Throughout time, herds of girls have been screaming, fantasizing, chasing, fainting, and crying over one basic concept: boy bands. Each generation comes with their own wave of boy bands, leaving girls of all ages star struck.
But are all of these idolized fellas basically the same, despite the changing eras?
During the 1960’s, one of the greatest musical groups of all time emerged. The Beatles captured the hearts and gained the respect of people all over the world. Their charms and classic rock style were more than just sweet melodies though.
The Beatles once said, “Well, you know we all want to change the world.” And that is exactly what they did. First, their swagger captured the hearts of girls, but as they became more successful, their revolutionary music became the epitome of the counterculture movement. The British Invasion brought about a cultural transformation in a time of national turmoil that was embraced wholeheartedly by younger generations.
However, as a generation passed, a new era of boy bands came to light that focused more on their sex appeal and dance moves than on their music. This era was dominated by the iconic Backstreet Boys (BSB) and *NSYNC.
These two groups recreated what it meant to be a boy band. The fundamental aspects attracted the women: young, attractive males singing songs that created encouraged young women to spend a lot of money.
The revolution had a much different feel, though. These studio-created bands focused on sex appeal, becoming the epitome of a teenage girl’s dream. The groups’ fan bases demonstrate the differences in generations. While The Beatles had plenty of girls fawning over them, they also distinguished themselves as true musicians, gaining the respect of critics as well.
BSB’s intensity showed their serious nature. Hardly ever will you see Nick Carter crack a smile in performances. *NSYNC is the same way. Their videos involve all smoldering looks and dramatic dance moves. This sexual period was portrayed through fashionable clothes (which now seem tacky), choreographed dance moves and dramatized music videos. These two iconic boy bands were simply attractive guys who could sing and dance. On the other hand, The Beatles were a band who created their own sound and just happened to look good while doing it.
Moving forward to the most recent era, One Direction takes a different approach. They are all about being “just normal boys” who came from ordinary backgrounds. Their attitude is a complete shift from intense and serious to happy-go-lucky and goofy. As opposed to BSB’s piercing looks, One Direction is hardly ever seen not smiling.
Have these iconic groups changed for the better though?
The timeless adoration of The Beatles is because of the immense impact they made in a challenging time. They actually wrote and played their music, making social commentary while changing how music was performed.
But, as our country has become more culturally and economically stable, boy bands are becoming more and more ridiculed for their lack of innovative music.
Instead of creating mature and revolutionary music that will impact generations to come, boy bands focus on fitting into the mold of pop culture. The Beatles strove for change that created their timeless iconic image.
The bands which follow them melt into the demands of people rather than creating something new.
Are boy bands at fault for just trying to fit in, though? The Backstreet Boys, *NSYNC, and One Direction do not have a cause for change or a revolution at hand. These more recent boy bands have found success in just sticking to the norm and in some way lost the opportunity to create more innovative music. This is not to say that they are not to blame for aspiring to create more innovative music. But did they even have the chance to match The Beatles legacy or were they always destined to fall into the vault of cheesy music of their respective time periods?
Anne Cushman is a staff writer for The Mycenaean and resides in North Carolina. Her hobbies include petting horses, hang-gliding, and soccer. Some of her numerous aspirations are to climb Mount Everest, kayak the Colorado River, and write well. Also, she loves One Direction.