by Rachel Devitt | April 19, 2013
The typical trajectory of a pop star or rock band is fairly predictable. First, struggle and scramble for recognition, fans, gigs and a record contract. Next, achieve unbelievable fame and fortune. Maintain that stardom for a few years (or sometimes just a few months) before committing one (or several!) of various transgressions (from addiction to romantic/band drama to a lousy album to -- the worst -- irrelevance) so unforgivable you fizzle out, fade away, or are forced to take a very, very long "break." (Or, somehow survive all of that, and then just get so burnt out that you take a self-imposed hiatus and go make movies or do Dancing with the Stars or just, like, float around on yachts or something.) There are exceptions, of course, but you could pretty much set your watch by this schedule.
The comeback (or, at least, the attempted comeback) is often a late chapter in the Pop Star Saga, of course. But oh, the potential, the possibility, the drama encompassed by the comeback! Will they overcome it all and rise to the top again? Or will they fall flat on their faces? And how many reality shows will we get out of it? Pop fans love a good story of underdog triumph: Put out a really good late-career album (or hell, just whip up a bunch of comeback theatrics) and we will forgive anything and love you forever -- all over again. Fall Out Boy and Justin Timberlake are just the latest in a long line of bands to attempt this bit of magic; their smash new songs are joined in this playlist by other comeback classics from artists like Tina Turner, Mariah Carey, Eminem, Johnny Cash and more. Listen in and decide for yourself: Did these comeback kids succeed or not?