Grammy-winning musician Mariah Carey surprised many with her revelation in her 2020 memoir The Meaning of Mariah Carey that she recorded a grunge album back in the 1990s. Carey herself had lost track of the recordings for many years, but was able to retrieve them — and plans on releasing them over two decades later.
Mariah Carey recorded a grunge album in the 1990s
In her 2020 memoir The Meaning of Mariah Carey, the “Fantasy” singer reflected on her life from her childhood up until now as a global superstar. When she looked back on the process of recording her 1995 album Daydream, she remembered something else from that time: recording an entirely different album called Someone’s Ugly Daughter.
Carey shared a snippet of the song “Demented” on Twitter and included an excerpt from her memoir on the time. “I’d bring my little alt-rock song to the band [Chick] and hum a silly guitar riff. They would pick it up and we would record it immediately. It was irreverent, raw, and urgent, and the band got into it,” Carey recalled. “I actually started to love some of the songs. I would fully commit to my character.”
“I was playing with the style of the breezy-grunge, punk-light white female singers who were popular at the time. You know the ones who seemed to be so carefree with their feelings and their image. They could be angry, angsty, and messy, with old shoes, wrinkled slips, and unruly eyebrows, while every move I made was so calculated and manicured,” she continued. “I wanted to break free, let loose, and express my misery — but I also wanted to laugh. I totally looked forward to doing my alter-ego band sessions after Daydream each night.”
Daydream, released in October 1995, contained hit singles including “Fantasy,” “One Sweet Day,” and “Always Be My Baby.”
Mariah Carey has the recordings of ‘Someone’s Ugly Daughter’
Carey’s friend, Clarissa Dane, largely led the vocals on the project, which was released under the name Chick after the band. In a September 2022 interview on the Rolling Stone Now podcast, the singer revealed that she was able to track down her alt-rock Someone’s Ugly Daughter album.
“The quest for that version is going great. We actually have it,” she said. “This was my outlet, and nobody knew about it. Most people, I’d rather they don’t even know about it until we decide exactly what happens from that quest of finding those vocals.” She remained tight-lipped on further details, other than she was working with “another artist” on building something around the original tracks.
The Mariah Carey grunge album was lost for a long time
For many years, Carey was unable to find a recording of Someone’s Ugly Daughter since its release in 1995. CD copies are practically nonexistent, and the album is unavailable on streaming platforms.
Carey chronicled her journey to finding the lost album — specifically the version with her singing lead vocals, as opposed to backup — after her memoir’s release in 2020.
“Now that you’ve listened to Clarissa’s kick-a** lead vocals, I can tell you that I’m on a quest to unearth the version of this album with my lead vocals and will not stop until we find it!” she tweeted at the time. Needless to say, the Lambily will be thrilled that the vocals have been found and will be given new life all these years later.