The Mariah Carey Discography Rate Pt.1 • FINISHED

At one point, today's cut was set to win the whole rate . . .

But, ultimately, it wasn't to be . . .


No, I can't forget tomorrow
When I think of all my sorrow
When I had you there
But then I let you go


"Without You"

Score: 8.498
High scores: 10×25 (@Music Is Life, @P'NutButter, @playboy69, @WhatKindOfKylie?, @bonnieetclyde, @GimmeWork, @Maria, @ohaimanabu, @Daniel_O, @Sprockrooster, @soratami, @RUNAWAY, @Cowboystyle, @Robsolete, @Hurricane Drunk, @londonrain, @Slice of Life, @Lapras, @DominoDancing, @PayMe, @LeBratt, @Veeis, @Remorque, @Sail On, @vague), 9.5×2 (@Womanizer, @Posh Spears), 9×7 (@Jimmyandroid, @tylerc904, @AdzBrown, @JamesJupiter, @Aester, @Lost In Japan., @Blond)
Low scores: 3×1 (@Ana Raquel), 5×3 (@abael, @lalaclairi_, @Island), 5.5×1 (@CasuallyCrazed)
My score: 10

5 ballots: #1, 10 avg.
10 ballots: #4, 9.550 avg.
15 ballots: #15 (tied), 9.033 avg.
20 ballots: #10 (tied), 9.075 avg.
25 ballots: #16 (tied), 8.700 avg.
30 ballots: #18, 8.703 avg.
35 ballots: #22, 8.460 avg.
40 ballots: #18, 8.540 avg.
45 ballots: #20, 8.441 avg.
50 ballots: #18, 8.522 avg.
55 ballots: #18, 8.588 avg.
60 ballots: #18, 8.514 avg.
61 ballots: #18, 8.498 avg.

"Without You" was released as the third single from Mariah's third studio album, "Music Box", on January 23, 1994, and is a cover of Harry Nilsson's (cover of Badfinger's) US and UK #1 single from 1971. Its lyrics and music were written by William Peter Ham and Tom Evans, and Mariah's cover was arranged and produced by Mariah and Walter Afanasieff.

Although a fan of the song since her childhood, Mariah only decided to cover it herself after hearing Harry Nilsson's version playing at a restaurant while in the midst of recording her third album and she "just knew it would be a huge international hit". And a huge international hit it was; the single peaked at #1 in 13 different countries, including the UK, and went top 10 in most markets it was released. "Without You" was released as a double a-side with "Never Forget You" in the US, where it peaked at #3. In total, the single has sold over 3.4 million copies worldwide, making it one of the biggest hits of Mariah's career. The track's music video was recorded at Proctor's Theatre in Schenectady, New York on July 16, 1993, and was originally aired as part of Mariah's 1993 Thanksgiving TV special in the US.

In the years since its release, Mariah's version of the track has become something of a talent show staple, with Valentina Hasan's memorable rendition of the song in particular becoming an early internet meme.

Mariah's vocals are otherworldly on this track... I know there's some kind of double-tracking or something going on with the first "can't live~" of every chorus, but, Jesus, they just sound incredible. When the first ballots were coming in and this was in the lead for, like, the first eight or so voters, I was hella shocked, but not displeased at its early placement. However, soon after it started getting more divisive scores and it couldn't hold onto its early position. It looked like it was going to completely miss the top 20 at one point, so I'm at least happy it was able to claw its way back up to #18 in the end.​

@Music Is Life (10) — "This album is just full of great ballads, isn't it? I really love her voice on this, and the production is perfect. Together, the compliment the lyrics perfectly."

@P'NutButter (10) — "come on now. One of the best covers ever and so dramatic. I love miming it!!!!"

@WhatKindOfKylie? (10) — "The ultimate definition of classic cover, Mariah's sublime take on this 70's emotional classic, easily rivals Whitney and Celine's own huge 90's covers of I Will Always Love You and The Power Of Love respectively. Whilst there are better songs she's done that should have been her first UK #1, I can't deny it's enduring appeal either."

@bonnieetclyde (10) — "a classic. Love her lower register and she conveys the message of the song so well in her delivery."

