The Backstreet Boys have “wanted it that way” for two decades now.
The iconic hit song “I Want It That Way” was released 20 years ago on Friday, and it’s still unclear exactly what Nick, Howie, AJ, Brian and Kevin wanted and how they wanted it.
The boy band revisited the age-old question in a video on Twitter, posing several theories as to what “it” might be.
Let’s go through them, shall we?
Remember when you could get a Backstreet Boys CD with your Burger King budget meal? Or how you’d buy a kid’s meal just to have one these figurines?
Yeah, 2000 was weird.
So let’s look at the facts.
Burger King did going by the tagline “Have It Your Way” until 2014, meaning the boys would have indeed gotten it “this way” – whatever “that” is.
But the song came out a year before their partnership with the burger chain, so we bet that’s not it.
Yes, fans are still going wild for the Backstreet Boys, if “I Want It That Way” 20th anniversary nostalgia is any indication. And it is possible that the boys appreciated their fans so much that they dedicated the first verse of their song to them, calling them “my fire” and “the only desire”.
But you don’t have to look past the chorus before that one falls apart too. Why would they tell their fans “it’s nothing but heartache” or “it’s nothing but a mistake?”
The song was reportedly recorded with different lyrics at first, so it’s possible the boys liked the original lyrics better.
Andreas Carlsson, a Swedish hitmaker who wrote the lyrics with Max Martin, told music site HitQuarters about the ordeal in 2009:
“‘I Want It That Way’ was a pun,” he said. “When Max came up with the original idea for the song, there was already the line, ‘You are my fire, the only desire.’ We tried a million different variations on the second verse, and in the end we had to go back to what sounded so good, “You are my fire, the only desire.” And then we changed it to “Am I your fire, your only desire”, which made absolutely no sense in combination with the chorus – but everyone loved it!”
So maybe there was never an answer?
Still, Chrissy Teigen nobly set off in search of the truth last year.
“”I never want to hear you say, ‘I want it that way’ because I want it that way”. He doesn’t want to hear it because he’s the one who wants it that way? He wants to be the one who says it?What is it?, the Sports Illustrated swimsuit model asked on Twitter.
The Backstreet Boys responded in their typically elusive way.
“I don’t want to hear you say you want heartaches and mistakes…or be two worlds apart. We don’t want you to want it that way – that’s how it is. that we want it…that you don’t want it that way, they replied.
The world may never know.