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14 | Top 100
One Sweet Day
Boyz II Men and Mariah Carey
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Motown's biggest selling act in the 90s hit even bigger pay dirt when they teamed up with the biggest female R&B act of the time, Mariah Carey. They out stripped every act in US history except the Beatles when One Sweet Day spent 16 weeks at the top of the US charts. In the UK they reached 6 but
Boyz II Men and Mariah Carey
Song facts
Composer Afanasieff/Carey
/McCary/Morris
/Morris/Stockman
Genre Pop
Released 1995
UK Chart  6
stayed in the charts for 11 weeks. Formed in Philedelphia in 1988 they got a deal with Motown recording their first album in those legendary studios in 1990. Backed by the new jack production then in vogue, they dubbed their sound "hip-hop doo wop," though as a vocal-harmony group they were more indebted to R&B of the '60s and '70s.
One Sweet Day is exactly the kind of ballad that made their name and with the addition of Mariah Carey was bound to succeed. Some of the best R&B ballad singers of their generation lift, and arguably come close to burying, this passionate expression of loss. The lovely verses mesmerically float a seventh-to-root melodic move over first the tonic, and then the major-seventh sub-dominant, which may sound complicated, but produces a fitting and tender simplicity - and the chorus uses the same restrained chords. But don’t those vocal ad-libs seem just a little excessive?
But at that time the Boyz could do no wrong - One Sweet Day was the third record breaking single in their career
Dominic King


Other versions
Boyz II Men
 Amazingly, there hasn't been a cover of One Sweet Day, but you can listen to another Boyz II Men collaboration, featuring LL Cool J which reached number seventeen in the UK charts in January 1996.

This was the song of the 90s....amazing voices at their peak.


Kim Kohlhass 

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