Never Too Far

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"Never Too Far"
Single by Mariah Carey
from the album Glitter
Released October 23, 2001
Format CD single, 12" single
Genre
Length 4:21
3:58 (Edit)
Label Virgin
Writer(s) Mariah Carey, James Harris, Terry Lewis
Producer(s) Mariah Carey, Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis
Mariah Carey singles chronology
"Loverboy"
(2001)
"Never Too Far"
(2001)
"Don't Stop (Funkin' 4 Jamaica)"
(2001)

"Never Too Far" is a song performed by American singer-songwriter Mariah Carey for her eighth studio album, Glitter (2001). It was written and produced by herself and Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis. The was released as the album's second single in October 23 2001, by Virgin Records. The song is a mid-tempo ballad which lyrically deals with heartbreak. "Never Too Far" was used on the charity single "Never Too Far/Hero Medley", which combines the first verse of the song with a re-recorded version of the second verse and bridge of Carey's previous single "Hero" (1993).

"Nver Too Far" attracted positive reviews from critics. The single failed to make much impact on the US charts; however, it reached the top forty in the UK and Australia, as part of a double A-side with "Don't Stop (Funkin' 4 Jamaica)". Carey was unable to film a music video for the single as she was recovering from a breakdown. Instead, a video was created using a scene taken directly from the film Glitter, where Billie Frank (played by Carey) sings the song at Madison Square Garden during a concert. Though having not promoted the single, Carey promoted "Never Too Far/Hero" medley instead, through live performances.

Background[edit]

In April 2001, Carey signed a US$ 80 million record deal with Virgin Records (EMI Records).[1] Following commencement for Glitter — her first album under the new label — and the film of same name, Carey embarked on a short promotional campaign for the project. On July 19, 2001, Carey made a surprise appearance on the MTV program Total Request Live (TRL).[2] She came out onto the filming stage, pushing an ice cream cart while wearing an oversized shirt. Seemingly anxious and exhilarated, Carey began giving out individual bars of ice cream to fans and guests on the program, while waving to the crowd down below on Times Square, while diverging into a rambling monologue regarding therapy. Carey then walked to Daly's platform and began a striptease, in which she shed her shirt to reveal a tight yellow and green ensemble, leading him to exclaim "Mariah Carey has lost her mind!".[3]

Following other appearances on which her publicist Cindy Berger said the singer was "not thinking clearly",[4] on July 26, she was hospitalized, citing "extreme exhaustion" and a "physical and emotional breakdown".[5] Following her induction at an un-disclosed hospital in Connecticut, Carey remained hospitalized and under doctor's care for two weeks, followed by an extended absence from the album's promotion.[6] However, her record company had begun promoting "Never Too Far" as the second single from the soundtrack, but Carey was not able to promote it due to still recovering from her breakdown.[7] The song was then released on October 23, 2001.[8]

Usage in Glitter[edit]

In the film, Carey's character Billie Frank argues with her boyfriend and producer Dice (Max Beesley) and they break-up. Her emotional pain leads her to solo songwriting. Dice also misses Billie, and also begins writing a song. Billie goes to Dice's apartment in an attempt to reconcile. He was not home, but the music he has written is and Billie realizes they wrote the same song: "Never Too Far". She kisses the sheet music, leaving a lipstick imprint, which Dice later discovers. Dice plans a reconciliation, but is killed by Billie's former producer Timothy Walker (Terrence Howard) after Dice did not pay the US$ 100,000 from their agreement to release Billie from Walker's contract. At Billie's first show at Madison Square Garden, her management and support crew see a report of the murder on television. They wonder if Billie was with him, they see that she is there and has seen the report. Billie onstage commands the band to stop playing "Loverboy", tells the crowd never to take someone for granted, and that if you love them, you should tell them, because you might never have the chance to tell them how you really feel. She then starts to sing "Never Too Far".

Composition[edit]

A 26-second sample of "Never Too Far".

Problems playing this file? See media help.

