Released: September 11, 2001.
Genre: Hip Hop, R&B & funk
Producer: Mariah Carey, Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis, James “Big Jim” Wright, DJ Clue, Duro, Clark Kent, Damizza, Rick James & Walter Afanasieff.
By 2001, Mariah Carey’s stature as an artist was purely legendary. She had 14 number one hits on the Billboard Hot 100 charts to her name, and was one of the most best selling artists of all time. She was one of the most defining artists of the 90s, and had just released her platinum selling album Rainbow in 1999.
Following the release of her magnum opus LP “Butterfly,” she began to work on a film and soundtrack project titled “All That Glitters.” The film follows the character of Billie Frank (who was portrayed by Carey herself,) and her rise to stardom. The film serves as a semi-autobiography as it has some similarities to Mariah and her personal and professional struggles.
However, it was put it on the back burner due to other projects and the estrangement between her, her record label and her ex husband Tommy Mottola. Virgin Records eventually offered to pay Mariah’s label at the time (Columbia) to get her out of her contract and sign with them for a $100 million deal.
After signing with Virgin, she began work on the film and soundtrack project that took years for her to complete at Columbia. The movie and soundtrack’s title went from All That Glitters to Glitter.
Released September 11th, 2001, Glitter was a complete musicial departure from Mariah’s previous work, aligning with the movie‘s setting which took place in the 80s. Collaborating with Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis, Rick James, DJ Clue, Walter Afanasieff, James “Big Jim” Wright” and countless others, the album is post disco at its finest, containing covers or heavily sampled tunes from that time period, and is some of Mariah’s best work.
For years, Mariah would never care for the album and film..or mention it due to the events that occurred during the time of its release. The soundtrack was released on the day of the attacks on the twin towers of the World Trade Center in Lower Manhattan, New York City.
With the country in turmoil, the album and film suffered and bought in very poor results. Mariah also dealt with a lot of controversy from her appearance on MTV’s TRL a few months prior, the hospitalization after her physical and emotional breakdown. Years later, it was revealed that during being hospitalized, she was diagnosed with Bipolar II disorder.
Glitter became her least commercially successful album to that point, debuting at number seven on the Billboard 200 with first-week sales of 116,000 copies…and certified platinum by the RIAA.
It’s important to note that the album did not perform well to MARIAH’S standards, speaking that she always had successful first weeks sales and higher charting albums with her previous records.
Nevertheless Glitter has gotten its recognition in recent years, as it was apart of a campaign by die hard Mariah fans for the album titled “#JusticeForGlitter,” which had became a fan favorite by 2018.
The album reached number one on the iTunes Charts in several countries, including the United States. A Glitter medley has even popped up in Mariah’s recent world tour as well, showing her that the album is one of her best, and that we love and appreciate it.
Ladies and Gentlemen, I present to you, Mariah Carey’s “Glitter.”
Loverboy (Remix) featuring Da Brat, Ludacris, Twenty II & Shawnna
Written by Mariah Carey, Larry Blackmon, Thomas Jenkins, Da Brat, Ludacris, Twenty II & Shawnna.
I will go further in depth about Loverboy when I get down to the original version, but this song features verses from some great rappers from that time period….with Mariah sounding amazing as usual. It contains Jennifer Lopez shade as well from Da Brat’s verse lmaoooo you gotta read my feelings near the end on the original version of Loverboy.
Lead The Way
Written by Mariah Carey & Walter Afanasieff
Lead The Way is a wonderful ballad by Mariah and her frequent collaborator at the time, Walter Afanasieff. The song has become a fan favorite and is also featured in the film and on the show Ally McBeal. The most entrancing thing about the song besides Mariah is the production and piano, which was played by the late and great Big Jim Wright!
If We featuring Ja Rule & Nate Dogg
Written by Mariah Carey, Damion Young, Howie Hersh, Jeffrey Atkins & Nathaniel Hale.
If We is a sultry hip hop influenced record which features Ja Rule and the late and great Nate Dogg. The flavor they add to this record makes it a nice tune to bop to!
