The primary video features grainy home-movie-style footage of Carey, her dogs and family during the holiday season, as well as Carey dressed in a Santa suit frolicking on a snowy mountainside. Carey's then-husband Tommy Mottola makes a cameo appearance as Santa Claus, bringing Carey a gift and leaving on a red sleigh. The second video was filmed in black and white, and features Carey dressed in s style in homage to The Ronettes , alongside back up singers and female dancers.
A third music video directed by Joseph Kahn was released in to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the song. Carey has performed "All I Want for Christmas Is You" during numerous live television appearances and tours throughout her career. It has become established as a Christmas standard  and continues to surge in popularity each holiday season. The song has also been covered by many artists over the years. Following the success of the singer's career best-selling album Music Box , Carey and her management at Columbia Records began devising ideas and strategies for subsequent projects.
During initial discussions regarding the thought of doing a Christmas-themed album with Carey and her songwriting partner of over four years, Walter Afanasieff , the fear arose that it was not commercially expedient or wise to release holiday music at the peak of one's career, as it was more often equated with a release towards the end of a musician's waning career. Afanasieff recalled his sentiments during initial discussions for a holiday record: "Back then, you didn't have a lot of artists with Christmas albums.
It wasn't a known science at all back then, and there was nobody who did new, big Christmas songs. So we were going to release it as kind of an everyday, 'Hey, you know, we're putting out a Christmas album. No big deal. Carey began decorating the home she then shared with Mottola in upstate New York which also came equipped with a personal recording studio with Christmas ornaments and other holiday-inspired trinkets. In doing so, Carey felt she could capture the essence and spirit of what she was singing and make her vocal performance and delivery more emotive and authentic.
At first, Afanasieff admitted that he was puzzled and "blanched" as to where Carey wanted to take the melody and vocal scales, though she was "adamant" in her direction for the song. It was always the same sort of system with us. We would write the nucleus of the song, the melody primary music, and then some of the words were there as we finished writing it. I started playing some rock 'n' roll piano and started boogie woogie-ing my left hand, and that inspired Mariah to come up with the melodic [Sings.
It was very formulaic, not a lot of chord changes. I tried to make it a little more unique, putting in some special chords that you really don't hear a lot of, which made it unique and special.
Then for the next week or two Mariah would call me and say, 'What do you think about this bit? And then we just waited until the sessions began, which were in the summer of '94 where we got together in New York and started recording. And that's when we first hear her at the microphone singing, and the rest is history. Afanasieff flew back to California, where he finished the song's programming and production. Originally, he had a live band play the drums and other instruments with the thought of giving it a more raw and affective sound.
He was unhappy with the results of the recording and subsequently scrapped the effort and used his original, personal arrangement and programmed all the instruments heard on the song with the exception of the background vocals including the piano, effects, drums and triangle.
While Carey continued writing material in her rented home in The Hamptons , Afanasieff completed the song's programming and awaited to rendezvous with her a final time in order to layer and harmonize the background vocals. In touching on several aspects of what excited her to record and release her Christmas album, Carey went into detail on what writing and recording the song and album meant for her, pointing out, "I'm a very festive person and I love the holidays.
I've sung Christmas songs since I was a little girl. I used to go Christmas caroling. When it came to the album, we had to have a nice balance between standard Christian hymns and fun songs. It was definitely a priority for me to write at least a few new songs, but for the most part people really want to hear the standards at Christmas time, no matter how good a new song is. The third and final original song the pair planned to write was to be centered and inspired and in the vein of a " Phil Spector , old rock 'n roll, sixties-sounding Christmas song".
The song begins with a "sparking" bit of percussion "that resembles an antique music box or a whimsical snow globe. These sounds echo religious and secular musical touchstones, without veering blatantly too much in either direction, and give the song an upbeat, joyous tone. In an interview in , Carey described the song as "fun", and continued: "It's very traditional, old-fashioned Christmas.
It's very retro, kind of '60s. Most notably, however, the song's jaunty piano chords and melody keep the song merrily bouncing along. Lyrically, the song describes the yearning desire to be with a loved one for Christmas, regardless of whether they have to forgo the usual commercial aspect of the holiday season such as ornamental lights, trees, snow and presents. The song incorporates various instruments, including piano , drums , violin , oboe , flute , bell chimes , bass effect , and cowbells.
According to the sheet music published at Musicnotes. Carey's vocal range in the song spans from the note of G 3 to the high note of A 6. Slate ' s Ragusea counts "at least 13 distinct chords at work, resulting in a sumptuously chromatic melody. The song also includes what I consider the most Christmassy chord of all—a minor subdominant, or 'iv,' chord with an added 6, under the words 'underneath the Christmas tree,' among other places.
You might also analyze it as a half-diminished 'ii' 7th chord, but either interpretation seems accurate. Critics have noted the song's s, s, and s influences which, in conjunction with Carey's voice and its simple melody, heralded its recipe for success. Club ' s Annie Zaleski attributes the song's enduring appeal to its ambiguity in being able to pin it down as belonging to a specific era.
Critics also noted the song a tad reminiscent of the works of Judy Garland and Nat King Cole , while also describing it as hearkening back to "'60s and '70s Motown covers of prewar Christmas classics, such as The Jackson 5 's [and] Stevie Wonder ".
I think that's what gives it that timeless, classic quality. Parisien called the song "a year-long banger", complimenting its instrumentation and melody. Kyle Anderson from MTV labeled the track "a majestic anthem full of chimes, sleigh bells, doo-wop flourishes, sweeping strings and one of the most dynamic and clean vocal performances of Carey's career".
Shona Craven of Scotland 's The Herald , said, "[it's] a song of optimism and joy that maybe, just maybe, hints at the real meaning of Christmas. This rule lapsed in , however, allowing the song to chart on the Billboard Hot peaking at No. The song topped the Billboard Hot Digital Songs chart in December , but it was unable to attain a new peak on the Billboard Hot chart because it was considered a recurrent single and was thus ineligible for chart re-entry.
Every December from to , the song topped the Billboard Hot Re-currents chart. In , after the recurrent rule was revised to allow all songs in the top 50 onto the Billboard Hot chart, the single re-entered the chart at No.
In December , the song reached No. No other song has spent more than two weeks at No. It returned to its No. Additionally, it broke the record for the longest trip to the number one position, reaching the spot 25 years after the song's original release. The song originally peaked at No. This also made her the eleventh musical act to reach the country's summit in three back-to-back decades.
It additionally was the first Christmas track since " Snoopy's Christmas " by The Royal Guardsmen in to peak at number one in Australia during the Christmas season. The song also topped the New Zealand Charts for the first time in , making Carey's eighth number-one single in the country. On December 25, , the song set the single-day record for the most Spotify streams, with When the song was first released as a single in , no remixes were commissioned. Carey re-released the song commercially in Japan in , with a new remix known as the So So Def remix.
The remix appears on Carey's compilation album Greatest Hits as a bonus track. The mix laid the original vocals over new electronic instrumentation. The remix garnered a positive response.
MTV 's Kyle Anderson wrote that "it's difficult to improve perfection," but that the remix "does dress up the song in a disco thump that should make your office Christmas party 28 percent funkier than it was last year. Titled "All I Want for Christmas Is You Extra Festive ", the new version featured re-recorded vocals, softer bell ringing and stronger drumming, and an orchestral introduction that replaced the slow vocal introduction. Add to Cart. Transpose 9. G Major Orig. Quick Details. Musicians Like You Also Purchased.
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