Backstreet Boys’ ‘Millennium’ at 25: Ranking All the Songs From Worst to Best

Celebrating a larger-than-life classic.

To say that Backstreet Boys’ second album (third internationally) was born out of difficult circumstances would be something of an understatement. Since making their belated U.S. breakthrough with 1997’s Backstreet’s Back, Brian Littrell had undergone open heart surgery, Howie Dorough and Kevin Richardson had both lost close family members, and their early hitmaker Denniz Pop had passed away from stomach cancer. Throw in a bitter legal battle with former manager Lou Pearlman over the millions of dollars he’d reportedly fleeced from them and it’s a wonder Millennium ever saw the light of day.

But as the saying (almost) goes, from great suffering comes record-breaking boy band art. Produced by Max Martin and an army of other Swedish hitmakers who would go on to define the chart landscape over the following decade and beyond, Millennium shifted an astonishing 1.13 million copies in its opening week and would go on to sell 12.3 million copies in the U.S., per Luminate.

Thanks to a string of bona fide teen-pop classics (all four of its singles hit the top 40 of the Billboard Hot 100, with two going top 10), a lengthy world tour and the stars-aligning rise of MTV’s Total Request Live, it spent 10 weeks at the top of the Billboard 200 chart and earned the group four Grammy nominations (including album of the year). It’s still one of the biggest-selling albums of all time.

Just to make any teenyboppers of the late ‘90s feel that little bit older, the unstoppable chart juggernaut is celebrating its 25th anniversary on May 18. So what better time to rank its dozen Y2K offerings from worst to best?