The Mariah Carey Discography Rate Pt.1 • FINISHED

We're losing two more 11s with today's cut . . .


I can't pretend these tears aren't overflowing steadily
I can't prevent this hurt from almost overtaking me
But I will stand and say goodbye, for you'll never be mine
Until you know the way it feels to fly



Score: 8.734
High scores: 11×2 (@EricG1990, @Pinky25), 10×16 (@WhatKindOfKylie?, @GimmeWork, @Imagineitwasus, @AdzBrown, @RUNAWAY, @nikkysan, @japanbonustrack, @CasuallyCrazed, @Slice of Life, @mokitsu, @PayMe, @LeBratt, @Remorque, @Sail On, @Island, @Oceandrive), 9.8×1 (@Womanizer)
Low scores: 4×2 (@playboy69, @Lapras), 6×1 (@Ana Raquel), 7×2 (@Sprockrooster, @Mushroom)
My score: 9.75

5 ballots: #43 (tied), 8.250 avg.
10 ballots: #34, 8.455 avg.
15 ballots: #24, 8.737 avg.
20 ballots: #25 (tied), 8.578 avg.
25 ballots: #21, 8.622 avg.
30 ballots: #21, 8.652 avg.
35 ballots: #17, 8.744 avg.
40 ballots: #17, 8.726 avg.
45 ballots: #17, 8.617 avg.
50 ballots: #17, 8.635 avg.
55 ballots: #17, 8.668 avg.
60 ballots: #17, 8.713 avg.
61 ballots: #17, 8.734 avg.

"Butterfly" is the title track from Mariah's sixth studio album. Its lyrics were written solely by Mariah and it was composed, arranged, and produced by Mariah and Walter Afanasieff. "Butterfly" was released as the album's second single on December 1, 1997, but due to conflicts with her label, it did not receive a physical release in the US, thus rendering it ineligible to chart on the Hot 100 (it did, however, manage to chart at #11 on Billboard's Adult Contemporary chart and at #16 on the Radio Songs chart). The single was a moderate success in most other territories it was released, only peaking at #22 in both Canada and the UK and at #27 in Australia, and has sold 110k copies in total worldwide.

During the recording sessions for her sixth album, Mariah decided to create an original house track with David Morales. After finishing the lyrics for the track that would become "Fly Away (Butterfly Reprise)", she decided that since the lyrics were deeply personal, they would work well as a ballad, too. She then took the melody, alongside newly written lyrics, to Walter Afanasieff, and the duo put the finishing touches on what would become the album's title track, "Butterfly".

In a 2007 interview with Interview magazine, Mariah spoke about the thought process behind her lyrics: "It was '97 and I was leaving my marriage [to Tommy Mottola], which encompassed my life. I was writing the song 'Butterfly' wishing that that's what he would say to me. There's a part that goes, 'I have learned that beauty / has to flourish in the light / wild horses run unbridled / or their spirit dies / you have given me the courage / to be all that I can / and I truly feel ... [sings] and I truly feel your heart will lead you back to me when you're ready to land'. At that point I really believed that I was going to go back to the marriage; I didn't think I was going to leave forever."

The last half of this track is one of Mariah's best vocal performances, bar none. I do love the whole song, but I often find myself fast-forwarding straight to the middle 8 whenever I put this on. It's just so ... euphoric? I'm not sure if that's even the right word to describe it since the song is so heavy, but those soaring vocals... man, they just make my chest feel so light and free. There's a real bittersweet feeling to this whole track, but, for me at least, that last half is a little more sweet than bitter.​

@Pinky25 (11) — "Before I picked this as my 11 I went back and listened to this and My All. As much as love My All Butterfly has always affected me. I'm going through something in my life and the lyrics especially resonate with me. It's a beautiful song."

(10) — "A snapshot into the personal life of Mariah Carey during this time, this the title track of her magnum opus, is all so relational too. I mean, who hasn't had to move on in their lives at some point and know in your heart it's all for the best? Everyone has. A stunning song and one that should have never broken her run of UK top 10 back to back singles either - it should have been huge."

@Imagineitwasus (10) — "Once again, the lyrics, the vocal work... Everything is perfect."

@RUNAWAY (10) — "this song is so stunning vocally and lyrically. It's an absolute tragedy that the single release was fucked up by the record company, because this song should have been a number one."

