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Date: Aug 24, 2000
Source: VH1's The Wire
Submitted By:

By Rob Kemp

In these heady late-summer days of the year of teen pop, some of you may be wondering exactly what the Backstreet Boys are up to. Now that Kevin Richardson is married; now that A.J. McLean's Johnny No-Name persona has gone the way of Chris Gaines; now that Nick Carter's masterminding the launch of brother Aaron's burgeoning career has reached some plateau or another - you are entitled to ask: whither Backstreet?

The answer? Get thee to a Burger King! For only there can you help yourself to "It's True," the first sampling of the Backstreet Boy' new album, which will be released in November. The tune will be available on three enhanced CDs, interspersed alongside nine unreleased live versions of their greatest hits, a mix of studio and a cappella songs, and an interactive CD-ROM, offered exclusively by the chain.

Other features of the CDs include computer wallpaper and screen savers, a program that allows fans to create scrapbook pages from Backstreet Boys photos and quotes, and a program that allows fans "to learn which band member they are most compatible with," according to a press release issued by Burger King.

Additionally, an exclusive 45-minute video titled "For the Fans," which includes new backstage footage and interviews, as well as live performances of the Max Martin-manufactured hits, will be available. Suggested retail pricing for all of the aforementioned is $2.99, with purchase of a Value Meal. The promotion begins on August 28 and will continue until supplies last - in other words, the day when the fry cook "accidentally" spills hot grease on the packaging containing the remaining goodies.

Around this time, the Backstreet Boys will be lending their likenesses to the Cyber Crusaders, the adventures of whom will be chronicled in a series of "Webisodes" which will be premiered at the Hard Rock Live venue in the Boys' homebase of Orlando, followed by Webcasts at the Backstreet Project site. The story line involves, evidently, a spaceship crash, "a beautiful alien creature," "mystic crystals," and a "genetic cyclone." No mention has been made of the Cyber Crusaders' "evil" competitors - 'N Sync.

The characters have been produced by Stan Lee Media, the company representing the creator of such classic Marvel Comics icons as Spider-Man and X-Men. Comic books featuring the Cyber Crusaders have already been available since early this year. You can also get your hands on action figures representing the superheroic Nick, Brian, A.J., Kevin, and Howie by purchasing a Burger King Big Kids Meal.

Apparently, the people at picked up their very own figures. Here are their findings: "The Nick Carter doll features a fighting sword, the Kevin Richardson figure jumps out of a casket, the A.J. doll swivels around a pole, the Howie Dorough doll's clothes come off to reveal a chest that lights up, and the Brian Littrell figure jumps up and down."

Once the next Backstreet opus is released, there will of course be an accompanying huge tour, which Burger King will sponsor. By that time, Burger King commercials featuring the Boys will have already been aired many, many times, going head to head with the McDonald's ads featuring Britney Spears and the aforementioned 'N Sync.

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