I'll Make Love to You

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"I'll Make Love to You"
I'llMakeLovetoYouB2M.jpg
Single by Boyz II Men
from the album  II 
ReleasedJuly 26, 1994 (1994-07-26)
GenreR&B
Length3:56
LabelMotown
Songwriter(s)Babyface
Producer(s)Babyface
Boyz II Men singles chronology
"Let It Snow"
(1993)
"I'll Make Love to You"
(1994)
"On Bended Knee"
(1994)
Music video
"I'll Make Love to You" on YouTube
Audio sample
"I'll Make Love to You"

"I'll Make Love to You" is a 1994 number-one hit single by American R&B group Boyz II Men for the Motown label. The song, which was written by Babyface, was the lead single from their second album, II (1994). It was a commercial success, spending 14 weeks atop the Billboard Hot 100. It was also the third best performing song in the 1990s on Billboard, as well as ranking on Billboard Greatest of All-Time chart. It won the Grammy Award for Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals and was nominated for Record of the Year.

Reception[edit]

Critical reception[edit]

Billboard described "I'll Make Love to You" as a "sweeping pop/R&B ballad", adding, "Silky harmonies waft over a well-measured arrangement chock-ful of bright, glistening synths and soft-yet-punctuating percussion. Lovely sing-along chorus initially will remind many of past glories, but single ultimately will provide a refreshing cool breeze to any of numerous radio formats it graces."[1] Troy J. Augusto from Cash Box called it "a lushly-arranged, slowly-paced ballad", "full of the same charming vocal harmonies and natural soul that gives the group its universal pop appeal. Ready to explode at urban, A/C and Top 40, this cut leads a parade of future hit singles that should keep the Boyz in chart heaven all through the night and all through the year."[2]

Music writer James Masterton deemed it "another piece of immaculate close-harmony soul", that "is a smash before it has ever started".[3] Pan-European magazine Music & Media commented, "Silkier then the First Lady's nightgown, the first single off the "mommy" Boyz's upcoming album II further secures their position as the masters of the close harmony ballad."[4] Alan Jones from Music Week rated it four out of five. He wrote, "Returning after more than a year, Boyz II Men get back into the End Of The Road groove with a silky, powerful ballad penned by BabyFace. Its sweeping majesty is likely to push it high into the chart."[5] Gerald Martinez from New Sunday Times noted that the song, with "On Bended Knee", "tries to recapture the magic of End Of The Road, and they come close. Big production numbers with solid hooks, they should be flooding our airwaves for the next few months."[6] Mark Sutherland from Smash Hits gave it three out of five, saying, "Weeell, in their favour are the facts that they are still the meanest warblers in pop and that soul doesn't come much more silky or supersmooth than this. Against them is the fact that this is basically just End Of The Road with new lyrics – and blimmin' presumptuous lyrics at that."[7]

Chart performance[edit]

The single was a massive commercial success. It held the number one position on the Billboard Hot 100 for 14 weeks, from August 27 to November 26, 1994. At the time, the song tied a record for the most weeks at number one that had been set by Whitney Houston's "I Will Always Love You" in late 1992 and early 1993. Boyz II Men would later break their own record in 1996 with "One Sweet Day", a collaboration with Mariah Carey, which remained at number one on the Hot 100 for 16 weeks beginning in December 1995. "I'll Make Love to You" also topped the U.S. R&B and adult contemporary charts for nine and three weeks, respectively, in 1994. It sold 1,627,000 copies domestically, earning a platinum certification from the Recording Industry Association of America for shipments of over one million copies.[8][9] In Canada, the song reached number one on September 26, retaining the position for two weeks. "All I Wanna Do" by Sheryl Crow then held the top position for four weeks, but on November 2, "I'll Make Love to You" returned to number one for an additional week before beginning its final descent from the chart.[10]

Outside North America, "I'll Make Love to You" also experienced major chart success. It reached number one in New Zealand on September 11, keeping that position for four weeks before "Endless Love" by Luther Vandross and Mariah Carey moved to number one. In Australia, the song reached the top on October 16 and stayed there for two weeks, losing its spot at number one to Silverchair's "Tomorrow". On both charts, the song stayed in the top 50 for 22 weeks. Across Europe, the song reached the top 10 in most countries, but fell outside this range in Germany and Finland, where it peaked at 20 and 12, respectively. In the UK, the song debuted at number 6 on the Official Singles Chart on August 28 before moving up to number 5 the next week, its peak position. It stayed in the top 40 for a further eight weeks. In Ireland, the song was slightly less successful, reaching number 7 and spending 10 weeks on the chart.

Awards and accolades[edit]

"I'll Make Love to You" won the 1995 Grammy Award for Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals and two American Music Awards for Favorite Pop/Rock Single and Favorite Soul/R&B Single. It ranks at number 19 on Billboard's All-Time Top 100 Songs.[11]

Music video[edit]

The accompanying music video for "I'll Make Love to You" was directed by American music video director, film director and VJ Lionel C. Martin.[12] It depicts a story around a woman and a man. The man, played by actor Duane Martin, installs a security system in the woman's house. She later invites him to have a drink, but he's busy. It turns out that she really likes him; likewise, as he likes her too. While reading her letter, he begins to slowly take off his clothes, right at the moment in the song where the lyrics say he should. In the end, he writes her a letter, she receives it and reads it: it is a love letter, with the song lyrics. The video was published on YouTube in October 2009. It has amassed over 164 million views as of September 2021.[13]

In popular culture[edit]

In the 2020 Hulu series High Fidelity, actor Thomas Doherty sings a cover of the song in-character as Liam Shawcross, a musician who protagonist Rob (Zoë Kravitz) later has a one-night-stand with.[14]

In an episode of the Netflix comedy Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Titus Andromedon (Tituss Burgess) sings the song at a funeral at the request of a Boyz II Men song by his landlady Lillian (Carol Kane), both realizing his mistake as he gets to the chorus.

In Series 2, Episode 5, of the BBC comedy series Ghosts, Julian Fawcett MP (Simon Farnaby), the trouser-less ghost of a Conservative MP who died in 1993, sings the song a cappella for the ghost's music club, much to the dismay of the less contemporary ghosts. 

In the 2012 film Pitch Perfect, an a cappella version of two lines of the song is included in a medley performed by the Barden Bellas as part of the Riff-Off.

Track listing[edit]

  • European single
  1. "I'll Make Love to You (Pop Edit)" - 3:49
  2. "I'll Make Love to You (Instrumental)" - 5:39
  • UK CD single / US maxi-CD[15]
  1. I'll Make Love to You (Pop Edit) - 3:49
  2. I'll Make Love to You (LP Version) - 4:07
  3. I'll Make Love to You (Instrumental) - 5:39
  4. I'll Make Love to You (Acapella) - 4:49

Charts[edit]

Certifications and sales[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/sales
Australia (ARIA)[39] Platinum 70,000^
New Zealand (RMNZ)[59] Platinum 10,000*
United Kingdom (BPI)[61] Gold 445,000[60]
United States (RIAA)[62] Platinum 1,000,000^

* Sales figures based on certification alone.
^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Flick, Larry (6 August 1994). "Single Reviews" (PDF). Billboard. p. 65. Retrieved 20 March 2021.
  2. ^ Augusto, Troy J. (13 August 1994). "Pop Singles — Reviews: Pick of the Week" (PDF). Cash Box. Retrieved 3 March 2022.
  3. ^ Masterton, James (28 August 1994). "Week Ending September 3rd 1994". Chart Watch UK. Retrieved 8 September 2021.
  4. ^ "New Releases: Singles" (PDF). Music & Media. 10 September 1994. p. 10. Retrieved 19 May 2021.
  5. ^ Jones, Alan (20 August 1994). "Market Preview: Mainstream - Singles - Pick of the Week" (PDF). Music Week. p. 18. Retrieved 19 April 2021.
  6. ^ Martinez, Gerald (18 September 1994). "Boyz get older and wiser". New Sunday Times. p. 17. Retrieved 22 October 2021.
  7. ^ Sutherland, Mark (17 August 1994). "New Singles". Smash Hits. p. 51. Retrieved 27 April 2021.
  8. ^ Grein, Paul (May 6, 2011). "Chart Watch Extra: 20 Years Of Top Songs". Yahoo! Music. Archived from the original on May 12, 2011. Retrieved May 4, 2015.
  9. ^ "American certifications – Boyz II Men – I'll Make Love to You". Recording Industry Association of America.
  10. ^ "Results: RPM Weekly - Library and Archives Canada". Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 7 January 2018.
  11. ^ Bronson, Fred (2 August 2013). "Hot 100 55th Anniversary: The All-Time Top 100 Songs". Billboard. Retrieved 1 August 2018.
  12. ^ "Boyz II Men: I'll Make Love to You". IMDb. Retrieved September 8, 2021.
  13. ^ "Boyz II Men - I'll Make Love To You (Official Music Video)". YouTube. October 5, 2009. Retrieved September 8, 2021.
  14. ^ Reif, Alex. (14 February 2020). "Soundtrack Review: "High Fidelity' (Hulu)". Laughing Place. Retrieved 30 November 2020.
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  59. ^ "New Zealand single certifications – Boyz II Men – I'll Make Love to You". Recorded Music NZ. Retrieved February 15, 2021.
  60. ^ Myers, Justin (September 5, 2019). "Number 1 today in 1994: Wet Wet Wet see off Kylie's comeback". Official Charts Company.
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  62. ^ "American single certifications – Boyz II Men – I'll Make Love to You". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved February 15, 2021.

External links[edit]