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New Kids on the Block Songs, Ranked: 12 Tracks That Prove They’re Still Hangin’ Tough

These are the guys’ top tunes that fans will be loving forever!

They grow up so fast! It seems like Donnie Wahlberg, Joey McIntyre, Jordan Knight, Jonathan Knight and Danny Wood were teen idols just yesterday, but the guys from New Kids on the Block are now seasoned veterans of the music business. With three-plus decades of life experience and New Kids on the Block songs under their belts, they’ve survived a wild ride of musical and personal growth throughout the years, and they love bringing their fans along on their journey.

When they released 2008’s The Block, for example, “It was a very contemporary album. We worked with very relevant producers and people who [were] making some of the biggest music in the world at the time, like Lady Gaga and RedOne,” Wahlberg told Music Connection, adding that they were leaning into a more mature — though still fun — image as well. “The tenor of The Block overall was that we were still only in our 30s, still young enough to have a good time. We’re still young enough to do what we love to do. [But] we’re not using our moms’ credit cards anymore—we have our own credit cards.”

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New Kids on the Block songs
New Kids on the Block (2019)Jason Kempin / Staff / Getty

Now the guys have released 2024’s Still Kids, which is “a lot more in the vein of reflecting on life and looking back at the long journey we shared as a band and with our fans,” Wahlberg states.

They also embraced new influences for the project. During its writing process, McIntyre explains, he drew ideas from “where I am in my life, getting older, having a family and a successful marriage, and being part of the group.… ‘Stay,’ the last song on the album, is one I wrote that’s more of a romantic song that I probably couldn’t have written until I became a father.… Another song, ‘Old School Love,’ is about returning to a simple [expression] of love, just being together and connecting on a very basic level that [doesn’t involve] texting.”

The new album features guest appearances by some old friends, like Taylor Dayne and D.J. Jazzy Jeff, the latter of which will be joining the guys on their Magic Summer 2024 Tour, which kicks off June 14 in Ohio with fellow supporting act and 80s/90s artist Paula Abdul. Fans exited to hear New Kids on the Block songs in concert again can expect to hear a bunch from The Block, which the band recently re-released featuring a new collaboration with K-pop sensations Seventeen.

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band members
New Kids on the Block (2024)Santiago Felipe / Contributor / Getty

“We wouldn’t be here without [that album],” Wood told USA Today. “Everything just fit right at the time. I was just coming out of a divorce and…we just all had things we had been going through in life [so] when [Wahlberg] gave me that call, it was just a breath of fresh air.”

If you can’t wait for their summer dates to dance and sing along with NKOTB’s greatest hits, old and new, fear not: Dive into this collection of New Kids on the Block songs that are sure to bring back a lot of memories!

12. “Single” (2008): New Kids on the Block songs

“Everybody in the club right now, tell the DJs to turn it loud.” Single ladies, you can’t go wrong with this infectious The Block track, which was a collaboration with Ne-Yo. The guys serenaded famous fan Carrie Underwood with this song at one of their shows in 2015. “I’m pretty sure @NKOTB just sang to MEEEEEE! Best. Night. Ever!!!” the country star — who appears in their 2020 video for “House Party” wearing a New Kids T-shirt — posted on social media afterwards.

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11. “Tonight” (1990)

“Well I guess it’s a brand new day after all, every time we hear the curtain call.” This self-referencing song (which winkingly shouts out a number of the band’s early-career tunes on this list) has a slightly psychedelic Beatles vibe to it. This No. 7 chart hit, which Billboard called the band’s “most ambitious single,” also draws from a “bizarre concoction” of influences, including a flamenco guitar intro, and it all just adds to the fun!

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10. “Summertime” (2008): New Kids on the Block songs

“You wasn’t lookin’ for a man when you saw me in the sand, but you fell for the boy from the city.” The Block was the group’s sixth album, but their first studio release in 14 years, and this was its first single. “It’s a tribute to our fans inviting them back to the party,” Danny Wood told MTV at the time, and the fresh-sounding song and sexy fun-in-the-sand video helped jettison them into a new era. “Things started happening naturally,” he said of their reunion, “so we knew it was real. It’s all about the music!”

9. “If You Go Away” (1991)

“If you go away, girl, you’re taking my heart with you. If you go away, girl, you’ll be breaking my heart in two.” Originally released as a stand-alone single, this Top 20 hit wound up landing on two separate albums: 1991’s H.I.T.S. and 1994’s Face the Music. As one concert review in Quincy, Massachusetts’ Patriot Ledger put it, “the Jordan Knight/[Joey] McIntyre dual lead on [it is] ballad heaven.”

