Jan 242020
 
best boy band covers

2020 marks a number of twenty-year anniversaries in music, but perhaps nothing as much as the extremely turn-of-the-millenium phenomenon of the boy band. At the start of the year, NSYNC set a first-week sales record with No Strings Attached. At the end of it, Backstreet Boys set their own sales record with Black & Blue. No one before or since sold CDs like boy bands sold CDs. Even the year’s other huge artists seemed defined in reaction to boy bands; Eminem dissed boy bands in seemingly half of his songs, while Limp Bizkit’s Fred Durst was constantly starting feuds with them. It was that kind of year.

Because boy bands had their detractors. Boy oh boy, did they have their detractors. I was a 13-year old in 2000, and I remember the arguments dominating middle school hallways. But whether you were a fanatic or a skeptic, it’s hard to argue that, stripped of the love-it-or-hate-it presentation, the songs were rock solid (melodically, if not always lyrically). I imagine every one of us has gotten some of these stuck in our head – even if we didn’t want them there.

So rather than picking just one artist, we decided to pay tribute to the entire genre. We didn’t limit it to songs from the year 2000, but we did limit it to the phenomenon that 2000 represents. Though you can make a fair argument that The Beatles and Jackson 5 were boy bands, including groups like that would render this list pretty meaningless. Every artist here fits a pretty strict definition of a boy band, even if they came just before the genre’s cultural peak (New Edition) or after it (One Direction).

So everybody, rock your body with the 25 best boy band covers ever.

– Ray Padgett

The list starts on Page 2.

May 252012
 

In the Spotlight showcases a cross-section of an artist’s cover work. View past installments, then post suggestions for future picks in the comments!

The boy Gedge has written some of the best love songs of the Rock ‘n’ Roll Era. You may dispute this, but I’m right and you’re wrong! – John Peel

The Wedding Present may not be a familiar name in the United States, but in the UK and elsewhere, they need no introduction – they’re the band that took over the “Most Successful Indie Band” label from the Smiths and haven’t recognized any relinquishing since. Led by David Gedge, they have been a feral presence for over a quarter century, and they show no signs of slowing down. Gedge is the only constant, and the band has reflected his evolving from a triple-time songster to a man that still knows how to express being screwed over at half speed. As one YouTube commenter wrote, “If they had told me heaven sounded like this, I would have joined the priesthood.” Continue reading »

Apr 062012
 

Cover Classics takes a closer look at all-cover albums of the past, their genesis, and their legacy.

Heaven & Hell, Volume 1 was the first of three tributes to The Velvet Underground released by the Imaginary label. They regularly used tributes as a way to move product, averaging three a year and paying homage to cult artists like Syd Barrett, Captain Beefheart, and (unusually for 1992) Nick Drake. They were guaranteed sellers to tiny, rabid fanbases, and brought attention to the label’s own artists besides. But with H&HV1, they tapped into a richer vein than usual, and they landed one band that was ascloseasthis to superstardom. Continue reading »