Saturday, August 27, 1994

Boyz II Men spend 1st of 14 weeks at #1 with “I’ll Make Love to You”

I’ll Make Love to You

Boyz II Men

Writer(s): Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds (see lyrics here)


Released: July 26, 1994


First Charted: August 5, 1994


Peak: 114 US, 113 CB, 14 RR, 13 AC, 19 RB, 5 UK, 13 CN, 12 AU (Click for codes to singles charts.)


Sales (in millions): 1.63 US, 0.45 UK, 2.14 world (includes US + UK)


Airplay/Streaming (in millions): 2.0 radio, 175.86 video, 157.18 streaming

Awards: (Click on award for more details).

About the Song:

Boyz II Men emerged in 1991 with their debut album Cooleyhighharmony, featuring top-five hits “Motownphilly” and “It’s So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday.” They followed up the album with “End of the Road,” a cut from the Boomerang soundtrack which topped the Billboard Hot 100 for 13 weeks, the most in the history of the chart at that time. They didn’t hold the record for long. Whitney Houston’s “I Will Always Love You” logged 14 weeks at the pinnacle in 1992-93.

However, Boyz II Men shot back with “I’ll Make Love to You,” the lead single from their 1994 album II. It matched Houston’s 14 weeks at #1. That record wouldn’t last long either. In 1995-96, Mariah Carey spent 16 weeks at #1 with “One Sweet Day” – a song featuring none other than Boyz II Men. That gave the R&B group the incredible distinction of singing on three of the four biggest #1 songs in the first 40 years of the history of the Billboard Hot 100.

Boyz II Men tapped Babyface, who’d co-written “End of the Road,” as the producer for their second album because of his experience singing hits on his own, writing for others such as Pebbles, Klymaxx, and the Whispers, and producing for Mary J. Blige, Aretha Franklin, Johnny Gill, Whitney Houston, and Madonna. SF

Babyface saw “I’ll Make Love to You” as kind of a sequel to “End of the Road.” He admitted it was hard to try to outdo that song, but that was essentially his goal. SF He said his hope was that “it not be exactly the same, but familiar enough where you could touch some of the same ingredients.” BR However, the group initially thought it sounded too much like “End of the Road” and considered leaving it off the album. According to Babyface, Motown Records’ then-president Jheryl Busby made the decision to release the song despite the protests of the group. SF It won a Grammy for Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals and American Music Awards for Favorite Pop/Rock Single and Favorite Soul/R&B single.


Resources and Related Links:

  • DMDB Encyclopedia entry for Boyz II Men
  • BR Fred Bronson (2007). The Billboard Book of Number One Hits (4th edition). Billboard Books: New York, NY. Page 830.
  • SF Songfacts
  • WK Wikipedia

First posted 3/28/2020; last updated 4/28/2021.

Tuesday, August 23, 1994

Jeff Buckley’s Grace Released: August 23, 1994

image from themusicslut.com

Originally posted 8/23/2011. Updated 3/9/2013.


Released: 23 August 1994
Tracks: (Click for codes to singles charts.) 1. Mojo Pin 2. Grace 3. Last Goodbye (3/22/95, #54 UK, #19 MR) 4. Lilac Wine 5. So Real 6. Hallelujah (12/20/08, #2 UK, sales: 1.0 m) 7. Lover, You Should’ve Come Over 8. Corpus Christi Carol (for Roy) 9. Eternal Life 10. Dream Brother

Sales (in millions): 0.5 US, -- UK, 1.5 world (includes US and UK)

Peak: 149 US, 42 UK

Rating:


Review: Buckley had “one of the finest voices of a generation,” AD a voice which “resembled a cross between Robert Plant, Van Morrison, and his father Tim.” AMG His delivery ranged from “delicate and dreamy to highly charged and nakedly emotional.” IC He “could go from a whisper to a roar” AD with his “impassioned, octave defying singing…inherited from his late father Tim along with his matinee idol good looks.” SM “Buckley is doubtless sick of the Son Of Tim tag (especially as dad was never around) but the inheritance of his father’s vocal range and disregard for conventional form is inescapable.” IC

“Buckley had been plying his trade round the coffee houses of New York before hooking up with ex-Magic Band guitarist Gary Lucas in the short lived Gods and Monsters. The band failed to release a record, but Buckley’s profile was raised sufficiently to get him a solo deal…Entering the studio with a hurriedly recruited band, Buckley set about making Grace.” SM

“His extreme intensity and emotional sincerity make Grace…a flourishing achievement.” CH Buckley crafted original “songs of mystery and spirituality” IC which “are full of a search for redemption and all about love, loss and faith.” AD He “jumbles jazz, R&B, blues and rock references” SZ along with “French chanson, eastern melodies and classical choral music to create a classic rock record almost without precedent.” SM It “sounds like a Led Zeppelin album written by an ambitious folkie with a fondness for lounge jazz.” AMG

Sadly, it was the only full-length solo album released in Buckley’s lifetime. He went drinking with a friend on May 29, 1997, and died of an accidental drowning after diving in to the water fully clothed.

Hallelujah


Resources and Related Links:


Award(s):


Monday, August 8, 1994

Oasis released “Live Forever”

First posted 2/9/2021; last updated 2/27/2021.

