Emotions (Mariah Carey Album) - Background

Background

Following the success of Carey's self-titled debut album, critics wondered whether or not she would tour in order to promote the album in the major worldwide music markets. However, Carey expressed in several interviews that due to the strenuous nature and the sheer difficulty of her songs, she feared a tour with back-to-back shows would not be possible, aside from the long travel times and constant travel. With the extra time, Carey began writing and producing material for Emotions around the same time that her debut's third single, "Someday", was released in December 1990. During this time period in music, it was traditional for an artist to release a studio album every two years in their prime, allowing the singles to fully promote the album through airwaves, as well as television appearances. Additionally, after a tour that would usually follow, as the next album would be released and would gain new fans, they would search the artist's catalog, and purchase the previous album in hopes of learning of their older work. Sony, however, chose to market Carey in a different fashion, leaning towards the traditional form in the 1960s, where acts would release an LP every year. They felt that Carey's reputation of being a "studio worm" and a songwriter from a young age would be captivating enough to deliver a new album more often than most.

As writing for the album came under way, Carey had a falling out with Ben Margulies, the man whom Carey had written seven of the eleven songs on Carey's debut. Together, the duo had written and produced seven songs for Carey's demo tape which she handed to Tommy Mottola. Their parting of ways was due to a contract Carey had signed prior to her signing with Columbia. Carey had agreed to split not only the songwriting royalties from the songs, but half of her earnings as well, something she never thought twice about while writing songs in his father's basement. However, when the time came to write music for Emotions, Sony officials made it clear he would only be paid the fair amount given to co-writers on an album. Following the discussion, Margulies filed a lawsuit against Sony, claiming that under contract, he would be entitled to work with Carey, as well as reap extra benefits. After an almost one year lawsuit, the judge settled that Margulies was to earn ten percent of Carey's direct earnings from her record sales, not including an income from any other ventures. While settled, their relationship remained ruined, damaged by what Carey considered treachery. In an interview with Fred Bronson, Carey said the following regarding the contract: "I signed blindly. Later, I tried to make it right so we could continue...but he wouldn't accept it." After the settlement, Margulies spoke of his feelings on the matter, claiming he would hope to one day write again with Carey, placing most of the blame on the record label and concluding "Hopefully one day, art will prevail over business."

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