Friday, May 6, 2011

The #95 Album of All-Time in the Rock Era--"II" by Boyz II Men

The next album in our Countdown is II by Boyz II Men.  

The album was buoyed by two smash hits "I'll Make Love To You" and "On Bended Knee".  "Water Runs Dry" was also a huge hit; other singles include "Vibin'" and "Thank You".  So obviously, the album received considerable airplay.  II debuted at #1 and remained there for five weeks.  Even more impressive, once it got knocked from its perch, it spent 12 weeks at #2 and 43 in the Top 10.  It wasn't just marketing in other words; when consumers purchased the album, they loved it, told their friends, and then their friends bought it.  The album remained on the chart for 97 years (or just short of two years) and has sold 9 million copies.  The Track rating of 8.62 is not particularly strong, but with confirmation from the public as shown above, it is strong enough to land in the Top 100.  The album was also #1 in New Zealand, but not strong throughout Europe, so when we do the worldwide Top 100 Albums, it might not make the list.  But it does in the United States.

Further, the album received honors that help the album on that front.  It won a Grammy for Best R&B Album, and "I'll Make Love To You" won for Best R&B Song and Best R&B Performance By a Duo or Group and was nominated for Record of the Year.   

1.   "Thank You" (Michael S. McCary, Nathan Morris, Wanya Morris, Shawn Stockman, Dallas Austin) – 4:34
2.   "All Around the World" (James Harris III, Terry Lewis, Michael S. McCary, Nathan Morris, Wanya Morris, Shawn Stockman, Daddy-O) – 4:56
3.   "U Know" (Michael S. McCary, Nathan Morris, Wanya Morris, Shawn Stockman, Tim Kelley, Bob Robinson) – 4:46
4.   "Vibin'" (Michael S. McCary, Nathan Morris, Wanya Morris, Shawn Stockman, Tim Kelley, Bob Robinson) – 4:26
5.   "I Sit Away" (Tony Rich) – 4:34
6.   "Jezzebel" (Wanya Morris, Shawn Stockman, The Characters: Troy Taylor & Charles Farrar) – 6:06
7.   "Khalil (Interlude)"  (Nathan Morris, Shawn Stockman Tim Kelley, Bob Robinson) – 1:41
8.   "Trying Times" (Wanya Morris, Tim Kelley, Bob Robinson) – 5:23
9.   "I'll Make Love to You" (Babyface) – 4:07
10.  "On Bended Knee" (James Harris III, Terry Lewis) – 5:29
11.  "50 Candles" (Shawn Stockman, Tim Kelley, Bob Robinson) – 5:06
12.  "Water Runs Dry" (Babyface) – 3:22
13.  "Yesterday" (Paul McCartney, John Lennon) – 3:07
14.  "Falling" (Brian McKnight & Brandon Barnes) – 4:09

Boyz II Men consisted of Wanya Morris, Shawn Stockman, Michael S. McCary and Nathan Morris.  In addition to writing, Babyface played guitar, acoustical guitar and synthesizer on the album.  Peter Moore played guitar, Mark Cargill and William Henderson played violin, Kevan Torfeh played cello, Bob Robinson contributed piano and keyboard work, Tim Kelley played both keyboards and drums and Ray Griffin played drums.

The album was recorded at D.A.R.P Studios, Doppler Studios, Flyte Time Studios, Granny's House Recording Studio, Kajem Studios, LaCoCo Studios, Larrabee Sound Studios, Studio 4 and The Enterprise.   II was produced by Babyface, Tim & Bob, Jimmy Jam, Terry Lewis, Dallas Austin, L.A. Reid and Tony Rich.  Claudio Cueni, Jim Hinger, Mick Guzauski, Reggie Hamilton and Steve Hodge mixed the project while Tim Kelly, Jimmy Jam, Reggie Hamilton, Shawn Stockman, Tim Kelley, Wayne Morris, Terry Lewis, Bob Robinson and Boyz II Men did the Arranging.  Catherine Wessel, Tim White and Ron Slenzak did the photography for the album, released August 30, 1994 on Motown Records.  

II from Boyz II Men is next at #95 in the Top 100 Albums of All-Time in the Rock Era.

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