The Mariah Carey Discography Rate Pt.1 • FINISHED

"Fantasy" vs "Honey" . . .

9.705 vs 9.599 . . .

Which song has Popjustice voted the second-best of the rate?


One hit of your love addicted me
Now I'm strung out on you, darlin', don't you see
Every night and day, I can hardly wait
For another taste of honey



Score: 9.599
High scores: 11×8 (@P'NutButter, @WhatKindOfKylie?, @Jimmyandroid, @tylerc904, @soratami, @Hurricane Drunk, @evilsin, @Island), 10×36 (@Music Is Life, @GimmeWork, @The Hot Rock, @EricG1990, @Maria, @Imagineitwasus, @Tigerlily, @JamesJupiter, @Pinky25, @Ana Raquel, @RUNAWAY, @nikkysan, @Cowboystyle, @Robsolete, @japanbonustrack, @lalaclairi_, @BEST FICTION, @If You Go, @londonrain, @Slice of Life, @Love Deluxe, @Lapras, @Mushroom, @PayMe, @Lost In Japan., @LeBratt, @Veeis, @Oleander, @Blond, @Remorque, @codecat, @Posh Spears, @Sail On, @RainOnFire, @Oceandrive, @vague), 9.8×1 (@Womanizer)
Low scores: 4×1 (@playboy69), 6×1 (@Daniel_O), 7×2 (@abael @DominoDancing)
My score: 10

5 ballots: #15 (tied), 9.200 avg.
10 ballots: #5, 9.480 avg.
15 ballots: #2, 9.653 avg.
20 ballots: #8, 9.390 avg.
25 ballots: #6, 9.432 avg.
30 ballots: #6, 9.453 avg.
35 ballots: #4, 9.489 avg.
40 ballots: #3, 9.490 avg.
45 ballots: #3, 9.540 avg.
50 ballots: #3, 9.491 avg.
55 ballots: #2, 9.537 avg.
60 ballots: #2, 9.593 avg.
61 ballots: #2, 9.599 avg.

"Honey" was released as the lead single from Mariah's sixth studio album, "Butterfly", on August 26, 1997. Its lyrics were written solely by Mariah; it was composed by Mariah, Sean Combs, Kamaal "Q-Tip" Fareed, Steven J, Stephen Hague, Bobby Robinson, Ronald Larkins, Larry Price, and Malcolm McLaren; and produced by Mariah, Sean Combs, Kamaal "Q-Tip" Fareed, and Stevie J. The track's instrumental samples elements from both The Treacherous Three's 1981 single "The Body Rock" and World's Famous Supreme Team's 1984 single "Hey DJ".

"Honey" became Mariah's third single to debut at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in the US, following "Fantasy" and "One Sweet Day", and was her twelfth #1 overall. The song helped Mariah break the record for most #1 debuts of any artist on the Hot 100; a record she still holds today. Its #1 debut also broke her own record for the female artist with the most #1 singles on the Hot 100, which she had previously shared with Madonna and Whitney Houston. The single was also a success in other major markets, peaking at #1 in Canada, #3 in New Zealand and the UK, #4 in Spain, #8 in Australia and the Netherlands, and #10 in Italy. It has sold over 2.2 million copies worldwide.

"Honey" was the first single released after Mariah had separated from her then-husband, Tommy Mottola, and its sound was a departure from the straightforward pop songs and AC ballads that she was known for at the time. After flirting with R&B and hip-hop influences throughout the "Daydream" album, "Honey" dived headfirst into the sound. Mariah first began work on the track with Q-Tip before the pair took to Sean "Diddy" Combs to put the finishing touches on it. Diddy was barred from the studio while Mariah recorded her vocals for the track due to rumors of his overbearing personality. In a 2003 interview, Diddy elaborated on the incident: "A lot of people feel I'm overbearing, so I wasn't allowed in the studio when she did her vocals. I'm trying to work on that. I'm such a perfectionist, sometimes I don't give people the chance to breathe, so I've been banned from a lot of studios. Mariah [recorded "Honey"] until she thought it was perfect, like a hundred times. She gave me like a hundred tracks to choose from."

