Mariah Carey (album)
|Studio album by Mariah Carey|
|Released||June 12, 1990|
|Recorded||December 1988—March 1990 at the Skyline Studios New York City, NY, Cove City Studios, Glen Cove, NY; May 1990, Tarpan Studios, San Rafael, CA|
|Producer||Mariah Carey, Rhett Lawrence, Ric Wake For Wake Productions, Narada Michael Walden For Perfection Light Productions, Ben Margulies, Walter Afanasieff|
|Mariah Carey chronology|
|Singles from Mariah Carey|
Mariah Carey is the self-titled debut studio album by American singer-songwriter Mariah Carey, released on June 12, 1990 by Columbia Records. Its music incorporates a range of contemporary genres with a mix of slow ballads and dance tracks. Originally, Carey wrote four songs with Ben Margulies, which solely constituted her demo tape. While altered and partially re-sung after being signed to Columbia, all four songs made the final cut for the album. Aside from Margulies, Carey worked with a range of professional writers and producers, all of whom were hired by Columbia CEO, Tommy Mottola. Mariah Carey featured production and writing from Rhett Lawrence, Ric Wake and Narada Michael Walden, all of whom were top record producers at the time. Together with Carey, they conceived the album and reconstructed her original demo tape.
Upon release, the album received generally positive reviews from music critics, who complimented Carey's voice and technique, as well as the album's content. It became a commercial success as well, topping the Billboard 200 album chart for eleven consecutive weeks. Mariah Carey was certified nine-times platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), denoting shipments of nine million copies in the United States. The album experienced similar success in Canada, where it topped the charts and was certified seven-times platinum. Mariah Carey fared well in other worldwide territories, reaching the top ten in the Netherlands, Australia, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden and United Kingdom. Worldwide, the album has sold 15 million copies.
Five singles were released from the album, four of which became number-one hits on the Hot 100. "Vision of Love" was chosen as the album's lead single, topping the charts in Canada, New Zealand, and the United States. The song was critically lauded, and was regarded as one of the strongest debut singles by a female singer. The album's second single, "Love Takes Time" was also well received and peaked the charts in Canada and the US. With the following two singles, "Someday" and "I Don't Wanna Cry" reaching number one in the US, Carey became the first artist since The Jackson 5 to have their first four singles top the charts in the United States.
In 1988, an 18-year-old Carey moved out of her mother's house in Long Island, and into a small apartment in Manhattan. She had a demo tape consisting of four songs, which she had written during her high school years with Ben Margulies. As 1988 unfolded, Carey, still without a record deal, struggled to draw the attention of record executives in New York. While working several jobs, she continued writing and producing music with Margulies, making changes and additions to the demo. After months of difficulty, Carey met with singer Brenda K. Starr, and soon began singing back-up for her. Eventually, Starr began hearing what she described as "glimpses" of Carey's voice throughout sessions, and noticed her "gifted voice". She realized Carey was capable of achieving success, but only needed help to break through into mainstream music.
One night, Starr took Carey to a record industry gala, attempting to convince a record label executive to listen her demo. Jerry L. Greenberg, president of Atlantic Records took notice of her. As Carey handed him the record, Tommy Mottola quickly grabbed the tape, insisting that he would deal with "the project." As Mottola got into his limousine later that evening, he played Carey's demo and quickly realized the talent that he had just discovered. He quickly returned to the event, but a discouraged Carey had already left.
After a week of tracking her down through Starr's management, Mottola got in touch with Carey and brought her over to Columbia Records. After meeting with Carey and her mother Patricia for the first time, Mottola said, "When I heard and saw Mariah, there was absolutely no doubt that she was in every way destined for super-stardom." After a few brief meetings, Carey was signed to Columbia in December 1988.
Mottola had assumed the top position at Sony, the parent label of Columbia, and began taking the company through various stages of change. One he felt was very important for the label's success was to discover a young and very talented female vocalist, to rival Whitney Houston from Arista Records, or a pop star to match Madonna, who was signed to Sire Records at the time. He felt that Carey represented both. Mottola's confidence in Carey led him to hire a range of talented and well-known musicians and songwriters to assist with Carey's demo, as well as to create new material. Among them were Ric Wake, Narada Michael Walden and Rhett Lawrence.
Recording and composition
A sample of the song, featuring the yearning lyrics and tempo Carey incorporated with Walden.
