Sure they can’t compete with the ‘60s, ‘70s or ‘80s in terms of powerful speeches, Sean Connery or gravity-defying perms, but the ‘90s don’t have nothing to offer — and we're not talking in double negatives. This was the decade of music that was all about having fun and going to (drug-free) parties, and now that today’s musical landscape is drenched in weightier lyrics it seems there’s a yearning to grab this carefree innocence by the high waist of its mom jeans.
In the last few months S Club, Aqua, The Vengaboys, the Backstreet Boys and, most recently, East 17 and Shai, have all staged moderately successful comebacks on our shores. C&C Music Factory and Hanson are scheduled to follow suit. Matching outfits and half-shaven eyebrows or not, here are ten more pop groups of the ‘90s that could, in theory, if you just wish hard enough, have an Australian tour on the horizon.
Before synth-pop, there was techno line dance. Steps were manufactured in the late ‘90s in order to release '5, 6, 7 8' as a one-hit wonder, but the band stayed together for five years before splitting up in 2001. A decade later they eschewed reality television to reform for a four-part documentary series titled Steps: The Reunion, which apparently some people actually watched — Series 2 (Steps: On The Road Again) aired on Sky Living in April this year, following the band as they embarked on their sellout 22-date UK tour.
Formed by the guys behind the Spice Girls and signed by Simon Cowell, Scott, Ritchie, J, Abs and Sean were just made to take out Best Pop Act, Best British Band, Best Single, Best Album and Best Haircut (go Scott!). Apparently J’s locks weren’t quite so popular, because after an extended hiatus the group announced this year that they would reunite without him (“Four will make you get down now…”)
Were B*Witched the ultimate ‘90s role models? Not only did they reject mini dresses in favour of cultivating a tomboy image, but they taught millions of kids to speak French. Sure the girls were dropped by their record company only four years after the release of ‘C’est La Vie’, but in an interview in December 2008 Sinead said a reunion was not out of the question. And now that double denim is totez fashun, 2012 could just be the year.
Aren’t these dudes just so real? 98 Degrees formed independently and were later picked up by a record label rather than being manufactured, and refined their harmonies while working as a landscaper, a bouncer, a take-out delivery boy and a stripper. Rumours of a reunion show for the second half of 2012 were denied by Nick Lachey, but Lachey also said he would stay married to Jessica Simpson forever and ever — so there’s always hope.
In 2002 N*SYNC went on a “temporary hiatus” while High Tenor Justin Timberlake went about getting crazy famous, and though Lance Bass said in 2007 that the group had definitely broken up, their website continues to keep fans updated on the various members’ projects. Could their next one be a reunion?
What the boyz lack in matching parachute pants and neon accents they make up for in commercial success, selling more than 60 million albums worldwide and smashing the record held by Elvis Presley by staying at Number 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart for 13 weeks. Bass singer Michael McCary left the group in 2003 due to health issues but the remaining members continue to dispense emotional ballads and a cappella harmonies as a trio, releasing their most recent studio album Twenty last year.
Original member Stephen Gately tragically died of natural causes while on holiday in Majorca in 2009, two years after the band made a miraculous comeback, but the remaining members continue to keep the deliciously cheesy magic alive. Their 2010 track ‘Gave It All Away’, written by Mika, actually charted on our shores, and 2013 will see them tour a new album to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the band forming.
Just shimmying under the metaphorical limbo stick are British-Norwegian pop group A1, who’s first single 'Be the First to Believe' reached #6 in the UK singles charts right as the decade came to a close. The boys split in 2001 when Paul Marazzi decided to take his frosted tips and penchant for road worker orange elsewhere, before staging a December 2009 comeback that led to a string of new singles. ‘Just Three Words’ was released only last month, featuring Pakistani pop singer Annie Khalid.
Talk about making your parents proud. While most young adults have trouble hanging around their siblings long enough to finish a meal, The Corrs have released five studio albums, including the multi-platinum Talk on Corners. They are also all actively involved in philanthropic activities, and only took a hiatus because two of them are raising families. Considering the recent surge in popularity of folk music — The Corrs’ brand is a mix of pop and traditional Celtic folk — perhaps it’s a good time for that hiatus to end?
The Dawson’s Creek soundtrack wouldn’t have been the same without them, and neither would the ‘90s. After reuniting in 2007 and playing a headline slot at something called Greenbelt Festival in the UK, loyal fans including Perez Hilton are still waiting for the album that was originally scheduled to drop in 2010. But with a new release date of August 7, a tour might not be far behind.
June 12, 2012 by Hannah Ongley