All I Want For Christmas Is You: History, How Much Mariah Carey Makes Every Year, And More

By | December 17, 2019

Mariah didn’t want to record the song

There aren't many artists who had a better year in 1994 than Mariah Carey. After the success of the previous year's Music Box, she was named the top female singles artist by Billboard, which she followed up by releasing one of the few original Christmas classics since the '60s.

It’s safe to say that Carey was unstoppable in the early '90s, but a hit Christmas song wasn’t a given. At the time, listeners weren't exactly banging down the doors of record labels to beg for new Christmas tunes. Still, "All I Want For Christmas Is You" found its audience in 1994, and that was just the beginning. Over the course of the next 25 years, the single only became more popular thanks to smart placement in films and constant seasonal radio play. The song has gone platinum multiple times, been covered by artists across the musical spectrum, and even inspired goats to make some of the best cheese of their life. This is the incredible story of "All I Want For Christmas Is You."

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Source: Pitchfork

As with all Campbellian hero narratives, Mariah Carey didn't want to accept her call to greatness. When she heard that her label wanted her to record a Christmas album, she balked. At the time, no one was recording Christmas albums unless they were over the artistic hill. Her then-husband and head of Sony Records, Tommy Mottola, had to convince her to record the album.

The song was rushed into production

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Source: YouTube

All Mariah Carey wanted for Christmas was to be finished with this song. She and co-writer Walter Afanasieff spent about 15 minutes putting the song together in Carey's home studio in August 1994. Afanasieff said of their time in the studio:

We had Christmas trees and lights brought into the studio to get us in the mood. There was even talk of bringing in some snow at one point, but we didn't go with that, thank God.

After putting the song down on paper, Carey and Afanasieff recorded it themselves without a band, producing all the music on the studio's computer.