Red Light Special

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"Red Light Special"
Single by TLC
from the album CrazySexyCool
B-side"My Secret Enemy"
ReleasedFebruary 21, 1995
StudioMusic Grinder (Los Angeles, California)[1]
TLC singles chronology
"Red Light Special"

"Red Light Special" is a song recorded by American vocal group TLC for their second studio album CrazySexyCool (1994). Written and produced by Babyface, LaFace and Arista Records released the song as the second single from CrazySexyCool on February 21, 1995.

"Red Light Special" found chart success, reaching number one on the US Billboard Rhythmic Top 40 chart and number two on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, being held back from the top position by Montell Jordan's "This Is How We Do It".

My Secret Enemy (B-side)[edit]

For the CD single of "Red Light Special", Lopes produced a brilliant and darkly confessional B-side called "My Secret Enemy". On this relatively obscure track, Lopes explored the Rison incident – and her own conflicted feelings about it – with astonishing depth and style. It is such an exciting departure from the work the group has done with established producers that you start to feel that TLC’s album output thus far only hints at the women’s true capabilities..

— Carol Cooper of Rolling Stone[2]

The "Red Light Special" single came with a B-side rap track titled 'My Secret Enemy', led by group rapper Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes. Despite not making TLC's album CrazySexyCool, the song is highly praised by long-time TLC fans and kept up with the group's more matured style. Its lyrical content focuses on Lisa's coverage in the media and her relationship with Andre Rison. Lopes went on to say that the song came out directly after the incident that saw her accidentally set fire to Rison's Atlanta mansion. "It happened right after that incident and I was feeling like I needed a way out," said Lopes of the track.[3]

Music video[edit]

The accompanying music video was directed by Matthew Rolston and is set in a brothel. Male actors portray prostitutes and Left Eye plays a pimp while Chilli and T-Boz portray customers playing strip poker. A young Boris Kodjoe is featured as one of the male prostitutes. T-Boz is seen being caressed by a man in a room. Chilli is seen dancing with the guitar player. There are also black and white solo shots of the girls singing.[4]

There are three versions of the music video. Version one is labelled "Sexy", the second is labelled "Sexier" and the final version is labelled "Sexiest". As a result of more sexually suggestive and racy footage being used in versions two and three, the first version is widely broadcast.

Track listing and formats[edit]

CD single 1

  1. "Red Light Special" (Radio Edit) - 4:40
  2. "Red Light Special" (L.A.'s Flava Mix) - 4:28
  3. "Red Light Special" (Album Version) - 5:02
  4. "Red Light Special" (Gerald Hall Remix) - 5:09
  5. "My Secret Enemy" - 5:36

CD single 2

  1. "Red Light Special" (Radio Edit) - 4:40
  2. "Red Light Special" (Alternate Radio Edit) - 4:31
  3. "Red Light Special" (Album Version) - 5:02
  4. "Red Light Special" (Album Instrumental) - 5:02

12-inch vinyl single

  1. "Red Light Special" (L.A.'s Flava Mix - Extended Version)
  2. "Red Light Special" (Album Version)
  3. "Red Light Special" (Gerald Hall's Remix)
  4. "Red Light Special" (Acapella)
  5. "Red Light Special" (Instrumental)
  6. "My Secret Enemy"



Region Certification Certified units/sales
New Zealand (RMNZ)[20] Gold 7,500*
United States (RIAA)[22] Gold 700,000[21]

* Sales figures based on certification alone.


  1. ^ a b "Triple X: The Making Of TLC's 'Red Light Special'". Vibe. October 22, 2013. Retrieved September 11, 2017. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  2. ^ "TLC's T-Boz: 'A lot of people have made money off of us, and we haven't'". The Guardian. 1995. Retrieved July 8, 2015. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  3. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on September 6, 2016. Retrieved September 12, 2016. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link) CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  4. ^ "How Left Eye And Andre Rison's Fiery Relationship Almost Inspired TLC's 'Red Light Special' Video". Uproxx. November 14, 2014. Retrieved September 11, 2017. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  5. ^ Ryan, Gavin (2011). Australia's Music Charts 1988-2010. Mt. Martha, VIC, Australia: Moonlight Publishing.
  6. ^ "Top RPM Dance/Urban: Issue 9217." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved February 8, 2020.
  7. ^ "Top RPM Singles: Issue 9251." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved February 8, 2020.
  8. ^ "Euro Chart Hot 100" (PDF). Music & Media. May 6, 1995. p. 19. Retrieved June 22, 2018. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  9. ^ "week 18 (6 mei 1995)" (in Dutch). Retrieved November 28, 2019. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  10. ^ " – TLC – Red Light Special". Top 40 Singles.
  11. ^ "Official Scottish Singles Sales Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company.
  12. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company.
  13. ^ "Official R&B Singles Chart Top 40". Official Charts Company.
  14. ^ "TLC Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved December 5, 2017.
  15. ^ "TLC Chart History (Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved December 5, 2017, 2017.
  16. ^ "TLC Chart History (Pop Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved December 5, 2017.
  17. ^ "TLC Chart History (Rhythmic)". Billboard. Retrieved December 5, 2017.
  18. ^ "Billboard Top 100 - 1995". Retrieved August 27, 2010. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  19. ^ "1995 Year End Chart: R&B/Hip-Hop Songs". Billboard. Retrieved January 27, 2012. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  20. ^ "New Zealand single certifications – TLC – Red Light Special". Recorded Music NZ.
  21. ^ "Best-Selling Records of 1995". Billboard. BPI Communications. 108 (3): 56. January 20, 1996. ISSN 0006-2510. Retrieved May 5, 2015.
  22. ^ "American single certifications – TLC – Red Light Special". Recording Industry Association of America. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH. 

External links[edit]