Before and After
New Kids on the Block, or NKOTB, are a Bostonian Five Man Boy Band
. For whatever reason, their Imposing Manager
named the group Nynuk when it first formed (to this day, nobody is quite sure what
he was thinking). Thank Donnie and Columbia Records
for the group's current moniker; Donnie wrote the song "New Kids on the Block" for the first album, and Columbia said they'd give the group a record contract provided they changed their name. The rest is history.
Originally conceived as a white version
of New Edition
(seriously), they enjoyed several years of major success in the late 80's
and early 90's
, but declining sales, internal strife, and accusations of lip-syncing and other issues led to the group disbanding in 1994. Most of the members went on to solo musical careers, and Donnie Wahlberg became a successful actor. They got back together in 2008, released a new album, and held a very successful reunion tour
and a tour in 2011 co-headlining with the Backstreet Boys
. A new album was released on April 2, 2013, along with a joint tour with Ninety Eight Degrees
and Boyz II Men
NKOTB is one of the Trope Makers
(or, at least, Trope Codifiers
) for subsequent Boy Bands
- Donnie Wahlberg (older brother to Mark "Marky Mark" Wahlberg)
- Danny Wood
- Joey McIntyre
- Jordan Knight
- Jonathan Knight (Jordan's older brother)
- 1986 - New Kids On The Block
- 1988 - Hangin' Tough
- 1989 - Merry, Merry Christmas
- 1990 - Step By Step
- 1991 - No More Games - The Remix Album
- 1994 - Face The Music
- 2008 - The Block
- 2011 - NKOTBSB (combined NKOTB and BSB hits album along with three new songs with everyone singing together)
- 2013 - 10
They also had a short-lived animated series
in the early 90s.
NKOTB provides examples of the following tropes:
- Celebrity Endorsement:
- During their original run, the band endorsed name-brand products during their most popular years. Most notably, Coca-Cola, which peaked with a contest run by the soda company that tied into their Magic Summer tour. Sadly, the "Magic Cans" caused a lot more grief than expected. (Your Golden Ticket was supposed to pop up through the opening of the can if you won. This did not work so well in practice.)
- Since his mother's death from breast cancer, Danny has become an outspoken supporter of the Susan G. Komen Foundation, with proceeds from some of NKOTB's merchandise during the reunion tour and all of the profits from his solo album Stronger: Remember Betty going to the Foundation.
- Jordan did promotions for Old Navy's summer wardrobe in 2012, including riding in on a bicycle cart and a fake "album" about their catalog.
- Christmas Songs: Merry, Merry Christmas, combining Christmas standards with original songs that were of...questionable quality.
- Cluster F-Bomb:
- Cover Version: Jordan covered Prince's "I Could Never Take the Place of Your Man" on his debut solo album, and did several covers on Love Songs.
- '80s Hair: What did you expect?
- Fanservice: We could spend a whole paragraph on this. It's probably enough just to note that there was a lot of it. Now that they're back together, it's even more prevalent. Conversely...
- Fandom Nod:
- The group's song "Tonight", and Joey's song "Five Brothers and a Million Sisters".
- The entire comeback tour, especially in its later stages.
- Five-Man Band: Of course!
The Hero / The Sweet One - Jordan Knight
The Lancer / The Tough One - Donnie Wahlberg
The Smart Guy / The Cute One - Joey McIntyre
The Big Guy / The Cool Big Brother - Danny Wood
and Jordan's older brother Jon.
- Hotter and Sexier: In spades since the reunion. The Block is very racy, and now that all five are in their mid-30s to early 40s, none are shy about showing off for the ladiesnote .
- Intercourse with You:
- Mostly averted in their original run and on 10.
- The Block plays this very straight, depending on the song.
- In their solo material, Jordan uses this a lot, with "Give It to You" being one of the best examples. Joey and Donnie also use it fairly regularly. Danny used it a lot more in his earlier material than his more recent albums.
- Mood Dissonance: Jordan's solo song "Give It to You" is very steamy; the video has him dancing in an amusement park.
- Precision F-Strike:
- Subverted with "Grown Man"; the two places where profanities would fit were replaced with effects or wordplay.
- These show up in banter and lyrics when they're performing live, especially from Donnie and Joey.
- The Quiet One: Jon. Lampshaded frequently by the rest of the group, and sometimes by Jon himself when he does talk. He's much more vocal and active on Twitter and Instagram.
- Self-Titled Album: The group's debut album, and Jordan's first solo album.
- Serious Business: Still after all these years. We need a sociologist to get to the bottom of the dedication of Boston-based fandoms. They're like the Red Sox of music...
- Shirtless Scene:
- At least one photo from most of Danny's solo albums, if not all the art.
- The live video of "Baby I Believe In You" has Jordan wearing an open white shirt that totally showed off his chest and abs; he recycled this for his solo routine during the first part of the reunion tour.
- Pretty much a standard feature of the shows during the NKOTBSB and Package tours.
- Silly Love Songs: Take a shot every time they say "girl". By the Hangin' Tough album, snarky critics started wondering if they were actually singing to a woman named Girl.
- Straight Gay: Jon.
- Take That:
- Face the Music's first track was a Take That of sorts to the lip-syncing accusations and other criticisms the group had been facing during that time.
- Some of Joey's songs have taken sly jabs at the Backstreet Boys, N Sync, and Britney Spears.
- Tall, Dark and Handsome: Jordan, who took full advantage of it for Fanservice.