Back in the 90s, boy bands were a dime a dozen. We would flip on MTV to see who made the cut on Total Request Live, only to find that 90 percent of the videos featured three to five pouty-lipped Ken Dolls with frosted tips.
Now that enough time has past and shrieking tweens have downsized the objects of their affection to single entities like Justin Bieber, we here at Crossfade felt as though the moment had finally come for a definitive list of the best boy bands ever.
10. 'N Sync
Maybe we would have ranked these Lou Pearlman pretty boys higher if Lance Bass had actually become the first gay ex-boy band vocalist to float in space.
9. Backstreet Boys
The last three BSB albums were titled, in order of release, Never Gone, Unbreakable, and This Is Us. Perhaps the lady doth protest too much. Seems like the group spent its second decade together trying to convince their former fans that they still cared.
8. New Kids on the Block
Despite being well into adulthood, NKOTB will still come out of the woodwork in 2012 to croon and make soccer moms swoon.
7. 98 Degrees
This quartet launched the solo career of Nick Lachey, which resulted in Newlyweds: Nick and Jessica, a reality show documenting the singer's brief marriage to pop starlet Jessica Simpson, which (at least partially) resulted in the couple's very public divorce. Sounds like entertainment to us.
LFO's entry in the annals of cultural memory is a quickly scribbled note reading, "viral marketing for Abercrombie & Fitch."
5. New Edition
And now we begin the segment of our list where we explore the possibility that every single trend that ends up transforming mild mannered white people into frenzied animals was probably ripped off from the ultimate progenitors of cool ... Black folks. Producer Maurice Starr launched this boy band prototype before linking up (and hitting it big) with the honks in NKOTB.
4. The Jackson 5
People give Joe Jackson a lot of flack for running a tight ship. But if you ask us, any boy band that wants even the slightest sliver of success need to sign over their souls to an authoritarian sociopath that conducts business like a cross between a mob boss and a cult leader.
3. The Ink Spots
Can the boy band genome be traced back any further than this quartet? Can you think of a single member of 'N Sync with that much groove?
Menudo's handlers constructed a rigorous program that expelled members from the Puerto Rican troupe upon hitting puberty. Or their 16th birthday. You know, whichever came first. Finally, a boy band with some fucking standards. "If your balls have dropped ... Sorry, kid, we got no use for ya."
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1. Village People
Despite wether or not you actually believe "disco is dead," there's no denying the Village People drew a line in the sand that separated the men in boy bands from the boys in boy bands.