Typically, I post on a single artist or band in my “Rockin’ Clients” series. In this 9th post of my series on Sew What? music clients, I am focusing on two bands – New Kids On The Block and Backstreet Boys. The two bands are currently on tour together, and so I thought it would be a good way to focus on both bands.
New Kids On The Block (also known as NKOTB) is a vocal boy band started in Boston in the mid 1980s by producer Maurice Starr. The original 5 members were Donnie Wahlberg, his brother Mark Wahlberg, and Donnie’s friends Danny Wood, Jordan Knight, and Jonathan Knight. Shortly afterwards, however, Mark left the band, to be replaced by Jamie Kelly, another friend of Donnie’s. Early on, Starr also replaced Jamie Kelly with Joey McIntyre, forming the core group of Donnie, Danny, Joey, Jordan and Jonathan.
The group’s self-titled debut album, released by Columbia Records in 1986, had disappointing sales, and initially their second album, Hangin’ Tough, (released in 1988) appeared headed in the same direction as the first two singles received limited airplay. However, airplay picked up, and Columbia began to more heavily promote the band, leading to five Top Ten singles from the album. Eventually, both albums went multiple-platinum.
By the early ’90s, the band’s popularity was booming. They released a fourth album (a holiday album had been released in 1989), Step by Step, which included the hit singles “Step by Step” and “Tonight.” The band performed over two hundred tour dates a year during that time frame, and they were heavily merchandised. Their fan club included over 200,000 members.
In 1992, however, the group’s popularity began to wane. After a split from producer Maurice Starr, the band released their sixth album, Face the Music, in 1993. Sales were disappointing, however, and the band eventually disbanded in 1995. Reunions were considered throughout the late ’90s and early 2000s, but none came to fruition.
In 2008, fans were excited to learn that New Kids On The Block had finally reunited. They released two new singles and the album The Block, and went on their reunion tour. Additional tours and concerts continued through 2009 and 2010.
Formed in the early ’90s in Orlando, Florida, Backstreet Boys are a vocal boy band formed by Lou Pearlman. The five original members were: Kevin Richardson, Brian Littrell, Nick Carter, A.J. McLean, and Howie Dorough. Their first single, “We’ve Got It Goin’ On,” though only a modest success in the United States, was a hit in Europe, leading to their first tour, in 1995, and their first (self-titled) album, initially released internationally but not in the US or Canada. This was followed by a second album, “Backstreet’s Back,” also released internationally only.
Backstreet Boys released their first U.S. album, which included songs from both of their international albums, in 1997. Though it enjoyed success in the U.S., it was their next album, “Millenium,” which brought Backstreet Boys to the forefront in the U.S. The album went to number 1, selling almost 9.5 million copies, and remaining on the Billboard chart for nearly two years.
The band continued to record and tour throughout the 2000s, though with several hiatuses during that time as they dealt with legal issues and pursued solo efforts. Richardson left the band in 2006 to pursue other interests, but the remaining 4 original members continued the band as a quartet. Their most recent album, “This Is Us,” was released in 2009.
In 2011, New Kids On The Block and Backstreet Boys teamed up for a combined summer tour. Dates are currently scheduled in the United States and Canada through mid-August.
Sew What? was pleased to provide custom stage curtains, including two kabuki drapes, to the NKOTBSB Summer 2011 tour.