18 Mariah Carey Songs That Deserved To Reach Number One, In Celebration Of ‘#1 To Infinity’
Yesterday (May 18) marked the release of Mariah Carey’s #1 To Infinity LP — a greatest hits compilation housing all 18 of the legendary diva’s number one hits. From the sophisticated balladry of “Vision Of Love” to the pop/rap collaboration-inventing “Fantasy” and camp sassiness of “Touch My Body,” the album highlights the vocal genius and mind-boggling versatility of Mimi. A copy belongs on the shelf/computer of every music lover.
Impressively, the Queen of Octaves has just as many songs that should have, and probably would have, gone to number one if they were released/promoted. To celebrate the arrival of #1 To Infinity, I’ve pulled together a list of lost chart-toppers with a little help from a fellow MC addict. Some of them are pretty obvious (I think we can all agree that “All I Want For Christmas Is You” is a number one record by every measure except the Billboard Hot 100), while others are simply fan favorites that never got a shot at glory. We’ve also curated a playlist of the songs for you readers! (Please note that the tracks are listed in chronological order.)
“Vanishing” — Mariah Carey (1990)
Mariah’s debut LP is so uniformly flawless (and her popularity was so great at the time) that she could have released anything and topped the charts. “Vanishing” deserved some extra attention, however, if only for the spine-tingling whistle at the 2:40 mark. A slept-on classic.
“Make It Happen” — Emotions (1991)
Mimi’s gospel-inspired, soul-reviving dance number is one of the greatest songs of the 1990s. It boggles the mind that it stalled at number five on the Billboard Hot 100, while forgettable tracks like “Thank God I Found You” went the distance.
“Anytime You Need A Friend” — Music Box (1993)
The fact that this was Mariah’s first single to miss the top 10 — it peaked at number 12 in 1994 — is endlessly irritating. On the other hand, Music Box was certified diamond — so the chart placement of individual singles is kind of irrelevant. But still.
“All I Want For Christmas Is You” — Merry Christmas (1994)
Christmas hasn’t been the same since the arrival of this bop. It was chart ineligible at the time, but reached the top 30 in 2013 (nearly two decades after its release). “All I Want For Christmas Is You” has had a more impact on pop culture than a decade of actual number one hits.
“Underneath The Stars” — Daydream (1995)
The Lamb Whisperer served Minnie Riperton realness on this much-loved (but non-charting) gem. It’s not hard to imagine the breezy ballad performing a hell of a lot better with a proper release/promotion.