The history of family bands, from The Kinks to Kings Of Leon, The Jackson 5 to Oasis and more
Chloe Ravat
13:17 28th August 2013

There must be something in the water at these guys' houses. We've come to the realisation that some of the best bands in the world, both modern and classic, seem to be made up of siblings and family members.

From entire bands made up of siblings, to a couple of cousins or brothers and sisters on drums and bass - musical talent clearly seems to be a genetic pre-requisite in these families, where most of us just pray that we don't get Aunt Hilda's moustache.

We've picked 33 of the best sibling bands we could think of, from the current stars of tomorrow, to the nostalgia-inducing families of yesteryear. Have a look and see what you think...

  • The Kinks: A legendary rock band formed by brothers Dave and Ray Davies. They stormed the English music scene with songs like 'You Really Got Me' and 'Waterloo Sunset'. The brothers were the only two steady members of the band, with an ever-changing line-up of bassists and keyboard players.

  • The Bee Gees: A disco trio of brothers consisting of Barry, Robin and Maurice Gibb. They experienced the height of their career around the late 1970s with songs like 'Stayin' Alive' and 'Night Fever'. Barry is sadly the only surviving brother after Maurice died in 2003 and Robin lost his battle to cancer in 2012.

  • Gladys Knight and the Pips: Famed as an R'n'B/soul family act, Gladys Knight & the Pips featured siblings Gladys and Merald 'Bubba' Knight, as well as their cousins Edward Patten and William Guest. They are known for songs such as 'Midnight Train to Georgia' and 'Heard it Through the Grapevine'.

  • Jackson 5: Arguably the most famous sibling musical act in musical history; the Jackson 5 was the vehicle that showcased a tiny Michael Jackson's talents as a solo artist. Jackie, Tito, Jermaine and Marlon reunited for a tour in 2012, which marked the first time they had toured together without Michael.

  • The Allman Brothers Band: The Floridian rock and blues band was formed in 1969 by brothers Duane and Gregg Allman. They achieved huge chart success with their song 'Ramblin' Man', and last year they were awarded with a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.

  • Iggy and the Stooges: The Michigan-born band originally comprised Iggy Pop (real name James Newell Osterberg), Dave Alexander, and brothers Dave and Ron Asheton, until Ron died in 2009. They didn't sell many records in the beginning, but are nevertheless regarded as instrumental in the rise of punk rock.

  • The Carpenters: An American brother-sister pop duo consisting of Karen and Richard Carpenter; they exhibited a softer musical style than was prevalent during their era of popularity. Karen suffered from a well-documented battle with anorexia, which eventually caused her death in 1983. Conversely, after overcoming an addiction to quaalude, Richard now lives with his wife and children in California.

  • The Jets: The Jets were a British rockabilly band consisting of three brothers, Bob, Ray and Tony Cotton. Their most successful single was 'Love Makes the World Go Round', which reached number 21 in the UK charts in 1982.

  • Sister Sledge: Another one of the most famous family bands in music; Sister Sledge was comprised of four sisters; Kim, Debbie, Joni and Kathy. They hit the big time in 1979 with their album We are Family and the single of the same name.

  • AC/DC: The Aussie (but mostly UK-grown) rock band was formed in 1973 by brothers Malcolm and Angus Young, who played rhythm and lead guitar, repsectively, and continue to do so today. Interestingly, Malcolm wrote the guitar riff for 'Back in Black' but was unsure as to whether it was any good - so asked brother Angus for his opinion.

  • Van Halen: Named after the brothers that formed the band; Van Halen consisted of Eddie and Alex Van Halen, David Lee Roth (who was replaced for a while by Sammy Hagar) and Michael Anthony. They garnered success in the UK with songs like 'Jump' and 'Why Can't This Be Love'.

  • The Bangles: The Bangles were an all-female pop band featuring sisters Vicki and Debbi Peterson. They had some huge hits in the UK with songs like 'Eternal Flame', 'Walk Like an Egyptian' and 'Manic Monday'. After disbanding in 1988, they reformed in 1998 to record a song for the movie Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me.

  • The Proclaimers: Scottish twins Charlie and Craig Reid have endowed us with such nuggets of musical genius as '(I'm Gonna Be) 500 Miles' and 'Letter from America'. They made singing in a Scottish accent cool, and feature on VH1's list of the greatest one-hit wonders, as '500 Miles' was their only US hit.

  • Orbital: An electro dance duo made up of brothers Paul and Phil Hartnoll. The brothers stood out among other techno acts due to their ability to improvise during live performances. They broke up in 2004 but reformed again in 2009 to headline The Big Chill.

  • Radiohead: Fronted by Thom Yorke, with brothers Jonny and Colin Greenwood on lead guitar and bass, as well as Phil Selway and Ed O'Brien on percussion and guitar, respectively. The band write songs collaboratively, and as a result all their songs are credited to 'Radiohead'.

  • Oasis: Almost as famous for their warring brothers as they are for their music, Oasis were a pivotal and hugely popular Mancunian rock band until Noel Gallagher left in 2009. His brother Liam and the rest of the band continue to perform to this day as Beady Eye.

  • Hanson: The trio of brothers from Tulsa, Oklahoma set teenage hearts aflutter in 1997 with the release of their debut single 'MMMBop'. We still neither know what the lyrics are or even what 'MMMBop' means - if anything - but it sure is catchy. Isaac, Taylor and Zac now even have their own brand of beer, 'MMMHops'.

