THE SPICE GIRLS So, today we find out whether there will really be a Spice Girls reunion. They said it would never happen, but with a reported £10m carrot dangling in front of their faces, who can blame the girls for getting over their artistic differences? This time, however, Girl Power will be helped by computer power. An electronic system has apparently been enlisted to supply pre-recorded tracks if the girls sing out of tune during their live concerts.

The man behind the reunion is none other than Svengali Spice himself - Simon Fuller. Let's not forget, this is the manager who masterminded the band's meteoric rise to fame only for an internal coup to see him unceremoniously dumped in 1997. Still, along with his former protegees, Fuller looks set to be zig-a-zig-ah-ing all the way to the bank.

Reunion rating: 8/10

THE EAGLES When Don Henley famously vowed that the Eagles "will get back together when hell freezes over", his reticence was understandable. With rife infighting, ego clashes and tempers long since frayed, the band's previous tour in 1980 ended in near bloodshed.

Tensions within the group reached boiling point following a political fundraising gig in Long Beach, California. Band members Glenn Frey and Don Felder had spent most of the show at each other's throats. "Only three more songs until I kick your ass, pal," Felder hissed at Frey.

To which Frey retorted: "Great, I can't wait."

The final guitar chord had barely rung out when a fight started. Frey punched Felder, who protected himself with his guitar. Soon the whole band was involved in the bust-up and it took upwards of a dozen roadies to pull the warring Eagles apart.

It was apt, then, that when the band did finally bury the hatchet in 1994 - after a chilly 14-year hiatus - they chose to call it the Hell Freezes Over tour.

Sadly, peace was fleeting and six years ago Don Felder was sacked after arguments over the controlling shares of the band's interests. Felder and the band, inevitably, sued each other. Today the remaining Eagles - Frey, Henley, Joe Walsh and Timothy Schmit - are still together and most recently toured (sans Felder) last year.

Reunion rating: 9/10

THE SEX PISTOLS "We share a common cause, and it's your money," sneered John Lydon when the Sex Pistols reformed for their Filthy Lucre tour in 1996. It seemed punk's most famous band were trying to convince everyone (including themselves) that they were still bona fide hellraisers. It was a bit like watching grandpa attempt to emulate Eminem after a one too may sherries on Christmas day.

With Sid Vicious sadly passed away, the reunion four piece comprised Lydon (Johnny Rotten), guitarist Steve Jones, drummer Paul Cook and bassist Glen Matlock (who had been ousted to make way for Vicious in 1977).

Asked about a Sex Pistols reunion in the past, Lydon memorably snarled: "What are we gonna do, dig up Sid?" Although it seemed the idea had crossed his mind: "I thought about that, but Sid's ashes were blown all over the airport. We'd need a Hoover." Even their former manager, Malcolm McLaren, described it as "dray horses out for their last ride before being put out to pasture".

Reunion rating: 4/10

PINK FLOYD Let's see. Band forms. Writes songs. Gets famous. Most important member (Syd Barrett) takes a lot of drugs, undergoes a mental breakdown and disappears from the public eye. Rest of band regroup and record two of the seminal albums of the 1970s, The Dark Side of the Moon and Wish You Were Here. Another member (Roger Waters) starts to take control, writes songs about the war and Margaret Thatcher. Group gets even bigger. Begins to indulge in gratuitous acts of rock pantomime (see the live version of The Wall). Band falls out, said member leaves, starts court case for control of name of band.

No- one speaks for years until Live 8, when they get back together to save the world (or something) by singing Comfortably Numb - but not, unfortunately, the disco helium version popularised by Scissor Sisters. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the Pink Floyd story.

There's one other thing to say. In the recent BBC series, The Seven Ages of Rock, the programme crosscut between 1960s contemporaries of arthouse rock, the Velvet Underground and the Floyd. The Velvets came over as dirty, grungy, drug-taking deviants producing dirty, grungy thrilling music.

The Floyd came over as public schoolboys from Cambridge. Only one of them sold millions of records. Can you guess who?

Reunion rating: 6/10

ALL SAINTS They were the anti-Spice Girls. The non-manufactured, ice cool, super chic, combat trouser-wearing R&B foursome. Then they fell out over a jacket. The story goes something like this: it's December 2000 and All Saints are preparing for a performance at the Capital Radio Awards in London. On a clothes rail backstage hangs a Mod-style jacket. Natalie Appleton claims a stylist promised the jacket to her. Shaznay Lewis insists it's hers. Lewis - as the doyenne of the band - gets her way. That night, as All Saints perform on stage, the rift is palpable. Melanie Blatt and Lewis stay on one side of the stage, while Appleton and sister Nicole remain on the other.

Two weeks later the band split, with the Appleton sisters going one way, Lewis and Blatt the other. The sparring continued when the Appleton sisters published excruciating details of bitter power stand-offs between themselves, Lewis and Blatt in their tell-all, joint autobiography, Together.

