10 Pop Bands You Forgot You Loved from the Late ’90s & Early ’00s
S Club 7
This seven-person troupe from the UK were a triple threat back in the late ’90s, with their singing, dancing and questionable acting. Formed by Simon Fuller, the manager responsible for bringing us the Spice Girls, they enjoyed four seasons on television as an attractive group of musical hotties from London. Even though the explosive fame they had in the UK was never quite matched here in the U.S., there are still many of us who will never forget S Club… because ain’t no party like an S Club party ’cause an S Club party don’t stop!
While S Club 7 was a pop group that ended up on TV, 2GE+HER was a pop group that was made specifically for TV (a la The Monkees). Initially, they were created in response to the boy band craze taking over the MTV at the time; not only was the show super entertaining, but their music was, like… good. So good, in fact, that hits like “The Hardest Part of Breaking Up (is Getting Back Your Stuff)”; “U + Me = Us (Calculus); and “Say it (Dont Spray It)” will forever be in the lexicon of now late-20-year-old girls forever. Tragically, Michael Cuccione aka “The Cute One” passed away at age 16 due to health issues from previous cancer treatments.
O-Town was the product of the first season of MTV’s “Making the Band” series in 2000. Though the band is still together (news to me), there’s no way anything will be as memorable as their first hit, “Liquid Dreams.” That’s right–a song devoted to all the lovely ladies in showbiz that give them nocturnal emissions. Oh, and how about that heartthrob Ashley Parker Angel, who was somehow sexier because he had a chick name.
For a group that achieved nine top 10 singles (five of which were number ones), two multi-platinum albums, two gold albums, and 12 million record sales worldwide, All Saints has never really received the recognition they deserve in this country. Their self-titled debut features such gems as “Never Ever” and “I Know Where It’s At,” a staple in every 7th grade girl’s boom-box at the time. After splitting up twice–once in 2001 and then again in 2006–the band vehemently denied that they would ever get back together. But, after the untimely death of member Simone Rainford in 2013, they once again reformed to tour as support for the Backstreet Boys.
If you’re familiar with Lifehouse, then you probably still have the song “Hanging by a Moment” stuck in your head. It may be a bit of a stretch to lump this band in with the rest of the pop groups on the list, but they certainly had mass appeal (sooo many emo away messages on AIM). Surprisingly, Lifehouse managed to break away from their poppy persona and have had a pretty successful music career, with their latest album–2012’s Almería–peeking at No. 12 on the US Billboard rock chart.
Scooby-Doo snacks, apple jack fritters, Bumblebee tuna and Neco Waifers… or whatever it is those guys were singing about in “Summer Girls,” it’s safe to say the Lyte Funkie Ones, err LFO, were the underdogs of the boy band movement back in the day. The trio was comprised of Rich Cronin, some other guy and some other guy. (Ladies, let’s be honest, all we cared about was Rich.) These Boston boys disbanded after only two albums but had a short-lived reunion in 2009. Sadly, Rich Cronin lost a life-long battle with Leukemia in 2010, marking yet another death on our list.
Evan & Jaron
Hot identical twins who play instruments and write songs together? Where do I sign up? Considered one hit wonders for their tune “Crazy for this Girl,” the Lowenstein bros (OMG, they’re Jewish, too!?!) are still together making music. Jaron has also found solo success, with his debut album–Getting Dressed in the Dark–reaching No. 2 on the Billboard Country chart.
Barry, Burns and McNally–otherwise known as BB Mak–burst onto the pop charts with “Back Here,” a track that helped launch their debut album sales to three million units. The Liverpool lads went on to have a few more hits (personally, I always liked “Still On Your Side” best), and appeared on the soundtrack to The Princess Diaries. Sadly, their success was short-lived, and they broke up in 2002.
For being a band that were essentially one hit wonders, The Calling has an impressive resume. Their 2001 single, “Wherever You Will Go,” was inescapable, appearing on shows like Smallville and Saving Grace, and in movies like Love Actually and Coyote Ugly. They disbanded in 2005, although technically they’re still on a hiatus.
Yet another British band gracing our list, the UK heartthrobs in 5ive broke through in the U.S. with their 1998 song “When the Lights Go Out.” They went on to have many more hits overseas, but some poor management decisions stilted their success in America: apparently they passed up on tracks “…Baby One More Time” AND “Bye Bye Bye.” Ah, what could’ve been.