'Boy Bands' get bounced

Anastasiya Gorshkova, a Ukrainian Student at Pfeiffer University, was just like many other teenage girls in the late Nineties: hanging posters of the Backstreet Boys on her wall. She was a huge fan of the so-called labeled ‘Boy Bands.’ “I liked them when I was 13 – 14, so when you’re at this age, you dream about all those guys falling in love with you and you’re going crazy. Their songs are so romantic and you dream about a romantic guy and all the things they sing about in their songs.” However, when her parents renovated her room, instead of putting up ‘Boy Band’ posters, she was taping Linkin Park, Limp Bizkit, and Nickelback ones to the wall.

When ‘Boy Bands’ came out, although the teenage girls fell in love with them, a lot of males despised them. Richard Kane, a DJ at The Chimes in Kent, England doesn’t like them because, “There’s absolutely no soul in anything they do. If you’ve heard one ‘Boy Band’, you’ve heard them all. It just seems like they recycle the same song over and over again, which the next ‘Boy Band’ then goes and copies, just changing the lyrics a little to claim it as their own.”

A lot of people in the late Nineties were either fanatics or enemies of the teen frenzy known as ‘Boy Bands,’ but in 2004, it seems that the once famous ‘Pop Groups’ are a dying cause. All of them have either called it quits, are on a break, or were canned by their labels. Regardless of the reasoning, the fact remains that they are no longer on mainstream television or radio.

There are many factors as to why ‘Boy Bands’ are no longer dominating the airwaves. Jessika Smith, Pfeiffer Student, says, “At first, they were ok, and all of us girls fell in love with them. But then, too many of them came out and they lost their appeal. They seem so clich now.” John Morrison, co-owner of BaloolaPalooza.com, agrees with what Jessika says, but brings up another issue of why the ‘Pop Groups’ are becoming extinct. “Number One, there was over saturation of the market; there was too much at once and people grew tired of it being largely the same thing. At the same time, the underground rock and punk scenes have thrived, especially among college students. The labels have seen this and have basically started to shift their marketing to things in this vein as something people in punk culture (or those who want to be) can relate to. Artists like Avril Lavigne have taken the spot of the Backstreet Boys because it appears to have all the edginess and rebellion of the underground. The only difference is it’s the same thing as before, with the same people writing the songs, and pulling the strings. It’s all about image. People got tired of the pretty boy image and they wanted something rebellious.”

Elysa Gardner, a journalist for USA Today, acknowledged this action back in July 2001. She writes, “Five years after the Backstreet Boys’ first album launched the latest bubblegum-pop conquest of radio and MTV, a number of teen-‘zine-friendly acts are having a more difficult time either cultivating a mass audience or following up promising debuts. A CD released by 98 Degrees was one of last year’s biggest commercial disappointments; in recent weeks, heavily promoted albums by the rising young group LFO and Mandy Moore, a blond baby diva who has been likened to Britney Spears, entered the Billboard chart at No. 87 and No. 35, respectively. And Backstreet is suffering some grown-up trauma of its own, with member A.J. McLean currently in rehab for depression and alcohol abuse.”

“I think we’re in a phase right now where there’s no question that the bloom is off the teen-pop rose,” says Alan Light, editor in chief of Spin. “Superstars like ‘N Sync and Backstreet and Britney and Christina (Aguilera) can still sell records, but they’ll face a challenge even if their sales start to dip a little … if there’s any sense that they’ve peaked,” he told USA Today in July 2001.

It’s clear that a big role that could contribute to this is inactivity and a decreasing amount of record sales. The two most famous ‘Boy Bands’ would probably be the Backstreet Boys and N’SYNC. Their highest achievements ever would never be matched by a long shot. The Backstreet Boys’ 2000 Studio Album, “Black & Blue” sold 5 million copies fewer than their 1999 studio album, “Millennium.” N’SYNC’s 2001 compilation, “Celebrity,” couldn’t even sell half the amount of units that their 2000 effort did, “No Strings Attached” (selling over 11 million copies). Since then, the members of both bands have gotten older and haven’t made a new album since.

Whether or not this is a phase, the popularity of ‘Boy Bands’ is dropping at a rapid pace. It doesn’t matter if it was cool to love them or cool to hate them, one no longer has to worry about that because they are no longer in the spotlight. Now, there are more people like Anastasiya who are starting to take posters and photos of the Backstreet Boys off their walls.

{Follow-Up Story soon to come. Until them, leave a comment}

13 replies on “'Boy Bands' get bounced”

While i agree with much of the article it can be argued that not all boy band crazes are done with. Along with the success of Justin Timberlake, Nick La..shay? and his dumb wife still shows that boy bands are still somewhat present in our days. Aswell..it can also be argued that there are boy bands, but the venue has changed..and these can actually play instruments somewhat. Look in any teen magazine and its plastered with good charlotte and simple plan. Although these arent technically boy bands, the record producers market them very largely to that crucial 12-17 year old girl market. I know many high school and younger aged girls who think theyre going to marry the members of the aforementioned bands. However..good article. Very entertaining. Nice work Bear

I agree completely with J’s Comments on this, and it proves that North Americans are complete idiots. They waste their money on not only Cds but videos, lunchboxes, posters, and even action figures of these douche bags when we could be using the money for better things

All I can say is the Bear is correct on everything in this article in my opinion. He is a great writer and he will be very successful in whatever he does. Overall, the column was great. I think he did a great job. Keep up the good work Bear.

