Definitions

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All I Want for Christmas Is You

"All I Want for Christmas Is You" is a song by American singer Mariah Carey and Walter Afanasieff, and recorded for Carey's fifth album Merry Christmas (1994). Its protagonist declares that she does not care about Christmas presents or lights; all she wants for Christmas is to be with her lover. It is unrelated to the 1989 Christmas hit single by novelty act Vince Vance and the Valiants. It was released as the album's first single in December 1994 (see 1994 in music) and reached the top ten in several countries.

As of December 2006, the single had sold a total of 4,000,000+ copies worldwide making it Carey's biggest selling single. According to The New Yorker, it is "one of the few worthy modern additions to the holiday canon". Despite the common misconception that Carey covered this song, the fact is that this track is an original song written by Carey and Walter Afanasieff. It has been covered by singers such as Shania Twain and Samantha Mumba, bands such as My Chemical Romance, and girl group The Cheetah Girls. It was performed by Olivia Olson in the film Love Actually (2003). By late 2006, it had become the best-selling holiday ring tone of all time in the U.S.

Chart performance

Because of Billboard magazine rules at the time, the song did not chart on the U.S. Hot 100 during its original release because a commercial single was not issued. It was popular on U.S. radio and peaked at #12 on the Hot 100 Airplay chart, and was also a big hit elsewhere. It reached number two in the United Kingdom for three weeks and has been certified for selling over 400,000 copies there, losing out to East 17's "Stay Another Day" for that year's Christmas number-one single. The single also peaked at number two in Australia and Japan, where it was used as the theme song to the drama 29-sai no Christmas (29才のクリスマス), and was titled "Koibito-tachi no Christmas" (恋人たちのクリスマス; "Lovers' Christmas"). It sold 1.1 million units in Japan, and remains her best-selling single there.

In 2000 the song re-entered the Billboard Hot 100, charting at #83 for its one-week tenure in the chart that year. (After 1999, singles were allowed to chart on the Hot 100 without a commercial release; the song received enough radio airplay that year to appear on the chart.) Billboard magazine has since added restrictions to Christmas songs, but with the growth of all-holiday-music formats in the U.S., the song is played on the radio at the end of every year.

In 2005 it rapidly ascended to #1 on Billboard's Hot 100 Singles Recurrents chart (for songs no longer eligible for the Hot 100), giving it a new peak. During the same period it became Carey's first number-one single on the Billboard Hot Digital Songs chart. It is noted by Billboard that, if eligible, "All I Want For Christmas Is You" would have entered the Billboard Hot 100 at #6 that year. In December 2006 "All I Want for Christmas Is You" became the first holiday ring tone to receive a gold and a platinum certification from the RIAA for sales of over one million. In 2007, had it been eligible to chart on Billboard Hot 100 Airplay it would have peaked at #11. Due to the inclusion of download into the british charts that year, the song re-entered around the christmas period, peaking at #4.

Music videos and remixes

There are three (technically four) music videos for "All I Want for Christmas Is You". The first and most commonly seen is a home video that shows Carey celebrating Christmas with snow, presents, and loved ones. Carey's then-husband, Tommy Mottola, makes a cameo appearance as Santa Claus. In the other video, inspired by Nancy Sinatra, Carey dances around in a 1960s-influenced studio surrounded by go go dancers. For a 1960s look, the video was filmed in black and white. It is not clear whether the inclusion of this obvious rough-cut version on the DualDisc was an error.

When the song was first released as a single, no remixes were commissioned. Carey re-released the song commercially in Japan in 2000, with a new remix known as the "So So Def" remix. The song features new vocals and is played over a harder, more urban beat complete with rap and spoken parts by Jermaine Dupri and Lil' Bow Wow, respectively. The remix is featured on Carey's compilation album Greatest Hits (2001) as a bonus track. A video was created for the remix, but it does not feature Carey or the rappers and is animated instead. The style of the animation is based on a scene in the video for Carey's "Heartbreaker" (1999). Besides cartoon cameo appearances by Carey, Jermaine Dupri, and Lil' Bow Wow, the video also features cameos from Luis Miguel (Carey's boyfriend at the time), her dog (Jack), and Santa Claus. The music video director is credited as "Kris Kringle". Currently, it is the 11th most viewed Holiday Music Video on Yahoo! Music

Track listings

Japanese CD single (2000)

  1. "All I Want for Christmas Is You" (album version)
  2. "All I Want for Christmas Is You" (featuring Jermaine Dupri and Lil' Bow Wow — So So Def remix)
  3. "O Holy Night 2000" (live)
  4. "Joy to the World" (club mix)

Charts

Billboard charts

Chart (1994) Peak
position
Hot 100 Airplay 12
Adult Contemporary 6
Top 40 Mainstream 9
Rhythmic Top 40 14
Adult Top 40 27
Chart (2000) Peak
position
Hot 100 83
Chart (2004) Peak
position
Hot Digital Tracks 6
Chart (2005) Peak
position
Hot 100 Singles Recurrents 1
Hot Digital Songs 1
Hot Ringtones 8
Chart (2006) Peak
position
Hot Holiday Songs 2
Hot Digital Tracks 1
Hot 100 Singles Recurrents 1
Chart (2007) Peak
position
Hot Digital Songs 8
Hot Digital Tracks 7
Hot 100 Singles Recurrents 1
Hot 100 Singles Airplay Recurrents 1
Hot Holiday Songs 5

Other charts

Chart (1994) Peak
position
Australian ARIA Singles Chart 2
Japanese Oricon Singles Chart 2
UK Singles Chart 2
Italian Singles Chart 8
Chart (2006) Peak
position
UK Official Download Chart 2
United World Chart 23
Australian Digital Track Chart 30
Chart (2007) Peak
position
Finland Top Singles 1
UK Official Download Chart 1
Canadian Top Digital Downloads chart 2
Norway Top 20 Singles 2
United Kingdom 4
Denmark Top 40 Singles Chart 6
United World Chart 6
European Singles Chart 8
Ireland Top 50 Singles Chart 8
Swedish Singles Chart 8
Austria Top 75 Singles Chart 11
German Singles Top 100 18
Swiss Singles Top 100 31

Cover versions

Notes

See also

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