Sibling Rivalry: The Best & Worst Siblings In Music
Family members can test us at the best of times, so you have to be a little crazy to start a band together where you're destined to spend early morning, late nights, and small hotel rooms together. Still, some manage to pull it off. So we've decided to take a look at some of the siblings in music that have worked and others that haven't.
Jonas Brothers - Maybe the most wholesome band of brothers ever, Joe, Kevin and Nick have never so much as uttered a bad word about each other. And despite not releasing any music together since 2009, the trio’s solo careers are as strong as ever.
Everly Brothers - The Everly Brothers dreamy melodies and smooth vocals caused them to rise to fame in the early 1960s and they’ve continued to tour together to this day. Also, Don and Phil have continually had decade appropriate hair since the 50s.
Jacksons - Rumour has it that La Toya and younger Sister Janet have been feuding for years with Janet becoming fed up at her older sister’s attention grabbing exploits. Since the death of their brother Michael, Janet has severed ties with La Toya with insiders saying that Janet is “is sick and tired of LaToya’s insatiable need to in the spotlight.”
Oasis - Perhaps the most famous musical sibling rivalry of all time, the Gallagher brothers have had countless feuds and public fights. In 2009 Noel described Liam as "rude, arrogant, intimidating and lazy. He’s the angriest man you’ll ever meet. He’s like a man with a fork in a world of soup."
Donnie and Marie Osmond - While godbotherers and all round creeps The Osmonds never had any sort of real feud during their heyday, brother sister duo Donnie and Marie have had their fair share of arguments. Most recently Marie stated she felt ‘stabbed in the back’ by Donnie over legal proceedings.
The Bangles - Debbi and Vicki Peterson maintained a fairly united front during the turbulent times and eventual break up of the Bangles. Sources say the group began to deteriorate when Columbia Records began only releasing singles where third member Susanna Hoffs sang lead. The trio eventually broke up only to reform again in the late 90s.
INXS - Throughout INXS’s turbulent 35 year career, brother Jon, Tim and Andrew Farriss have stayed united and all three brother are still members of the band.
The Isley Brothers - The Isley Brothers (all six and a half of them – he half comes in the form of a brother-in-law). Have had a rotating line-up since their inception as a family gospel group in 1954. Luckily, because there were so many talented family members, when two or more of the brothers weren’t getting along, they had some reserves.
Sly and the Family Stone - Funk band Sly and the Family Stone saw their share of arguments and disagreements most stemming from lead singer and eldest brother Sly’s drug abuse and erratic behaviour. Unable to book gigs anymore, the group eventually disbanded in the early 80s.
Kings of Leon - The director of the Kings of Leon documentary ‘Talihina Sky’ confirmed everyone’s belief of tension between the brothers in the band saying ““Those two [Caleb and Nathan] have notoriously gone at each other over the years. I mean broken shoulders, pulled hair, trying to stab each other. Those two are like twins almost. They’re so close but they’re too close, if that makes sense.”
The Beach Boys - During the recording of ‘Smile’ in 1966, the group almost disbanded as a result of Brian Wilson’s erratic behaviour caused by mental illness. Tensions mounted and brothers Carl and Dennis took on more of the song writing and producing.
The Allman Brothers Band - After the death of Duane Allman in 1971, brother Gregg and the rest of the band members were never the same, and the band never recreated their initial success.
The Jesus and Mary Chain - Brothers Jim and William Reid made started the Jesus and Mary Chain as youngsters, but throughout their often-strained relationship eventually led to the band breaking up in 1999 after a huge counter-cultural success. The band reformed in 2007 for Coachella music festival.
Townsend Brothers - In the shadow of his older brother Pete Townsend who made it big with The Who, Simon eventually found his feet recording with The Who for some of the early work on the film version of Tommy. Striking up a good relationship with Roger Daltrey and John Entwistle he contributed to their solo records and eventually joined as part of the touring band after the death of Entwistle. Of course though, it’s still Pete’s band.
The Breeders - Kim and Kelley Deal, the remarkably identical twins behind the extraordinary music of the Breeders: Kim made it big originally as part of The Pixies before Kelley, who had a solo career, was asked to join Kim's new band The Breeders as third guitarist, even though she didn't really know how to play. Kim suggested Kelley should be the band's new drummer after the position was vacated but Kelley insisted on lead guitar. The Breeders were temporarily halted when Kelly was forced into extensive rehab to fight her battle with heroin addiction. The position of lead guitar was waiting for her when she recovered. Who said there isn't such thing as sisterly love?
Bee Gees - Perhaps the most universally loved of all musical brothers Barry, Maurice and Robin Gibb kicked off their musical career during their Queensland teen years. Their three part harmonies are instantly recogniseable, their catalogue of songs and awards spans a forty year career, and there is probably no one in the developed world who hasn’t sung busted a move to their classic “Stayin’ Alive.” Sadly, Maurice passed away suddenly a few years back, and although his twin brother Robin’s health was on shaky ground, prompting global well wishes, the latter is said to be, thankfully, now in remission from cancer.
Radiohead - It was when Colin Greenwood met a bloke called Thom Yorke that the legendary band started to take form. But for Col, it’s the connection with younger brother Jonny that creates a true familiar feel in Radiohead. In an interview Colin cited he and Jonny’s big sister Susan as an influence on their tastes: “She’s responsible for our precocious love of miserable music.”
The Carpenters - Melodic pop duo siblings Carpenters (the “The” is actually not official, trainspotters) are up there with the best selling artists of all time, with Richard and Karen Carpenter selling over 100 million albums and singles during their 14-year career. Vocalist/drummer Karen’s death as a result of anorexia opened the floodgates for many other celebrities battling eating disorders to discuss the problem. What might be surprising for fans, though, is that the group’s biggest hits “(They Long To Be) Close To You” and “We’ve Only Just Begun” were written by other people.
Martha and Rufus Wainwright As the incredibly talented offspring of folk legends Loudon Wainwright III and Kate McGarrigle Rufus and his little sister Martha are quite used to a little familiar competition, and don’t mind using each other as inspiration. Martha wrote her hit “Bloody Mother Fucking Asshole” about their famous father, Rufus’ song “Martha” has the refrains “It’s your brother calling, Martha. Please call me back/There’s not much time for us to really be that angry at each other anymore.” As far as living up the family legacy Martha says, “The bar is really, really fucking high.”
Now you've read about some the greatest and worst sibling relationships in music, why not see some siblings in action? Remember Hanson, the three brothers who took the world by storm with their pop classic 'MMMBop'? Well the boys are still making music and have just announced an Australian tour. Click here for dates and ticket details.
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