Why does the boyband novelty never go away?

The Beatles, Take That, Westlife, JLS, 5 Seconds of Summer, One Direction, BTS, The Vamps. What do all these have in common? They’re all boybands. And we’re all obsessed with them.

It feels like the world has been obsessed with boybands since the beginning of time. There’s just something about a group of boys that can sing. Men, women, boys and girls – we all love it. It all started with Beatlemania in the 60s and, since then, it’s been a bandwagon that nobody can seem to get off.

As pop royalty Take That begin their eight-day residency at London’s O2 Arena in celebration of their 30-year anniversary, it’s time to take a look at why the novelty of boybands just doesn’t go away.

There’s a level of loyalty, when it comes to boybands and their fans. Look at bands like Take That; they’re 30 years into their career and stronger than ever. Granted, they began as a five-piece and are now a three-piece, but Gary, Mark and Howard haven’t been short of success.

They’re arguably one of the only bands that have made their situation work. They broke up in 1996, following Robbie Williams’ 1995 departure but reunited in 2006 (still without Robbie). In 2010, Robbie re-joined the group for their Progress album but his comeback didn’t last long and, in 2014, it was Jason’s turn to hang up his microphone.

Take That are perhaps the only band that have evolved as their members have left but, at the same time, have managed to stick to their roots. Fans of the group are some of the most dedicated fans in the world – no matter what, they’re always supporting. And that’s something that goes for boybands in general.

Think about the Jonas Brothers. They disbanded in 2013 and made their comeback six years later, in 2019. Having had successful solo careers, it’s always a potential risk for anyone going back to their boyband roots but, with boybands, one thing’s for certain: the fans. They may have grown up and in some cases married and had children but the devotion doesn’t go away.

There’s something about having a band that you grow up with. And every generation has one. From the likes of The Beatles in the 60s to One Direction more recently, there’s always a band for people to obsess over. There’s always one you can relate to – whether that be the music, or a member themselves. And that stays with you. The support and connection you feel to a band in your teenage years, for example, will 99% of the time stay with you for a lifetime. And then it becomes about nostalgia. The older you get, the more you’re reminded of the impact these bands and their music had on you – the happy times, the difficult times, the times that you wouldn’t have been able to get through without the support of your favourite band. And that’s why the novelty doesn’t go away; there’s nothing quite like it.

So if you love boybands just as much as us (and the rest of the world), have a listen to our Spotify playlist – a compilation of WNOL and WNOL readers’ favourite boyband songs.

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