Take yourself back to the 1990s. Now name every single boy band you can recall from the decade. Chances are you started off with the Backstreet Boys, ‘N SYNC and Five. If you really stretched your mind, you may have even added in Boyzone, Blue, New Kids On The Block and potentially ten more I can’t think of right now. The point I’m trying to make is that the majority of these bands, aside from having horrendously amazing bleached blond hair, peaked in the 90s. A few talented dudes ran to the front of the pack and made a name for themselves as solo artists; people like Justin Timberlake, Ronan Keating, Brian Littrell and Nick Lachey, but the bands just naturally fizzled out. Well, until Boyzone celebrated their twenty year reunion and the Backstreet Boys turned into an enigma that just keeps going, but that’s beside the point.
Anyway, for much of the 2000s we were relatively free of the poppy, synchronised dance moves given to us by the boy band. That changed when Simon Cowell put together five guys on UK’s X Factor, they decided to call themselves One Direction, and all of a sudden, it was cool to like boy bands again. Here are five boy bands that prove the days of perfect harmonies, slicked back hair and color coordinated outfits (ok, not so much) are back.
Number Five: The Jonas Brothers. I know I’m throwing it back a bit with these guys, especially given the fact they’ve broken up, but the name “Jonas” doesn’t seem to be going anywhere with Nick’s super amazing vocals dominating the charts with “Jealous.” Disney gave these brothers the air time they needed to make it big, and with each of their four albums, they increased in success. With a 3D movie, tours and a Disney Channel TV show, they became the quintessential good boys of the music scene. Their fall from grace, or at least to reality, took its toll, and we now know that the journey the boys took was far from the squeaky clean image portrayed. That being said, they idealized the boy band and stepped into the gap left since 90s, potentially prompting Nickelodeon to follow with their own version.
Number Four: Big Time Rush. They may have started as the stars of a Nickelodeon TV show, but Kendall, Carlos, James and Logan seemed to cross that awkward line between dorky and cool, paving the way for the latest strand of boy bands to actually be successful. They sang with Jordin Sparks and Iyaz, released three albums, and had their own movie (because who doesn’t these days?). Oh, and a cool little fact: an upcoming British boy band called One Direction supported them on their Better With U Tour in 2012 when they were establishing a fan base in the USA. I’d say that turned out pretty well.
Number Three: The Vamps. The UK just knows how to produce good boybands, and after pumping out 1D came The Vamps. The four piece was discovered in 2012 due to their YouTube videos, and since then Bradley, Connor, James and Tristan have recorded with Demi Lovato, supported the likes of McFly and have just tied up an Australian and Asia Tour. Their album, Meet The Vamps, is out now. Oh yeah, they also have a live concert DVD and a Christmas album featuring some ugly Christmas sweaters. It’s pretty great.
Number Two: 5 Seconds of Summer. I’m ashamed to admit it took me a little while to figure out what 5SOS actually stands for, especially as I’m Australian. But despite my ignorance, the moment girls worldwide heard “Amnesia,” and “She Looks So Perfect,” these guys rocketed to the top of the charts and soon toured with 1D. Calum, Luke, Ashton and Michael have a fandom all of their own, and in my book seem only to be trumped by One Direction in popularity. Can they sustain it? Well if they keep following the steps of their peers and develop their sound, I’d say yes. But guys, where’s the movie?
Number One: One Direction. Cue the screaming, British accents and placards saying, “Marry me Niall!” Yes, One Direction is the ‘it’ boy band at the moment, and like the Backstreet Boys ruled the world (see what I did there?) in the 90s, Harry, Liam, Niall, Zayn and Louis currently seem to embody the essence of the boy band. Harry has claimed their fame surpasses The Beatles. They’ve released four smash hit albums, gone on numerous world tours, have filmed two movies and show no signs of stopping. Five years after their formation by Simon Cowell and these guys manage to keep adapting, maturing and advancing their music and performance to cultivate and draw in new fans. When we look back on this era of music in a few years, chances are 1D will be plastered all over it.