I Swear

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"I Swear"
I swear (JM Montgomery).jpg
Single by John Michael Montgomery
from the album Kickin' It Up
ReleasedNovember 19, 1993
Recorded1993
GenreCountry
Length4:22
LabelAtlantic Nashville
Songwriter(s)
Producer(s)Scott Hendricks
John Michael Montgomery singles chronology
"Beer and Bones"
(1993)
"I Swear"
(1993)
"Rope the Moon"
(1994)

"I Swear" is a song written by Gary Baker and Frank J. Myers that became a hit for American country music artist John Michael Montgomery in 1993 and for American R&B group All-4-One in 1994.

Released in November 1993 as the lead single from his album Kickin' It Up, and accompanied by a music video directed by Marc Ball, Montogemery's version spent four weeks at number-one on the U.S. Hot Country Singles & Tracks chart, later crossing over to pop radio and reaching number 42 on the US Billboard Hot 100 in March.

The cover by All-4-One was subsequently released in April 1994, becoming a number-one hit in numerous countries, and later garnering a spot in Billboard's ranking of All-Time Top 100 Songs.[1]

Content[edit]

The song is a ballad in which the narrator promises his significant other that he will always love her.

Track listings[edit]

CD maxi—United States (1993)
  1. "I Swear" – 4:23
  2. "Line on Love" – 2:37
  3. "Dream on Texas Ladies" – 3:08
  4. "Friday at Five" – 2:41

Charts[edit]

All-4-One version[edit]

"I Swear"
All4one-iswear.jpg
Single by All-4-One
from the album All-4-One
ReleasedApril 28, 1994
Recorded1993
Genre
Length4:18
Label
Songwriter(s)
Producer(s)David Foster
All-4-One singles chronology
"So Much in Love"
(1993)
"I Swear"
(1994)
"(She's Got) Skillz"
(1994)
Music video
"I Swear" on YouTube

Following the release of Montgomery's version, American male R&B pop group All-4-One recorded a cover version with record producer David Foster for their eponymous 1994 debut album. The cover includes a lyric change: the original line from the second verse "And when there's silver in your hair" was replaced by "And when just the two of us are there."

All-4-One's version hit number-one on numerous music charts, including the US Billboard Hot 100, where it remained number-one for 11 consecutive weeks. The recoding later ranked number 98 on Billboard's list of All-Time Top 100 Songs.[1]

In the United Kingdom, the All-4-One recording spent a total of 18 weeks on the UK Singles Chart, peaking at number two, where it stayed for seven consecutive weeks (held off the top spot by Wet Wet Wet's "Love Is All Around", which spent 15 weeks at number one).

Critical reception[edit]

A reviewer from Billboard described the song as an "memorable anthem ballad".[8] The magazine's Larry Flick wrote, "Follow-up to the gold-selling 'So Much in Love' once again spotlights this male quartet's seamless harmonies. Producer David Foster supplies soft and pillowy synths, a caressing sax solo, and an overall splash of drama, which complements the unabashed romance of this hit-bound ballad. As teens enter prom season, expect this song to be the peak tune of the evening. Ahhh, young love ..."[9] M.R. Martinez from Cash Box complimented it as a single "complete with shimmering vocals, swooning pop arrangements, and throttled (yet soulful) vocals".[10] Music writer James Masterton noted in his weekly UK chart commentary, "Labelled by many as this year's 'End of the Road' you can see what all the hype is a about. Four American teenagers singing in barber's shop harmonies makes for a gorgeous record. Whether it emulates it's [sic] American success remains to be seen but Top 10 success is almost assured."[11]

Dave Sholin from the Gavin Report complimented the producer that "polishes it up just right for pop audiences who, like their country counterparts, will soak in the lyrics." He added, "Those contemplating matrimony will no doubt have this played while they're walking down the aisle, and those who've already tied the knot might want to renew their vows just so they can make "I Swear" part of the ceremony."[12] Pan-European magazine Music & Media commented, "Since Whitney covered Dolly, Nashville is hip in the R&B milieu. Now the vocal harmony quartet halfway between Shai and Boyz II Men polishes John Michael Montgomery country number 1 hit." Head of music on German Radio Regenbogen/Mannheim, Martin Schwebel said, "It's a beautiful love song. The fact that it's on pole position in every American chart imaginable shows its huge potential. Here in Germany it might be a sleeper, but it will be a hit in the long run."[13] Alan Jones from Music Week deemed it a "pretty and powerful ballad", that "should be big."[14]

