The inside story of Britney Spears' missing hit. An import-only track shows an alternate direction for the pop princess. Find out why she had it bumped from her U.S. album
Britney Spears
Credit: Britney Spears: Greg Henkenhaf/

Britney Spears’ ”Before the Goodbye” is a full-fledged dance-pop anthem, a potential hit driven by pounding Eurodisco beats and a choir’s worth of backing vocals, courtesy of producer BT. But odds are that you haven’t heard the track, since Britney and her handlers booted it off her latest album.

”She and I have talked about this in great detail,” says BT (born Brian Transeau), who leaped from the dance ghetto to ”TRL” after lending an electronic sheen to ‘N Sync’s hit ”Pop.” ”[My songs were] too different from what the rest of the record was like. The record ended up with very sort of Neptunes-y, R&B-type slant on it. And the stuff that we did was dance music. The stuff didn’t make sense for the American version of the record — they put it on everything else.”

”Before the Goodbye,” has, in fact, surfaced as a bonus track on various import versions of ”Britney,” though another BT production, ”When I Say So,” has yet to see release anywhere, according to his management. But ”Before” — which has also turned up online as an illicit MP3 — is, in its own way, at least as musically daring as anything on the stateside version of ”Britney.”

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