Bear! Nice article. Are you hiding your true feelings that you are still in love with all the Back Street Boys? Maybe? I think so! j/k

Well, none the less. Nice article, well written and well paced. Nice insert of outside stats, via main stream media newspapers.

Good job! ROAR ROAR!!!!!!


your west coast nagga,


great article. i have to say that this is by far my favorite of yours. i love the professionalism of it, very nicely done. the content was very true as well, it is a shame that people cant see that the new face of rock, the new pop-punk and the new reality tv scene is mere an extention of what the ’90’s boy bands stood for. like j said, its all about image. you wrapped up the whoel pehenomenon very well though and i entirely agree with you article. i look forward to the follow up.

I agree with alot of this, theyre not as prevalent as they were a couple of years ago, but i wouldn’t say the boyband/pop teen phase is done just yet, because you forgot one very important pop/superficial image outlet. That being American Idol. A show that has combined reality tv, a high school talent show, and pop music together to captivate a broad audience in its web of superficiality. I watched one episode of this last year.. and my brain nearly melted… So if anything id say pop music is just biding its time before it gets back into the spot light.

Otherwise, good job!,


Dude, I obviously agree 100%. I’d love to be able to express in words how angry I used to get every time a new “song” was released by one of the many clone bands but… I can’t. Regardless of what people might say as well I truly believe teh “boy band” is dead and buried. They may come back but they won’t last. The world has moved on, and the majoirty are far too shallow to accept anything that already lost it’s “cool” factor back into their lives anyway. Well, that’s why I think and if you don’t like it then go suck on the barrel of a frickin’ gun! Booya!

I agree that boy bands are over, and rightfully so. But I am still pissed that people are listening to fragments of these bands. And what was Justin Timberlake even doing in the middle of a superbowl? There he was, surrounded by dozens of people who probably wanted to kick his ass. But I digress. This was an excellent, and definitely well-researched column. Bravo, Bear, bravo. You’ve got mad good talent.

hey excellent, well-written/researched article! I agree with most of what you wrote. Every couple of years, something new comes along and the labels notice it and start marketing it to the 12-17 year-old girls because that age group, especially grades 7-9, are the most easily-molded. Research shows that it is very easy to market anything to them if you do it right.

I never like the “Boy Band” moniker in the first place because these guys where only “standup” singers. They had no band. Boy Bands really lasted in the 70’s and 80’s….being…Beatles…Zeppelin, Cream, VanHalen, etc…..They were truly bands for the boys…because they really rocked and played their own instruments. The day they started (media) using the word boy band, I said, “They’re not in a band…they just sorta stand there or they are jumping around exposing their chests” That had nothing to do with a band…The only true Boy Band that I believe existed in the 90’s and continue to exist today are Taking Back Sunday, GreenDay, Linkin Park, etc. Guys rockin’ their own instruments. That’s what a real band is.

One quick comment, I don’t endorse boy bands. I don’t care about the brief love affair that little girls have with these bands.

What I care about is the lie that boy bands are sappy and shallow. I have managed boy bands and rock bands and what I will tell you is that boy bands have less drama than any boy band that I have ever dealt with.

Rock band in particular are some of the most spoiled self absorbed people on the planet. The groups break up ever six days and if they developed a fan base an arguments starts within the group about who has the most chicks.

Lay off the boy band talk or the hip hop talk or the rock talk. Understand that music is apart of what being human is.

We have wack people and cool people. Just enjoy the music.

Music with substance is Sting, Elton, Luther, Marvin; Bob Marley not these label manipulated acts. Good Charlotte will be a footnote in 3 years as well as NKOB. The difference is NKOB sold more records.

Final comment. If you make the members of Good Charlotte take a bath and comb their hair and put on some cool clothes you would have a boy band.

I happen to pass by this web page and I agree with the last Gentleman.

I think it goes a little deeper than what was posted. Boy Bands are hated by one group of individuals only. Those people are called the frustrated. Why else would you fixstate on something as trivial as boy bands.

Boy bands were built for little girls. These little girls are going through an innocent phase in their lives. They should be allowed to go through this phase and as they grow older their taste will mature.

If you complain about boy bands then you should complain about Disney, Barbie and dew drops on a Sunday morning.

For those who think Avril is edgy think again. She was signed to her label as a country artist. Former executive L.A. Reid changed her style. Avril did not choose this style of music nor is she a gifted guitar player. So on the comment of not being a real musician because you donÕt play your own instrument is laughable.

The voice is the original instrument and I have heard some of the Òso calledÓ real musicians hack songs to death with their voices. I would rather listen to a drug induce

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