Music video[edit]

A music video was produced to promote the single. It portrays the members of All-4-One hanging out on a rooftop singing interspersed with scenes with a young woman walking on the sidewalk below. They go down to walk and talk with her as they implore her not to leave. Ultimately, she says goodbye to each member before boarding a departing bus. The video was published on YouTube in January 2014. It has amassed over 57 million views as of September 20th, 2021.[15]

Other All-4-One versions[edit]

All-4-One and John Michael Montgomery recorded an updated duet version of "I Swear" for the deluxe edition of All-4-One's 2015 album Twenty+. A music video for this duet version was released on May 9, 2016.

In 2021, All-4-One recorded a remix of "I Swear" for a music video promoting Xbox All-Access, titled "It's All There".[16]

Track listings[edit]

Charts[edit]

Certifications[edit]

Certifications and sales for All-4-One's cover
Region Certification Certified units/sales
Australia (ARIA)[44] 2× Platinum 140,000^
Austria (IFPI Austria)[63] Platinum 50,000*
Germany (BVMI)[64] Platinum 500,000^
Netherlands (NVPI)[65] Gold 50,000^
New Zealand (RMNZ)[66] Platinum 10,000*
Sweden (GLF)[67] Gold 25,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[68] Platinum 600,000^
United States (RIAA)[70] Platinum 1,500,000[69]

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

Other versions[edit]

The final eleven contestants from Popstars: Girls forever, ninth season of TV talent show POPSTARS in Germany, they released a cover version of the song with Gary Baker on November 19, 2010. The finalists premiered the song live on the November 18th edition of the programme; the single was available for digital download on November 16, 2010 and a physical release followed the day after the live performance of the song. The song was recorded at Noiseblock Studios in Florence, Alabama. The cover reached number 69 on the German Singles Chart.[71]

Filipino pop duo Quamo recorded a Tagalog version titled "Sumpa Ko", released by VIVA Records in 1995 in the Philippines.

Brazilian duo Leandro e Leonardo recorded a Portuguese version entitled "Eu Juro", it was recorded in 1995. A Spanish language version titled "Te juro" was also released by the duo.

Costa Rican group Centinelas Vocal Band has performed a Latin American version entitled "Juraré".[72] It was also covered in 1997 by Sandy Lam, Chyi Yu, Prudence Liew and Teresa Carpio, and as "Ya sé" by Mexican country band Caballo Dorado in 1998.[73]

In 2008, Yao Si Ting (姚斯婷), a female Chinese singer from Guangzhou, recorded an English cover of the song.[74]

In the seventh episode for Season 16 of South Park, Cartman Finds Love, the song was played by Eric Cartman who tries to get Token and Nicole to hook up. He and Brad Paisley also sang that song for Kyle Broflovski at the Denver Broncos Stadium.

In the 2013 computer-animated comedy film Despicable Me 2, the Minions sang a Minionese cover of the song during Gru and Lucy Wilde's wedding. The song is called "Underwear".

In 2021, American country a cappella group Home Free released a cover of the song. It was accompanied by a music video released on February 19, filmed as a tongue-in-cheek homage to 1980s and 1990s romantic music videos.[75]

In 2021, the entire cast of Pose sang it at the wedding of Angel and Lil Papi in the episode "Something Old, Something New".

References[edit]

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  72. ^ Revernation Artist, CENTINELAS VOCAL BAND.
  73. ^ 滾石唱片 ROCK RECORDS (2016-02-22), 林憶蓮 齊豫 劉美君 杜麗莎 Sandy Lam & Chyi Yu & Prudence Liew & Teresa Carpio【I SWEAR】Official Music Video, archived from the original on 2021-12-21, retrieved 2017-09-30
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External links[edit]