I’ve always made my Boy Band Allegiance known. I’m a Backstreet girl through and through, and I will NEVER be ashamed of that fact. When Sage suggested that I should do a “Deep Cuts” post for BSB, it was a no brainer. It’s also a perfect time to do so, as we’re seeing them play at Jones Beach this Sunday (Sage: Do I HAVE to sit thru Avril Lavigne? Kim: Why do you have to make it so complicated?). I have not seen the Boys live since the Never Gone tour in 2005, so needless to say I am a little more than excited. Do not fear…I will have a full recap of the concert next week!
The Backstreet Boys have been together for TWENTY ONE years now. They have eight studio albums, so there is a wealth of material that was never released as a single to choose from. There are obvious choices (if you don’t IMMEDIATELY say “Don’t Want You Back”, you may want to check your fan card at the door) for this list and there are some not so obvious choices (I would have just submitted the ENTIRE Never Gone album if the parameters allowed). But one thing is certain: these are ALL great songs and I will scream my lungs out on Sunday if they sing any of them.
1) “Heaven In Your Eyes” (aka “I Need You Tonight”) – A Night Out With The Backstreet Boys
“Heaven In Your Eyes” was Nick’s solo for the concert special “A Night Out With The Backstreet Boys” (back when they didn’t have enough group music and each boy was given a full solo song) and was later repackaged as “I Need You Tonight” for Millennium, where they slapped on some backing vocals from the rest of the Boys for the final chorus. Presumably they did this because Nick was being marketed as “the heart-throb” of the group, though I don’t know WHY they allowed him to have that haircut. I mean…it was a long blond butt cut, you guys. Do you think Nick and Justin Timberlake had each other on speed dial regarding their unfortunate hair styles? I like to think they did.
Nevertheless, Nick’s vocals here are STELLAR and quite impressive considering he is a wee eighteen year old bb. I never GOT Nick’s appeal until Black and Blue (precisely…the moment he threw the papers in the video for “Shape of My Heart”) but I can certainly see why the tweens liked him.
Favorite Lyric: I know that we have been through so much pain but I still need you in my life this time.
2) “Don’t Want You Back” – Millennium
“Don’t Want You Back” was very nearly the fourth single off Millennium. The Boys were running a “Choose Our Next Single” contest on Total Request Live (how much do I miss the heydays of TRL you guys?) and it was between “Don’t Want You Back” and “The One” . “DWYB” was WINNING until Nick Carter had to go on the show and open his big mouth and say that HE preferred “The One”. And thus, the Nick fangirls mobilized and “The One” was named the fourth single. (I’m sure the label preferred that too as “The One” showcased the shiny happy Backstreet Boys, whilst “DWYB” was ANGRY Backstreet Boys…who I sometimes prefer.)
Don’t get me wrong. I LOVE “The One” and I love the music video which shows highlights from the Into the Millennium tour. But a VIDEO for “Don’t Want You Back” would have been AMAZING, no? Another MASSIVE tragedy about “DWYB” never being released as a single is that we never got a mash-up with *NSYNC’s “I Want You Back”. Get on that, internet. I searched YouTube for one and it doesn’t exist.
You hit me faster than a shark attack
You saw my picture on the Backstreet’s Back, alright
And you were more than just a pretty face
But how you fooled me, I’m still amazed babe.
3) “Back To Your Heart” – Millennium
Obviously I am going to be partial to any song that is not only co-written by my Boo Kevin Richardson but also features him on the piano. You all know how I feel about boys playing the piano. I always imagined Kevin to be the angsty type so of course he would write this deliciously plaintive ballad…and if *I* was the girl he wrote this song for? He would be back in my heart in a nano second. I also think “Back to Your Heart” is a perfect showcase for A.J.’s soulful rasp (his remains my favorite VOICE of the group) and his wailed “Oh”s over the final chorus get me every time.
Also, can we discuss Kevin’s eyebrow game? FIERCE.
Favorite Lyric: It’s not that I can’t live without you.
It’s just that I don’t even want to try.
Every night I dream about you
Ever since the day we said goodbye
4) “Get Another Boyfriend” – Black and Blue
I will NEVER understand why they only released three singles off of Black and Blue (it must have been because the label rushed the Greatest Hits album, yes?). There were several other tracks that could have EASILY been a fourth single and “Get Another Boyfriend” is at the top of that list. It’s danceable, has a soaring hook, and it would have been a KICK ASS video. I saw the Black and Blue tour three times, and this one was always a favorite live, mainly for how A.J would always scream “GOOD GOD” right before the chorus kicked in.