A sample of the song, featuring the vocal flip Carey described as a highlight during the album's recording.
|Problems playing these files? See media help.|
Carey and Ben Margulies began writing prior to Carey's signing, and had composed over fourteen songs; seven of which earned a place on the album. Originally, Carey and Margulies planned to produce the entire album as well, an idea her label did not permit. On the album, Carey worked with a range of producers and writers, including from Ben Margulies, Rhett Lawrence, Narada Michael Walden, Ric Wake and Walter Afanasieff; the latter would continue working extensively working with Carey on future projects. As production for the album began, Carey worked with Walden in New York, where they produced "I Don't Wanna Cry". While he described Carey as "very shy," he noted how professional she was for someone her age. Additionally, Carey wrote "There's Got to Be a Way" during her first recording session with Wake. During the session, they wrote four songs, but they only produced the latter song for the album. After flying to New York and working with Carey, Walden was astonished by her voice. Together, they collaborated on transforming many of the demo's songs into more commercial recordings, which took place in Tarpan Studios in San Rafael, California. For her work with Lawrence, Carey traveled to New York once again. In the studio, she presented him with the demo of "Vision of Love" which she had written with Margulies years prior. Lawrence saw "potential" in the song, but he did not think much of it in its early stages. He described the song's sound as having a "fifties sort of shuffle". According to Lawrence, Carey needed a more contemporary sound, so they met in the studio alongside Margulies and producer Chris Toland. They added a new arrangement to the original chord progression, while Carey changed the song's melody and key. Afterwards, Margulies added few drum notes to the arrangement, including additional guitar and bass notes.
When Carey worked with Walden on "I Don't Wanna Cry", they worked on several other songs. Together, they decided to "slow down the tempo" and create a "crying type of ballad," one which according to him, featured a direct inspiration from gospel genres. After they completed the song, Lawrence noted how much of a perfectionist Carey was. He said that after finishing the song, she returned to the studio the following week, all in order to correct "one line" that troubled her. As one of the four original songs she gave to Mottola, "Someday" became Wake's favorite from the start, "I loved that song right from the beginning...Then Mariah called me one day and said 'I'd love to do it if you want to do it.' It was great, I'm glad she called me." During its recording, Carey revealed how the song came into existence. She had been working on the demo with Margulies in his studio. As he began playing different notes on the electric keyboard, Carey directed him on the chord changes, while providing the chorus, lyrics and melody. In All in Your Mind, Carey do a great vocal performance, doing staccatos up to F7. According to the artist, her voice "split" while doing those ornaments. While she thought to remove it from the song's recording, Wake and Walden were very impressed by the vocal flips, claiming that it would fit in perfectly.
The album received generally positive reviews from music critics. Ashley S. Battel from Allmusic called the album "extremely impressive" and described the songs as "smooth-sounding ballads and uplifting dance/R&B cuts." Battel concluded her review with "With this collection of songs acting as a springboard for future successes, Carey establishes a strong standard of comparison for other breakthrough artists of this genre." Many critics expressed how Mariah Carey was one of the most impressive debuts of the year, praising its songs, lyrics and Carey's voice and songwriting.
Billboard gave the album a very positive review calling it an "impressive debut," and writing "Carey convincingly seizes many opportunities to display her incredible vocal range on such memorable tracks as the popular 'Vision of Love.'" Rolling Stone gave the album praise writing "Carey debuted with an album of uplifting dance pop and R&B ballads, each song's composition co-credited to Carey and each providing an opportunity to unleash her wide vocal range." American critic Robert Christgau gave the album a mixed review, writing, "She gets too political in her brave, young, idealistic attack on 'war, destitution and sorrow': 'Couldn't we accept each other/Can't we make ourselves aware.' Elsewhere she sticks to what she doesn't know—love.'
Mariah Carey was nominated for the 1991 Grammy Award for Album of the Year, while "Vision of Love" received nominations in the categories of Song of the Year, Record of the Year and Best Female Pop Vocal Performance. Carey won for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance and also received the award for Best New Artist.
