The Mariah Carey Discography Rate Pt.1 • FINISHED

Our first cut today has received 22 tens, yet still missed out on a top 20 placement . . .


































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There can be miracles when you believe
Though hope is frail, it's hard to kill
Who knows what miracles you can achieve when you believe
Somehow you will, you will when you believe


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#24
"When You Believe"

with Whitney Houston


Score: 8.310
High scores: 10×22 (@Music Is Life, @WhatKindOfKylie?, @bonnieetclyde, @GimmeWork, @EricG1990, @AdzBrown, @ohaimanabu, @Daniel_O, @Sprockrooster, @Pinky25, @RUNAWAY, @Cowboystyle, @Robsolete, @ysev, @japanbonustrack, @CasuallyCrazed, @Slice of Life, @Lost In Japan., @Seventeen Days, @Oleander, @Blond, @Remorque), 9.2×1 (@Womanizer), 9×7 (@Maria, @Imagineitwasus, @If You Go, @mokitsu, @PayMe, @Sail On, @vague)
Low scores: 2×1 (@Hurricane Drunk), 3×1 (@Aester), 5×1 (@The Hot Rock)
My score: 9

5 ballots: #21 (tied), 9 avg.
10 ballots: #25, 8.67 avg.
15 ballots: #20, 8.813 avg.
20 ballots: #20, 8.760 avg.
25 ballots: #18, 8.688 avg.
30 ballots: #19, 8.683 avg.
35 ballots: #18, 8.586 avg.
40 ballots: #20, 8.463 avg.
45 ballots: #26, 8.320 avg.
50 ballots: #21, 8.378 avg.
55 ballots: #20, 8.407 avg.
60 ballots: #23, 8.315 avg.
61 ballots: #24, 8.310 avg.

"When You Believe" is one of the five new track on Mariah's first compilation album "#1's" - and the last track standing from the album left in this rate. Its lyrics and music were written by Stephen Schwartz and Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds and was produced by Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds. "When You Believe" was released as a single on November 2, 1998 and performed solidly worldwide, peaking at #1 in Hungary; #2 in Greece, Iceland, Norway, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland; #4 in Belgium, the Netherlands, and the UK; #5 in France and Italy; #6 in Austria and Scotland; #7 in Ireland; #8 in Germany and New Zealand; #10 in Finland; #13 in Australia; and #15 in the US. It sold 1.32 million physical copies in total during its initial chart run. "When You Believe" won the Oscar for Best Original Song at the 71st Academy Awards in 1999.

Originally recorded by Michelle Pfeiffer and Sally Dworsky for the soundtrack to Dreamworks' Oscar-winning animated film The Prince Of Egypt, Mariah and Whitney were each separately approached to record the pop version released to radio, and Babyface was then brought in to write additional lyrics and produce the new version of the song. Although Mariah and Whitney's alleged rivalry had been tabloid fodder for years, the two divas both stated that they'd never really even spoken to each other before recording the song together in 1998. They became friends during while recording and promoting the single, and remained close until Whitney's death in 2012. Mariah performed "When You Believe" during her Sweet Sweet Fantasy Tour in 2016, dedicating the song to Whitney.

I guess I've always kind of taken for granted the novelty of these two vocal titans coming together for this song, because I was never really aware of their tabloid-fueled """rivalry""" as a kid, but this must've been a huge event for their fans at the time. I've always thought that alone would have propelled this to at least the top ten in the US, so finding out this only peaked at #15 was a bit of a shock. Anyway. This was the only Mariah (and Whitney) song I was allowed to openly listen to as a kid because it was on the Prince Of Egypt soundtrack and, thus, was ~basically~ Christian music - at least according to my parents ddd. For that reason, I pretty much overplayed this to the point that I barely listen to it as an adult. It's still a classic, though, of course, so I couldn't in good conscience give it a score below 9.​


@Music Is Life (10) — "WIG at these two dueting. I'll admit I don't listen to a lot of Whitney's music, but I do know she's amazing. Together they seriously elevate this song."

