Music_Box_Mariah_CareyMariah Carey – “Anytime You Need a Friend” – (1993)

Music Box was one of Mariah Carey’s biggest albums and while this wasn’t even among the album’s three biggest songs, it still managed to hit #12 on the Hot 100 (it was the album’s fourth and final single). Remember, in the early 1990s, Mariah still had the full range of that amazing voice (it changed as the decade progressed to where she tried to stay as high as possible in that range by ’99). But what’s great here is the gospel feel the song has with those backing vocals.

Mariah Carey feat. Joe & 98 Degrees – “Thank God I Found You” – (1999)

This song is from Mariah Carey’s “Whisper Period” – those years in the late 1990s/early 2000s where she barely made any noise on any of her songs and it just sounds like she’s humming words in the next room. Fortunately, this track features boy band 98 Degrees and late-90s R&B dude Joe to provide actual lyrics. Because it is a Mariah Carey song technically from the 90s, it obviously went to #1. But it’s by no means the best of them.

Luther Vandross & Mariah Carey – “Endless Love” – (1994)

Didn’t we feature “Endless Love” a few weeks ago? Um, yeah. But it’s one of those songs that has been covered and covered. Instead of Lionel Richie we have the also-supremely-talented Luther Vandross and in place of Diana Ross we have the possibly-more-talented Mariah Carey (from a solo-career perspective). This was released on a Luther Vandross album and on Mariah’s Greatest Hits album seven years later. It was a #2 on the Hot 100 and is almost as good as the original.

Mariah Carey – “Can’t Let Go” – (1991)

If you remember your 90s pop ballads – that is early 90s pop ballads – then you just might recognize this one. It hit #2 on the Hot 100 and was a mainstay on pop music stations – but not to the extent of other Mariah songs. Sure, this one got regular play through the mid-90s, it was often overshadowed by later hits, and let’s face it, Mariah had many and some were so much bigger than this. This is definitely a good one and you can hear the pure talent in her voice – especially the parts where it sounds more like an exasperated whisper than singing.

Tom Tom Club – “Genius of Love” – (1984)

Tom Tom Club was a side project of Tina Weymouth and Chris Frantz – husband and wife and both members of the Talking Heads. This song has a very Talking Heads feel but a little more pop-y. This song is probably more famous for being sampled more times than I can count. It’s one of the most heavily sampled tracks from the 80s, appearing, perhaps most famously, in Mariah Carey’s “Fantasy.” The band performed the song recently on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon (not sure how long that YouTube link will work). Needless to say, they still rock.

#6 – Mariah Carey feat. Boyz II Men – “One Sweet Day” – (1995)

The #1 single on the Hot 100 on January 1, 1994, was “Hero” by Mariah Carey (4 weeks total). On January 1, 1995, it was “On Bended Knee” by Boyz II Men (also for 4 weeks). And on January 1, 1996, “One Sweet Day” was #1. But it stayed at the top spot for 16 weeks. Sixteen weeks. That’s almost a third of a year. It still holds the record for the longest time at the top. It also set a few other Billboard records, like making Mariah Carey the first person to have multiple debut #1’s (she’s got 3 so far). Mariah has 18 number one hits. That’s more than Elvis and second only to The Beatles (20). And this song was the biggest of them all. There is no question that Mariah Carey can do things with her voice that most people can only dream of. And when you combine that with the talent that was Boyz II Men, you’ve got some serious vocal firepower on tap. Some of Mariah’s other big 90s hits: 1994s “All I Want for Christmas Is You,” 1991s “Can’t Let Go,” and 1997s “Honey.”

#18 – Mariah Carey – “Always Be My Baby” – (1995)

I’ve loved this song since I first heard it back in 1996. I have no idea why either. Maybe it’s the “da do dum” that opens the song, I don’t know. I do know that it’s catchy and that I’m not the only one that liked it – it hit #1 on the Hot 100. Daydream was the album and it was a big one. Three number one singles – from the same album. That is exceedingly rare. One of the other ones was “Fantasy” which is as catchy if not more than “Always Be My Baby” – plus, there’s a remix with ODB. Mariah was the queen of the 90s and remains the queen of the Billboard Hot 100. Even Madonna can’t match her success. Some other big singles: 1993’s “Dreamlover,” 1991’s “Emotions,” and 1999’s “Heartbreaker” (featuring Jay-Z). Yes, there’s one I’m not mentioning. Just wait.

#5 – Mariah Carey – “All I Want For Christmas Is You” – (1994)

Christmas songs tend to be rooted in tradition. Not so here. This song is extremely catchy which explains why it charted at #6 in 1994, then re-charted in 2000 and again in 2004 – and every year since. But what do you expect from the queen of 1990s chart performance? It has become a classic, and compared to most of the Christmas songs we regularly hear on the radio, it is about as new as they come.

#174 – Mariah Carey feat. Trey Lorenz – “I’ll Be There” – (1992)

Mariah Carey dominated the charts throughout the 90s. When she performed on MTV: Unplugged, she sang this duet with her backup singer Trey Lorenz. “I’ll Be There” was a smash hit – hitting number one. Music Box was the follow up CD to Unplugged and it spawned two massive singles as well: “Without You” and “Hero.”