Glitter was an epic disaster that nearly destroyed Mariah Carey’s career. That’s a dramatic statement, but it’s true. Up until 2001, Mariah was on top of her game, releasing one multi-platinum album after another and racking up fifteen #1 singles. Then she decided to try her hand at acting. Glitter (originally titled All that Glitters) is A Star is Born-like story about Billie (Carey), an aspiring singer in 1980s New York, who meets Dice (Max Beesley), a DJ who helps to propel her career as his own is flailing. There’s romance, drama, and lots of great music from the era. Good idea in theory, but horribly executed. The movie bombed and shortly before its premiere Mariah suffered a very public breakdown. The press had a field day roasting her downfall. The one good thing to come out of this mess was the soundtrack to Glitter. Unfortunately, it was released on 9/11 and was pretty much ignored. But it’s still a great album that just happened to get overshadowed by a bad movie. Hopefully people can appreciate it all these years later and see how ahead of the curve Mariah was by revisiting the 80s in the early 2000s.
11. Don’t Stop (Funkin for Jamaica)
You know what this song needs more of? Mariah. It’s Mystikal rapping for two verses while Mariah sings the hook. Yes, she comes in strong near the end, but it’s not enough. The original version, “Funkin for Jamaica”, is much better.
10. Last Night a DJ Saved My Life
Similar to “Jamaica”. I could have done with less Busta Rhymes. At least Mariah sings more here. Nice bass line too.
She wrote “Twister” about her friend who committed suicide. It’s a beautiful tribute.
8. Want You
You’re enveloped by powerful synthesizers and layered vocals on this r&b jam. Plus, Eric Benet is a good match for her musically.
7. Reflections (Care Enough)
Billie’s song lamenting being abandoned by her mother, as a child. A lovely sad melody
6. Never to Far
A big sweeping ballad with an amazing belting note at the end. Loooooooove! Billie sings this after Dice is killed…sorry for the 20 year old spoiler.
5. If We
Mariah collaborates with Ja Rule and Nate Dogg on this seductive track. A winning trinity. It should have been a single, but there was drama behind the scenes. More on that later.
4. I Didn’t Mean to Turn You On
Mariah is living her pop dance diva fantasy on her cover of Cherelle’s 1984 hit. She’s flirty and coquettish, enticing you to get on the dance floor. But, she’s not to blame if you get turned on.
3. All My Life
Rick James wrote “Life” and you can hear him all over it. You would think it came from his Street Songs album. He brings out a certain spicy sexy side to her that you don’t usually hear. A Mariah Jane girl.
2. Lead the Way
Mariah shows some restraint on the first two verses, but when the bridge comes along she takes off. She scales the high notes with her vocal agility, leading the way for every “female entertainer” that comes after her. Simply gorgeous.
1. Loverboy (Original & Remix)
When Mariah initially recorded “Loverboy” she sampled an obscure song called “Firecracker”. Unfortunately, her ex-husband, Sony Chairman Tommy Mottola, heard the track and stole the sample for Jennifer Lopez’s song “I’m Real”. Mariah had to scramble to remake “Loverboy”, ultimately choosing Cameo’s “Candy” as the basis for the song. Mottola took his douchebaggery up a notch when he hired Irv Gotti to produce a track for JLo and Ja Rule, just like what he’d done on Mariah’s “If We”. That became the “I’m Real (Remix)” which was an enormous hit and thus made it so Mariah couldn’t release her own duet with Ja Rule.
Having heard both versions of “Loverboy”, I’ll say the Cameo sample works better. It takes you back in time and the addition of Ludacris and Da Brat on the remix brings in a modern hip-hop flair. “Loverboy” wouldn’t reach #1 on the charts, but it came in at a strong #2. It was the biggest selling single of 2001, proving you can never count Mariah out. Or as Da Brat raps, “Hate on me much as you want to. You can’t do what the fuck I do. Bitches be emulatin’ me daily.”
And, Fannie Flagg!! That’s how I hear her name in my head. Fannie sat in the last panelist seat on The Match Game, so she was always announced as the “and”. From 1973 to 1982, she was a semi-regular on the game show, cracking jokes next to Richard Dawson. Beyond Match Game, Fanny appeared in several roles on TV and film while also putting out comedy albums. Her biggest accomplishment was writing the beloved novel Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe. The book would later be turned into a hit movie, garnering the author an Oscar nomination for adapting it. Fannie continues to write and released her latest novel in 2020. Today she celebrates her 77th birthday. Happy Birthday Fannie…and many more!!
