For this week’s “Old School Flashback” I thought I’d focus on just one artist/band instead of a trio of divas. Before there was N’Sync and Backstreet Boys, there was New Kids on the Block. The boys ruled the late 80s early 90s with their brand of manufactured teeny-booper bubble gum pop. Every teenage girl wanted them and every teenage boy privately wanted to be them, except for one out of every ten guys. Those boys wanted to do them. I myself, had rotating crushes on a few of them except Danny Wood. No one ever had a crush on him.
Hot off creating the hit R&B group “New Edition”, Maurice Starr thought he’d try to duplicate his success but this time with five white boys. In 1984, Starr assembled New Kids on the Block in Boston. This boys named Jordan Knight, Joey McIntyre, Donnie Wahlberg, Jonathan White and Danny Would would dominate pop charts across the globe and sell more than 80 million albums worldwide.
After achieving global success, the group would break up in 1994 to pursue individual projects. Over the years, various attempts were made to reunite the band but failed due to former members declining. In 1999, Jonathan Knight was the hold out for a surprise reunion performance at that year’s VMAs. Then in 2004, VH1 tried to reunite them, but all held out except Jonathan who was the sole “Yes”. Typical that it’s the gay guy is the one who is on a different menstrual cycle than the rest. Thankfully, all the stars aligned and the group reunited in 2008 and released an album and a coinciding tour. I believe, a couple of the Homorazzi.com cast members went to see the concert.
I warn you now. This list is going to be very ballad-heavy, cuz that’s just how I roll. Off their 1992 album “Face The Music”, “If You Go Away” would be their last hit peaking at number 16 on the US Billboard charts. Turns out the album title was more prophetic than anticipated. The group had the face the music and disbanded and forged ahead with various solo projects.
Who doesn’t know step 1 through to 5? The unforgettable stair dance sequence was one often imitated by comedy sketches and NKOTB fans across the world. This video would mark the first and only time I thought Donnie Wahlberg was the hottest from the band. The song is widely regarded to be one of the greatest pop group songs of all time. So much so that, “Step by Step” has also been covered by other boybands since the band released the song, including Korean boyband DBSK in December 2004, French boyband 2Be3, and Korean group Battle.
When their debut single first came out, everyone thought NKOTB was an African-American group. Color everyone shocked when they released their video and saw five little white boys belting it out. They played around with the confusion by incorporating a pseudo “Showtime at The Apollo” type of performance in the video. You’ve seen it before, when someone walks on stage, gets a few judgy looks from the Apollo audience, but then by the end of it, they have the crowd on their feet testifying. God, Joey McIntyre looks so young in this video. Bet you a million dollar bill, Joey can’t get anywhere near some of those high notes anymore.
Oh Oh Oh Oh, Oh Oh Oh Oh. Oh Oh Oh Oh, Oh Oh Oh Oh.
Man, this song brings back some good memories. I’ve probably watched this video a thousand times during my childhood. In my defense, I had to do my research for our airband routines. It’s amazing how hearing a song you haven’t heard in a while brings back a flood of memories. Not even kidding, but after watching the video, I can practically smell the summer air from that year. Good times.
Surprise, surprise, I picked a ballad for my favorite New Kids song. How can I not, it reminds me of days gone by where I slow-danced with girls at dances- haha. Silly girls had no idea that, I reached the height of my Jordan Knight crush when this video came out. That’s right Jordo, I’ll be loving you forever… well until the 90s when NKOTB came out of favor.
I’m sure my list of my favorites is different than that of yours. I’d love to hear which track came out on top on your secret “I Love NKOTB” list.