Saturday, April 15, 2017

Songoftheday 4/15/17 - Treated me kind sweet destiny, carried me through desperation to the one that was waiting for me...

"Vision Of Love" - Mariah Carey
from the album Mariah Carey (1990)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #1 (four weeks)
Weeks in the Top-40: 17

Today's song of the day was the first single from what would be one of the biggest pop stars of the 1990's, Mariah Carey. Carey grew up in Long Island New York to parents of mixed race, which at that time (late 60's early 70s) was still laden with some prejudice within the community. After her parents divorced when she was still a toddler, Mariah stayed with her operatically-trained mother, who gave vocal tips, but Mariah's heart was in pop music. After toiling around for a break, including one as a back-up singer for freestyle artist Brenda K. Starr, whose hit "I Still Believe" Mariah would later cover herself, Starr referred her demo tape to Columbia Records boss Tommy Mottola, who got her signed not long after that. Like Clive Davis did for Whitney Houston's vocal strength, Mottola set Carey up with the best producers, like Ric Wake (Taylor Dayne), Narada Michael Walden (Aretha Franklin), and Walter Afanasieff (Lionel Richie), all of whom worked with Whitney as well, along with newcomer Rhett Lawrence. The first single from her self-titled debut, "Vision Of Love", was a showcase ballad that floated along her crazy-wide vocal range. Written by Mariah with longtime friend Ben Margulies (who co-wrote seven of the eleven tracks with her), the love song was more a musical bit of gymnastics than emotional art-piece, but she definitely proved without a doubt that she had the chops to silence any critics. But the lyrics of that search for the "right one" resonated with millions of women (and this one twenty-something year old)...

"Vision Of Love" became Mariah's first #1 pop hit on her first go for an entire month starting in August of 1990, one of three songs that did that feat that year. The single also spent three weeks on top of Billboard's Adult Contemporary (or "easy listening") radio chart, and crossed over to nab two weeks at #1 on their R&B list as well. Internationally, the song went to the top of the charts in Canada and New Zealand, and reached the top ten in the Netherlands (#8), Australia (#9), the UK (#9), and Ireland (#10). It also peaked at #17 in Germany and #25 in France. The record would win her a truck load of awards, with Grammys for Best New Artist and Pop Female Vocal for the "Vision Of Love" single (she was also nominated for Album of the Year, losing to Quincy Jones' Back on the Block, while "Vision Of Love" was nommed for both Song and Record of the Year, with Bette Midler's "From A Distance" and Phil Collins' "Another Day In Paradise" taking home the trophies). And her disciplined yet vampy way of singing inspired an army of pop singers like Christina Aguilera, Ariana Grande, Kelly Clarkson, and the entire singing competition franchise. But there's nothing like the original.

(Click below to see the rest of the post)


Here's Mariah appearing on Saturday Night Live way back then in 1990...


...and on the other side of her first success at the 1991 Grammy Awards...


Mariah of course included "Vision Of Love" on her MTV Unplugged performance that became a top ten album in its own right...


Fast forward to 1995 on her Fantasy tour in New York at the peak of her success...


Here she is in Tokyo on the Butterfly show in 1998...


This past February, Mariah drug "Vision" out of the closet for Jimmy Kimmel Live...


Lastly, I'll bring it back to 1990 where Mariah went on Good Morning America with just her back-up singers and a piano...


Up tomorrow: Canadian rocker's a romantic dictionary.

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