Jan 242020

‘The Best Ever’ series counts down our favorite covers of great artists.

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.

Sep 222010

Lord knows we’re no strangers to “Bad Romance” covers. We’ve seen it done, with varying degrees of competence, by Courtney Love, Joseph Gordan-Levitt, Lissie, Corey TuT, and Garden on a Trampoline. Well, London buzz band Klaxons give us another take and it just might be the best one yet. The trio recorded it for cover-happy Australian radio program Like a Version (whose cover compilations are must-buys). They strip it back, which is pretty much the only way to cover Lady Gaga. That choral intro is truly a thing of beauty. The whispered bridge ain’t bad either.

“I feel like she’s the ultimate pop star,” lead singer Jamie Reynolds said on air. “She’s raised the bar and made it difficult…to come along and be a pop star in this day and age. She’s really gone and done it.” Continue reading »