These Musicians Disappeared For Way Too Long, But Who Tortured Us Longest?

Some bands make it easy on us as fans. They quit. Plain and simple. They make an announcement, something along the lines of disbanding due to personal reasons, creative differences, or succumbing to the desire to move on. A date is set when the band will no longer exist; that date features a concert where goodbyes are said, tears are shed, memories are made. When the sun rises in the morning, we have all moved on.

That’s easy.

Some bands are just straight-up toying with our emotions, though. Instead of breaking up, they go on hiatus.

Hiatus (noun): A period of time when something (such as an activity or program) is stopped.

Something is “stopped,” not finished, but stopped. A band quits, and it’s definite. A band goes on hiatus, and it’s indefinite. It’s open-ended. As a fan, you wait with baited breath for news that maybe, just maybe, the hiatus is over. What do you do during a hiatus? You find other bands, and you try to fill the gap left behind. Phish went on hiatus (or broke up, depending on who you ask) from 2004 to 2009, and neo-hippies everywhere flocked to lesser-known jam bands like Moe and String Cheese Incident, bands who could provide at least some semblance of that warm feeling Phish provided. It wasn’t the same, though. It never is. Bands are like friends in that you come to rely on them, and you value their company. If a friend is all of sudden not around, you feel a little lost. You try to replace that friend, but it’s not the same. But that old friend isn’t around, and life moves on.

But hold up… that friend is suddenly back in town! Awesome!

In a very roundabout way, this is about Faith No More.

Faith No More recently released Sol Invictus, their first album since 1997’s Album of the Year. That’s 18 years. Congratulations, Faith No More’s hiatus. You can now vote and buy cigarettes.

But that old friend analogy doesn’t just apply to Faith No More. Here are few other artists who left us for too long, only to recently return. Whose absence was mostly deeply felt?

More: Faith No More’s Best Songs (That Aren’t “Epic”)

Wu-Tang Clan

Quebec Festival D'ete 2013 - Day 2
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This one is a little tougher to nail down because of all the members Wu-Tang has, and their splintered collaborations. Based solely on their discography, they put out 8 Diagrams in 2007, and didn’t release anything else until 2014’s A Better Tomorrow. Only seven years? Please.

Edge: Faith No More


Riot grrrls represent! Sleater-Kinney released The Woods in 2005 before announcing that they were going on hiatus. During that time, the band’s guitarist, Carrie Brownstein, helped give us the wonders of Portlandia, to which we will forever be in her debt. The band released No Cities to Love in 2015.

Ten years.

Respectable, but not competitive.

Edge: Faith No More


Blur perform during Converse Rubber Tracks Live Presents Blur In Concert at Music Hall of Williamsburg on May 1, 2015 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City.
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Blur has been gone for a while. Gone almost long enough to make his time in Gorillaz seem as though it was Damon Albarn’s main claim to fame. Foolish kids. Blur essentially took a siesta in 2003 after completing a tour with departing member Graham Coxon and didn’t return until this year with “The Magic Whip.”

Edge: Faith No More


D’Angelo was off the grid for so long, I started to think Questlove would start putting his picture on milk cartons in hopes of finding him. After his second album, 2000’s Voodoo, was released, D’Angelo left the spotlight, uncomfortable with his increasing reputation as a sex symbol. In 2014, D’Angelo released his third album, Black Messiah. Fourteen years. Close, but….

Edge: Faith No More


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Soundgarden released King Animal, their first studio album since 1996’s Down on the Upside, in 2012. Sixteen years. Not bad. That hiatus would able to drive in most states.

But unfortunately…

Edge: Faith No More

My Bloody Valentine

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The Irish band broke up in 1997, although their last album at the time was 1991’s Loveless. They reunited in 2008 for three live shows in the United Kingdom, but waited until 2013 to return with a new album, m b v. We’re going to count that as 22 years.

Edge: My Bloody Valentine

Nice try, Faith No More. You kept us waiting for a long time, but not as long as My Bloody Valentine. However long it took, we’re just happy that everyone on this list is back.