Whether you love them or hate them, there’s no denying that the Backstreet Boys are an iconic part of music history, not to mention the best selling boy band of all time (no really, it’s a fact). Forming in 1993 in Orlando, Florida, Brian Littrell, AJ McLean, Nick Carter, Kevin Richardson, and Howie Dorough have been together for a whopping 23 years. Now, that’s a long time for any band, but it’s an especially long time for a boy band. With numerous hit singles and over 130 million records sold worldwide, we thought we’d take a look back at some of the best songs to come out of the pop supergroup. Check out Ellen’s top ten favourite BSB songs of all time below!
You know what’s cool about the Backstreet Boys? Over the last 20 years, they’ve been able to evolve their music to stay current, but without ever losing that signature BSB sound. Although they may not be as popular as they once were, they stand stronger than ever as a band, and their latest release proves that. Being born in the early 90s, I fully grew up on boy bands, but there was never a question of who number one was. I have been listening to BSB for literally my entire life and I have slowly formed an opinion on what was good and what was better when it comes to their music, so here’s a breakdown of my top ten all time faves. (There are a ton of great songs that didn’t quite make the list, but hey, with over 100 songs to choose from, narrowing it down to only 10 was quite the task, okay??)
10. If I Knew Then – This Is Us (2009)
If I Knew Then is the fifth track off of 2009’s This Is Us, and quite frankly, the best song on the album in my opinion. I wasn’t a huge fan of the time period where the boys were without Kevin (2006-2012), but this song did it for me. Although the chorus in this song is pretty repetitive, it’s got a good beat behind it and the verses are extremely relatable. I fell in love instantly the first time I heard it.
9. Siberia – Never Gone (2005)
I think this song is 100% completely underrated. I wish I could put into words the things I feel when I listen to this song. It is so heartbreakingly beautiful. The lyrics can make even the happiest of people feel sad and lonely. The off-beat to it gives it such a cool sound, and it just makes it that much better. Fair warning: if you’re going through a bad breakup, this song is definitely gonna tug at those heart strings.
8. Shape Of My Heart – Black & Blue (2000)
I don’t even know what it is that I like so much about this song to be honest. However, it is a very nostalgic song for me. Right when I hear that first note, I’m taken way back to when this album came out. It’s sad but happy at the same time, and my friends and I love belting this one out. Not to mention it has probably my favourite Nick solo ever.
7. The Call – Black & Blue (2000)
This song is so dramatic and intense and everything that I love about BSB. Right from the phone call at the very beginning of the song, you know something’s about to go down. Then the beat comes in – DUHDUHDUH DUHDUH DUHDUHDUH – you know what I’m talking about. And then there’s the breakdown in the middle of the song where it sounds like heaven’s opening up, until the heavy beat steps back in, somehow even more intense this time. I mean, besides the fact that it’s literally about cheating on a girl, this song is pure gold.
6. All I Have To Give – Backstreet’s Back (1997)
A BSB classic. This song is incredible. Everything from the acoustic guitar, to the background piano, to the smooth vocals, it just flows so well. It’s definitely more of an easy listening song, but it is by no means boring. It has one of my favourite breakdowns to ever exist in a song (which sadly didn’t make it into the music video). And who could forget the iconic hat dance that went with it???
5. In A World Like This – In A World Like This (2013)
This was the first song released off the boys’ latest album, and the first single to be released since Kevin returned to the group. Let me tell you, it’s a damn good thing he came back. This song alone is better than both of the albums that were released during Kevin’s departure combined. It’s modern day pop perfection, and it honestly deserves a lot more attention than it’s received. It’s so good to have all five boys back together again.
4. Trust Me – In A World Like This (2013)
Another track off IAWLT, I honestly cannot say enough good things about this one. It’s so different from the rest of the songs on the album, or any other BSB song for that matter. They definitely took a chance with this song, and it worked so, so well. It’s not something you would typically expect from a boy band. Man, I could gush about this one forever, but all I’m going to say is thank goodness these guys are still making music.
3. I Still… – Never Gone (2005)
If there’s one thing the Backstreet Boys are good at, it’s making me emotional. This song is no exception to that. This has been one of my favourite songs of all time for so long now. It’s almost got an emptiness feeling to it, and the lyrics are remarkably heart wrenching. The way they sing “I still need you, I still care about you; I still feel you, like I’m right beside you” in the chorus gets me every. Single. Time.
2. I’ll Never Break Your Heart – Backstreet Boys (1996)
I know you know this one. This is such a classic BSB ballad. I remember listening to this song over and over again when I was a little kid, just belting out “I’LL NEVER BREEEEEEEAAAAAK YOURRRRR HEARRRRTTT”. Hell, this song was so good, it had TWO music videos. Okay, maybe that’s not the reason, but it really did have two videos. This is the song that all the girls would cry and swoon over at the early BSB concerts, and let’s be honest, we still do today. If that stupid boy doesn’t like you back, don’t worry, you still have BSB. They’ll give you all of them, honey that’s no lie.
1. The One – Millennium (1999)
This is hands down, without a doubt, my favourite Backstreet Boys song of all time. I know, it’s kind of an odd choice. I just love everything about this song. From the opening guitar strum as they sing “I’ll be the one….”, to the very last note. It has such a nostalgic feel to it. Sometimes it’s really crazy to think about how much of an impact this group has actually had on my life, and when I hear this song I think back to all of that. I am so extremely happy that I’ve had these guys around. Here’s to another 20 years.