Mariah Carey entered the US Billboard 200 at number 80, and reached the top 20 in its fourth week. The album topped the chart in its 43rd week, due to Carey's exposure at the 33rd Annual Grammy Awards, and stayed there for 11 consecutive weeks; to date, it is the longest stay at number one in Carey's career. It remained in the top 20 for 65 weeks and on the Billboard 200 for 113 weeks. Mariah Carey was certified nine-times platinum by the RIAA on December 15, 1999. The album has sold 4,885,000 copies in the United States, according to Nielsen SoundScan, which began counting sales after March 1, 1991. It became the best-selling album of 1991 in the United States.
In Canada, the album peaked at number one on the Canadian RPM Albums Chart during the week of April 20, 1991. To date, Mariah Carey is certified seven-times platinum by the Canadian Recording Industry Association (CRIA), denoting shipments of 700,000 copies. The album peaked at number six in Australia, where it went platinum and finished sixth on the ARIA Charts end of 1991 top 50 albums. During the week of September 15, 1990, Mariah Carey entered the UK Albums Chart at its peak of number six. After spending 40 weeks fluctuating in the chart, the album was certified platinum by the British Phonographic Industry (BPI), denoting shipments of 300,000 copies. As of November 2010, the album has sold 15 million copies worldwide.
A sample of the song, featuring Carey's heavy use of melisma during the song's finale.
|Problems playing this file? See media help.|
Vision of Love was the first single released from the album and became one of the most popular and critically praised songs of Carey's career. Additionally, "Vision of Love" is credited with bringing the use of melisma to the 1990s and inspiring various future talents. "Vision of Love" was nominated for three 1991 Grammy Awards: Best Female Pop Vocal Performance (which it won), Record of the Year and Song of the Year. The song received the Soul Train Music Award for Best R&B/Soul Single, Female and a Songwriter Award at the BMI Pop Awards. In the United States, it peaked at number one on the Billboard Hot 100, during the week of August 2, 1990, staying atop the chart for four consecutive weeks. "Vision of Love" topped the singles chart in Canada and New Zealand as well, and appeared within the top ten in Australia, Ireland, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. Aside from its chart success, the song was lauded by music critics. In a retrospective review on the album in 2005, Entertainment Weekly called the song "inspired" and complimented Carey's use of the whistle register in the song. Additionally, Rolling Stone said that "the fluttering strings of notes that decorate songs like 'Vision of Love', inspired the entire American Idol vocal school, for better or worse, and virtually every other female R&B singer since the nineties." Bill Lamb from About.com said that "'Vision of Love' is one of the best songs of Mariah's recording career [...] It is simply one of the most stunning debut releases ever by a pop recording artist."
"Love Takes Time" served as the album's second single. The song became Carey's second single to top the singles chart in the United States, and third chart topper in Canada. While the song achieved strong success stateside, "Love Takes Time" barely charted inside the top ten in New Zealand and outside the top 20 in Germany, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. "Someday" (the album's third single) followed a similar pattern as "Love Takes Time," topping the chart in the US and Canada. In Australia, it peaked outside the top 40, and hit number 38 in France and the UK. "I Don't Wanna Cry", the album's final single, also topped the charts in the United States. The song became Carey's fourth chart topper in the US, finishing number 25 on Billboard's year-end chart. Aside from peaking at number two in Canada, it charted at number 49 in Australia. A fifth single, "There's Got to Be a Way", was released in the United Kingdom, where it peaked at number fifty-four.
Aside from the heavy marketing and promotional campaign held by Sony Music, Carey performed on several television programs and award ceremonies, stateside and throughout Europe. Carey's first televised appearance was at the 1990 NBA Playoffs where she sang "America the Beautiful". Soon after, she performed "Vision of Love" back-to-back on both The Arsenio Hall Show and The Tonight Show. In September 1990, Carey appeared on Good Morning America where she performed an a cappella version of "Vision of Love," alongside the Billy T. Scott Ensemble. "Vision of Love" was performed on various other American television shows such as the 1991 Grammy Awards and The Oprah Winfrey Show, as well as European programs such as The Veronica Countdown (The Netherlands) and the Wogan Show (United Kingdom). Carey has performed "Vision of Love" on most of her tours, up until her Angels Advocate Tour in 2010, where it remained absent from the set-list.
