"Everybody (Backstreet's Back)" is the first single from the Backstreet Boys' second international album Backstreet's Back in 1997, and the fourth single and fourth track from their debut US album in 1998. The US debut was originally released without the song, which references the band's return via their second international album. However, once it was decided to release the single in the US, the album was re-released with "Everybody" included.
Zomba chairman Clive Calder suggested the song as a single, but Jive president Barry Weiss thought it would be weird to have a song called "Backstreet's Back" on the band's first US album. The band suggested it could just mean that they were back home. After Canadian markets began playing the song, US markets near the border began picking the song up. The band met with Weiss and asked that the song be added to the US album after the first million units had already been produced. Written by Max Martin and Denniz PoP, "Everybody" is one of the Backstreet Boys' most successful singles to date, reaching #4 in the US Billboard Hot 100, running 22 weeks, and #3 in the UK Singles Chart. It is certified platinum in the United States with 2.1 million sales.
There are two versions of the song. The international album features the album or 7" version, which is the standard recording. The U.S. album features the extended version of the song which includes an extended breakdown section, but cuts the bridge. The music video for the song was cut to both versions of the song, with the extended video released to the U.S. market, and the standard video released everywhere else. In late August 2012, Backstreet Boys member Nick Carter revealed via Twitter that the group was recording the song in Spanish, and it might be featured in their eighth studio record for Latin markets.
The Joseph Kahn-directed music video for "Everybody" plays as a parody of the horror film genre in the same light as Michael Jackson's "Thriller". It was filmed from June 16–18, 1997 in Los Angeles, California. It debuted outside the United States in July 1997. The concept of the video came from the band itself. The label did not get behind the concept of the band in costumes or the large budget requirements, and did not believe MTV would respect the video. The band ultimately had to put up its own money to shoot the video and had to fight with the label to get reimbursed once it was successful. The video ranked at #76 of "MuchMusic's 100 Best Videos." The Backstreet Boys also performed this song at the 1998 MTV Video Music Awards.
The Boys, with Howie in front, as they prepare to leave the haunted house.
The video is bookended by scenes framing the context: When their bus breaks down, the band's driver (Antonio Fargas) insists that the group spend a night at a nearby haunted house while he gets help. It then shows Brian preparing to sleep in one of the bedrooms. As he is in bed, he pulls out a scary animal from under the covers, making him scream in horror. The musical portion of the video plays as a dream sequence in which each band members appears as a different movie monster: Brian as a werewolf; Howie as Dracula; Nick as a mummy; A.J. as Erik, the Phantom of the Opera; and Kevin as Two-Face-like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Little to known fact, the video takes place in the very same home that Christina Ricci starred in the movie "Casper." The boys, as monsters, mainly appear in their own individual vignettes related to their character, while the band as a group appears in the foyer of the house dressed in centuries-old clothing, performing a dance routine with a group of additional dancers. SupermodelJosie Maran appeared as Howie's companion in his vignette. Following the song, the boys meet up in the foyer, each one having dreamed themselves as monsters. They resolve to leave, but are terrified by the sight of their driver standing at the front door with the appearance of Frankenstein's monster. There are two cuts of the video; one for the US market, and one for the international market, each of which features the edit of the song released on the album for that market. The international video cuts from the opening bookend to the first verse. The bridge of the song is intact and the first half of the dance routine, a ballroom dance portion, is intercut with the vignettes under it. This leads into the second half of the dance portion during the final choruses of the song which are not intercut with the vignettes. In the US cut, the ballroom half of the dance routine and the beginning of the second half are used at the start of the song during the first rhythm-only breakdown, and is not intercut with the vignettes. The second breakdown, which replaces the bridge, is accompanied only by shots from the vignettes, along with some shots of Brian's Wolfman character doing some tumbling moves in the foyer and in the various vignettes. When the final choruses begin, the second half of the dance routine is shown again from the start, but is intercut with vignette scenes. Most of the remainder of the video is cut identically, other than several minor instances of alternate scenes or takes being used. The dance floor in the video was painted on June 17, 1997. At the end, Brian wakes up, looks in his bed to see nothing, and realizes that he had a nightmare. As he tells Howie about his dream, he and the other guys tell each other that they had a dream as well and described what they were. Howie insists that they leave, but they are stopped at the front to see a scary creature is in place of the bus driver, making the Backstreet Boys scream in terror.
Also in the same year, Matthew Wilkening of AOL Radio ranked the song at #43 on the list of the 100 Worst Songs Ever while criticizing the band with, "You wrote a theme song about yourself? What are you, a fictional band from a Saturday morning cartoon show?"
^"Nick Carter twitter update". August 28, 2012. Retrieved August 29, 2012. We are recording backstreets back in Spanish. Omg what's going on! Maybe well put it on the new record for Latin markets. En español