Selected by Dan Grunebaum

Boyz II Men

Boyz II Men


Hip hop, doo-wop foursome Boyz II Men - the dominant vocal group of the ' return to Japan with their long awaited fourth album, Nathan Michael Shawn Wanya, and a tour to back it up that has them playing three nights at the venerable Budokan.

Founded in Philadelphia, PA, in 1988, Boyz II Men burst on the scene with their 1991 debut Cooleyhighharmony. Produced by Bell Biv Devoe's Michael Bivins, the album included the huge hit single, "Motownphilly," which introduced the world to the group's New Jack swing take on '50s and '60s doo-wop.

Their second single, "It's So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday," was an even greater success, and laid the groundwork for "End of the Road," which broke Elvis Presley's record for the most weeks at number one.

Boyz II Men's second album, II, was issued in 1994 and became an even bigger seller than their debut on the strengths of the single "I'll Make Love to You." Evolution followed in 1997, failing to create as big a stir as their first two albums, but still confirming the group's dominant commercial clout.

For the just released Nathan Michael Shawn Wanya (named for the members), the group seized control of their own destiny, writing and producing most of it themselves. While not a departure from the group's tested formula, the album proves the members' abilities in delivering mature, effortless music of their own.

While Boyz II Men may not dominate the charts with Nathan Michael Shawn Wanya the way they did in the mid '90s, they have set the template for a generation of urban soul artists and continue to be a force to be reckoned with.

Boyz II Men play the Budokan on January 9, 10 & 13, and Yokohama Arena on January 14.  See listings for details.

Concert Listings
394: Regurgitator
393: Art Garfunkel


392: Belle and Sebastian
391: Super Furry Animals
390: Ben Folds
389: Elton John
388: Dido
387: Papa Roach
386: Beast Feast 2001
385: Summersonic
384: David Sylvian
383: Maxi Priest & Big Mountain
382: Fuji Rock Festival 01
381: Roxy Music
380: Bo Diddley
379: John McLaughlin & Zakir Hussain in Remember Shakti
378: Paul Weller
377: Coolio
376: Backyard Babies
375: Marcus Miller
374: Black Crowes
373: Megadeath
372: Dionne Warwick
371: Arrested Development
370: Mouse on Mars
369: Duran Duran
368: Linkin Park
367: Maceo Parker
366: Japan Blues Carnival 2001
365: Ben Harper
364: Cheap Trick
363: Stephen Malkmus
362: Mogwai
361: Weezer
360: Marilyn Manson
359: Green Day
358: AC/DC
357: Richard Thompson
356: Bob Dylan
355: J. Mascis
354: Leigh Stephen Kenny
352/3: Limp Bizkit
351: Boyz II Men
350: Reef
349: Park Tower Blues Festival
348: Roni Size
347: Compay Segundo
346: Incognito
345: Jimmy Page and The Black Crowes
344: Bad Religion
343: Japan Soul Festival 2000
342: Rocktober 2000
341: Richard Ashcroft
340: Motorhead
339: Festival Halou
338: Ricky Martin
337: Taj Mahal
336: Asian Dub Foundation
335: Lou Reed
334: Earth, Wind & Fire
333: Sting
332: No Doubt
331: Camel
330: Fuji Rock: Smash Talks
329: Summer Sonic
328: Mt. Fuju Aid 2000
327: Salif Keita
326: Buena Vista Social Club
325: Bill Frisell
324: Maxi Priest
323: Lenine
322: Rage Against the Machine
321: Tommy Flanagan Trio
320: Smashing Pumpkins
319: Pet Shop Boys
318: Japan Blues Carnival
317: Gipsy Kings
316: Steely Dan
315: Pshish
314: Big Night Out
313: Femi Kuti and the Positive Force
312: Harry Connick Jr.
311: Sonny Rollins
310: Speech
309: Santana