BSB Beginnings – Stay In My Life (Backstreet Boys’ Very First Music Video)

There’s times ideas literally spring into my brain out of nowhere.

This isn’t one of those times.

I always tell you guys if there’s something you’d like to see me write about or an idea you want to suggest, to simply let me know. One of you sent me a great email about an idea and I loved it. It took me a bit to find the time to write it but I have a BSB Notebook (really, it’s the blue one on their website) that I use to keep up with things and log ideas for the blog, the archive, and social media. I wrote this down in there and I’m glad to be finally tackling this. If any of you guys want to see me write something, my Twitters ( @thedarksidebsb or my personal one @ForeverRebel ) and my email ( ) are always open. I try to respond when life isn’t getting in my way. As much as I write for my own personal love for writing and love for the Boys, what’s a blogger without readers? So I always want your opinions and thoughts. Send them my way.

Anyway, I know many of you probably looked at this title and were like…what the hell?

There’s a lot to Backstreet History, as I pointed out on my post about their origins. This is one of those little nuggets that suggests I might need to sprinkle random posts about their earlier days. I was curious so on Twitter I’d asked if any of you knew the song. Most of you didn’t which was to be expected. This song, Stay In My Life goes way back. I mean before the Red Album. I’m talking 1994 so the group had only been together as the group we know and love today for barely a year. This song is one of their earliest demos and was a staple of their many performances when they were first starting out. They even filmed well, we’ll call it a music video. I have it here on a promotional video they sent out to labels. It can be watched at eleven minutes, fifty seconds in if you want to skip ahead to it.

Like I said, it was very low budget and directed by Ken West. Denise touches upon him in her book about AJ which covers much of their beginnings as a group.

I recommend watching that full video as it’s a real treat and a time capsule. But if you want just the music video that I’m talking about, I’m going to link just that below. Obviously the quality is terrible because this was absolutely student film level material and it was the early nineties. In fact I think BSB’s then manager Donna Wright met the director at a film class. According to Denise, it was filmed in a tiny club in Florida with a practically non-existent budget. Mainly because they knew this was going to be used as something to help them secure a record deal.

I tried as best as I could to find songwriter credits for this and they’ve been lost to time I believe. Their “official biography” from back in the day which talks about Charles and Sam completely skips over this. Denise references this vaguely but without this video I wouldn’t have connected the dots. Google was no help in trying to find who was behind this song.

If someone has something I’m missing to help me find out who wrote this song, I’d love to know. The thing is, Lou was writing a lot of their songs back then and while I don’t want to give him credit, it easily could’ve been him.  He’s the one who wrote what became one of their early trademark songs Tell Me That I’m Dreaming. In looking at this I’m honestly a bit surprised that Stay In My Life got a video and Tell Me That I’m Dreaming didn’t as it was pushed at least before Jive came along, as a single. One thing that’s really sweet to see is them singing around Kevin at the piano. Clearly that’s something that sticks for many years to come and we’re as a fandom thankful for it.

Here you can see them performing it in this showcase video Jive Records put together. It’s the first song though I again, urge you to watch the entire thing. There’s a lot to enjoy, including a very early well done performance of Every Time I Close My Eyes.

So what happened to this song? Even for an early demo it’s pretty and they do a wonderful job harmonizing throughout it. While Tell Me That I’m Dreaming somehow lived to survive to become a b-side track to their first single We’ve Got It Going On, this track practically disappeared like it never existed to begin with. Had Lou Pearlman never been arrested and his assets seized and sold to recoup the money he swindled from people, we may not have ever heard this song in the quality we have today.

Even with it existing out in the world, many fans have no idea about it. Including people who’d consider themselves die hard fans. It reminds me that I’m definitely in that pool even when I try to talk myself out of it. Some of their early demos are like Kevin said in the documentary, sub par. He wasn’t wrong about that. But I do think Stay In My Life has a special quality to it that goes unseen, or actually in this case, unheard.

