All I want For Christmas: The story behind Mariah Careys greatest hit

Mariah Carey is Thursday in the Ziggo Dome with her All I want for Christmas Is You-show, in which she kersthits is playing. Of course All I want for Christmas here is also over. What is the story behind Careys biggest christmas hit?

In 1994, the unreleased song All I want for Christmas is on the album Merry Christmas. Carey saw it initially, not to a christmas album, because it at that time were mostly made by older artists that their heyday had passed.

Music producer Tommy Mottola, at the time the Careys husband (who in the video clip of the song a roll of film, the santa clause), had to reportedly convince to do such a album. He was convinced that this is her career, which was already a lot in the elevator was, even more successful.

Carey previously worked together with her at the time fixed schrijfpartner Walter Afanasieff, who later also hits wrote as My Heart Will Go On and A Whole New World (soundtrack from the Disney movie Aladdin). In 1993, they started with writing and composing, which resulted in the first original song Miss You Most (At Christmas Time).

Then I started the two on the song that would later lead to All I want for Christmas. “I love the holidays,” said Carey in conversation with Good Morning America. “I have All I want for Christmas written as an expression of my love for Christmas and I enjoy very of christmas music.”

Mariah Carey – All I want for Christmas is You

Song came from improvisation at the piano

Afanasieff explains that Carey for the album like a song, wanted to make a “rock ‘n roll vibe in a sixtiessound”. They let themselves be inspired by the christmas album A Christmas Gift for You from the sixties, produced by Phil Spector. There are a lot of kerstnummers, which still often has to be rotated.

All I want for Christmas originated from a jam session on the piano. Afanasieff played boogiewoogie, a style where the left hand a tight rhythm playing and the right hand bluesloopjes in different sizes. Carey sat next to him and fell in with the line: “I don’t want a lot for Christmas.”

Initially, responded the writer is not enthusiastic on her contribution. “It seemed as if they were practising vocal performances did,” he says in an interview with Business Insider. “I asked: is this really intended?”

“It seemed a game of table tennis’

In less than an hour it was ready. “She sang a melody, and I changed the chords. It seemed like a game of ping-pong, back and forth, until we get ‘it’ had found. It was easier to write than a lot of other songs. There are very few akkoordwissels in and that is why I wanted some more unique by what chords to throw that is not often used.”

Composer Adam Ragusea has in 2014 a comprehensive musical analysis All I want for Christmas. It turned out that there were at least thirteen different chords in the song are used. “That results in a lush, chromatic melody,” says the composer. “The song makes us so happy because we will remind you of the Motown kerstcovers, such as Santa Claus is Coming to Town by The Jackson 5.” Ragusea claims that the song “eternal flash and runs”.

Only in the summer of 1994, the song was recorded. First time with a live band, which is not the result that Afanasieff and Carey had in mind. The composer then decided the different parties with a keyboard to play. There were in this version, no other instruments to hear. That happened in California, while Carey, her vocals recorded in the studio. Reportedly decorated them with lights and christmas trees, despite the summer weather yet in the christmas spirit.

Composer found number first, not good

Afanasieff recalls in an interview that he was not happy with the result, partly due to the so-called ‘adlibs’ (the free completion of a musical passage, something that Carey is known). “But that, in combination with the simple melody, made it that the whole world is not out of his head.”

The huge success of the song, he had never expected. “We feel blessed, because it is the last song a giant christmas hit has become.”

The song ended up in the US on the sixth place in the Billboard Hot Adult Contemporary list, and on the twelfth place in the Hot 100 Airplay list. Because the number in the U.S. the single was released, All I want for Christmas is not included in the regular charts of Billboard.

In the United Kingdom was the number at the end of 1994 at the fifth place. The song flowed to the second place and remained the rest of december in the Uk charts. The song is still the best selling single in the United Kingdom. In the Netherlands, landed the song on the fifth spot in the Top 40 and first in the Single top 100.


Mash-up of YouTube covers All I want for Christmas

Number spent more than $ 50 million on

Since then, All I want for Christmas every Christmas, always worn out from playing on the radio. It is the most downloaded kerstnummer of all time and is on the eleventh place in the best-selling singles of all time. Total earned Carey and co-author Afanasieff more than 50 million dollars (44 million euros) to the number.

In 2010, Carey the song again for her second christmas album Merry Christmas II You, and a year later she made another version. This was a duet with Justin Bieber. Also a lot of artists among the number, among them Michael Bublé, My Chemical Romance, and Shania Twain.

The collaboration between the composer and Carey was continued until 1997, when they the album Butterfly made. The two then have no more contact. “That’s incredibly unfortunate, because we had a good chemistry together. It is my biggest dream to once again working with her.”

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