This song about a difficult breakup was written for the Eddie Murphy film Boomerang. Co-writer Babyface was going to sing it himself but he, L.A. Reid and Daryl Simmons decided Boyz II Men would do a better job, so it was offered to them. They flew to Philadelphia to meet them and as the group had to be back on tour the next day, they laid down all the vocals in just three hours.
In the US, this was the biggest hit in 1992, spending 13 weeks at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100, breaking the record of 11 weeks Elvis Presley had held ever since 1956 with the double-sided single "Don't Be Cruel"/"Hound Dog." Boyz II Men was displaced the next year by Whitney Houston's "I Will Always Love You." In 1995, Boyz II Men would tie Houston's 14-week record with "I'll Make Love To You."
Suggestion credit: Bertrand - Paris, France
It won 1992 Grammy Awards for Best Rhythm & Blues Performance by a Group with Vocal, & Best Rhythm & Blues Song for the writers LA Reid, Babyface and Daryl Simmons.
This was re-released in 2007 in Britain to coincide with the re-release of Boyz II Men's greatest hits collection Legacy, returning the song to the UK Top 50. The reactivation of Legacy was a spoiler by their old label Motown to coincide with the release of their first album for new label Decca, Motown Hitsville USA.
Daryl Simmons recalled the story of the song to Songwriter Universe: "At the time, Kenny (Babyface) had been through a divorce, and I was going through a divorce. So here we go with this concept, thinking about [how things were at] the end of the road. That's how the concept came along. So we know this is sad…we know it's just a sad story. So we hit on it…'Damn, I think we got something.'"
"So we work on it all day," Simmons continued. "Then L.A. comes in from the LaFace office with his suit on. He says, 'Okay, you say you all got something - let me hear it.' I can still see him sitting on the couch, throwing his arms on the couch. Kenny plays it, and we sing it, and he goes, 'That's just a smash!'"
The cast of A Different World sang this on the sitcom's series finale in 1993 as the characters Dwayne and Whitley get ready to leave for Japan. Incidentally, Boyz II Men also sang the show's theme song in its final season.