My personal theory was this was one of the many songs that got scrapped for better options once Jive had their hands in the pot. They’re the ones who heard the Boys, and actually recognized their talent. They sent them over to Max Martin and Denniz POP and well, that was the end of a lot of songs. Because once 1996 rolls around and they stop doing school tours, this song is completely gone from their set list. Some demos scraped through for a bit longer but eventually even those went to the wayside. (And rightfully so, I have a post dedicated to just their demos here.)

Still, I wonder if they remember the lyrics?

I wonder if they’d ever be open to performing this song again just for the fun of it?

At least we have it to enjoy, to bask in the beauty of their harmonies.

Is there a subject about BSB’s Beginnings you’d like to see me talk about?
Let me know in the comments!

8 thoughts on “BSB Beginnings – Stay In My Life (Backstreet Boys’ Very First Music Video)

  1. Rose,
    Thank you so much for researching and writing this! I have wondered if the Boys could have written this, or had a hand in it, especially Kevin. It has a ‘By My Side’ feel to it, for me. There’s an interview from way back, where Kevin is asked what they were doing during this time, and he said something along the lines of: writing lots of songs and working hard trying to get noticed.
    You give Lou a lot more credit for songwriting talent than I do, haha! I always figured he made such a push to get TMTID released because that was the only one he could come up with. And with a lot of help from Howie at that!
    Do love them singing around the piano as Kevin plays. Always.


    1. Thank you!

      I really tried to dig into who wrote this but honestly it’s like the song doesn’t exist. I don’t like giving Lou credit but since he had TMTID I wanted to admit it’s possible. I do hope someone knows cause I’m really curious LOL.


  2. Always interesting finding unreleased material from an artist. BSB is especially interesting because there was a long period between their formation and their first LP.

    Did Papa Lou read and write music?

    Do any of the boys regularly answer fan questions on social media?


    1. He did. Not all of it was good but he could read and write it. Sometimes the Boys answer things if they see it. I’d say Kevin would be the best one to try cause he’d remember lol


      1. Thanks again for the response!

        As far as subjects I’d like to see written about…anything more about Denniz Pop, Max Martin and Cheiron Studios would be appreciated. I realize BSB worked with other producers/writers but it’s hard to see them, NSYNC or Britney having the same amount of success without Denniz and Max. The members of BSB deserve credit for having the talents to bring the material to life, but I believe it all starts with the songwriting and there were a lot of other artists who could sing and dance well who didn’t have this type of quality material to work with and only had limited success as a result.

        Denniz Pop co-produced All That She Wants and the title track for Ace of Base’s The Sign and he and Max worked on several tracks for the follow up, The Bridge. In their documentary, I know some of the boys talked about the “Ace of Base sound” that Denniz and Max brought with them and that they were fans of AOB. In my opinion, AOB was the biggest influence on their sound, along with Boyz II Men (of course). I know they’ve been quoted about the BIIM influence a lot, but have they talked about AOB outside of the doc?

        Keep up the good work!


      2. There is a book everyone here should probably read (I have not) – The Song Machine: Inside the Hit Factory by John Seabrook. It’s about the history of the producers and artists connected with Cheiron and Maratone Studios in Sweden – Ace of Base, Backstreet Boys, Katy Perry and beyond!



    The early days (1993-1995)
    (What’s The) Bottom Line – Audio tape awarded in Lou Pearlman settlement 2014. Clip of song leaked around 2001-2002
    Fool – Audio tape awarded in Lou Pearlman settlement 2014
    I Will – Audio tape awarded in Lou Pearlman settlement 2014
    Only You – Audio tape awarded in Lou Pearlman settlement 2014
    Swing It Out – Audio tape awarded in Lou Pearlman settlement 2014.

    So we will never know who wrote any of these songs? Can we ask Kevin? How many do you think Papa Lou wrote?


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