Backstreet Boys have just topped Billboard’s Adult Contemporary chart with their version of the Wham! holiday classic “Last Christmas.” The video, which shows them recording the song, has racked up nearly 4 million views since it came out a month ago. But when you watch the video, keep in mind that the guys didn’t just happen to arrive at the studio wearing cute winter sweaters and cozy caps — the whole thing’s a clever reenactment.
“We wanted to do something that was kind of different,” Backstreet’s Howie Dorough tells ABC Audio. “I mean, it’s very hard to top George Michael‘s video with the snow and, you know, the log cabin and stuff like that.” He’s not wrong: The original clip from George and his Wham! bandmate Andrew Ridgeley is almost a mini movie, filmed at a resort cabin in the snowy Swiss Alps.
“So, we went around with a bunch of different concepts,” Howie continues. “And then finally we just said, ‘You know what? Why don’t we just make this ‘the making of the song?"” The group went back to the footage they’d shot of themselves in the studio, but quickly realized it wouldn’t work because they recorded the album in June and July.
“Everybody pretty much overall felt like we weren’t in the best looks for that,” Howie laughs. “We … were, like, in shorts and, y’know, in LA in the summertime. So it didn’t really give us exactly the Christmas spirit … so we went back in and recreated the … making [of] that song.”
Cue the sweaters and knit caps — plus a bunch of footage of the guys shooting their album cover and promotional photos, with snow, a Christmas tree, a fireplace and other seasonal props.
“I’ve really come to feel we did justice with it, now,” Howie notes.
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