Show Me the Meaning of Being Lonely

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"Show Me the Meaning of Being Lonely"
Single by Backstreet Boys
from the album Millennium
B-side "I'll Be There For You" "You Wrote The Book On Love"
Released December 21, 1999
Format CD Single
Recorded October–November 1998
Cheiron Studios,
Polar Studios
(Stockholm, Sweden)
Genre Pop, R&B, Latin pop
Length 3:55
Label Jive
Writer(s) Max Martin, Herbie Crichlow
Producer(s) Max Martin, Kristian Lundin
Backstreet Boys singles chronology
"Larger than Life"
(1999)
"Show Me the Meaning of Being Lonely"
(1999)
"The One"
(2000)
Music sample
A sample from "Show Me the Meaning of Being Lonely" by Backstreet Boys

"Show Me the Meaning of Being Lonely" is a song by American boy band Backstreet Boys, taken from their third studio album, Millennium (1999). Written by Max Martin and Herbie Crichlow, with production by Martin and Kristian Lundin, "Show Me the Meaning of Being Lonely" is a sad, pop and R&B ballad, with Latin pop influences, about missing someone that you love and asking the meaning of living a lonely life.

Jive Records selected the track to be released as the third single from the album, on December 21, 1999. It received generally favorable reviews from music critics, who commended the lush orchestration, its melody and the group's vocal performance. It has also experienced success on the charts, reaching the top-ten in most countries it charted, also peaking at number 3 on the UK Singles Chart and number 6 on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart.

The music video for the track was released on 1999's New Year's Eve and was directed by Stuart Gosling. It follows each of the band members in a separate dramatic history, with the band uniting for the video's end. The song also earned a Grammy award nomination during the 43rd Grammy Awards for Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals. This song was also featured on the 2000 compilation album Now That's What I Call Music! 5 (U.S. series).

Background and writing[edit]

"Show Me the Meaning of Being Lonely" was written by Max Martin and Herbie Crichlow, while Martin also produced it with Kristian Lundin. On the November 27, 1999 issue of Billboard Magazine, it was reported that Jive Records selected "Show Me the Meaning of Being Lonely" as Millennium's third single.[1] The song received a CD Single on January 11, 2000.[2]

"Show Me the Meaning of Being Lonely" is a pop and R&B ballad,[3] with Latin pop influences. Lyrically, the song deals with heartbreak and how the protagonist is dealing with loneliness. "Show me the meaning of being lonely/Is this the feeling I need to walk with/Tell me why I can't be there where you are/There's something missing in my heart," they sing in the chorus.[4]

Reception[edit]

Critical[edit]

The song received acclaim from most music critics. Stephen Thomas Erlewine of Allmusic picked the song as a standout track on the album.[5] While reviewing their compilation, The Hits: Chapter One (2001), Erlewine wrote that "the rest of the singles that fill out the compilation aren't quite as good as 'I Want It That Way,' 'As Long As You Love Me,' 'Quit Playing Games (With My Heart),' 'Everybody (Backstreet's Back)' and 'Larger Than Life' (although 'Show Me the Meaning of Being Lonely' is)."[6] Arion Berger of Rolling Stone commented that the song "digs its melodic claws into your skull on the first listen — it's the swooniest blending of the five vocalists' timbres to date, and mighty pretty besides."[7]

Chuck Taylor of Billboard named it a "keepsake ballad that will have the quintet's loyal legions panting over their loss and loneliness." Taylor also called it "a beautifully produced anthem," and praised its melody, writing that, "it will instantly lock itself into the pop culture consciousness." Taylor finished his review, writing that the single is "the best ballad of the season and a sure-fine way to return the Boys to full glory."[3]

Commercial[edit]

"Show Me the Meaning of Being Lonely" was a success on the charts, reaching the top-ten in most countries it charted. In the United States, the song debuted at number 74 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart[8] while on the issue of March 18, 2000, the song peaked at number 6,[9] remaining at the peak position for two further weeks.[10] In other Billboard component charts, the song also succeeded, topping the Top 40 Mainstream chart and reaching number 2 on the Hot Adult Contemporary Tracks.[11] In Canada, the song topped the RPM chart,[12] while reaching number 8 on the Canadian Hot 100 chart.[11]

In the United Kingdom, "Show Me the Meaning of Being Lonely" peaked at number 3, becoming their last single to reach the top-three and seventeenth top-ten single.[13] The song became a success in countries like the Netherlands, New Zealand, Sweden and Switzerland, reaching number 2.[14] It also reached the top-ten in Austria, Belgium, Finland, Germany, Ireland, Italy and Norway.[15] It only performed moderately in Australia, where it reached number 19, becoming their lowest charting-single since "Quit Playing Games (With My Heart)" (1997).[16]

Accolades[edit]

