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#ThrowbackThursday: Backstreet Boys “Christmas Time”

Backstreet Boys "Backstreet's Back: Jive Records
  – Backstreet Boys "Backstreet's Back: Jive Records

By Craig Clizbe

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! That time where we dig in the crates, search through the ipods, and preset the stations to find all of our favorite holiday classics to listen to all December long. Among those are the holiday staples like “White Christmas”, “Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer”, “Frosty The Snowman,” and just about anything you by Irving Berlin. There are even some recent releases like Josh Groban’s Noel and Michael Buble’s Christmas are slowly earning the rights to become holiday classics sure to be holiday classics sure to be Throwback Thursday worthy in the years to come! So keeping all that in mind I am sure you can imagine how picking a Christmas song for a holiday themed Throwback Thursday would seem easy, but is surprisingly challenging.

However that decision became easier when our friends the Backstreet Boys released the trailer for their upcoming documentary bio film, Backstreet Boys: Show’em What You’re Made Of. As the trailer clearly states, BSB is the BSB is statistically the best selling boy band of all time. However what people may not realize is after releasing nine studio albums, none of them were full-length Christmas albums. Other boy bands of their generation that they competed with like *NSYNC and 98 Degrees did release Christmas albums during the height of the Teen Pop explosion. However the Backstreet Boys, who in many ways opened the door for the others, could never convince their label that it was a good idea, even though it was always something that they have revealed in recent fan Q&A “Sound Check Parties” that its something they always wanted to do,

Since BSB’s In A World Like This Tour was also considered to be one of their most successful, it is clear that Backstreet is back and better than ever. While a full-length Christmas is still something fans can look forward to, they did get to use their remarkable vocal ability to get into the holiday spirit a couple times through the years. Die hard BSB fans, and Pop music enthusiasts know that BSB do have to two Christmas singles. The first was “Christmas Time” from 1996, and the second is “It’s Christmas Time Again” from 2012. There are interesting stories behind each of these songs, and also serve as snap shots of the group in two very different stages of their career. The first one, “Christmas Time” was recorded in the spring of 1994, only moths after they signed with Jive Records. The group would not breakthrough in the US until 1997, but “Christmas Time” was first released in Europe in May of 1996. It was a included as a B-side to the Boys’ single, “Quit Playing Games (With My Heart)” (This single would later become the group’s breakthrough hit in the USA in 1997) “Christmas Time” was co-written by the group’s manager at the time Johnny Wright , Joe Smith, and the track’s producer Veit Renn. Renn was working with the group on their debut album, at the time.

Those sessions would also produce the single “Anywhere For You”, which became a top 10 hit in Germany, the Netherlands, Canada, and the UK.. “Christmas Time” was later included on their 1997 European release, Backstreet’s Back. “Christmas Time” finally made its American debut in November of 2000 when it was included on Platinum Chirstmas , a holiday compilation released by Jive Records in partnership Jive’s distributor at the time, BMG, and BMG’s other American partners, RCA and Arista. Platinum Christmas featured BSB along side their Jive label mates like Britney Spears, *NSYNC and R. Kelly.

The second Christmas single in the Backstreet Boys’ discography came in 2012. That song is “It’s Christmas Time Again.” Unlike their first holiday tune from 1996, this one came long after the Backstreet Boys were way past world famous and well established as one of the most successful groups in Pop music history. However despite being looked at as veterans by the music world, “It’s Christmas Time Again”  served as a new beginning for the group in many ways It was the first single released by the group independently since parting ways with Jive Records in 2010. It was also the first song released by the group since the return of Kevin Richardson who left the group in 2006 to focus on his family.

“It’s Christmas Time Again” was a passion project led by group member Nick Carter, while the group was in London recording their 2013 album, In A World Like This. Nick was inspired to write the song after BSB was invited to perform at the Walt Disney World Christmas Parade. He talked about the experience in his book Facing The Music And Living To Talk About It. It was significant for Nick because he wanted to prove to the other members of the group that he could be depended on when contributing to the group’s legacy creatively .In his book Nick described how even though he has always been a member of the Backstreet Boys, and has been present on all of the albums and tour, his problems with drugs and alcohol in the past had caused a rift between him and the other members. He used the opportunity as a trust exercise, and described how good it felt to see it through. The song also helped him bond with his band mate Howie Dorough, when he elected to co write the song with Nick and their In A World Like This co writers, Morgan Taylor Reid and Mike Guillory.

Click Here To lean more about the Backstreet Boy’s upcoming 2015 documentary, Backstreet Boys: Show’em What You’re Made O,f  and check out the trailer below. Since these songs have served as significant milestones for the Boys at different points in their career, we hope these stories make you smile the next time you hear Backstreet Boys’ “Christmas Time” playing in a mall when getting your picture taken with Santa Claus. We also would like to sincerely thank all of our loyal fans and readers  for always allowing us to share love of music with you. We wish you a Merry Christmas, and Happy Holiday from the bottom of our hearts. May you have nothing but love, good health and blessings in the new year!

Backstreet Boys

“Christmas Time”

From Backstreets Back/Platinum Christmas

Jive Records & Jive/RCA/Arista Records/BMG Special Projects

Backstreet Boys

“It’s Christmas Time Again”

K-BAHN/BMG Rights Management

Backstreet Boy: Show’em What You’re Made Of (2015 Film Trailer)