There's a Mariah Carey Remix for Every Mood

There's a Mariah Carey Remix for Every Mood

By Joan SummersFeb 16, 2024

There are foundational moments at the club that shape just about every cool gay person’s outlook on life, our place in society — even what waits for us after death.

I can rattle off my own with ease, even if it cheapens the religious nature of the experiences somewhat. That summer they would string “Work” by Rihanna, “Work Bitch” by Britney Spears, “Work From Home” by Fifth Harmony and “Work” by Ciara back-to-back-to-back. When some older guys pulled me and my friend through the front window of Q Bar at Pride in 2013, because we didn’t have IDs. Surprisingly, I’d even count that summer “Sissy That Walk” by RuPaul dropped, after which it dominated video mixes at Badlands while some guy fingered me on the light wall. But none can compare to the feeling that that still sweeps over me every time a seasoned DJ throws on a Mariah Carey house remix.

The world has changed quite a bit, but those old queens in their newsboy caps continue the fight against the encroaching forces of pop stars I can’t name here, for obvious reasons. Thankfully, Mariah Carey is back with a new Ariana Grande remix, which is a gift to me and a warning to everyone else that she’s still the boss around here. To commemorate the release of Mimi’s version of “yes, and?”, here are some of Mariah's greatest house remixes, in no particular order.

Can't Take That Away (Mariah's Theme) - Morales Revival Triumphant Mix

I had to take a minute to cry just now, because this song is probably the most important piece of music in my life. Carey wrote it during a turbulent time in her career, during disputes with Columbia Records and her divorce from that absolute monster Tommy Mottola. Carey's spirit of courage and strength shines through in the lyrics, strengthened by David Morales' unbelievable ability to turn music into pure energy.

They can’t take that away from me!

Always Be My Baby - Always Club Mix

David Morales also worked on the remixes for “Always Be My Baby,” which were originally exclusive to the UK release of the song in 1996, until they were included on a 2021 re-release stateside to commemorate Mariah Carey’s 30th anniversary. (The original single was from her fifth album, Daydream.) Like with so many of his remixes for Mariah, Morales completely switches up the melody of the song to great effect, swapping out the original mid-tempo arrangement for an up-tempo house mix.

Honey - Classic Mix

Morales’ remix of Honey is quite famous at this point, and one of the more popular tracks on the The Remixes compilation album. It is a soaring triumph of a song, the choral arrangement building to such an extreme level that it still blows my mind (and overwhelms me when I’m off the weed a bit).

Emotions - C&C 12" Club Mix No. 1 Mix

C&C Music Factory worked quite a bit with Mimi in the ‘90s, most famously on “Make It Happen,” a personal favorite of mine. The legendary dance group is also responsible for a good chunk of Carey's house mixes, like the “Emotions” mix here. For a song literally about the depth of emotions we’re capable of feeling, this mix stretches said capacity to the limits.

Fly Away (Butterfly Reprise) - Def "B" Fly Mix

So So Def founder Jermaine Dupri has collaborated on 11 of Mimi’s number-one singles on the Billboard Hot 100. Figures So So Def would also be responsible for some of her more memorable remixes as well, like the “Heartbreaker” remix with Missy Elliot and Da Brat. Here on the “Fly Away” remix, I’m still enamored with the soft woodwind sounds and twinkling synths, like the whole thing has literally been kissed by a sonic butterfly.

Fantasy - Sweet Dub Mix

Morales strikes again! I’m sure Morales was well aware the song would go on to be one of the most important entries in music history ever, but what a daunting prospect to jump on the remix and produce something this special irregardless of the original’s impact. Like most of his work with Mimi, Morales’ soundscape is a portal to another dimension of her iconic sound, one unencumbered by radio-friendly formats and label guidelines.

I Still Believe - Morales Classic Club Mix

I’ll leave it here with two more tracks from Morales, considering all I could possibly say has been said by now, and the music speaks for itself. Besides, I got to prep for the club tonight with a workout and a visit to my brow lady. Finger’s crossed they play Mariah Carey!

My All - Morales "My" Club Mix

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