I’m Making It a Thing Again: BBMak

We can all agree, nostalgia is so, so hot right now. That’s what this new series is going to look at. We all have things from our respective formative years, and YouTube makes it so easy to rediscover that (hopefully) awesome stuff you forgot about from your childhood. Let’s bask in the nostalgia of the late 90’s and 2000s…

BBMak was a notable blip on my middle school radar. A three piece boyband out of the United Kingdom (Liverpool per the literature), they were around throughout the late 90’s, and just into the 2000’s. Check out the video below for “Back Here,” billed as the groups debut single off of their debut album “Sooner or Later”.

The song, which hit on both the US and UK charts, propelled the group into boyband popularity during a time when MTV still played music, and not hastily produced reality shows. According to sources, “Back Here” hit Number 1 on the US Adult Contemporary charts in 2000, and peaked at Number 5 in the U.K. charts. The catchy little song managed to get alot of play, especially during a time when your’s truly was watching alot of Total Request Live… Look it up, kids.

All three band members share singing duties (a rarity in boyband land), and each presented that dreamy, highschool-friendly vibe. The strength of the songs are in their harmonies. In songs like “Back Here,” their voices meld stupidly well together, creating a soft, but catchy sound that permeated their music. Thank you to RODURVAL for posting both videos.

BBMak followed up their debut album with “Into Your Head” in 2002. The album, with lead single “Out of My Heart” did not chart as high as its predacessor. The album is cheerful and catchy, likely (and unfortunately) hindered by an over saturated boyband market that had started to fizzle in the early years of the new decade. (The Backstreet Boys and N*Sync had both called it quits during this time as well).  Music goes through phases, and boy bands tend to hit real hard, before crashing even harder.

The individual members of BBMak have since moved on to new ventures. Mark Barry, Christian Burns and Stephen McNally are all still active in the music industry, each one working with new groups. The respective bands are smaller, and seem to be based in and around Europe, and feature a similar accoustic (with some venturing into the territory of dance/techno) sound. I’m currently in the process of voraciously tearing through their work, checking to see if I like it. I’m sure there will be more on this later.

A particular stand out is 10 Reasons to Live, I’m just getting my feet wet, but loving everything I’m hearing.

I’ve always been a fan of BBMak’s sound, as a teenager struggling to find the European musicans I tended to lean towards, it was great to have a British boyband hit when I needed it. Their sound is more acoustic than some of their other pop contemporaries, and definitely worthy of a listen to, especially if you aren’t familiar. If you like this music, definitely check out how Burns, Barry and McNally have evolved and developed as musicans. They’re releasing some solid, interesting work in their respective solo endeavors, and I can’t wait to hear more.

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