@mokitsu (10) — "My favourite Mariah ballad. The second verse has some of my favourite Mariah lyrics ever. It's both an interesting and sad window into her divorce with Tommy and how she originally believed they would get back together."

@Womanizer (9.8) — "Another one that didn't fully click with me until very recently and when it did, I was FLOORED."

@BreatheBox (9.7) — "for the classic bossa nova version."

@Music Is Life (9.5) — "What a gorgeous title-track. The choir on the chorus with her ad-libbing over is awesome. I really love the melody on the chorus, and the middle - 8 might be the best part just cause of her vocals."

@ysev (9.5) — "The vocals! Absolutely insane."

@pop3blow2 (9) — "Sort of a standard ballad here, but I just really love the melody in the chorus. Not one of my favorite Mariah vocals, though. I love the choir on the chorus more than her vocal, honestly. I do love the heart in this song, despite everything though. It seems to be coming from a real place of passion for her."

@Veeis (9) — "It can be a little bit cheesy, but I always loved that one. Truly gorgeous vocals from her, I would love to hear her singing the choir parts though."

@abael (8) — "Lyrically one of her stronger tracks, to the point it makes up for the other aspects of the song."

@londonrain (8) — "I wish this were a bit less breathy for the whole first two and a half minutes, because her voice sounds weirdly shot for the first half of the song and then it fucking goes AWF when she goes into the middle eight and then that incredible 'until you know the way it feels to FLYYYYYYYYYYYYYY....'"

@Seventeen Days (8) — "Every time I hear this song, I think of when I was in 7th grade and my best friend made a very sexually graphic parody version. (Though I can't remember the exact words... ) Putting that aside, it's a beautiful ballad that has definitely stood the test of time."

@bonnieetclyde (7.5) — "lyrically, it's a bit too on the nose/saccharine but it builds nicely and has some gorgeous backing vocals."

@tylerc904 (7.5) — "I know most people love it, but this is oddly the non-dub weak point of the album for me. It's absolutely lovely, but just is a bit too Disney for me."

@godspeed (7.5) — "It's interesting to observe Mariah's evolution through her ballads. Those on Butterfly, and especially the title track, show how strong her songwriting and lyricism are while still managing to create perfect pop ballads that will make you want to sing along and will make you feel something. 'Butterfly' (the song) is exactly that: Mariah and Walter Afanasieff working their magic and M.C. delivering some of her classic personal, deep, smart and uplifting lyrics ('I can't pretend these tears/Aren't overflowing steadily/I can't prevent this hurt from almost overtaking me')."

@If You Go (7.5) — "Her vocals on this song always sound better in my head. That being said the song is so strong that the sometimes dodgy vocals don't detract from it."

@DominoDancing (7.5) — "Mariah sounds great. But musically this is pretty sappy, and 'Spread your wings and fly' is just too clichéd a line to build a chorus around."​

He / Him / His
My lowest score from its parent album, I’d all but forgotten it was still here (still a 7, mins). It’s a lovely mission statement for the record and a time when she was vying for freedom, creatively and personally, but I do just find it to be the last interesting track present.
Unfortunately, we'll be cutting yet another 11 today . . .


When the shadows are closing in
And your spirit's diminishing
Just remember you're not alone
And love will be there to guide you home


"Anytime You Need A Friend"

Score: 8.836
High scores: 11×1 (@Cowboystyle), 10×25 (@playboy69, @WhatKindOfKylie?, @tylerc904, @Imagineitwasus, @AdzBrown, @soratami, @Pinky25, @RUNAWAY, @godspeed, @pop3blow2, @Robsolete, @ysev, @japanbonustrack, @CasuallyCrazed, @Hurricane Drunk, @If You Go, @londonrain, @Love Deluxe, @DominoDancing, @LeBratt, @Veeis, @Remorque, @codecat, @Sail On, @vague), 9.8×1 (@Lost In Japan.)
Low scores: 4×1 (@Tigerlily), 4.5×1 (@Ana Raquel), 5×1 (@Aester)
My score: 10

5 ballots: #9 (tied), 9.4 avg.
10 ballots: #28, 8.620 avg.
15 ballots: #19, 8.913 avg.
20 ballots: #22, 8.685 avg.
25 ballots: #19, 8.648 avg.
30 ballots: #14, 8.857 avg.
35 ballots: #15, 8.906 avg.
40 ballots: #16, 8.793 avg.
45 ballots: #16, 8.749 avg.
50 ballots: #16, 8.780 avg.
55 ballots: #15, 8.845 avg.
60 ballots: #15, 8.833 avg.
61 ballots: #16, 8.836 avg.

