This week, the Backstreet Boys celebrated their 20th anniversary as a band and additionally were given one of Hollywood’s highest honors when they were immortalized in Tinsel Town forever by earning a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Two decades of catchy pop songs and sappy love songs got all of us here on Hypable reminiscing about our favorite Backstreet Boys songs. This 90’s boyband sensation has had their fair share of epic singles since they formed in Orlando, Fla., in 1993, but which single can claim itself as the best Backstreet Boys song of all time? Read on to find out what our own Hypable staffers had to say!
‘Everybody (Backstreet’s Back)’ (1997)
I’m sure this won’t come as a surprise to anyone who knows me, but I was never actually that into boybands. In the 90s, I was way too busy climbing trees, riding horses, collecting erasers, and pretending I was a Vampire Slayer (although I did join my school’s Spice Girls group – I was Sporty Spice, but then the mean girls kicked me out, and I cried)… However. This song, you guys.
We ROCKED OUT to this at parties. And when I say parties, I don’t mean lame thumping-music-beer-and-vomit parties, I mean hardcore, character-defining Pre-Teen Birthday Party parties. And along with “Don’t Speak” by No Doubt and “Hit Me Baby (One More Time)” by Britney SPEARS (because back then, we called people by their full names – unless they were Spice Girls. Nothing beats the Spice Girls), this was the ultimate dance floor track. Every time I listen to it, I’m 9 years old again throwing longing glances across the room at the cutest boy in the class – who totally kissed my arch nemesis on the LIPS! I didn’t cry this time, though I did kick him in the junk (in a totally unrelated incident). Anyway, where was I? Oh right, my mid-20s.
There are those key songs that aren’t just songs, but pieces of your past. For me, this is one of them. Plus, there’s that awkward fake start when you think the music’s gonna go all crazy and then instead it gets all quiet, and THEN it builds and it’s party time! What’s not to love?
‘As Long As You Love Me’ (1997)
When you think of all the sappy love songs BSB churned out during their twenty years of making music, chances are “As Long As You Love Me” is one of the first songs that pops into your head and how could it not? This iconic track was one of the most popular singles released off the band’s first album and holds a special place in the hearts of many BSB fans around the world, myself included!
As a proud tweeny bopper, I played this song on repeat so many times on my CD walkman (remember those?) that to this day, the track still skips on my copy of BSB’s self titled debut album.
But more importantly, the boys of BSB managed to teach us a very valuable lesson among the basic pop drum beat and sultry smooth harmonies that comprise this iconic ballad. What the Backstreet Boys taught us is simply that love crosses all boundaries. I doesn’t matter “who you are, where you’re from [or] what you did”– at the end of the day, love and loving each other is the most important thing.
‘All I Have To Give’ (1998)
“All I Have To Give” was the last single to be released from the Backstreet Boys’ super successful hit album “Backstreet’s Back.”
I remember couple skating with my girlfriend at the roller skating rink every Friday night in middle school to this song. If only she knew. This song is the perfect up-beat pop ballad with the smooth Backstreet Boys blending that we still love even 15 years later!
‘I Want It That Way’ (1999)
What song is more iconically Backstreet Boys than the debut single off their sophomore album, Millenium, “I Want It That Way”?
Although the song’s premise is potentially problematic, (“I never want to hear you say, ‘I want it that way'” = I don’t need your opinion, woman. Go make me a sandwich.), the entire song is so completely nonsensical that no one even cared. As long as it had a catchy chorus, we didn’t even notice what we were singing along to.
And that music video? So iconic that even Blink-182 parodied it in their video for “All The Small Things.” When I picture the BSB, I picture them in that airplane hanger, in front of THEIR OWN PERSONALIZED BACKSTREET BOYS PLANE. And at the big key change, those screaming fans are exhibiting the same level of enthusiasm for them as I do while singing along to the song alone in my car.
‘Larger Than Life’ (1999)
I was young when “Millennium” debuted. Just entering my tween years, pretty much, and that put me on the young side of the Backstreet Boy’s target audience, but it didn’t stop me from jamming out to the boy band on a regular basis!
The first track on the album, Larger Than Life, became one of their most recognizable songs. Featuring an energetic yell at the beginning and an easily sing-able chorus, it was easy to just rock out to the song. The bridge alone is nothing short of marvelous, and I distinctly recall my friends and I running out of breath trying to keep up with the “alri-i-i-i-ght” bit.
The album is 14 years old now but is still one of the best of that era and probably still has a special place in the hearts of all who grew up with it.