Monday, June 13, 2011

The #58 Album of All-Time in the Rock Era: "Daydream" by Mariah Carey

Daydream was the fifth studio album from Mariah Carey, who of course by then was an established superstar.

The album debuted at number one in nine countries.  It spent six weeks at #1 and 29 weeks in the Top 10.  Those are not overpowering numbers for an album ranked this high.  What it lacks in chart strength, however, it makes up for in airplay, sales and awards.  Daydream also hit #1 in Australia, Germany, Japan, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Portugal, Switzerland and the U.K..

"Fantasy" was a #1 song for eight weeks and "One Sweet Day", a collaboration with Boyz II Men, set an all-time record with 16 weeks at #1.  Both songs achieved the unprecedented feat of debuting at #1 as Carey became the  first female artist and only the second artist of the Rock Era at that time (Michael Jackson was the other with "You Are Not Alone") to achieve it.  As music has become weaker, more songs have done it bringing the total to 17.  Never has it happened twice for songs from the same album.
Fantasy" and "One Sweet Day" were followed by "Open Arms", "Always Be My Baby" and "Forever".

Daydream was nominated for six Grammies but not win any.  She did garner two trophies at the American Music Awards, for Favorite Rock Female Artist and Favorite Soul/R&B Female Artist.  Carey won a host of awards at the World Music Awards--World's Best-Selling Female R&B artist, World's Best-Selling Overall Female Recording Artist, World's Best-Selling Pop Artist and World's Best-Selling Overall Recording Artist.  "Fantasy" won Song of the Year at the BMI Awards and Favorite Song at the Blockbuster Entertainment Awards, where Carey was also recognized as Top Pop Female.  She also won Billboard Music Awards for Hot 100 Singles Artist of the Year, Hot 100 Airplay for "Always Be My Baby", Hot Adult Contemporary Artist of the Year and a Special Award commemorating the 16 weeks at #1 for "One Sweet Day" that set an all-time record.

1.  "Fantasy" (Mariah Carey, Chris Frantz, Tina Weymouth, Dave Hall, Adrian Belew, Steven Stanley) --4:03
2.  "Underneath the Stars" (Carey, Walter Afanasieff) --3:33
3.  "One Sweet Day" (with Boyz II Men) (Carey, Michael McCary, Nathan Morris, Wanya Morris, Shawn Stockman, W. Afanasieff) --4:42
4.  "Open Arms" (Steve Perry, Jonathan Cain) --3:30
5.  "Always Be My Baby" (Carey, Jermaine Dupri, Manuel Seal) --4:20
6.  "I Am Free" (Carey, Afanasieff) --4:24
8.  "Long Ago" (Carey, Dupri) --4:33
9.  "Melt Away" (Carey, Babyface) --3:42
10.  "Forever" (Carey, Afanasieff) --4:00
11.  "Daydream Interlude" (Carey, Frantz, Weymouth, Hall, Belew, Stanley) --3:04
12.  "Looking In" (Carey, Afanasieff) --3:35

Like all her albums, Carey gets a lot of help on this album.  She does not write music nor play any instruments.  Walter Afanasieff played bass, synthesizer and keyboard instruments, Tristan Avakian played guitar, Loris Holland played organ and Hammond organ, Dann Huff played guitar and David Morales played bass and keyboards.  Dan Shea played synthesizer, bass, keyboards, Moog synthesizer and synthesizer bass, Steve Thornton played percussion, Terry Burrus played piano, Satoshi Tomiie contributed bass, keyboards and synthesizer bass to the album.  Babyface helped with keyboards and background vocals while Seal , Jermaine Dupri, Michael McCary, Nathan Morris, Wanya Morris and Shawn Stockman recorded lead and backup vocals.  Seal also played piano on Daydream.  Melonie Daniels, Kelly Price and Shanrae Price contributed crowd noise.

Daydream was recorded from December of 1994 to August of 1995.  Jermaine Dupri, Dave Hall, Seal and Afanasieff produced and arranged the album, Seal helped produce, Mike Scott, Dana Jon Chappelle, Gary Cirimelli, Acar Key, Frank Filipetti, Kurt Lundvall, Andy Smith, Phil Tan and Brian Vibberts were the engineers and Mick Guzauski did the mixing.  Jay Healy and David Sussman helped with engineering and mixing.  Morales helped with arranging and programming.  Afanasieff, Cirimelli, Hall, Shea and Randy Walker were responsible for programming.  The album was released October 3, 1995 on Columbia Records.

Mariah Carey places Daydream at #58 All-Time in the Rock Era.

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