Posted at 12:01 pm by Geoff, on September 16, 2021
Thirty years later and I’m still feeling emotions. Mariah Carey followed up her multi-platinum Grammy winning debut album with Emotions. Rather than repeat herself, she tried different sounds and worked with new writers/producers. The result is a strong collection of songs that capture that fantastic early 90s moment.
10. You’re So Cold
Mariah is dealing with a fboy here. He treats her horribly, playing with her mind and, yet, she keeps coming back for more. She can’t resist his fire-like kisses.
9. The Wind
Mariah listened to jazz when she was a child so it’s not surprising that she would incorporate it into her own music. She channels Billie Holiday in this somber song about loss.
8. To Be Around You
I like how “Around” starts off slow before kicking into a house beat. David Cole and Robert Clivilles definitely put their stamp on it. They bring out a fun playful side of Mimi.
7. And You Don’t Remember
You know you’re in for a sad love song when the first line is “shattered dreams”. Depressing yet beautiful.
6. So Blessed
This sounds like it could be a cover of a standard from the 60s, which is a testament to Mariah’s voice and writing.
5. Til the End of Time
I love the synths here and the ethereal melody. She sings about praying for a love that will come and save her life. The outro with all the harmonies goes on for a while, which is a good thing.
4. If It’s Over
Mariah worked with her idol Carole King on “Over”. If anyone knows how to craft a song about the end of a relationship, it’s her. This has a Tapestry for the 90s feel.
3. Make It Happen
If you need some inspiration, look no further. Mariah tells us that if we believe in ourselves we can make it happen. It’s her story too. She had a dream and kept powering through until she achieved it. The gospel choir puts an exclamation point on the message.
2. Can’t Let Go
The best ballad on the album. Her vocals, mixed with the background singers, are so lush. My favorite part is the bridge where she really goes off.
The title track bursts through the doors with an exuberant disco sound. She’s in love, she’s alive! Her whistle notes are earth shattering and plenty, but it’s not a gimmick like some thought. How else do you express how high on love you are? Fittingly, “Emotions” ascended to the top of the charts, becoming Mariah’s fifth #1.
Bee Gees frontman Barry Gibbb turned 75 yesterday. Along with his brothers, Maurice & Robin, he blew up the disco world in the 70s. They created huge chart topping hits, most notably for the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack. When disco fell out of favor in the 80s, they continued to write songs for other artists. Luckily, a new appreciation for the genre years later brought the group back into the spotlight. Maurice and Robin have sadly passed away, but Barry continues to record and perform. His famous falsetto lives on.
I Dream of Jeannie star, Barbara Eden, turns 90 today. Of course we know her best from the hit sitcom, but before and after that she appeared in several movies & TV shows, recorded albums, and wrote a memoir. She has enjoyed a long magical career. Happy Birthday, Barbara!
Today marks the 40th anniversary of An American Werewolf in London’s release and appropriately a full moon is on the horizon. Back in the 80s, the Jonathan Landis horror comedy brought a new perspective to the werewolf genre. The movie tells the story of two American friends who encounter a werewolf while backpacking through England. Jack (Griffin Dunne) is violently ripped apart while David (David Naughton) is attacked but survives. Later in the hospital, an undead Jack (who’s stuck in limbo) warns David that the bite turned him into a werewolf and he’ll have to kill himself to end the curse. David thinks it’s just a bad dream, until the killings start happening.
What sets London apart from similar films made up until that point is the comedy that Landis infuses into his script and direction. You go from being scared of this menacing werewolf to laughing at the crazy situations David gets thrown into. Like waking up naked in a wolf den at the zoo, post-transition, and having to get back home. Who knew a bunch of balloons could provide such coverage. And good on Landis for including full frontal male nudity here. You weren’t seeing much of that in 1981. Naughton is a natural comedic actor. He easily jumps into the physical aspects required of the role. Dunne brings a lot, as well, with his character’s dry wit.
The special effects and makeup are fairly revolutionary. We get to see David transform into his werewolf self, complete with expanding limbs and hair growth. No wonder the film won the innagural Oscar for Best Makeup. It’s smart that Landis waits until the tail end of the movie to show the transformation and a full view of the wolf. The audience can only imagine what the beast looks like, which can sometimes be scarier than the actual thing. There isn’t a ton of gore either. Subtlety definitely makes for better horror and London still holds up all these years later.
