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 Mariah Carey (album)

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PostSubject: Mariah Carey (album)   Mon Nov 08, 2010 5:24 pm


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PostSubject: Re: Mariah Carey (album)   Mon Nov 08, 2010 5:25 pm

Mariah Carey is the self-titled debut album by American singer-songwriter Mariah Carey. It was released on June 12, 1990, by Columbia Records. The album contained a range of contemporary genres, including slow ballads, which comprised most of the album, and dance tracks. Originally, Carey wrote four songs with Ben Margulies, which solely comprised her demo tape. While altered and partially re-sung after being signed to Columbia, all four songs made the final cut on the album. Aside from Margulies, Carey worked with a range of professional writers and producers, all of whom were hired by Columbia CEO and head of the project, Tommy Mottola. On the album, Carey worked with 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.

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PostSubject: Re: Mariah Carey (album)   Mon Nov 08, 2010 5:25 pm

Upon release, the album received generally positive reviews from music critics, who complemented Carey's voice and technique, as well as the album's content. The album became a commercial success as well. While initial sales were slow, the album finally topped the Billboard 200 after Carey's exposure at the Grammy Awards, staying atop the chart for eleven consecutive weeks. Mariah Carey was certified nine-times platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), denoting shipments of over 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 faired well in other worldwide territories, reaching the top-ten in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden and United Kingdom. Worldwide, the album has sold over fifteen million copies.

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PostSubject: Re: Mariah Carey (album)   Mon Nov 08, 2010 5:25 pm

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 the 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. It is credited with inspiring the use of Melisma throughout the 90s, as well as many other singers. The album's second single, "Love Takes Time" was also well received and peaked atop 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.

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PostSubject: Re: Mariah Carey (album)   Mon Nov 08, 2010 5:25 pm

ackground

In 1988, an eighteen year old Carey moved out of her mother's house in Long Island, and into a small apartment in Manhattan.[1] She already had a demo tape, consisting of four songs she had written during her high school years with Ben Margulies.[1] As 88' went by, Carey was still without a record deal, and continued struggling to make ends meet in New York. While working many jobs, she continued writing and producing music with Margulies, making changes and additions to the demo.[2] After months of difficulty, Carey met with Puerto Rican/American singer Brenda K. Starr, and soon began singing back up for her.[2] Eventually, Starr began hearing glimpses of Carey's voice throughout sessions, and noticed her gifted voice.[3] She realized Carey was capable of achieving, but only needed some help to get into mainstream music.[3]

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PostSubject: Re: Mariah Carey (album)   Mon Nov 08, 2010 5:25 pm

One night, Starr took Carey to a record industry gala, attempting to get a record label executive to hear her demo.[4] As the night wore on, no one had really taken interest in Carey or the demo tape, until Jerry L. Greenberg, president of Atlantic Records took notice in her.[4] As Carey handed him the demo, Tommy Mottola quickly grabbed the tape, insisting he deal with "the project."[4] As Mottola got into his limousine later that evening, he played Carey's tape and quickly realized the talent that had just been discovered. He quickly returned to the event, but a discouraged Carey had already left.[4]

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PostSubject: Re: Mariah Carey (album)   Mon Nov 08, 2010 5:26 pm

After a week of tracking her down through Starr's management, Mottola got in touch with Carey and brought he over to Columbia Records.[4] 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.[4]

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PostSubject: Re: Mariah Carey (album)   Mon Nov 08, 2010 5:26 pm

Mottola had assumed the top position at Sony, the parent company of Columbia, and began taking the company through various stages and changes.[4] 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 Madonnna, who was currently signed with Sire Records.[4] After signing Carey, he felt sure that he had found both. Mottola, very confident in Carey, hired a range of talented and well-known musicians and song-writers to assist with Carey's demo, as well as creating new material. Of them were Ric Wake, Narada Michael Wallace and Rhett Lawrence.

