How many times have you listened to ‘I Want It That Way’ by the Backstreet Boys and thought, “what the fuck are they going on about?” Every time, right? What they sing is so full of contradicting lines, you just can’t work it out. Well, thankfully, the group themselves have now confirmed that it makes no sense whatsoever.
Taking part in a fan phone-in on ‘Watch What Happens Live With Andy Cohen’, the band were asked: “In your song ‘I Want It That Way’, why do you sing ‘I never want to hear you say/I want it that way’? What way do you not want it to be?”
“First of all, the song makes no sense”, replied AJ McLean. He then admitted that this was something they’d known all along, and that they’d even considered rectifying it in the studio.
“There was a completely different version of the song that actually made sense”, he went on. “Thankfully we decided to go back to the one that didn’t make sense. I don’t think the song would have been as big as it was had it made sense”.
So, there you go pop songwriters. Today’s top tip: If you want a hit, don’t not rewrite some or none of the words of it.