Back in the 80s and early 90s many gorgeous male faces adorned our bedroom walls – but today we aren’t talking about Wham, Bros, New Kids on the Block or Take That. Today we’re talking about some of the less well-remembered boy bands, who briefly enjoyed the spotlight but have long since disappeared into the abyss of pop yesteryear.
How many of these now largely-forgotten boy bands do you remember being a fan of?
Remember 3T? Taj, Taryll and T.J. were the sons of Tito Jackson and nephews of the one-time king of pop Michael Jackson (seen above visiting his Madame Tussauds waxwork), and broke through as a band in 1995 with their hit single Anything.
3T later performed alongside their significantly more famous uncle on their 1996 single Why. Though they’ve faded from the limelight, they’re still together, recording and performing from time to time.
9. Big Fun
Big Fun was a Stock Aitken Waterman-produced English boy band that performed between 1988 and 1994; it consisted of members Phil Creswick, Mark Gillespie and Jason John.
Their only album, A Pocketful of Dreams, reached the top 10, with singles including a cover of The Jacksons’ hit Blame It on the Boogie.
8. London Boys
Oh, how we loved the London Boys! Not so much for their singing, which was average. Not even for their songs, such as Requiem and London Nights, which were, to be fair, rather catchy.
No, we mostly loved them for all the break-dancing and backflips they used to do on Top of the Pops!
A1 sang the rather brilliant Caught in the Middle in 2001, and believe it or not released 5 studio albums from 1999 all the way up to 2012. Some were surprised when the band landed the Best Newcomer BRIT Award in 2001, notably Noel Gallagher of Oasis who said on stage that the decision was “taking the p***.”
After reuniting on 2014’s reality TV show The Big Reunion, A1 continues to perform with their original lineup.
6. Worlds Apart
Originally formed in 1992, Worlds Apart enjoyed their biggest hits with their 1993 single Everlasting Love and 1994’s Could It Be I’m Falling in Love (both of which were cover versions).
The band still exist to this day, although the line-up has changed many times. Steve Hart is the only remaining original member, whilst another of the longest-standing members Nathan Moore was previously in another boy band we’ll get to later…
911 consisted of Lee Brennan, Jimmy Constable and Simon ‘Spike’ Dawbarn. Formed in 1992, the band released their debut single Night to Remember in 1996, and enjoyed their only chart-topper A Little Bit More in 1999.
They broke up by the early 2000s, but reunited by 2012 and still perform – although they’re considerably bigger in South East Asia than they are in their native UK.
4. Let Loose
A boyband with more a rock feel (but a boyband nonetheless), London trio Let Loose briefly looked set to be the next big thing thanks to their single Crazy For You. Though a flop on its initial release in 1993, it hit the #2 spot when re-released in 1994.
Let Loose reunion shows were announced for 2014, but were cancelled only two weeks after tickets went on sale. We haven’t heard anything from them since.
3. Bad Boys Inc
British boy band Bad Boys Inc. could pretty much be the textbook definition of here today, gone tomorrow. Arriving in 1993, they had six top 40 hit singles (the biggest being More To This World, which reached #8) and a self-titled top 20 album.
However, after enjoying the distinction of being the first pop band to perform on the televised National Lottery draw, Bad Boys Inc. called it a day in 1995, and unlike many other bands of the era they’ve never reformed.
2. Brother Beyond
Brother Beyond was made up of drummer Steve Alexander, Carl Fysh who played keyboard, and David White who played guitar and provided backing vocals. The real star of the band was singer Nathan Moore, who later joined Worlds Apart.
Their first four singles didn’t do so well, but after teaming up with Stock Aitken Waterman they released the classic The Harder I Try, which was only kept off the top of the singles chart by Phil Collins’ A Groovy Kind of Love.
American male R&B group All-4-One formed in 1993, and enjoyed international success with their huge-selling ballad I Swear in 1994. Today, that song is probably best remembered thanks to the Minions singing it in the climactic wedding scene of Despicable Me 2.
Unlike a lot of other bands on this list All-4-One have never gone away. They’ve recorded seven albums which have collectively sold 69 million copies worldwide. Not bad for an act we were ready to write off as a one-hit wonder!