after the hysteria surrounding the beatles and stones in the 60s, one thing was clear. cute boys were a one way ticket to an early retirement. motown and stax were huge, but in a global sense, british pop had ruled the 60s.
calling some of these acts boybands is stretching it a bit – not all of them were successful in a commercial sense and would consider themselves male singing groups. however, if they sang songs that sent teenage girls crazy, they are boybands for the purposes of this post!
70s boyband essentials:
1. afro – natural or fake, the bigger the better. use an old skool microphone for inspiration.
2. flares – again, anything less than a 20 inch flare is just a mere wide trouser
3. falsetto – sprinkle liberally
4. family connections – if you’re not related, at least dress identically
jackson five – sugar daddy
the most famous 70s boyband, who started as backup to megalomaniac diana ross. why does that woman always get to force more talented people into the background? no clue back then as to how things would turn out with wacko or that jermaine would end up on big brother.
osmonds – one bad apple
more soulful than ‘love me for a reason’ and nowhere near as weird as ‘crazy horses’. many fortysomething women still swoon over donny osmond. which is easy to do if you’re uk based as he is the default chat show guest. he’s a nice bloke though
bloodstone – oh honey
usually a credible funk band that worked with marvin gaye and curtis mayfield, to name but two, but this track is pure 70s boy soul.
delfonics – trying to make a fool of me
revered 70s philly band who specialised in sweet ballads and falsetto. which makes this one of their more uptempo offerings.
sylvers – misdemeanor
sweet sounding ten piece family band who sang about girls, despite several sisters being in the band at one time or another. easy now to see where maurice starr got the inspiration for new edition.
chi-lites – oh girl
is it my imagination or did 80s mullet paul young cover this at one point? they also had the indiginity of seeing ‘have you seen her’ butchered by mc hammer. did they really need the cash??
detroit emeralds – you want it, you got it
another family group, who often dressed in green to labour the point about their name. in case you didn’t get it.
embers – little red book
very little is known about this group, but most people know this track.
five stairsteps – i love you stop
actually the original 70s brother band, predating the jackson five by a year or two. tried to yank back the crown with this track which sounds very much like ‘i want you back’.
o’jays – used to be my girl
hugely successful and adaptable band who rode the philly soul wave then settled into the disco era effortlessly. actually way too good to be called a boyband.
moments and whatnauts – girls
this collaboration between these two groups is probably their most well known work.
temptations – ain’t too proud to beg
enduring motown group, with a penchant for matching outfits. this song is actually from the 60s but…i like it, and i remember the temptatons being called the original boyband at some point.