|New Kids||[One Direction]|
But they grew up and broke up and I too, the heartbroken fangirl was left in the dust. And years later, the pop-explosion seems to have returned to affect a whole new batch of diehard fangirls everywhere. As I watch from a distance, I feel a nostalgia for my favorite boybands and pop idols and wonder how I would have fangirled for the boybands of new. Let's not judge (too much).
Justin Bieber - Boyfriend (2012)
It's hard to admit that I'm actually listening to this song but I can't help it. It reminds me TOO MUCH of Justin Timberlake before JT got all act-y. I miss JT so much, I've resorted to listening to JB. But to give Bieber his props, his songs are quite catchy. This one though, this one just takes the cake. And though there is yet a video to accompany the song, I've got it pinned on my browser to get me through the day. Yes, I've listened to it that much.
Darren Criss - Bring it On Home to Me(2012)
Because I can't separate the real Darren Criss from Blaine Anderson and his boy-group, The Warblers, I'm pretending that this was a solo effort from Darren/Blaine after breaking away from his 'boyband.' And what a breakaway. I first loved this Sam Cooke song when Suzie McNeil covered it on Rockstar: INXS. Then Darren/Blaine covers it and I die. Darren needs to get into a boyband or release his solo album, cause I'd be all over that in a heartbeat.
One Direction - What Makes You Beautiful (2011)
I have to say, I have yet to get really obsessed with this group (and I hope I don't dive in) but this would have killed me if I were a kid in this era. It's boys, British boys at that, being all cutesy and dressing up all high street with bow ties and suspenders and rehashing fluffy hair from boybands past. And though they have that other video/song, One Thing that has them going around London, I'm assuming; this pop song with them frolicking around the beach isn't half bad at all.
Bruno Mars - Runaway Baby (2011)
No, he's not in a boy band, nor was he ever in one, but he's poptastic and if you closed your eyes and pretended, he could pass for an alumni of some kind of boyband. And I just had to include him just because he brought back a lot of fun in his performances and lots of theatricality without going over the top. Plus, this song is on repeat this past month. Yes, I'm listening carefully.
Super Junior - Sorry, Sorry (2009)
Though I never got into KPop, when my little sister showed me this video, I couldn't help but stare in awe. Thirteen Korean boys dancing and looking very very good while dancing? Yes please. Do I understand anything other than the title of the song? No. But I love watching them dance. And a boy who can dance is always my weakness.
Jonas Brothers - SOS (2007)
Technically, boy bands 'don't' play instruments but how can you not consider The Jonas Brothers a boy band when they were practically groomed to be one complete with TV show and hair product? And though I prefer Lovebug, this one is always fun to dance to -- even if I've never actually danced to this (in public).
Hanson - Penny & Me (2004)
And the actual band that pioneered boys in bands playing actual instruments, the three brothers who first broke out with MMMBop, finally gave me a song to really really love. Then as I listened to this one, I find that I actually love a ton of their other songs, like Lost Without Each Other, Go, and If Only all of which came during their later lives.
Blue - Best in Me (2002)
One of the last remnants of the golden era of boybands was from British band Blue that gave us this wonderful song. Though they didn't specialize in mega catchy dance tunes, I really really liked their slow songs, including this one and of course, If You Come Back. It didn't hurt that half the members looked incredibly pretty to me.
Justin Timberlake - Like I Love You (2002)
And because boybands don't last forever, here we have the downfall of *N Sync -- the beginning of Justin Timberlake's world domination. Of course, he succeeded. Though this first single shocked the hell out of me, he just kept dishing out hits, like What Goes Around... Comes Back Around, I thought we'd get an endless barrage. I should have cherished him more. We have yet to hear another album from Mr. Timberlake.
Westlife - World Of Our Own (2002)
There is no shortage of boyband love from the British Isles, Ireland also produced their own set of songsters with this band that was a ballad-factory. Surprisingly though, I preferred this upbeat tune to their rather sappy singles. And though My Private Movie never got a video, I still keep that on rotation. See, Westlife, you guys do fast better!