"Show Me the Meaning of Being Lonely" was nominated for a Grammy award on the 43rd ceremony for Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals, but lost it to Steely Dan's "Cousin Dupree".[17] Emily Exton of VH1 placed the song at number 7 on their "20 Backstreet Boys Songs" list, writing that the song is "a more mature sound that showcased Kevin’s vocals instead of mostly his dark and mysterious looks. Here the Boys tackle grief surprisingly well, without pouring on too much schmaltz or over-complicating things."[18] Danielle Sweeney of The Celebrity Cafe also placed it at number 7 on her "Top 10 Backstreet Boys Songs", writing that, "it's their most emotional song, containing the lyrics, 'how can it be you’re asking me to feel the things you never show?'. Deep, guys."[19]

Music video[edit]

Background and development[edit]

The music video for "Show Me The Meaning of Being Lonely" was directed by Stuart Gosling from December 11–12, 1999 in Los Angeles, CA. It follows each of the band members separately in a sad story, until they unite during the instrumental break and final choruses. The video, somewhat darker in tone than any of the band's previous releases, touches on several of the band's real-life issues. Littrell had undergone open heart surgery the previous year for a defect he has had since birth. The video used actual footage of Richardson and his deceased father. The girl Dorough sees represents his sister, who died a year earlier of the disease Lupus. Additionally, the bus McLean rides is marked for "Denniz St.", and is driven by an actor who resembles Denniz PoP (who passed away in 1998 and produced some Backstreet Boys tracks, besides being the mentor of the song's producer Max Martin).[20] An alternate version of the video was dedicated in his honor.

Synopsis[edit]

The video begins at a hospital, in which Brian Littrell watches doctors try to save a patient, also portrayed by Littrell. A. J. McLean's scenes take place on a coach bus, mourning the loss of a girl whose photo he carries. He sees her appear on the bus, but she fades away. Kevin Richardson watches an old-age film of himself and his father in an apartment. Nick Carter walks down a city street in the rain and saves a girl from almost being hit by the bus McLean is on. Howie Dorough drinks from a teacup at an old-style bar as a girl in red runs towards him, but fades away before she reaches him. Richardson arrives to meet Dorough and the two leave the building together. McLean's bus arrives, and Littrell exits the hospital. The five band members congregate and begin walking down the street together. Most of the video is shot in a desaturated scheme in which only certain red elements were brightly colored, until the very end of the video when the band walks out of the city into a brightly coloured field.[21]

Track listing[edit]

  1. "Show Me The Meaning Of Being Lonely" - 3:54
  2. "I'll Be There For You" - 4:34
  3. "You Wrote The Book On Love" - 4:38
  • America
Double 12" Vinyl[23]
  1. "Show Me The Meaning Of Being Lonely" (Soul Solution House Of Loneliness Vocal) - 7:22
  2. "Show Me The Meaning Of Being Lonely" (Jason Nevins Crossover Instrumental) - 3:57 [track only, no vocals]
  3. "Show Me The Meaning Of Being Lonely" (Soul Solution Mix Show Version) - 4:12
  4. "Show Me The Meaning Of Being Lonely" (LP Version) - 3:54
  5. "Show Me The Meaning Of Being Lonely" (Jason Nevins Crossover Remix) - 3:55
  6. "Show Me The Meaning Of Being Lonely" (Remix Acapella) - 3:55 [vocals only, no track]
  7. "Show Me The Meaning Of Being Lonely" (Soul Solution House Of Loneliness Dub) - 6:50 [track only, no vocals]
  8. "Show Me The Meaning Of Being Lonely" (Bonus Beats) - 2:55 [track only, no vocals]

Only Tracks 3 & 5 are available in the CD format (on UK CD single #1 and #2 of "The One")

