Larger than Life (song)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
"Larger than Life"
Larger than Life BSB single cover.jpg
Single by Backstreet Boys
from the album Millennium
B-side"If You Knew What I Knew"
ReleasedSeptember 3, 1999
FormatCD
RecordedNovember 1998; August 1999 (remix)
StudioCheiron Studios (Stockholm)[1][2]
Genre
Length3:52
LabelJive
Songwriter(s)
Producer(s)
  • Kristian Lundin
  • Max Martin
  • Rami
Backstreet Boys singles chronology
"I Want It That Way"
(1999)
"Larger than Life"
(1999)
"Show Me the Meaning of Being Lonely"
(1999)
Music video
"Larger than Life" on YouTube

"Larger than Life" is a song by American boy band Backstreet Boys, released on September 3, 1999 as the second single from their third studio album, Millennium. It was written by band member Brian Littrell with Max Martin and Kristian Lundin, who also produced the song along with Rami Yacoub. The song is a "thank you" for their fans' encouragement and devotion. Music critics praised its memorable melody, singalong lyrics and the band's vocal performance. It was also on Blender's list of the 500 Greatest Songs Since You Were Born.[3]

Commercially, the song became a top-ten hit in over 14 countries. The music video, directed by Joseph Kahn, holds a Guinness World Record for the 14th most expensive music video with estimated production costs of over $2,100,000 USD. It also broke the record for longest running #1 on MTV's Total Request Live.

Background[edit]

"Larger than Life" was originally written and composed sometime in 1998 by group member Brian Littrell. When the group traveled to Sweden in early November 1998 to record at Cheiron Studios, alterations and additions were later made to the lyrics by the producers Max Martin and Kristian Lundin. "Larger than Life" was initially registered and copyrighted in December 1998 as an unfinished demo, not being released on Millennium preview snippets.[4]

Prior to February 1999, in order to traditionally follow up the template of releasing upbeat numbers as lead singles (i.e. "We've Got It Goin' On", "Everybody"), "Larger than Life" was intended as the first single from the upcoming album. However, the decision changed upon hearing the completed version of "I Want It That Way" in a meeting with Max Martin and Andreas Carlsson in February 1999.[4] Thus, plans were canceled and "Larger than Life" was later released as the second single.[5]

Composition and lyrics[edit]

"Larger than Life" was written by band member Brian Littrell, with additional lyrics by Max Martin and Kristian Lundin. Lundin also produced the song,[6] while Martin and Rami Yacoub produced its "Video Mix" version.[7] The song opens with a boisterous talkbox and AJ McLean’s maniacal "yeah", setting an exhilarated tone. Brian Littrell starts singing, "I may run and hide/When you're screamin’ my name alright/But let me tell ya now there are prices to fame alright."[8] In the chorus, they sing about how having legions of fans has changed their lives, "All you people can't ya see can't ya see/How your love's affecting our reality/Every time we're down/You can make it right/And that makes you larger than life."[8]

Critical reception[edit]

Stephen Thomas Erlewine of AllMusic, during his review for Millennium, picked the song as a highlight from the album,[9] while in its review for The Hits: Chapter One, he wrote that "it may be more tied to its era, but "Larger than Life" is infectious pop nonetheless."[10] Jim Farber of Entertainment Weekly wrote that the song casts "fans as the superhuman force in the exchange between listener and star".[11]

Emily Exton of VH1 listed the song at number 16 on The 20 Best Backstreet Boys Songs list, writing: "Such an introspective look at 'the prices of fame' surely deserves a second chapter dedicated to the social media era. Now that we’re older, can Nick please reveal the 'other' way he wishes he could thank us?."[12] Danielle Sweeney of The Celebrity Cafe listed the song at number 5 on the Top 10 Backstreet Boys Songs list, writing that, "This song was BSB’s dedication to all their loyal (and admittedly crazy) fans. Also, it contained the lyric, 'Looking at the crowd and I see your body sway, c'mon / Wishin' I could thank you in a different way, c’mon' which gave fans everywhere the tiniest glimmer of hope."[13]

Commercial performance[edit]

