The release of Take That’s album and tour of the same name in 1992 is often cited as one of the first instances of a new boy band taking the world by storm. Unlike their counterparts and predecessors, who had struggled to gain recognition and acclaim, Take That soared to fame with ease. Take That went from being an unheard-of boy band from Manchester to being named the new Beatles; within a year. Just as quickly, however, they fell out of favor. Their downfall was almost as swift as their ascent to stardom. They split up in 1996, only to reform again nearly a decade later. Yet even now there is still considerable debate about whether or not they were really the new Beatles or simply riding on their coattails.
The formation of Take That
The success of Take That’s meteoric rise to fame is often attributed to how well-managed and controlled their public image was. There were as many, if not more, boy bands in the early 1990s as there are today, but Take That are the only ones who are still a household name. That’s down to the fact that the five members of Take That came from various walks of life rather than being hand-picked by a record label. Gary Barlow and Mark Owen were childhood friends who had been singing and performing together since they were young children, while Howard Donald and Jason Orange were both footballers. The only member of the group who had any experience of the music industry was Robbie Williams, who was already considered a rising star at the time.
Take That’s meteoric rise to fame
Take That’s first single, "Do What You Do", was released in August 1991 and received little attention from the public and press. Their second single, "Promises", fared slightly better, but it was their third single, "Sure Thing", that really made them stand out from the crowd. The song was a cover of an American R&B track, and was Take That’s first single to be released in a wide range of formats, including cassettes, CDs, and even a limited edition ‘collector’s item’ vinyl record. Their popularity fueled by the release of this single, Take That were signed to a record label and began work on their debut album. The first single from their self-titled album was "What Is Love", and was released in November 1992. "What Is Love" quickly became the fastest-selling single of the year, and remained at number one on the UK Singles Chart for eight consecutive weeks.
Why were Take That the new Beatles?
The main reason why Take That became the new Beatles is that they were the first boy band since the Beatles to gain such widespread recognition and acclaim. They followed a very similar trajectory to The Beatles, in that they released their first single in August/September 1962, "Love Me Do", and their first album, Please Please Me, in March 1963. But the fact that Take That were the first boy band to be in the public consciousness since the Beatles is not the only reason why they were crowned the new Beatles. Their brand of music was very similar to the Beatles’ style; this, combined with their carefully cultivated public image, made Take That the new Beatles.
The Dark Side of Being the “new Beatles”
There is a dark side to being hailed as the new Beatles, however. As well as the positive things that come with being the new Beatles – widespread fame, fortune, and recognition – there are also negative things that come with being part of the new Beatles – excessive pressure and expectation. Take That were clearly being compared to the Beatles from the very beginning of their career. The fact that they were being compared to the Beatles from the very beginning of their career meant that there was an enormous amount of pressure on them from the start. Furthermore, their meteoric rise to fame and being hailed as the new Beatles meant that Take That were given very little time to establish a unique identity and become a band in their own right. This only added to the pressure the members of Take That were feeling.
Like The Beatles, Take That have a devoted and ever-growing fan base, have released a wide variety of music, and are loved by people of all ages. In fact, there are many more similarities between The Beatles and Take That than there are differences. The main difference between the two bands is the fact that the members of Take That have remained together for significantly longer, and appear to have a much stronger sense of camaraderie than the members of The Beatles. That might just be down to the fact that Take That have been able to mature and grow as musicians and people since they first formed, whereas The Beatles were together for less than a year.