The '90's produced the best stuff known to man. I mean, who doesn't wax nostalgic over Girbaud jeans, color-blocked windbreakers, and old episodes of Saved By the Bell? That shit was so awesome.
You know who else thinks '90's nostalgia is awesome? The boys -- rather, real live men -- from the late-'90s boy band 98 Degrees. You know, the one with Nick Lachey, the guy who was once married to Jessica Simpson?
Yeah, those dudes. They've reunited, are on tour and belting out those old hits like "I Do" and "Invisible Man." Oh, and they are even assaulting us with a new album. You can thank New Kids On The Block for this entire situation, since they're touring with 98 Degrees and Boyz II Men. That tour, dubbed "The Package," pulls into Toyota Center June 27.
I'd nearly forgotten that 98 Degrees existed before they rose like a phoenix from the boy-band ashes, ready to conquer the music scene with this midlife crisis of a reunion, and that got me thinkin'. If I'd so easily forgotten about good ol' Nick Lachey and company, what other boy bands were out there that are planning their comeback attacks?
Well, I've made a list. Here are the Top 10 '90s bands you probably forgot existed. And yes, dorky photos are most definitely included.
10, Another Level These fellas are the ones that brought you that oh-so-classy little ditty entitled "Freak Me." You probably remember it; it played at every school dance during that time, despite the creepy lyrics about licking. Yes, licking. Oh, how I miss awkward middle-school slow dancing.
9. Guys Next Door These guys had not only a record deal and a crazy fan base, but also a show on NBC on Saturday mornings. '91 was a good year for teen girls, I guess. They brought their one well-known hit, "I've Been Waiting For You," and a lot of kitschy memorabilia. Today, despite the Guys' relative obscurity, they still have a pretty dedicated fanbase because, well, people are crazy.
8. No Mercy I personally had no idea that these were the dudes that busted out hits like "Where Do You Go" and "Please Don't Go." They are, though, and they've forever changed the atmosphere in many a nightclub over the years. They also covered Exile's hit, "Kiss You All Over," because the world needed songs like that to multiply like Gremlins.
7. East 17 These UK transplants have achieved quite a record for themselves, despite their relative anonymity in my mental boy-band catalog; they've had 18 top 20 singles, four Top 10 albums, and a bunch of hits like "House of Love" and "Let It Rain."
I admittedly don't know crap about them, but that promo photo is funny as hell, so they made the list. They are so hard.
6. No Authority These boys were signed by Michael Jackson's record label and put out hits like "Can I Get Your Number," "Don't Stop," and "Keep On" -- all of those sound like super-original titles, by the way -- and they were even contestants on Double Dare before crashing into flames thanks to the overuse of gel and hairspray. Damn, how I wanted to go on Double Dare.
5. 3T This boy band featured the three sons of Tito Jackson, all whom happened to have names that started with the letter "T," hence the name 3T. Must have been where the Duggars got the idea from, way back when. They busted out hits like "Tease Me" and "Eternal Flame," and they're apparently still around since they took the stage at the 52nd Grammys with Michael Jackson's kids when they were accepting his posthumous Grammy for Lifetime Achievement.
4. Imajin Remember them? Nah, I don't either, but these boys -- who I'm assuming pronounce their name "imagine" and not "Emma Jean," which is what I keep seeing in my head -- are responsible for putting it out in 1998. Shorty, you better stop playing with their minds!
There are a couple of semi-recognizable names in this group. One of the boys is Talib Kareem, who he has produced some of Solange Knowles' songs. Another is Olamide Faison, Donald Faison's little bro (Scrubs, anyone?). The group still continues to hang on, too, and is making music together to this day.
3. Youngstown You might remember these guys from their hit, "I'll Be Your Everything," on the Inspector Gadget soundtrack. No? Well they also had a hit on The Princess Diaries soundtrack, entitled, "Away With the Summer Days." Yeah, that's about all I've got for them. But the photo is high-larious!
2. Soul For Real You'll know this one. Their megahit, "Candy Rain," was produced by Heavy D and immediately topped the charts, hitting No. 1 on the Hot Hip-Hop/R&B charts and No. 2 on the Hot 100. They also had a couple of other hits, including, "Every Little Thing I Do," which I'm pretty sure I still know every word to. Soul For Real later worked with Diddy, and "Candy Rain" was sampled by Houston's own E.S.G. and Slim Thug on their 2000 track, "Grippin' Grain."
1. E.Y.C. E.Y.C., or "Express Yourself Clearly," brought us hits like "Black Book" and "Ooh-Ah-Aa (I Feel It)," but I genuinely can't place them. Despite that little fact, please see above for the greatest photo known to man. I dare you to disagree. Here's some of their music so that I don't feel so guilty for my lack of boy-band education.
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