Their debut album barely made a blip on their New England hometown radar. New Kids on the Block would perform wherever they could, bars, school dances, you name it– they sang at it. It is surprising that the boyband from Boston was even given another shot.
Their second album, Hangin’ Tough started off slow but after they were given the opportunity to open for then pop sensation Tiffany, things started to go their way. So much so in fact that when the two acts toured together again, Tiffany opened up for them! “Please Don’t Go Girl” eventually peaked at number 10 on the Billboard Hot 100 Single Chart and then “I’ll Be Loving You (Forever)” peaked at number one. Riding high on their success their third album was a Christmas album which gave them yet another top 10 single “This One’s for the Children”. Their next album Step by Step saw them reach even more success as the title track gave them yet another number 1 hit. Soon the boys from Boston were plastered over everything and we mean everything! Lunchboxes, buttons, comic books, they even had their own Saturday morning cartoon!
But all good things must come to an end, by 1993 music tastes were shifting away from pop music and even though they tried to remain relevant, (they started going by NKTOB) their album Face the Music failed to live up to their previous albums. Jonathan Knight left the band in ’94 and the rest of the group disbanded shortly after.
Who went solo?
Jordan Knight – In 1999 Knight released his first solo effort, “Give it to You” and it peaked at number 10 on the Billboard Hot 100. His self-titled album went on to sell 1.5 million records worldwide. In a perfect of example of things coming full circle, Jordan Knight a former boyband member became an opening act for new boyband, ‘N Sync on their 1999 “Ain’t No Stopping Us Now” tour. It wouldn’t be until 2005 when Knight would release new music, The Fix featured “Where is Your Heart Tonight” which peaked at number 12 on the Billboard Adult Contemporary chart. In 2006 he released Unfinished and in 2014 teamed up with Backstreet Boy, Nick Carter for Nick & Knight.
Joey McIntyre – Also in 1999, McIntyre tried to find his footing as a solo artist. He used his own money to record his album Stay the Same and the single of the same name would go on to peak at number 10 on the Billboard Hot 100 charts. His second album Meet Joe Mac failed to chart. He would go on to release 8:09 and Talk to Me.
Donnie Wahlberg stayed in the spotlight but as an actor, while Jonathan and Donnie Wood lived under the radar.
Then in 2008, all five members of NKOTB reunited for their first album in 14 years, The Block. The album debuted at number two on the Billboard 200 and they embarked on a reunion tour. Riding their success all the way to the ocean the band would also hit the high seas for a NKOTB concert cruise with their fans. They would tour again in ’09 and hit the seas again in 2010.
Because nothing should surprise anyone in the world of pop music, in 2011 NKOTB joined forces with BSB to form NKTOBSB and the two boybands toured together and released a compilation album that included two new songs.
In 2013, the New Kids, sans BSB, released 10 which debuted on the Billboard 200 at number six. Tours with 98 Degrees, Boyz II Men, and Paula Abdul would follow.
So what’s the verdict? Better together.
Our boyband turned solo men #TBT series concludes next week when we talk about ‘N sync.
Haven't had your fill of boybands? Read our features on One Direction and The Backstreet Boys.
Written by Kristen
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