Take the New Kids on the Block, add a twist of Duran Duran, a splash of Color Me Badd, an unwitting soupcon of Spinal Tap, and you’ve got Take That, a quintet of testosterone-laden teen dreams who’ve broken hearts and records in their native Britain and are heading for the colonies. With choreography.
They sing (lyrics like ”Once you’ve tasted love, it’s just the beginning/ Your head is spinning”). They’re pretty (Bananarama never looked so good). They care (”We really feel strongly about issues like HIV, the environment, whatever,” says one). And, to stir up those teen hormones even more aggressively, they actually appeared buck naked and flat on their tummies in their 1991 ”Do What U Like” video. ”You could look at it and think we’re raving homosexuals,” says Gary Barlow, 22, the most musical of the five, ”or we’re just five guys having a good time.” (Oh, that’s what guys do when they’re having a good time.)
Having passed a test market in a junior high school gym in Setauket, N.Y., in February, they’re primed for a Beatles-like takeover of our charts now that their album, Take That and Party, is available Stateside. Their take on America? ”The food is a good point, and not being mobbed everywhere,” offers Robbie Williams, 19. ”It’s just a sense of humor that’s lacking. But they’re nice people, so I don’t hold it against them.” Big of you.