Charts[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Billboard Magazine - November 27, 1999". Billboard Magazine. Google Books. Retrieved April 5, 2014. 
  2. ^ "Backstreet Boys Show Me the Meaning of Being Lonely: Allmusic". Allmusic. Retrieved April 5, 2014. 
  3. ^ a b "Billboard Magazine - January 8, 2000". Billboard Magazine. Google Books. Retrieved April 5, 2014. 
  4. ^ "Show Me The Meaning Of Being Lonely Lyrics Read more: Backstreet Boys - Show Me The Meaning Of Being Lonely Lyrics | MetroLyrics". Metrolyrics. Retrieved April 5, 2014. 
  5. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Millennium: Backstreet Boys". Allmusic. Retrieved 2011-08-27. 
  6. ^ Thomas Erlewine, Stephen (October 23, 2001). "The Hits: Chapter One - Backstret Boys - Allmusic". Allmusic. Retrieved January 30, 2014. 
  7. ^ Berger, Arion (June 10, 1999). "Millennium | Album Reviews | Rolling Stone". Rolling Stone. Retrieved April 5, 2014. 
  8. ^ "Billboard Magazine - January 15, 2000". Billboard Magazine. Google Books. Retrieved April 6, 2014. 
  9. ^ "Billboard Magazine - March 18, 2000". Billboard Magazine. Google Books. Retrieved April 6, 2014. 
  10. ^ "Billboard Magazine - April 1, 2000". Billboard Magazine. Google Books. Retrieved April 6, 2014. 
  11. ^ a b c d e f g h "Backstreet Boys - Awards: Allmusic". Allmusic. Retrieved April 6, 2014. 
  12. ^ a b "Item Display - RPM - Top Singles - Volume 70, No. 18, March 06 2000". RPM (magazine). March 6, 2000. Retrieved April 6, 2014. 
  13. ^ a b "Backstreet Boys - Artist - Official Charts". The Official Charts Company. Retrieved February 4, 2014. 
  14. ^ a b "Charts.org.nz – Backstreet Boys – Show Me the Meaning of Being Lonely". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved March 29, 2014.
  15. ^ a b "Austriancharts.at – Backstreet Boys – Show Me the Meaning of Being Lonely" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40. Retrieved March 29, 2014.
  16. ^ a b "Australian-charts.com – Backstreet Boys – Show Me the Meaning of Being Lonely". ARIA Top 50 Singles. Retrieved March 29, 2014.
  17. ^ "Steely Dan, Eminem, U2, Hill Score At 43rd Grammys". Billboard. February 22, 2001. 
  18. ^ Exton, Emily (August 2, 2013). "Everybody Groove To The Music: The 20 Best Backstreet Boys Songs". VH1. Retrieved April 6, 2014. 
  19. ^ Sweeney, Danielle (June 20, 2013). "Top 10 Backstreet Boys Songs - The Celebrity Cafe". The Celebrity Cafe. Retrieved April 6, 2014. 
  20. ^ "Show Me The Meaning of Being Lonely (Backstreet Boys) Easter Eggs". Eeggs. Retrieved April 6, 2014. 
  21. ^ "Reviews -- January 14, 2000 - Backstreet Boys – Show Me the Meaning of Being Lonely". Emptyv. Retrieved April 6, 2014. 
  22. ^ "Backstreet Boys – Show Me The Meaning Of Being Lonely (CD) at Discogs". Discogs. Retrieved April 6, 2014. 
  23. ^ "Backstreet Boys – Show Me The Meaning Of Being Lonely (Vinyl) at Discogs". Discogs. Retrieved April 6, 2014. 
  24. ^ "Ultratop.be – Backstreet Boys – Show Me the Meaning of Being Lonely" (in Dutch). Ultratip. Retrieved March 29, 2014.
  25. ^ "Ultratop.be – Backstreet Boys – Show Me the Meaning of Being Lonely" (in French). Ultratip. Retrieved March 29, 2014.
  26. ^ "Millennium - Backstreet Boys - Awards: Allmusic". Allmusic. Retrieved April 6, 2014. 
  27. ^ "Billboard - February 19, 2000". Billboard Magazine. Google Books. p. 49. Retrieved April 6, 2014. 
  28. ^ "Backstreet Boys: Show Me the Meaning of Being Lonely" (in Finnish). Musiikkituottajat – IFPI Finland. Retrieved March 29, 2014.
  29. ^ "Chartverfulgong > Backstreet Boys > Show Me the Meaning of Being Lonely – musicline.de" (in German). Media Control Charts. PhonoNet GmbH. Retrieved March 29, 2014.
  30. ^ "The Irish Charts - Search: Backstreet Boys". IRMA. Retrieved April 6, 2014. 
  31. ^ "Italiancharts.com – Backstreet Boys – Show Me the Meaning of Being Lonely". Top Digital Download. Retrieved March 29, 2014.
  32. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – Backstreet Boys search results" (in Dutch) Dutch Top 40. Retrieved March 29, 2014.
  33. ^ "Norwegiancharts.com – Backstreet Boys – Show Me the Meaning of Being Lonely". VG-lista. Retrieved March 29, 2014.
  34. ^ Romanian peak
  35. ^ "Spanishcharts.com – Backstreet Boys – Show Me The Meaning Of Being Lonely" Canciones Top 50.
  36. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – Backstreet Boys – Show Me the Meaning of Being Lonely". Singles Top 60. Retrieved March 29, 2014.
  37. ^ "Swisscharts.com – Backstreet Boys – Show Me the Meaning of Being Lonely". Swiss Singles Chart. Retrieved March 29, 2014.
  38. ^ 2000 Australian Singles Chart. Retrieved April 20, 2010
  39. ^ Ultratop.be 2000 Belgian (Flanders) Singles Chart. Retrieved April 20, 2010
  40. ^ Ultratop.be 2000 Belgian (Wallonia) Singles Chart. Retrieved April 20, 2010
  41. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl - Dutch Charts Portal". Dutch Top 40. Hung Medien. Retrieved April 6, 2014. 
  42. ^ "Billboard - Google Books". Billboard. Retrieved April 6, 2014. 
  43. ^ 2000 German Singles Chart . Retrieved August 27, 2010.
  44. ^ 2000 Italian Singles Chart. Hitparadeitalia.it. Retrieved on 2011-06-29.
  45. ^ Hitparade.ch 2000 Swiss Singles Chart (Retrieved April 20, 2010)
  46. ^ "Billboard Top 100 - 2000". Retrieved 2010-08-31. 

External links[edit]