A Brief History Of The Boy Band Phenomena

on 3 May 2012 in Slideshows


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The phenomena of the boy band seems to come and go, but one thing is for sure it's like a cockroach you can never quite kill. Coming in and out of fashion every decade, the phenomena stretches all the way back to more than 50 years ago.

Now, in 2012, the era of the boy band has reared its ugly head yet again. So we've taken the opportunity to take a look back at the past 50 years at some of the more successful boy bands throughout history.

  • slidejackson5

    The phenomena of the boy band seems to come and go, but one thing is for sure it's like a cockroach you can never quite kill. Coming in and out of fashion every decade, the phenomena stretches all the way back to more than 50 years ago.

    Now, in 2012, the era of the boy band has reared its ugly head yet again. So we've taken the opportunity to take a look back at the past 50 years at some of the more successful boy bands throughout history.

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    Jackson 5
    (Jackie, Tito, Jermaine, Marlon and Michael).
    The Jackson 5 played through from 1964 up until 1990, selling over 100 million records. The band has been an introduction into solo careers for the siblings. They are one of a few bands that have had their first four singles in the Billboard Hot 100 - "I Want You Back", "ABC", "The Love You Save", and "I'll Be There". Their appeal was the combination of ‘motown’ and their young perspective. The Jackson 5’s most successful tour was Victory in 1984, the last that Michael performed in.

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    The Monkees
    (Davy Jones, Mike Nesmith, Micky Dolenz, Peter Tork).
    Formed in 1966 originally for the television series that aired from 1966 to 1968, they were likened to The Beatles at the time. Their biggest hit single was “I’m a believer”. In 1967 they starred in their own feature film, “Head”. On their 20th anniversary in 1986, the band experienced a bunch of new fans. MTV broadcast a marathon of The Monkees show “Pleasant Valley Sunday”. They played reunion shows and released new music, “That Was Then, This Is Now” which reached top 40. Their greatest hits album got to platinum status and approximately 65 million copies of their albums and singles have been sold.

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    The Osmonds
    (Alan, Wayne, Merril, Jay, Donny, Jimmy).
    American family band who’s music experience went from barbershop to teen idols to a TV show and then onto successful solo careers. They were most successful from 1971 to 1972 and together they have sold over 100 million records. Their single "One Bad Apple (Don't Spoil the Whole Bunch)” reached number one and stayed there for five weeks, making the band famous after 10 years in the spotlight.

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    Bay City Rollers
    (Eric Faulkner, Stuart Wood, Les McKeown, Alan Longmuir, Derek Longmuir).
    Scottish group formed in the 1970s, they made the top 10 in 1974 with their single “Remember”. This gave them a following in the UK over the next two years with hits such as "Shang-a-Lang" and "All of Me Loves All of You”. Five of their albums also went gold. In 1976 they finally reached number one in the US with "Saturday Night”. On April 26, 2008 the first Bay City Rollers Day was celebrated in the greater Los Angeles area.

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    New Kids On the Block
    (Jordan and Jonathan Knight, Joey McIntyre, Donnie Wahlberg, Danny Wood).
    US band formed in 1984, selling a massive 80 million records worldwide. “Step by Step” was their highest selling single and the album of the same name went triple platinum and sold over 20 million copies. After 10 years together, they broke up in 1994. It wasn’t until 2008 that they released a new album, The Block. In 2012 they are back again, touring with the Backstreet Boys, hitting Australia in May.

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    Take That
    (Mark Owen, Gary Barlow, Jason Orange, Howard Donald, Robbie Williams).
    Take That was a boy band invasion of the 90s. Their first single, “It Only Takes A Minute”, only reached number seven in the UK charts. However, their cover of Barry Manilow's “Could It Be Magic” was their most popular throughout their career. They spilt in 1996. In 2005, the band reunited with a compilation of greatest hits, “Never Forget - The Ultimate Collection”. The documentary “TAKE THAT: For The Record” aired that year also. In 2006 Take That played their Ultimate Tour, minus Robbie Williams. They also released a new album, “Beautiful World”, the fourth best selling album of 2007.

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    Boys II Men
    (Nathan Morris, Wanya Morris, Shawn Stockman, Michael McCary).
    Best known for their hit “End of the Road”, which remained at number one for 13 weeks. The album II sold more than 12 million copies, just in the US. This became one of the best selling R&B albums and one of the highest selling albums of the decade. Their later single, "I'll Make Love to You" broke the bands own record, staying at number one for 14 weeks. They also replaced their own number one with "On Bended Knee", being the only musicians besides Elvis and The Beatles to do so. In 2011 they released Twenty, to mark the group twenty year run in the music industry. Boys II Men have sold over 60 million records.

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    East 17
    (Tony Mortimer, John Hendy and Terry Coldwell).
    Formed in London in 1991, 18 top 20 singles, four top 10 albums and sales of over 20 million records. In 1992 their debut single “House of Love” sold 600, 000 copies. In 1993 they released an album that reached number 1. Their most well known single, “It’s Alright” was number one in the Australian charts for seven weeks. They were seen as a rival to Take That. They spilt up in 1997, after chaos of band member, Brian Harvey suggesting “drugs were cool and ecstasy can make you a better person”. He was fired and Tony Mortimer left the band. A year later they released the single “Time on Telstar” that was a flop. East 17 will return this year, touring Australia in June. They will have three of the original four members: Terry Coldwell, John Hendy and Mortimer to take on the vocal duties of Harvey.