Favorite Lyric: Let’s talk about what
He’s done to become your number one.
Or was it all the promises of diamonds,
pearls and party dresses that turned you on?
5) “Not For Me” – Black and Blue
“Not For Me” was another SUPER fun number done on the Black and Blue tour as evidenced by this video from the Yahoo! Livecast of the show (which a friend and I stayed in on a Friday night and watched even though we had literally seen the show on the fourth row two weeks before. #sorrynotsorry). WIND MACHINES! RIPPING OFF SLEEVES (hai Kevin’s muscles)! RAGEY BOYS! (I told you I was a sucker for their angry songs). The “No No Uh Uh” chorus that gets stuck in your head for hours on end. It’s classic BSB.
Favorite Lyric: I don’t want to be part of your screenplay
Just tell me…did you rehearse on me?
6) “Poster Girl” – Never Gone
I will forever assert that, despite the critical response, that Never Gone is the best overall Backstreet Boys album. In my mind, there’s only one clunker of a song (“Weird World”) and even that one’s not BAD, I just don’t care for it. It tends to be the album I return to the most and it’s HEAVILY featured on the Rose and The Doctor playlist (FIVE out of the 12 songs are on there).
BSB lore is that “Poster Girl” is inspired by Nick’s relationship with Paris Hilton (REMEMBER THAT??) but the song is so damn catchy, we’ll forgive it for that.
Favorite Lyric: Jodie was a long way from home
She could make alone look pretty.
Her attitude made her part of the landscape
Riding her bike through Alphabet City.
And for a bonus, enjoy this video of the boys at a sound check and AJ and Nick have to read the lyrics off an iPad…
7) “Climbing the Walls” – Never Gone
“Climbing the Walls” proudly holds the distinction of being the most played song on my iPod. I just love it. Everything ABOUT it. The lyrics, the vocals, the driving beat of the drums and guitar…it’s a perfect soaring mid-tempo Backstreet Boys song.
Also it’s a massive failure that there is no Doctor and Rose fan video to this song. CLIMBING THE WALLS. Come on.
Favorite Lyric: Close your eyes, make a wish
That this could last forever
If only you could stay with me now.
8) “Siberia” – Never Gone
As I said in the intro, the “Never Gone” tour was the last time I saw the Boys live. They played Radio City and my friend Tevy and I had fantastic seats in the Mezzanine. I had always enjoyed “Siberia” but seeing it live in concert is what sealed the deal for me…cause it freaking snowed on stage. A little on the nose? Sure. BUT WHO CARES. The song is a great showcase for Brian and A.J.’s vocals. I love the mix of Brian’s gentle and pure vocals (it’s almost like he’s resigned to his fate) and A.J.’s soulful and mournful wail (he has NOT accepted it). Nick does a fantastic job with all of his wailed ad-libs as well. It’s definitely one of the most depressing Backstreet Boys songs in existence and I LOVE IT.
I’ve also been known to play this song on repeat when I get in a rather angsty mood and sing it at the top of my lungs. It’s rather cathartic and I highly recommend it.
Also who IS this bitch…”If you want to talk, you can call…you know it’s not your fault.” #RUDE
Favorite Lyric: Then my heart did time in Siberia
Was waiting for the lie to come true
‘Cause it’s all so dark and mysterious
When the one you want doesn’t want you too
And here’s an acoustic version they have been doing at their shows lately and if they do it Sunday, I will EFFING DIE.
9) “Something That I Already Know” – Unbreakable
I will fully admit to being less knowledgeable of both Unbreakable and This Is Us, mainly because I was THAT sad that Kevin had left the group, and it just didn’t feel the same without my favorite Boy. I am in the process of remedying that as I prepare for the concert “Something That I Already” know always had the classic Backstreet Sound along the lines of “Incomplete” to me. It has a radio-ready sound to it…it really would have made a great single.
Favorite Lyric: No you wouldn’t have to lie to me
If you would only let me go
And I don’t wanna wait another minute to hear
Something that I already know
10) “Trust Me” – In A World Like This
“Trust Me” just SOUNDS like a summer jam, does it not? It makes me want to be sitting outside in the sun with a cold adult beverage in my hand. I love how the song, like many on this album, showcases all five Boys. Those songs are my favorites. In A World Like This is still a relatively new album, so there is still TIME to release this as a single this summer, Boys. Just do it.
Also Howie D? Congratulations on aging spectacularly. He looks GOOD, y’all.
Favorite Lyric: The grass is greener on the other side
There’s no other side when it’s you and I
So what are YOUR favorite unsung Backstreet Boys songs, dear readers. Let us know in the comments and until then…#KTBSPA