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New Kids on the Block's Hangin' Tough

(33⅓ #113)

3.52  ·  Rating details ·  54 ratings  ·  19 reviews
Hangin' Tough, the second album by the New Kids on the Block, has sold more than seventeen million copies worldwide since it was released in 1988. But the album and the band have also been dismissed, derided and deemed uncool by the music establishment.

Almost thirty years later, the New Kids still perform the songs from Hangin' Tough.Hundreds of thousands of grown women st
Paperback, 144 pages
Published April 21st 2016 by Bloomsbury Academic
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3.52  · 
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 ·  54 ratings  ·  19 reviews

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Jan 13, 2016 rated it really liked it
Arsenio Hall [at the Hollywood Walk of Fame ceremony in October 2014]: You know why I love them? They make us happy. You can’t listen to a song or watch a video and not smile. I dare you. Right now— everybody look at me and say, “Oh-ohoh-oh-oh.” Look at you! Look how happy you are! Look how you’re smilin’!

I must have been solely responsible for the New Kids on the Block staying in the top charts for a few extra weeks longer than they actually would have. I remember dialing the radio station ev
Jan 25, 2019 rated it liked it

Put your hands together for the 5 hardest working kids in the business….Jordan, Joey, Jonathan, Donnie, and Danny!!! :)

The New Kids on the Block’s second album, Hangin’ Tough, was released in 1988. I’m NOT going to do the math because I’m in age denial right now, so let's just say that was a long time ago. Yet the music still makes me smile from ear to ear, clap, twirl, and tap my feet. So I couldn’t wait to read this in-depth look at the album.

I am over-the-moon happy I found this series. Each
Eva • All Books Considered
Review originally posted at All Books Considered: 3.5 STARS

Three and a half nostalgic stars for 33 1/3's take on my first favorite album. I believe I was in third grade when I was obsessed with this album and actually went to my first concert which was on the tour to support this album! So this was a fun take that not only attempted to analyze the psychology behind why we hold onto the music we loved in our youth but also an attempt to recapture the behind the scenes making of this album and i
Feb 18, 2018 rated it really liked it

I first heard of NKOTB in 1989, when I was 11 years old. The group had released The Right Stuff and loads of the girls in my class were always playing their music and decorating their books and desks with pictures of the band. I then became a bit more conscious of them when the Saturday morning cartoon aired a year later. However other than The Right Stuff and Hangin' Tough, I never paid much attention to the group. When I hit my teens,Take That, East 17 and Boyzone were more of a presence and
Apr 12, 2016 rated it liked it
Odd, perhaps, to see a review from a 45-year-old man for a book such as this, but I'll offer my defense, should it seem necessary: at age 19, during the same year that the New Kids on the Block became famous with Hangin' Tough, I was beginning my journey out of the closet. I was the same age as Jordan Knight, on whom I was seriously crushing. I fell in love with these guys, knowing full well how cheesy their act was, and reveling in the shock people felt when I told them that I, a college-radio ...more
Dec 29, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 33-1-3-series
First, I'll acknowledge that the book was read with great ease...not always something you can say with this series. But, other than that, it left little else to be appreciated. I think Wallwork struggled in that she attempted to posit a hypothesis, yet then completely disappeared from the work to get there. It ended up mostly reading like a super fan trying to figure out why they super fan so hard.
Patrick Book
Aug 20, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2017
Not my favourite 33 1/3, but still okay. Seemed a little scattered, and I have no real connection to the band or music (this one is probably more fan-centric than most in the series) I probably shouldn't have bothered. That's on me!
Jan 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019, music, usa
This little book took me right back to my teenage years. Sigh.
Sep 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
An enjoyable read about the best New Kids album. Some interesting insights on what happens in the mind to make the songs of our youth keep their special place in your heart.
Diana Faltermaier
Jun 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Very well written!

I enjoyed the premise of the book. Why and how were NKOTB so influential in the mid 1980's through today? Was it the sound, people, timeframe, hormones, marketing, or a perfect storm?

Rebecca Wallwork combines all of the elements mentioned above to explain why after all this time the album "Hangin' Tough" made a bigger mark then we could have imagined at the time. The author breaks down the musical influences for each member of NKOTB and Maurice Starr that ultimately helped to s
Matt Lohr
May 09, 2016 rated it liked it
The 33 1/3 team made a smart choice by trusting their volume on New Kids on the Block's "Hangin' Tough" to a genuine fan of the band; it prevents the snarky superiority that mars the series' inexplicably popular volume on Celine Dion's "Let's Talk About Love." And I do appreciate Wallwork's desire to cut through the hype, dig free of the pile of merchandising tie-ins, and evaluate the band solely on their musical merits. But she unfortunately never really delivers on this promise. She digs into ...more
Jan 31, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2016
Nostalgia made me pick up this title, which I received an Advanced Readers Copy of via Edelweiss. I never had the same passion for the New Kids that the author does, and think if I had I may have had more enthusiasm for the book. As it is, I found it interesting to read about the brain's responses to hearing certain pieces of music, and about New Kids early days. I'm not sure their enduring popularity has been or can be explained; I think it's something the true fans feel. Those are the people w ...more
Laura DeNardo
Apr 22, 2016 rated it liked it
Interesting read. As an adult fan of a group I loved in grade school, it's nice to get some perspective on the New Kids fame, especially today. Hangin Tough is a great album. I only wish they still sold it as it was originally done, and Hangin Tough Live!
Jul 30, 2016 rated it liked it
Not quite as good as Let's Talk about Love, but certainly fonder. Really more 3.5 stars than three. Interesting to have it be from a fan perspective and get into the actual fandom of music as well, which many of these have completely glossed over.
Jun 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Customarily I don't care for non-fiction books. This is an exception. The author did a great job researching the science behind the feelings that most 14 year olds felt in the late 1980s. And she has the facts to back up why NKOTB still sells out arenas. Great, informative read!
Jamison Spencer
Nov 28, 2016 rated it liked it
Excited to read about a less typical album for this series, but it seemed largely surface level and didn't get deep enough into any part of the subject for my taste.
Jun 01, 2016 rated it liked it
Nothing too deep. A nice, fun evaluation of the album and it's meaning.
Mar 18, 2016 rated it really liked it
Fun. Witty. Well-researched. Balanced. Thoughtful. Written by an obvious fan, but never hagiographic.
Simon Sweetman
Not bad - a good entry to the series for its point of view/point of difference (focusing on dopamine discussion and qualities of nostalgia) but hard to also take seriously in a way...
Elena Watermark
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May 13, 2019
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Tamasin Garfield
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Dec 28, 2017
Jonathan Gierman
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Apr 26, 2016
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