No end of the road for Boyz

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - LIVE 'N' LOUD -

OYZ II Men once de­scribed them­selves as ‘‘the most pop­u­lar un­pop­u­lar group in the world’’, a dec­la­ra­tion based on their pe­cu­liar love-or-loathe rep­u­ta­tion with mu­sic fans.

Cred­ited with lead­ing the boy band craze, the R’n’B croon­ers were the fourth high­est gross­ing group of the 1990s with more than 60 mil­lions al­bum sales and a star on the Hol­ly­wood Walk of Fame.

Their sin­gles One Sweet Day, I’ll Make Love To You and End Of The Road hold the top three places for the long­est-run­ning US No.1 songs, putting them be­hind only Elvis, The Bea­tles and Mariah Carey on time spent at the top of the charts.

But de­spite the gold discs and ac­co­lades, the group has en­coun­tered its share of haters down the years. Af­ter a shift away from clean-cut pop around the mil­len­nium, Boyz II Men’s emo­tive balladry and cap-and-suit fash­ion quickly be­came the butt of jokes.

They were dropped by two la­bels, Univer­sal and Arista, and forced to down­size from arena con­certs to gigs in dis­tant mar­kets such as In­done­sia and China.

Throughout their chang­ing for­tunes and sev­eral line-ups, Boyz II Men per­se­vered for the sake of the mu­sic and de­spite a short tour­ing break, they never of­fi­cially split.

As tastes have grad­u­ally turned back to more authen­tic styles of song­writ­ing, the har­mon­is­ing trio has come back into vogue.

At a re­cent 4000-ca­pac­ity show in Lon­don, the group was plead­ing with fans to qui­eten down so they could hear their own voices through the mon­i­tors.

Cel­e­brat­ing their 20th an­niver­sary with a world tour, Boyz II Men – Nathan Mor­ris, Shawn Stock­man and Wanya Mor­ris – are glad they stuck to their guns.

‘‘We know that be­ing to­gether for 20 years is a feat for any band, and we know that be­cause of a lot of im­i­ta­tors have come and gone in that time,’’ Wanya Mor­ris says.

‘‘Real mu­sic is what put Boyz II Men to­gether and real mu­sic will al­ways tri­umph re­gard­less of what­ever’s go­ing on with chang­ing tastes of fash­ions.’’

One young fan who al­ways ap­pre­ci­ated the value of Boyz II Men was Justin Bieber, who in­vited the group to per­form on his Never Say Never film. Hav­ing also recorded with him on Bieber’s Christ­mas al­bum, Boyz II Men are thank­ful to the teen star for open­ing up a new au­di­ence.

‘‘For us it was awe­some be­cause it’s in­tro­duced us to a whole new au­di­ence and now our shows are fam­ily af­fairs, with kids singing along to all the songs,’’ Mor­ris says.

is out now. Boyz II Men play The Tivoli, in Bris­bane, on Novem­ber 21 (tick­ets avail­able) and Jupiters Ho­tel & Casino on Novem­ber 23 (sold out).

What’s On, Page 42

Boyz II Men: (From left) Wanya Mor­ris, Shawn Stock­man and Nathan Mor­ris.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.