Today we give roses and respect to Boyz II Men’s 1994 album II.
Recently on Netflix’s This Is Pop, Boyz II Men was heavily featured and discussed for their role in influencing the current state of pop culture. The album that propelled the Philadelphia group to superstar status was their second album II.
It’d be fair to argue that II is actually the group’s third album, depending on how you classify their 1993 Christmas album Christmas Interpretations.
Boyz II Men now tours as a trio consisting of Nathan Morris, Wanya Morris, and Shawn Stockman; but at the time of II they were a quartet inclusive of bass vocalist Michael McCary. As a quartet, they popularized accapella singing and dominated the music scene with powerful vocals that no other boy band at the time was able to achieve.
The group is often referred to as a quartet, because their vocal stylings were reminiscent of old school singers which stood out in popular music during the mid-to-early 90’s.
Record Breaking Hits
II was the number one album in America, France, and New Zealand; it sold more than 350,000 physical copies in the first week, and went 12x Platinum in the United States. Boyz II Men was the third artist or group to ever have two #1 hits on the same album (II), they were the first group to do this in more than thirty years, joining the Beatles and Elvis Presley. Those #1 hits were “I’ll Make Love to You” and “On Bended Knee,” two songs that play in succession on the album and spent months on the Billboard Hot 100.
“I’ll Make Love to You” spent an astounding 14 weeks at #1 on the Billboard charts. Boyz II Men was the first artist or group to achieve 10+ weeks at #1 on the charts with back-to-back singles, “End of the Road,” spent 13 weeks at number one followed by “I’ll Make Love To You.” Both songs were written and produced by the legendary Babyface, who has penned more than twenty-six #1 records and won a dozen Grammys.
Beyond that obvious classic, “On Bended Knee ” was a mammoth of a record itself. It stayed at number one on the Billboard charts for a total of six weeks. Between “On Bended Knee” and “I’ll Make Love To You” – Boyz II Men were at #1 on the charts for 20 out of 52 weeks in 1994. “On Bended Knee” is a plea for an ex to come back, Boyz II Men sing their hearts out.
Beyond the Hits.
Although the hits were astounding, II is an incredibly comprehensive album with twists and turns that will catch you on either side. The album starts with a Doug E. Fresh sample on Thank You, and ends with the quartet covering Yesterday by the Beatles. U Know features a classic 90’s rap beat, but then Water Runs Dry features a beautiful string section. Boyz II Men were incredibly versatile at a young age, and working with legendary talent like Babyface and Curtis Mayfield allowed for II to become one of the most successful albums of all-time.
Music is a copycat game, but to this day no one has successfully mimicked the success or style of Boyz II Men. Their legacy is cemented on the main street of their hometown, Washington Ave and Broad Street in South Philly was named “Boyz II Men Blvd” in their honor.
Today, we give Boyz II Men their roses.