With the insane success that One Direction, a product of X Factor have had, the comparisons to other boybands like the Backstreet Boys have been floating around Twitter for a few months now. Even celebrities such as Ashley Tisdale (High School Musical 1,2 an 3; The Suite Life of Zack and Cody and Hellcats) are making the connection:
@ashleytisdale: Honestly One Direction‘s ‘One Thing’ is taking me back to teenage days listening toBackstreet Boys. I LOVE this song!
The questions that some people might ask, include: are One Direction a carbon copy of the Backstreet Boys? Will their current fans go wild if they come back for a reunion 8 years after they split and release 2 new albums plus go on tour?
On the surface, these two boy bands may appear to have a lot in common but when you look deeper there are distinct differences. Some obvious similarities that jump out are, they both – have five members, the members of One Direction are in the same age range of the Backstreet Boys when they formed back in 1993 and have a huge fanbase in Europe.
In my opinion, a lot of what sets the Backstreet Boys apart from One Direction fall under the “generation differences” category. A lot has changed since the 90s in the music industry. The different beginnings of each group is what pops into my head. The Backstreet Boys (referred by their fans as ‘BSB’) started as a vocal harmony group and answered an advertisement to audition for record labels. The platform that X Factor gives wasn’t available to them. In addition, they weren’t each hand chosen by the Hand of God (aka Simon Cowell) to be in a group in front of a live audience every week. An audience that then fuelled the Twitter conversation about them during and after each show.
What auditions looked like in 1993 versus One Direction’s:
Harry Styles, Niall Horan, Zayn Malik, Liam Payne and Louis Tomlinson’s charisma and free spirit cannot be denied but the use of social media has been their biggest asset. Through tools like Instagram and Twitter, they are able to relate to their audience on a human level as just regular lads who happen to be part of an internationally famous boyband.
Their songs portray that image as well. The image that I would describe as regular teenagers who are going through the phases of heartbreak, relationships and growing up. But as time goes on and their audience grow, will they grow with them?
Something the Backstreet Boys have done seamlessly throughout the years!