Saturday, September 30, 1995

Mariah Carey debuted at #1 with “Fantasy”


Mariah Carey

Writer(s): Mariah Carey, Adrian Belew, Christopher Frantz, Dave Hall, Steven Stanley, Martina Weymouth (see lyrics here)

Released: September 12, 1995

First Charted: September 30, 1995

Peak: 18 US, 19 CB, 19 GR, 16 RR, 8 AC, 16 RB, 4 UK, 12 CN, 11 AU, 15 DF (Click for codes to charts.)

Sales (in millions): 2.25 US, 0.48 UK, 3.5 world (includes US + UK)

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): 1.0 radio, 116.42 video, 164.5 streaming


Click on award for more details.

About the Song:

“Fantasy” was the lead single from Daydream, Mariah Carey’s fifth studio album. It was the second song in history – following Michael Jackson’s “You Are Not Alone” – to debut at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100. It spent eight weeks on top and also hit the pinnacle in Australia, Canada, and New Zealand. It wa her ninth song to reach the top in the U.S. In Canada, its 12 weeks at #1 tied it with six other songs for the most weeks at the top. SF

Lyrically, the up-tempo R&B, dance-pop song talks about a woman in love with a man and fantasizing about an impossible relationship with him. The song samples Tom Tom Club’s “Genius of Love” from 1981, a song which peaked at #31, but was popular in dance clubs. SF Carey got the idea to sample the song after hearing it on the radio. WK

The New York Times’ Stephen Holden said that with the song, Carey “glides confidently into the territory where gospel-flavored pop-soul meets light hip-hop.” WK’s Bill Lamb called the song “truly inspiring” and a “career high water mark” for Carey. WK All Music Guide’s Stephen Thomas Erlewine said “she has earned her status as an R&B/pop diva.” WK Slant magazine called it “escapism perfected, [a] summer bubblegum gem with a sweet, flawless vocal line driven by a diva in her prime.” WK

A remix featuring Ol’ Dirty Bastard was credited with introducing collaborations between R&B and hip-hop to the mainstream pop culture. WK Carey had wanted to branch into hip-hop for a while, but her husband, Tommy Mottola (the head of Sony Music), dismissed the genre as a “passing fad.” SF She later referred to the song as “a major turning point” in her career and one of her “proudest and happiest moments.” SF

The Fader’s Judnick Mayard, said it “may still be the best and most random hip-hop collaboration of all time.” WK The New Yorker’s Sasha Frere-Jones said that Carey’s “idea of pairing a female songbird with the leading male MCs of hip-hop changed R&B and, eventually, all of pop.” WK She said that because of “Fantasy,” “It became standard for R&B/hip-hop stars like Missy Elliott and Beyoncé, to combine melodies with rapped verses.” WK


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First posted 4/2/2021; last updated 4/10/2023.

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