Ben Margulies is a Grammy-nominated songwriter and a RIAA nine-time platinum certified record producer. He is best known for co-writing, arranging, and producing Mariah Carey's first album, Mariah Carey.
Margulies began his musical career as a session drummer for the New York New Wave trio Comateens, and joined their 1983 European tour to promote their Pictures on a String album. That same year, he also made an appearance in their music video "Get Off My Case".
Collaboration with Mariah Carey
Margulies met Mariah Carey while she was an unsigned artist through a mutual friend of Carey's brother Morgan. Together, Margulies and Carey wrote over twenty songs, five of which were compiled into a demo tape recorded in Margulies' makeshift studio in the back of his father's workshop. On the strength of this tape, Carey was signed to Sony in 1988.
Carey's 1990 first album, Mariah Carey, was a smash hit. Seven of its ten songs, and three of its four number one hits, were Carey-Margulies compositions. "Vision of Love" was nominated for Grammy Awards for Song of the Year, Record of the Year and Best Female Pop Vocal Performance. That same year, "Love Takes Time" was also awarded the BMI Pop Awards "Song of the Year".
In the following year, however, Carey’s and Margulies’ collaboration ended over a financial dispute. Before recording their demo, Carey had signed a contract that entitled Margulies to half the proceeds she made from any recordings involving his material, in addition to songwriting royalties. According to one of Carey's biographers,
Sony’s lawyers stepped in, and after a long and often bitter court battle that dragged on for over a year, both sides reportedly agreed that Ben would receive ten percent of Mariah’s earnings over the next ten years. Mariah would look back on the falling out with Ben as a painful learning experience. “Be careful what you sign,” she said in a Q magazine interview. “I heard that a thousand times. But when you’re struggling, you still do it. I blindly signed.” In the aftermath of the court battle, Ben would discuss the situation diplomatically, putting the lion’s share of the blame on the record label and saying that he hoped Mariah and he could work together again in the future. The reality is that a five-year friendship and creative partnership that had produced some wonderful music had been destroyed. The two never worked together again, and, in fact, had no contact whatsoever.
In late 2001, Margulies built a recording and production facility in Santa Barbara, California. The Chris Pelonis-designed room was featured as one of Mix magazine's Class of 2001 studios. He now collaborates with many artists and songwriters from all over the world.
Mariah Carey/Ben Margulies co-written songs
- Vision of Love (co-written)
- Love Takes Time (co-written)
- Someday (co-written)
- Vanishing (co-written)
- All In Your Mind (co-written)
- Alone In Love (co-written and co-produced)
- Prisoner (co-written)
- Comateens biography
- Özdilek, Can "People" February Sky - Your source for everything Mariah Carey" (Retrieved 11 December 2010)
- Shapiro, Marc, Mariah Carey: The Unauthorized Biography, ECW Press, 2001, p. 60.
- Shapiro, Marc, Mariah Carey: The Unauthorized Biography, ECW Press, 2001, p. 61.