Lest We Forget

Posted: November 8, 2016 in 90s Music, Boy Bands
Tags: , , , ,

The term “boy band” is very broad. To me, you’re only considered a boy band if you are a group of young men who sing pop music, don’t play any instruments, dance pre-choreographed moves, and have squealing 12-year-old girls as fans. For my generation, it was New Kids on the Block, Backstreet Boys, and ‘N Sync. But let’s face it: there were many other boy bands along the way who contributed to all the hype. Let’s remember them.

LFO (aka Lyte Funkie Ones)

Unlike other 5-person boy bands, these guys were just 3. Their first hit “Summer Girls,” off 1999’s self-titled debut album, shot them to stardom. It had the most ridiculous, non-sensical lyrics ever written; commenting on everything from Chinese food, to Macaulay Culkin, to Michael J. Fox – yet it hooked everyone right in, because it’s just so darn catchy. With a line like “met a fly girl, and I can’t relax,” how can we forget their ode-to-Jennifer-Love-Hewitt single, “Girl on TV”?

b4-4

Yet another trio, this time hailing from Toronto (ie Thornhill.) b4-4 consisted of twin brothers Ryan and Dan, and odd-man-out Ohad, who showed up at my prom after party and zero people cared. It’s a pretty obscure band to reference, as they’re never brought up when mentioning boy bands. Their only track that anyone heard, “Get Down,” features the 3 of them in muscle shirts, shell necklaces, and coloured pants, just hanging out at the beach – yup, it was as awful as it sounds. Not to mention, the amount of gel in their hair, combined with their frosted tip colouring, and man-made “bed-“head,” is like a snapshot of year 2000.

5ive

Ah, finally: a boy band that stuck to the 5-person model we all know and love. In fact, even if you doubted how many members were in their band, you wouldn’t have to look far to find out. Right out of the UK during the boy band explosion, these guys really made a name for themselves, even selling millions of albums. 5ive’s members sported all kinds of hair styles from the classic spiky hair, to the laissez-faire mop look, and of course the shaved head.  They wore the baggy pants, jackets and seemed to have a thing for turtlenecks. Mostly though, they really knew how to stare deeply into the camera.

98 Degrees

You can’t have a throwback boy band list and not include this quartet. They had the talent, they had 2 brothers in the group, they had muscles. They even had that random awkward guy named Justin who did not fit in at all. They had all the elements to make it huge, and could even sing. For some reason though, they fell short in comparison to their competitors. Maybe it’s because they had more ballad tacks as opposed to dance-pop stuff? Maybe because Nick Lachey married Jessica Simpson? I guess we’ll never know.

O-Town

I obviously had to save the best for last. Not only is this 5-person pop band the epitome of all boy bands, we even got to experience the unnaturalness of their origin, on reality TV show, Making the Band in 2000. It was all so formulaic and scripted, especially the attempts to make them seem like “real” people with “real” problems. I’ll give them props as they’re one of the more ethnically diverse groups, thouth I’m sure every girl had a huge crush on blonde-hair, blue-eyed Ashley Angel (seriously, that’s his name.) Their fame not-so-shockingly dissipated rapidly, however, they did reunite in 2014 (sans Angel.) Bonus: they recently launched a kickstarter campaign to start their new album.

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