Boyz II Men, Seal, TLC, And Coolio Had The Biggest Hits Of 1995

1995 will be remembered as the year of the Oklahoma City bombing. If you lived in the Midwest, you were caught in one of the biggest heatwaves in history. The hottest part of 1995, however, were the top hits on the airwaves. It was the year Madonna would score her longest-running No. 1 hit, “Take a Bow.” It was the year Mariah Carey would hit the peak of her outstanding career. It was also the year Alanis Morrisette released her history-making album, Jagged Little Pill. However, as the top five hits of the year (as compiled by Billboard) show, 1990s R&B music was at its peak.

5. Boyz II Men, “On Bended Knee”

The follow-up to “I’ll Make Love To You,” a song that spent 14 weeks at No. 1, spent six weeks in the top position in late 1994 and early 1995. “On Bended Knee” is a heartbreaking ballad about loss and desperation. Its religious references echo many of Boyz II Men’s other songs. “On Bended Knee” wouldn’t be the last No. 1 hit for the band; “One Sweet Day,” their duet with Mariah Carey, spent 15 weeks at the top.

4. Seal, “Kiss From A Rose”

Seal’s “Kiss From A Rose” was a No. 1 hit from the Batman Forever soundtrack during the Summer of 1995. The song was originally released on Seal’s album Seal II in 1994 and was a minor hit upon its release that year. However, the Batman Forever exposure helped its re-release become Seal’s biggest hit to date. As Songfacts notes, some think the song has something to do with drugs. However, others think it’s just an expression of love and — possibly — about a journey to the afterlife.

3. TLC, “Creep”

TLC’s Creep was the group’s first No. 1 hit and spent four weeks on top in early 1995. It was produced by Dallas Austin, who produced many other huge hits for TLC and other artists. “Creep” was a little controversial, especially since it was seen as persuading listeners to cheat on their lovers. However, others didn’t care about the lyrics and just loved the hypnotic beat and the fun video. As Songfacts notes, “Creep” won a Grammy Award for Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals in 1996. The song was also nominated for Best R&B Song but lost to Stevie Wonder’s “For Your Love.”

2. TLC, “Waterfalls”

“Waterfalls,” which hit No. 1 during the Summer of 1995, is not only considered TLC’s best song, but it’s also seen as one of the most important songs and videos of the 1990s. The song itself is about not biting more in life than you can chew, and the video drives the message further by dealing with such issues as the dangers of unsafe sex and dealing drugs. The main message of the song appears to be that there are consequences to all of our actions.

TLC swept the MTV VMAs in 1995 with the video for “Waterfalls.” The group would score two more No. 1 songs, “No Scrubs” and “Unpretty.”

1. Coolio, “Gangsta’s Paradise”

“Gangsta’s Paradise” was another No. 1 hit that had a huge message. Taken from the hit film Dangerous Minds, the song deals with the hopeless situation surrounding growing up in poverty and a lack of proper education.

Perhaps the most powerful part of the song is when Coolio shouts, “They say I gotta learn, but nobody’s here to teach me/If they can’t understand it, how can they reach me/I guess they can’t, I guess they won’t/I guess they front, that’s why I know my life is out of luck, fool” right after admitting that he’s 23, but may not live to see 24.

As Songfacts notes, the hit song is sampled from Stevie Wonder’s 1976 hit “Pastime Paradise,” but Wonder didn’t clear the sample until Coolio deleted the swearing from the song.

[Photo by Reed Saxon/AP Images]

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