Top 5: Mariah Singles
Yes, yes. I know the whole Mariah obsession I’ve lived with for most of my life is terribly uncool…but guess what? I don’t care. I didn’t when I was six, and so I’m not going to start now. What’s more, I’m going to make it even more uncool, because this is not the only Mariah Top 5 I’m going to do in the coming weeks. Oh no. Because, as I knuckled down to finalise the Mariah Songs list that I was originally going to write, I realised it was impossible. You hear me? Impossible. How could I possibly narrow down all of the Mariah songs I love to just five? There’s hundreds of them, for goodness sake, and I have a hard enough time choosing between cereal and toast for my breakfast on a daily basis. I just couldn’t do it. And that leads me to this: Top 5 Mariah Singles. Next week? Top 5 Mariah Album Tracks. The week after? Top 5 Mariah Albums.
(That last one isn’t actually true. I just wanted to scare you)
So, here we go. Five slices of seven-octave heaven…
5. I Don’t Wanna Cry (1990)
The first Mariah song I ever listened to again and again, at a time where I only had a cassette player, and so was forced to just rewind, and rewind, and rewind. Having previously only been interested in Kylie and Jason (to be fair, I still am, but that’s besides the point), I was stunned to discover someone could sound like this. The song is nothing all that special-Mariah herself isn’t a fan of it either, apparently-but I could still listen to her singing it all day long. The video is dreadful, mind.
4. Make It Happen (1991)
I didn’t really care for this song originally (relatively speaking, of course)…then along came the Live At Madison Square Garden video, and with it the brilliant performance you see above. So natural, so stunning, and it brings what felt like a pretty standard track on cassette to life.
3. Open Arms (1995)
Only released as a single internationally, Open Arms (a cover of the original Journey song) garnered horrific reviews from critics. You might be surprised to hear that I sort of get it. Honestly. I think it’s the kind of song that only a fully-fledged Mariah worshipper really appreciates, because to others, it’s the ultimate showcase for the-six-notes-where-one-will-do habit that they hate. And actually, I do understand how that might get on people’s wick. Personally I didn’t even notice it until about 1996, when my own Nanna informed me as to her dislike of Mariah (I know, I know. The cruelty is insane)…and while it’s been hard to ignore since, it never really mattered because I was already a lifelong Lamb. I imagine that if you haven’t drunk the Kool-Aid, it can be a little irritating, and that Open Arms might make you want to kill yourself. That’s fine. Just don’t judge me for loving every little squeak and moan of it.
2. All I Want for Christmas (1994)
Oh, come on. Like I need to explain this one.
1. One Sweet Day (1995)
If I’m entirely honest, I’m not actually sure if this even is my favourite Mariah single anymore. It was, for a very, very long time, and I think the sentimentality I therefore associate with it is the reason I can’t think of choosing anything else. This is my Mariah song. The song that took me from a little girl who loved the lady with the pretty voice, to the almost-teenager who realised that the lady with the pretty voice was going to be a part of my life forever. It’s schmaltzy mush, but done oh-so-very well. And just look at her in the video! The denim shorts, the curly hair, the ridiculously cute hair clip…! You may think this has nothing to do with the actual song, but holy crap, did I watch this video a lot back in 1995, and so it all goes into my reasoning behind it grabbing the number one spot. That video is a little piece of this Mariah fangirl’s heaven.
Speaking of which-want to hear more about my Mariah fandom? Of course you do! Here you go…