Five of the Best: Boyz II Men

Fans of 1990s R&B ballads are in luck: the masters of the genre, Boyz II Men are set to tour New Zealand in October.

Boyz II Men were one of the most successful groups of the 1990s and have set and broken many records across their career. The vocal group is known for its romantic ballads and a cappella harmonies and they have a huge number of incredible songs to their name.

Originally a quartet, Boyz II Men now tour as a trio – Nathan Morris, Wanya Morris and Shawn Stockman. The group found huge success on the Motown label and released many hit singles, duets and more recently cover albums paying tribute to some of the most popular and successful Motown hits.

The members of Boyz II Men are undoubtedly talented; their combined voices create sensational and emotive harmonies. It is no wonder they remain one of the most successful recording artists in Billboard history.

Boyz II Men have the unique privilege of holding the number 1 spot on the Billboard Hot 100 for more than 50 weeks; and they are in illustrious company, fourth behind Elvis, The Beatles and Mariah Carey.

To celebrate the group’s upcoming tour, we’ve compiled our top five favourite Boyz II Men songs. As well as being incredible songs, the film clips are worth watching – as a quintessential 90s boy band, most of their music videos feature ostentatious matching outfits. Check them out below!

5. Hey Lover

Following the popularity of the early hits of Boyz II Men, the guys were in high demand for duets. LL Cool J teamed up with Boyz II Men to create the Grammy Award winning Hey Lover, which was the first single on the rapper’s album, Mr Smith. Released in 1995, the song reached number three on the US music charts and won the Grammy for Best Rap Solo Performance. Hey Lover is a great song, and while LL Cool J is clearly the hero of the track, the input of Boyz II Men gives it light and shade, creating a great mix of rap and R&B ballad.

LL COOL J - Hey Lover ft. Boyz II Men

4. On Bended Knee

On Bended Knee was a major hit for Boyz II Men when it was released on their album II in 1994. So big in fact, it knocked the group’s previous number one hit, I’ll Make Love To You, out of the top spot. It was the first time a music act had knocked its own song out of top spot since The Beatles’ run of hits, I Want To Hold Your Hand, She Loves You and Can’t Buy Me Love in the early 1960s. On Bended Knee spent six weeks in the top spot. As with many of their hits at this time, the accompanying music video told a story; each band member breaks up with their respective girlfriends – all played by well-known actresses at the time. But, of course, the guys win back their loves… On Bended Knee. It is a great song, have a look for yourself.

Boyz II Men - On Bended Knee

3. One Sweet Day

In 1995, Boyz II Men collaborated with one of the biggest names in music and together they penned one of the most successful hits of all time. Mariah Carey and Boyz II Men enjoyed phenomenal international success with their hit, One Sweet Day, which was essentially a song dedicated to those we have loved and lost and the hope that people may one day be reunited. The song was deeply personal for both Mariah Carey and the members of Boyz II Men as each wrote the track with specific people in mind. The song spent 16 weeks at number one on the Billboard Hot 100 music chart, and still to this day, it is the longest number one in the chart’s history. It is a great example of pure collaboration gold – listen below.

Mariah Carey, Boyz II Men - One Sweet Day (Official Video)

2. I’ll Make Love To You

I’ll Make Love To You was Boyz II Men’s second worldwide smash hit and cemented the group as the next big thing. Written by Babyface, the song was released in 1994 on their second album II and spent 14 weeks at the number one position on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. The group eventually surpassed their own record, but at the time, I’ll Make Love To You was matched in longevity by just one song in history, Whitney Houston’s I’ll Always Love You (do you get the sense we were obsessed with romantic power ballads in the 1990s?). The track won the 1995 Grammy Award for Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group and also received two American Music Awards. I’ll Make Love To You was probably unlucky not to reach the top spot on our list, but Boyz II Men just has too many great tracks!

Boyz II Men - I'll Make Love To You (Official Music Video)

1. End of the Road

End of the Road is the song that catapulted Boyz II Men to international recognition and success. Written and produced by Babyface, alongside LA Reid and Daryl Simmons, the track was originally released on the soundtrack for Eddie Murphy’s film, Boomerang. Given the immediate international success, the song was included on a re-issue of Boyz II Men’s album, Cooleyhighharmony. The song won two Grammy Awards in 1993 and remains one of the best ever break up songs. We love this song and we think it is the perfect example of Boyz II Men (and their brilliant matching outfits!).

Boyz II Men - End Of The Road

Boyz II Men will perform at ASB Theatre, Aotea Centre on October 17.

My Ticketmaster presale tickets are on sale from 12pm local time on Monday July 20 and general public tickets are on sale from 9am on Thursday July 23. Click here for more information and to purchase tickets.