II (Boyz II Men album) – 1994

II is the second studio album by American R&B quartet Boyz II Men, released on August 30, 1994 on Motown Records. It contained the No. 1 singles “I’ll Make Love to You” and “On Bended Knee”, the latter of which replaced the former at the top of the Billboard Hot 100, making the group the third artist to replace themselves at No. 1 in the United States after Elvis Presley and The Beatles and the first to achieve the feat in 30 years.

“I’ll Make Love to You” also spent 14 weeks at the top of the Hot 100 making them the first artist to achieve consecutive double digit runs at the top, with their prior single “End of the Road” topping the charts for 13 weeks and also equaled the record set by Whitney Houston’s “I Will Always Love You” for the longest run at the top, a record which they held previously with “End of the Road”. Other singles released achieved major success, including “Water Runs Dry”, which reached No. 2, and “Thank You”, which reached No. 21. “Vibin'”, however, only reached No. 52.

The spoken track “Khalil (Interlude)” is a tribute to their road manager Khalil Roundtree who was shot in Chicago, Illinois while the band was opening for MC Hammer’s Too Legit to Quit tour. II became the inaugural winner of the Grammy Award for Best R&B Album, first presented at the 37th Grammy Awards in 1995.

According to producer Bob Robinson of the duo Tim & Bob, he and his partner Tim Kelley were asked by Boyz II Men to produce most of II. However, Motown Records then-president Jheryl Busby didn’t feel comfortable with the idea of two unknown producers dominating a second album from a group that was one of the biggest acts in the world at the time. As a result, Busby brought in Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis and Babyface to deliver hit singles for the project. Busby insisted on “I’ll Make Love to You” being the first single, despite objections from the group- who felt there were songs that could have been much stronger singles. Ironically, the song went on to become one of Boyz II Men’s biggest hits.

Over 20 songs were produced by Tim & Bob for II, but most of them never made the final track listing. Two of the songs Tim & Bob produced – “Now That We’re Done” and “Can I Touch You” – ended up on 112’s 1996 self-titled debut.

The album debuted at No. 1 in the Billboard 200 with 350,000 copies sold. It spent a total of five weeks at No. 1 and was the third best-selling album in 1995 in the United States and sold 12 million copies in the United States.

It did not make a huge impact in the United Kingdom, where it only made No. 17 on the UK Albums Chart. A Spanish language version, II: Yo Te Voy a Amar, was also issued. The album also won Best R&B Album at the 37th Grammy Awards.

Track listing

No. Title Writer(s) Producer(s) Length

1. “Thank You” Michael S. McCary, Nathan Morris, Wanya Morris, Shawn Stockman, Dallas Austin Boyz II Men, Austin 4:34
2. “All Around the World” James Harris III, Terry Lewis, McCary, N. Morris, W. Morris, Stockman, Daddy-O Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis 4:56
3. “U Know” McCary, N. Morris, W. Morris, Stockman, Tim Kelley, Bob Robinson, Curtis Mayfield Boyz II Men, Tim Kelley & Bob Robinson 4:46
4. “Vibin'” McCary, N. Morris, W. Morris, Stockman, Kelley, Robinson Tim Kelley & Bob Robinson 4:26
5. “I Sit Away” Tony Rich L.A. Reid, Rich 4:34
6. “Jezzebel” W. Morris, Stockman, Troy Taylor, Charles Farrar The Characters 6:06
7. “Khalil (Interlude)” N. Morris, Stockman Tim Kelley & Bob Robinson 1:41
8. “Trying Times” W. Morris, Kelley, Robinson W. Morris, Tim Kelley & Bob Robinson 5:23
9. “I’ll Make Love to You” Babyface Babyface 4:07
10. “On Bended Knee” Harris III, Lewis Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis 5:29
11. “50 Candles” Stockman, Kelley, Robinson Stockman, Tim Kelley & Bob Robinson 5:06
12. “Water Runs Dry” Babyface Babyface 3:22
13. “Yesterday” Paul McCartney, John Lennon Boyz II Men 3:07