"Larger than Life" was successful in most countries charted. In Australia, the song debuted at number 3, becoming their highest debut on the ARIA Charts, until "Incomplete", which debuted at number-one in 2005.[14] In its second week, the song fell to number 7, until it reached number 3, its peak position, again, in its third week.[14] It was certified platinum by the Australian Recording Industry Association, for selling over 70,000 copies.[15] In Finland, "Larger than Life" was Backstreet Boys' highest-charting single, debuting and peaking at number 2. In the United Kingdom, the song became the band's eighth consecutive top-five single, peaking at number 5, on October 30, 1999.[16]

In New Zealand, the song peaked at number 11,[17] while in Austria, the song peaked at number 15.[18] In France, the song reached number 58.[19] In the United States, the song peaked at number 25 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.[20] However, the song peaked at number 6 on the Top 40 Mainstream chart.[20] It also reached number 5 in Canada.[20]

Music video[edit]

Background[edit]

The music video for "Larger than Life" was a big-budget production directed by Joseph Kahn,[21] who also directed "Everybody (Backstreet's Back)" video in June 1997. The video was shot on August 12–14, 1999, in Orlando, Florida, on a soundstage at Universal Studios. The video takes place in a futuristic space setting and includes elaborate special effects and animation, as well as a breakdown with a dance number.

Synopsis[edit]

The video opens with a long pass of a spaceship over the top of the camera as a number of the band's past singles cycle through as if on a radio dial. At the same time, a clock turns to the year 3000. A robot, whose face is portrayed by Antonio Fargas, who played the driver in the "Everybody" video, awakens the band members from their sleep in pods on the ship. Each of the band members is subsequently featured in their own separate vignettes (Nick is with the robots, Kevin is the space fighter, Howie is with the dancers, Brian is fighting with a virus, and AJ retrieving boxes of information), while being shown together on a large stage doing a dance routine with backing dancers. A breakdown was added to the remix version of the song before the final choruses for the extended dance sequence which continues to the end of the song. The vignettes are intercut with the dance sequence following the breakdown.

Reception[edit]

The video holds a Guinness World Record for the 14th most expensive music video with estimated production costs of over $2,100,000 USD. John Hamilton of Idolator listed the video at number 3 on their 10 Best Music Videos from the ‘TRL’ Era, writing that, "Showing that they hadn’t lost the funk after all those slow-to-mid-tempo jams, the BSBs busted out this uplifting tribute to their fans, which served as the second single off 1999′s Millennium. Predictably, they scored another TRL chart-topper and sparked an international panty-melting situation."[22]

Track listing[edit]

Charts[edit]

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/sales
Australia (ARIA)[57] 2× Platinum 140,000double-dagger
New Zealand (RMNZ)[58] Gold 5,000*
Sweden (GLF)[59] Gold 15,000^

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone

MAX version[edit]

"バラ色の日々"
Barairo no Hibi"
MAX baraironohibi.jpg
Single by MAX
from the album Emotional History
B-side"Wired"
ReleasedSeptember 6, 2000
FormatCD single
GenrePop
Length3:54
LabelAvex Trax
Songwriter(s)Yuko Ebine, Max Martin, Kristian Lundin, Brian Litrell
Producer(s)Max Matsuura
MAX singles chronology
"Magic"
(2000)
"バラ色の日々"
Barairo no Hibi
"
(2000)
"Always Love"
(2001)

"Barairo no Hibi" (バラ色の日々) is a Japanese language cover of "Larger than Life" by Japanese girl group, MAX. The song is their 18th single and fourth from their album, Emotional History (2001). It features an additional writing credit from Yuko Ebine who wrote completely new lyrics for the song. Upon release it peaked at #11[60] breaking MAX's string of consecutive top 10 singles beginning with "Seventies" in 1996.

First press copies of the single came with a bonus track: "Barairo no Hibi (Bless Beat Mix)".