Actor & filmmaker, Robert Redford, turns 85 today. Redford started in the theater before transitioning to TV work (guest starring in a great Twilight Zone episode) and then made the move to films. His incredible good looks got him noticed, but his talent was even better. I particularly enjoyed him in All thePresident’s Men and The Way We Were. When he moved behind the camera he won Oscars for his debut, Ordinary People. Later on he created the Sundance Film Festival, a place to showcase independent films. Redford has definitely left his mark on the industry.
Since today is Friday the 13th it’s a good time to take a look at the horror movies inspired by the “holiday”. Even better that it’s the 40th anniversary of Friday the 13th Part II this year. It’s one of the best movies in the series and a huge part of that is because of Ginny (Amy Steele). The final girl/child psychology major/camp counselor is a formidable opponent for serial killer Jason (Warrington Gillette). She really shines towards the end of the movie, specifically in that endless chase scene. Here’s a breakdown in 13 parts.
1. Ginny and Paul (John Furey) come back to camp after a night out in town. The lights are out and none of the other counselors are around. Eerie. Oh and Jason is waiting for them in the dark. Look out Paul! A scuffle ensues. Jason, wearing his sack mask with the one eye cut out (just as unsettling as a hockey mask) pops up and scares the hell out of Ginny.
2. She runs to the bathroom, which doesn’t have a lock on the door. How can you pee safely in there? When she’s convinced Jason isn’t going to come in she goes for the window only to see his hand break through it. That bathroom really isn’t secure.
3. Ginny gets to the kitchen, which actually has a lock. Go figure. She stands by, armed only with a small knife, as Jason attempts to force his way in. When his pitchfork pierces the door, she finally scrambles out the open window.
4. She flees to her VW bug, the shitty one that never starts up, where Jason pitchforks his way thru the soft top roof. Don’t bring your bug to a horror movie, people.
5. Ginny manages to get away and dashes to the woods where she hides behind a tree. When Jason runs past she kicks him in the nuts. Good aim.
6. Around another bend, Jason suddenly leaps out, barely missing her. I may have screamed the first time I saw that scene in the movie. Possibly the second and third times too.
7. After a lot of running, Jason enters one of the cabins. Ginny has decided to crawl under a bed because why not choose the most obvious hiding place. Well, obvious to everyone except Jason who doesn’t even look. If it weren’t for Ginny peeing herself, causing a river of urine to flow from under the bed, he would have left. She believes he’s gone and comes out, nearly getting impaled on his pitchfork.
8. Ginny grabs a chainsaw from the closet. Whoa, wrong horror franchise. She scares Jason with it until it runs out of gas. So she just throws the saw at him and breaks a chair over his back. He’s down. Rather then finish him, she runs off again. Oh, girl.
9. Deeper in the woods, Ginny comes upon Jason’s shack. He follows. She barricades herself in the backroom where she finds Mrs. Voorhies (Betsy Palmer) severed head and shrine.
10. It’s time for some child psychology. Ginny puts on Mrs. V’s moldy sweater and stands in front of her head. When Jason breaks down the door, she goes into mommy-mode and pretends to be her. Jason falls for it until Ginny moves to hack him with a machete and he sees his real mother’s head. Uh-oh.
11. Paul arrives in the nick of time and saves Ginny. A struggle ensures. Ginny grabs the machete and brings it down on Jason’s shoulder. He falls to the ground. For now.
12. Paul and Ginny stumble back to one of the cabins. They hear something outside and fear the worst, but it’s just Muffin, the little dog. Whew. And then a deformed still-alive Jason crashes through the window behind Ginny. The most shocking jump scare of the movie. Slam to black.
13. It all ends with the cops and paramedics swarming the camp. A confused Ginny is loaded into the back of an ambulance. Where’s Paul? Where’s Jason? Most importantly, is Muffin ok?
On this day in 1986, One Life to Live supercouple Tina (Andrea Evans) and Cord (John Loprieno) got married for the first time. There would be three other trips down the aisle. The couple was always experiencing some sort of drama that tore them apart. Typically it had to do with Tina’s lies and schemes. But there was also a crazed mother-in-law, jail time, baby switches, interlopers, and a presumed death or two. Thankfully the writers got them back together before OLTL went off the air. We had to have one last Tina & Cord wedding.
Soap opera queen Erika Slezak celebrates her 75th birthday today. For 41 years she amazed us as Viki Lord on One Life to Live, winning six Emmys. She honestly could have won six more. She brought so much warmth, dignity, and passion to the role. I need Erika and OLTL back on my TV screen!