TBT: 1989, When NKOTB Released ‘Merry, Merry Christmas’

by Alisha Jackson

For some reason, New Kids On the Block‘s holiday album never gets any love these days. Perhaps it was too long ago for people to remember, but in 1989 the album hit number 9 on the Billboard 200 chart, and its lead single, “This One’s for the Children,” hit number 7 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Not too shabby for some young Boston kids.

Here are some trowback tidbits about the album you may not have known!

1. The B-side for “This One’s for the Children” was “Funky, Funky Xmas.”

The rap song was released as an airplay only single, and it featured every group member on lead vocals except Jonathan Knight. Take a trip down memory lane with the audio above!

2. The music video for “This One’s for the Children” features many different languages.

At the beginning of the video, the phrase is written in different languages.

3. 5 songs on the album are basically solo tracks.

Unlike other (future) boy bands, NKOTB would feature one lead vocalist on select songs. Hence why some of the songs on Merry, Merry Christmas sound so different from each other.

Listen to how different Donnie Wahlberg’s “Last Night I Saw Santa Claus” sounds compared to Danny Wood’s “Little Drummer Boy” in the videos above!

4. Proceeds from the holiday album were donated to United Cerebral Palsy.

The charity is a favorite of the New Kids on the Block, who performed at the United Cerebral Palsy Telethon multiple times in the late 80’s/early 90’s. Check out a clip from one of their performances above!

5. NKOTB’s Christmas single put them in a unique place on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.


The success of “This One’s for the Children” resulted in NKOTB having three singles from different albums on the Billboard Hot 100 chart at the same time. The other two singles were “Didn’t I (Blow Your Mind)” from the group’s self-titled debut album, and “Cover Girl” from Hangin’ Tough.

Those are your Throwback Tidbits for the 1989 album, Merry, Merry Christmas! Check back next Thursday for a brand new #TBT!

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