Special Report

The Biggest Comebacks in Music History

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30. James Brown
> Comeback song: “Living In America”
> Entered Top 40: 1/11/1986
> Years between Top 40 hits: 11.3

James Brown, “The Godfather of Soul,” influenced singers from Mick Jagger to Michael Jackson. Brown recorded seven top 10 hits, including his paean to the U.S., “Living in America,” that peaked at No. 4 on March 1, 1986. Before that hit, Brown’s last Top 40 success was “Papa Don’t Take No Mess (Part I)” in 1974.

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29. Lulu
> Comeback song: “I Could Never Miss You (More Than I Do)”
> Entered Top 40: 8/22/1981
> Years between Top 40 hits: 11.4

You might remember Lulu for her chart-topping single “To Sir With Love” in 1967. But she scored other Top 40 hits as well. Her song “I Could Never Miss You (More Than I Do)” reached No. 18 in 1981 and was her first Top 40 hit since “Oh Me Oh My (I’m A Fool For You Baby)” reached No. 22 in 1970.

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28. Ben E. King
> Comeback song: “Supernatural Thing – Part I”
> Entered Top 40: 3/8/1975
> Years between Top 40 hits: 11.5

Ben E. King had many hits, both with the top ’50s and ’60s rhythm-and-blues group The Drifters and as a solo artist. He charted in the Top 40 in 1963 with “I Who Have Nothing,” a ballad based on an Italian song, “Uno dei Tanti.” It took him almost 12 years to repeat his success, this time with an unlikely comeback disco hit, “Supernatural Thing – Part 1.”

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27. Yes
> Comeback song: “Owner Of A Lonely Heart”
> Entered Top 40: 11/19/1983
> Years between Top 40 hits: 11.5

The venerable prog British rockers are not considered a singles-oriented band. Still, they had a Top 40 hit with “Roundabout” in 1972. They eclipsed that success in 1983, with the single “Owner Of A Lonely Heart” — their only No. 1 single. The song’s video was in frequent rotation on MTV in the 1980s.

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26. Bad Company
> Comeback song: “If You Needed Somebody”
> Entered Top 40: 1/26/1991
> Years between Top 40 hits: 11.6

A British supergroup composed of members of the bands King Crimson, Free, and Mott the Hoople, Bad Company exploded on the rock scene with their biggest hit “Can’t Get Enough of Your Love” in 1974. After their career cooled, they rebounded with a Top 40 hit, “If You Needed Somebody,” in 1991, about 12 years after their previous Top 40 success, “Rock ‘n’ Roll Fantasy.”