|"I Don't Wanna Cry"|
US commercial cassette single; the US CD single was distributed for solely promotional use
|Single by Mariah Carey|
|from the album Mariah Carey|
|"You Need Me"|
|Released||March 19, 1991|
|Narada Michael Walden|
|Mariah Carey singles chronology|
"I Don't Wanna Cry" is a song written by Mariah Carey and Narada Michael Walden, and produced by Walden for Carey's debut album, Mariah Carey (1990). The ballad was released as the album's fourth single in the second quarter of 1991. It became another U.S. number one single for Carey. Like the previous singles released from Mariah Carey, the song received a BMI Pop Award.
Its lyrics talk about Carey and her lover being involved in a tumultuous relationship. It was Carey's first single that she did not co-write with Ben Margulies. When she and Walden first wrote the song, she was excited because it sounded like something that would be played on the radio. However, due to bad experiences during its production and because she feels it "doesn't have a message," Carey stated in an MTV interview that she dislikes the song and tries to sing it as rarely as possible. Carey had lobbied to co-produce the song, but was denied permission by Columbia Records. She often fought with Walden in the studio concerning the song's production, and as a result Walden became her least favorite among the producers who worked on her debut album. Due to this, Carey had not performed the song since her 1996 Daydream World Tour; though it was reinstated in 2015 for her #1 to Infinity concert residency in Las Vegas.
Allmusic editor Ashely S. Battel highlighted this song on Carey's self-titled album. While comparing Carey's Emotions album to her debut album, Rob Tannenbaum of Rolling Stone wrote, "'I Don't Wanna Cry' was the best track on Carey's debut because her downcast whispers animated the song's luxurious sorrow; at full speed her range is so superhuman that each excessive note erodes the believability of the lyric she is singing."
"I Don't Wanna Cry" became Carey's fourth number 1 hit on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100, making her only the second act (and first female and first solo artist) after The Jackson 5 to have their first four singles reach number 1 on the Hot 100. It also made Mariah Carey a record-breaking album: every single released from it was a chart-topper in the U.S. "I Don't Wanna Cry" reached number 1 in its eighth week and spent two weeks at the top, from May 19 to June 1, 1991. It replaced "I Like the Way (The Kissing Game)" by Hi-Five, and was replaced by Extreme's "More Than Words." The single became Carey's third number 1 single on the Hot Adult Contemporary Tracks chart. It remained in the top 40 on the Hot 100 for 13 weeks and was one of four Carey singles on the chart's 1991 year-end chart, ranking 26. The song also hit number 7 in Canada and number 49 in Australia but failed to chart elsewhere.
Part of an alternative version of the music video was released on the DVD/home video The First Vision (1991), and the original, more familiar version was included on the DVD/home video #1's (1999) as a director's cut, being the only video from Carey's debut album to be included on #1's. The 1991 version had a few sepia-toned sequences that were eliminated and replaced for the DVD release. According to Carey, the sepia sequences were shot and inserted after the original video shoot had taken place, as Sony executives complained about her dress blowing up and the attractive man being a distracting element. Carey says that the added sequences were niche keep and not a good look for her, and that she prefers the original director's cut.
US Promo CD
US Cassette Single
Australian 7" Single
Japanese CD Mini-Single
Austria Promo CD