"Never Too Far" is a mid-tempo ballad. The song was written and produced by Carey and Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, and was released as the second single from her eighth studio album, Glitter (2001).[9] It incorporates music from several musical instruments, including the piano, guitar and organ.[10] According to the sheet music published at Musicnotes.com by Alfred Music Publishing, the song is set in common time with a moderate tempo of 62 beats per minute.[10] It is composed in the key of C major with Carey's vocal range spanning from the low-note of D3 to the high-note of Ab5.[10] The song's chorus has a basic chord progression of Gsus2–G–G/F–Em7–G/D–C-G/B–Am7.[11] Described as an "adult-contemporary, slow-jam love song", the song's lyrics read "Too painful to talk about it, so I hold it in / So my heart can mend and be brave enough to love again", speaking of emotions felt by the protagonist in the film. "Never Too Far" features "a bed of synthesized strings, gentle drums and Spanish-style guitar" as its primary instrumentation, and incorporates violin and keyboard notes prior to the first verse.[7] According to Chuck Taylor from Billboard Carey singing the lyrics with "appreciable subtlety, gliding effortlessly" through the song. It ends with a 15-second note that would "evoke a satisfied sigh".[12]

Medley[edit]

Following the weak commercial success of Glitter, Carey's older label, Columbia Records, planned to release a compilation album of her biggest hits, titled Greatest Hits (2001).[9][13] As they had one more album to release from Carey under her old contract, they began assembling content for its release.[13] Though still signed to Virgin, Carey composed a charity single in which all proceeds would go towards helping rebuild America, following the terrorist attacks.[14] Consequently, she re-recorded her 1993 song "Hero", and made a medley of it with "Never Too Far".[9] The song features a different instrumental introduction, and begins with the first verse and chorus of "Never Too Far", and blends into the bridge of "Hero".[14] Several writers for the medley are credited, with Carey having written "Never Too Far" with Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, and the latter with Walter Afanasieff. Aside from Jam and Lewis, Randy Jackson assisted Carey in the song's production.[9] In an interview with MTV, Carey described the single and its conception:

"I started doing different charity events where I did a combination of 'Never Too Far' and 'Hero'. We made it into a medley and put them in the same key and made it work. People responded really well to it. It's been interesting for me, since the events of September 11, the way people have been playing 'Hero' and really even talking to me about 'Never Too Far', 'cause that song is also about loss. I figured that it would be a nice thing to do, to put them both out for Christmas. There's also an unreleased track on the B-side, which is called 'There for Me' which kind of has the same sentiment. The proceeds from 'Never Too Far' and 'Hero' and 'There for Me' are going to go to the Heroes Fund, and it's going to benefit police officers' families, relief workers' families."[14]

Critical reception[edit]

"Never Too Far" received positive reviews from critics. Billboard's Chuck Taylor gave a positive review for the song, calling it a "shimmering ballad" that showcases the singer excelling at what made her a famous: "singing the hell out of a straight ahead love song free of gimmicks, gymnastics and self-conscious attempts at targeting any particular demographic"; he also said that "Never Too Far" would relieve fans that think Carey had been "relying more upon samples and guest vocalists lately than melody and artful performing".[12] Sal Cinquemani of Slant Magazine called the song another "syrupy-sweet" ballad on album and that it "harbors over-the-top performances worthy of "Star Search" (more than fitting considering the film's '80s-era rags-to-riches storyline)".[15] Harry Guerin from Raidió Teilifís Éireann wrote positively commenting that "Never Too Far" showcased "her four octave range but sound[s] roughly like everything else she's committed to tape during her career".[16]

Chart performance[edit]

"Never Too Far" was never released in the United States. However, radio stations began playing the song before its official add date to rotation.[12] It failed to reach Billboard Hot 100, peaking at number five on the Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles.[17] It also reached number 17 on the US Adult Contemporary component chart.[18] Worldwide, "Never Too Far" was released as a double A-side with "Don't Stop (Funkin' 4 Jamaica)", and failed to reach the top-forty in most countries. In the United Kingdom, the release however reached a position of number 35.[19] In contrast, "Never Too Far/Don't Stop (Funkin' 4 Jamaica)" reached numbers 67 and 65 in the Netherlands and Switzerland, respectively.[20][21] It managed to reach peaks of numbers 36 and 16, in respective countries Australia and Spain.[22][23] The double A-side single enjoyed success in both the Flemish and Wallonian territories in Belgium, peaking at numbers 4 and 1, respectively.[24] As a solo single, "Never Too Far" performed weakly in Germany reaching number 97 on the German Singles Chart,[25] while in Sweden it peaked at number 56.[26]

Music video[edit]

