Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: aj mclean, backstreet, Backstreet Boys, backstreet's back, black and blue, brian littrell, howie dorough, Kevin Richardson, millenium, never gone, nick carter
I haven’t updated in quite a long time due to my busy schedule these past two weeks – but a tune caught my attention on the radio recently. I think it’s catchy, very pop but I suppose it sounds a lot better now that they’re not trying so hard to be “rockers”. The video however… is incredibly sad. It’s so disconnected from the song, and the dancing was awful. Makes you realize how dancing boybands should have an age limit of 16. Well, the Backstreet Boys pulled it off rather well until the Black & Blue Album, but canes should have been handed out once AJ started losing his hair. But alas, I shall pay tribute to a long childhood of seriously adoring the Backstreet Boys, who once, long ago shot “straight through my heart”.
Starting from the very beginning, The Backstreet Boys’ Self-titled album rocked the European charts. They didn’t make much of an impact on the United States, but they sure caused excitement in the middle of the Ultra Field during our 5th grade ‘P.E Dance Off”. The boys in my class thought the Backstreet Boys were cool then and did a serious performance of “Get Down”, while the rest of us danced to the Spice Girls’ Wannabe & Ace of Base’s It’s a Beautiful Life. I know most people feel that “Quit Playing Games” was the greatest hit on this album, but I beg to differ as I still have AJ’s rap memorized in “We’ve Got it Going On”.
“Well I’m creepin up on your left, straight up funky when I get witcha. Keep me ruthless when I get wet, Keep the Party Packed in my corner. Jump like granite keep the crowd hype, get up on this just to get right. What you want is what you gon’ get, Backstreet’s got the special effects! Uh!”
We move on to one of the best albums I think they’ve ever had – Backstreet’s Back – famous for hits such as As Long as You Love Me, Backstreet’s Back and All I Have to Give. Included are the equally famous videos consisting of the adorable Brian wolf in Backstreet’s Back and the boys morphing into each other for the heart-fluttering “As Long As You Love Me” Video. I was still in denial when this album first came out, though I do remember already having a copy of it and listening to my best friend squeal about this awesome band and how I needed to take note of the fact that all she wanted for her birthday was Nick Carter in a box.
Then, it was my turn to start asking for a Backstreet Boy in a box. It was a sunny morning in Hawaii, packed in a rental, my dad driving around Honolulu while I was sitting in between my two sisters. The radio started to play a new song, “I Want it That Way”, was the title, and it had a catchy tune. Soon, we all started singing along each time it played until we finally looked at each other and bust out laughing as we realized we really loved the song. It didn’t take long until I found my sister sneaking into the other room to watch the MTV BSB Millenium Special. I proceeded to sneak in too when she was in the bathroom to pop in a VHS to make sure I got the entire recording. A string of bought videos followed after that, and a huge crush on Nick Carter as he walked alongside the rest of the Backstreet Boys in that airplane hanger. It was love.
Daydreams began, and a collection of all Backstreet Boy memorabilia flooded my room and emptied my parent’s pockets. Each poster, magazine, video or picture was bought and tucked away into my heart. I shared giggles and videos, trying to upload everything I could on them – excited when I would recieve “behind the scenes” footage of their latest video from my best friend.
With this album, the band swept music awards and gained superstar status they probably didn’t imagine they could achieve. They reached their highest sales and it was this same year that I made the promise to my mom that I would meet them. “I have to meet them. I will interview them! I have to interview them before they end or break up, I am going to meet them! I am going to watch their concert!” Things I used to say and with such determination, and I wasn’t kidding around as I kept this dream for all the years that passed.
My crushes started to change too – jumping from Nick, to AJ and finally settling on Kevin. This worked well with my Nick Carter forever obsessed best friend since it would be quite difficult for us both to aim on marrying the same boy. Nick’s weight started to fluctuate too as he hit puberty, and his acne began irregardless of how much makeup they put on him. Kevin was already mature and I felt that he more aptly fitted the type of man I wanted as my future husband.
Then the darkness started to descend upon the group as AJ announced he was an alcoholic and rumors of a break up began. The Black and Blue Album and tour did amazing nonetheless, but fans knew something was amiss. The album still had great music, the video of “The Call” was pretty dope with a concept and the storyboard that was pretty awesome – giving us hope that the Backstreet Boys were maturing in the right direction.
The following year, it was obvious that N*Sync had blown them out of the sky and the bet on who was more talented as a solo artist – Nick Carter or Justin Timberlake – was proven rather too quickly. Then, they released a “Greatest Hits” album. The thought on everyone’s mind seemed to be “ARE YOU SERIOUS?” A band that young with a Greatest Hits Album was a sure sign of trouble. They tried to reassure their fans with Never Gone (an album I personally enjoyed but didn’t catch the market quite like they had hoped) that there was nothing to worry about. The whole world could see through their bluff.
It was the same year that I had finally met the Backstreet Boys and got to watch not just one, but 4 of their concerts – I interviewed, and got to know them a little better. Yet, that might’ve been the biggest mistake of my life as their images crumbled quite quickly in front of me. My best friend and I lost touch and the Backstreet Boy excitement was gone.
Kevin left the band shortly after, and the Backstreet Boys were officially over in my eyes.
Then a tune caught my ear – and a smile came to my lips as I heard the tune of those ever familiar voices once again. They gave me a fun childhood filled with boyband-crazy dreams and joy, so I guess as much as we believe they shouldn’t be making music anymore with four members – they sure as hell made a lot of people happy with the music they did make, and who can blame them for just trying to keep their promise to their fans that they’re “Never Gone”?
Joining the Boys on stage was Kevin for a one night only performance that brought tears to everyone’s eyes, including mine.
Thanks for the journey boys!
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