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Friday Mixtape

A Meticulous History of the Boy Band

by Rachel Devitt

A Meticulous History of the Boy Band


About this playlist

In this edition of our Friday Mixtape, we take a close and scrutinizing look at that venerable musical institution, that stalwart figure in cultural history, that staple of a healthy pop diet: the boy band. From its humble beginnings among the a cappella prep clubs and neighborhood doo-wop groups through its sweet adolescence in the hallowed halls of Motown to its halcyon days at the top of the charts in the golden era of ye olde Backstreet and 'NSync, the boy band has enjoyed a rich and prolific role in American cultural life. And now, today, we are lucky enough once again to bask in its glow, as the boy band comes roaring back into fashion again with the likes of The Wanted, One Direction and Mindless Behavior. This playlist digs deep into the legacy behind these hot new bands, defining the sometimes vague term as an all-male singing group that either consists entirely of teenagers/very young adults or focuses on appealing to them. Dive in!