Next week Backstreet Boys will release their first greatest-hits package, The Hits: Chapter One, which includes 14 songs from their three studio albums as well as the new single “Drowning,” which features Kevin Richardson on piano. On November 6 they’ll follow with the VHS and DVD release “The Video Hits: Chapter One.”
While the obligatory “best-of” release, is often a signal of creative drought, that’s not the case for Backstreet Boys. The group worked on a batch of new songs on its last tour, which ended October 19 in Las Vegas.
“We had a writing studio and we got five demos done while we were on the road,” Richardson said backstage at the Concert for New York on Saturday. “We’re going to go back into the studio in February to work on the new album.”
In an effort to grow and evolve, the group wants to make its next record less glossy and electronic than its past releases.
“We want to go more organic with the production – live drums, live bass, acoustic guitars,” Richardson said. “One song A.J. [McLean] wrote is called ‘Happy,’ and we definitely want to put that on there.”
Even though McLean recently went through rehab and the world around them shudders on an axis threatened by terrorism, Backstreet Boys will keep crooning about puppy love and heartbreak. After all, Boys will be boys.
“I think now more than ever people want music that lifts them up and makes them happy and makes them forget about their problems,” Richardson said.
Some have theorized that the seriousness of September 11 will be the death knell of sugary pop. Richardson heartily disagrees.
“I don’t think that this is gonna affect the pop movement at all,” he said. “Pop has never gone away throughout all the years. Pop has always been around and it will always be. It’s not an empty kind of music. We have some incredible, deep, heartfelt lyrics and we deliver the vocals with everything we have. As long as artists are really singing when they step on that stage, then pop will live on.”
Backstreet Boys recently canceled their October 20 performance in San Diego in order to perform at the Concert for New York.
The Track List For The Hits: Chapter One, According To The Group’s Publicist: