Boyz II Men‘s hit single “End of the Road” was the group’s first single to ever hit number one on the Billboard Hot 100 Song chart. The 1992 track stayed on top of the charts for 13 consecutive weeks, which was a record at the time, and won a Grammy Award for Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group With Vocal.
And today 30 years later, the track still lives on, playing regularly in department stores and on local radio stations. But reportedly Boyz II Men vocalist Nathan Morris was not really a fan of what became their biggest hit.
“Nate didn’t like it at first,” group member Shawn Stockman revealed in a New York Post interview. “He was just saying, ‘Uh it’s all right,’ and we were like, ‘Man you are crazy. It’s better than all right. We gon’ do this record!’ ”
“End of the Road” was one of many staple records from Boyz II Men’s debut album, “Cooleyhighharmony.” The soulful ballad was written and produced by Babyface and collaborators Daryl Simmons and L.A. Reid. It was inspired by Eddie Murphy‘s classic film “Boomerang,” directed by Reginald Hudlin.
“I had to write a song for a scene,” said Babyface.” “But Reggie ultimately used it somewhere else in the film.” He added that he “almost” wanted to keep “End of the Road” for himself, which “had this ‘Motownphilly’ kind of sound.”
“Motownphilly” hit number three on the song chart as the first single from “Cooleyhighharmony.” As Babyface fans, the Philadelphia-based group didn’t have time to fawn over the music genius because they had one day to record “End of the Road.”
“We really only had one day to get it done. We just wanted to knock out the song, so we were definitely turning our focus to that,” Morris explained. “But we got a chance to work with Babyface for the time, so it was great.”
At the time, Boyz II Men was managed by New Edition and Bell Biv DeVoe singer Michael Bivins. The group returned to Philadelphia in the middle of MC Hammer‘s “2 Legit 2 Quit” tour to record “End of the Road” in five hours. After 13 weeks on the charts, the song also broke Elvis Presley‘s longstanding record for his single, “Hound Dog/”Don’t Be Cruel.” According to Stockman, the guys nonchalantly accepted the news because they were “tired.”
He said, “When we found out that it broke Elvis’ record, we were in London about to perform. And we were so beat and so tired when they told us. We were like, ‘Oh cool.’ “
Boyz II Men performed their record-breaking single at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony in 1993. They broke the record again in 1996, with their “One Sweet Day” duet with Mariah Carey, topping the chart for 16 consecutive weeks. Boyz II Men now performs as a trio with Stockman, Nathan Morris and Wanya Morris. Original bass singer Michael McCary left the group for health reasons in 2013.