Miss You Most (At Christmas Time)
It was a ballad-y, sort of sad song
- Walter Afanasieff
Written by Mariah Carey & Walter Afanasieff
Produced by Mariah Carey & Walter Afanasieff
4:33 Album Version
4:33 R&B Mix
4:31 Radio Version
ABOUT THE SONG
ES: Can you tell me about how the work on Merry Christmas first began?
Walter Afanasieff: We started working on the Christmas album in 1993. This is about three years [after we first started working together]. Mariah and I started writing a few songs for what would be her Christmas album. The first song we wrote was "Miss You Most (At Christmas Time)." It was a ballad-y, sort of sad song. And then we wrote a classical, sort of religious song called "Jesus Born on This Day." And then we started to write what Mariah wanted to do and what Tommy [Mottola, the CEO of Sony and Carey’s then-husband] wanted to do which was a Phil Spector, old rock ‘n roll, sixties-sounding Christmas song.
So we worked together, and I stared playing some rock 'n roll piano and started boogie woogie-ing my left hand. And that inspired Mariah to come up with the melodic (sung) 'I don’t want a lot for Christmas.' And then we started singing and playing around with this rock ‘n roll boogie song, which immediately came out to be the nucleus of what would end up being "All I Want For Christmas Is You.”
ES: Of the three original songs, one has kind of a gospel feel ("Jesus Born on This Day"), one is more ballad-y ("Miss You Most (At Christmas Time)"), and one is pop-rock ("All I Want for Christmas is You"). Was that a specific decision you and Mariah made to dabble in the different genres, or did that come about naturally?
WA: It came out of just the respect for Christmas. There are always three different areas that Christmas music goes into: Traditional Christmas songs, fun kiddie songs like "Rudolph" or "Frosty," and then you have your love songs, which are like “Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire,” “I’ll be Home for Christmas,” all those kinds of songs. So we decided to write one of each.
Billboard Mariah Carey's 'Merry Christmas' 20th Anniversary: Find Out What Went Into Making a Modern Christmas Classic, by Erin Strecker, October 30 2014
1994 Released on the Merry Christmas album.