Emotions (Mariah Carey song)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Single by Mariah Carey
from the album Emotions
B-side "Vanishing"
"Vision of Love"
Released August 13, 1991 (1991-08-13)
Format CD single, cassette single, 7" single, 12" single
Recorded March 1991
Genre Disco
Length 4:09
Label Columbia
Writer(s) Mariah Carey, David Cole, Robert Clivillés
Producer(s) David Cole, Robert Clivillés, Mariah Carey
Certification Gold (U.S., New Zealand)
Mariah Carey singles chronology
"There's Got to Be a Way"
"Can't Let Go"

"Emotions" is a song by American singer-songwriter Mariah Carey. It was written and produced by Carey, David Cole and Robert Clivillés of the C+C Music Factory, and recorded for Carey's second album of the same name (1991). It was released as the album's first single on August 13, 1991 by Columbia Records. The disco song has its protagonist going through a variety of emotions, from high to low, up to the point where she declares "you got me feeling emotions". Musically, it was borrowed heavily from 1970s disco, and flaunted Carey's upper range and extensive use of the whistle register.

Critical reception was warm towards Mariah's vocals; however, the production of song was accused of relying too heavily on "Best of My Love" by the Emotions.


Carey was sent to work with the C+C Music Factory and they composed the song "You're So Cold", which became the first choice for the album's first single. However, a second session with the production team had them feeling in a lighter mood when "Emotions" was created and finally decided upon as the lead single.


"Emotions" is a disco song[1] and it is written in the key of C major. Carey usually prefers to transpose the key to B♭ major when performing live (one example of this is on MTV Unplugged). Carey's vocal range spans more than four octaves on the track, from C3 to E7. The song tested and challenged Carey's vocal range and is her first song to require the execution of multiple whistle notes. The sheet music of the song has a 8va marking on the last part of the song.

Music videos and remixes[edit]

The single's music video, directed by Jeff Preiss, features Carey and friends with exotic animals experiencing emotions while partying and having fun around town in New York. The video was desaturated but still maintains various color tints, which change from brown to red to blue and so forth.

David Cole and Robert Clivillés created the main remix of "Emotions" known as "Emotions" (12" club mix). Although Carey did not re-record her vocals for it, she added a new gospel-style intro before the song's dance portion. This new intro was used when she performed "Emotions" on MTV Unplugged in 1992, as well as at some later concerts. A music video was created using the 12" club mix, but only slight changes in editing differentiate it from the video for the original version.

Critical reception[edit]

About.com's Bill Lamb called the high notes as the pros of the album itself and that it stands with Mariah's best.[2] AllMusic editor Ashley S. Battel highlighted this song and he wrote that this song is upbeat and it serves to send the listener on a musical journey filled with varying emotions.[3] Chicago Tribune editor Jan DeKnock wrote "just listen to those incredibly high notes on the title cut and current single 'Emotions.'"[4] Los Angeles Times wrote that this song's producers somewhat perk up this song but he noted that the song can't match the quality of any C+C material.[5] Rolling Stone writer Rob Tannenbaum also said, "they (producers) back Carey with pumping house keyboards and shamelessly recycle the chords of Cheryl Lynn's 'Got to Be Real' and the Emotions' 'Best of My Love' to construct the bubbly new-disco 'Emotions.'"[1] Sun Sentinel magazine editor Deborah Wiler wrote that "the unimaginative first single, Emotions, sounds suspiciously like the `77 hit Best of My Love (by the Emotions)."[6]

"Emotions" was nominated for the 1992 Grammy Award for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance, losing to "Something to Talk About" by Bonnie Raitt. It won a BMI R&B Award, continuing Carey's unbroken streak of wins for this award.

