The Mariah Carey Discography Rate Pt.1 • FINISHED

I forgot to mention yesterday, but now that we're in the top 20, I'll be cutting down to one elimination per day until we reach the finale to give each of these songs a little more room to breathe each day.

Today's cut is from the debut album . . .


I had it all, but I let it slip away
Couldn't see that I treated you wrong
Now I wander around feeling down and cold
Trying to believe that you're gone


"Love Takes Time"

Score: 8.394
High scores: 10×16 (@Music Is Life, @playboy69, @WhatKindOfKylie?, @GimmeWork, @EricG1990, @ohaimanabu, @Sprockrooster, @Pinky25, @RUNAWAY, @pop3blow2, @Robsolete, @Slice of Life, @Lost In Japan., @Veeis, @Remorque, @Oceandrive), 9.5×5 (@P'NutButter, @AdzBrown, @LeBratt, @Oleander, @vague), 9×6 (@Womanizer, @tylerc904, @Tigerlily, @soratami, @Cowboystyle, @If You Go)
Low scores: 4×1 (@Ana Raquel), 6×3 (@ysev, @PayMe, @codecat), 6.5×5 (@bonnieetclyde, @Imagineitwasus, @Hurricane Drunk, @evilsin, @DominoDancing)
My score: 9.5

5 ballots: #2 (tied), 9.8 avg.
10 ballots: #17 (tied), 8.95 avg.
15 ballots: #22, 8.767 avg.
20 ballots: #17, 8.875 avg.
25 ballots: #16 (tied), 8.700 avg.
30 ballots: #16, 8.733 avg.
35 ballots: #19, 8.521 avg.
40 ballots: #19, 8.519 avg.
45 ballots: #19, 8.444 avg.
50 ballots: #23, 8.361 avg.
55 ballots: #19, 8.437 avg.
60 ballots: #19, 8.368 avg.
61 ballots: #19, 8.394 avg.

"Love Takes Time" was released as the second single from Mariah's self-titled debut on July 9, 1990. Its lyrics and music were written by Mariah and Ben Margulies, and it was arranged and produced by Walter Afanasieff. "Love Takes Time" was Mariah's second consecutive #1 single in both the US and Canada (and also charted at #37 in the UK), and has sold 910k physical copies worldwide.

Once her debut album was finished and sent off to be mastered, Mariah and her then-writing partner, Ben Margulies, began working on demos for her sophomore effort. During a promotional trip with several of the heads of her label, Columbia Records, Mariah played them the simple demo of "Love Takes Time", which ust featured her vocals backed by Ben Margulies on piano, and the executives were instantly smitten with the track. Don Ienner, the president of Columbia Records, declared it a "career-maker", and told Mariah that it had to go on the album. Initially hesitant because the album was completed and the singles had already been chosen, Mariah ultimately relented and was flown to New York to hurriedly re-record the song over the course of a single day with Walter Afanasieff.

There was a lot of pressure on Mariah and Walter to quickly get the track finished if they were going to make the deadline before the album was mastered and pressed. Walter Afanasieff spoke about the frenzied recording process in a 2003 interview with Fred Bronson: "We cut the song and the music and the basics in about a day, and the only reason is this deadline. It was do it, or we were gonna miss out on the whole thing. We got the tape and recorded everything and we got on the plane and went to New York and did her vocals; she did all the backgrounds, practically sang all night. We came back to the studio that afternoon, and we had to fix one line very quickly, and then ... got back on the plane with the tape, went back to the studio in Sausalito, and mixed it. So, it was a three-day process: a day and a half for music, kind of, like, a day for vocals, and a day for mixing."

Can you even imagine the debut without this masterpiece? This has always been one of my favorite early ballads; it just has such a pretty melody. I totally get why her label's execs were so insistent on this making the album after they heard the demo.​

@Music Is Life (10) — "I'm glad this just made it on the album, it is truly a great closer. Ending the album with a ballad that has a hopeful message about love and shows off her vocals was a smart move. Although, to be fair, Prisoner would have made a great closer as well."

@WhatKindOfKylie? (10) — "What a close to the finest debut of any act of all time. To think this was almost going to be for album #2, no wonder Sony were so keen to get this out much, much more sooner. Easily one of the most raw, emotional and yet also polished ballads in her discography, and deserves to be much more know than what it actually is too."

@GimmeWork (10) — "Definitely one of my favorite early Mimi ballad singles.! One of my exes dedicated it to me at the bar as a sorry to try to get me back. I'm ashamed to say it worked for a bitsy. Mimi ha power!"

@ohaimanabu (10) — "Timeless!"

@Pinky25 (10) — "She sounds so sweet on this song!"

@pop3blow2 (10) — "Listen to that melody line & how she sings it. A singer of a different league. Oh, she writes songs, too... you say?"

@Veeis (10) — "And another one of her best ballads, great song. So good that it made the cut for the debut album."

@Oceandrive (10) — "This was never an immediate favorite of mine when I first immersed myself in Mariah. However, as my stanning got a little deeper I remember being in a youtube hole and finding her singing a clip of this completely impromptu and acapella in Sydney in 2013 and I believe it was the first time she had performed it since the 90's and the response was so amazing it made me return to the studio version and I have loved it ever since. One of her very best."

@If You Go (9) — "This song took time (ha) to grow on me, but now I'd say it's one of my favorites of her early ballads."

@godspeed (8.5) — "Just like 'Vision Of Love' or 'My All,' 'Love Takes Time' is a monument in Mariah's career so it's really hard to rate it or comment on it. It's to me one of her best love songs and to think this track almost never was on the debut album is kind of crazy since everything about it screams 'hit ballad by Mariah Carey.' A really lovely song full of nostalgia."

@londonrain (8) — "I was amazed that Billboard recently listed this as Mariah's second most successful song on the Hot 100 (behind One Sweet Day and We Belong Together). I had no idea it was that iconic in her discography!"

@Seventeen Days (7.75) — "This track has always been my lowest ranked of the early '90s Mariah ballads. But considering how solid her catalog is, that's by no means an insult. It's still fantastic."

@abael (7) — "A beautiful song, but who would follow Prisoner with this? Mariah's album tracks are upstaging her singles. This needed a punchier chorus, Mariah can make up for only so much of a song."

@bonnieetclyde (6.5) — "bit of a damp squib ending to the album. Nothing bad about this track but you hope for something bigger."

@Imagineitwasus (6.5) — "Meh. Yet I still get my life puncturing my lungs screaming the lyrics. The Power Of Mariah."

@DominoDancing (6.5) — "Too sappy to really please me."​

I'm glad her label made her put Love Takes Time on her debut because considering she fell out with the co-writer, Ben Margulies, shortly after that we might have never heard it otherwise! Sad to see it go, but with a top 20 like this they are all going to hurt.
Love Takes Time is breathtaking, I've heard that story a few times before about it being added after the album was finished, its funny though it doesn't seem like the kind of song that'd grab you instantly and scream "career maker", more of a slow burner. It's funny that it was so huge in the US and yet just scraped the charts over here.
The stuff with rating singles is always so funny. Some songs are carried in too far in the competition thanks to being released as a single (Butterfly - it is still in?!) while other objectively amazing tracks are being kicked off prematurely because of ‘overexposure’ (Hero, now hungry voices coming for All I Want For Christmas Is You).

Anyways, Prisoner and Make It Happen, you’re doing amazing sweeties!
Amazing song.
It's actually way too high in my opinion though, so it was about time it left.

Ideally the next to go would be Dreamlover (though ironically I am bopping as I type this), Someday & Prisoner. Then an Emotions clear-out. After that I can make peace with the results as they're all pretty stellar.