You can make me whole again

popular music tributes embodying the reunion


  • Georgina Gregory University of Central Lancashire



embodiment, entertainment, pop reunions, popular music, tribute


Within hierarchies of taste and value, popular music tributes tend to be dismissed as lowbrow. When they are discussed by the media, they are often depicted as humorous, opportunistic or of little serious value. Nevertheless, regardless of this lack of acclaim this article argues that they fulfil a useful role within the live entertainment industry where their presence is particularly valuable in the event of original band breakup or fission. The article demonstrates how their auspices go beyond the narrow function of filling in during the absence of the original artist. This involves a discussion of the ways in which popular music tributes can help to maintain interest in their archetype during periods of hiatus when a career is disrupted for whatever reason. Furthermore, in certain cases the tribute may even offer new and original music in the style of the original musicians.

Author Biography

Georgina Gregory, University of Central Lancashire

Georgina Gregory has taught on media programmes at several universities and currently works at University of Central Lancashire where she is a senior lecturer in film and media studies. She teaches modules on youth culture and popular music and her main research interests are the representation of identity and issues around authenticity and imitation. She is the author, most recently, of Send in the Clones: A Cultural Study of the Tribute Band (2012). Georgina also works as a music researcher on behalf of the Performing Right Society and performs with the Manchester-based vocal group Accord.


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How to Cite

Gregory, G. (2013). You can make me whole again: popular music tributes embodying the reunion. Popular Music History, 7(2), 211–224.