The Backstreet Boys first earned success in Europe after release of their first album in late 1995. The U.S. didn't take notice of the group until that album was finally issued for American audiences in 1997. The Backstreet Boys rode the crest of a wave of success for teen-oriented pop music. The group went on an extended hiatus after 2000 and then returned in 2005 with the album Never Gone.
Backstreet Boys (1997) - The debut album for the group is an engaging mix of uptempo dance music and sweet ballads. "(Quit Playing Games) With My Heart" is a good example of the group's yearning ballad style while "Everybody (Backstreet's Back)" shows off the group in dance mode. When the Backstreet Boys finally broke through in the U.S. this album reached #4 on the pop albums chart.
- Millenium (1999) - The Backstreet Boys consolidated their success on this album, their first #1. It features "I Want It That Way," one of the best pop ballads of the 90's. The formula of uptempo material balanced by big ballads stayed very much the same. Other hits included "Show Me the Meaning Of Being Lonely" and "Larger Than Life."
- Black & Blue (2000) - Released at the peak of the group's success, this album debuted at #1 on the pop albums chart. Unfortunately, the albums commercial success was short-lived partially due to intense competition from 'N Sync for the boy band crown. The only major hit from the album was "Shape Of My Heart." The band soon went on hiatus to work on individual projects and for some members of the group to work out personal issues.
- The Hits : Chapter One (2001) - The inevitable greatest hits collection appeared in 2001 collecting the best moments from the first three albums. Many fans feared the group was finished when this set appeared.
- Never Gone (2005) - After a 4 year gap, the Backstreet Boys return. The boys are now men and the music is a bit more adult as well.