Today, I explain why Mariah Carey’s hit Christmas song, “All I Want For Christmas Is You” wasn’t a chart success when it was first released in 1994.
In Pop Culture Questions Answered, I answer whatever questions you folks might have about movies, TV, music or whatever (feel free to e-mail questions to me at brian@pop culture references.com).
As I noted earlier today, reader Gordon C. wrote in with a couple of Mariah Carey questions, and I figured I’d answer them today, as November 1st has oddly become the day when everyone wants to talk about Mariah Carey and her monster Christmas hit, “All I Want for Christmas Is You”” rel=”noopener” target=”_blank”>”All I Want For Christmas Is You.”
I previously addressed why “All I Want For Christmas Is You” has become such a big hit on the Billboard charts in the last few years, and now Gordon wanted to know why it wasn’t a hit on the charts when it first came out in 1994.
The answer is quite simple, and tied into a weird thing about the old days of CDs (I mean, vinyl and cassette tapes, as well, but mostly CDs, since the industry kind of blew up in the 1990s). You see, before 1998, you couldn’t chart on the Billboard Hot 100 unless you were specifically released as a paid single.
The problem, back in the days of CDs, when everyone was selling millions and millions of CDs, companies would often choose not to release song as paid singles, so that people would be “forced” to buy the album to get the song. That’s what Sony did with Merry Christmas, the company didn’t want to undercut the album sales. The song still hit #12 on the Billboard Radio Play charts, so that’s SOMEthing!
Thanks for the question, Gordon!
If anyone ELSE has a question, drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org!