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BACKSTREET'S BACK ON THE BLOCK
Here is a look at the U.S. sales of Backstreet Boys' seven albums to-date, according to Nielsen SoundScan:
12,118,000, "Millennium," 1999
10,113,000, "Backstreet Boys," 1997
5,422,000, "Black & Blue," 2000
1,834,000, "The Hits - Chapter One," 2001
759,000, "Never Gone," 2005
199,000, "Unbreakable," 2007
98,000, "This Is Us," 2009
How impressive is the group's legacy? Of the 17 albums that have passed the 10-million mark since SoundScan began tracking U.S. sales in 1991, BSB is the only act to have recorded two such sets. "Millennium" ranks at No. 4 in that span and "Backstreet Boys," No. 17.
With 30.9 million albums sold, Backstreet Boys are the 19th-best-selling album artists in SoundScan history. Among groups, only the Beatles, Metallica, Pink Floyd, U2, AC/DC and Pearl Jam - all rock acts - rank higher.
New Kids on the Block's heyday predates the advent of SoundScan, but the group has garnered three multi-Platinum RIAA certifications: "New Kids on the Block" and "Step by Step" (three-times each) and "Hangin' Tough" (eight-times).
With 11 Billboard 200 top 10s between them, the boy bands team up for "NKOTBSB," due May 24. The set will sport five hits from each group and two new joint recordings, "All in My Head" and first single "Don't Turn Out the Lights," which reached No. 14 on the Hot 100's Bubbling Under chart last month.
The groups' collaborative North American tour kicks off two days later in Rosemont, Ill., and wraps Aug. 7 in London, Ont. Included in the trek is a June 11 concert at Fenway Park in the New Kids' hometown of Boston.
Boy band fever seems alive and well, at least per the audience response at last night's staging of "Wonderland," which I attended, at New York's Marquis Theatre. Some of the evening's loudest applause followed the song "One Knight" (at 3:29 in, above), a playful send-up of boy bands' trademark harmonies (and gyrations).