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    Boyzone
    (Keith Duffy, Stephen Gately, Mikey Graham, Ronan Keating, Shane Lynch).
    Which one was that? Oh yer, the one with Ronan Keating in it. An Irish band formed in 1993, they were mostly popular in the UK, where 16 of the first 17 singles were top five in the charts. They were the first Irish group to appear regularly in the UK charts. Some of their most successful songs were covers from the 70s, including Detroit Spinners' "Working My Way Back to You” and The Osmonds' "Love Me for a Reason”. They arrived in good time, filling the void for some during Take That’s spilt in 1996. Boyzone made a comeback in 2007 with a set of tours. They also toured again through the UK and Ireland in 2011.

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    Backstreet Boys
    (A. J. McLean, Howie Dorough, Brian Littrell, Nick Carter, Kevin Richardson).
    In 1993 the US band formed, but it wasn’t until the fame of Backstreet’s Back in 1997 that made the group successful. In 1999 their album Millennium officially got them recognised as ‘international boy band’ status. Well known singles include "Quit Playing Games (With My Heart)" which earned a platinum award for selling over one million copies and "I Want It That Way" which was successful in many countries including the UK, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Norway, New Zealand. With 130 million records sold, the band is said to be releasing more music this year, as well as touring with New Kids On The Block.

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    *NSYNC
    (Justin Timberlake, Chris Kirkpatrick, Joey Fatone, Lance Bass, JC Chasez).
    In the US and formed in 1995, their second album released in 2000, No Strings Attached, sold over one million copies in a day and 2.42 million copies in a week. It was the most popular album of the year, selling nearly 10 million copies. Their most well known singles include "I Want You Back" and "Bye Bye Bye". In 2002 the band separated to pursue solo projects. Despite rumours of a reunion in 2007, the band is still officially separated.

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    Human Nature
    (Andrew Tierney, Mike Tierney, Phil Burton, Toby Allen).
    One of the only Australian boy bands, they formed in 1989, while still at school, but their first album Telling Everybody” wasn’t released until 1996. Three of their albums have gone multi-platinum and four have reached platinum. “Got It Goin On" was their first single that the band is most well known for, everyone would also recall their collaboration with John Farnham, "Every Time You Cry". In 2008, they headed to the US for a contract at Atlantic City's Tropicana Casino. As of 2011, they are performing at the Imperial Palace Casino in Las Vegas and are said to be doing a first-ever US tour this year.

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    98 Degrees
    (Nick and Drew Lachey, Justin Jeffre, Jeff Timmons).
    In 1997 the US band released their first album, self-titled. Contrary to other boy bands, they formed independently rather than through a label or producer. Their performances include the Super Bowl, World Series and Olympic Games. “Invisible Man” was their first single, debuting at number 12, it also achieved gold-record status. Their second album, 98 Degrees and rising went four times platinum in 1998. They released a Christmas album, “This Christmas” in 1999.They have sold over 10 million CDs.

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    Five
    (Scott Robinson, Ritchie Neville, J Brown, Abs Breen, Sean Conlon).
    Five had their UK stint from 1997 to 2001. Their first single, "Slam Dunk (Da Funk)" debuted in the UK at number 10. "When the Lights Go Out" was their first international success. They have had 11 top ten singles and four top ten albums in the UK. They have also sold 20 million records. In 2007 the band attempted to make a comeback, recording new music but this failed to follow up into a proper reunion.

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    Hanson
    (Isaac, Taylor, Zac).
    Hanson - the US family band consisting of three brothers formed in 1997. “MMMBop” earned three Grammy nominations from their album Middle of Nowhere, which sold 10 million copies. Their home town, Tulsa, declared May 6 “Hanson Day”. They also released a Christmas album, Snowed In. Fifteen years after the release of their first single, Hanson are back with an Australian tour in September, promoting their new album, Shout It Out.

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    Westlife
    (Shane Filan, Mark Feehily, Nicky Byrne, Kian Egan, and Brian McFadden).
    Another Irish boy band, formed in 1998, they have sold 45 million records. They performed a 10th anniversary concert in Dublin and were the third top touring act from 2005-2008. Their first single, “Swear It Again” went to number one in 1999. In 2011 a greatest hits album was released, which debuted in Ireland at number one and the UK at number four. They announced this year’s tour will be their last.

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    Blue
    (Simon Webbe, Lee Ryan, Duncan James and Antony Costa).
    A UK group that formed in 2000. Their first release, “All Rise” got to number four on the UK charts, however their next two singles both reached number one. Their second album, One Love entered the charts at number one, with Elton John as a feature artist. In 2004 the band broke up and they tried out solo careers. In 2009 they reformed and represented the UK at the Eurovision Song Contest in 2011.

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    Jonas Brothers
    (Paul, Joseph, Nicholas).
    From the US and formed in 2005, they landed fame through the Disney Channel and have claimed the American Music Award for Breakthrough Artist. They have opened for numerous artists on tour including: Jump5, Kelly Clarkson, Jesse McCartney, the Backstreet Boys, and The Click Five. Their self titled album debuted at number five and went platinum. In 2008 the band was in Rolling Stone magazine, being the youngest band featured on the cover.

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    One Direction
    (Louis Tomlinson, Liam Payne, Niall Horan, Zayn Malik, Harry Styles).
    One Direction is a British band specifically targeting the teenage girl audience. Their career began through reality show X Factor, where they were told by the judges to form a band that got them qualified and won third place. Released in September 2011, their take-off single, “What makes you beautiful”, was the fastest selling single of the year, number one on the UK charts and top ten internationally. Their debut album “Up all night”, got to number to in the UK, but managed to reach number one in the US – being the first UK band to debut at number one in the US. They have reached instant fame, especially on an international level. They have rumoured to join with Nickelodeon for a TV series. In true boy band style, they may be collaborating with Justin Bieber. One Direction affection hit Australia, with their performance at The Logies and their tour in 2013.

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