I have not been in a great mind set the past few weeks and something that has always seemed to ease my mind is listening to my boy band playlist on my iPod, because it reminds me of a simpler time when all I had to worry about which shoes to put on my Barbie doll. Boy bands are something I take very seriously, so seriously I actually thought of creating a major and getting a college degree on the social and economical success of boy bands. (I’m still not sure how that was going to be a thing)
Tonight I find myself in one of those moods and I thought to myself Jan, you need to use your boy band expertise to the benefit of the world. (I refer to myself as Jan (as in Jan Brady) in my head btw) I thought, what could I do to fulfill this? Then it hit me.
A top 10 list.
Before I give you the list let me state first that even though I will be as subjective as possible, this is still my opinion. If I don’t place your favorite where you believe they should be, don’t be mad. I will also only be selecting english speaking groups from the late 80’s (starting with like NKTOB) to the present (sorry k-pop and northern european pop fans)
10. Big Time Rush
I just broke a whole lot of rushers hearts. Personally I love them! But they make the number ten slot because of lack of success. Starting on a television show is what brought them to us but that show is also what brought their demise. Had the four of them left Nickelodeon sooner and stuck together they might have been able to be more successful. Still they are only on hiatus so who knows, they could come back and when I remake this list maybe they’ll be higher up.
I will be very honest, I don’t know a ton about O-Town, because I wasn’t actually allowed to listen to them(Probably because of their song Liquid Dreams) I was also a little bit pre-occupied with bigger fish. But that being said they were a very good boy band and had a good amount of success in their short career. (I know they are back together now, but no one other than their fans knows this guys.) Of course they do happen to be the proud owners of honestly one of the greatest boy band ballads ever so they make the ninth spot on this list.
That’s right ladies the original British Boyband. I didn’t really discover them till a few years ago actually. But I do remember some of their early hits (mostly slam dunk da funk because it was in the dcom Smart House) There are a lot of great things about 5ive. They’re British so that gives them the international appeal. They’re attractive (yes they are still attractive look it up) which is perfect. And they had the bad boy rapping motif down like it was second nature. So why are they number 8? Because despite all of that, they weren’t really memorable. Sure if you really liked them in the day you totally would still know the words, but if you’d only heard a song or two you probably forgot they exist.
Talk about ballads! Of all the love ballads I can remember from the 90’s I Swear by All-4-One has to be the one that if serenaded with it, I would actually die from emotion. Beyond this song though I only know their song I Can Love You Like That (also another amazing love ballad(I sense a trend) I sadly don’t know a ton about them just that these two songs are so prominent in 90’s pop culture that I needed to have them on the list although, in at least my mind, they were a two-hit-wonder.
6. One Direction
Oh how many directioners will send me hateful comments for this. Okay I like 1D guys. Their music is very fun to listen to and even funner to dance to. Which makes me wonder why they don’t! I know Zayn can’t actually dance (as the gif above demonstrates) But honestly dancing is what makes a boy band a boy band. That being said, One Direction is one of the highest grossing boy bands since the breakup and hiatus of NSYNC and the Backstreet Boys (respectfully). But that does not place them in the top five. No I’m sorry, but 1D has a lot of missing qualities that the next five groups have.
Or as I like to call them Nick and the Lacheys! I’m joking. Now why is 98° at 5? Because they just are. There’s not really anything about them that doesn’t qualify them for a higher spot, except that the boy bands above them are just that great. So many great songs both ballad and “dancy” They, like One Direction, didn’t dance which to some might not make them a boy band but they also started out as an r&b group not a pop group. So we’ll let it slide with them.
4. Boyz II Men
The kings of the sexy. You cannot have a boy band list without Boyz II Men. These Philly boyz are soulful and sensual but also have a fun side. They are the epitome of the early 90’s music world. Again didn’t really dance (most of their big hits were ballads though) but they are also in the realm of r&b so…
Now for the final three groups I had a very hard time determining who was the best. They are all amazing groups in their own ways and it’s not an easy choice to make. So my final determining factor was the groups current estimated net worth. So I’m sorry if you don’t agree with them, but the numbers don’t lie.
It does actually hurt my heart a little bit to put NSYNC at number 3. But with a net worth of only $2.9 million it’s no wonder they are. It should also not come as a surprise that they’re in the top three. They were a prime example of what it truly means to be a boy band. Their vocals were tight, their choreography perfectly instep, and their clothing… well… it was the 90’s let’s not go there. And if it wasn’t for them we wouldn’t have Justin Timberlake who, though I am a little sick of him at the moment, in the fifteen-ish years since their break up has become a major pop culture icon. Though I still hold out for a real reunion, I’ll settle for JC’s second solo album.(I just want more of his beautiful voice please!!)
2. New Kids On The Block
That’s right. The OG boy band! I wasn’t even really alive for their original run but I can with certainty guarantee that my sister and cousin brainwashed me into liking boy bands by over playing NKOTB. With a net worth of $30 million they make the number two spot. When they were created there weren’t groups like them. They really didn’t have a direction. And thanks to that, they paved the way for every boy band since. They had the moves, they had the style, they had the.. hair… But the thing that really gets me about them? Thirty years later and in their mid 40’s they still have it! Sure they can’t dance as hard core and Joey can’t hit all of the high notes anymore, but they still got the right stuff. (That was a really dumb pun I’m sorry.)
1. Backstreet Boys
The next sentence I type is going to make this choice seem really biased, but remember I’m going based on net worth. Damn effing right! Every other list of best boy bands out there never place them over the fifth slot which I’ve always been confused by. With a net worth of $195 million, the Backstreet Boys take the number one slot and are unofficially crowned the king of boy bands. For 23 years these five men have been dominating the pop charts. (Okay maybe they haven’t dominated since like 2003 but that sounded better.) They have the vocal and dancing persicion, even into their not so spry ages (though Nick is only 35 and in the best shape of his life so) With an astonishing (and only being surpased by Boyz II Men) eight studio albums and a ninth on the way, they seem to thrive in a world where grown men being in a boy band isn’t cool. Though I personally feel they perfected the ballad, they also have some of the greatest dance numbers as well. Was this maybe a bit biased because they are my favorite, sure. But everything I’ve said is true, so I’m not wrong.
So there is my top 10 boy bands! I hope you enjoyed it, and if your favorite boy band didn’t make the cut, leave me a comment telling me what you love about them. And remember that this is just my opinion and not to get too mad at me. And over all just remember that all boy bands no matter how great or not so great have a certain Je ne sais qoui about them that makes them boy bands. It’s what makes boy bands so great and makes their music something that no matter how old you get you can always return and feel like that little girl who just wants to marry Nick Carter. (Or whoever you wanted to marry.)