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Return is a Norwegian rock band that peaked in popularity during the late '80s with a hair metal style that went out of fashion in the early '90s. With several Top Ten smash hits to its name, most of them power ballads, the band reunited after the turn of the century and proved popular as a concert draw. Founded in 1980 in Stange, Norway, the band is comprised of Knut Erik Østgård (vocals, guitar), Steinar Hagen (guitar, vocals), Tore Larsen (bass, vocals), and Øyvind Håkonsen (drums). Return scored their initial breakout hit in 1985 with "Sheila," and a couple years later they made their full-length album debut with To the Top (1987), a Top 20 hit on the Norwegian albums chart that includes the early hit "Sing Me a Song" in addition to "Sheila." The band's second full-length effort, Attitudes (1988), was an even greater success, reaching the Top Five of the albums chart and spawning the Top Ten smash hit "Change the Attitude." The follow-up efforts Straight Down the Line (1989) and Fourplay (1991) were similarly successful, reaching the Top Ten of the albums chart and spawning the respective smash hits "Can You Forgive Me?" and "Tell Me." While the band's fifth album, V (1992), spawned another smash hit, "Take This Heart," it marked a sharp downturn in popularity, stalling at number 17 on the albums chart. Faced with a dramatically changing rock landscape in the wake of alternative rock's mainstream breakthrough, Return dissolved for the remainder of the decade. At the turn of the century, they released a chart-topping greatest-hits collection, The Best of Return (2000), plus the in-concert recording Return Live (2000); in addition, there was a series of reunion concerts. A half-decade later, the band released its first collection of new studio material in over a decade, the eponymous album Return (2005). The comeback effort didn't prove especially popular, however, as the album barely broke into the Top 40 and spawned no significant hits. Another greatest-hits collection, the double-disc compilation Best of...Both Worlds (2008), was released a few years later. ~ Jason Birchmeier

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1980 in Stange, Norway

Years Active:

'80s, '90s, '00s