As a hip-hop-lite trio once intoned, New Kids On The Block had a bunch of hits. But did you follow step-by-step into their deeper catalogue? The boy banders headline the Mixtape Tour, hitting Rocket Mortage FieldHouse May 4. This lineup still packs the punch of a Hi-C Ecto Cooler, featuring four other old-school faves. To prep, we’ve got a mixtape both popular and obscure you’ll be loving (forever).
New Kids On The Block
“Step By Step” (1990)
Could it be anything else? NKOTB’s hit instructional has a spotlight verse for each member — and made the boy band the pop model to beat.
"Single" featuring Ne-Yo (2008)
The quintet’s later tracks haven’t hit its heyday highs, but this sensual jam showcases smooth harmonies, vibing perfectly with the 2000s club crooner aesthetic.
"Push It" (1986)
Now ubiquitous, in 1986, this was revolutionary, a fierce women’s anthem on sexual autonomy staked in the midst of an often-misogynistic genre landscape.
“The Show Stoppa (Is Super Fresh)” (1985)
One of the trio’s first tracks (recorded while they were still working at Sears) takes bold shots at big guns Slick Rick and Doug E. Fresh.
"I Think We're Alone Now" (1987)
The bubblegum-pop take on Tommy James and the Shondells’ 1967 hit captures the soaring melodrama only a lovelorn, mall-bound teenager can conjure.
Her debut single, this wistful ode channels Benatar-ish angst, and really makes you fret over Tiffany’s love life.
"Foolish Beat" (1988)
This saxophone-laced ballad made 17-year-old Gibson the youngest person to write, produce and perform a No. 1 single entirely on her own.
"We Could Be Together" (1989)
This energetic, horn-punctuated pop track remains an impressive showcase of Gibson’s belting power.
Naughty By Nature
It’s not necessary (or printable) to share what “O.P.P.” stands for; just know the sly anthem was one of the first rap songs to cross over to the pop charts.
"Mourn You Til I Join You" (1997)
A musical elegy for Tupac, it’s a moving tribute that sacrifices none of the trio’s trademark East Coast flow.