Fantasy is the first single and track from Mariah's fifth studio album Daydream. The song was released on September 12, 1995 through Columbia Records. Mariah wrote "Fantasy" with Dave Hall, Adrian Belew, Chris Frantz, Steven Stanley and Tina Weymouth and produced the song with Dave Hall.
The single was co-produced with Dave Hall (who’d worked with Mariah on “Dreamlover”). “I had the melody idea for ‘Fantasy’ and then I was listening to the radio and I heard ‘Genius of Love’ [the 1982 hit for the Tom Tom Club, a side project for members of Talking Heads], and I hadn’t heard it in a long time,” Mariah told Fred Bronson. “It reminded me of growing up and listening to the radio and the feeling that song gave me seemed to go along with the melody and the basic idea I had for ‘Fantasy.’ I initially told Dave Hall about the idea and we did it.” Once the idea had clicked into place, and permission had been gained from the Tom Tom Club to sample the song, putting everything together was a snap. “Mariah brought me ‘Genius of Love’ and I laid some strings on it,” Dave Hall recalled, “and put it to a groove that I felt would really fit her. And that song didn’t take us but a minute to do, because she really busted that out with- in two days. We did a rough copy and let Tommy Mottola hear it and he loved it, so all we had to do was bring it back in and mix it down.”
Critical reception & Reviews
Author Chris Nickson talks about "Fantasy" in his book. He stated “Fantasy,” with that nagging Tom Tom Club sample, led things off on a very high note indeed, a breezy, catchy piece of pop music that worked off a groove as much as a melody, with Dave Hall providing all the instruments and programming. While it harked back to the eighties, there was still a completely contemporary feel to it. Rolling Stones ranked "Fantasy" the second of 5 songs on their "Readers’ Poll: 5 Best Mariah Carey Songs." Author Brittany Spanos stated the following:
|“||"Fantasy" was an important track for both Carey and pop music overall. For many, the hip-hop-leaning sound of both the original track and the Bad Boy Remix, produced by Sean Combs and featuring a verse from Ol' Dirty Bastard, launched a movement for pop artists to collaborate with rappers to create urban crossover megahits. The move was originally seen as controversial at the time for the vocalist's more squeaky-clean image, but it ended up creating one of her biggest, most recognizable hits as well as influencing the direction that many new millennium pop artists would take.||”|
– Rolling Stones Readers’ Poll: 5 Best Mariah Carey Songs
Stephen Holden from The New York Times gave the song praise, writing "with 'Fantasy,' Ms. Carey glides confidently into the territory where gospel-flavored pop-soul meets light hip-hop and recorded some of the most gorgeously spun choral music to be found on a contemporary album."He also claimed "Fantasy" held some of the album's best moments, writing "she continues to make pop music as deliciously enticing as the best moments of "Fantasy."
Mariah worked with producer Puff Daddy to create the official remix, the Bad Boy remix of "Fantasy".  According to sources, Columbia wasn’t too happy about that. When she’d done the “Fantasy” remix with O.D.B., she said, “Everyone was like, ‘What are you, crazy?’ (Columbia is) very nervous about breaking the formula. It works to have me sing a ballad on stage in a long dress with my hair up.” While Columbia president Don Lenner, who’d been involved with her career at Columbia from day one, said he’d been “incredibly positive” about the remix, he did admit that “There might have been some [who fought it].” Mariah has openly admitted that when she think's of the track "Fantasy" she thinks about the remix and O.D.B rapping "Me and Mariah go back with babies with pacifiers." When Mariah reached out to O.D.B, he requested $15,000 to rap on the record. According to Hotnewhiphop, O.D.B showed up three hours late to the studio and when he got there, it was about 10:30 at night. At this point Mariah had been calling every hour on the hour, wanting to hear something over the phone. Tommy was reportedly "upset" because Mariah was keeping him up, so he finally got on the phone with ODB -- and after that, finally he started to record. He said one line -- "me and Mariah, go back like babies with pacifiers" -- then paused, said, “Yo, I need to take a break,” and went to sleep for 45 minutes. O.D.B, slept 3 different times in the middle of trying to get that one verse done. This is recognizable on the record because on his verse, you can hear that it’s been punched into pieces.  A week later, the music video was shot with O.D.B. It was reported that he was paid another $15,000 for the music video. ODB apparently purchased Louis Vuitton luggage and clothes for the video, but once he returned he declared that he didn't want to wear clothes anymore and would instead wear jeans and timberland boots. According to Cory Rooney, the video was a pure miracle.
"Fantasy" also has a "Def Club Remix," Jose F. Promis from All Music has praised the track by saying "the "Def Club Mix," is a slick, 11-minute club frenzy, complete with sirens, tribal drumbeats, and newly recorded gospel-styled background vocals that almost steal the show from Carey. The "Def Club Mix" is an epic unto itself -- several minutes into the song, it slows down, then briefly samples "Genius of Love," and then the sirens and drums begin to blast and the song escalates into a full-throttle dancefloor extravaganza.
Mariah directed the video for “Fantasy,” which premiered September 7 on the MTV Music Video Awards. The music video showed Mariah rollerblading, the odd image of a clown tied to a pole, and Mariah singing along on a roller-coaster ride. “They did not expect me to get that shot!” she admitted. “They were saying, ‘How’s she going to sing on a roller coaster?’ … We put a little speaker in the bottom of the car, where my feet were. We built the rig in front of the roller coaster and the lens kept falling off!”
As of July 2020, the "Fantasy" music video has garnered over 66 million views on YouTube.
In 1995, Mariah performed Fantasy at Top of the Pops where she wore a she wore a blue blouse and black jumper. One of the first live performance at the song was at Fantasy: Mariah Carey at Madison Square Garden on October 10, 1995.  On January 29, 1996, Mariah performed the song at the 23rd Annual American Music Awards.
"Fantasy" was performed at every show on her Daydream World Tour (1996) set to the album version. It was also performed on her Butterfly World Tour (1998), Rainbow World Tour (2000), Charmbracelet World Tour: An Intimate Evening with Mariah Carey (2003–2004), The Adventures of Mimi Tour (2006), The Elusive Chanteuse Show (2014) and Caution World Tour (2019).
During the Daydream World Tour (1996), Mariah was accompanied by a group of dancers for her performance of the song.  During the Butterfly World Tour (1998), " Mariah performed the remix version in concert, placing a large projection screen on to the stage, and featuring snippets and cuts of Ol' Dirty Bastard throughout the video. Additionally, Carey was dressed in blue jeans and a white blouse, and danced several chair routines with several male dancers.
“Them Chickens is ash and i'm lotion”
To view the Fantasy gallery, click here.
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|October 3, 1995 • 46:29 • Columbia Records|
|Released||Always Be My Baby • Daydream Interlude (Fantasy Sweet Dub Mix) • Fantasy • Forever • I Am Free • Long Ago • Looking In • Melt Away • One Sweet Day • Open Arms • Underneath the Stars • When I Saw You|
|Bonus||El Amor Que Soñé • Fantasy (Def Club Mix) • Slipping Away|
|Mariah Carey • Boyz II Men|
|Daydream World Tour|