After bidding adieu to its remix at #44, it's now time to say goodbye to the original album version of "Anytime You Need A Friend". The gospel-tinged track was released as the fourth and final single from Mariah's third studio album, "Music Box", on May 31, 1994. Its lyrics were written solely by Mariah and it was composed, arranged, and produced by Mariah and Walter Afanasieff.

While undoubtedly still a success - especially as the fourth single from a diamond-selling album - "Anytime You Need A Friend" became Mariah's first single to chart outside the top 5 in the US when it peaked at #12 on the Billboard Hot 100. The single did peak in the top ten of several other countries, however, including at #1 in Finland, #5 in Canada and New Zealand, #8 in the UK, and #9 in Iceland, and has sold over 900k copies in total worldwide.

Thee standout on "Music Box" for me. There's just something so uplifting and bright about this song that ~always~ lifts my spirits whenever I listen to it. Those incredible high belts at the end alone are deserving of a score of 10. I'd hoped this would sneak its way into the top 10 of the rate, but the fact it's just shy of a 9-average makes me pretty happy all the same.​

@WhatKindOfKylie? (10) — "If you ever feel down in the dumps, listen to this, and you'll instantly feel uplifted. It's almost as though Mariah is talking to yourself directly, it touches you and goes straight through the heart. Aside from just being utterly inspirational, Anytime You Need A Friend is just a fine song all around, with hearty Emotions era esque vocals, and a flawless blend of Pop, R&B, Gospel and Soul. Should have been the biggest hit of the whole album in my view."

@tylerc904 (10) — "Such a belter. Should have been a bigger hit for her!"

@Imagineitwasus (10) — "Perfect gospel track."

@Pinky25 (10) — "This song is so beautiful. I knew it existed but I've actually never heard it before this rate. I've just gotten through a tough time and I cried while listening to it the first time."

@RUNAWAY (10) — "that chorus is still EVERYTHING. This is such a powerful song and a complete and total underrated classic. It's so nice to see Mariah revisiting it on her tour."

@godspeed (10) — "If I'd have to pick one song from Music Box - and that would be quite an easy task to do to be totally honest - 'Anytime You Need A Friend' would be the one. It's not as instant as 'Hero' or 'Without You' when you listen to the album for the first time, but after a few listens it's obviously the clear highlight of Music Box. The gospel influence here is done well and adds a lot of soul to the song and helps it to be very uplifting. It's a truly beautiful anthemic song that doesn't get enough credit in my opinion."

@pop3blow2 (10) — "This is arguably my favorite song on Music Box. I just loved the choir & on all of it. I loved that at her peak popularity, she made this a single. That was pretty risky & brave to me... even at the time."

@ysev (10) — "The chorus is out of this world. One of all-time favorites."

@japanbonustrack (10) — "Please Mariah. I don't want to cry."

@londonrain (10) — "I love that she pulled this out on the Caution tour. The choir really lifts this to new levels."

@DominoDancing (10) — "The big dramatic gospel chorus is all kinds of magnificent."

@Veeis (10) — "A monster of a song, I adore it. Deserved to be #1."

@bonnieetclyde (9) — "Mariah + gospel choir = goosebumps, every goddamn time."

@evilsin (9) — "Love the message so much."

@mokitsu (9) — "Heavenly. I only listen to the 5 minute version without the fade-out as that's what this masterpiece deserves."

@Oceandrive (9) — "Arguably one of her most vocally challenging songs of the 90's era but damn does she rise to the challenge here. Her voice thundering against a gospel choir as the song reaches it's crescendo is a moment that not many other artists can say they have in their discography. The "DONTCHAEVERBELONELEY" belted growl is genuinely showstopping."

@Music Is Life (8.5) — "Another ballad, this one does end up being a little cheesy, but Mariah really sells the song with her vocals, sounding intense, passionate and caring."

@Seventeen Days (8.5) — "A lush track with some fantastic vocal runs, as always. I only ever seemed to catch the video on MTV when they were playing the remix version, so that version has become my favorite."

@ohaimanabu (8) — "Not originally a big fave of mine, but has grown on me in time!"

@abael (8) — "That backing choir is awesome, well composed track."

@Jimmyandroid (7.5) — "Great to hear this on the Caution tour, and that vocal is astounding, but not top level Mariah for me."​