As Long as You Love Me (Backstreet Boys song)

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"As Long as You Love Me"
The band is seen staring at the birds-eye view camera above them on a staircase. The song's title and artist are displayed above them.
Single by Backstreet Boys
from the album Backstreet's Back (int'l), Backstreet Boys (US)
B-side"Every Time I Close My Eyes"
ReleasedSeptember 29, 1997
RecordedMay 1997
Studio
  • Parc, Orlando, Florida, U.S.
  • Cheiron, Stockholm, Sweden
GenrePop
Length
  • 3:40 (Album Version)
  • 3:32 (Radio Version)
Label
Songwriter(s)Max Martin
Producer(s)
Backstreet Boys singles chronology
"Everybody (Backstreet's Back)"
(1997)
"As Long as You Love Me"
(1997)
"All I Have to Give"
(1998)
Backstreet Boys US singles chronology
"Quit Playing Games (with My Heart)"
(1997)
"As Long as You Love Me"
(1997)
"Everybody (Backstreet's Back)"
(1998)
Music video
"As Long as You Love Me" on YouTube

"As Long as You Love Me" is a song by American boy band Backstreet Boys. It was released as the second single from their debut album Backstreet Boys in the United States and Backstreet's Back internationally. It was released on September 29, 1997, internationally and on October 21, 1997, in the United States. It is one of the band's biggest hits and considered one of their signature songs.

It peaked at number one in New Zealand and the Philippines, number two in Australia and Austria, number three in the United Kingdom, number four in Switzerland and Sweden, and number five in the Netherlands and Norway.

Background[edit]

In an interview with Billboard, AJ McLean noted that he was initially meant to sing the song's bridge, while Brian Littrell and Nick Carter would both sing the verses. However, he had been infected with strep throat, and was subsequently replaced with Littrell, whose vocals were featured on the album and single.[1] The song was a last-minute addition to the album, as Clive Calder, then-chairman of Zomba, heard the song and called Jive Records president Barry Weiss, who then contacted the band's manager, Johnny Wright.[2]

Due to an error on the part of someone in the production chain, an early mix of "As Long As You Love Me" was included on Backstreet's Back and the 1997 US Backstreet Boys album. The mistake was corrected in the second pressing of the US debut album released in 1998. This allegedly annoyed writer and producer Max Martin. This early version subsequently became the version released as a single to radio and video. It has different instrumentation and mixing, as well as a slightly different structure, very similar to their previous US single, "Quit Playing Games (with My Heart)". The final version is usually listed as the "Radio" or "Video Version".[citation needed]

Critical reception[edit]

Stephen Thomas Erlewine from AllMusic stated that "As Long as You Love Me" "would have sounded perfect in any era".[3] He also praised the song's slick production, which he described "as irresistible as teen pop can be".[4]

Commercial performance[edit]

"As Long as You Love Me" was never released as a commercial single in the US but became an MTV staple and radio airplay hit. It spent 56 weeks on the US Billboard Hot 100 Airplay chart, peaking at #4. Due to the Billboard Hot 100 being off-limits to non-commercial singles at the time, including "As Long As You Love Me", it did not chart on the main chart.[citation needed]

The single has sold over 530,000 copies in the United Kingdom.[5]

Music video[edit]

Background[edit]

The music video was filmed at the Royal Laundry Complex (pictured in 2013)

The music video was directed by Nigel Dick and filmed on June 15, 1997, in Pasadena, California.[1] AJ McLean learnt the lyrics of the song on the day of the shoot, as he was initially meant to sing the song's bridge. Six ladies were chosen for the video, with the number chosen to ensure that they would not appear to be matched up with the band members.[6] One of the ladies, Donna, was played by Leighanne Wallace, whom Littrell ultimately married in 2000.[1] As of June 2020, the music video has over 264 million views on YouTube.[7]

Synopsis[edit]

The music video begins with the Backstreet Boys auditioning before six ladies. The ladies named Donna, Jana, Linda, Fatima, Gina, and Nina videotape the performances and take notes. The band members primarily sing and dance, with each member performing in a short "screen test" vignette in which they dress up in a costume and perform various unusual activities. During the bridge, they switch places with the ladies and have them perform screen tests. The positions reverse again towards the end of the song. The choreography uses folding chairs. There are special effects utilized in the video, most notably morphing sequences, where the face of one member morphs into another's. There are also quick dissolves or straight cuts between footage of the members each doing the chair routine in the same exact position of the set. The cuts cause a working fan in the background to appear to stutter in its spin.

Cover versions[edit]

The Netherlands retro rock band The Kik recorded a live version in Dutch ("Als jij maar van mij houdt") in the 3FM studio, using only CASIO keyboards. Radio DJ Giel Beelen subsequently asked the band to release their version as a single.[8]

In 2019, the duo La Folie and singer Jordi Ninus recorded a version in Catalan of this song, under the title "Si em dius que m’estimes" ("If you say you love me"), for the CD edited by La Marató de TV3, a telethon devoted to raise funds for the research of incurable diseases.[9][10]

Track listing[edit]

Charts[edit]

Certifications[edit]

Certifications and sales for "As Long as You Love Me"
Region Certification Certified units/sales
Australia (ARIA)[61] 3× Platinum 210,000double-dagger
Belgium (BEA)[62] Gold 25,000*
Netherlands (NVPI)[63] Gold 50,000^
New Zealand (RMNZ)[64] Platinum 10,000*
Sweden (GLF)[65] Platinum 30,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[66] Platinum 600,000double-dagger

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone
double-daggersales+streaming figures based on certification alone

References[edit]

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  3. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Backstreet Boys – The Hits: Chapter One". AllMusic. Retrieved November 10, 2020.
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