On this day in music history: November 15, 1994 – “CrazySexyCool”, the second album by TLC is released. Produced by Dallas Austin, Sean “Puffy” Combs, Jermaine Dupri, Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds, Organized Noize, Jon-John Robinson, Manuel Seal and Chucky Thompson, it is recorded at DARP Studios, KrossWire Studios, Doppler Studios, Bosstown Recording Studios, Curtom Studios in Atlanta, GA, The Hit Factory, Daddy’s House in New York City and Music Grinder Studios in Hollywood, CA from Late 1993 – September 1994. Smashing the charts with their debut album “Ooooooohhh… On the TLC Tip”, TLC are quickly established as one of the biggest new acts of the 90’s. Unfortunately, the group discover that they’ve attained fame, but reap none of the financial rewards. Signed to Perri “Pebbles” Reid’s management company Pebbitone, rather than directly to La’Face Records, T-Boz, Left Eye and Chilli find that they are receiving only meager royalties on their record sales. But they’re paying all of the costs to record and promote their records, from their share. In spite of this, they’re still committed to a second album. At the time, Lisa “Left-Eye” Lopes is dating and living with Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Andre “Bad Moon” Rison. Lopes and Rison’s relationship is marred by constant arguments and physical fights. Coming home from a night out, Lisa finds boxes of sneakers Andre has purchased, and becomes angry when she finds he hasn’t bought any for her. She sets a pair of shoes on fire in Rison’s bathtub, to show her displeasure at his thoughtlessness. The fiberglass tub melts, and burns the house to the ground after Lopes flees the scene. Charged with arson, she checks into rehab for her alcoholism, stemming from her abusive upbringing, at the hands of her father. The incident inspires “Waterfalls” (#1 R&B, #1 Pop), with Lopes’ rap being written when she’s going to the studio. Titled “CrazySexyCool”, it is a description of TLC, with Left Eye being (“Crazy”), Chilli (“Sexy”) and T-Boz (“Cool”). An out of the box smash, it’s hailed as a great leap forward musically, showing their maturation from teen age girls into young women. It spins off four singles including “Creep” (#1 R&B, #1 Pop), “Red Light Special” (#5 R&B, #2 Pop) and “Diggin’ On You” (#7 R&B, #5 Pop). Other stand outs include a cover of Prince’s “If I Was Your Girlfriend”, “Kick Your Game” and “Sumthin’ Wicked This Way Comes”. “CrazySexyCool” is nominated for six Grammy Awards, winning two for Best R&B Album and Best R&B Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocals in 1996. Issued as a promo only vinyl LP in 1994, it receives its first commercial release in 2012. “CrazySexyCool” peaks at number two on the Billboard R&B album chart, number three on the Top 200, and is certified 12x Platinum in the US by the RIAA, earning a Diamond Certification.
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