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PostSubject: Re: Mariah Carey (album)   Mon Nov 08, 2010 5:26 pm

Writing and development

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.[1] Originally, Carey and Margulies planned to produce the entire album as well, an idea her label didn't permit.[6] Believed to be the next global star, Sony Music executives hired a range of top of the line producers to ensure Carey's current and future songs would become hits. 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, a writer who alongside Carey, would solely write and produce many of her future tracks. Seven of Carey and Margulies' tracks made the albums final cut.[1]

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PostSubject: Re: Mariah Carey (album)   Mon Nov 08, 2010 5:26 pm

"I Don't Wanna Cry," featured production from American producer and drummer Narada Michael Walden, who assisted in the songs harmonica and guitars.[6] "There's Got to Be a Way," Carey's fifth and final single from the album, featured songwriting an production from Ric Wake, with several background vocals and musicians featured at the songs climax.[1] Rhett Lawrence served as an assistant songwriter, taking place in the formation of "You Need Me" and "Sent from up Above," two of the albums most soulful tracks.[1] Walter Afanasieff assisted with songwriting and production on Mariah Carey, but wasn't as involved until Carey's 1993 release Music Box. In future albums, Carey and Afanasieff would solely collaborate on many of her biggest records. However, in 1999, when Carey released Rainbow, it was speculated that he and Carey had parted ways during her divorce from Mottola, due to his sudden absence on the album.[1]

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PostSubject: Re: Mariah Carey (album)   Mon Nov 08, 2010 5:26 pm

Critical reception

[hide] Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
About.com [7]
Allmusic [8]
Billboard (Positive)[9]
Q [10]
Robert Christgau (C)[11]
Rolling Stone (Positive)[12]
The album received generally positive reviews from music critics, many of them praising it for being a debut-album. Bill Lamb from About.com commented that "This is one of the most impressive debut albums in pop music history. The songs here dominated pop music radio in 1990, and 'Vision Of Love' is one of the best songs of Mariah's recording career." Lamb continued to praise the album and its singles, writing, "It is simply one of the most stunning debut releases ever by a pop recording artist."[7] Ashley S. Battel from Allmusic wrote that "This extremely impressive debut is replete with smooth-sounding ballads and uplifting dance/R&B cuts. Carey convincingly seizes many opportunities to display her incredible vocal range on such memorable tracks as the popular 'Vision of Love', the energetic 'Someday,' and the moody sounds of the hidden treasure 'Vanishing.' 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."[8] 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.[2]

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PostSubject: Re: Mariah Carey (album)   Mon Nov 08, 2010 5:27 pm

Billboard gave the album a very positive review calling it an "extremely impressive debut," and writing "Its replete with smooth-sounding ballads and uplifting dance/R&B cuts. Carey convincingly seizes many opportunities to display her incredible vocal range on such memorable tracks as the popular 'Vision of Love.'"[9] 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."[12] 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.'[11] While reviewing the album positively, About.com expressed how some of the albums tracks were noticeably weak, writing "a few weak songs pull down the overall album." [7] Lamb's other concern was the albums "somewhat formulaic mix of uptempo tracks and ballads," which he felt caused the album to lose some of its authenticity.[7]

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PostSubject: Re: Mariah Carey (album)   Mon Nov 08, 2010 5:27 pm

Chart performance

Mariah Carey entered the U.S. Billboard 200 at number eighty and entered the top twenty in its fourth week. It reached the number one position in its forty-third week, due to Carey's exposure at the 1991 Grammy Awards, and stayed there for eleven consecutive weeks - to date, the longest stay at number one in Carey's career. It remained in the top twenty for sixty-five weeks and on the Billboard 200 for 113 weeks.[3] Mariah Carey was certified nine-times platinum by the RIAA on December 15, 1999. The album has sold 4,854,000 copies in the United States according to Nielsen SoundScan, which began couting sales post March 1, 1991.[13] It is one of the best-selling debut albums in the country, having shipped nine million copies in the U.S. The album also became the best-selling album of 1991 in the United States.[14] Worldwide, the album has sold over fifteen million copies.[15]

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PostSubject: Re: Mariah Carey (album)   Mon Nov 08, 2010 5:27 pm

Mariah Carey was moderately successful for a debut album outside the U.S.. It experienced the most success in Canada, where it topped the chart for a week and went 7x platinum.[16] The album peaked at number six in the United Kingdom and Australia; being certified platinum in the United Kingdom and spending thirty-six weeks in the top seventy-five, and in Australia, where it went double-platinum. Its success in Brazil and most European markets was limited.[3] In Australia, the album finished sixth on the ARIA Charts end of 1991 top-fifty albums.[17]

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PostSubject: Re: Mariah Carey (album)   Mon Nov 08, 2010 5:27 pm

