Mariah Carey: I Secretly Recorded an Alternative Rock Album in the ’90s
Pop icon Mariah Carey made an alternative rock album in the mid-'90s but kept it hidden — until now.
The singer revealed as much in an excerpt from her forthcoming memoir, The Meaning of Mariah Carey, which comes out this week. The surprising disclosure emerged on Sunday (Sept. 27), and the revelation prompted listeners to scan the catalog of an overlooked '90s rock act called Chick.
That's because Chick's 1995 effort Someone's Ugly Daughter is the alt-Carey album in question, as Classic Rock reported. The otherwise all-but-forgotten release isn't currently available on streaming services, but when initially issued, it had major label support and spawned singles such as "Malibu" and "Demented." But, wait — wasn't the lead singer of Chick a musician named Clarissa Dane? Well, Carey has an answer for that.
"Fun fact: I did an alternative album while I was making Daydream," the pop star tweeted over the weekend, indicating that her "friend Clarissa … performs the lead [with] me as a hidden layer." Carey said she made the record "just for laughs, but it got me through some dark days. Here's a little of what I wrote about it."
The singer then shared a stylized video portraying a two-page portion of the book, wherein Carey tells of clandestinely working on the alternative album concurrently with the 1995 release in her own name, Daydream. In the clip, graphics related to the Chick album cover art appear. As Stereogum noted from a 2004 interview with Dane, the Chick frontwoman was Carey's roommate at the time of both albums' creation.
"I'd bring my little alt-rock song to the band and hum a silly guitar riff," Carey writes in her memoir. "They would pick it up and we would record it immediately. It was irreverent, raw and urgent, and the band got into it. I actually started to love some of the songs. I would fully commit to my character."
She continues, "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 movie I made was so calculated and manicured. 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."
Indeed, Carey's reps confirmed that the pop singer contributed production and backing vocals to all of the songs on the Chick album, save for a cover of Cheap Trick's "Surrender." Talk about a bombshell that only adds to the overall strangeness that is the year 2020.
The Meaning of Mariah Carey arrives Tuesday (Sept. 29).
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