The days of the Boy Bands

At one point or another we've all had to deal with the phenomenon known as the Boy Band.

Growing up in the late 80s and early 90s I remember when New Kids on the Block was all the rave!

http://freemusicbox.files.wordpress.com/2009/06/new-kids-on-the-block.jpgWe were only around the ages of 5, 6, and 7 when these guys were popular, but my childhood best friend LOVED them and had at least 1 if not 2 of their cassette tapes, as well as a Jordan doll. She also had NKOTB bedsheets too. While I remember dancing around to Step by Step with her and singing along to the chorus of Hang Tough (oooh oooh oooh HANG TOUGH!), I really wasn't THAT into them. They were way older and we were just little kids. My friend said I HAD to pick one of the boys to like though, so I chose Donnie, as I liked his leather jacket (see? even from an early age I thought bad boys were hot! lol...).

I remember going to my grandparents house one summer (they live in Pennsylvania) and was watching VH1 and was thrilled that some Gloria Estefan video I had been waiting all day to watch finally came on. Right as it started though, my older, 2nd cousin Erin (she was about 10 years older than me) came running down and popped in a VHS tape - I was really upset! The video I had been waiting to watch was only a few minutes long and yet she couldn't wait. She told me what was on the tape was better than what I was watching and that I would love it. I wasn't convinced. She pushed play and it was some New Kids on the Block videotape, with footage from on tour or something - I just remember they were on a tour bus or somethign and there were TONS of screaming girls. How was this better than what I was watching?! I got very upset and stormed off, declaring her videotape was dumb.

I guess I was just too young to understand the appeal of boy bands at the time.
It wasn't until I was in junior high that I understood. 

In spring of 7th grade (1997), Hanson was all over the radio and TV with their song MmmBop. It was an innocent, catchy little ditty and girls like me ate it up - I bought their albums, I had the piano songbook (which I can still pull out and play to some of em!), I bought all the Tigerbeat type magazines with their photos in it... I think I had a biography book too! The 3 blonde brothers from Tulsa were a hit. Being just slightly younger than the middle brother, but just slightly older than the youngest, my favorite was lead singer Taylor - I thought Issac was goofy looking and for the longest time I thought Zac was a little girl! What I liked best about Hanson though was the fact that unlike most of the other boybands that came out in the late 90s, they actually wrote a lot of their own music and actually played their own instruments - I thought that took more talent that learning choreography.

At the beginning of 8th grade, the Backstreet Boys craze was in full swing, with the release of their debut US album, and the song and video "As Long as You Love Me" which made us girls swoon. They had hit after hit with this album, including the previously released "We Got It Goin' On," as well as "Quit Playing Games (With My Heart)," "I'll Never Break Your Heart," "All I Have to Give," and my favorite "Everybody (Backstreet's Back)." I remember buying the enchanced CD single for "Everybody" as it included the full-length music video that you could play on your computer - I thought it was such a great video! The boys get stuck in a haunted house for the night and things start going bump in the night... Brian turns into a werewolf,  Nick into a mummy... AJ looks like the Phantom of the Opera... Howie is a vampire and Kevin is a 2-face Jekyll/Hyde looking character. I remember my friends and I trying to do the dance they all do at the end too - many a fun times at sleepovers! Here's the video in case you want to see for yourself:

I loved it and must have watched that video waaaay too many times! My favorite BSB was a toss up between buddies Nick and Brian (who nicknamed themselves Frick and Frack). I had a friend who was HUGE into the Backstreet Boys - she had EVERY album and single you could find, enough t-shirts to last her probably 2 weeks before having to do laundry (I admit, I helped fuel this, as it was easy to get her birthday and Christmas gifts!) and I remember traveling to Toronto for our 8th grade class trip via charter bus and finding at the truck stops mini BSB buttons! We all got 1 of each and wore em proudly! By the time the Backstreet Boys put out their 2nd album, Millennium, I had pretty much moved on from them.

http://webspace.webring.com/people/nd/dbovela/breathlessnsyncwebring/nsync_logo2.jpgAt the beginning of 2nd semester in 8th grade, N*sync made their debut with the single "I Want You Back." Like the Backstreet Boys, they had catchy songs and could dance. I only thought Justin and JC were cute though - the rest seemed a bit out there in the looks department. Their 2nd single "Tearin' Up My Heart" was another catchy one I liked too. I remember buying their CD but I wasn't really impressed with the other tracks - most of them were pretty slow and sappy... my N*sync phase died out rather quickly.

At the end of 8th grade, my cousin who is 2 years younger than me, came out and stayed with us for 2 weeks, starting with my 8th grade graduation, and then we took her back to Pennsylvania when we made our annual trip back there. She got me hooked on this goofy, ridiculous song "When the Lights Go Out" by this British band Five. The single was only $2 so we each got one. When we went to my grandparent's house (the got some of the best music channels out there back then!) we would watch the hilariously stupid music video for the song. We deemed them the "bad boys" of boy bands because their lyrics were more sexually charged and explicit ("babe I swear you will succumb to me... when the lights go out!" and their single dropping of the f-word in the song) and they break into the bowling alley for their video. We had a fun time singing along to this one though, even though we both agreed it was pretty stupid!

Check out the video:

Freshman year of high school one of my friends got into 98 Degrees and Nick Lachey. I never really did though - their songs ("The Hardest Thing" "I Do Cherish You") were too mellow and sappy for my taste. I remember visiting my cousin the next summer - she had their CD too, and I about died laughing at the intro track where the woman is all "It's 98 degrees... and rising!" like it's a national security alert or something - sooooo bad! lol...

Right before my sophomore year, LFO (which stood for the stupidly named Lyte Funky Ones) came out with their Abercrombie and Fitch approved song "Summer Girls." Considering most the girls at my school wore A&F, I couldn't get away from girls singing this one at lunchtime - so annoying! I personally thought the song was stupid, but my friend that bought the 98 Degrees album also bought this one and tortured me with it! lol...

And there you have it, my brush with boy bands over the years

I'll admit, from time to time I'll listen to some of my favorite BSB/Nsync/Hanson tracks (as well as that ridiculous Five song) for a trip down memory lane. To this day, Hanson and their debut album is probably still one of my favorites - I LOVED that CD! I also admit, I like a lot of the stuff of Justin Timberlake's 2nd solo album too.

Which boy bands were you fans of? Who were your favorite members?


  1. all i can say is that if nsync got together and did a tour.. i would spend way more money than i did back in the day to go see them! great post!

  2. I am a couple of years older than you, 27. So I was definitely ALL about NKOTB. I had the sheets, the tapes, and made up dances for the songs!

    Wasn't THAT into Hanson (I had one of their tapes), but I looooooved BSB and *Nsync. Went to their concerts whenever they were in town.Had them plastered all over my walls. hehe. I was in love with Kevin Richardson and of course Justin Timberlake, but I didn't want to be like everyone else so JC was my favorite! I still listen to Justin. His solo stuff is good.


What's your thoughts?