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this docuseries explores the circumstances surrounding the demise of some of music's most popular acts. The break ups of The Beatles, The Supremes, Fleetwood Mac, The Eagles, The Beach Boys, N.W.A, Van Halen, Sonny and Cher, and more are examined using dramatic recreations. The series has drawn criticism from the bands themselves and their fans.

Sunday at 10:00 pm on Reelz
3 Seasons, 20 Episodes
June 10, 2018
Documentary & Biography, Music
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Breaking the Band Full Episode Guide

  • Simon & Garfunkel were the most successful folk-rock duo of the 1960s selling almost 40 million albums worldwide. Their distinct melodies and songs helped define a decade but at the height of their success, just four years after they burst into public consciousness, the duo split up. The former childhood best friends suffered from jealously, rivalry and betrayals.

  • The Mamas and The Papas was one of the most iconic groups of the "Swinging Sixties". Their unique vocal harmonies and timeless pop melodies catapulted them to the top of the Billboard charts. The band's journey to the dizzying heights of fame was strewn with tales of infidelity, unrequited love and power struggles, and powered by a hedonistic lifestyle, centered around drink and drugs. Despite The Mamas and The Papas' star burning for only a few short years, the band left an indelible mark on the music industry.

  • In the early 1980s, The Police were hailed as the biggest band in the world, selling over 50 million albums. Sting, Andy Summers and Stewart Copeland dominated the charts and packed out stadiums and then, shockingly, split while at the peak of their rock and roll stardom. Rumors of Sting's fast growing ego, personality clashes and physical fights grew but was this band's implosion really down to just the ambitions of lead singer, Sting or were other factors at work? Breaking the Band: The Police tells the story of a band that defined an era, and reveals the truth behind why they were torn apart.

  • Led Zeppelin split on December 4th 1980, 2 months after the tragic death of iconic drummer, John Bonham. Throughout the 1970’s, at the height of the bands powers, Led Zeppelin became the world’s first rock supergroup, selling over 300 million albums and headlining 600 concerts worldwide. Zeppelin’s rock star excesses became the stuff of legend, and dark rumours swirled around their closely guarded inner circle as everything Zeppelin touched miraculously turned to gold. But after nearly a decade at the top, disaster engulfed the band, and fans speculated that Zeppelin was finally paying the price for their huge success. And 40 years after the split, Zeppelin’s popularity still hasn’t faded; fans, new and old, clamour for a final reunion, which has been described as the “billion dollar tour” by promoters worldwide. But lead singer, Robert Plant, has sworn that he will never play with Zeppelin again, denying lead guitarist Jimmy Page and bass guitarist John Paul Jones the reunion they want. So what really happened to the once close members of the world’s greatest ever rock band? Why won’t they ever play together again? We’ll uncover the truth behind the break up of Led Zeppelin.

  • Kiss blew glam rock out of the water when they formed in 1972, their larger than life cartoon personas and pyrotechnic on stage antics drove audiences crazy. By 1978 they were one of the biggest bands in the world, but the relentless schedule of touring and recording combined with the non-stop debauchery of a rock and roll lifestyle would divide the band; while Peter Criss and Ace Frehely descended into a world of drink and drugs, the bandleader’s Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons stayed sober and tried to keep Kiss recording and performing. Eventually tensions became too much and the original line up of the band split in 1980 when Peter Criss was sacked. Gene and Peter kept Kiss alive over the next decade, with session musicians hired to fill in for the absent Peter and Ace, but their popularity gradually waned. Then, in 1995, after a brief performance on MTV to a rapturous audience, the original line up reconciled and reformed. But when Kiss immediately began a relentless schedule of tours, old tensions soon resurfaced. By 2000 the band hung together by a thread, and the original line up of Kiss broke up when Peter Criss left for the last time. So what caused the original members of Kiss to finally split? We’ll reveal the truth behind the break up of the original Kiss.

  • The Clash where icons of the punk rock revolution in Britain. They were political and challenging and their controversial music sold millions of albums. Their story centred around two musical talents, Mick Jones and Joe Strummer, and their manager Bernard Rhodes. Breaking the Band will investigate how the aggression and attitude that would bring the Clash success, would also lead to their self-destruction and ultimate break up.

  • Formed in 1987, Smashing Pumpkins were one of the most successful alternative rock bands of the 1990s, with their 1995 album, ‘Mellon Collie & The Infinite Sadness' launching them into rock superstardom. But just 5 years later, as relationships between bandmates had completely broken down, the band split up. In this episode, we tell the story of Smashing Pumpkins rise to fame, whilst looking at the complexity of personal & inter-band problems that brought about the band's demise

  • New Kids On The Block has sold over 80 million records, making them one of the most successful boybands of all time. These five childhood friends, became a record breaking group, put together as the vision of musical mastermind Maurice Starr. With hits like Hangin' Tough and Step By Step, they exceeded all expectations - winning teenage hearts across the world and grossing over a billion dollars in under five years. But fame came at a price. As their success grew, the relentless pressure of touring and recording, and the scale of their fame began to take its toll. And behind the scenes, tensions and secrets began to drive the group apart. In less than five years at the top, it was over.

  • In the late 1990's five ambitious young girls took the pop world by storm. Racking up total earnings of up to $800m between 1996 and 1998, with hits like Wannabe, Stop and Spice Up Your Life, The Spice Girls remain the best-selling girl group of all time. They began as 5 separate wannabes manufactured into a group with a mission to break the stranglehold boy bands had on the music charts. Then, thanks to a combination of relentless hard work, ruthless hiring and firing of managers, they conquered the global music charts in record time. The mantra that powered them, their fans and global brands eager to cash in on their success was Girl Power. But that same bombastic Girl Power, their over-ambitious workload and a desire to seize control from their management would burst their bubble after just 2 years at the top.

  • Formed in 1985, Guns N' Roses is regarded as one of the best rock bands of all time and its album, ‘Appetite for Destruction' is the best-selling debut in U.S. history. The band's potent mix of hard rock and beautiful melodies, coupled with insightful and emotional lyrics helped them cross over into the mainstream, resulting in over 100 million record sales. But behind the immense fame and success lay chaos, as the famous front man's antics led to a spate of late on-stage appearances, cancelled concerts and a series of riots, earning Guns N' Roses the moniker, ‘The Most Dangerous Band in the World'. Throughout the turmoil, the band members battled drug addiction and the volatile mix of strong personalities ignited tension and conflict, eventually ripping the band apart. In August 1997, the last original band member quit leaving singer Axl Rose to front Guns N' Roses with a whole new team of musicians. So what exactly caused the classic line-up of Guns N' Roses to finally implode?

  • Motley Crue has sold over 100 million records making them one of the most successful rock bands in the world. The rise of the Sunset Strip bad boys was an 80s journey of debauchery and excess, until their hair metal hedonism ended in tragedy and addiction. Behind the fame, fortune and larger than life lifestyles was recrimination, rehab and bitter resentment.

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