Boy band fangirls and fanboys, meet your new anthem!
New Kids on the Block dropped their new single, “Boys in the Band,” on Friday and the track is a fun celebration of boy bands, fandoms and the relentless power of both.
Co-written by Donnie Wahlberg, the song celebrates the quintet’s lasting power over three decades and salutes the male vocal groups, which impacted New Kids on the Block back in the day, as well as the many boy bands which have followed.
"I take pride in celebrating our journey and the journey of other boy bands," Walhberg tells ET. "The best part of the song for me is not only to acknowledge boy bands that followed us, but to acknowledge the boy band which had the biggest influence on us, which was New Edition."
The song is one of three new tracks on the 30th-anniversary re-release of the group’s smash 1988 album, Hangin’ Tough (dropping on March. 8), and features fun plays on words with various band names and song titles.
“If it isn’t love, then why does new editions keep on showing up?” sings Joey McIntyre. “And, why do boys from Boston keep on hangin’ tough? Went from Boyz II Men, but we ain’t ever growing up. Can’t get enough.”
Wahlberg then lays down a rap saluting male groups, from New Edition and Jodeci to the Backstreet Boys, 98 Degrees, O-Town, 5ive, Westlife and *NSYNC. He also makes a lyrical nod to the birthplaces of such bands like Boston, where New Kids on the Block formed in 1984, to Orlando, where the Backstreet Boys, O-Town and *NSYNC started their journeys.
“If it is enough, why does every generation have another one?” continues Jordan Knight. “Why do all directions only lead to one? Before you know it, there’ll be even more to come -- can’t get enough.”
The song follows the record’s first single, “80s Baby,” featuring Salt-N-Pepa, Tiffany, Debbie Gibson and Naughty by Nature, who are all joining the group (Wahlberg, Danny Wood, Joey McIntyre and Jordan and Jonathan Knight) on their Mixtape Tour, kicking off on May 2.
A fun throwback video, set in a school and featuring cameos from Bell Biv DeVoe, Lance Bass, Naughty By Nauture and McIntyre's son, Griffin, accompanies the song's release. Debbie Gibson, who is preparing to join the group on their Mixtape Tour from May 2 also appears in the video, singing and slaying as a head cheerleader.
Hangin’ Tough (30th Anniversary Edition) also features five rare remixes of hits like “I’ll Be Loving You (Forever),” and will be available digitally, on CD, on a collectible 2LP picture disc vinyl, and even on cassette via the band’s official website.
“There have been lots of classic albums on Columbia Records over the years, so for Columbia and Sony to think this is important enough to reissue it 30 years later with new tracks, mixes and pictures is really special,” said McIntyre, who is currently starring on Broadway as Dr. Pomatter in Waitress.
“They’ve done a great job with little Easter eggs and surprises," he continued. "The pictures alone are so iconic. I think back and it’s like you do a goofy picture and go, ‘They’re never going to use that,’ then someone will say, ‘Oh, it’ll come out eventually -- 30 years from now!’”