Promotion for the album continued with Carey's follow up singles. "Love Takes Time" was performed on "The Arsenio Hall Show" as well as Carey's televised performance at "The Tattoo Club." The third single from Mariah Carey, "Someday", was performed at the 1991 American Music Awards which helped it reach number one in the United States. Carey's fourth single "I Don't Wanna Cry", reached the top of the Hot 100 without any immediate promotion, as Carey had not performed the song until her Music Box Tour in 1993. As promotion for Mariah Carey ended, Sony released a fifth single "There's Got to Be a Way", in the UK. Most of the albums singles were performed live throughout Carey's short Music Box Tour. Both "Vision of Love" and "I Don't Wanna Cry" were performed on Carey's Asian and European Daydream World Tour (1996).
|1.||"Vision of Love"||Mariah Carey, Ben Margulies||Rhett Lawrence, Narada Michael Walden||3:28|
|2.||"There's Got to Be a Way"||Carey, Ric Wake||Wake, Walden||4:53|
|3.||"I Don't Wanna Cry"||Carey, Walden||Walden||4:48|
|4.||"Someday"||Carey, Margulies||Ric Wake||4:08|
|6.||"All in Your Mind"||Carey, Margulies||Margulies, Wake||4:44|
|7.||"Alone in Love"||Carey, Margulies||Lawrence||4:12|
|8.||"You Need Me"||Carey, Lawrence||Lawrence||3:51|
|9.||"Sent from Up Above"||Carey, Lawrence||Lawrence||4:05|
|11.||"Love Takes Time"||Carey, Margulies||Walter Afanasieff||3:49|
|Australia (ARIA)||2× Platinum||140,000^|
|Canada (Music Canada)||7× Platinum||700,000^|
|Japan (RIAJ)||3× Platinum||600,000^|
|New Zealand (RMNZ)||4× Platinum||60,000^|
|Switzerland (IFPI Switzerland)||Gold||25,000x|
|United Kingdom (BPI)||Platinum||300,000^|
|United States (RIAA)||9× Platinum||9,000,000^|
*sales figures based on certification alone
- Nickson 1998, pp. 20
- Nickson 1998, pp. 22
- Nickson 1998, pp. 23
- Nickson 1998, pp. 25–26
- Nickson 1998, pp. 27
- Nickson 1998, pp. 28
- Nickson 1998, pp. 29
- Nickson 1998, pp. 30
- Nickson 1998, pp. 32
- Nickson 1998, pp. 31
- Erlewine, Stephen Thomas (1990-08-11). "Mariah Carey". Allmusic. All Media Guide. Retrieved 2009-09-04.
- "Mariah Carey – Mariah Carey". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 2010-08-11.
- Sandow, Greg (1990-06-08). "Music Capsules (Mariah Carey: Mariah Carey)". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2012-06-01.
- Ross, Jonathan (July 2001). "Mariah Carey: Mariah Carey review". Q magazine: 131. ISSN 0955-4955.
- Christgau, Robert. "Robert Christgau CG: Mariah Carey". The Village Voice. Village Voice Media. Retrieved 2010-08-16.
- Shewey, Don (1990-09-29). "Mariah Carey: Album Guide". Rolling Stone (Jann Wenner). Retrieved 2010-08-11.
- Nickson 1998, pp. 35–38
- Paul Grein (October 16, 2013). "Miley Cyrus Twerks Her Way to ... 9th Place?". Chart Watch (Yahoo).
- "The Billboard 200 – Year-End Charts – 1991". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. 1991-12-21. Archived from the original on 2007-12-11. Retrieved 2010-08-11.
- "Top Albums/CDs – Volume 53, No. 20, April 20, 1991". RPM. RPM Music Publications Ltd. 1990-04-20. Retrieved 2010-09-21.
- "Canadian Recording Industry Association (CRIA)". Canadian Recording Industry Association. Retrieved 2010-08-09.
- Kent, David (2003). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
- "ARIA Charts – End Of Year Charts – Top 50 Albums 1991". Australian Recording Industry Association. 1991-12-03. Retrieved 2010-08-09.
- "Mariah Carey – Mariah Carey". Chart Stats. The Official Charts Company. Archived from the original on 2012-07-22. Retrieved 2010-12-17.
- "Certified Awards Search". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 2010-08-25.
- "BET Exclusive: Mariah Celebrates 20 Years; Thanks Fans". Black Entertainment Television. Viacom. Retrieved 2010-08-15.
- "Mariah Carey Career Achievement Awards". Mariahcarey.com. Retrieved 2010-09-29.
