All-4-One – I Swear

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.


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2 Responses to All-4-One – I Swear

  1. RBerman says:

    Between All-4-Love (the band), and “All 4 Love” (the Color Me Badd song), and “All for Love” (the recent Bryan Adams/Sting/Rod Stewart Song), pop music in the early 90s appears to be in dire need of some new romantic notions.

    Country artists often re-appropriate pop songs of varying vintage, but it’s less common for a pop song to be a cover of a previous country song. Credit David Foster with recognizing this wedding tune as the potential mega-hit he made it with his R&B group du jour.

  2. tPenguinLTG says:

    I’d have to go with John Michael Montgomery, and I suppose part of that is my bias for the original version.

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