Still to this day this performance by Boyz II Men of the albums track ‘ A Song For Mama’ on the Oprah Winfrey show is an iconic memory that we be with me for a lifetime I think. This episode I remember watching over and over not only for the great performances but because the album ‘Evolution’, which Boyz II Men were promoting at the time, is one of my favorite albums of all time.
‘Evolution‘ was the fourth studio album by Boyz II Men and was released in 1997. It was there final album released on the record label Motwon Records. The album debuted at #1 on both the Billboard 200 and the R&B Albums chart in the US. The album was certified 2x Platinum by the RIAA just three months after release. With ‘Evolution’, they worked with their regular collaborators, including Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, Diddy and Babyface, who were hugely popular R&B music producers at the time.
The first single released from the album, ‘4 Seasons of Loneliness’, was Boyz II Men’s highest debut on the Billboard Hot 100 Singles. It debuted at number two, behind Mariah Carey’s “Honey”. The following week, the single went to number one, and became Boyz II Men’s sixth platinum single.
Other singles from the album included ‘Can’t Let Her Go’, and ‘Doin’ Just Fine’ (my personal favourite), and a cover of the 1988 New Edition hit ‘Can You Stand The Rain’. The ‘Evolution’ album charted in the Top 10 in numerous countries, and sold over four million copies worldwide. The group also released ‘Evolución’ with the same album, but was re-recorded in Spanish. ‘Evolución’ earned them a Billboard Latin Music Award for Pop Album of the Year by a New Artist.
In the 20 years since Evolution, Boyz II Men have continued to evolve and are still together (minus Michael McCary) and this album in my opinion was there best yet. They continue to enjoy success with a ongoing residency in Las Vegas at The Mirage and had a street near their high school renamed Boyz II Men Boulevard in their hometown of Philadelphia. Boyz II Men’s enduring legacy continues to evolve.
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