Four years passed - and we presume funds dwindled - and then, last year, came a sudden thawing in relations. The former bandmates began meeting up for coffee. Next came news that the band had signed to Parlophone Records and were to return to the studio. They claimed motherhood had mellowed them.

"We're just happy being mates again regardless of the band," chirped Blatt.

The group's comeback single, Rock Steady, reached a valiant No 3 in the charts, but when their new album, Studio 1, was released in November, it barely made a dent in the top 40 before falling to No 74. The second single from the album, Chick Fit, failed to make the top 200. All Saints and Parlophone Records subsequently parted ways.

Reunion rating: 2/10

INXS It is not so much that the Australian band split up as that their lead singer (and only authentic commodity), Michael Hutchence (minor sex god and partner to Paula Yates), was found hanging in a Sydney hotel. A coroner ruled that he had committed suicide.

How do you replace the irreplaceable? Well, first you try another minor sex god at a loose end (Terence Trent D'Arby) and when that doesn't work out you start a reality television programme. Rock Star Inxs, an America-based TV talent show that took 15 finalists from auditions in 20 countries, put them in a Hollywood mansion and asked them to sing their way to stardom. JD Fortune, an Inxs fan and former bankrupt from Nova Scotia, won the contest. He's not yet a star, though. He's not even dated Kylie as far as we know.

Reunion rating: 2/10

GENESIS Room 101: when a band reforms after a lengthy hiatus and says: "It's not about the money". So how irritating when Genesis announced this summer's comeback stadium tour - with Phil Collins, Tony Banks and Mike Rutherford playing together for the first time in 15 years - insisting just that.

"We're all loaded enough not to worry where the next million or two is coming from," said Collins adding that he "missed the camaraderie".

Sadly, while the rest of the band were knee deep in nostalgia, Peter Gabriel, a founding member of Genesis who left to go solo in 1975, simply wasn't feeling the love. Collins admitted Gabriel had been "more sensitive" about what the reunion would mean.

Collins, who replaced Gabriel as Genesis frontman, added: "Peter has been doing his thing since he left and is just a little over-cautious about going back." For "over-cautious" read "wise".

Reunion rating: 5/10

THE JESUS & MARY CHAIN Ah, there's no feud like a family feud. When the Jesus and Mary Chain perform at the Connect Festival at the end of August, it will be the first time the 1980s NME favourites will have played in Scotland since they split in 1998. The question is, will East Kilbride brothers William and Jim Reid, a pair of black-garbed scarecrows with big hair and indie attitudes at their alternative chart-topping high point back in 1985, have anything to say to each other while on stage? Or worse, will they start fighting each other as they did on that final fateful gig back in 1998?

The Mary Chain always made a combustible sound, a squalling psychedelic take on Phil Spector's Wall of Sound, and sometimes held combustible gigs. During early gigs, their 15-minute sets prompted audience riots. After the split, the brothers reportedly didn't speak for years. When Jim Reid went up on stage to receive an award from Mojo magazine last year, he thanked his brother "for not coming".

Reunion rating: 6/10

SIMON AND GARFUNKEL Do you have to be close to be good at close harmonies? Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel have been close friends in the past, starting at junior high in Forest Hills, New York. But that friendship didn't always survive the rigours of a recording career. Or Garfunkel's nascent career in Hollywood. The end of the 1960s and the recording of Bridge Over Troubled Water saw them fall out over what the album's twelfth track should be. Simon refused to do a Bach cover, Garfunkel a Simon track called Cuba Si, Nixon No. They split soon after, reconvening for a George McGovern benefit concert (Hollywood liberal's presidential candidate of choice) in 1972 and most famously for a free concert in Central Park in 1982 attended by 500,000 people.

The tale goes they even completed a new album after that event but, when the record company didn't like the sound of it, Simon took Garfunkel's vocals off the record and released it as a solo record, Hearts and Bones.

It's a story Simon has denied, but it might explain why the duo weren't on talking terms for a while, although they recently managed to reunite for the Old Friends tour.

Reunion rating: 6/10

TAKE THAT It's 2002 and Williams is on top of the world having signed a record-breaking £80m contract with EMI. The golden boy of pop can do no wrong.

Take That are but a distant memory. "Glad I ditched those losers," you could imagine him muttering as he takes a swig of champagne.

Cue the present day: Williams's career has taken a spectacular nosedive. His single, Rudebox, from this seventh studio album, has been widely derided as "the worst song ever". Meanwhile, a newly reunited Take That are riding high again with a sell-out tour and the second-biggest-selling album of 2006. Ouch.

Williams - who left Take That in 1995 - turned down an invitation to join the reunion. Explaining his absence, the singer's spokeswoman said: "Robbie has been working hard promoting his new album and is having a well-deserved rest at home in LA before he releases his second single." It didn't take a genius to read between the lines.

Fortunately, Williams's absence did little to thwart the reunion plans, with Gary Barlow, Mark Owen, Jason Orange and Howard Donald shrugging off the snub by replacing Williams with a hologram for part of their live set. More personality that way, we presume.

Reunion rating: 8/10