It's hard to believe that 20 years has already gone by since the Backstreet Boys released their first LP in the United States. The debut album was self-titled in the U.S. only and is a collection of tracks from BSB's first and second international albums. This U.S. release shared the same album cover as the international version, Backstreet's Back, with only a different name. The self-titled debut album in the U.S. was released on Aug. 12, 1997 after the U.S. lead single "Quit Playing Games (with My Heart)" caught on with pop listeners.
Backstreet Boys peaked at No. 4 on the Billboard Top 200 Albums chart in 1997 and became the outlet's No. 10 album of the decade. In the U.S., the album has been certified 14x Platinum (Diamond at 10x) for shipments and sales in excess of 14 million copies.
The U.S. release was kicked off with "Quit Playing Games (with My Heart)" and it went on to be a mega success. The track reached No. 2 on the Hot 100 songs chart and succeeded without MTV support. The track was not intended to be the first single and the band fought for its release, thus not re-recording a video as the song was planned to be marketed to radio and not through video. It has sold 2 million copies in the U.S.
The album initially featured 11 songs before it was re-released with the single "Everybody (Backstreet's Back)." It was presumably left off the first edition as it would not make sense being their first U.S. release. That track however was the lead single for the international version.
Other singles from the album included the ballad "As Long As You Love Me" which became a fan favorite at the time. Following "Everybody (Backstreet's Back)" in early 1998, BSB released the crooner "I'll Never Break Your Heart" as a single, sweeping the hearts of million of young fans.
The U.S. release went on to become one of the most successful debut albums of all time. The album, both U.S. and international, catapulted BSB into a high-profile career that would continue with 1999's Millennium. Since that time, BSB has sold over 130 million records worldwide and is the best-selling boy band in history. They were the first group since Sade to have each of their first nine albums reach the top 10 on the Billboard charts.
Today, songs from Backstreet Boys/Backstreet's Back are still a favorite of those who are nostalgic for 90's music, cementing their place in music history forever.
Listen to the U.S. release of Backstreet Boys below.