112 (album)

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112
112 (112 album - cover art).jpg
Studio album by 112
Released August 27, 1996
(Release history)
Recorded February 1995–January 1996
Genre R&B, Hip hop soul
Length 73:18
Label Bad Boy
Producer Sean Combs (exec.), Stevie J., Tim & Bob, Wanya Morris, Daron Jones, Al B Sure!, Kyle West, Nashiem Myrick, Carlos Broady, Arnold Hennings, Alex Richbourg
112 chronology
112
(1996)
Room 112
(1998)
Singles from 112
  1. "Only You"
    Released: May 13, 1996
  2. "Only You (Bad Boy Remix)"
    Released: July 8, 1996
  3. "Come See Me"
    Released: October 21, 1996
  4. "Cupid"
    Released: May 16, 1997

112 is the eponymous debut album from the R&B group 112. It was released on August 27, 1996 as one of the first R&B records on Sean Combs' Bad Boy label. The majority of the album was produced primarily by Combs, Tim & Bob and one of the first Hitmen, Stevie J. It also included contributions from group member Daron Jones, Al B Sure!, Kyle West, Arnold Hennings and Boyz II Men vocalist Wanya Morris.[1] The album features label mates the late The Notorious B.I.G., Mase and Faith Evans. Three singles were released from the album: "Only You" (both original and remix version), "Come See Me" and "Cupid". All of the singles had music videos released.[1]

Background[edit]

Originally known as Forte while in high school and still in their teens,[1] the quartet enlisted the professional management services of Courtney Sills and Kevin Wales.[1] Named after the Atlanta-based club 112, the group performed there in front of singers Faith Evans and Usher along with Bad Boy founder Sean Combs.[1] After their performance, the group became the second R&B act signed to Bad Boy behind Faith Evans, who - along with producer Chucky Thompson - recommended Combs to sign them.[1]

According to 112 member and producer Daron Jones, the group Boyz II Men was a primary influence on their debut.[1] The reason for their influence was due to them accepting several songs produced by Tim Kelley & Bob Robinson that were initially planned for inclusion on Boyz II Men's second album II.[1] Producer Bob Robinson revealed that Boyz II Men wanted Tim & Bob to produce the majority of II, but Motown Records president Jheryl Busby felt uncomfortable with unknown producers helming a project by a group that was the biggest act in the world at the time.[2] Busby then sought out productions from more established names and as a result, Kelley & Robinson's songs - notably "Now That We're Done" and "Can I Touch You" - were later given to 112 for their album.[2] Jones felt inconfident about his lead vocals while recording "Now That We're Done" and was surprised at the reaction to his performance.[1] Singer Brandy - who was there with the song's co-writer Wanya Morris - caught Jones off-guard when she asked him to teach her how to do the riffs and runs she heard from him.[1]

Producer Stevie J was brought into the project fresh off from his touring with Jodeci and appearing on their 1995 album The Show, The After Party, The Hotel.[1] Stevie served as a mentor to Jones, who expressed a desire to become a songwriter and producer.[1] The first single from 112 - "Only You" - was hated by the group because of the restrained vocals, which they felt wasn't the best song to showcase their singing.[1] According to Jones, they initially wanted "Now That We're Done" released as the first single and the only thing that made them like "Only You" was the remix - which was also included on the album.[1] They quickly dismissed the song and felt it wasn't going to be successful.[1] Ironically, the song they were indifferent to became a breakout hit for them.

Another single "Cupid" was primarily inspired by Babyface.[1] The group wanted the songwriter/producer to work on their debut, but financial issues and budget constraints prevented him from working on the album.[1] Jones then felt he could write a "Babyface" type of song and later worked with Dallas Austin protégé Arnold Hennings on producing it.[1] Al B. Sure! and Dave Hollister were called in to work on the album as well.[1] While none of Hollister's songs made the final tracklisting, one of Sure!'s contributions "Erase The Day" was left off while his other contribution "This Is Your Day" was included on the album.[1] The group started recording in February 1995 and finished the album in January 1996.[1]

Reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4/5 stars[3]
The Source (favorable)[4]

Critical[edit]

Leo Stanley of Allmusic gave the album 4 out of 5 stars stating that "as the first romantic soul group on Puff Daddy's Bad Boy label, 112 at least has the appearance of originality. However, their eponymous debut demonstrates that this is only an appearance - in reality, they are much like a Boyz II Men clone. That's not necessarily bad, actually. 112 have strong voices, and their smooth harmonies are quite seductive, making the lack of originality in their music easy to overlook. A little more variety on 112 would have been nice—the album consists almost entirely of ballads—but the group's sound and Puffy's professional production make it a pleasurable record nevertheless."

