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Greatest Hits (2001)

Mariah Carey

... read moreMariah protested loud and often when her first hits collection, #1's, was released that the album was not a hits collection: "I haven't been recording long enough for that!" Nothing will age your catalog like leaving your record label, however, so when she flew the Columbia coop for Virgin in 2000...

Review

Mariah protested loud and often when her first hits collection, #1's, was released that the album was not a hits collection: "I haven't been recording long enough for that!" Nothing will age your catalog like leaving your record label, however, so when she flew the Columbia coop for Virgin in 2000, her old label assembled Greatest Hits for release a couple months after the monumental disaster of Glitter, her Virgin debut. Now, this move was surely designed to further wound the ailing Mariah, but this kind of collection was essentially inevitable, and it's about as good as it could be, containing all of her big hits (including songs that did not make it to the top of the charts) over the course of 28 tracks. This is certainly helpful, since it rounds up everything, but its double-disc running time is a bit of a detriment, since it simply is too much. By the end of the second disc, the collection feels a little padded, and her music simply sounds better in the more concentrated collection of #1's, since it runs smoother and has all the really big hits (with the notable exception of the original version of her best single, "Fantasy"). But if you want more simply for archival reasons, this will suit the bill (even though the packaging is unbearably skimpy: no notes, just publishing information and thumbnails of the single covers, which is like having no packaging at all). ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine

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