New Kids on the Block

Literal kids (sixteen and under) who were the white (and less good) version of New Edition (who themselves were the modern version of the Jackson 5), both of them created by Maurice Starr.  Eventually they grew up and went by NKOTB (as if you can't be an adult and have "kid" in your name), but their main power was in being young and appealing to girls age six to fourteen.

Information: Legacy Recordings
Suggested first purchase/best of: Greatest Hits
Suggested first album: Step By Step

Greatest Hits (1999) -- Back in 1990, when they seemed to be peaking with their third album Step By Step after the success of Hangin' Tough and their self-titled debut, I was calling NKOTB gay losers like all the other fifteen-year-old boys whose sisters played them endlessly in their tape decks.  A decade later, allowed to listen to them on my own terms, separating them from the pre-teen hype, and getting their singles all in one place (as this collection does), I find myself enjoying the boys somewhat.  "Step By Step," "You Got It (The Right Stuff)," "I'll Be Loving You (Forever)," "Cover Girl," "Didn't I (Blow Your Mind This Time)," "Please Don't Go Girl," and "Hangin' Tough" aren't the best songs in the world, but they're pretty entertaining for a guy who likes fluffy teenage pop.  The Beatle-y "Tonight," of course, is the best song they've ever done and I even enjoyed it back then.  This hits collection has a stupid remix tagged at the end, but that's almost obligatory these days unfortunately.  And chronological order doesn't matter much in a collection like this, since the albums were released pretty closely and didn't change much, so the order they've chosen works well for me.  If you're in the mood, this is the best New Kids collection out there.

Copyright (c) Nov 2006 by Rusty Likes Music