Red Light Special

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"Red Light Special"
Single by TLC
from the album CrazySexyCool
B-side "My Secret Enemy"
Released February 21, 1995
Format CD
Recorded 1994
Music Grinder Studios
(Los Angeles, California)[1]
Length 5:04
Songwriter(s) Cindy Herron
Producer(s) Babyface
TLC singles chronology
"Red Light Special"

"Red Light Special"

"Red Light Special" is a song recorded by American group TLC and released as the second single from their second studio album, CrazySexyCool (1994). Written by Cindy Herron of En Vogue, the song reached number one on the 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". The song was TLC's fifth top-ten single.

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, 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 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 & 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]

Track listing[edit]

  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
  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" vinyl
  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" (Acappella)
  5. "Red Light Special" (Instrumental)
  6. "My Secret Enemy"



Region Certification Certified units/Sales
New Zealand (RMNZ)[19] Gold 7,500*
United States (RIAA)[20] Gold 700,000[21]

*sales figures based on certification alone


  1. ^ "Triple X: The Making Of TLC's 'Red Light Special'". 22 October 2013. Retrieved 11 September 2017. 
  2. ^ "TLC's T-Boz: 'A lot of people have made money off of us, and we haven't'". 1995. Retrieved 8 July 2015. 
  3. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2016-09-06. Retrieved 2016-09-12. 
  4. ^ "How Left Eye And Andre Rison's Fiery Relationship Almost Inspired TLC's 'Red Light Special' Video". 14 November 2014. Retrieved 11 September 2017. 
  5. ^ Ryan, Gavin (2011). Australia's Music Charts 1988-2010. Mt. Martha, VIC, Australia: Moonlight Publishing. 
  6. ^ Canada, Library and Archives (17 July 2013). "Image : RPM Weekly". Retrieved 25 March 2018. 
  7. ^ Canada, Library and Archives (17 July 2013). "Image : RPM Weekly". Retrieved 25 March 2018. 
  8. ^ "Euro Chart Hot 100" (PDF). Music & Media. 1995-05-06. p. 19. Retrieved June 22, 2018. 
  9. ^ " – TLC – Red Light Special". Top 40 Singles.
  10. ^ "Official Scottish Singles Sales Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company.
  11. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company.
  12. ^ "Official R&B Singles Chart Top 40". Official Charts Company.
  13. ^ "TLC Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved December 5, 2017.
  14. ^ "TLC Chart History (Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved December 5, 2017, 2017.
  15. ^ "TLC Chart History (Pop Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved December 5, 2017.
  16. ^ "TLC Chart History (Rhythmic)". Billboard. Retrieved December 5, 2017.
  17. ^ "Billboard Top 100 - 1995". Retrieved 2010-08-27. 
  18. ^ "1995 Year End Chart: R&B/Hip-Hop Songs". Billboard. Retrieved 2012-01-27. 
  19. ^ "New Zealand single certifications – TLC – Red Light Special". Recorded Music NZ. 
  20. ^ "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. 
  21. ^ "Best-Selling Records of 1995". Billboard. BPI Communications. 108 (3): 56. January 20, 1996. ISSN 0006-2510. Retrieved May 5, 2015. 

External links[edit]