@WhatKindOfKylie? (10) — "The teaming up of the two Voices Of Modern Day Music, was never gonna be anything but amazing, and When You Believe, was certainly just that. I know some are somewhat indifferent to this, and that's fair enough. But for me, this is the ultimate coming together of two gigantic talents, both of which don't hog the spotlight, and let the other shine through too. Divas yes, but down to earth ones, and respectful of each others crafts too."

@bonnieetclyde (10) — "adore this song and pairing Whitney with Mariah was the perfect combination. Both shine brightly on this track but Mariah's vocals were stronger than Whitney's at this point in both of their respective careers."

@Sprockrooster (10) — "A previous 11 of mine (1998 R&B rate) and though I never give a song my 11 twice, this honestly would have not gotten it either. In fact it is not even in my holy trinity for this rate (a very solid #4), only displaying this rate is simply next level. Such a positive message capsuled in such pristine angelic voices. I am not religious, but this is a saving grace."

@Pinky25 (10) — "Just beautiful. Two of the greatest vocalist on the same song!"

@RUNAWAY (10) — "another classic ballad that's still so incredible to this day. Whitney and Mariah really did that. What a duo."

@ysev (10) — "What a moment in music history. I am glad that the only duet of these two queens also happens to be such a beautiful ballad. Truly everything done right."

@japanbonustrack (10) — "3:42 - 4:10."

@Seventeen Days (10) — "If you had told me way back in the day that Mariah and Whitney Houston would do a song together eventually, I probably would have never believed you. How lucky we were to have two legendary divas share space on one single track."

@Blond (10) — "This isn't my favourite song in the world, but Whitney and Mariah are two of my favourite artists of all time and hearing them both at the height of their powers on a song together does things to me. I physically can't give this less than a ten."

@Imagineitwasus (9) — "The little boy in me will never forget how he felt when those two voices elevated him into the stratosphere for the first time."

@mokitsu (9) — "I feel endlessly lucky to exist in a world where this happened. I don't think it's said enough how amazing it is the two greatest voices of all time were able to come together on a song like this."

@pop3blow2 (8.8) — "Better than I thought it'd be, when I saw this on paper. The actual song is pretty good. It could've easily became an episode in two huge voices trying to out-sing each other, but it never devolves into that. Their voices actually work pretty good together on their primary duet verse."

@godspeed (8.5) — "Out of all the Whitney and Mariah songs I could belt to in my car, this one is my favorite along with 'One Sweet Day' and 'How Will I Know.' It's just a very beautiful song and a legendary duet."

@abael (8) — "A somewhat corny song, but it's Whitney and Mariah! That it exists is an 8 alone."

@londonrain (8) — "I gave this an 8 in my 1998 rate and it's getting an 8 here. I do enjoy it but I always felt a duet between these two could have been so much more."

@Jimmyandroid (7.5) — "I like it but I've had a feeling that it should be better. Wish they'd let Mariah write a song for them."

@DominoDancing (6.5) — "Throwback to early 90s Mariah. Beautifully performed, but the song itself is average Musical slop."​






 
He/Him
Jesus Christ, what the fuck?

I honestly don't know what is wrong with some of you.
I was gonna say! I didn't vote but from the tracks I know here, that wold have easily been my 11! How people can listen to these ladies delivering one of the best vocal builds in existence and going all out in that out-tro yet rate When You Believe less than a 10 is ridiculous!
 
when even @Ana Raquel gives a ballad a decent score (in this case, a 6), you know it's a good song.

"When You Believe" actually got more than double the number of 10s as our next cut, but those low scores plus the number of scores between 6-8ish hampered its chances to go much higher, I guess. I believe it received a similar placement in @londonrain's '98 R&B albums rate, too (maybe a little higher? idr exactly).
 

londonrain

Staff member
when even @Ana Raquel gives a ballad a decent score (in this case, a 6), you know it's a good song.

"When You Believe" actually got more than double the number of 10s as our next cut, but those low scores plus the number of scores between 6-8ish hampered its chances to go much higher, I guess. I believe it received a similar placement in @londonrain's '98 R&B albums rate, too (maybe a little higher? idr exactly).