  • K-Ci & JoJo: The R'n'B duo consists of Cedric "K-Ci" Hailey, and Joel "JoJo" Hailey. Also members of the group Jodeci, the brothers broke out on their own to record 'How Could You' for the movie Bulletproof, and continued to have a successful career as a duo right up to the present when they released their new single 'Knock It Off'.

  • 30 Seconds to Mars: Brothers Jared and Shannon Leto formed the band in 1998, recruiting Matt Wachter later on as bassist. Even though Jared is also a successful actor, the band have revealed that they are recording their fourth album, Love, Lust, Faith and Dreams. They are also the first band to ever send and debut a single (in their case, 'Up In The Air' in 2013) on a space station.

  • Tegan and Sara: An indie rock duo made up of identical twin sisters Tegan and Sara Quin. Both sisters are openly gay with long-term girlfriends. Their 2012 single 'Closer' reached number 1 on the US dance chart.

  • Kings of Leon: The Tennesee-based rock band is formed of three brothers; Caleb, Nathan and Jared Followill as well as their cousin, Matthew Followill. The brothers were sons of a Pentecostal preacher, and were able to embrace the rock lifestyle they'd been denied when their father left the profession. As Kings of Leon they are famed for songs like 'Sex on Fire' 'Use Somebody' and 'Notion'.

  • Biffy Clyro: With Simon Neil at the helm, twin brothers James and Ben Johnston provide solid support on bass, drums and vocals in the hugely successful rock trio Biffy Clyro. They were noticed by manager Dee Bahl while playing small gigs around Glasgow, which led to a career that has culminated in their headlining Reading and Leeds Festivals in 2013.

  • Arcade Fire: The Canadian rock outfit's members include husband and wife Win Butler and Regine Chassagne, along with Win's brother Will, Richard Reed Parry, Tim Kingsbury, Jeremy Gara, and Sarah Neufeld. Most of the band are multi-instrumentalists, playing unusual instruments like the glockenspiel, the mandolin and hurdy-gurdy.

  • The Cribs: The three-piece indie rock band from West Yorkshire is made up of twins Gary and Ryan Jarman, and their younger brother Ross. Initially recording lo-fi in an ancient mill near their home, the brothers went on to be named the 'biggest cult band in the UK' by Q magazine.

  • The Magic Numbers: The four-piece from Hanwell, West London is formed of two pairs of brothers and sisters; namely Romeo and Michele Stodart, and Sean and Angela Gannon. The sisters were brought on board after Romeo and Sean started writing music together.

  • Frightened Rabbit: Brothers Scott and Grant Hutchison make up the lead vocals and percussion sections of Scottish band Frightened Rabbit. The name stems from a nickname Scott's mother have him as a child as a result of his severe shyness. Initally a solo act featuring Scott, the project became that of a full band, with the additions of Grant and the rest of the members.

  • The Maccabees: Taking their name from a random word they found as they flipped through a Bible, the original line-up consisted of Orlando Weeks, Robert Dylan Thomas (who subsequently left in 2008), brothers Hugo and Felix White and Rupert Jarvis. While none of their singles have breached the UK top 20, they have nonetheless garnered critical and commercial acclaim.

  • The National: Most of the Brooklyn-based band is made up of siblings; Aaron and Bryce Dessner on guitar and keyboard, and Scott and Bryan Devendorf on bass and drums. The National is fronted by Matt Berninger. The band are very politically involved and were staunch supporters in the election and re-election of Barack Obama.

  • First Aid Kit: Sisters Johanna and Klara Soderberg make up the Swedish folk duo First Aid Kit. It's perhaps testament to their sibling intuition that their close harmonies are always so beautifully affecting, and their lyrics at once personal and obtuse. The pair have said that they want their music to help people, and be a sort of "plaster for your soul".

  • Disclosure: Brothers Guy and Howard Lawrence have already collaborated with the likes of AlunaGeorge, Eliza Doolittle and Sam Smith; and they show no signs of slowing down. Their debut album Settle debuted at number 1 in the UK charts and they performed twice at Glastonbury this year.

  • Haim: Everyone's favourite Californian sisters seemingly can do no wrong at the moment. Este, Danielle and Alana Haim have received blinding praise from critics for songs like 'Falling' and 'Don't Save Me'. Their eagerly anticipated debut album Days Are Gone will be released on 27 September 2013.

  • Say Lou Lou: The Swedish/Australian dream pop twin sisters Elektra and Miranda Kilbey have already been the subject of much attention and praise after they published 'Fool of Me' online, a collaborative single with fellow Aussie Chet Faker. They've even already set up their own record label, A Deux.

  • Drenge: Brothers Rory and Eoin Loveless from Sheffield have burst onto the scene making music that could be described as sightly scary, arguably best encapsulated as garage rock, on the periphery of punk and metal. Labour MP Tom Watson even recommended them in his resignation letter to Ed Milliband. Which could be a good or bad thing, we haven't decided.

  • Ibeyi: Yoruban for Twins, Ibeyi comprise twin sisters Lisa-Kainde and Naomi Diaz, whose music blends elements of soul, hip hop, jazz and pop to create something both youthful and innovative, and effortlessly mature.


Photo: WENN.com, Press