The Ones the Got Away: Backstreet Boys Songs that Should Have Been Singles

by | Jan 5, 2020 | AJ McLean, Backstreet Boys, Brian Littrell, Howie Dorough, Kevin Richardson, Music, Nick Carter, Opinion, Thoughts

26 years (and 8 months+, but who’s counting?).

10 albums (yes, the red album freakin’ counts).

29 singles (35 if you include singles released with other artists and both Christmas songs).

Can you name a person in your life who does not know at least the chorus of “I Want It That Way?”

I thought I knew one. For seven and a half years, my husband has made it no secret that Backstreet Boys’ music is not his taste. He thinks all boy band members look the same. He can’t tell you anyone’s name. He spent a whole day with AJ and still can’t pick him out of a lineup. HOWEVER, at our wedding afterparty, my drunk husband sang every single lyric to I Want It That Way. And the myth that there is a single human in my life that doesn’t know at least one BSB song is over.

So, did I get it right? Would you buy these as singles? Let me know your picks in the comments!

Regardless of how much sense the lyrics to I Want It That Way make- or don’t make- the single was a smash. But what if there were other chart-toppers hiding (in plain sight) on those 10 studio albums? What if, with the right timing and a kick-ass music video directed by Joseph Kahn, there could have been a Grammy winner in the mix? (Ooop… too soon?)

While we will never know what actually could have been, here are five songs that could have soared as singles. (**Tracks from studio albums, including bonus tracks, are fair game. We’ll talk unreleased tracks in another post.) 

5.) Undone, This Is Us

The reason that some of the Boys’ best-performing singles have been ballads is because of the connection we (the fans) have to the lyrics, and something about a good slow song really shows off their vocals. Undone is no exception. From the sexy verses to the high falsettos, the potential for this one was definitely overlooked. Thank goodness someone had the brilliant idea to include this track in the Vegas residency and the DNA setlists!

4.) Get Another Boyfriend, Black & Blue

This was one of my favorite songs off of B&B as soon as I heard it, and I don’t know why the rest of the world wouldn’t feel the same. The beat is bad ass; the song is sexy; the pace of the song is somewhere between ballad and club banger. And, despite Get Another Boyfriend not being single, the Boys have been performing it for nearly two decades. It has aged well, don’t you think? Check out a little then and now


3.) Safest Place to Hide, Never Gone

Talk about a song that will get you all in your feelings… Safest Place to Hide is a hopeless romantic’s dream. If you had given up on love, these lyrics would make you think twice (because someone wrote this, and our Boys executed it flawlessly). Beyond that, had this song been a single, maybe we would have a little more of this. (Video credit to Stephanie Ziegelmeyer)

2.) Said I Love You, DNA bonus track

On my list of “what could have been,” this is the only true club banger. I heard it and immediately wished it had made the DNA tracklist. I can imagine Said I Love You on the radio or playing in the bar. I can’t keep myself from dancing anytime it plays. This is the missed opportunity that I think I am saddest about.

1.) Don’t Wanna Lose You Now, Millenium 

Millenium produced a lot of hits. But somebody missed one. Don’t Wanna Lose You Now is in my top five BSB songs of all time (currently sharing  #1 with No One Else Comes Close). If you have ever been in a relationship headed in the wrong direction, you can relate to this song. And if you happen to be an AJ-girl with an immense appreciation for his vocals, the notes he hits at the end will turn you into a puddle. 



  1. Tiffany Tolleson

    Permanent Stain from In A World Like This album should of been a single too. ❤️

  2. Lisa

    I love this but your video for Undone was a performance of Don’t Want to Lose You Now and your DWTLYN video was for Undone. Other than I agree with your choices.

  3. Johnelle

    My picks (just my opinion):

    Love Somebody – Album: In A World Like This

    Best That I Can & Rebel – Album: This Is Us

    Last Night You Saved My Life – Album: Never Gone

    Lift Me Up – Un-Released

    What Makes You Different (Makes You Beautiful) – Album: Black & Blue

    I Need You Tonight & Back To Your Heart – Album: Millennium

    Missing You – Album: Backstreet’s Back

  4. Cris Arrañaga

    I 100% agree that “Undone” was a real missed opportunity.

    “Get another boyfriend” (one of my favorites) could have very well been a hit single for it’s time.
    That song can be modernized for any time now and moving forward.

    Love the blog


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