Carey was unable to film an accompanying music video for the single; at the time of its release, she was recovering from a physical and emotional breakdown that left her hospitalized in August 2001, and caused her to cancel all public appearances to promote Glitter.[7] She said, "When I was asked about the video I said, 'I can't do it today'. And nobody could accept that answer. And that's when I started to get mad. I was, like, look, I am too fatigued. I'm overly-tired, I can't do it as a human being. And nobody was hearing those last two words — human being. They were used to the Mariah that always says, 'Come on, let's fight, let's go'. They just weren't used to me ever saying no. I never said no before".[27] Instead, a video was created using a scene taken directly from the film, where Billie Frank (played by Carey) sings the song at Madison Square Garden during her first sold-out concert. Frank's performance of the song in the film omits its entire second verse, and the song's development runs in parallel with the film's love story.[7]

Live performances[edit]

Though having not promoted "Never Too Far" during the time of its release, Carey embarked on a short promotional campaign for "Never Too Far/Hero" medley, as well as charity benefits for the September 11 attacks victims. At the 2001 Radio Music Awards, Carey made her second public appearance following her breakdown, the first being a performance of "Hero" at the America: A Tribute to Heroes telethon on September 21, 2001.[28] Entering the stage in a long black evening gown, Carey performed the medley live, followed by a standing ovation from the audience.[28] On October 21, 2001, a benefit titled United We Stand: What More Can I Give was held at Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium in Washington, D.C., accompanied by the charity single "What More Can I Give", in which Carey participated.[7] Carey donned a black open-back dress with a plunging neckline, and performed "Never Too Far/Hero", followed by a live rendition of "What More Can I Give".[29]

On November 16, 2001, Carey taped a special titled A Home For The Holidays With Mariah Carey, which aired on December 21 of that same year. The special featured additional performances by Destiny's Child, Josh Groban, Enrique Iglesias and Mandy Moore.[30] Carey opened the special, with a performance of "Never Too Far/Hero" while wearing a form-fitting red evening gown. Aside from the medley, Carey performed "I'll Be There" and "Reflections (Care Enough)", also a single from Glitter.[31]

Formats and track listings[edit]

European CD single[32]

  1. "Never Too Far" (Edit)
  2. "Don't Stop (Funkin' 4 Jamaica)" (featuring Mystikal)

Australian/European CD maxi-single[33]

  1. "Never Too Far" (Edit)
  2. "Don't Stop (Funkin' 4 Jamaica)" (featuring Mystikal)
  3. "Loverboy" (Drums Of Love)
  4. "Never Too Far" (The Video)

Charts[edit]

Chart (2001) Peak
position
Australia (ARIA)[22] 36^
Belgium (Ultratip Flanders)[24] 4^
Belgium (Ultratip Wallonia)[34] 1^
Netherlands (Single Top 100)[20] 67^
Germany (Media Control Charts)[25] 97
Spain (PROMUSICAE)[23] 16^
Sweden (Sverigetopplistan)[26] 56
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)[21] 65^
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[19] 32^
US Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles (Billboard)[17] 5
US Adult Contemporary (Billboard)[18] 17

^ "Never Too Far" / "Don't Stop (Funkin' 4 Jamaica)"

References[edit]

