L.A. Reid is trying to curb the public’s expectations of Mariah Carey moving forward, and the future isn’t as dazzling as Mimi’s wardrobe.
Mariah has just released her greatest hits album #1 to Infinity, but according to the record exec, it’s more like #1 to 2008 because that’s when she had her last #1 hit with “Touch My Body.” Her latest single “Infinity” didn’t even come close to cracking the Top 10 on the Billboard charts. It debuted at #82 (damn!).
As he told Billboard during a recent interview, the fact that she’s getting airtime on the radio is a victory because it proves her career has had staying power. “Mariah Carey made her first hit record in 1991. To even be on the radio at this point in her career is a huge accomplishment, because radio doesn’t cater to veteran artists or legends,” he said.
In L.A.’s opinion, Mariah’s just not new or hot enough to keep up with more current acts on the radio. “Radio caters to in-the-moment stars,” he explained, adding that Mariah is in pretty prestigious company. “Nobody that put out records 25 years ago is going to have a No. 1. Not Paul, Stevie, Bruce, Mick or Keith. Not Prince, not anyone. So if she can get on the radio, we’ve done damn good. Would we like to have a No. 1? F*ck yeah, I’m greedy. But it’s not realistic.”
This might all sound incredibly messy, but L.A. said it’s just the way the game is these days. Instead of trying to keep up with younger performers, he thinks the legends might want to take full advantage of their position and try something new.
“I like concept records, I like the idea of thematic, storytelling records. I love duets and the Great American Songbook. I think a great vocalist should un-cage themselves and think about things like that sometimes.”