The singles released from Mariah Carey were moderately successful in most music markets but became very popular in the U.S.. "Vision of Love" became the first Billboard Hot 100 number one hit for Carey, and topped the charts in Canada and New Zealand. "Love Takes Time" reached number one in both the U.S. and Canada, but was only a moderate success in other markets and in some, such as the United Kingdom, where it barely scathed the top-forty. "Someday" became Carey's third number one in the U.S. but only reached the top five in Canada, and little impact elsewhere. "I Don't Wanna Cry" tied Carey with The Jackson 5 as the act to have their first four singles reach number one in the U.S., but again had minimal success in other markets except Canada, where it peaked within the top ten.[3] "There's Got to Be a Way" was released in select European countries such as the United Kingdom, where it missed the top-forty. A fifth single, "Prisoner", was scheduled for release in the U.S. after "I Don't Wanna Cry", but because of the impending release of Carey's second album Emotions, it was not released.[3]

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PostSubject: Re: Mariah Carey (album)   Mon Nov 08, 2010 5:27 pm

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.[3]

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PostSubject: Re: Mariah Carey (album)   Mon Nov 08, 2010 5:28 pm

Singles

"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.[18] It topped the charts in Canada, New Zealand and the United States and reached the top-ten in most markets across the globe. The song received critical acclaim and is credited with popularizing the use of Melisma throughout the 90s, as well as starting the careers of many young pop stars.[18] "Love Takes Time" served as the album's second single, reached the top position in the United States, but didn't fair as well in other European markets. While it managed to top the charts in Canada as well, it barely scraped the top-ten in New Zealand and peaked outside the top-twenty in most other countries. Critics were pleased with "Love Takes Time" but felt the difference between Carey's first single and her next was obvious.[18] "Someday", the albums third single followed the similar pattern left by "Love Takes Time," but fared better on American radio stations, due to its "upbeat and powerful nature."[18] "Someday" finished 13th in Billboard's Top 100 - 1991, achieving far more success that "Love Takes Time" (1990 - 76) (1991 - 69)[19][20] "I Don't Wanna Cry", the albums final single in the United States also reached the charts summit, without any promotion or live performances. In fact, the song wasn't performed live until Carey's Music Box Tour (1993), where she debuted the song.[18] Critics praised the song, calling it a "sultry and brilliant composition of melodies," but again, the song achieved minimal success outside of Canada and the United States.[18] Carey became the first artist to have their first five singles top the Hot 100, of them four belonged to Mariah Carey.[7]

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PostSubject: Re: Mariah Carey (album)   Mon Nov 08, 2010 5:28 pm

Aside from the heavy marketing and promotional campaign held by Sony Music, Carey visited many television talk shows and award ceremonies, stateside and throughout Europe.[21] Carey's first live television appearance was on The Arsenio Hall Show, where she sang "Vision of Love" and "Love Takes Time" in front of 3,000 guest viewers. In September 1990, Carey appeared on Good Morning America where she performed an acapella version of "Vision of Love," alongside a duo of male backup singers.[4] "Vision of Love" was performed on various other American television programs such as the 1991 Grammy Awards and The Oprah Winfrey Show (1992), as well as many European programs such as The Veronica Countdown (The Netherlands), Wogan Show (United Kingdom) and performed live in Sweden for the first time.[21] Carey has performed "Vision of Love" on most of her tours, and remains one of her most performed songs. "Vision of Love" has been present on Carey's musical repertoire throughout her entire career, up until her 2010 Angels' Advocate Tour, where the song remained absent from her set-list.[21]

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PostSubject: Re: Mariah Carey (album)   Mon Nov 08, 2010 5:28 pm

Promotion for the album continued with Carey's follow up singles. "Love Takes Time" was performed in Sweden, "The Arsenio all Show" as well as Carey's televised performance at "The Tattoo Club."[21] Carey's third single for 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 hadn't performed the song until her Music Box Tour.[21] As promotion for Mariah Carey ended, Sony released a fifth single "There's Got to Be a Way," in select European markets.[21] The singles on Mariah Carey gave Carey enough exposure to sell millions of records without the need of many public appearances or tours.[21]

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PostSubject: Re: Mariah Carey (album)   Mon Nov 08, 2010 5:28 pm

Most of the albums singles were performed live throughout Carey's short debut tour, Music Box Tour, including even a few never performed tracks. "I Don't Wanna Cry" was also performed on Carey's Asian and European Daydream World Tour (1996), which were the last times the song was performed live.[5] Mariah Carey's music videos revolved around similar ideas such as, soulful and powerful imagery, colorful scenery and cloudy effects and many young dancers.[21] The albums music videos received heavy rotation on MTV, VH1 and BET, helping the singles stay atop the charts and radio stations.[21]

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PostSubject: Re: Mariah Carey (album)   Mon Nov 08, 2010 5:28 pm

Legacy


"Vision of Love"

