I meant to have this up and posted by the seventeenth, the anniversary of the release. With that I sort of failed, sorry about that. Life in 2020 has gotten in the way and slowed me up in ways I didn’t expect. But if you’re here and you’re reading this? Thank you because that means you’re sticking with me and I appreciate that more than I can say. In times like this it’s fun to look back at memories that make you smile.
This song will always do that for me.
So let’s take a minute and go back about two years to Don’t Go Breaking My Heart. There was always a lot of energy surrounding this song. It was originally supposed to be released back in March of 2018 but got pushed back to May because they weren’t ready yet. This absolutely drove fans wild with anticipation and did lead some to wonder if the song would ever be ready, would it ever be out? And while fans should have faith in the Boys, it was also easy to understand that sense of doubt. The album that would later become DNA had been in the works for quite some time, going as far back as Nick’s run on Dancing With The Stars – in fact one of the previews we’d gotten from those times turned into bonus track Do You Remember. Amidst all my rambling here the point is that fans were dying for new music. We were dying to see what they had for us. It’d been four years since Permanent Stain which happened to be the first teaser song from In A World Like This. The longest break we’d had prior to this was well, the making of that album.
They started doing little teases, talking about the song, giving us tiny previews.
Then…after some delays, lots of rumors we finally got it! And holy hell we practically broke the internet. The song trended, the Boys trended, the Boys were getting interviewed everywhere. They had a mural that people were taking photos at. The music video got millions and millions of views almost immediately. It was just an exciting time. The song ended up becoming their biggest hit since I Want It That Way, something I never thought I’d say at that time. That’s insane! Not to mention the Grammy nomination it would gain later that year.
For the first time in years mainstream radio embraced them as happily as they did back in the 90’s and early 00’s. One of my personal favorite moments is this gem where they hear the song on the radio for the first time. Because I reacted the same way when I heard the song on Top 40 here.
There was just a magic about this song that ushered in so much success for them. This song was the beginning of an era we never expected. Don’t Go Breaking My Heart changed the game. It helped the Boys find a way to utilize Brian’s current vocals in new ways. They adapted their sound for today while still embracing who they are to the fullest extent. There’s simply so many layers to this song, whether we talk about the way they leaned back into the old Brian/Nick/AJ forumla but with some new twists, or the modern boy band eight-beat take for the melody. In many ways I could be here forever talking about this song.
(Another reason why this post took me longer than I wanted to exist. Oops.)
Not to mention we need to acknowledge that…
IT WAS A MUSIC VIDEO THAT DIDN’T TAKE PLACE ON A FIELD!!!
Two years later and that’s still exciting. This song challenged all expectations of what to expect. It told the world not to rule them out, that they still had so much more to give. There is so much more to come in the future and if Don’t Go Breaking My Heart has taught us anything, it’s that there will still be many more surprises around the corner. Don’t Go Breaking My Heart will forever be the song that reminded the world the Backstreet Boys aren’t going anywhere any time soon.
In the end, because of all the wonderful things that happened due to this song, I know I smile every time it comes on. It has so many happy memories. Personal and just as a fan in general. That’s what music is supposed to do, right? Tap into your feelings. This song does that every single time that piano intro begins to play. It hits those damn emotions.
Whether you got mixed ones or not.