Probably the most important single of her carer? If "Daydream" was Mariah taking baby steps toward becoming the artist she wanted to be, then the release of "Honey" threw those doors wide open and proclaimed that this was who Mariah really was; this was the music she wanted to be making. I can't imagine how liberating that must have felt for her back then. Her whole musical identity and her image had been cultivated and controlled by her husband, but, with "Honey", she was taking back that control and finally doing what she wanted. I have such respect for her for that. Doesn't hurt that the song is absolutely incredible, too. It's truly a triumph.​

@P'NutButter (11) — "Still my favourite Mariah single. I have so many memories of the release too."

@WhatKindOfKylie? (11) — "Out of the rates I've ever done, this was easily the hardest in terms of narrowing down so many #11 worthy options to just 1. BUT, in the end, I had to go with the song that not only ranks as one of my top 3 songs she's ever made, but also the most revolutionary and career changing song that Mariah Carey's ever done. And that for my mind, is Honey. Over 5 minutes of pure late 90's R&B jam perfection, if Daydream had helped her dip her toes into the world of hip hop, then Honey, well and truly plunged Mariah in. Finally making music she at last really wanted to."

@Jimmyandroid (11) — "So many songs I could have given an 11 to but my I've Honey since it came out in '97 and I've never tired of it."

@tylerc904 (11) — "Okay Mimi, you did NOT have to go this hard. There was NO need to cram 34123412 hooks into one song. Whew. Seriously, what a beast of a track."

@evilsin (11) — "I believe this track along with 'My All' were my first tangible exposure to Mariah back in the day when I was a wee little boy of 7 and I'm still in love after all those years. This is perfection for me from start to finish. Right from that quirky synth down to the very last ad-lib. I don't have some meaningful story connected to the song, but I'm okay with that, because in the end it's just a goddamn amazing song that makes me happy and for that it deserves an 11. The video is also a joy."

@Music Is Life (10) — "Iconic bop about a lover's honey. I really love the production in this one, and her vocals make for the perfect package as always. Oooh but that melody too - God she's just amazing isn't she?"

@GimmeWork (10) — "Flawless song. Agent M is iconic. Perhaps her best video."

@The Hot Rock (10) — "Suddenly I'm a bee."

@Imagineitwasus (10) — "Fell in love with Mariah to this while practicing modern jazz at 5. I would learn the choreo for every group in the class and mix it all up to perform in front of all my family with the VHS recording of the show playing in the background. A lil fag moment of look at me, brought to you by Mariah. Thank you for making me indirectly come out this early ❤."

@Pinky25 (10) — "As a little girl I used to do that little dance she does with the sailors in the mirror. It's another one of my childhood favorites."

@japanbonustrack (10) — "It was my 11 in a previous rate, so I thought it was time to give it to another song."

@lalaclairi_ (10) — "Maybe my favorite of her videos?"

@londonrain (10) — "This video is the most iconic Mariah video ever. 'Not for me. For you.' *dies of shade*"

@Veeis (10) — "God, what a monster of a song. The instrumental, the video, the vocals, I adore it all. I envy everyone who has been alive at the moment this song was released. Also, it was a contender for my 11."

@Posh Spears (10) — "Imagine thinking this is anything less than a 10/10 masterpiece of modern music? Couldn't be me!"

@Womanizer (9.8) — "I can't believe her songwriting isn't acknowledged as being up there with the rest of the greats when they never made a song about literal c*m this inconspicuously."

@Seventeen Days (9.25) — "Mariah as a female Bond, whew we love an iconic video! This track brings back good memories of blasting the CD single on my boombox when it first came out."

@godspeed (9) — "I'll probably never fully realize how important this song was for Mariah's career because I wasn't around at the time of its release, but 'Honey' feels like a clear departure from her previous albums and the start of a new chapter. Everything is so different from 'Daydream' and the records that came before: the way she sings, the sexual undertone, the heavy hip hop influence in the production (kind of crazy to think Q-Tip produced this song), the piano notes that add something really sweet to the song... Now that I think about it, this must be one of the most important pop singles of all time. Spectacular in many ways and one of the tracks that definitely got me hooked on Mariah's music."