@GimmeWork (10) — "As a kid I had no idea this was a cover and obviously I wasn't alone... something something Ken Lee tulibudibudoubt you.. something something."

@ohaimanabu (10) — "Obligatory Ken Lee endorsement."

@Sprockrooster (10) — "Probably my runner-up for my 11. I mean the build-up is done so effortlessly I get chills every damn time and still after all these decades have passed. This is a timeless classic that I fear will be done wrong and I would have loved to see it shine in this rate with an 11, but my heart had to go somewhere else. Please make it to top 10 (and I would be overjoyed if it were top 5)."

@RUNAWAY (10) — "Ken Lee is an ICONIC SONG. so iconic."

@londonrain (10) — "Iconic. Played to absolute death and still timeless, ageless and flawless. That final long 'moooooore'.... whew, a vocal moment."

@Slice of Life (10) — "Me and my sister stanned this so much back then dddd. I cannot not give this a 10. A classique."

@DominoDancing (10) — "This is a standout ballad in any version, and Mariah really makes it her own. Do I understand that a cover like this is not her presonal favourite? Sure, but it really is an amazing performance."

@Veeis (10) — "I believe it's one of my favourite songs from her. It is a divine cover and a classic in my country."

@Womanizer (9.5) — "KEN LEEEEEEE"

@Posh Spears (9.5) — "I never even realized how world renowned this song was until I became a stan dd, but I can see why."

@Jimmyandroid (9) — "First MC single I ever purchased. The gateway drug to Mariah standom."

@Blond (9) — "OK but who hasn't aggressively sung this into a deodorant can, complete with a drop to the knees during the final chorus? An ANTHEM."

@nikkysan (8.5) — "I dunno where Lambs stand with this but I've always enjoyed it, Mimi brings the melodrama to it."

@ysev (8.5) — "An iconic cover. The mother of power ballads!"

@If You Go (8.5) — "One of her best covers."

@Seventeen Days (8.5) — "I remember at one point wanting to learn the piano just to play this song on it. Mariah really knocks this cover out of the park."

@pop3blow2 (8.1) — "A bit safe & maybe unneeded on the album. I know it was a huge chart hit for her, but I wasn't here for Mariah covers at the time... and still ain't. I do give exception to 'I'll Be There', but that seemed like a fun organic moment in Unplugged. This always screamed of label just wanting a 'safe son rock' hit to market the album. I do like the choir at the end."

@Oceandrive (7.5) — "This borders on being corny but Mariah's sheer vocal talent stops it from ever veering too far down that route. Again of all the thousands of covers this song has endured nobody has ever quite carried that chorus with as much style."

@Tigerlily (7) — "It's a bit dated by now but still good."

@godspeed (7) — "Just like 'Hero,' I grew a bit tired of this song and it started that trend of Mariah covering a classic rock song on each of her albums until The Emancipation of Mimi, which gave us some nice moments ('The Beautiful Ones' on Butterfly) but also some really underwhelming ones... However, still just like 'Hero,' I cannot pretend I don't scream 'I can't liiiiiiiiive' when it comes on and her vocals on this track are really impressive."

@Imagineitwasus (6) — "This doesn't feel like her, more like Whitney or Celine."

@abael (5) — "Not a great cover, the need for polish in Mariah's vocals takes away from the song more than it adds."​

Well, in this Rate (and if there ever were a Kate Ryan Rate) - had I participated this cover (as with Voyage Voyage, Ella Elle L'a in a Kate Ryan Rate), my love for the "original" would have made me give a low score to it too. I just find Without You works better as an intimate desperately call for one's love as opposed to what Marian's take does. Admittedly I doubt @Ana Raquel would be tanking Marian's for the same reason I may have dddddd
I knew Prisoner would end up being one of the last remaining album tracks. It's her closest thing to an 80s bop. I think it might outlast Someday.

Has she ever even acknoweldged it? It seems like its the one deep cut she's never pulled out.

I'm getting nervous All I Want For Christmas Is You is going to end up winning this just because it's an impossible song to give anything less than top marks to.
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