Band: Boyz II Men
Genre: R n B
Notes: Apparently, these guys had too many distractions back home in Philadelphia and came out to Reno to get some writing done for their sophomore release. We had them for two weeks and did six songs. Only two made the final album, “Yesterday” and “50 Candles.” The other four were great but, ultimately; they went with Dallas Austin’s tracks for the rest of the record.
Those four guys are the nicest guys in the world!!! The most pleasant national artists I have had the pleasure of working with. Quanry actually cracked my back for me. Seeing how I’m almost a foot taller than he is, that was a sight. This is also when I discovered Snapple. Shawn Stockman had that on his part of the rider. My life changed.
The engineer was a guy named Jiff Hinger who had done the “Kris Kross” album. He was the entire crowd from the single, “Jump.” Just Jeff and an Akai Sampler. Jiff was brave. He would record zillions of background vocal tracks with the guys and then mix them to stereo into the sampler to fly around. That’s it! They were married to those balances with no going back! I thought that was insane.
When recording “50 Candles,” we were cutting Mike’s spoken word break at about 4 in the morning. We were all wiped and Mike was having some difficulty. After a few tries, he spoofed his band mates by going falsetto and prissy right when Jiff punched in. After two seconds, he dropped back down and mumbled something about pulling the hairs off your back with tweezers. Jiff punched out and left the funniest 5-second audio event that we’d ever heard. We all laughed for a good half an hour as we listened to it over and over and over and over again! I actually ran a DAT of it and named the piece “50 tweezers.” That is one of my most prized rarities!
To record “Yesterday,” they actually went to Michael Jackson at Neverland to get permission. He had bought the Beatles catalog when it went public so the guys got to see the place and meet Michael and the boy named “Apple” whom the first controversy was about. They all agreed that Michael is very much mentally at the age of 10 or so. He sees these kids like brothers and sisters so taking a bath with your brothers was something you did as a kid. That is what they feel is Michael’s M.O. There’s no way there’s any sexual intention involved. Well, that was their take on it.
The best was when Shawn and Nate decided to go to Park Lane Mall one afternoon to go shopping. They were in front of the record store, Mirabelli’s, and some girls recognized Shawn. Trying to be careful of what he said when asked what they were doing in town, he could only think to say, “We’re here doing some incognito recording.” Well, he didn’t realize that Granny’s was the only real studio in town and the girls immediately deduced where they were. The news spread like wildfire. For the next three days, we had people hanging out in the parking lot, camping out and the phone ringing off the hook. Nice one, Shawn.
The bad news is that I didn’t get credit on the record. Seven years later, I caught up with them at a show they played here and they did apologize. But that was 13 MILLION copies of the record that SHOULD HAVE had my name on it. My friends Bob Margeloff and Brant Biles remixed the album in surround and promised me credit there, but forgot as well. Just recently, thanks to my friend Susan Myers, I finally got my plaque for the record… only ten years late. To date, this is the highest selling album I’ve worked on.