@mokitsu (9) — "This was the first Mariah song included in this rate that I got into and I'm so glad I did. The original emancipation moment. It feels so vocally and lyrically sophisticated for such a light-hearted bop."

@pop3blow2 (8.8) — "Not an instantly enamored with Honey as a lead-off single as I was other Mariah, but it still holds up pretty well."

@bonnieetclyde (8) — "definitely more 'urban' than we'd heard from Mariah before. It's slinky, sexy and her vocals are far more restrained. The production here is really strong too, even to this day it sounds pretty fresh."

@abael (7) — "The instrumentation is fun, but the song isn't great and Mariah has sounded better."

(7) — "Light and breezy, but I find this not super memorable, and the little piano riff more annoying than catchy. After the amazing openers for the last albums, I found this to be a bit of a disappointment."​

Last edited:
And that means the winner of part one of the Mariah Carey discography rate is . . .


Images of rapture creep into me slowly
As you're going to my head
And my heart beats faster when you take me over
Time and time and time again



Score: 9.705
High scores: 11×3 (@Music Is Life, @ohaimanabu, @Tigerlily), 10×42 (@WhatKindOfKylie?, @Jimmyandroid, @GimmeWork, @Womanizer, @The Hot Rock, @EricG1990, @tylerc904, @Maria, @AdzBrown, @Daniel_O, @JamesJupiter, @Pinky25, @RUNAWAY, @nikkysan, @godspeed, @Cowboystyle, @pop3blow2, @Robsolete, @ysev, @japanbonustrack, @Hurricane Drunk, @If You Go, @londonrain, @Love Deluxe, @evilsin, @Lapras, @Mushroom, @DominoDancing, @PayMe, @Lost In Japan., @Seventeen Days, @LeBratt, @Veeis, @Oleander, @Blond, @Remorque, @codecat, @Posh Spears, @Sail On, @Island, @Oceandrive, @vague), 9.5×3 (@P'NutButter, @BEST FICTION, @Aester), 9×9 (@bonnieetclyde, @Imagineitwasus, @Sprockrooster, @soratami, @Ana Raquel, @CasuallyCrazed, @BreatheBox, @mokitsu, @RainOnFire)
Low scores: 5×1 (@playboy69), 8×2 (@abael, @lalaclairi_), 8.5×1 (@Slice of Life)
My score: 10

5 ballots: #18 (tied), 9.100 avg.
10 ballots: #6 (tied), 9.450 avg.
15 ballots: #3, 9.567 avg.
20 ballots: #2, 9.725 avg.
25 ballots: #2, 9.620 avg.
30 ballots: #1, 9.683 avg.
35 ballots: #1, 9.643 avg.
40 ballots: #1, 9.625 avg.
45 ballots: #1, 9.644 avg.
50 ballots: #1, 9.660 avg.
55 ballots: #1, 9.691 avg.
60 ballots: #1, 9.700 avg.
61 ballots: #1, 9.705 avg.

"Fantasy" was released as the lead single from Mariah's fifth studio album, "Daydream", on September 12, 1995. Its lyrics were written by Mariah, Chris Frantz, and Tina Weymouth; it was composed by Mariah, Dave Hall, Chris Frantz, Tina Weymouth, Adrian Belew, and Steven S. Stanley; and arranged and produced by Mariah and Dave Hall. "Fantasy" heavily incorporates both melodic and lyrical samples Tom Tom Club's 1981 single "Genius Of Love".

In the US, "Fantasy" debuted at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100, becoming the first single by a female artist, and second single overall, to debut there. The single also peaked at #1 in Australia, Canada, and New Zealand; #2 in Finland; #3 in Belgium; #4 in the UK; #5 in Denmark and France; #9 in the Netherlands; and #10 in Ireland, Norway, Scotland, and Switzerland. It has sold 3.4 million copies in total worldwide.

I typically prefer R&Bariah, but when it comes to her poppier tracks, this is clearly her best for me. Everything about this is perfect. Everything! There is not one wasted second in this track. Every note, every melody, every lyric, every production flourish - they're all masterful. You know your song is a classic when you can strip it of its chorus and it still sounds icredible, as is the case with the Bad Boy remix. I had no clue what would win this rate when I opened the thread, but I'm truly glad that, if it couldn't be my 11, it was this song instead.​

@Music Is Life (11) — "This is a perfect opener, perfect lead single, perfect song. I love everything about it. The production is so fucking good, and her vocals! Plus the lyrics - so fucking relatable I can't even tell you. Perfect song. Honestly, I knew this would be my 11 from the start."

@ohaimanabu (11) — "There was a LOT in this part of the rate I consider 11 tier, but Fantasy had to take it for me. That delicious TTC sample, her ad libs, that chorus, and some of the most infectious melodies in her discography all came together into one legendary song. Never gets old, and never fails to lift my spirits/make me wanna dance/twerk etc."

@Tigerlily (11) — "The lyrics: 10 / The production: 10 / The vocals: 10. THE SONG: 11."

@WhatKindOfKylie? (10) — "Perhaps the most iconic of all the so many uptempo classics that she's done. And certainly one the finest. The whole Daydream album/era certainly was a link between her past, present and future, and lead single Fantasy, was without a doubt the best example of this. Almost a quarter of a century on hasn't made it lose its sparkle either, and it remains just as magical and feel as it ever was."

@Jimmyandroid (10) — "Autumn of 1995 was spent mainly listening to this on cassette on loop."

@GimmeWork (10) — "Still my favorite summer jam like EVER!!!"

@Womanizer (10) — "I prefer the production on the album version but also the chorus of the remix so it's a tie between whatever version."

@The Hot Rock (10) — "I don't know what to say. Absolutely incredible. I knew Mariah had it in her because she has a lot of classics but I was new to this one for the rate and it knocked me on my ass."

@tylerc904 (10) — "This was my favorite Mariah song for the first 10 years of my fandom, but my 11 would eventually over take it and has held that title ever since. What a masterpiece this is though. The sample, that chorus, the easy breezy beautiful video and of course the middle eight being strong enough to be chorus on the remix. She did that."

@nikkysan (10) — "Classic. Perfect pop song. Period."

@godspeed (10) — "Once again, talking about such a monument in Mariah's discography is quite complicated, especially when it's one of my absolute favorite songs from her (the Bad Boy remix being in my top 2). It's sweet, it's fun, it's Mariah doing exactly what she wants to do and having the time of her life. Really what's not to like about 'Fantasy,' especially when it gave us that legendary bridge? I mean, 'I'm in heaven/With my boyfriend, my laughing boyfriend,' this gets stuck in my head quite often and it's always such a thrill when it does!"

@pop3blow2 (10) — "Instant classic. Emotion + Dreamlover + Gangsta Rap Whistle + Brilliant Genius of Love Sample = Pop Perfection."

@ysev (10) — "The song is so iconic that I always wrongly call the Daydream album Fantasy. The vocals... I mean there's really no need to rave about them, since they're a given. The song is so melodic and fun and a nice and subtle transition from her more AC/Pop sound to a more R&B-ish one."

@londonrain (10) — "The runner-up for my 11. A single spending its first nine weeks at #1? That was a classic."

@evilsin (10) — "One of Mariah's finest moments and she herself loves it."

@DominoDancing (10) — "If you absolutely forced me to say something bad about this song, perhaps that it's modeled a bit too close on Dreamlover? But really, it's a super-fun hookfest. What's not to love?"

@Seventeen Days (10) — "Lord, the memories of middle school dances lodged in the middle of this track. This song is not only a stone-cold Mariah classic, it is a classic of the 90s in general. If you hear this playing in a club, you are obligated to get on the dance floor. I don't make the rules, I just follow them."

@Veeis (10) — "What an undeniable song and a classic (solo, not remix). For that intro alone I would give it a 10. Magnificent song and one of her crown jewels."

@Blond (10) — "My favourite Mariah banger. The Tom Tom Club sample is inspired and it's such a great fusion of hip-hop (with those G-funk era beeps) and pop. Perfect production, perfect vocals, I couldn't love this any more than I do."

@Posh Spears (10) — "Excellence. Periodt."