8. “Cover Girl” (1989): New Kids on the Block songs

“Don’t you know, I could never leave your side, girl. Won’t you stay here with me and be my bride?” “In hindsight, ‘Cover Girl,’ was off-the-trail [for us] because it’s more pop-rock and our songs were more R&B-pop, but it felt like a hit. At that point, it was about finding the best material, not pigeonholing ourselves into songs about puppy love,” Donnie Wahlberg told Variety. He sang lead on it, he explained, because it “was grittier and suited my natural voice, as opposed to me trying to be a crooner like Joey or Jordan.”

7. “Didn’t I (Blow Your Mind)” (1986)

“Ten times or more, yes, I walked out that door. Get this into your head, there’ll be no more.” The guys’ cover of the Delfonics’ 1969 smash hit No. 8 on the charts, and you can hear the youth in their voices throughout — Joey McIntyre was barely 14 when it was recorded, after all! When this song off their underperforming self-titled debut album was re-released as a single in 1989 — after their second album, Hangin’ Tough, blew up — it went all the way to No. 8.

6. “Kids” (2024): New Kids on the Block songs

“And we’re still just kids from a nobody town, still just kids that are messin’ around.” Their long-awaited new single proves, as its lyrics say, that the guys “got time on lock,” as it’s just as irresistible as any prior track they’ve released. “It kind of says it all,” Joey McIntyre told Us about this 2024 gem.

“We’ve been lucky, the five of us, to never grow up in some ways. And a lot of people look to us to go back to that happy place, and we give permission to them to just have fun. We’re that getaway and we’re going to beat that drum forever and ever. And I think this song is a new anthem for us.”

5. “Please Don’t Go Girl” (1988)

“Please don’t go girl. You would ruin my whole world.” The band’s breakthrough single — like many of their early hits — was written by producer Maurice Starr. Lead vocals went to Joey McIntyre, who was just 14 when it was recorded. “I mean, ‘Please Don’t Go Girl’ is probably in a class by itself — that was our first top ten hit,” he told Los Angeles Confidential when asked about his favorite songs that the band’s recorded.

Clearly, he passed his musical tastes onto his three children. “My favorite song is probably either ‘Whisper’ or ‘Please Don’t Go Girl,’” McIntyre’s son Rhys, 14, said when asked about his top NKOTB tracks.

4. “Hangin’ Tough” (1994): New Kids on the Block songs

“We ain’t gonna give anybody any slack, and if you try to keep us down we’re gonna come right back!” “All we wanted to do was prove we could go the distance — that we could make a record, stand up in the face of adversity and earn some respect,” Donnie Wahlberg told Variety about the meaning behind this song, which also titled their second album.

“Of course, when we finally arrived, we didn’t prove it to everyone else … we proved it to ourselves.” Jordan Knight shared that it also proved to be a lot of fun to record in the studio. “We gathered around the microphone, chanting the chorus while bopping back and forth holding our crotches, laughing,” he revealed.

3. “Step by Step” (1990)

“Step by step, ooh, baby. Gonna get to you, girl.” Originally written for The Superiors, one of Maurice Starr’s other musical projects, this tune went on to become the highest selling release out of all the New Kids on the Blocks songs. “The production is so much better, because all of the strings are real,” Jordan said at the time of this title track for their third record. “Every album we did is a step up and this is definitely a step up from Hangin’ Tough.”

2. “I’ll Be Loving You Forever” (1989): New Kids on the Block songs

“I’m not that kind of guy who can take a broken heart, so don’t ever leave.” The band’s first No. 1 hit holds special meaning to Jordan Knight, who surprised everyone — including himself — by singing it at his 2004 wedding to Evelyn Melendez. “It was kind of impromptu,” he told Entertainment Tonight of being put on the spot by a friend at the reception. “[But] when I was singing, I was really feeling it and meaning it, so I think she knew that. We both cried and it was definitely a beautiful moment.”

The tune, he added, is truly a timeless treasure. “I honestly feel the same way performing it now as I did then. It doesn’t get old to me because the melody is so pretty that it’s nice to sing every night. I never have to go on autopilot.… I think of my wife, of the people in the crowd, my mom and my kids — it just never gets old.”

1. “You Got It (The Right Stuff)” (1989)

“You got the right stuff, baby. You’re the reason why I sing this song.” Back in the 80s and 90s, you knew you’d truly hit it big if Weird Al Yankovic spoofed you, and he did just that to NKOTB and this song with 1992’s “The White Stuff” parody. The guys’ hit No. 3 on the Billboard charts with this classic, and it’s choreography is as iconic and memorable as the song itself. They even taught it to the hosts of Good Morning America last year when they were promoting their new music and tour.

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