A 23-second sample from "Vision of Love." The song became one of Carey's most popular songs, being credited with bringing the use of Melisma to music, along with inspiring countless young talents. The song earned Carey her first (of 18) number one hits on the Hot 100 and topped the charts in Canada and New Zealand.
Problems listening to this file? See media help.
Mariah Carey was heralded as "One of the most impressive debut albums in pop music history."[7] Allmusic wrote that "This extremely impressive debut is replete with smooth-sounding ballads and uplifting dance/R&B cuts. Carey convincingly seizes many opportunities to display her incredible vocal range on such memorable tracks as the popular "Vision of Love." The album received comparison to other albums from artists such as Aretha Franklin and Whitney Houston and called it a "remarkable album."[22] Another common praise was Carey's songwriting, which was described as "brilliant and beyond her years," separating Carey from most artists who didn't write their own material.[22] While Mariah Carey hailed as one of the most impressive debuts in history, it was really "Vision of Love" that received universal acclaim.[22]

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PostSubject: Re: Mariah Carey (album)   Mon Nov 08, 2010 5:28 pm

"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.[23] The song received the Soul Train Music Award for Best R&B/Soul Single, Female and a Songwriter Award at the BMI Pop Awards.[24] Entertainment Weekly wrote in 2005, "from those opening sci-fi-esque synths to that signature dog-whistle high note, Mariah's very first single is inspired."[25] The Village Voice said that "Vision of Love" is the song that set off the melisma trend.[26] In 2006, The New Yorker named the song "the Magna Carta of melisma" for it and Carey's influence on R&B singers and American Idol contestants.[27] Also 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."[28] Slant Magazine critic also said "I think ["Vision of Love"] was a vision of the future world of American Idol."[29] 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."[30]

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PostSubject: Re: Mariah Carey (album)   Mon Nov 08, 2010 5:29 pm

"Vision of Love" inspired countless young talents, including R&B singer Beyoncé Knowles, who said that she began doing vocal "runs" after listening to the song for the first time,[27] and pop singer Mikaila said that the song is what made her want to sing. American rapper Snoop Dogg has said that while he stayed in jail, he remembers the single being the number one song in the country, as well as the song giving him hope and happiness as he served his sentence. Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera also credited "Vision of Love" with encouraging them to pursue their careers in pop music, as well as inspiring them to become singers.[22] Critics hailed the song as being a breakthrough song for Carey's career and credit it with propelling her future records to number one, as well as boosting her to "super-stardom."[22]

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PostSubject: Re: Mariah Carey (album)   Mon Nov 08, 2010 5:29 pm

Track listing

No. Title Writer(s) Producer(s) Length
1. "Vision of Love" Mariah Carey, Ben Margulies Rhett Lawrence 3:30
2. "There's Got to Be a Way" M. Carey, Ric Wake R. Wake 4:53
3. "I Don't Wanna Cry" M. Carey, Narada Michael Walden R. Wake 4:48
4. "Someday" M. Carey, B. Margulies B. Margulies 4:08
5. "Vanishing" M. Carey, B. Margulies M. Carey 4:12
6. "All in Your Mind" M. Carey, B. Margulies R. Lawrence 4:45
7. "Alone in Love" M. Carey, B. Margulies N. M. Walden 4:12
8. "You Need me" M. Carey, R. Lawrence R. Lawrence 3:51
9. "Sent from up Above" M. Carey, R. Lawrence R. Wake 4:04
10. "Prisoner" M. Carey, B. Margulies R. M. Walden 4:24
11. "Love Takes Time" M. Carey, B. Margulies R. Wake 3:49

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PostSubject: Re: Mariah Carey (album)   Mon Nov 08, 2010 5:29 pm

Album credits

Personnel
Mariah Carey – vocals, background vocals
Ben Margulies – drums, keyboards, programming
Narada Michael Walden – drums
Ren Klyce – line drums, Fairlight programming,
Joe Franco – drums, percussion, drum programming
Ric Wake – drum programming
Omar Hakim – drums
Jimmy Rip – guitars
Chris Camozzi – acoustic guitar, electric guitar
David Williams – guitars
Michael Landau – guitars
Vernon Reid – guitars
Nile Rodgers – guitars
Rhett Lawrence – keyboards
Louis Biancaniello – keyboards, bass, programming, rhythm programming
Richard Tee – piano
Marcus Miller – bass
Walter Afanasieff – synth horns, keyboards, synthesizers, synth bass
Billy T. Scott – background vocals
The Billy T. Scott Emsemble – background vocals
Fonzie Thornton – background vocals

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