End of the Road
Boyz II Men
Writer(s): Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds/Antonio "L.A." Reid/Daryl Simmons (see lyrics here)
Released: June 30, 1992
First Charted: July 17, 1992
Peak: 113 US, 110 CB, 11 GR, 16 RR, 35 AC, 112 RB, 13 UK, 3 CN, 14 AU, 6 DF (Click for codes to charts.)
Sales (in millions): 1.0 US, 0.4 UK, 1.47 world (includes US + UK)
Airplay/Streaming (in millions): 1.0 radio, 214.95 video, 249.82 streaming
Click on award for more details.
About the Song:
For 36 years, Elvis Presley held the record for the most weeks (11) at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart with his double-sided hit “Hound Dog”/ “Don’t Be Cruel.” Then his feat was topped twice in the span of four months. The first was Boyz II Men, who spent 13 weeks atop the chart with “End of the Road.” Their reign was short-lived, though. They were knocked from the top by the Heights’ “How Do You Talk to an Angel,” which then succumbed two weeks later to Whitney Houston’s “I Will Always Love You,” which clung to the pinnacle for 14 weeks.
Boyz II Men formed in 1989 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania at the High School of the Creative and Performing Arts. They got their big break when they slipped backstage at an invitation-only concert sponsored by radio station WUSL-FM. FB They caught Michael Bivins (New Edition, Bell Biv DeVoe) backstage and auditioned for him. SS Bivins ended up as their manager and they were signed to Motown. In 1991, they landed two top-three hits (“Motownphilly,” “It’s So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday”) from their debut album Cooleyhighharmony.
Writing partners Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds and Antonio “L.A.” Reid were impressed by the group and wanted to work with them. They wrote “End of the Road, a song slated for Eddie Murphy’s movie Boomerang, with Boyz II Men in mind. FB The quartet recorded the song with just a three-hour window before they had to fly out on tour. SS
Thomas Ryan said “the group’s stunningly powerful and moving four-part harmony could never have been faked…[The song’s] simple sentiments and truly excellent four-part harmonies captured the imagination of millions.” RY Babyface said, “I always wanted to have one record that would be considered a classic. Not to sound vain, but I think that’s my first classic.” FB
First posted 4/21/2020; last updated 2/4/2023.