Very briefly in 1993/94, Bad Boys Inc. were the alternative to Take That, so why has their longevity not lasted the same?
In 1993 producer Ian Levine, who worked with Erasure, the Pet Shop Boys, Kim Wilde among others, advertised for a new boy band in British pop. Levine had already produced Take That‘s first three singles and was now thirsty to create his own, rival boy band. The four winners of the auditions held were David Ross (b.1974), Matthew Pateman (b.1971), Tony Dowding (b.1972) and Ally Begg (b.1973). With the name Bad Boys Inc. chosen, the boys embarked upon a tour of nightclubs ‘displaying’ their dance moves and vocal abilities, and released their debut single “Don’t Talk About Love” in the Summer of 1993.
The single broke the UK top twenty, just as Take That scored their first UK chart topper with “Pray”. This was quickly followed with “Whenever You Need Someone” in the early Autumn of 1993 but, for whatever reason, the song stalled at No.26. That Christmas a third single “Walking On Air” came out and did slightly better in reaching No.24 in the UK, not bad considering it was released at a time seen as separating the good from the not so good with record sales at their absolute peak.
As 1993 saw Bad Boys Inc. established, 1994 would see them crowned. Their first release of the year, “More To This World”, went to No.8 in the UK and would become their highest chart position attained. By now the boys were also finding fans and record sales outside of the UK, in Japan, Denmark and Finland chiefly as well as on the cover of all the teen mags, much to the delight of many thousands of girls, and I’m sure the boys too!
The success of “More To This World” lead to a third UK top twenty hit that Summer with “Take Me Away”. Their self titled debut album followed soon after and would peak at No.13 in the UK. A sixth single, “Love Here I Come”, was issued that Autumn making No.26 in their home country, making a tally of six top thirty singles achieved! But for whatever reason, the boys decided to go their separate ways in 1995 and leave the stage as fans were waiting with bated breath for more.
David Ross would become an actor, working largely out of Los Angeles. Matthew Pateman has continued to record, if perhaps not so successfully as before. He competed to represent the UK at the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest, but sadly was not chosen. That same year he released the single “Nine Days”. Tony Dowding returned to fashion modelling as well as some small acting roles on British television. And Ally Begg…well he’s done rather well as a sports TV producer and writer, as well as indulging in his lifelong love for Aberdeen FC! So maybe there is “More To This World” than being in a boy band?!
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