Live Forever

Oasis

Writer(s): Noel Gallagher (see lyrics here)


Released: August 8, 1994


First Charted: August 20, 1994


Peak: 39a US, 10 AR, 2 MR, 10 UK, 70 CN (Click for codes to singles charts.)


Sales (in millions): -- US, 0.6 UK, 0.6 world (includes US + UK)


Airplay/Streaming (in millions): -- radio, 61.4 video, -- streaming

Awards: (Click on award for more details).

About the Song:

“Live Forever” was “a bittersweet and alluring gem of poetry and melodic craftiness” AMG released as the third single from Oasis’ debut album Definitely Maybe. It was the group’s first top-10 hit in the UK and also reached #2 on the Billboard alternative rock chart. NME magazine said the song was an improvement over previous singles, calling it “a terrific record.” WK Pitchfork called it the band’s best song. WK

Noel Gallagher, the lead guitarist, wrote the song in 1991 when he was a roadie for the Inspiral Carpets. SF He was listening to the Rolling Stones’ Exile on Main Street while playing chord progressions and incorporated a vocal melody from “Shine a Light.” WK The song helped convince Liam Gallagher to let his brother join his band. SF

Liam has said it is his favorite Oasis song; that it “is how a lot of people feel when they’re down on their luck.” SF The lyrics, which advocate for optimism, has been interpreted as an ode to the Gallagher’s mother, Peggy. Noel explained that it was a reaction to grunge, specifically Nirvana’s “I Hate Myself and I Want to Die.” He said that while he liked Kurt Cobain, Nirvana’s lead singer, he thought, “Kids don’t need to be hearing that nonsense.” WK

Drummer Tony McCarroll said the band were awed by it. WK Alan McGee, the head of Creation Records who signed the band, said, “It was probably the single greatest moment I’ve ever experienced with them.” WK

In 2006, a Q magazine poll rated “Live Forever” the greatest song of all-time. The next year, an NME and XFM poll of the 50 greatest indie anthems ever also put the song at the top. In 2018, Radio X ranked it #1 in their Best of British poll. WK


Resources and Related Links:

Monday, August 1, 1994

The Rainmakers returned with Flirting with the Universe

Flirting with the Universe

The Rainmakers


Released: August 1, 1994


Peak: --


Sales (in millions): --


Genre: roots rock


Tracks:

Song Title (Writers) [time]

  1. Another Guitar [4:25]
  2. Width of a Line [3:52]
  3. Fool’s Gold [4:41]
  4. Window (Phillips) [4:00]
  5. View from the Tower [4:27]
  6. Greatest Night of My Life [4:43]
  7. Wilder Side (Phillips) [3:20]
  8. You Remind Me of Someone [2:52]
  9. Little Tiny World [4:07]
  10. Mystery Road [5:21]
  11. Spite [5:05]

All songs written by Bob Walkenhorst unless noted otherwise.


Total Running Time: 46:53


The Players:

  • Bob Walkenhorst (vocals, guitar, keyboards)
  • Rich Ruth (bass, vocals)
  • Steve Phillips (guitar, vocals on “Windows” and “Wilder Side”)
  • Pat Tomek (drums)

Rating:

3.734 out of 5.00 (average of 9 ratings)

About the Album:

From 1986 to 1989, the Rainmakers released three albums, gained moderate success, and then went away for a four-year layoff. As is to be expected, a band that never exactly became a household name wasn’t going to suddenly set the world on fire under such circumstances with their fourth album. Of course, it doesn’t help that of the Rainmakers five studio releases, this is their weakest, although even a weak Rainmakers’ album outdoes many of their competitors.

Not that this is a bad release – there just isn’t anything as toe-tapping as their debut album’s “Downstream” or “Let My People Go-Go,” Tornado’s “Snakedance” or even “Spend It on Love” from The Good News and the Bad News. The best bet is Another Guitar, yet another Rainmakers song that sounds like it wants to be played on the radio, but wasn’t.

Similarly, when they venture into ballad territory such as on Fool’s Gold or Greatest Night of My Life, the band delivers better than your average band, but still pale in comparison to their own previous material such as “Small Circles” or “Nobody Knows.”

Incidentally, Steve Phillips, who wrote and sung “Nobody Knows,” takes charge on Window and Wilder Side, one more appearance than he typically got per album. Unfortunately, neither is going down in even the Rainmakers’ canon as a classic. Still, Steve did make another important contribution regarding the album as the band recorded it in his basement. WK

The closest thing to a classic on this album is Little Tiny World. Written with typical Bob Walkenhorst humor, the song turns the It’s-a-Small-World concept into something Disney wouldn’t be able to stick in a G-rated movie. Walkenhorst’s pride is quickly burst when someone he assumes to be an autograph seeker pinpoints him as the guy who used to pump her gas. Another verse spits out a roll call of run-ins at a party in which Walkenhorst concludes, “Seemed most everbody there had/slept with everybody else/when I figured it all out/I figured I’d slept with myself.”

Unfortunately, this album didn’t give the Rainmakers the glory they’d always deserved – although it did go gold in Norway, WK where the band had previously built a following. They returned for one more album a couple years later before they packed it in. While this is the weakest album in their discography, it’s still hard to not enjoy a Rainmakers album. This is the hardest album to track down, but if you’re a fan, it’s still a must.

Resources and Related Links:

  • WK Wikipedia

    First posted 2/27/2006; updated 6/2/2021.