It went to #16 but actually had a lower average. Something similar happened there. Out of 30 voters, 13 gave it a 10 and one gave it an 11, which means almost half the voters gave it a double-digit score (the only song outside the top five to achieve this), but the low scorers pulled it down.

Yesterday would have been the 55th birthday of the legend Whitney Houston...









...whose music continues to impact rates, ears and wigs everywhere.






















I couldn't very well have eliminated this song yesterday, could I?























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#16 (tie) When You Believe
Average: 8.177
Highest score: 11 x 1 (@Sprockrooster), 10 x 13 (@MollieSwift21, @Mina, @ComeOnGloria, @Conan, @lalaclairi_, @vague, @Remorque, @berserkboi, @HollyDunnSomething, @Oleander, @Blond, @Angeleyes, @GimmeWork)
Lowest score: 3 x 2 (@Ray, @Aester)
Chart positions: #15 US, #33 US R&B, #4 UK
Certifications: Gold (US), Silver (UK)
My score: 8.5
We say goodbye to the first lead single of the rate, as When You Believe falls short of the top 15. It’s kind of odd to think of this, of all things, as being the actual lead single as opposed to just a soundtrack single that was tacked on at the end, but When You Believe was genuinely promoted as the lead single from My Love Is Your Love, being released two weeks before the album release date and also serving as the second attempt at a lead single from Mariah Carey’s compilation album #1’s, after Mariah’s previous attempt, a cover of the Rainy Davis song Sweetheart, was cancelled in the US (although it was included on Jermaine Dupri's album Life in 1472).



The song was also used for the soundtrack for the DreamWorks animated film The Prince of Egypt, which is an adaptation of the book of Exodus in the Bible following the story of Moses (the “prince” of the title). The song was written by Stephen Schwartz (who co-wrote all of the score for the film) and Babyface (who produced the song), and it sounds very much like a song for an animated film rather than the more R&B material both Whitney and Mariah were recording at the time - and that’s because they were just re-recording the version performed by Michelle Pfeiffer and Sally Dworsky in the film.

Surprisingly the artists who were brought in to record commercial versions of the songs from the soundtrack were all R&B artists - K-Ci & Jojo recorded a version of Through Heaven’s Eyes and Boyz II Men contributed the standalone song I Will Get There, which became their final top 40 hit on the Hot 100.

Whitney and Mariah did a lot of promo for this at the time. Here’s an interview with Whitney and Mariah on Oprah, featuring such topics as people’s tendency to pit women against each other, the subject matter of Mariah’s Sweetheart and Whitney’s In My Business, carpooling, apple cider, divas, the first VH1 Divas special, the impact of women’s periods on their vocal range... and Whitney’s love of vacuuming:



(This interview is actually kind of fascinating. I don’t think I actually watched any Whitney interviews at the time, and both she and Mariah come across as such great, relaxed people in this one.)


@AshleyKerwin (8) gives us the obvious commentary: “Great vocals, beautiful vocals.”

@KingBruno (4), on the other hand, wasn’t a fan: “Surprising, but also surprisingly boring.”

@Blond (10) gives us honesty: “Could this song have been better given that it was a duet between two of the best vocalists of all time? Yes. Will I give any huge ballad with two vocal queens going for it less than a ten? Absolutely fucking not.”

@WowWowWowWow (7) enjoyed it, but not THAT much: “Another EVENT SINGLE, the likes of which we don't really have anymore. Unfortunately it seemed like more people were concerned with the "rivalry" between the women instead of the vocal gymnastics on display. Do not do Moses like this!! Anyway, I might have scored it a little higher if it wasn't a bit of a retread over their own past soundtrack glories.”

@spillett (8) was entranced by the two legends: “two amazing vocalists on one song - what's not to love?”

@GimmeWork (10) feels the same: “Are you kidding me!?! Mariah and Whitney?!?! Diva gasms always deserve high scores!”

@Trouble in Paradise (8) yet again echoes my feelings about this song: “What a vocal powerhouse this song is! Yes, the lyrics are a touch cliche but this is a duo I would listen to no matter what words they were saying. Plus I actually enjoy having them boost me up with there axioms about the power of belief.”

