First Hit #1: May 21, 1994
In 1994, two versions of I Swear became hits. One was by John Michael Montgomery, a country version with the requisite twang to be a hit on that part of the radio dial. The other was from All-4-One, which is sort of like Boyz II Men except higher in the alphabet. At the time, you could hear really any version of the song, they were both ubiquitous and only had the smallest possible variations between them. The version you liked indicated whether you liked a polished R&B vocal, or a bit of country twang.
I liked All-4-One version more, it was possibly the song that cemented part of my own musical tastes. Not that it gave me an enduring appreciation of R&B slow jams, but because it confirmed that I wasn’t a big fan of country music. If given the choice, I took All-4-One’s smooth vocal delivery and pleasing harmonies every time. The songs, otherwise identical, were separated purely by vocal style, and I liked one of those vocal styles a lot more than the other. People I knew didn’t agree, there were definitely friends and family who would rather listen to the country version of the song. But, to me, as cheesy as the song might have been, All-4-One was superior, because they had the best voices of the lot, and the superior vocal style.