Track listing[edit]

  • Songwriting credits and tracklisting adapted from liner notes.[5]
  1. "112 Intro"  (S. Jordan, D. Jones, M. Keith, M. Scandrick, Q. Parker) – 2:12
  2. "Now That We're Done"  (T. Kelley, B. Robinson, W. Morris) – 5:09
  3. "Pleasure & Pain"  (S. Jordan, S. Combs, D. Jones, M. Keith, M. Scandrick, Q. Parker, L. Maxwell) – 4:17
  4. "Why (Interlude)"  (T. Kelley, B. Robinson, D. Jones, M. Keith, M. Scandrick, Q. Parker) - 1:43
  5. "Cupid(A. Hennings, C. Sills, D. Jones, M. Keith, M. Scandrick, Q. Parker) - 4:12
  6. "Call My Name"  (A. Richbourg, S. Combs, B. Bacharach, H. David) - 4:04
  7. "Come See Me" (featuring Mr. Cheeks(T. Kelley, B. Robinson, T. Kelly) – 4:25
  8. "Sexy You (Interlude)"  (K. Wales, S. Jordan, D. Jones) – 1:50
  9. "Can I Touch You"  (T. Kelley, B. Robinson, W. Morris) – 5:05
  10. "I Can't Believe" (featuring Faith Evans(S. Combs, S. Jordan, D. Jones, M. Keith, M. Scandrick, Q. Parker, C. Sills) – 5:32
  11. "Keep It Real (Interlude)"  (D. Jones, M. Keith, M. Scandrick, Q. Parker, K. Wales) – 2:39
  12. "Only You" (Bad Boy Remix) (featuring The Notorious B.I.G. & Mase(S. Combs, S. Jordan, C. Wallace, M. Betha, D. Jones, M. Keith, M. Scandrick, Q. Parker, D.J. Rogers, Jr., H.W. Casey, R. Finch) – 4:49
  13. "I Will Be There"  (S. Jordan, D. Jones, M. Keith, M. Scandrick, Q. Parker) – 4:47
  14. "In Love With You"  (S. Combs, S. Jordan, D. Jones, M. Keith, M. Scandrick, Q. Parker, D. Porter) – 4:33
  15. "Just a Little While"  (T. Kelley, B. Robinson) – 3:48
  16. "Why Does"  (S. Combs, S. Jordan, D. Jones, M. Keith, M. Scandrick, Q. Parker, C. Sills) – 4:34
  17. "This Is Your Day"  (A. Brown, K. West, E. Clement) – 4:47
  18. "Throw It All Away"  (A. Hennings, S. Combs, D. Jones, M. Keith, M. Scandrick, Q. Parker) – 4:51
  19. "Only You" (Clean Radio Mix) (featuring The Notorious B.I.G.(S. Combs, S. Jordan, C. Wallace, D. Jones, M. Keith, M. Scandrick, Q. Parker, D.J. Rogers, Jr., H.W. Casey, R. Finch) – 4:21

Samples[edit]

Samples adapted from liner notes.[5]

  • "Call My Name" contains a sample of "Walk on By" by Isaac Hayes
  • "Only You" contains a sample of "I Get Lifted" by George McCrae
  • "I'm In Love With You" contains a sample of "Blind Alley" by The Emotions

Credits[edit]

Charts[edit]

Chart (1996) Peak
position
UK Albums Chart 79
US Billboard 200[6] 37
US Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums (Billboard)[7] 5

Singles[edit]

Year Title Chart positions
U.S. Hot 100 U.S. R&B/Hip-Hop Hot Dance Music/Maxi-Singles Sales Rhythmic Top 40
1996 "Only You" #13 #3 #1 #13
"Come See Me" #33 #15 #17 -
1997 "Cupid" #13 #2 #16 #6

Release history[edit]

Region Date Label Format Catalog
United States August 27, 1996 Bad Boy Records Cassette, CD, Vinyl B0000039Q7

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u Williams, Chris. "112’s debut album revisited with co-founder Daron Jones & producer Stevie J. | Return To The Classics". soulculture.com. Soul Culture. Archived from the original on 2015-01-12. Retrieved 2015-01-10. 
  2. ^ a b Williams, Chris. "Boyz II Men’s II LP revisited with Bob Robinson (of Tim & Bob) | Return To The Classics". soulculture.com. Soul Culture. Archived from the original on 2015-01-13. Retrieved 2015-01-11. 
  3. ^ Allmusic review
  4. ^ Album reviews at CD Universe
  5. ^ a b 112 - 112 (CD liner notes). Bad Boy Entertainment/Arista Records. 78612-73009-2
  6. ^ "112 Album & Song Chart History" Billboard 200 for 112. Retrieved April 19, 2015.
  7. ^ "112 Album & Song Chart History" Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums for 112. Retrieved April 19, 2015.