@berserkboi (10) usually complains about Mariah but even he can’t slate this one: “This splendour is easily one of the best duets of all time. My pick for the winner and the first time (I think) Mariah gets a perfect score from me!”

@HollyDunnSomething (10) enjoys the fact that this didn’t turn into a huge competition: “Love. Two vocal titans who sound heavenly without trying to outdo each other.”

Let’s end with this ode to the terrific twosome from @Sprockrooster (11): “A duet between the two best vocalists of a generation is pure bliss. They are singing together in beautiful harmony instead of trying to outshine each other (see: Jessie J versus Ariana on Bang Bang). And yes, there have been more extravagant vocal deliveries from either Whitney or Mariah, but them not going overboard in an over the top adlib-frenzy is probably one of the best decisions made in the careers of both women. A few beautiful adlibs from both women that slowly grow into a small kept ending, but very strong emotionally. Combine that with a faultless production and great message. This song seriously beat out complete classics in snatching my 11 and I am probably still torn about it during the reveal of those, but how could I possibly resist?”


Here are two versions of the video (because one just wasn’t enough).







(I did not know that that Oprah interview existed until I started the rate, and I did not know the non-Prince of Egypt version of the video existed until I did this write-up.)
 
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Yeah I was 15 when Fantasy was released , just about to turn 16. I really began stanning for Mariah around Hero and the Music Box era (while Kylie was on a break in 93) and caught up on her previous albums. I was blown away with her voice and particularly loved the big ballads.
We had literally the same journey, I loved I'll Be there but from Dreamlover onwards that was me in full on standing mode! I then bought her live video and learned songs like Make It Happen and Can't Let Go and went back and bought her first 2 albums. Great times. I'm still a big fan and bought/listen to all her albums right up to Caution however the older albums are my favourites, nothing will top Music Box for me.
 

londonrain

Staff member
We had literally the same journey, I loved I'll Be there but from Dreamlover onwards that was me in full on standing mode! I then bought her live video and learned songs like Make It Happen and Can't Let Go and went back and bought her first 2 albums. Great times. I'm still a big fan and bought/listen to all her albums right up to Caution however the older albums are my favourites, nothing will top Music Box for me.
It was a similar situation for me. She got my attention with I’ll Be There but it was Hero that made me start seriously following her career, and I started watching the Billboard chart show around the time Fantasy was a hit, so the first albums I ever bought were Music Box and Daydream, both of which have a lot of sentimental value to me as a result. I then went back and bought the earlier albums, and have bought all her albums since.
 
Unfortunately, it's time to eliminate yet another 11 . . .


































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You and me in a cloud of reverie
Spin around inside my head unendingly
Thoughts run wild as I sit and rhapsodize
Pretty pictures of what I'd do if you were mine


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#23
"Melt Away"


Score: 8.314
High scores: 11×1 (@Lapras), 10×10 (@P'NutButter, @Jimmyandroid, @Imagineitwasus, @nikkysan, @japanbonustrack, @lalaclairi_, @londonrain, @Lost In Japan., @Veeis, @Oceandrive), 9.5×5 (@Music Is Life, @If You Go, @Love Deluxe, @LeBratt, @vague), 9.25×1 (@Oleander)
Low scores: 3×1 (@CasuallyCrazed), 4×1 (@Ana Raquel), 5×2 (@abael, @Blond)
My score: 9.5

5 ballots: #21 (tied), 9 avg.
10 ballots: #24, 8.740 avg.
15 ballots: #25, 8.627 avg.
20 ballots: #28, 8.545 avg.
25 ballots: #32, 8.176 avg.
30 ballots: #28, 8.230 avg.
35 ballots: #25, 8.197 avg.
40 ballots: #23, 8.310 avg.
45 ballots: #22, 8.376 avg.
50 ballots: #20, 8.398 avg.
55 ballots: #23, 8.366 avg.
60 ballots: #25, 8.286 avg.
61 ballots: #23, 8.314 avg.

"Melt Away" is the ninth track from Mariah's fifth studio album, "Daydream". Its lyrics and music were written by Mariah and Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds and was arranged and produced solely by Mariah herself.

