DAR Music: The 8 Greatest TLC Singles

By @TrueGodImmortal

In R&B music, female groups have been a huge part of the success that the genre has seen over the last 30 years. One of the most infamous groups of them all is TLC, a trio of singers with a lot of style and a smooth melodic touch. Over the years, the group managed a level of success and their first three albums were worldwide hits. Today, I wanted to look back at their run and rank their 8 greatest singles. Which singles make the list? Read on to find out.

8. Ain't 2 Proud 2 Beg (1991)

-The New Jack Swing era was amazing. TLC managed to take part in the era with some of the music on their debut. Everything about this single was familiar to the New Jack Swing sound and the group made an extremely infectious single with the call and response hook crafted by Dallas Austin. This was the arrival of TLC and it was a memorable one at that.

7. What About Your Friends (1992)

-The group debuted in 1992, bringing a flare with them that we had not seen prior in the female groups of music. Their third single was crafted by Dallas Austin of course, and it worked to perfection. The lyrics were what you expected, but the strength lies in the production and the true highlight, the catchy hook. This was the third single from their debut album and it was truly a classic. 

6. No Scrubs (1999)

-The most iconic of the singles from TLC is actually their worst successful single. While many people would think that Unpretty would make this list, I have always found that the song really doesn't resonate. There is nothing comparable to the first two albums from the trio and while their third album was hugely successful, it was still missing something. This ironic anthem, designed to point out the men who can't get any love from the group, is extremely catchy and probably the biggest overall in terms of crossover appeal (or second biggest). However, the inclusion of this single is mostly due to success and not quality, which speaks to the power of their other singles more so than anything.

5. Red Light Special (1995)

-The group had a lot of songs with sexual undertones in them, but this was their best slow jam by far. It is really their only true traditional slow jam and it gave the group a slightly different image than we had come to know from them prior. This should come as no surprise, but the man behind the pen for this one? Babyface. He gives the ladies a true bedroom gem that allows them to set a scene and intensify their roles as sex symbols in music. The best part of this song? Hearing T-Boz and her raspy singing work so well as seductive.

4. Creep (1994)

-One of the more upbeat yet smooth tracks from their iconic sophomore album, this is another no. 1 hit from the group of course. Of course, this song was penned by Dallas Austin, who attempted to showcase a song about cheating, but from a woman's perspective. The song was controversial because Left Eye seemingly wanted nothing to do with the song at first, but it would end up becoming a huge hit and one of the most recognizable songs in their catalog.

3. Baby Baby Baby (1992)

-Of course, one of the most catchy TLC songs has to make the list. Of all their singles, this might be my personal favorite. I loved everything about this song from the verses to the bridge and the hook, of course. Chilli and T-Boz really do a great job together handling the vocals, and the man behind the pen for this gem? You guessed it, Babyface.

2. Diggin On You (1995)

-Babyface gave TLC unlimted gems. I'll forever say that. He is the greatest songwriter ever and there should be no surprise that all of the big Babyface penned singles are on this list and rightfully so. The trio created one of their most smooth tracks here, and this bordered on easy listening more than traditional R&B. Still, you can clearly hear the Babyface influence on the hook, perhaps the most clear of any song he wrote for them and as a result, this takes the no. 2 spot for me. This song wasn't as successful on the charts as the others from CrazySexyCool, but it was the best overall track IMO.

1. Waterfalls (1995)

-There is no other choice. I personally liked their other singles better, but this is the greatest TLC single and song ever. It is their crown jewel in terms of singles and the most infamous song they have. Organized Noize was behind this one, which features a beautiful opening guitar riff and resounding chorus that gives way to the overall catchy verses and hook. In many ways, this is the signature TLC song, and their biggest single, as it not only took over the charts in the U.S., but it was internationally their biggest song. While there are other choices for the best song they've had, in terms of singles, there is nothing bigger than Waterfalls for TLC.



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