Track listing[edit]

# Title Songwriters Time
1. "Barairo no Hibi" Yuko Ebine, Max Martin, Kristian Lundin, Brian Litrell 3:54
2. "Wired" Akira 4:49
3. "Barairo no Hibi" (Instrumental) Martin, Lundin, Litrell 3:53
4. "Wired" (Instrumental) Akira 4:47

Chart performance[edit]

Oricon Weekly Singles Chart
Peak First week Total Chart run
11[60] 45,630[61] 74,920 5[60]

Personnel[edit]

  • Executive producer: Johnny Taira
  • Produced by Max Matsuura
  • Co-produced by Junichi "Randy" Tsuchiya
  • Chief director: Vanity Maekawa
  • Director: Toshio Fujiwara
  • Assistant director: Kenichiro Kimura
  • Mixed and recorded by Shinichi Usui
  • Recorded by Yasushi Shiota
  • Mastered by Yuka Koizumi
  • Promotion: Takashi Kasuga, Yukio Takemura, Akira Kobayashi, Seiji Fukugawa

Art direction and design[edit]

  • Art direction and design: Katsuhito Tadokoro
  • Photography: Sunao Ohmori
  • Stylist: Akarumi Someya
  • Hair & make-up: Maki Tawa
  • Creative coordinator: Hayato Mori