O-Town - We Fit Together (2001)
As hard as it is to swallow, I absolutely LOVE this song. Sure, O-Town wasn't exactly a legitimate band, given their very many hits (or not) but they were created via one of the first 'reality' shows that admitted to being one and were formed by Lou Pearlman so that gives them enough credentials. But despite their other lesser singles, this one, I can admit to loving just because I want to go party on a yacht (not necessarily with them) to this song. And years later, I figure out what the song actually meant.
I'm All About You (2001)
Because BSB didn't give me any worthy alumni singles (sorry, Nick Carter), I had to resort to Nick's little brother, Aaron Carter's sole acceptable single. From his second album, I'm totally guilty to admit that I kind of heart this song. If Aaron had any redeeming qualities, this song would be it. And I will speak no further on the subject.
*N Sync - Bye Bye Bye (2000)
For the sake of brevity, let's just say, they will forever be my favorite boyband of all time. And because I can only dedicate one paragraph to my eternal love for them, I will say that I wish they'd get back together for a reunion, but I know that will NEVER be. SO instead, my friends and I will sporadically declare random days as *N Sync appreciation day to honor our former love. Every song, every single, every live performance and cover need not be listed because I love them all. Oh guys, why must you be just a blip in my musical history?
98 Degrees - I Do (Cherish You) (2000)
Unlike *N Sync that could go both fast and slow, 98 Degrees specialized in ballads and I wished they'd stayed there. Because they tried to go 'fast' (with One Night (Una Noche)) and well, it didn't work, thus my non-linking to it. But still, let's give credit where credit is due and say that when they were good, they were very good. I still memorize MTV's Making the Video for this one. Nick Lachey, I want to forget the image of you oiled up but I can't.
A1 - One More Try (2000)
Another guilty pleasure I can't believe I'm owning up to but there was this Norwegian-British (according to Wiki) band that somehow made it big in Manila, I don't know why. And though I didn't like ANY Of their other songs, this 'acoustic' song they did wasn't half bad. Don't mind the diction or whatever, but when this comes on shuffle, let's just say I don't skip it. Ever.
Jordan Knight - I Could Never Take the Place of Your Man (1999)
The grandfather of boy bands may be reunited now, but there was a time in the late 90s when they all tried going their separate ways. And though Joey did his bit at some point too, I'm kind of biased towards Jordan who bewitched me with this Prince-cover and his carnival-set, Give It To You. Long live, post-boyband careers.
The Moffatts - Until You Loved Me (1999)
And though I'd choose the three American brothers to this Canadian quartet, they did spawn this song that I listened to over and over (perhaps because it was from the Drew Barrymore movie, Never Been Kissed's soundtrack?). If there were the BSB vs. *NSync comparisons, I suppose Hanson had this band to 'rival' with. Or perhaps it was all just made up in my head? I don't really know.
Robbie Williams - She's The One (1999)
How can I ignore Mr. Williams solo efforts when he's perhaps the most prolific boyband graduate of our time? Breaking free from Take That, Robbie churned out album after album and though I adore a lot of his discography, this will probably stand out the most. I didn't realize it was a cover of a band I had never heard of (Hi, World Party) so that's a lesson for me in music history.
Code Red - What Good is a Heart (1999)
Pre-internet era, I didn't quite grasp how 'big' bands really were. I'd just hear them on the radio but couldn't really tell if they were big elsewhere in the world. And so my love for Code Red remains insular as I don't quite know if they were a hit around the world. This all-white-beach-set video though introduced me to shaking hips and matchy-matchy clothes. And I digged it. A lot.
Ronan Keating - When You Say Nothing At All (1999)
Of course, Boyzone had to have their own breakout star, and leave it to gloryhawk, Ronan Keating to take that place. I remember good friend, Lee-Ann really loving it when he left Boyzone cause he was her favorite, though I couldn't personally get the big deal about them. Still, as this song comes from quite possibly my most favorite romcom of all time, Notting Hill, it deserves a place in this list despite the cover of a cover of a cover history it's had.
