After a decade of grief and recovery, nation remembers Mariah Carey’s ‘Glitter’
New York — Thousands gathered Sunday morning at former Tower Records stores around the United States to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the tragic release of Mariah Carey’s catastrophic “Glitter” album.
In New York, dozens stood still in silence, some crying as they listened to “Loverboy,””Never Too Far,” and “Don’t Stop (Funkin’ 4 Jamaica)” played out on the loudspeakers.
“They were a truly horrible, horrible collection of songs,” said former Sony Music Entertainment head Tommy Mottola, who, along with his wife Thalia and current American Idol judge Jennifer Lopez, helped lead the commemoration on the 10th anniversary of the CD’s release.
The solemn ceremony at the site of the last Tower Records store to close in New York City came with almost no security presence permeating the area one block north of the Lincoln Center on Manhattan’s West Side.
At the ceremony, Mottola and his wife stood behind bullet-proof protection. Lopez, who had a hit album at the time, sang her No. 1 single “I’m Real,” which contained a sample of Yellow Magic Orchestra’s “Firecracker” that Carey originally wanted to use for Glitter’s first single, “Loverboy.”
“I think the sample was a more natural fit for my song,” Lopez said after her performance. “I’m glad I got to it first before Mariah did.”
At the former Landmark Plaza Tower Records Store in Alexandria, Virginia, people put up a makeshift shrine to good music with a banner that read “Never Forget” spelled out with shredded copies of the CD.
In Washington, D.C., music fans were a little more positive as they chanted “It gets better” and listened to “We Belong Together,” the smash hit from Carey’s 2005 comeback album, “The Emancipation Of Mimi.”
Former Tower Records President Michael Solomon said the choice of former Tower Records stores as a place to congregate and remember “that fateful day in 2001” was appropriately symbolic.
“The music industry in general suffered a terrible blow that day,” said Solomon. “And I believe it’s directly related to the demise of Tower Records.”
“Glitter” debuted and peaked at No. 7 on the Billboard Hot 200 Albums chart in the U.S. on September 11, 2001. It also performed underwhelmingly in other countries, except Japan, where it reached No. 1. It received generally bad reviews from music critics. The album’s dismal performance and the critical drubbing of the film of the same title for which it was recorded are widely believed to have caused Carey to go into downward spiral and have a nervous breakdown.