Chart performance[edit]

"Emotions" became Carey's fifth consecutive number 1 hit on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100, giving her the distinction of being the first and to date only act to have their first five singles make number 1 on the Hot 100. (She had previously shared a record of four with The Jackson 5.) It reached number 1 in its seventh week and spent three weeks at the top, from October 12 to October 26, 1991. It replaced "Good Vibrations" by Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch featuring Loleatta Holloway, and was replaced by Karyn White's "Romantic". It remained in the top 40 for 20 weeks and was one of four singles from Carey on the Hot 100's 1991 year-end charts, ranking 22. The song topped the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart and became her second number 1 single on the Hot Dance Club Play chart. The RIAA certified it gold.

Outside the U.S., it was Carey's most successful single since "Vision of Love" (1990), the lead single from her debut album. It reached the top five in Canada and New Zealand, and became her first single to reach the United Kingdom top 20 since her debut. It was a modest hit in Australia, where it just missed the top ten, but its success in Europe was limited.

Live performances[edit]

Carey performed "Emotions" live for the first time at the 1991 MTV Video Music Awards, backed by several male and female back up vocalists.[7] Following the award show appearance, she sang "Emotions" on The Arsenio Hall Show, airing on September 23, 1991.[8]

On New Year's Eve, 2009, Carey sang Emotions on the first night of her 'Angels Advocate Tour'. It is the first time she has sung Emotions live in 10 years, since the Rainbow World Tour.

She sang Emotions on her The Elusive Chanteuse Show tour in 2014.

Usage in media[edit]

It was used for a 2009 Australian Idol advertisement.

Track listings[edit]

Worldwide CD single

  1. "Emotions"
  2. "Vanishing"

U.S. CD maxi-single

  1. "Emotions" (12" club mix)
  2. "Emotions" (12" instrumental)
  3. "Emotions" (album version)
  4. "There's Got to Be a Way" (12" mix)
  5. "There's Got to Be a Way" (vocal dub mix)

European maxi-single #1

  1. "Emotions"
  2. "Vanishing"
  3. "Vision of Love"

European maxi-single #2

  1. "Emotions" (C&C club mix)
  2. "Emotions" (C&C 12" club no 1 mix)
  3. "Emotions" (C&C dub-dub mix)

Official versions[edit]

  1. "Emotions" (album version) - 4:11
  2. "Emotions" (12" club mix) - 5:54
  3. "Emotions" (12" instrumental) - 5:07
  4. "Emotions" (12" a cappella) - 2:29
  5. "Emotions" (special motion edit) - 4:46
  6. "Emotions" (special motion mix) - 5:17
  7. "Emotions" (C+C radio mix) - 4:21
  8. "Emotions" (C+C club mix) - 7:15
  9. "Emotions" (C+C club no.1 mix) - 7:45
  10. "Emotions" (C+C club mix edit) - 5:51
  11. "Emotions" (C+C hardcore factory mix) - 8:16
  12. "Emotions" (club mix) - 8:32

Credits and personnel[edit]

  • Recorded at Right Track Recording and Axis Studios, NYC.
  • Mixed at Axis Studios, NYC.
  • Lyrics – Mariah Carey
  • Music – Mariah Carey, David Cole, Robert Clivillés
  • Production – Mariah Carey, David Cole, Robert Clivillés
  • Programming – Alan Friedman (for YIPE!)
  • Engineers – Acar S. Key, Bruce Miller
  • Mixing – Bob Miller
  • Keyboards – David Cole
  • Drums – Robert Clivillés
  • Vocal arrangement – Mariah Carey, David Cole
  • Background vocals – Mariah Carey, Trey Lorenz, David Cole

Credits adapted from the liner notes of Emotions.[9]


Preceded by
"Good Vibrations" by Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch featuring Loleatta Holloway
Billboard Hot 100 number-one single
October 12, 1991 – October 26, 1991
Succeeded by
"Romantic" by Karyn White
Preceded by
"It's So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday" by Boyz II Men
Billboard Hot R&B Singles number one single
November 2, 1991
Succeeded by
"Forever My Lady" by Jodeci
Preceded by
"Move Any Mountain (Progen 91)" by The Shamen
Billboard Hot Dance Club Play number-one single
November 30, 1991
Succeeded by
"Change" by Lisa Stansfield

See also[edit]


External links[edit]