*NSYNC is a boy band quintet very similar to the Backstreet Boys. Made up of Justin Timberlake, Lance Bass, Chris Kirkpatrick, JC Chasez and Joey Fatone the boys been able to move away from their close associations with the Backstreet Boys to become international stars in their own right.

Justin and JC first met when they were performing together at the training ground for late nineties pop, the Disney Channel's Mickey Mouse Club, where Justin also first met his future girlfriend, Britney Spears. After leaving the show the pair moved to Nashville, TN where they began working on solo projects but they stayed in close contact, having the same vocal coach and songwriters. The pair moved again to Orlando, FL where they met Chris and Joey. The guys decided to form a band and they asked their vocal coach if he knew of a suitable bass to join them. The bass he found was Lance Bass who joined with the guys where they hit it off immediately. The band was christened *NSYNC by taking the last letter of each of their first names (supposedly) to emphasise their tight sound.

The group hooked up with a number of different producers including Kristian Lundin (Backstreet Boys), and Denniz Pop and Max Martin (Robyn, Ace Of Base). They combined with the boys to produce their debut album *NSYNC. The record was released in 1998 in Europe first as they had a deal with BMG Ariola Munich. The album was a huge success with singles like Tearing up my heart and I want you back doing well in the European top forties. Later that year they moved into the US and although their rise to the top was slower rise they did and by October their album was number two in the chart and it had gone Platinum. Following in the tradition of all money grabbing pop brats they then released a Christmas album to capitalise on their ignorant market share to tie them over until the child slaves finished producing their second album.

The next album was to take longer than originally thought so all that extra cash came in useful as they claimed that Louis J. Pearlman, manager of *NSYNC and owner of Trans Continental Records, the BMG subsidiary that the group was signed to, had failed to fulfil his contractual obligations. Having thrown all their toys out of the pram the boys left BMG and signed a new deal with Jive Records, home to the Backstreet Boys and Britney Spears. Pearlman attempted to sue the group and prevent them from using the *NSYNC name but an *NYSNC counter sue succeeded and a settlement was reached out of court.

Following the legal wrangling they group's next album, No Strings Attached, was released in March 2000. Similar to the Backstreet Boys before them it was *NSYNC's second record that really established them as superstars. It sold 2.4 million copies in the first week alone and was a hit around the world. Singles such as Bye, Bye, Bye a stunning performance at MTV Video Music Awards and a massive Tour helped to propel the album to even greater success.

Not ones to rest on their laurels *NSYNC spent the autumn of 2000 writing and recording their third record, Celebrity. Release in July it was another huge smash and if you have the brains of an ant you may believe what their official website has to say about it,

"following in the tradition of Michael Jackson and The Beatles, Celebrity is a concept album."
While this is no more than you would expect from the self publicising pop acts of today, comparing Celebrity to any Beatles album is a travesty. The main single Pop was a huge success as was its accompanying expensive video. Following in the current vogue they released a remix album of Celebrity which has only 5 remixes on, the rest is "enhanced" crap.

At the moment the boys are spreading their own wings with Lance and Joey staring in an independent film, On the Line, Chris' line of clothing and Justin's appearance on the Wayne Brady Show. They have obviously learnt well that it pays to develop your individuality before the inevitable split. As well as his film work Lance is training to go into space in November with the Russian space program to be the first artist to perform in space, we will just have to hope that the aliens aren't listening to their SETI @Home satellites.

Despite my heckling I think that *NSYNC make good pop. The similarities between them and the Backstreet Boys are alarming,

  • Both formed in Orlando
  • Both managed by Louis J Pearlman
  • Same Producers
  • Same sort of music
  • Both conquered Europe before America
  • Both had contractual battles with Pearlman and their record companies
  • Both are with Jive Records
but despite these similarities they have managed to move away from the comparisons to sell more records than their rivals and grab more headlines. Justin's relationship with Britney proved a huge boost to their status and their youthfulness continues to give them the edge. With Celebrity they have moved away from the simplicity of an album filled with dance/hip hop crossover pop songs and ballads to what they call "dirty pop". The lead track Pop is an unusual sound for pop music and the remix of Girlfriend has a great beat. They are certainly not going anywhere soon as their army of screaming fans will put up with nothing less than constant touring and recording. *NSYNC make good pop but they must remember it is nothing more, claims about Justin's creative with the album are probably wildly exaggerated and whenever anyone say co-written I feel a primal desire to shout bollocks at the top of my voice, but above all they must avoid phrases like this one, taken from their official biography, as otherwise I will make it my personal goal to kill them all.
"If you don't recognise *NSYNC's talent then you simply don't want to admit true artistry"

If you liked this then...

Great Neb's Picks

*NSYNC, 1998

  1. Tearin' up my heart
  2. I just wanna be with you
  3. Here we go
  4. For the girl who has everything
  5. God must've spent a little more time on you
  6. You got it
  7. I need love
  8. I want you back
  9. Everything I own
  10. Thinking of you (I drive myself crazy)
  11. Crazy for you
  12. Sailing
  13. Giddy up
  14. U drive me crazy

Home for Christmas, 1998

  1. Home for Christmas
  2. Under my tree
  3. I never knew the meaning of Christmas
  4. Merry Christmas happy holidays
  5. Christmas song (chestnuts roasting on an open fire)
  6. I guess it's Christmas time
  7. All I want is you this Christmas
  8. First Noel
  9. In love on Christmas
  10. It's Christmas
  11. O holy night
  12. Love's in our hearts on Christmas Day
  13. Only gift
  14. Kiss me at midnight

No Strings Attached, 2000

  1. Bye Bye Bye
  2. It's Gonna Be Me
  3. Space Cowboy (Yippie-Ye-Yay)
  4. Just Got Paid
  5. It Makes Me Ill
  6. This I Promise You
  7. No Strings Attached
  8. Digital Get Down
  9. I'll Never Stop
  10. Bringin'Da Noise
  11. That's When I'll Stop Loving You
  12. I'll Be Good For You
  13. If I'm Not The One
  14. I Thought She Knew
  15. Could It Be You (Bonus track)
  16. This Is where The Party's At (Bonus Track)

Celebrity, 2001

  1. Pop
  2. Celebrity
  3. Game is over
  4. Girlfriend
  5. Two of us
  6. Gone
  7. Tell me tell me...my baby
  8. Up against the wall
  9. See right through you
  10. Selfish
  11. Just don't tell me that
  12. Something like you
  13. That girl (will never be mine)
  14. Falling
  15. Do your thing


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