• Share
  • Tweet
  • Share
Backstreet Boys, 1995

The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images

They were our fire; our one desire. We believed them when they said that they wanted it that way—which way we didn't know, but it was definitely that way—and we were cool with it...

It's been 20 years exactly since the Backstreet Boys told us to rock our bodies because they were back (even though we'd never noticed they were gone because we'd never heard of them before) in their U.S. debut album Backstreet's Back and a boy band revolution began. 

In the summer of 1997, the five "boys," Nick Carter, A.J. McLean, Brian Littrell, Howie Dorough and Kevin Richardson, shot to superstardom seemingly overnight, when in actuality the crew of cuties had formed in 1993 and had been touring up a storm in Europe and blowing up the charts across the pond for the past couple of years.

It wasn't until '97, when teens in the U.S. heard the BSB's sounds and the crew of young hitmakers took over airwaves in the States with their faux bad-boy, bubblegum pop tunes.

With their love of oversized t-shirts, primary colors, too-cool Kangol hats and baggy overalls, did the '90s make the Backstreet Boys or did the Backstreet Boys make the '90s? We'll never know.

But take a stroll down memory lane (the outfits are larger than life) and look through 20 epic flashback photos of the boys, who, 20 years ago, made you feel like it didn't matter if you did your homework and failed out of school, as long as you loved them (and we did). 

Backstreet Boys, 1995

Tim Roney/Getty Images

Looking like wholesome kids, the Backstreet Boys turned on their smiles for a photographer in 1995.

Backstreet Boys, 1997

Larry Busacca/Getty Images

The boys showed their tough stuff in 1997.

Backstreet Boys, 1997 Billboard Music Awards

Steve Granitz/WireImage

Gone are the colorful outfits and in is the leather ensembles. The boys showed off a sleeker style at the 1997 Billboard Awards.

Backstreet Boys, 1995

The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images

Layering up with colorful sweaters, the boys pitch in for Nickelodeon's the Big Help in 1995.

Backstreet Boys, 1995

The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images

Looking fresh faced, the boys gave good face to a photog back in 1995.

Backstreet Boys, 1995

Mick Hutson/Redferns

Wearing big pants and even bigger jerseys, the boys showed their big talent to an audience in 1995.

Backstreet Boys, 1995

Tim Roney/Getty Images

The tough guys gave some big 'tude back in '95.

Backstreet Boys, 1997

Bob Berg/Getty Images

The boys are just boys who liked to have fun (in the sun) back in 1997.

Backstreet Boys, 1998

Mike Prior/Getty Images

White shirts, overalls and some rad jerseys—those were the staples of the BSB's iconic fashion statements.

Backstreet Boys, 1998

Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage

The pop group posed in some sleek suits at the 25th Annual American Music Awards on January 26, 1998, at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles.

AJ McLean, Backstreet Boys, 1995

Larry Busacca/WireImage

A.J. made ya work for it back in '95.

Backstreet Boys, Kevin Richardson, 1996

Brian Rasic/Getty Images

Kevin was serious...about his music (and that Adidas sweatshirt) in 1996.

Howie Dorough, Backstreet Boys, 1995

Larry Busacca/WireImage

Rocking that Kangol hat and some sweet rings, Howie D. just wanted to be your best guy friend...forever.

Backstreet Boys, Brian Littrell, 1995

Larry Busacca/WireImage

Brian had a crush...on you back in the day.

Nick Carter, Backstreet Boys, 1995

Larry Busacca/WireImage

Nick had some deep thoughts in the mid-'90s.

Backstreet Boys, 1995

The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images

Wearing some colorful creations, A.J., Nick, Howie D., Kevin and Brian took home a Moonman at the 1998 MTV Video Music Awards.

Backstreet Boys, 1995

The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images

Suiting up and showing up, the boys were looking fly in their shiny suits in '95.

Backstreet Boys, 1995

The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images

Looking like some wide-eyed young thangs in baggy jeans, the boys were primed for stardom in 1995.

Backstreet Boys, 1995

The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images

Oversized outfits and too many hats! The boys knew where it was at back in 1995.

Backstreet Boys, 1995

The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images

The boys rocked some primary colors back in 1995.

Clearly, they had something strong since the group, who may look a bit different from 20 years ago, is still touring today.