I’ve been meaning to work on this project for quite some time now. Even back in 2008, when I was working at AOL, I felt like pushing this feature out for the portal I worked at – but I felt other than me, nobody else would care. Last week I said: “Screw it, I’m doing it… even if it gets taken down on copyright violation claims!”
As a kid growing up in the ’90s in Bahrain, I was quite literally raised on radio. I couldn’t think of a day I didn’t switch on to listen to Radio Bahrain, which played a lot of UK chart music back then. I also began reading pop magazines like Smash Hits and buying cassettes of albums I liked.
By the mid-to-late 90s, Backstreet Boys and ‘N Sync were very much a part of the pop music business. Whenever I went through the inlay cards of the albums I bought, I kept seeing some common names when reading the song credits, and Max Martin was one of them. The others were (his mentor) Dennis Pop, Kristian Lundin, Rami Yacoub, Andreas Carlsson and Per Magnusson – to name a few. Mind you, there are other co-writers and co-producers who deserve a mention, but I can’t list them all!
I won’t get into his whole bio – you have Wikipedia for that – but consider this: chances are you haven’t heard of Max Martin, but you have heard his music!
So here’s my video tribute to Swedish producer and songwriter Martin Samberg – or Max Martin as he likes to call himself. Why? Here’s why:
Now, I know some of you maybe thinking “Man, you got the chronology all wrong”. But I didn’t. I just went with the years I first heard the songs. In particular Backstreet Boys and ‘N Sync – both of whom debuted in Europe and Asia long before they struck gold (and multi-platinum) back in their home country. For example, ‘Backstreet’s Back‘ (the 2nd album) was never released in America because by the time “Quit Playing With My Heart” (the last single from the first album) gained airplay in the US, Backstreet Boys were already superstars in Europe and Asia. So when it came time to release a first album in America, they merged both their debut album and the second album into one.
‘N Sync debuted in Europe with “Here We Go” all the way back in 1996, but it wasn’t until 1998 “I Want You Back” got a music video makeover and was released as the first single for ‘N Sync’s American debut.
Also, in case people were wondering where I stood: ‘N Sync > Backstreet Boys.
Sorry, I still like them, believe in ‘KTBSPA‘and look forward to their new album next year (in which I hope to see a Max Martin contribution)… but somehow ‘N Sync had the ‘it’ factor. Kind of like with One Direction over The Wanted now.
Oh yeah, about the quality of the video. Sorry, I know it’s 2012 and 480p is so 2006, but I had to download all the videos off of YouTube, convert them from .flv to .m4v just so iMovie ’09 would open them. And some of these videos are pretty old (heck, most weren’t even in widescreen format). I’m no pro editor, I created the whole thing in a few days using a hand-me-down Macbook Pro I just got recently. So pardon the amateur cuts. I tried my best.
I know there were other hits I missed but I could only cram as much in under 15 minutes. I left out Celine Dion’s ‘One Heart,’ will.i.am’s “This Is Love” and Adam Lambert’s “Whataya Want From Me” just to make space for the others. Again, if you want Max Martin’s entire discography, check Wiki or Maratone.se (Max Martin’s own studio).
If you guys have any other feedback, or would just love to chat about the good ‘ole late ’90s, gladly leave a comment below!
P.S: Here’s that last image I used, in case you didn’t get to read it all:
P.P.S: Ha ha, a viewer of my video just shared this video of Max Martin’s old band ‘It’s Alive':