Didn’t Mean to Turn You On
Written by James Harris III & Terry Lewis
Mariah covered the remarkable Cherrelle’s “I Didn’t Mean To Turn You On,“ which was released in 1984. Working with the original songs songwriters/producers Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis, they had Mariah record new and leading vocals but kept the original backing track to make the remake sound as authentically 80s as much as possible.
Don’t Stop (Funkin’ 4 Jamaica) featuring Mystikal
Written by Mariah Carey, DJ Clue, Duro, Thomas Brown, Toni Smith & Michael Tyler.
Sampling Tom Browne’s Funkin’ For Jamaica (N.Y.,) Don’t Stop features Mystikal and it gives the record that R&B and hip hop flavor Mariah is known for. (Side note: Rest In Peace to Toni Smith, the lead vocalist on the original version of Funkin’ for Jamaica.
All My Life
Written by Rick James
Turn Silk way down, bring Billie all the way up.
Written by the legendary Rick James, All My Life is an 80s inspired track through and through. The uptempo R&B/funk number has that vibe of The Mary Jane Girls meets Vanity 6.
Reflections (Care Enough)
Written by Mariah Carey & Philippe Pierre
Reflections is a tale of Billie (from the movie) asking her mother if she ever cared for her and loved her. The song is produced by Carey, Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis.
Last Night a DJ Saved My Life featuring Busta Rhymes, Fabolous and DJ Clue
Written by Michael Cleveland, Mariah Carey, Fabolous, DJ Clue, & Busta Rhymes.
A cover of Indeep’s 1982 version, THE RAPPERS WERE NOT NEEDED FOR THIS SONG, but Mariah sounds so amazing paying homage to the original record.
Want You featuring Eric Benét
Written by Mariah Carey, James Harris III, Terry Lewis & James “Big Jim” Wright.
One of the highlights from the album is this amazing duet from Mariah Carey and Eric Benet! It gives me the S.O.S. Band vibes (how ironic that Jimmy Jam and Lewis co wrote and co produced). A whole SONG!
Never Too Far
Written by Mariah Carey, James Harris III & Terry Lewis
THE BEST SONG ON THE ALBUM IS HERE! I love and adore this song so much. Telling a tale of never taking the ones you love for granted, Never Too Far was a top 40 hit in the UK and Australia!
Written by Mariah Carey, James Harris III, Terry Lewis & James “Big Jim” Wright.
Twister was a song that was featured in the film, but didn’t have a connection to it at all. Twister was dedicated to Mariah’s friend and fashion stylist Tonjua Twist, who committed suicide in 2000.
Loverboy featuring Cameo
Written by Mariah Carey, Larry Blackmon & Thomas Jenkins.
The lead single from the album, Loverboy is a song that was composed based on controversy. Lyrically, the song has Mariah fantasizing about her Loverboy, who is a man that will fulfill her physical and sexual desires. The song was originally supposed to contain a sample of Yellow Magic Orchestra’s “Firecracker.”
However, Tommy Mottola & Jennifer Lopez had other plans, when they stole the idea of sampling the song and blocked the sample clearance by giving it to Jennifer instead of Mariah.
Since Mariah’s album was supposed to be released over a month after Jennifer’s album, she changed Loverboy’s melody to sample from Cameo’s Candy & features the group as well. The song stalled at number 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 and received poor radio airplay. Regardless of that fact, Loverboy was the best selling single in the United States in 2001, and was a number one hit on the R&B charts.
Mariah had the last laugh in the end with the sample, since she is planning on releasing the Loverboy version with the Firecracker sample on her upcoming “The Rarities” album, which is an album of unreleased material over the years.
Mariah Carey’s “Glitter’ is the perfect tribute to the 80s decade of music, and I am happy it has finally gotten the recognition it truly has deserved since 2001. The album was not available on streaming sites for years until now! Stream it everywhere and love on this album as much as I do! 🙌🏾😌 – MJ