It may not have become a popular term until the Britney 'n' Backstreet-mad '90s, but boy bands have been around for decades. Below, a highly subjective list of the most delicious dozen — plus one very meta bonus track
1. ”I Want It That Way” (1999)
Which way? That way! The swoony überballad that made BSB the fire, the one desire of countless girls (and some giddy boys, too).
2. ”I Want You Back” (1969)
The Jackson 5
Our first introduction to a tiny wonder named Michael — and a song so classic, it totally transcends the genre.
3. ”Bye Bye Bye” (2001)
Parting is such sweet sorrow! (Said young Timberlake, to his Shirley Temple curls.)
4. ”Daydream Believer” (1967)
Oh, what can it mean, to be the patron saint of sleepy Jeans and homecoming queens? Only the very first boy band knows for sure.
5. ”Hangin’ Tough” (1989)
New Kids on the Block
Tough like a basket of puppies — except maybe Donnie Wahlberg; he was pretty much born with a full beard and a Starter jacket.
6. ”If It Isn’t Love” (1988)
After Bobby Brown went solo but before Bell Biv’d away with DeVoe, they gifted us this perfect soul-pop sugar rush.
7. ”Mmmbop” (1997)
Do bop/Dooba dop ba do bop/Dooba dop ba do bop/Do ba do. Yeah!
8. ”Summer Girls” (1999)
They were Lyte, they were Funky, they loved the girls who wear Abercrombie & Fitch in the summer (…in the summer).
9. ”Back for Good” (1995)
As close to stately as a boy band ever got, with swirling strings and pretty falsetto and the (possibly mimed) playing of their own instruments.
10. ”Burnin’ Up” (2008)
They are so hot for you, girl, they are burning! They are lava! Actually, they might want to go see a doctor.
11. ”Give Me Just One Night (Una Noche)” (2000)
Slinky tribute to a love so overwhelming and internacional, it must be sung in Spanglish — by four nice guys from Ohio.
12. ”All or Nothing” (2001)
The highest-charting hit of the original Diddy-overlorded Making the Band crew, though sadly, the public soon chose ”nothing” over ”all.”
BONUS! ”you + me = Us (Calculus)” (2000)
Mind-bending heart math from the Stephen Hawkings of fake boy-banddom. (See their self-titled MTV movie satire.) Also? This song might be amazing.