NEW KIDS ON THE BLOCK Biography
After his success with New Edition, producer Maurice Starr decided to replicate the singing group, substituting suburban white kids for the young black teenagers. The result was New Kids on the Block, a pioneering boy band that quickly eclipsed the popularity of Starr's previous group while laying the groundwork for the teen pop boom of the late-'90s. Comprising Boston-area singers Donnie Wahlberg, Jordan Knight, Jon Knight, Danny Wood, and Joe McIntyre, the New Kids were awkward and enthusiastic on their 1986 debut, which wasn't surprising given the boys' age (the oldest members were barely 16 years old, while McIntyre was only 12). With their next album, 1988's Hangin' Tough, the group's image had toughened up and they had the slick, radio-ready material to support it. From the saccharine ballad "I'll Be Loving You Forever" to the title track's stab at funk, the band enjoyed a seemingly endless streak of hits in 1988 and 1989. Five songs entered the Top 10, and even the group's Christmas album went double platinum as it road the coattails of Hangin' Tough up the Billboard charts.
New Kid mania continued in America with 1990's Step by Step; even if it sold five million copies less than Hangin' Tough, it still sold an impressive three million copies. The album also fared well internationally, moving an additional 16 million units in other parts of the world, but Step by Step was nevertheless the group's last album to enjoy such worldwide success. New Kids were the subject of an endless amount of jokes, including allegations that they hadn't sung a note during the Hangin' Tough recording sessions. Furthermore, their audience was growing up. In 1994, they rechristened themselves NKOTB and returned with the Starr-less Face the Music, which actually showed a remarkable musical maturity. The group had grown into a credible urban R&B outfit, yet the album hardly sold anything, even if NKOTB continued to pack theaters on tour. In June of 1994, the members announced that they had acrimoniously parted ways
Various members of New Kids launched solo careers later in the decade, with Knight scoring a gold record in 1999 and Donnie Wahlberg landing several movie roles. Attempts to reunite the group in the early 2000s proved fruitless; however, the band surprisingly reconvened in early 2008, announcing their decision to tour in support of a new album. The Block arrived later that year, followed by tour dates in Canada and America. Although critically panned, The Block nevertheless debuted at number two on the Billboard charts. Stephen Thomas Erlewine & Andrew Leahey, All Music Guide
NEW KIDS ON THE BLOCK lyrics and albums