2008 was the year of impressive boy band returns among other great pop comebacks.
1. New Kids on the Block
Yes, it really was 14 years for New Kids on the Block between their 1994 album Face the Music and this year's comeback The Block. The triumphant return of one of the top boy bands of all time began with the top 40 single "Summertime" and has continued through this fall's concert tour with Natasha Bedingfield and Lady GaGa.
- Watch "Summertime"
2. Gavin Rossdale
In recent years, Gavin Rossdale has probably been best known as the husband of Gwen Stefani whom he married in 2002. Before that, he was in the spotlight as the lead vocalist for the hugely successful '90s rock band Bush. This year, the slow burn pop smash single "Love Remains the Same," from the album Wanderlust, brought Gavin Rossdale back into the glare of the mainstream pop spotlight as a solo artist. It's his first appearance in the US pop top 40 since 1995.
- Watch "Love Remains the Same"
8 years ago when rock legends AC/DC hit #7 with their album Stiff Upper Lip and it received a respectable platinum certification, it looked like the band would settle into its status as metal pioneers and reliable generators of album sales for their studio releases that appeared every 5 years. No one seemed quite prepared for the group to drop this year's Black Ice album and debut at the top of the album chart selling a massive 784,000 copies in the first week of release in the US. Black Ice is the group's first chart-topping release in the US since 1981's For Those About to Rock. 27 years later these Aussies are the world's hottest rock band.
Watch "Rock 'n Roll Train"
No, the legendary Swedish pop band ABBA did not reunite this year. However, the release of a movie version of Mamma Mia, the musical built around ABBA songs, set of a bracing round of ABBAmania all over the world. Not only did the soundtrack sell in massive honors, but also the ABBA Gold greatest hits collection returned to the top of the UK album charts 17 years after its initial release. This collection has now sold 26 million copies worldwide.
Watch "Dancing Queen"
As a teen singer in the mid 1990's, Brandy was one of the top pop stars in the world. That all seemed very long ago in 2006 when a 27-year-old Brandy Norwood found herself involved in an automobile accident that claimed the life of a 38-year-old woman. Additional gossip headlines and a release from her contract with Atlantic Records seemed to put Brandy's recording career in serious doubt. However, like a phoenix rising from the ashes, Brandy found herself back on the pop charts in late 2008 with a new single "Right Here (Departed)" from an upcoming album Human.
Watch "Right Here (Departed)"
The metal band Metallica have never really gone away, but the 5 year gaps between studio albums makes it seem as if each new album is a maor comeback. Their latest release Death Magnetic is another powerful addition to the band's discography. It became the group's 5th consecutive studio album to reach #1 in the US and has sold nearly 3 million copies worldwide.
Watch "The Day That Never Comes"
Continuing the recent pattern of boy band returns, Ireland's Boyzone, who broke up in 2000, reunited this year with a wave of publicity in the UK. The single "Love You Anyway" rolled into the UK top 5 and the compilation album Back Again...No Matter What reached #4 upon release in October, 2008.
Watch "Love You Anyway"
8. Paula Abdul
Paula Abdul has really not been out of the spotlight at all as one of 3 judges for the past 7 seasons of American Idol. However, few pop fans really expected her to return to singing and recording, until this year. The single "Dance Like There's No Tomorrow" returned Paula Abdul to the pop singles chart for the first time in 13 years with relatively positive press for the recording and music video following in its wake.
Watch "Dance Like There's No Tomorrow"
The lead vocalist position for classic rock band Journey has been something like a revolving door in recent years. However, once the band settled in to put together a new stadium album, Journey ended up with their best sales in 12 years.
Watch "After All These Years"