Mariah Carey Is Celebrating 25 Years of ‘All I Want For Christmas Is You’ and We’ve Got the Warm Fuzzies
It’s been 25 years since Mariah Carey’s now-classic All I Want For Christmas Is You made our Christmases complete. The song consistently lands in the top 5 of best-selling Christmas songs of all time. Like the spirit of Christmas (as Ebenezer Scrooge discovered), this holiday tune doesn’t give up.
Get the hot cocoa and the toasty pajamas and get ready to find out more about the mammoth hit that means Christmas to so many.
‘All I Want For Christmas Is You’ was an instant hit for Carey
In 2006, The New Yorker affirmed the song as “one of the few worthy modern additions to the holiday canon.” Not too many Christmas songs become classics, they just don’t. For that, we’ve depended on Nat King Cole, Frank Sinatra, and Perry Como. So how did Carey, along with her frequent song collaborator Walter Afanasieff, accomplish classic status with All I Want For Christmas Is You?
There are several possibilities: Carey’s soaring voice, the irresistibly upbeat melody, its danciness. The chiming bells and 1960s-girl-group-sounding back-up vocals bring it all together to create a euphoric holiday song that gives listeners plain old unbridled joy.
“The crazy thing about it is, every year it tends to increase in popularity,” Carey said about the song to Billboard in 2017.
Carey’s song has been covered countless times and ways
Nothing screams “classic holiday song” more than having the song covered by other artists. The Motown-inspired Christmas tune has been covered by artists of every musical genre from My Chemical Romance to Lady Antebellum to Ariana Grande. They’re all acceptable in their own way. But, perhaps due to how recently Carey recorded it (meaning it’s not from the first half of the 20th century), it’s very difficult not to compare their product to hers.
Even brother-band Hanson chose to cover the song on their Christmas album, Finally It’s Christmas, in 2017. They told Billboard at that time, “Really over the last 20 years, that song has become a modern classic. We just felt like it was a great song, and it fit two criteria: One, that it was a great song. It was a song that would be familiar to people and bring a lot of the right kind of nostalgia to the record. Also, we felt like it was a song we felt we could do well. It just felt really great for the record.”
‘All I Want For Christmas Is You’ broke Spotify last Christmas
According to Rolling Stone in 2018, “the song two decades and a half after its release…boasts the biggest single-day audience in Spotify’s history.”
Not that this made the 49-year-old superstar a lot of money. At about 6 cents a stream, 11 million streams makes $66,000. But it’s still a decent amount of money for not having created a new song, not paying to advertise or publicize it, and so on.
To celebrate her song’s anniversary, Carey released last week a reissue of the holiday classic album that the song appears on, Merry Christmas. The new edition of the album features a bonus disc including a 1994 live performance from the Cathedral of Saint John the Divine in New York City, along with a new version of Sugar Plum Fairy.
Not bad for a Christmas song written in 15 minutes!