awards.

Book Rick Astley now to see the comeback king in person.

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