Face the Music (New Kids on the Block album)

Face the Music is the fifth studio album by New Kids on the Block, released on January 25, 1994. The album debuted at number 37 on the Billboard 200 in the United States, with first-week sales of 27,000 copies.[3] According to Nielsen SoundScan, the album had sold 138,000 copies in the U.S. as of 2008.[4]

Face the Music
Nkotb face the music cover.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedJanuary 25, 1994 (1994-01-25)
1991 ("If You Go Away")
NKOTB chronology
Step by Step
Face the Music
The Block
Singles from Face the Music
  1. "If You Go Away"
    Released: December 14, 1991
  2. "Dirty Dawg"
    Released: December 21, 1993
  3. "Never Let You Go"
    Released: January 11, 1994
Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic3/5 stars[1]
The Michigan DailyFavorable[2]


In 1993, after about two years out of the limelight, the New Kids went back into the studio and began recording their fourth studio album (sixth overall), before splitting up a year later. By this point, due to a strong backlash and allegations of lip-synching, the group pushed for a more mature image and song selection that would appeal to fans. In addition, they had outgrown the "New Kids" name: Joey McIntyre was 21, Jordan Knight was 23, Donnie Wahlberg and Danny Wood were 24, and Jonathan Knight was 25 years old.

Jordan Knight, Wahlberg, and Wood fought for creative input and control, as most of their material was previously rejected by producer Maurice Starr in favor of his own compositions. Having been dogged with an "uncool" stigma that they faced previously, the boys decided to sever their ties with Starr who had been instrumental in their early success. At the request of Columbia Records, they shortened their name to the more mature-sounding NKOTB. Instead of the bubblegum, teen pop sound that established the New Kids in the pop industry, Face the Music had a more mature R&B and New jack swing sound to it. "Dirty Dawg" did fairly well on the charts, but a Canadian station (MuchMusic) banned the music video due to its suggested violence and misogynistic themes. Although not a major commercial success, the critical reception was positive, and a cross-country tour was in the works. However, NKOTB only could find bookings at nightclubs and theatres, a far cry from the arenas and stadiums they had been accustomed to playing in while in their peak years. During the tour, Jonathan Knight dropped out of the band due to increased panic attacks and anxiety, and the fact that their fanbase had grown up moved on to grunge and gangsta rap,[5] the rest of the group decided to cancel the rest of the tour.

The song "Keep on Smilin" appeared in the film Free Willy and its soundtrack.


Track listingEdit

1."Intro: Face the Music"Donnie WahlbergWahlberg2:14
2."You Got the Flavor"Teddy Riley, Chauncey Hannibal, Antwone Dickey, Markell RileyT. Riley4:50
3."Dirty Dawg"Wahlberg, Larry Thomas, J.R. Jackson, Jordan Knight, John Johnson, Nice & SmoothWahlberg4:15
4."Girls"Riley, Leon Sylvers III, Dickey, M. Riley, Harry Ray, Albert Goodman, Virginia Dodson, Walter MorrisT. Riley, Sylvers4:28
5."If You Go Away"Walter Afanasieff, John Bettis, Trey LorenzAfanasieff5:30
6."Keep on Smilin'"Narada Michael Walden, Sylvester Jackson, Sally Jo DakotaWalden4:35
7."Never Let You Go"T. Riley, Sylvers, Dickey, M. RileyT. Riley, Sylvers5:34
8."Keepin' My Fingers Crossed"Richard Wolf, Knight, Wahlberg, James WirrickWolf4:18
9."Mrs. Right"Wahlberg, Larry Thomas, R. Jackson, Joe McIntyre, J. JohnsonWahlberg5:03
10."Since You Walked into My Life"Afanasieff, Knight, BettisAfanasieff6:24
11."Let's Play House"Jason Hess, Melissa Ritter, WahlbergWahlberg, Knight, Jason Hess, Tom Soars[a]4:58
12."I Can't Believe It's Over"Walden, Knight, DakotaWalden5:08
13."I'll Still Be Loving You"Walden, Dakota, Mike Mani, Monty SewardWalden, Mani[b], Seward[b]5:09
14."I'll Be Waitin'"Danny Wood, B. McClain, Brian Young, Dow Brain, Eric Barrier, William GriffinWood, Brad Young[c], Dow Brain[c]4:34
International edition bonus track
15."Dawgappella"Wahlberg, Thomas, J.R. Jackson, Knight, Johnson, Nice & SmoothWahlberg4:14
Sample credits
  • "Intro: Face the Music" contains samples from "360 Degrees" by Grand Puba. It also embodies portions of "DWYCK" by Gang Starr featuring Nice & Smooth, and of "Take It Personal" by Gang Starr.
  • "Dirty Dawg" contains a sample of "Papa Don't Take No Mess" by James Brown.
  • "Girls" contains a sample of "Girls, Girls, Girls" by Moments & Whatnauts.
  • "Let's Play House" contains a sample of "Around The Way Girl" by L.L. Cool J.
  • "I'll Be Waitin'" contains a sample of "Eric B Is President" by Eric B. & Rakim.
  • ^[a] signifies a remixer
  • ^[b] signifies an associate producer
  • ^[c] signifies a co-producer


