Happy Friday, dear readers! Normally we do a Fan Video post on Fridays, but since we’ve been all Backstreet Boys all the time this week in preparation for seeing them on Sunday, this lovely Friday I am taking a look at the BSB videography. Earlier this week, I focused on my favorite songs that didn’t get released as singles, but today I turn to the singles and the all important music videos. Holy CRAP did this make me nostalgic for the days of TRL!!!
I wanted to do a top 15, but that would literally be half their videos, and Sage put her foot down, and rightfully so. I always WANT to be definitive, but it’s hard when you love things so much. So after much back and forth yelling over gChat, we finally settled on allowing me to have Twelve. The dirty dozen one would say. Enjoy!
12) “I Still”
I must admit I chose “I Still” because I am incredibly partial to the song (as you saw in my last post the Never Gone album is my favorite). It kind of feels like a sequel to the video for “Show Me The Meaning of Being Lonely” (which…is not on this list. Blame Sage and her demand for ruthlessness) with each of the boys wandering sadly through New York City thinking about their lost loves. Obviously, my favorite set-up is sad Kevin trying to drink away the thoughts of the girl he lost (WHY DO I NEVER SEE THAT AT ANY BAR I GO TO?), followed closely by Nick sitting desolated at a bus stop, because let’s face it, all New Yorkers have done that at LEAST once.
Also let’s discuss perpetually clean-shaven Brian’s shadow of a goatee here. Did he grow it in to make him more angsty? Brian, didn’t anyone tell you it was dangerous to walk in traffic? Not just walk, but COLLAPSE in the middle of the street because you miss your lady so much. I love it. And just how much of a cab fare did Howie run up as he sat there with the door open, too paralyzed by grief to GET OUT OF THE CAB?
The video for “Bigger” finds Brian (WHO AGAIN IS SITTING IN THE MIDDLE OF THE ROAD AND SINGING SO HE CLEARLY HAS A DEATH WISH), Nick, A.J., and Howie gallivanting all around Tokyo. It at first feels like an odd choice…but knowing how popular BSB is in Japan, in retrospect, it is surprising that it took them so long to film a video there. Plus, “Bigger” lends itself to group sing-a-longs with the “La La La La”s of the chorus and what better place to do that than the birthplace of karaoke. I am also a massive fan of all the boys’ little asides into the camera. Congrats on all your faces, fellas. Bonus points to Brian’s red scarf and A.J.’s hat.
Also I don’t know WHY it hasn’t been my life’s ambition to go get a private karaoke room with The Backstreet Boys until JUST NOW.
10) “Straight Through My Heart”
This Is Us was released in the heyday of Twilight and True Blood mania, so it is not at all surprising that the video for lead single “Straight Through My Heart” has a vampire theme. We’ll forgive them for that. “Straight Through Your Heart” has a great club beat and some sweet dance moves proving that jam on, cause Backstreet’s (still) got it. They’ve got it going on, oh yeah.
9) “I’ll Never Break Your Heart”
“I’ll Never Break Your Heart” came early in the Boys’ career when management really felt it was important to firmly establish individual personalities, thus putting the boys in their own environments. Kevin is dark and exotic (yeah he is) (also HAI that bubble bath scene). A.J. is sleek and modern. Howie is the soulful musician. Brian is…Southwestern? Nick is…anime and apparently friends with Meg Ryan’s flat-iron from Kate and Leopold. Seriously guys…Nick’s 90’s hair had some ISSUES.
“I’ll Never Break Your Heart” reminds me of the best kind of Boyz II Men song, from the spoken intro by Kevin to the super rich harmonies to the earnest riffing by lead vocalists Brian and A.J., who will NEVER break our hearts. You KNOW A.J. really means that cause he takes off his glasses and gives us the puppy eyes.
“Incomplete” continues the Backstreet Boys “Desert Period” as it feels like a sequel to the video for “More Than That”. Clearly, the girl(s) they were singing to there abandoned them. Angry sand throwing! Windstorms! Fire! Rain! The world is literally ending for these guys over this lost love. Brian continues his music video death wish by trying to drown himself in the Ocean. Obviously, the video wins for having Kevin on a piano in the middle of the desert.
7) “The One”
Yeah, yeah. I know I complained about “The One” being chosen as a single in my Deep Cuts post. But the video for “The One” is nothing short of delightful. It’s a giddy and dizzying scrapbook of the year of Millennium and a love letter to all the fans. Plus, I am forever a sucker for any sort of behind the scenes stuff.
6) “More Than That”
Chosen purely based on the fact that I love this song and they all look FINE in this video. Why are they singing in an airplane hanger and driving through the desert? WHO CARES? KEVIN IS IN A COWBOY HAT.
5) “Larger Than Life”
I know that most people say that *NSYNC were the better dancers. Sure, their videos focused on that more. But may I present to you the dance break for “Larger Than Life” to prove that BSB are not so bad themselves?
I mean I have no idea why this song merited a Space Station concept, but once again, I don’t care. One thing I DO care about is A.J.’s midriff bearing shirt with sparkly sleeves and why anyone let him wear that.
4) “As Long As You Love Me”
In regards to classic BSB videos, it came down to “All I Have To Give” and “As Long As You Love Me”. Both were very similar in tone as they were both directed by Nigel Dick. Both have signature BSB dance routines (the chair routine vs. the fedoras). Both have they boys singing into old-fashioned mics. What tipped the scales in favor of “ALAYLM” is the fact that Brian met his future wife Leighanne on the set of this video, which surely spurred a million fanfics about that happening to fangirls everywhere.
3) “I Want It That Way”
When you have a song as nonsensical and perfect as “I Want It That Way” (I will forever assert that it is one of the greatest pop songs EVER written), you don’t need a high concept video. You just need 5 handsome men, dressed in both coordinating white and street clothes/jackets, singing at an airport with a group of fans. WHY did they invite fans to come see them off on a world tour. Because they want it that way.
Tell me why.
2) “Shape of My Heart”
Every time So You Think You Can Dance has their Los Angeles auditions at the Orpheum theatre, I think of this music video. “Shape of My Heart” has grown to become one of my favorite (if not overall) favorite BSB songs of all time and I really love everything about this video. It’s simple and it’s pretty and the boys all look great. I love all their interactions (Howie and Kevin pulling A.J.’s cap over his eyes remains a favorite, but we all know why this video gets the number 2 slot for me. Because from the moment Nick steps out saying he was here with his confession to when he gleefully throws his stack of papers, I suddenly UNDERSTOOD all the Nick Fangirls. He was HOT. I tend to say that Nick grew up in between Millennium and Black and Blue, and it is never more evident than in that moment.
1) “Everybody (Backstreet’s Back)”
Also known as the BSB version of “Thriller”. Once again, I don’t know why this song screams “HAUNTED HOUSE CONCEPT” but when it is executed this well, who the heck cares? The video opens with the Boys’ bus breaking down and their menacing driver leaves them at a creepy house. Overnight they become a werewolf (Brian), a mummy (Nick), a vampire (Howie), the Phantom of the Opera (A.J.), and Jekyll and Hyde (Kevin). There are girls. There is mass choreography (props to whoever dressed Kevin for that, as it seems he is merely wearing a pair of sleeves with some ruffles). There is hilariously bad acting at the end. It’s glorious.
AND AS A BONUS…
“Drowning – Wet Version”
Tell me why they abandoned this concept again? Aside from the fact that A.J. is wearing a fishing net as a shirt.
And that’s my list. Okay Backstreet fans…I know some of you are ready to yell at me. Do so in the comments.