1. Unlike many other commercially successful bands like Elton John or Pink Floyd, their debut albums sold millions.
2. Their ambition of world conquest necessitated the contracting of a branded commercial airliner for their rigorous world touring.
3. The magnitude of hysteria they caused pulled record breaking audiences.
“The concert at Georgia Dome, Atlanta in 1999 was the most attended concert by a pop artist”
4. Substance abuse destroyed their bands.
At the peak of their popularity bad boy, AJ McLean struggled with alcoholism, drugs and depression and sought rehab putting their 2001 Black & Blue tour on hold.
At 32 years of age, after being with the group for 12 years, drummer John Bonham died after choking on his vomit in his sleep, consequently breaking up the band. He consumed approximately 40 shots in 12 hours during the day of his death.
5. Neither started off with a geographic focus in America, both started off releasing touring exclusively in Europe.
6. Nirvana was their degree of separation.
Backstreet Boys, Nick Carter was a huge fan of Kurt Cobain and Nirvana, desiring to sing more edgy compared to the more pure sound of acapella singing groups before them like Boyz II Men.
Nirvana drummer and Foo Fighter front man Dave Grohl, once constructed a shrine to worship Led Zeppelin’s drummer John Bonham and tattooed Bonham’s “three circles” insignia onto his wrists.
7. They both had an album oriented approach to producing their albums with each individual track sharing a similar musical theme with the other songs on the album.
Their magnum opus Millenium was more rock-pop oriented than their debut, teen-oriented album. It featured talk boxes, electric guitar solos and many studio effects.
Led Zeppelin III had a lot of acoustic undertones featuring mandolin, pedal steel guitar, banjo, dulcimer and harmonica.
8. They embraced and expressed their individualism
Each had their own individual traits (from left to right): Kevin is the mature older brother, Howie is the exotic looking one, Brian is the boy next door, Nick is the heart throb, AJ is the bad boy.
For their 4th album Led Zeppelin each chosen a unique symbol to represent each individual member.
9. The trajectory of both their sales figures is very similar.
It took two and a half years between the release of their first studio album until they released their best selling album. From there, sales for both bands tapered off over a period of 10 years.
10. The spectra of their sound was broad with no 2 songs in an album stepping over each other.
The first track of Backstreet Boys Black and Blue (2000) is about on of the boys who is unfaithful to his girlfriend. The following song is a love ballad from the boys’ to a woman.
Led Zeppelin’s “Bron Yr Aur” is a 2 minute acoustic guitar performance by Jimmy Page with no lyrics starkly contrasts the heavy, hard rock blues “When the Levee Breaks”.