Adapted from the album's liner notes.[6]


Chart (1994) Peak
Australian Albums (ARIA)[7] 18
Canadian Albums (RPM)[8] 34
Dutch Albums (Album Top 100)[9] 72
European Albums Chart[10] 54
Finnish Albums (Suomen virallinen lista)[11] 10
French Albums (SNEP)[12] 21
German Albums (Offizielle Top 100)[13] 44
Japanese Albums (Oricon)[14] 11
Scottish Albums (OCC)[15] 56
Spanish Albums (PROMUSICAE)[16] 11
Swedish Albums (Sverigetopplistan)[17] 46
Swiss Albums (Schweizer Hitparade)[18] 38
UK Albums (OCC)[19] 36
US Billboard 200[20] 37


  1. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Face the Music - New Kids on the Block". AllMusic. Retrieved August 4, 2011.
  2. ^ Bowen, Eugene. "The Michigan Daily - April 19, 1994". Retrieved September 6, 2016.[dead link]. The Michigan Daily.
  3. ^ Hasty, Katie (September 10, 2008). "Young Jeezy Nets Second Album Chart-Topper". Billboard. Retrieved April 14, 2013.
  4. ^ Harding, Cortney (June 8, 2008). "Reunited New Kids On The Block ignite passions". Reuters. Retrieved April 14, 2013.
  5. ^ http://www.baltimoresun.com/entertainment/bal-li.newkids19mar19-story.html
  6. ^ Face the Music (liner notes). NKOTB. Columbia. 1994. CCK 52969.CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) (link)
  7. ^ "Australiancharts.com – New Kids on the Block – Face the Music". Hung Medien. Retrieved March 6, 2016.
  8. ^ "Top Albums/CDs - Volume 59, No. 6, February 28 1994". Archived from the original on December 30, 2013. Retrieved 2013-12-30.CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link). Collectionscanada.gc.ca.
  9. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – New Kids on the Block – Face the Music" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved March 6, 2016.
  10. ^ "Billboard". 1994-03-05.
  11. ^ Pennanen, Timo: Sisältää hitin - levyt ja esittäjät Suomen musiikkilistoilla vuodesta 1972. Helsinki: Kustannusosakeyhtiö Otava, 2006. ISBN 9789511210535. page: 280
  12. ^ "Face the Music New Kids on the Block – France – search with artist name". Syndicat National de l'Édition Phonographique. January 23, 1994. Retrieved March 6, 2016.
  13. ^ "Longplay-Chartverfolgung at Musicline" (in German). Musicline.de. Phononet GmbH. Retrieved March 6, 2016.
  14. ^ http://www.oricon.co.jp/prof/artist/120104/ranking/cd_album/
  15. ^ "Official Scottish Albums Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved March 6, 2016.
  16. ^ Salaverri, Fernando (September 2005). Sólo éxitos: año a año, 1959–2002 (1st ed.). Spain: Fundación Autor-SGAE. ISBN 84-8048-639-2.
  17. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – New Kids on the Block – Face the Music". Hung Medien. Retrieved March 6, 2016.
  18. ^ "Swisscharts.com – New Kids on the Block – Face the Music". Hung Medien. Retrieved March 6, 2016.
  19. ^ "NKOTB | Artist | Official Charts". UK Albums Chart. Retrieved March 6, 2016.
  20. ^ "New Kids on the Block Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard. Retrieved March 6, 2016.