- Bronson 2003, p. 762
- Slezak, Michael (2005-12-15). "Gem Carey". EW.com. Entertainment Weekly. Time Inc. Retrieved 2010-08-14.
- "The 100 Greatest Singer of All Time : Rolling Stone". Rolling Stone. Jann Wenner. 2008-11-12. Retrieved 2010-08-14.
- Lamb, Bill. "'Mariah Carey'". About.com. The New York Times Company. Retrieved 2008-08-30.
- "Mariah Carey Album & Song Chart History". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 2010-09-14.
- "Top Singles – Volume 53, No. 1, November 24, 1990". RPM. RPM Music Publications Ltd. 1990-11-21. Retrieved 2010-09-13.
- "Mariah Carey – Love Takes Time". Dutchcharts.nl. Hung Medien. Retrieved 2010-12-20.
- "Top 40 Official UK Albums Archive". The Official Charts Company. British Phonographic Industry. 1990-12-08. Retrieved 2010-11-28.
- "Top Singles – Volume 53, No. 15, March 16, 1991". RPM. RPM Music Publications Ltd. 1991-03-16. Retrieved 2010-09-13.
- "Mariah Carey – Someday". Dutchcharts.nl. Hung Medien. Retrieved 2010-12-20.
- "Top Singles – Volume 54, No. 3, June 22, 1991". RPM. RPM Music Publications Ltd. 1991-06-22. Retrieved 2010-09-13.
- "Top Albums/CDs – Volume 53, No. 20, April 20, 1991". RPM. RPM Music Publications Ltd. 1984-03-10. Retrieved 2010-03-11.
- "Mariah Carey – Mariah Carey – World Charts". Dutchcharts.nl. Hung Medien. Retrieved 2010-08-13.
- "Chartverfolgung / Carey, Mariah / Longplay" (in German). musicline.de PhonoNet. Retrieved 2010-04-07.
- "Profile of Mariah Carey" (in Japanese). Oricon. Retrieved 2010-09-21.
- "Mariah Carey – Mariah Carey". Charts.org.nz. Retrieved 2010-12-20.
- Salaverri, Fernando (September 2005). Sólo éxitos: año a año, 1959–2002 (1st ed.). Spain: Fundación Autor-SGAE. ISBN 84-8048-639-2.
- "ChartStats – Mariah Carey". The Official Charts Company. Chartstats.com. Archived from the original on 2012-06-05. Retrieved 2010-08-13.
- "Billboard Top 200 Albums". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. 1991-03-02. Retrieved 2010-08-14.
- "TMariah Carey Chart history". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. 1990-10-20. Retrieved 2010-08-14.
- Geoff Mayfield (199-12-25). 1999 The Year in Music Totally '90s: Diary of a Decade – The listing of Top Pop Albums of the '90s & Hot 100 Singles of the '90s. Billboard (Prometheus Global Media). Retrieved 2010-12-12. Check date values in:
- "Canadian album certifications – Mariah Carey – Mariah Carey". Music Canada. Retrieved 2008.
- "RIAJ > The Record > November 1996 > Highest Certified International Albums/Singles (Mar '89 - Sep '96)" (PDF). Recording Industry Association of Japan (in Japanese). Retrieved 2014-01-30.
- "Dutch album certifications – Mariah Carey – Mariah Carey" (in Dutch). Nederlandse Vereniging van Producenten en Importeurs van beeld- en geluidsdragers. Retrieved 2013.
- Scapolo, Dean (2007). The Complete New Zealand Music Charts 1966–2006. ISBN 978-1-877443-00-8.
- "Spanish album certifications – Mariah Carey – Mariah Carey" (PDF) (in Spanish). Productores de Música de España. Retrieved 2013. Select the "Chart", enter 2002 in the field "Year". Select '' in the field "Semana". Click on "Search Charts"
- "Guld- och Platinacertifikat − År 1987−1998" (PDF) (in Swedish). IFPI Sweden. Retrieved 2010.
- "The Official Swiss Charts and Music Community: Awards (Mariah Carey; 'Mariah Carey')". Hung Medien. Retrieved 2010.
- "British album certifications – Mariah Carey – Mariah Carey". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 2010. Enter Mariah Carey in the field Keywords. Select Title in the field Search by. Select album in the field By Format. Select Platinum in the field By Award. Click Search
- "American album certifications – Mariah Carey – Mariah Carey". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved 2010. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH