Riddle Me List: 20 Years, 10 Of Mariah's Best Music Moments

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

While I was walking across the stage to accept my college degree last Saturday, Mariah Carey was celebrating a milestone of her own, and that is the fact that she has been singing for 20 years.Yep, 20 frackin' years of ballads, rap-pop collabos and short dresses. On May 15, 1990, Mariah released her very first single, "Vision Of Love". It took a little time, but it reached #1, and brought a brand new diva to the battlefield, where competition was steep considering that Whitney Houston was ruling the roost, with Celine Dion and Toni Braxton waiting in the wings.

Sure, Carey hasn't been much of a page turner these days. As we know that Carey's latest, Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel tanked faster than the Titanic, the Angels Advocate Tour was a box-office bust, and that Mariah wears clothes smaller than any five year old, I know, but bah!, who cares? Mariah has a plethora of musical moments from the past two decades to make up for the wayward state her music career is in right now. So instead of scrutinizing what Mariah isn't doing right now, let's look back at what she has done. So here are 10 musical moments that I feel are some of her glory moments (MTV Unplugged, not included, but that is too damn easy). This is in no way meant to undermine Mariah's other performances, as she has a gabillion, so calm down you crazy Lambs, and just enjoy for the sake of celebrating Mariah having a career that has spanned 20 years, hopefully, with 20 more years of tunes to come.

Bright Light, Big Hair ("My All" - Divas Live, 1998)
Remember when VH1's Divas Live used to feature actual divas? Mariah played her part well by teasing up that 90's hair like a regal crown of glory and delivering her #1 hit, "My All". She gets bonus points for stirring up the rendition with the remix version at the end.

Battle At Diva Forge ("When You Believe" with Whitney Houston - Oprah, 1998)
The 90's became a montage of rivaling singers, Britney vs. Christina, Brandy vs. Monica, TLC vs. En Vogue ....and the big enchilada: Mariah vs. Whitney. In some sense, I didn't really give a care, both are great on their own merits, and here is an example as the two perform on Oprah their duet, "When You Believe" from The Prince of Egypt soundtrack.

Fast Times At Mariah High ("Dreamlover" - Homecoming Special, 1999)
Ah, the good old days when musicians did hokey specials such as going back to their high school and performing for students.This is actually one of my favorite specials from a singer, ever, as Mariah puts on a show for her alma mater, especially when she gets audience help with "Dreamlover". The whole special is up on YouTube, so if you were elsewhere in 1999, check it out for nostalgia fun.

Acapella-E-Ah ("All In Your Mind" - SNL Rehearsal, 1990)
A snippet from the First Vision VHS (!!), back when Mariah made her first appearance on Saturday Night Live. Here Mariah was just getting her stilettos wet, yet, the talent was there...robust as ever. And oh, lookie it's Trey Lorenz!

Needs More Cowbell Church Choir ("If It's Over" - Grammy Awards, 1992)
Mariah goes to church with her Carole King collaboration, "If It's Over", and gives a winning vocal performance.

Believing in Miracles ("Yours" - Shining Through The Rain MTV Special, 2002)
People have amnesia when it comes to the Charmbracelet era, reasons are unknown, because the album wasn't half-bad. The sit-down interview and performance special Mariah did for the album is inkling enough that Mariah got back on track after the Glitter fiasco. Mariah gives a short, but sweet performance of "Yours". A song that was originally meant as a duet between her and Justin Timberlake..till he bailed at the last minute. Eh, it sounds better with it being just Mariah.

The Comeback Kid ("We Belong Together/Fly Like A Bird" - Grammy Awards, 2006)
2005 and 2006 were BIG years for Mariah as she released The Emancipation of Mimi with the #1 that wouldn't quit, "We Belong Together" and suddenly, Mariah was on top again after lull period in the early 2000's. Truly, she never went away, proof here as she blazes through her new signature song and does a stirring rendition of my personal favorite, "Fly Like A Bird"...backing choir still intact, I see.

Chair Apparent  ("Fantasy" - Daydream Tour, 1996)
Mariah is never one to be a dancer (how can she with those clopping heels that she wears?), but here she gives it a whirl, with this chair dance that is obviously Janet Jackson or Flashdance inspired.

Holiday Glitter ("Reflections" - Home for the Holidays with Mariah, 2001)
Kind of a somber song to sing during a Christmas special, but the little children in the audience don't seem to mind. Mariah looks a little exhausted in this clip, but she doesn't let that stop her from giving a really controlled and delicate performance of the best ballad off of the ill-fated, Glitter project. Posted for the sheer fact that I didn't even know that she even performed this song live.  

Emotions In White Satin ("Emotions" - MTV Video Music Awards, 1991)
It's really all about that satin shirt. Okay, and the little boy that does some New Jack Swing dancing at the end. Apparently, Mariah hit her highest note ever during this performance, and you better believe that she was on the top of her vocal game here.

1 comment:

  1. hah. great list... although i preferred her "Make It Happen" from that Divas performance. And how is "Emotions" on Unplugged not on there?

    Never saw that dancing "Fantasy" performance before. Wow, she used to actually be comfortable onstage. What HAPPENED?


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