Backstreet Boys Admit “I Want It That Way” Makes Absolutely No Sense

Backstreet Boys
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Backstreet Boys
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Photo Credit: Glenn Francis / CC by 2.0

The Backstreet Boys admit their hit song – “I Want It That Way” – is a lyrical pile of nonsense.

Now all five members – Nick Carter, AJ McLean, Howie Dorough, Kevin Richardson, and Brian Littrell – are dads. They’re back together for their DNA World Tour, where they’ve admitted the hit song makes no sense.

A fan asks, “In your song ‘I Want It That Way,’ why do you sing ‘I never want to hear you say/I want it that way?'”  Ah yes, the age-old questionable song lyrics. Fans are still asking Meat Loaf what he won’t do for love nearly 50 years later.

So what don’t the Backstreet Boys want to hear? It turns out they don’t know either.

“First of all, the song makes no sense,” McLean answers. “There was a completely different version of the song that actually made sense, and thankfully we decided to go back to the one that didn’t make sense.”

Thankfully, indeed. The song “I Want It That Way” was a complete smash, and nominated for three Grammy Awards in 1999. Those nominations included Song and Record of the Year.

It is often regarded as the groups’ signature song, reaching the #1 spot on charts in 25 countries. The song was written by Max Martin and Andreas Carlsson and is widely regarded to be about the follies of a strained relationship.

China took a particular interest in the song several years after it topped the charts, though.

Back in 2011, China’s Ministry of Culture released a list of 100 songs to be ‘removed from the Internet.’ “I Want It That Way,” was twelve years old at the time, but made the list.

China’s Ministry claims the songs’ removal is for national security purposes. The same edict banned artists like Lady Gaga and Katy Perry for being ‘too vulgar,’ alongside the entire genre of hip hop.

One Response

  1. Lefty

    I makes no cents, but it did make millions of dollars. Who cares? Lots of songs (I’m talking to you, Duran Duran) make no sense.