(Un)Covered: As Long As You Love Me

Backstreet Boys vs The Maine vs Paradise Fears By | January 27, 2016 at 1:30 PM

“As Long As You Love Me”
Writer: Max Martin
Original Release Date: October 1997

Those of us born before the year 2000 will remember, with varying degrees of fondness, the boy bands of the nineties, including the beloved Backstreet Boys. Whether you were swooning over BSB themselves or styling yourself the next Mrs. Justin Timberlake (or maybe even fanning yourself over 98 Degrees), there’s no way you don’t know at least some of the words to the pop classic “As Long As You Love Me”.

Interestingly, there are a couple of different versions of the BSB original. An early mix with slightly different instrumentation was accidentally released on their U.S. debut, Backstreet Boys, in 1997, and wasn’t corrected until the second pressing of the album in 1998.

In December, The Maine released a cover version and, being The Maine, they couldn’t resist putting their own spin on it. The result: a crooning ballad, similar to their “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” cover from Punk Goes Pop 5. With a more languid, plaintive feel, the song is a little more intimate with the acoustic guitar as the most prominent instrument. John O’s voice could charm anyone (or anything) into loving him…as if you didn’t love him already.

While Paradise Fears technically covered Justin Bieber’s song of the same name, they, like any true “children of the nineties”, throw it back by turning the last minute into an ode to the “OS” (which, according them, means “original swaggie”) BSB. It’s a brilliant combination of two pop icons, and the unexpected throwback is what makes the song a delight.

It’s hard to pick who to love the most when it comes to this song. BSB has the advantage of original swaggie-ness, The Maine is a little more swoon-worthy, and Paradise Fears is just plain fun. Choosing your favorite version all depends on what mood you’re in…as long as you love it.

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