It’s rare to come across a soundtrack that’s better than the film it accompanies, but Boomerang is one of the exceptions. It’s not so much that the film is bad (sure, it’s predictable, but it’s still enjoyable), but more of a reflection of the quality of the soundtrack, which, at 12 tracks long, is groaning under the weight of some of the best R&B sounds of the early ’90s. Here’s how we rank all the songs from the Boomerang soundtrack in order of greatness.
12. Feels Like Heaven – Kenny Vaughan and The Art of Love
Guitarist Kenny Vaughan took a break from his usual job as a member of Marty Stuart’s supporting band, The Fabulous Superlatives, to make this gorgeous track with The Art of Love.
11. Don’t Wanna Love You – Shanice
By the time Boomerang was released in 1992, Shanice was already an old hand in the industry, having released her debut album five years before at the age of just 14. Don’t Wanna Love You might not have been a hit, but it’s still a fun listen.
10. There U Go – Johnny Gill
As one of the members of New Edition, Johnny Gill scored a series of hits with the likes of Can You Stand The Rain, If It Isn’t Love, and Boys To Men. After launching out alone in 1990, he continued to enjoy success as one of the earliest pioneers of the new jack swing genre, earning hits with My, My, My, Rub You the Right Way, Fairweather Friend, and Wrap My Body Tight. This smooth number from the Boomerang track gives us Gill at his romantic best.
9. Hot Sex – A Tribe Called Quest
Hip hop group A Tribe Called Quest made it to number 99 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks chart in 1992 with this track from the Boomerang soundtrack.
8. Tonight Is Right – Keith Washington
Keith Washington’s career may only have lasted as long as the ’90s did, but he still managed to deliver some top tunes, including the Grammy-nominated, Soul Train Music award-winning Kissing You and this languidly sensuous treat from the Boomerang soundtrack.
7. 7 Day Weekend – Grace Jones
Grace Jones delivered a memorable performance as Helen Strangé in Boomerang and an even more memorable performance on this hypnotic track from its soundtrack. Released as a single, it reached number 86 in the Netherlands.
6. It’s Gonna Be Alright – Aaron Hall featuring Charlie Wilson
According to Wikipedia, Aaron Hall now works as a dog trainer, but back in the early ’90s, he and the rest of the group Guy were some of the biggest R&B hitmakers around, selling over a million copies of their debut album and dominating the airwaves with hits like Groove Me, I Like, and Piece of My Love. On this seductive R&B song from the Boomerang soundtrack, he delivers a sensationally soulful performance alongside the always excellent Charlie Wilson.
5. Reversal of a Dog – Damian Dame, Highland Place Mobsters, TLC, and Toni Braxton
Neither TLC nor Toni Braxton had yet reached the peak of their success at the time they made this song for the Boomerang soundtrack, but they were both on the cusp of glory. The addition of Damian Dame and Highland Place Mobsters, two short-lived RnB/New Jack Swing groups, only adds to the track’s appeal.
4. Give U My Heart – Babyface and Toni Braxton
Babyface and L.A. Reid wrote Give U My Heart specifically for the Boomerang soundtrack. Accompanying Babyface is Toni Braxton, who Babyface and L.A. Reid had recently signed to LaFace Records and who was just a few months away from making waves with her Grammy award-winning debut solo album. Released as a single, the song hit number 29 on the Billboard Hot 100 and No. 2 on the Billboard Hot R&B Singles chart.
3. I’d Die Without You – P.M. Dawn
People Magazine had it right when they described I’d Die Without You as “soulful” and “exquisite.” Released as the third single from the soundtrack in October 1992, it reached number 3 on the Billboard Hot 100 and number two on the Billboard Mainstream Top 40, earning gold certification within less than a month of its release.
2. Love Shoulda Brought You Home – Toni Braxton
Considering L. A. Reid and Babyface were both in charge of the soundtrack, it’s no great surprise that Toni Braxton, who they’d recently signed to LaFace Records, pops up several times. Speaking about the decision to invite her to sing Love Shoulda Brought You Home, director Reginald Hudlin has said “They write a song, “Love Shoulda Brought You Home”. I said, “well, who we going to get to sing it?” And they said “well you know, we’ve got this great young singer who sang the demo, Reggie. If you like the demo then we can use her.” And I said “great, let’s use her.” So that was Toni Braxton’s debut. And I remember when I finally met Toni at Babyface’s wedding, L.A. said, “you owe your career to this guy, he gave you your big break,” which was really sweet.” Released as a single in October 1992, it reached the top five of Billboard’s Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart and the top 40 of the Billboard Hot 100.
1. End of the Road – Boyz II Men
Described by Billboard as a “retro-minded pop/R&B tune”, with “a swaying, doo-wop melody,” and “the markings of a major multi-format smash,” Boyz II Men’s End of the Road took the world by storm when it was released in June 1992, spending a massive 13 weeks at number one on the US Billboard Hot 100 and topping the charts in Australia, the UK, and the Hot 100 Eurochart. A year later, it picked up the Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals and Best R&B Song at the 1993 Grammy Awards. It’s since been certified platinum in the US after selling over 1 million copies.