Why does every generation love the Backstreet Boys?

By | October 29, 2019

Tone Deaf

It was late 1997 and Hanson-mania had taken hold in Australia. ‘MMMBop’ dominated the airwaves and the boys from Oklahoma’s androgynous faces populated the magazine stands of every newsagency, corner store and petrol station.

I was in the thick of it, gobbling up all titbits of information available in those pre-internet days. This led to purchasing an edition of TV Hits that featured Hanson on its cover and included the printed lyrics to the Backstreet Boys’ latest single, ‘Everybody (Backstreet’s Back)’.

The song’s now such an immovable part of pop culture that it’s hard to imagine a world without it, but reading its lyrics for the first time raised a number of questions. Chiefly, who were “Backstreet” and why did the announcement of their return warrant an entire song? Not just any old song, either, but one of sufficient import to occupy precious column space in TV Hits.

It wasn’t long before ‘Everybody’ overtook ‘MMMBop’ in the commercial radio high rotation stakes and those questions faded into the background. The hits ‘As Long As You Love Me’ and ‘All I Have to Give’ followed in quick succession and now, 22 years later, BSB are the world’s most enduring and commercially successful boy band by a distance.

[More at the source, but no more Hanson mentions]

 

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