Powerhouse singer Mariah Carey has been busy promoting the 25th anniversary reissue of her bestselling album, Butterfly, but she dropped a big surprise during a new podcast interview. The former “American Idol” judge revealed she also has plans to release an alternative rock album that she recorded around the same time her record label was hiding, fearing it would ruin her image.
In a nearly two-hour interview for the Rolling Stone Music Now podcast released September 16, 2022, Carey revealed that she tracked down the original recordings of a banned rock album she made in 1995 with a band called Eel Tree, who later became changed its name to Chick, and she plans to release it for fans.
At the time, Carey was officially working on her fifth album, “Daydream,” and felt trapped in her marriage to her manager Tommy Mottola. In Meghan Markle’s podcast “Archetypes” released on August 30, Carey said she felt “locked in” after getting married in 1993 at age 23.
“I was given the rules and had to abide by them,” she said of the four-year marriage.
The five-time Grammy winner wrote about the rock album in her 2020 memoir, The Meaning of Mariah Carey. Although she worked on “Daydream” during the day, she held secret recording sessions late at night for an alternative rock album, filled with emotionally charged songs they wrote together.
“I was exploring my musical range, but I was also filled with anger,” she wrote. “It has always been a challenge for me to acknowledge and express my anger. My personal life was stifling during ‘Daydream’ and I desperately needed redemption.”
She said in the book that she was inspired by ‘light grunge, punk light white singers that were popular at the time’. 1995 included Alanis Morrisette, Hole’s Courtney Love, No Doubt’s Gwen Stefani, and PJ Harvey.
“They could be angry, anxious and messy, with old shoes, wrinkled briefs and unruly eyebrows, while every move I made was so calculated and cared for,” Carey wrote. “I wanted to disconnect, let go and express my misery – but I also wanted to laugh.”
When word of Carey’s secret rock project got back to Sony Music’s music executives, including her husband, they weren’t happy, according to Louder Sound. The company refused to release the album, insisting that songs would damage her image as a soulful pop star.
But Carey still wanted the songs out in the world, so she convinced her friend Clarissa Dane – Chick’s lead singer – to re-record her vocals on every song, making Carey’s vocals barely perceptible. The record was called “Someone’s Ugly Daughter” and was released with no mention of Carey’s involvement. In 2020, the superstar tweeted about the long-lost album, saying she made it “just for fun.”
But in her recent Rolling Stone interview, Carey said that now that she has the original mix, she plans to release it. She said she also plans to do something related to the rock album with “another artist,” but has declined to name the person.
When Carey revealed in 2020 that she was looking for the original recordings, her former producer hoped she would find them.
“I think it’s a great record,” Dana Jon Chapelle told Rolling Stone. “I’m glad she’s finally revealing it and showing people another dimension of Mariah.”