Mariah Carey - #1's

Mariah Carey - #1's
Recording Date:
1988 - 1998
Release Date:
November 17, 1998
Adult Contemporary, Club/Dance, Contemporary R&B, Dance-Pop

Protest as she may -- and she does, claiming in the liner notes that #1's is "not a greatest hits album! It's too soon, I haven't been recording long enough for that!" -- it's hard to view #1's, Mariah Carey's first compilation, as anything other than a greatest-hits album.

Carey was fortunate enough to have nearly every single she released top the pop charts. Between 1990's "Vision of Love" and 1998's "My All," all but four commercially released singles ("Anytime You Need a Friend," "Can't Let Go," "Make It Happen," "Without You") hit number one, with only a handful of radio-only singles ("Butterfly," "Breakdown") making the airwaves, not the charts. That leaves 12 big hits on #1's, all number ones. Since Carey's singles always dominated her albums, it comes as no surprise that #1's is her best, most consistent album, filled with songs that represent state-of-the-art '90s adult contemporary and pop-oriented urban soul. That said, it isn't a perfect overview -- a couple of good singles are missing because of the self-imposed "#1 rule"; plus, the Ol' Dirty Bastard mix of "Fantasy" is strong, but fans familiar with the radio single will be disappointed that the chorus is completely missing on this version.

The album is also padded with a personal favorite (her Brian McKnight duet "Whenever You Call," taken from Butterfly) and three new songs -- the Jermaine Dupri-produced "Sweetheart," the Whitney Houston duet "When You Believe" (taken from The Prince of Egypt soundtrack), and "I Still Believe," a remake of a Brenda K. Starr tune -- which are all fine, but not particularly memorable. Still, that's hardly enough to bring down a thoroughly entertaining compilation that will stand as her best record until the "official" hits collection is released.

Sweetheart / Rainy Davis / Pete WarnerMariah Carey feat: JD4:25
When You Believe [From "the Prince of Egypt"] / Babyface / Stephen SchwartzMariah Carey feat: Whitney Houston4:36
Whenever You Call / Mariah Carey / Ben MarguliesMariah Carey feat: Brian McKnight4:23
My All / Mariah Carey / Narada Michael WaldenMariah Carey3:52
Honey / Mariah Carey / Robert Clivillés / David ColeMariah Carey5:00
Always Be My Baby / Hal Davis / Willie Hutch / Berry Gordy, Jr. / Bob WestMariah Carey4:19
One Sweet Day / Walter Afanasieff / Mariah Carey / Dave HallMariah Carey feat: Boyz II Men4:42
Fantasy / Walter Afanasieff / Mariah CareyMariah Carey feat: Ol' Dirty Bastard4:54
Hero / Adrian Belew / Mariah Carey / Chris Frantz / Dave Hall / June Shellene / Steven Stanley / Tina WeymouthMariah Carey4:20
Dreamlover / Walter Afanasieff / Mariah Carey / Michael McCary / Nathan Morris / Wanya Morris / Shawn StockmanMariah Carey3:54
I'll Be There / Mariah Carey / Jermaine Dupri / Manuel Seal, Jr.Mariah Carey feat: Trey Lorenz4:25
Emotions / Mariah Carey / Sean Combs / Kamaal Fareed / Sass Jordan / David Morales / B.J. RobinsonMariah Carey4:10
I Don't Wanna Cry / Walter Afanasieff / Mariah CareyMariah Carey4:49
Someday / Rainy Davis / Pete WarnerMariah Carey4:07
Love Takes Time / Babyface / Stephen SchwartzMariah Carey3:49
Vision of Love / Walter Afanasieff / Mariah CareyMariah Carey3:31
I Still Believe / Antonina Armato / Beppe CantarelliMariah Carey3:54

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