Backstreet Boys fans, you’re going to L😍VE this!
In all honesty I never even knew the lads were still making music, so big UP’s to the genius collaboration between Gary Baker and Chris Bethea for putting them back on the radar for us! This is huge !!
Recording and mixing engineer Chris Bethea, who has worked with South African producer Denholm Harding for artists including Prime Circle, Cindy Alter, Johnny Clegg, Jesse Clegg and Just Jinjer, has “nailed” a huge new international single: “I Want It That Way” reimagined by superstar group the Backstreet Boys.
Give it a listen here
Released May 17 as a surprise for fans in honor of the song’s 20th anniversary, the recreated single has already been receiving a huge response from fans and the industry .
RCA Records’ global superstars the Backstreet Boys (BSB) surprised fans by releasing a new version of their record-breaking single “I Want It That Way.” However, contrary to their newest album released in January, this single was not produced or released by their label.
The rerecorded single and new sound is credited to a small-town, two-man team in northwest Alabama: Grammy-winning Producer/Songwriter Gary Baker and Recording and Mixing Engineer Chris Bethea. Baker, best known for writing several hit songs, including 1994’s hit single “I Swear,” and many of BSB’s own tracks from previous albums, is a long-time friend of Back Street Boys.
When the group’s members personally asked him to recreate their most successful single, he immediately tapped Bethea to record and mix it.
“I knew it was going to be huge,” says Baker, “and I would have never let anyone other than Chris work on it. The guys trusted me with their biggest hit, and I trusted Chris with the hardest part, positive he would get it right. This project would not have turned out the same without him. He nailed it.”
Released worldwide following the group’s Las Vegas residency earlier this year, the single commemorates the group’s 20th anniversary of the song and the start of their largest world tour in almost two decades. “We knew we had to make it perfect, not only to honor the group’s decades-long career, but to pay homage to the single’s first success in 1999,” says Bethea. “This is one of the most successful singles in the history of pop music; our goal was to add something to it, not take anything away from the original. ”Based in Florence, Ala, Bethea has been mixing tracks professionally for more than ten years, and the “I Want It That Way” re-release illustrates his professional maturation.
While the single introduces Bethea to the mainstream pop industry, he has worked with Baker on dozens of other projects for various artists; and his own projects, mixing for artists all over the world including: Percy Sledge, Prime Circle, Penny & Sparrow, Brett Eldredge and Sleeping at Last. “Living in a small town in Alabama, people are sometimes unsure of what to expect from me professionally,”says Bethea.
“I have worked with all kinds of artists, from varying genres and backgrounds. My experience has forced me to evolve and continue to grow as I take on new challenges at every level. But whether it is recorded in a big studio, or just in someone’s bedroom, my goal remains the same: To capture the artist’s vision and deliver the best possible production.”
“He is a sonic genius,” Baker says. “I have never been disappointed with anything he has done. The industry would benefit from his unique expertise and I know his career is only really just beginning.”
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