@Oceandrive (10) — "I've never noticed before but I can't think of another song off the top of my head that has all of its vocals on full belt during the verses like Mariah does here. The whole structure of this song is genius. From the sample, to the vocal to the melody and even the music video. Of course the Remix is another conversation because that had its own significance and cultural moment, but as a stand alone vehicle this has so much significance in her career, if I was basing it on pure fact it's very hard to argue against it getting the 11. A behemoth of a chorus and one of the finest Pop/RnB cocktails of all time."

@P'NutButter (9.5) — "Love this pop version, but the remix is the one."

@bonnieetclyde (9) — "just puts a smile on your face and makes you think of summer. I always picture the music video and her on roller skates."

@Imagineitwasus (9) — "I just love the use of the sample."

@abael (8) — "Well constructed midtempo song held back a bit by underwhelming instrumentation."​



Staff member
Okay but how iconic would it have been if The Roof won. Whew.

I was rooting for Honey to take this, but I can't begrudge Fantasy winning either. Honestly I'm just glad it's not All I Want for Christmas!

@vague this was a genuinely flawless rate - the single covers were amazing and the write-ups were so detailed and informative. Thank you for all of the hard work you put into this!
I'M SO ECSTATIC! This is only the second time my 11 has won and I have to admit the first time I semi-expected it. But I'm completely blown away and surprised by this! I fully expected Honey to win again. Even if it didn't, I knew how stacked her discography is so I didn't think it had much of a chance. Fantasy was my first OH WOW moment when I got into her music last year. This is like when you're fave unexpectedly wins a Grammy. I'm so happy. I can't wait for @londonrain to see this and for Fantasy to slay in the next winner's rate. Love you @Tigerlily and @ohaimanabu!

Fantastic, amazing, beautiful rate @vague! I loved everything about it (except for the tanking of some songs and the raising
of others but that's not your fault.) I'm so excited for part 2! I know what my 11 is probably going to be, and I'm gonna have a little more faith in it this time.
I've still got a few more posts I want to make (album averages, voter averages, and a full breakdown of the leaderboard history), but this rate is effectively finished now. But first I want to once again thank all of you of who voted in the rate as well as everyone who just followed along. This is the third rate I've hosted on the forum now, and this one was by far the biggest - both in terms of the number of songs rated and the number of voters - but all of your likes, replies, and kind, supportive messages truly made this experience feel so rewarding for me and made all the stress and apprehension worth it dddd. I was going through a few personal struggles towards the beginning of the rate which impacted the overall pacing, and I appreciate you all being patient and understanding.

The amount of time and effort you all have invested in this rate is truly, truly appreciated, and you all made want to do my best to match that effort with the elimination posts. I loved reading every bit of commentary you all wrote and every single reply in the thread (well, almost ddd). Despite some of the questionable results, I hope you all enjoyed the ride and will join me in continuing to celebrate Mariah in part two!

thanks again! ❤
I like that Honey got some justice in the form of the most 11s out of the pair (or any in the rate?).

It and "The Roof" are tied with eight 11s each. Then "Breakdown" and "Underneath The Stars" got the second most with four each.

Here's the full breakdown of where everyone's 11s went:

#1 Fantasy - 3
@Music Is Life

#2 Honey - 8
@Hurricane Drunk

#3 The Roof - 8
@Love Deluxe

#4 Emotions - 3

#5 Always Be My Baby - 2
@Sail On

#6 All I Want For Christmas Is You - 3

#7 My All - 2
@Slice of Life

#8 Breakdown - 4

#11 Someday - 1
@If You Go

#12 Prisoner - 1
@Ana Raquel

#13 Underneath The Stars - 4
@Seventeen Days

#15 Make It Happen - 2

#16 You Need A Friend - 1

#17 Butterfly - 2

#20 Slipping Away - 2

#21 Fourth Of July - 2
@The Hot Rock

#23 Melt Away - 1

#25 Close My Eyes - 1

#27 Fantasy (Bad Boy Remix) - 2
@Lost In Japan.

#28 Looking In - 2

#29 Whenever You Call - 1

#33 Outside - 3
@Posh Spears

#34 Babydoll - 1

#38 I'll Be There - 1

#44 I Still Believe - 1