Backstreet Boys: Decades of A Capella

As I’ve said in my review of Breathe, that song was a return to form. A back to basics in the best of ways. It reminded me of just how many times those five voices have blended together so seamlessly over the years.  This was how the Boys got their start. They’ve said it themselves over and over. Back when they first began, when they didn’t have their own songs? They used a capella to put their own stamp on songs by other artists. While other groups were zigging by singing to a track or even lip syncing? Here they were with nothing but their voices. This post is just an appreciation post of all the performances they’ve done like this since the beginning. It’s a fraction of all the ones they’ve done. Obviously this will be media heavy, so fair warning.

Let’s start at the very beginning.


Both of these are of the same song, an early days track they often used to perform – If I Ever Fall In Love. You know, I’ve never been curious about the original track? That’s because their performances of this were all I ever needed. The one above is them just singing by a pool table. But the other was from their High School Tour days. Back when YouTube did not exist, and you had to be a random performing at schools and malls to get any attention anywhere. It was a whole different world if you wanted to make it back in the early 90s but it helped them hone their craft.



Fast forwarding to some 1996 moments…

Just To Be Close is probably their best known a capella track. It’s ironic that the version on their debut Red Album wasn’t actually a capella, but to a track. I’ve never seen them perform this song to music. I don’t know of any live performances done to music either which is probably why it’s widely considered to be their last one before Breathe. But it’s true yet not true if we take the album version into consideration versus the performances. Either way, it never fails to be beautiful. Moving on, I included the Get Down clip mainly to show they would sing anything to showcase their talent. Upbeat songs, ballads, anything. It really did not matter.

I’ll Never Break Your Heart is probably my favorite of theirs to perform cold. Watch that video and you’ll see why.



Moving on to 1998!

Let’s Make A Toast To Our Love…another cover but forever beautifully done. Just listen to those voices soar. Another song I never bothered to look the original to. Why would I when BSB does it so well? As for Quit Playing Games, I wish they’d bring back the a capella version. They used to do this all the time with this song, and this was just one of many clips I could’ve picked. I liked this one because it was out in freezing cold yet they still sound so good.



Oh 1999.

I think what I love best is by this point they didn’t need to keep doing this. They’d already proven themselves. They were the biggest thing since sliced bread during the Millennium era. But these kind of performances are just who they are. It’s who they’ve always been. This is their sound. The genre can change as they’ve shown and will likely show again on DNA but that blend is what defines them. Now if they could just bring back Don’t Want To Lose You Now to their concerts they’d make a lot of fans happy.



Nothing compares to this 2000 medley. Nothing. You can fight me on this. It’s breathtaking. To me this is probably the best they’ve ever done in terms of a capella, prior to Breathe. And when you remind yourself of all the things going on behind the scenes during this time? It makes this even more impressive.



2001 and they’re still singing at the drop of a dime and in other languages no less.



2005 and here we are with Just Want You To Know.

This again, like Get Down feels like a random song to do a capella. But it’s never mattered. They can literally sing everything and anything if you ask them. It’s a bit crazy, don’t you think?



2007 and 2009 – The Kevinless Years

You would think they would shy away from this because Kevin left. It would’ve made sense. Everything would’ve changed with the arrangements after Kevin took his break. They’d already proven themselves over and over by this point. Yet they worked out the kinks, they rearranged their vocals, and kept at it. You just can’t fake talent like this.



With In A World Like This came a lot of performances like this.

Kevin was back and they were reminding the world why they have stuck it out this long. Mind you, it took a little while for the media to notice. But well, that’s pop culture for you. Safest Place To Hide is stunning when they perform it like this, and it makes me wonder why they didn’t do it a capella on Never Gone, seems like a missed opportunity to me. In fact, why is it that Breathe is the first time we’ve gotten a true track like this? Lord knows they’ve been doing this live forever.

Obviously the wait was worth it though.



This is the last of my clips but I have a lot of love for their a capella cover of Cruisin’. Brian’s vocal dysphonia and dystonia are well known thanks to the documentary. But this right here proves the growth and that while you may have your downs, you can always rise back up again.

Bonus Clip! As soon as I posted this, another clip popped up of them doing No Place a capella and I had to include it. Because like I said, they’ll sing anything at the drop of a hat. It’s one of many reasons why we love them.

Just listen to that blend. It’s timeless. Absolutely timeless.

And that’s what the Backstreet Boys are, they are timeless. This whole post showcases exactly why they became the best selling boyband in history. This is why they always stood out from the pack. While others focused on the extras, or flashy moments? BSB focused on what really mattered, the vocals. They honed their talent, built upon their craft over and over. That sort of thing shows. You can’t deny it. That’s why they’re back again, making the world take notice.

After all those eargasms, are you sure you don’t want more? Sure you do. Click on Breathe and bless your ears yet again! Hype yourself up for the album that is DNA. For albums to come. As all the performances above have shown, as they’ve proven, Backstreet has many more epic years ahead. I know me personally? I can’t wait to see all of what’s to come.


Get DNA Here, out now!

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