  1. ^ Leeds, Jeff (April 3, 2001). "Carey Reportedly Signs 4-Album, $80-Million Virgin Records Deal". Los Angeles Times (Tribune Company). Retrieved December 18, 2014. 
  2. ^ Mitchell, John (July 19, 2011). "Today In MTV History: Mariah Carey’s ‘TRL’ Meltdown". MTV Newsroom. Viacom. Retrieved December 18, 2014. 
  3. ^ Seidman, Lacey (July 19, 2011). "Mariah Carey’s Loopy TRL Ice Cream Surprise, Ten Years Later". VH1. Viacom. Retrieved December 18, 2014. 
  4. ^ Gardner, Elysa (August 9, 2001). "Mystery Shadows Carey's Career, Pressures Linger After Singer's Breakdown". USA Today. Gannett Company. Retrieved June 16, 2011. 
  5. ^ Vineyard, Jennifer (July 26, 2001). "Mariah Carey Hospitalized For 'Extreme Exhaustion'". MTV News. Viacom. Retrieved March 29, 2011. 
  6. ^ Schumacher-Rasmussen, Eric (August 8, 2001). "Mariah ‘Feeling Better’ After Release From Clinic". MTV News. Viacom. Retrieved December 16, 2014. 
  7. ^ a b c d e Hiatt, Brian (August 13, 2001). "Mariah Carey Hasn’t Shot New Video, But One’s Coming Anyway". MTV News. Viacom. Retrieved December 18, 2014. 
  8. ^ "Never Too Far". MTV. Viacom. Retrieved December 27, 2011. 
  9. ^ a b c d Reid, Shaheem (December 16, 2001). "Mariah Insists Her Greatest Work Isn't Always Most Popular". MTV News. Viacom. Retrieved June 23, 2011. 
  10. ^ a b c Carey, Mariah; Afanasieff, Walter (Composers and Lyricists). "Mariah Carey "Never Too Far Away" Sheet Music" (Musicnotes). Musicnotes.com. Alfred Music Publishing. MN0071873 (Product Number). Retrieved December 18, 2014. 
  11. ^ Mariah Carey: Anthology. Alfred Music Publishing. February 21, 2007. ISBN 9780739044322. 
  12. ^ a b c Taylor, Chuck (August 25, 2001). "Reviews & Previews". Billboard (New York: Nielsen Business Media, Inc) 113 (34): 18. ISSN 0006-2510. Retrieved December 18, 2014. 
  13. ^ a b Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "((( Greatest Hits > Overview )))". AllMusic. All Media Guide. Retrieved February 21, 2011. 
  14. ^ a b c "Mariah Carey: Looking Out For #1". MTV News. Viacom. Retrieved June 23, 2011. 
  15. ^ Cinquemani, Sal (April 5, 2005). "Mariah Carey: Glitter". Slant Magazine. Retrieved December 18, 2014. 
  16. ^ Guerin, Harry (September 12, 2001). "Raidió Teilifís Éireann > Music Review > Mariah Carey - Glitter". Raidió Teilifís Éireann. Archived from the original on December 20, 2011. Retrieved December 18, 2014. 
  17. ^ a b "Mariah Carey - Chart history". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. Retrieved December 18, 2014. 
  18. ^ a b "Mariah Carey - Chart history". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. Retrieved December 18, 2014. 
  19. ^ a b "29, 2001/ Archive Chart: December 29, 2001" UK Singles Chart.
  20. ^ a b "Dutchcharts.nl – Mariah Carey – Never Too Far / Don't Stop" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved December 18, 2014.
  21. ^ a b "Swisscharts.com – Mariah Carey – Never Too Far / Don't Stop". Swiss Singles Chart. Retrieved December 18, 2014.
  22. ^ a b "Australian-charts.com – Mariah Carey – Never Too Far / Don't Stop". ARIA Top 50 Singles. Retrieved December 18, 2014.
  23. ^ a b "Spanishcharts.com – Mariah Carey – Never Too Far / Don't Stop" Canciones Top 50. Retrieved December 18, 2014.
  24. ^ a b "Ultratop.be – Mariah Carey – Never Too Far / Don't Stop" (in Dutch). Ultratip. Retrieved December 18, 2014.
  25. ^ a b "Chartverfulgong > Mariah Carey > Never Too Far – musicline.de" (in German). Media Control Charts. PhonoNet GmbH. Retrieved December 18, 2014.
  26. ^ a b "Swedishcharts.com – Mariah Carey – Never Too Far". Singles Top 60. Retrieved December 18, 2014.
  27. ^ "Mariah — back facing the music". NBC News. Archived from the original on December 16, 2014. Retrieved December 18, 2014. 
  28. ^ a b Brown, Joel (October 25, 2001). "'2001 Radio Music Awards' Could Offer Interesting Moments". The Columbus Dispatch (Dispatch Printing Company). Retrieved June 25, 2001. 
  29. ^ D'Angelo, Joe (October 22, 2001). "'NSYNC, Michael Jackson, P. Diddy, Mariah Stand United At D.C. Concert". MTV News. Viacom. Retrieved March 29, 2011. 
  30. ^ Bianculli, David (December 20, 2001). "Flawed Gala On Adoption". Daily News (Mortimer Zuckerman). Retrieved May 10, 2011. 
  31. ^ Bianculli, David (December 21, 2001). "Holiday Program Celebrates Adoption". Lewiston Morning Tribune (Lewiston Morning Tribune Company). Retrieved June 25, 2011. 
  32. ^ Never Too Far (European CD Single liner notes). Mariah Carey. Virgin Records. 2001. VUSTDJ 227. 
  33. ^ Never Too Far (Australian/European CD maxi-single liner notes). Mariah Carey. Virgin Records. 2001. 
  34. ^ "Ultratop.be – Mariah Carey – Never Too Far / Don't Stop" (in French). Ultratip. Retrieved December 18, 2014.

External links[edit]