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Star Tribune Archives". Nl.newsbank.com. 1998-11-17. Retrieved 2012-04-08.
  2. ^ Cecilia Hahne (1998-11-05). "Aftonbladet nöje: Fansen fångade Backstreet Boys". .aftonbladet.se. Retrieved 2012-04-08.
  3. ^ "Blender's 500 Greatest Songs Since You Were Born: 300-251". Archived from the original on April 10, 2009. Retrieved June 27, 2012.CS1 maint: unfit url (link)
  4. ^ a b Backstreet Boys: The Official Book. United States: Delacorte Books for Young Readers. July 5, 2000. p. 25. ISBN 0312261144.
  5. ^ "Amazon.com: Larger than Life - Single, Import: Music". Amazon.com. Retrieved February 5, 2014.
  6. ^ Millenium (liner notes). Backstreet Boys. Jive Records. 1999.CS1 maint: others (link)
  7. ^ Larger Than Life (liner notes). Backstreet Boys. Jive Records. 1999.CS1 maint: others (link)
  8. ^ a b "The Bland Is Out There > Music Review: Backstreet Boys "Larger Than Life"". The Bland Is Out There. December 19, 2013. Retrieved February 5, 2014.
  9. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Millennium: Backstreet Boys". AllMusic. Archived from the original on 2010-09-23. Retrieved 2011-08-27.
  10. ^ Thomas Erlewine, Stephen (October 23, 2001). "The Hits: Chapter One - Backstret Boys - AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved January 30, 2014.
  11. ^ Farber, Jim (21 May 1999). "Millennium Review". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 28 June 2012.
  12. ^ Exton, Emily (August 2, 2013). "Everybody Groove To The Music: The 20 Best Backstreet Boys Songs". VH1. Retrieved February 1, 2014.
  13. ^ Sweeney, Danielle (June 20, 2013). "Top 10 Backstreet Boys Songs - The Celebrity Cafe". The Celebrity Cafe. Retrieved February 1, 2014.
  14. ^ a b c "Australian-charts.com – Backstreet Boys – Larger Than Life". ARIA Top 50 Singles. Retrieved November 14, 2013.
  15. ^ "ARIA Charts - Accreditations - 1999 Singles". ARIA Charts. Retrieved February 5, 2014.
  16. ^ "Backstreet Boys - Artist - Official Charts". The Official Charts Company. Retrieved February 4, 2014.
  17. ^ a b "Charts.nz – Backstreet Boys – Larger Than Life". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved November 8, 2013.
  18. ^ a b "Austriancharts.at – Backstreet Boys – Lager Than Life" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40. Retrieved November 14, 2013.
  19. ^ a b "Lescharts.com – Backstreet Boys – Larger Than Life" (in French). Les classement single. Retrieved November 8, 2013.
  20. ^ a b c d "Millenium - Backstreet Boys - Awards - Allmusic". Allmusic. Retrieved February 4, 2014.
  21. ^ "Archives - OrlandoSentinel.com". Pqasb.pqarchiver.com. August 15, 1999. Archived from the original on November 26, 2015. Retrieved April 8, 2012.
  22. ^ Hamilton, John (July 26, 2013). "Backstreet Boys' 10 Best Music Videos From The 'TRL' Era". Idolator. Retrieved February 6, 2014.
  23. ^ "Images for Backstreet Boys - Larger than Life". Discogs.com. Retrieved 2012-04-08.
  24. ^ "Ultratop.be – Backstreet Boys – Larger Than Life" (in Dutch). Ultratip. Retrieved November 30, 2013.
  25. ^ "Ultratop.be – Backstreet Boys – Larger Than Life" (in French). Ultratop 50. Retrieved November 16, 2013.
  26. ^ "Top RPM Singles: Issue 7279." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved June 2, 2017.
  27. ^ "Top RPM Adult Contemporary: Issue 7842." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved November 12, 2018.
  28. ^ "Top RPM Dance/Urban: Issue 10006." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved June 19, 2020.
  29. ^ a b "Billboard - Google Books". Google Books. Retrieved February 4, 2014.
  30. ^ "Backstreet Boys: Larger Than Life" (in Finnish). Musiikkituottajat – IFPI Finland. Retrieved November 8, 2013.
  31. ^ "Offiziellecharts.de – Backstreet Boys – Larger Than Life". GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved November 8, 2013.
  32. ^ "Top 10 Hungary" (PDF). Music & Media. Retrieved June 27, 2018.
  33. ^ "Íslenski Listinn Topp 20 (14.10 – 21.10 1999)". Dagblaðið Vísir (in Icelandic). October 15, 1999. Retrieved October 6, 2019.
  34. ^ "The Irish Charts – Search Results – Larger Than Life". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved November 12, 2018.
  35. ^ "Top National Sellers" (PDF). Music & Media. Vol. 16 no. 43. October 23, 1999. p. 13. Retrieved November 28, 2019.
  36. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – week 41, 1999" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40 Retrieved November 12, 2018.
  37. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Backstreet Boys – Larger Than Life" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved November 8, 2013.
  38. ^ "Norwegiancharts.com – Backstreet Boys – Larger Than Life". VG-lista. Retrieved November 8, 2013.
  39. ^ "Official Scottish Singles Sales Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved November 12, 2018.
  40. ^ "Spanishcharts.com – Backstreet Boys – Larger Than Life" Canciones Top 50. Retrieved November 8, 2013.
  41. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – Backstreet Boys – Larger Than Life". Singles Top 100. Retrieved November 8, 2013.
  42. ^ "Swisscharts.com – Backstreet Boys – Larger Than Life". Swiss Singles Chart. Retrieved November 8, 2013.
  43. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved November 12, 2018.
  44. ^ "Official Independent Singles Chart Top 50". Official Charts Company. Retrieved November 12, 2018.
  45. ^ "Backstreet Boys Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved April 21, 2017.
  46. ^ "Backstreet Boys Chart History (Pop Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved April 21, 2017.
  47. ^ "Backstreet Boys Chart History (Rhythmic)". Billboard. Retrieved April 21, 2017.
  48. ^ "ARIA Charts - End Of Year Charts - Top 100 Singles 1999". ARIA Charts. Retrieved February 4, 2014.
  49. ^ "1999 Belgian (Wallonia) Singles Chart". Ultratop. Retrieved February 4, 2014.
  50. ^ "RPM 1999 Top 100 Hit Tracks". RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved November 12, 2018.
  51. ^ "RPM 1999 Top 100 Adult Contemporary". RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved November 12, 2018.
  52. ^ "Top 100 Single-Jahrescharts" (in German). GfK Entertainment. Retrieved April 21, 2018.
  53. ^ "JAAROVERZICHTEN - SINGLE 1999". Dutch Top 40. Retrieved February 4, 2014.
  54. ^ "End of Year Charts 1999". Recorded Music NZ. Retrieved November 21, 2019.
  55. ^ "Romanian Top 100: Top of the Year 1999" (in Romanian). Romanian Top 100. Archived from the original on January 22, 2005.
  56. ^ "Årslista Singlar – År 1999" (in Swedish). Hitlistan. Archived from the original on October 6, 2014. Retrieved November 28, 2019.
  57. ^ "ARIA Charts - Accreditations - 2020 Singles". ARIA. Retrieved March 19, 2020.
  58. ^ "New Zealand single certifications – Backstreet Boys – Larger Than Life". Recorded Music NZ. Retrieved November 21, 2019.
  59. ^ "Guld- och Platinacertifikat − År 1999" (PDF) (in Swedish). IFPI Sweden. Retrieved November 21, 2019.
  60. ^ a b c "Oricon Data: Barairo no Hibi".
  61. ^ "Oricon Weekly Singles Chart: 09/18/2000".

External links[edit]