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April 13, 2024 64 mins
When you hear “boy band,” what do you picture? Five guys with precision dance moves? Songs crafted by the Top 40 pop machine? Svengalis pulling the puppet strings? Hordes of screaming girls? As it turns out, not all boy bands fit these signifiers. (Well…except for the screaming girls—they are perennial.) There are boy bands that danced, and some that did not…boy bands that relied entirely on outside songwriters, and those that wrote big hits…boy bands assembled by managers or producers, and quite a few that launched on their own. From Frankie Lymon and the Teenagers to New Kids on the Block, the Monkees to the Jonas Brothers, Boyz II Men to BTS, New Edition to One Direction, and…yeah, of course, Backstreet Boys and *N Sync, boy bands have had remarkable variety over the years. (In a sense, even a certain ’60s Fab Four started as a boy band.) Join Chris Molanphy as he tries to define the ineffable quality of boy band–ness, walks through decades of shrieking, hair-pulling pop history, and reminds you that boy bands generated some of our greatest hits, from “I Want You Back” to “I Want It That Way,” “Bye Bye Bye” to “Dynamite.” Help him “bring the fire and set the night alight.” Podcast production by Kevin Bendis. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
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