July 10, 2012


5 Reasons Why Chumbawamba Breaking Up Surprisingly Sucks

Jill Douglas
Jill Douglas

When many of you heard the news of British alt band Chumbawamba breaking up, you were probably all, "And...?" But we were kind of sad, and you should be, too.

Besides bringing us the timeless treasure that is "Tubthumping," there are other reasons Chumbawamba were actually really cool. They took musical risks, they stood up for what they believed in and, hello, they managed to make music together for more than 30 years.

Take a look at our list of the five reasons Chumbawamba breaking up surprisingly sucks, and let us know what you think in the comments.  

5.) They weren't scared to try new sounds. Chumbawamba made their debut on anarchist punk label Crass Records' compilation album Bulls*** Detector 2. (Cool in and of itself.) They'd later go on to explore the worlds of electro, dance, folk and alternative music, all within one career.

4.) They were loudmouths (in a good way). Their first EP, Pictures Of Starving Children Sell Records (released in 1986), was a critique of Live Aid, a 1985 concert organized to raise funds for relief of the ongoing Ethiopian famine,  which the band thought drew attention away from the real political causes of world hunger.Their second album, Never Mind the Ballots...Here's the Rest of Your Lives, was released in 1987 and coincided with the British general election and questioned the validity of the democratic system. Chumbawamba went on to release 15 more albums (!!!), most of which had something displeasing to say about the general state of the world.

3.) They had values...that they stuck to. In the late '90s, after about "30 seconds" of thinking about it, Chumbawamba turned down $1.5 million from Nike to use the song "Tubthumping" in a World Cup advertisement. In 2002, the band donated a payment of about $70,000 received from General Motors for the use of one of their songs in an advertisement to activist groups CorpWatch and the Independent Media Center... which then used the cash to fund a campaign against GM.

2.) No chance for a "Tubthumping," part 2. Even though we were all desperately sick of it by the end of 1997, "Tubthumping" only peaked at No. 6 on the Billboard Hot 100. There's gotta be more left for you, Chumbawamba. Lightning CAN strike twice! 

1.) You're getting old. This is the beginning, guys. That one-hit wonder band with that song about whiskey drinks and vodka drinks breaks up, and the next thing you know, the AARP magazine is in your mailbox and you're talking to yourself about "THE WAY THINGS USED TO BE."