WHO ARE THEY: Producer Maurice Starr put together New Kids on the Block after already achieving success with another Boston-area teenage group, New Edition. Pre-teen and teenage girls were enthralled with New Kids on the Block and the group began racking up hits in the late 1980s, including “Hangin’ Tough,” “I’ll Be Loving You Forever” “You Got it (The Right Stuff)“ “Step By Step” and “Please Don’t Go Girl.” Eventually, the group’s popularity began to wane and the January 1994 release “Face the Music” was a major flop. The band cut its tour short and broke up in June 1994. Fourteen years later, New Kids on the Block finally reunited with the album “The Block” being released in September 2008.
Following in the footsteps of successful boy bands including Backstreet Boys, Hanson and ‘N Sync, 98 Degrees emerged with its debut single “Invisible Man” in 1997 and the song made it to No. 12 on the Billboard Hot 100. It was a promising start for sure, but paled in comparison to the success of its 1998 album “98 Degrees and Rising,” which went platinum four times over. It contained the hit songs “Because of You” and “The Hardest Thing.” In January 2000, the group was featured on the chart-topping Mariah Carey single “Thank God I Found You” and later that year 98 Degrees scored a No. 2 single with “Give Me Just One Night (Una Noche).” The album “Revelation” went double platinum.
In the 1990s, this Philadelphia-based quartet became the most commercially successful R&B group of all time. It exploded out of the gates in 1991 with the hit single “Motownphilly” off of its debut “Cooleyhighharmony” album. In 1992, the single “End of the Road” from the “Boomerang” soundtrack spent a record-breaking 13 weeks at the top of the pop charts. Amazingly, the group was actually able to top themselves with the success of the single “I’ll Make Love to You” from its album “II,” which spent 14 weeks at No. 1. Its next single “On Bended Knee” replaced “I’ll Make Love to You” on the top of the charts, a feat only previously accomplished by Elvis Presley and The Beatles.
WHAT TO EXPECT: “The Package Tour,” featuring New Kids on the Block, 98 Degrees and Boys II Men comes to the Trump Taj Mahal Casino Resort Friday night, much to the delight of screaming women everywhere. All three groups experienced massive success during the height of their careers and the combination of all three of them on the same bill will guarantee a packed house of rabid fans. New Kids on the Block fans can expect to hear hits such as “Hangin’ Tough,” “Step by Step” and “You Got it (The Right Stuff),” while 98 Degrees entertains the crowd with “Because of You,” “The Hardest Thing” and “Give Me Just One Night (Una Noche).” Both groups will also be playing cuts from their respective new albums. Boys II Men will dazzle the crowd with its amazing harmonies and hit songs such as “Motown Philly,” “I’ll Make Love To You,” “On Bended Knee” and “End of the Road.”
WHAT’S NEW: 98 Degrees’ new album is titled “2.0” and was released in May. New Kids on the Block released “10” back in April and debuted at No. 6 on the Billboard 200.
SHOW INFO: Tickets are $95 and the show begins 7:30 p.m. Friday, July 26, at the Taj Mahal’s Mark G. Etess Arena.