Looking back on the things I’ve done..
I can’t believe Black and Blue is turning twenty. TWENTY. Holy Howie. I was fourteen when this album came out and now I’m thirty four. Time really does fly, doesn’t it? Even in 2020. Honestly when it comes to this album I know a lot of people have some mixed feelings on it. It’s totally understandable and I’ve definitely talked about it before. If there was a time BSB were ever going to break up, this was the closest they got to it actually happening. It’s part of what led to the infamous hiatus. (That’s a break people, not a break up.) But I think a lot of fans forget just how much cooler this era was than the previous ones before it.
Because honestly? This was the era where the Boys were beginning to grow up.
I used to have the photo I used for this post as a giant poster on my wall. I felt badass.
I mean, the perfect example of this is the music video for The Call, or hell just looking at the song itself. This song had edge. This song was the first song about the guy cheating that came from the Boys. Think about it. Every song before that was either girl being the one who wronged them, a Boy trying to woo someone, or trying to get back together. None were about cheating. I know, I know, it seems silly to say but when this song first came out? This was a huge deal! Nutty, isn’t it?
But it’s true. Not to mention, come on…look at the music video. They were literally chasing someone out to get them…
In the back streets… (I’m sorry. I couldn’t help it.)
It’s to this day one of my favorite videos. That moment where Kevin freaking jumps through a window and lands in the room with all those names scrawled along the wall, calling them out for cheating? I mean…how can you not. The concept was fantastic and it’s definitely one of the strongest music videos of their career. Everything about this time just seemed so freaking cool. Because the polish was gone, you know? It was different, so different when you compare it to everything prior.
It was also the beginnings, not full on, but the beginnings of a more uncensored Backstreet. Something we wouldn’t get full on until well, This Is Us but it was a progressive slope with each era, starting with this one. Of course I need to throw Diary in here. Especially with the Boys talking about their epic and incredible 100 Hour journey on social media each day this week leading up to the anniversary of the album. I’ve talked about Diary before but simply put, it’s so freaking quotable at this point that we can’t have a post about this era without making sure we mention Diary. Period.
And I mean this time wasn’t perfect. I’ve talked about that before, so I won’t do so here. We know about the downs. But what about the ups? I mean this was the album that gave us Get Another Boyfriend, a song that damn well should’ve been a single. I mean I’m still to this day annoyed about that. Not as much as I am over the whole The One debacle but, you know, still. But there’s so many great songs on this album. You know what song I still turn up and sing the crap out of to this day? Shining Star. Maybe I’m alone in this, and it wouldn’t be the first time, but it’s just a fun freaking song! It’s upbeat and funky and I don’t know, it’s an ear worm. Or what about Answer To Our Life? I mean that song had a freaking message to boot. As for the slower songs, I’d say I’m still a sucker for Yes I Will. It’s the kind of song you’d want at your wedding.
One of the most iconic Nickisms came from this. Remember doc-u-men-taries?
Then there was Kevin calling AJ a dildo. Making me wonder how many younger fans asked their parents about this.
This was BSB at their peak in so many ways.
It was just as iconic as Millennium though I think many forget that.
Did they break the NSYNC record? No but they broke world records with this album by selling over five million internationally in its first week. Something I always found to be even more impressive. They were the first artists in Soundscan history to sell over one million albums in their first weeks back to back. Also the Boys wrote more songs for this album, this was the album where they went down to the Bahamas and put this together. Man to have been a fly on the wall during those sessions. Especially since this was a younger and admittedly less mature Backstreet.
I’d be failing if I didn’t mention one of the greatest gifts to come from this era, which was this medley.
Just listen, and bask in those harmonies.
This is what heaven sounds like, people.
Still asking the Boys to bring that medley back, it fits even more now!
I think as a kid one of the biggest memories I had of this era was the fact they really and truly were everywhere. I mean how many “boybands” get their own damn plane so they can fly around to promote an album? Something like this is literally unheard of now, even pre-covid. Then you have the specials like when they did Backstreet On Broadway, the CBS concert special, and lord knows how many more that are probably in the archive that I’ve forgotten. They’d cemented their legendary status with their last album and this one was all about reminding the world they weren’t going anywhere.
And look at the tour itself. This tour was the biggest and quite possibly the craziest they’ve ever done. It was a stadium tour, and they never did one this massive again until the DNA World Tour. I honestly think, but this is as someone who only saw both tours through her TV or on a computer that the tour for this album had better production. It seemed to flow better, I loved the bridge that went over the middle of the crowd as well. Everything was grittier to of course fit the tone of the album photoshoot itself. And what’s not to love about that? Like I said at the start of this post, this was where their image began to really grow up.
Looking back I think this happening was key to their evolution as a group. Because yes the album got rushed, yes there were issues, but some of their most iconic songs came from this time. This era was what gave them the room to really take even bigger departures when Never Gone came along, and they strove to show people they were grown men and not the fresh faced Boys anymore. It gave fans the room to see them that way as well. This era wasn’t perfect but it showed fans they didn’t have to be. They didn’t need to be.
So with this, I’ll leave you with this concert to watch.
Since you know, 20 laters after this album came out we’re all stuck at home.
Pretty sure that next time I go on a trip, I’ll be going…“Be cool. we’re going on a plane. This is the plane, we love the plane!” Just because I can. Some Nickisms are good for life.
3 thoughts on “Looking Back On The…Black and Blue Album 20 Years Later”
You forget to mention Time which seems more appropriate now than then. Then there was Everyone which was sort of a Larger Life sequel.
hi! sorry this isn’t related to your post, but i didn’t know how else to contact you.
our favourite boys are contenders in billboard’s best boy band bracket. link here: https://www.billboard.com/articles/columns/pop/9485589/boy-band-battle-2020/
could you publicise this amongst the bsb army so that more people vote? the bracket will refresh every week on tuesday at noon (so next round starts 11/24/2020 at noon). we’ll definitely make it to the next round, but stuff like this is a marathon, not a sprint.
aside from voting for bsb, we should also vote AGAINST one direction for this round. if 1d wins, they’ll be our competitors next round. directioners are formidable — and no strangers to voter fraud. if we can disqualify them now, we have a better chance of making it to the quarterfinals (and maybe even go all the way! i’d love for us to win :D)
sorry again for the unrelated comment to your very well researched post!!
I already tweeted it, so no worries 😊