A lot of fans consider the "Daydream" era to be Mariah's vocal peak, and listening to songs like this, it’s hard to argue against that idea. Mariah continues to be one of the best vocalists today, even with her vocal decline and occasionally spotty televised performances, but the Mariah of 1995 was operating at a level that is, frankly, unattainable for anyone else to even attempt. Her amazing range is in full display here, from her gorgeous low tone in the verses to the airy, almost whispered middle 8 to the belted high ad-libs throughout the end of the song - and then that pristine whistle at the very end of the song as the fade-out begins. Who else but Mariah could even attempt to perform this? And proving that she’s not just a vocal goddess, Mariah cowrote this and produced it by herself! No one can do it like she does, even today. She's simply an absolute musical genius in every sense of the word.​


@P'NutButter (10) — "Always loved this."

@Jimmyandroid (10) — "Love how smooth this is (and Mariah's solo producer credit)."

@Imagineitwasus (10) — "This is sumptuous. The tone in the first verse... Then the two harmonized voices in the second. The poetic images in the middle 8. A true auteur + vocalist + producer."

@lalaclairi_ (10) — "Daydream has some of her most iconic hits, but this is a lesser known song that I have always loved."

@londonrain (10) — "A low-key favourite of mine. I honestly used to think that it was someone else singing the verses because her lower range sounds so different! One of the first Mariah songs I'd really class as R&B."

@Veeis (10) — "So dreamy and gorgeous! Always was one of my faves from Daydream. And that ending is heavenly."

@Oceandrive (10) — "This highlights what a special voice Mariah really has. Her whistle register is well documented but to be able to slip into the deepest depths with these low notes and sound richer than chocolate is quite incredible. I screamed a little when I saw she started incorporating snippets into her live show for the first time all these years later. Also bonus points for utilizing Reverie, Unendingly and Rhapsodize all in one verse. When will your faves?"

@Music Is Life (9.5) — "Another R&B slow jam that's not really a ballad, this song is pretty good and makes me think about how glad I am she explored this sound more."

@If You Go (9.5) — "Love her sultry tone on this track. The bridge elevates it to another level!"

@WhatKindOfKylie? (9) — "This is just so so smooth and rich, love it! This screams classic Babyface and this a fantastic coming together of two songwriters/producers. A perfect sister song for Underneath The Stars too. And that sneaky whistle note at the very end too - classic Mimi!"

@tylerc904 (9) — "This is gorgeous all the way through but once that 'you and I ain't got a typical thing' comes in, wow what a moment."

@ohaimanabu (9) — "God I love how low her tones are here, and the belts after the bridge!"

@godspeed (9) — "I've got that weird thing with 'Melt Away'... I know there's no way that I've heard this song when I was a child because no one around me listened to Mariah Carey and I got really into her music only a few years ago. But yet, each time I listen to it, it feels like I've known this song forever. I don't know if it makes any sense, but that's the feeling this song gives me. It has that classic vibe that all of Mariah's hit ballads have. It's stunning too, a perfect collaboration between Mariah Carey and Babyface."

@Womanizer (8.9) — "I can't believe I used to hate this song."

@pop3blow2 (8.5) — "Solid Babyface production of the day. A bit basic, but carried to pretty good heights by her vocals."

@DominoDancing (8) — "Pretty in every way, but misses a certain je ne sais quoi?"

@Seventeen Days (8) — "Slow jam alert!"

@bonnieetclyde (6.5) — "I feel like I've heard Mariah do this type of song many times before but better."

@abael (5) — "Another limp track. What sort of chorus was that?"​




 
We had literally the same journey, I loved I'll Be there but from Dreamlover onwards that was me in full on standing mode! I then bought her live video and learned songs like Make It Happen and Can't Let Go and went back and bought her first 2 albums. Great times. I'm still a big fan and bought/listen to all her albums right up to Caution however the older albums are my favourites, nothing will top Music Box for me.
Yes exactly. I bought the live video at Proctors theatre and I fell in love with tracks like Someday and Love Takes Time which made me buy the first album. My mum owned the second album but except a handful of songs I found a lot of it a bit weak. For me the holy trinity is Mariah Carey, Music Box and Daydream.
 
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