Ahhhh, the boy bands, every middle school girl’s dream. Every decade or so a new crop of boy bands enters the picture and sets little girl’s hearts a flutter. Did you have a favorite growing up? Who was it?
What is the fascination with the boy band? They are a bunch of cute guys who sing and sometimes dance, but they don’t play instruments. They are here to sell albums and merchandise and make the girls go crazy. And they do.
If you go to Wiki, it will tell you the precursor of the modern boy band is actually the old-time barbershop quartets. A bunch of guys singing together making harmonies…sounds about right. That morphed into the doo wop groups hanging out on the street corners and it eventually trickled down to what we call boy bands today.
Before the term was coined in the late 80s there were very successful groups out there that could fit the bill. The Jackson 5 and The Osmonds were doing this long before it became a thing. Even Menudo and New Edition were around before there was a name for the phenomenon. All the girls were going crazy, you would think The Beatles were back together.
All the girls were going crazy…except me. I somehow missed the boat on boy bands. I was in middle school in the early 80’s and fell hard for bands like The Go-Go’s, Culture Club, The Police and Duran Duran. Yes, Duran Duran was made up of very cute English guys in their early 20s, but they didn’t fit the bill because they played instruments. We bought the records and merchandise and screamed and fought over them, but not a boy band.
The boy band reemerged with full force when New Kids on the Block hit the charts. Their big success hit overnight in the late 80s, but by then I was listening to more punk music and didn’t care. I will admit to liking a few of their songs, but the only one I can name is “Hanging Tough”.
I have watched new boy bands make the scene every few years and see the reactions of the girls on television. Hanson, One Direction, the K-Pop thing…all the girls going crazy for their favorites, just like I did with Roger Taylor from Duran Duran.
As much as I want to shake my head and laugh at these bands today, I can’t. I remember what it was like at that age. And maybe I wasn’t into the teenybopper bands, but I did go head over heels for my favorites and the reaction was the same. I remember my mom kind of laughing at my reaction to Duran Duran and telling me it was silly. I looked her straight in the eye and told her she acted the same way about Elvis and the bands she saw when she danced on American Bandstand in the late 50s. She couldn’t deny it.
I encourage you to listen to your favorite music from middle school today and remember how you felt at that age. And keep that feeling in mind when you might want to laugh at “that crazy kid music” being played today. We have all been there and we have to let the kids of today have the same experience.
***Question for the comments…Did you like boy bands? Who was your favorite? If not, who was your favorite band in middle school. Do you still listen to them today?
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