Five - Until the Time is Through (1998)
Why are they on this list? Because of this freaking song. I never was a fan of the rest of their discography, save for Keep On Moving but I loved this song so much, I scoured the interwebz for an embedable version of this video. I didn't realize how obscure this band was until I had the most difficult time finding a legitimate video. Oh the British pop factory, why must you be so prolific?
911 - All I Want Is You (1998)
A band that came and went into obscurity, Brit band, 911 still managed to deliver a couple of hits that I have in my library, including Love Sensation, A Little Bit More and The Day We Found Love. I still remember singing to these in the school bus while being shushed by jamypye, because let's be honest, I wasn't a born singer.
E-17 - Each Time (1998)
If I asked you to name boybands, East-17 will not be a top-of-mind answer and it's okay. I don't think they want to be associated with the genre anyway, but they are, somehow and this song is probably the least boyband-y of the bunch, almost venturing into R&B but still somehow toeing the pop line. But for the sake of being comprehensive, I did fall in love with this song, so let it be known by being listed here.
Backstreet Boys - All I Have to Give (1998)
I'll admit that there was a time when I preferred them over *NSync (the blasphemy, I know!) but I remember unwrapping their first album (in tape form) one Christmas and listening to it over and over and over. And though I never did get their next albums (till much later on when I was completing my 'CD collection'), this song will forever hold a special place in my heart. And now I am tempted to see them live. So very tempted.
Human Nature - Wishes (1997)
Do you have any idea how difficult it is to find the official video of this song? VERY VERY DIFFICULT. And so I resort to posting their 'live' version of it with the Australian Philharmonic Orchestra. I know, what the hell? But apparently, this Aussie band still has some clout nowadays to be able to perform a song probably 10 years old (to this video's date) and sing it live with an orchestra. This is what I want *N Sync to do. But do they indulge me? No. I want to hear violins and timpanees accompany Pop!
LFO - Girl On TV (1997)
I'll admit to memorizing the lyrics to their first single, Summer Girls (my first introduction to the brand, Abercrombie & Fitch) and singing along passionately to I Don't Wanna Kiss You Goodnight, but this was one of the first videos where I was 'impressed' by their ability to get 'big star,' Jennifer Love Hewitt to cameo in their video. A legitimate star(!!!) in this not-quite popular bands video? Oh-em-gee. I know, I was very easily impressed. Rest In Peace, Rich Cronim.
Take That - Back for Good (1995)
I admit to only listening to this song when it was beyond its prime. But this band is one of the boyband pioneers before they were forced to dress alike and dance together so they have that special privilege of flourishing without the matchy-matchiness and boasting of a career in the 2010s. How many bands can say they've got that? But more than that, this song? It's on my must-sings during karaoke night. Not many boybands have that honor.
Boyzone - Love Me For a Reason (1994)
Like I mentioned earlier, I wasn't their biggest fan. But one of my closest friends adored them. And in the way she eventually loved *NSync because of me, I also supported her through her Boyzone phase. I wasn't as supportive as she was to me though. But I'll say that this was a pretty good takeaway from that era in our friendship.
Color Me Badd - Close to Heaven (1993)
The most multi-racial of the bunch and probably the most PC if you look in retrospect, Color Me Badd was more R&B than anyone in this list. They pioneered singing in Spanglish (later imbibed by *NSync for Yo te voy Amar and their Spanish version of Gone). Plus I will always associate this song with local dating shows in the 90s. I don't remember if they actually played it on It's A Date but in my heart of hearts, I always associate this song with that show.
New Kids on the Block - Step By Step (1990)
Did I miss anyone? I probably did. Which boybands are your favorites? You know you've got some hidden somewhere in your library.
Even More Music On Repeat:
Not Safe or Sound at All
Madonna Gives us Her Luvin'