MERRY CHRISTMAS (Mariah Carey album)


Merry Christmas (Mariah Carey album) – 1994

Merry Christmas is the first Christmas album, and the fourth studio album, by American singer and songwriter Mariah Carey. Released by Columbia Records on November 1, 1994, the album features cover versions of popular Christmas tunes and original material. Carey worked with Walter Afanasieff, with whom she wrote all of the original tracks, as well as producing Carey’s interpretations of the covered material. The album contains a contemporary holiday theme, and featured “authentic, gospel flavored background vocals”. The album received generally positive reviews and became a worldwide success. Critics praised Carey’s uplifting and flavored vocals, as well as her skilled songwriting alongside Afanasieff. Three singles were released from the album, of which All I Want for Christmas Is You went on to become one of the best-selling singles of all time.

Merry Christmas was released at the peak of the initial stretch of Carey’s career, between Music Box (1993) and Daydream (1995). The album produced the worldwide classic single, “All I Want for Christmas Is You”, which became the best-selling holiday ringtone in the US. The album has sold 5,500,000 copies in the United States as of December 2015 according to Nielsen SoundScan, and has been certified five-times Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) for shipment of five million copies in the United States. In Japan, Merry Christmas has sold 2,500,000 copies and is the fourth best-selling album of all time by a non-Asian solo artist, behind Carey’s other release #1’s (1998), Whitney Houston’s The Bodyguard and Carey’s Daydream. Merry Christmas has sold 15 million copies worldwide and is the best-selling Christmas album of all time.

A Deluxe Anniversary Edition was released on October 23, 2015

Carey has expressed her belief in God and her connection between music and spirituality, and felt the album was finally a way to portray her mysticism into music. After the success of Carey’s previous effort, Music Box, there was speculation of a new project in the works; however it was not until October 1994, only one month before the album’s release, that Billboard announced Carey would be releasing a holiday album for the Christmas season. Initially, critics were shocked; they did not know how Carey would fare as an entertainer, as she had previously only been viewed as a pop star. Nevertheless, Carey, unaffected by the speculation, continued working on, and promoting the album in high spirits, confident in her work. The idea proved to be wise, earning Carey recognition in various markets including Christian radio and contemporary R&B stations, as well as extended her fame in Japan, where the album experienced much of its success.

Track listing

No. Title Writer(s) Producer(s) Length

1. “Silent Night” Franz Xaver Gruber
Mariah Carey Loris Holland

2. “All I Want for Christmas Is You”
Mariah Carey Walter Afanasieff
Afanasieff Carey

3. “O Holy Night” Adolphe Adam
Afanasieff Carey

4. “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)”
Phil Spector Jeff Barry Ellie Greenwich
Afanasieff Carey

5. “Miss You Most (At Christmas Time)”
Carey Afanasieff
Afanasieff Carey

6. “Joy to the World”
Isaac Watts Hoyt Axton
Afanasieff Carey

7. “Jesus Born on This Day”
Carey Afanasieff
Afanasieff Carey

8. “Santa Claus Is Comin’ to Town”
John Frederick Coots Haven Gillespie
Afanasieff Carey

9. “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing” / “Gloria (In Excelsis Deo)” Charles Wesley/Felix Mendelssohn adapted by William H. Cummings / Traditional
Afanasieff Carey Holland (co.)

10. “Jesus Oh What a Wonderful Child” Traditional
Afanasieff Carey Holland (co.)
Total length:

International bonus track
No. Title Length
11. “God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen” 1:18

2005 Dual Disc Bonus Tracks
No. Title Length
12. “Santa Claus Is Comin’ To Town” (Anniversary Mix) 2:35


Credits adapted from AllMusic.


Mariah Carey — vocals
3*D — choir/chorus
Walter Afanasieff — bass, clapping, drums, keyboards, Hammond organ, synthesizer, tambourine
Robert Clivillés — bass, drums, percussion
David Cole — bass, drums, percussion
David Daniels — choir/chorus
Melonie Daniels — background vocals
Nathaniel Daniels — choir/chorus
Bernard Davis — drums
Omar Hakim — drums
Loris Holland — Hammond organ, piano
Dann Huff — guitar
Randy Jackson — bass
Kirk Lyons — bass
Cindy Mizelle — background vocals
Greg Phillinganes — piano
Lenny Pickett — baritone saxophone, tenor saxophone
Kelly Price — background vocals
Shanrae Price — background vocals
David Silliman — percussion
Jazzmin Walton — choir/chorus
Buddy Williams — drums
Walter Afanasieff — arranger, drum programming, production, programming
Mariah Carey — arranger, production
Christopher Austopchuk — art direction
Dana Jon Chappelle — engineer
Gary Cirimelli — digital programming, programming, synthesizer programming
Robert Clivillés — programming
David Cole — programming
Daniela Federici — photography
David Gleeson — engineer
Mick Guzauski — mixing
Jay Healy — engineer
Loris Holland — arranger, production
Bob Ludwig — mastering
Dan Shea — programming
Basia Zamorska — stylist