In the early 1980s, Maurice Starr, who discovered New Edition decided to develop a new boy band, so he and his partner, Mary Alford, began to audition talent. The first person to win a spot in their new endeavor was Donnie Wahlberg. They added Donnie's brother, Mark, Danny Wood, and Jordan and Johnathon Knight.
|Happy Birthday||Step By Step||1990|
|Tonight||Step By Step||1990|
|Dirty Dancing||The Block||2008|
|I Need You||Hangin' Tough||1988|
|If You Go Away||Greatest Hits||2008|
|Valentine Girl||No More Games/The Remix Album||1991|
|Please Don't Go Girl||No More Games/The Remix Album||1991|
|Stare At You||The Block||2008|
|Click Click Click||The Block||2008|
|2 In The Morning||The Block||2008|
|My Favorite Girl||Hangin' Tough||1988|
|New Kids On The Block||New Kids On The Block||1989|
|Games||No More Games/The Remix Album||1991|
|Put It On My Tab||The Block||2008|
|Angel||New Kids On The Block||1989|
|Lights, Camera, Action||The Block||2008|
|Baby, I Believe In You||Step By Step||1990|
|Where Do I Go From Here||Step By Step||1990|
|Let's Try It Again||Step By Step||1990|
|Single (feat. Ne-Yo)||The Block||2008|
|Hold On||Hangin' Tough||1988|
|Funny Feeling||Step By Step||1990|
|Time Is On Our Side||Step By Step||1990|
|Be My Girl||Super Hits||2001|
|Never Let You Go||Face The Music||2010|
|Stay With Me Baby||Step By Step||1990|
|You Got It||No More Games/The Remix Album||1991|
|Call It What You Want||Step By Step||1990|
|Keep On Smilin'||Face The Music||2010|
|Treat Me Right||New Kids On The Block||1989|
|In The Morning||The Block||2008|
|What'Cha Gonna Do||No More Games/The Remix Album||1991|
|Cover Girl||No More Games/The Remix Album||1991|
|Hangin' Tough||No More Games/The Remix Album||1991|
|I'll Be Loving You||Super Hits||2001|
|Step By Step||Step By Step||1990|
New Kids On The Block
. . . and that was it. And there wasn't room for another band like us. ... And when we went away, the music business changed. Suddenly, there were all these different avenues and outlets. ... So you could have three, four, five boy bands, and they could all be very successful.
Building Something New
In the early 1980s, Maurice Starr, who discovered New Edition decided to develop a new boy band, so he and his partner, Mary Alford, began to audition talent. The first person to win a spot in their new endeavor was Donnie Wahlberg. They added Donnie's brother, Mark, Danny Wood, and Jordan and Johnathon Knight. Each member was chosen based on a particular talent or skill set.
Mark left the band soon after its formation and was ultimately replaced with Joey McIntyre. Starr worked with the boys, setting up an aggressive rehearsal schedule after school and on weekends. They signed a recording contract with Columbia Records, as New Kids On the Block, taken from a song Donnie had written and recorded.
Their first album, New Kids on the Block, released two singles, Be My Girl and Stop It Girl. Neither song was successful, and the recording company almost dropped them. The album ultimately went platinum, but only after the success of their second album, Hangin' Tough, released in 1988. Please Don't Go Girl, after initial failure, rose to #10 on the Billboard Top 200 and became the first hit for the New Kids On the Block. Their next releases, You Got It (The Right Stuff) and I'll Be Loving You Forever became wildly successful.
Their 1990 release, Step By Step, debuted at #1 on the Billboard Top 200. The title track would eventually become their biggest single, and the album sold triple platinum. New Kids on the Block discovered they were being immortalized with merchandise, such as t-shirts, posters, action figures, and lunch boxes. They launched a tour of Europe and Asia in 1991.
The Beginning of the End and Back Again
After breaking from Maurice Starr, New Kids on the Block changed their name to the acronym, NKOTB, and released the album, Face the Music. The music was a departure from the kinds of songs for which they had become known. Sales were disappointing. The band launched a tour to support the album but were now only able to book smaller venues.
As the stress of their uncertain future increased, the band began to falter, and in 1994, New Kids on the Block announced they were taking a break. The break lasted thirteen years. In 2008, Donnie Wahlberg confirmed that NKOTB was together and recording. A month later, they released the single, Summertime, followed by the second single, Single. Their album, The Block, was released. It debuted at #1.
Did you know . . .
The original name of the band was Nyunk. The recording company made them change it.
Johnathon Knight became a real estate sales student after the breakup of New Kids On the Block.
Donnie's brother, Mark, went on to front Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch, and later launched a career in movie acting.