It seems so long ago now that it was Ronan, Stephen and the rest of Boyzone were conquering the charts on a tidal wave to broken hearts. Or when Gary, Robbie and Mark couldn't walk down a street without a harem of screaming teenagers behind them.
And now, after years in the musical wilderness, the boy band is definitely back. Seems like the ideal time for a history lesson.
The craze started over in the states, when producer Maurice Starr decided to take a more mechanical approach to pop music. After auditioning more than 500 teenage boys, Starr had assembled a Boston based quintet named New Kids On The Block to storm the charts.
The experiment was initially a failure, with their first bubble-gum pop attempt failing in the shops. Wanting an edgier sound, the band members got more involved and, sure enough, after a slow start their second album "Hangin' Tough" eventually became a massive hit. The sheer weight of publicity work was all worth it.
New Kids On The Block were finally making waves. Waves big enough they were felt in the UK music biz, with the creation then of East 17 and the eventual colossus that would be Take That.
Again getting a slow start, it would take two years for us all to fall in love with Gary Barlow, but once the bug hit, the effect was pure magic. Between 93 and their break up, Take That only had one single that didn't top the charts, an amazing run that saw them become the single biggest band in the UK.
Heck, after their amazing comeback, they're not too far away from the top of the charts now. Bravo gents, but don't leave us like that again.
While a rivalry with East 17 was ongoing, it wasn't to last, as both bands burnt out in 96, with Oasis and Blur now the dog-fight everyone wanted to watch.