Sunday, July 18, 2021

"When Will I Be Famous?" by Bros

Song#:  3556
Date:  06/25/1988
Debut:  96
Peak:  83
Weeks:  5
Genre:  Dance-Pop, Hi-NRG

Pop Bits:  This British trio consisted of twins Luke and Matt Goss along with schoolmate Craig Logan. The Goss' and Logan were in separate bands while in school, but then left those groups to form their own trio called Gloss. They ended up meeting songwriters/producers Nicky Graham and Tom Watkins, who were not necessarily impressed with what the trio was doing. However, Watkins thought the guys would be perfect to develop as a boy band and as soon as all three turned 18, he got them signed to CBS. Graham and Watkins would write all the songs and Graham would serve as producer. They all got to work and in the summer of '88 the first single by the newly named Bros, "I Owe You Nothing," was released in the UK. It pretty much flopped stopping at #80. They had another track ready to go and so the label went ahead and pushed out "When Will I Be Famous?" in November. That song did the trick getting the trio to #2. With that success, a debut album titled Push was quickly finished off. It was released in March of '88 along with a third single "Drop the Boy," which also got to #2. In turn, the album would quickly get to #2. That success sparked a deal for US distribution and "When Will I Be Famous?" would be released in the summer of '88. It would do well at Dance getting to #10, but it didn't really connect with a more mainstream pop audience and it stalled on the Pop chart after a few weeks. Then "I Owe You Nothing," which was reissued in the UK and ended up at #1, was pushed out in the US. Again, it got to #10 Dance, but it failed to reach the Pop chart. The album would fizzle at #171. Meanwhile, back in the UK, the album would spawn two more Top 10 hits and would go quad-platinum. This single would be the only one from the trio to reach the US Pop chart.

ReduxReview:  While Bros was successfully marketed as a teen idol boy band in the UK, it didn't work in the US. I think that was because of the material. Their sound made them more of a dance/club act rather that a teen pop group. At the time, boy bands hadn't really taken off in the US yet. New Edition were around, but it wouldn't be until Boys II Men and New Kids on the Block hit it big that the boy band craze of the 90s would take off. (Oddly, the same week this song debuted on the Pop chart, so did NKOTB's first charting single "Please Don't Go Girl.") Those US groups were more pop/R&B leaning and had a more mainstream sound than what Bros was doing. This Hi-NRG dance track got them attention in the clubs, but it just wasn't quite right for pop radio. The odd thing here is that they became hugely successful with a song questioning "When Will I Be Famous?" In the UK, it was right now! In the US it, never.

ReduxRating:  6/10

Trivia:  The trio became so famous in UK that the fervor surrounding them got tagged as "Bromania." Unfortunately, by early '89 all the pressure and fame took its toll on Craig Logan. His health suffered and because of that he chose to leave the group. Instead of trying to replace him, the Goss brothers just decided to move forward on their own. Their first album as a duo, 1998's The Time would do well reaching #4 and going gold, but it wasn't nearly as successful as their debut. Their 1991 third album Changing Faces would stall at #18. The following year the Goss' would bring an end to Bros. Matt Goss would go solo and grab four UK Top 40 entries. Luke Goss would make a move to the US to start an acting career. He has appeared in several films and TV shows. Craig Logan would work behind the scenes and become an exec at EMI and SonyBMG.


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