TLC Get CrazySexyCool: Wake-Up Video

Ask anybody old enough to be cognizant of pop music what they couldn't get away from in the fall of 1994, and it's likely that the conversation will eventually come around to TLC. The R&B trio's second album — released on this day in 1994 — was beyond ubiquitous, with singles all over pop and urban radio and the videos in heavy rotation on MTV. But even down-the-line rock fans would have to admit that they sort of didn't mind, as the album delivered cool melodies, rugged beats and just enough winking to keep even the most jaded music fans nodding their heads.

While TLC (consisting of Tionne "T-Boz" Watkins, Rozonda "Chilli" Thomas and Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes) had had produced a certified smash with their 1992 debut album Ooooooohhh ... On the TLC Tip (the singles "Baby-Baby-Baby" and "What About Your Friends" had been particularly popular), 1994's CrazySexyCool put them on a whole different level. The songs on the sophomore LP are far more mature both sonically (with nods to both the ever-evolving New Jack Swing sound and the growing Atlanta hip-hop movement) and lyrically (the relationships addressed on these songs are exceptionally "adult," with all the complications of modern living).

CrazySexyCool also turned TLC into one of the most definitive video makers of the '90s. With the help of some top-shelf directors, they produced instantly iconic clips like "Red Light Special" (with its black-lit strip poker sequence), "Creep" (with those instantly-recognizable silk pajamas) and "Waterfalls" (which featured three narrative threads about AIDS and some very James Cameron-esque water effects). The latter netted them a load of MTV Video Music Awards in 1995 (including Video of the Year). The video still hits hard today, and if you listen closely, you can hear Cee Lo (yes, that Cee Lo) providing backing vocals.

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