Fantasy was the first single from Mariah Carey's blockbuster Daydream album and, like its predecessors, had a lengthy stay atop the U.S. pop charts, largely due to its well-packaged CD maxi-single, which included hip-hop and house mixes to please the singer's wide array of fans. The song, which heavily sampled the Tom Tom Club's "Genius of Love," was a hit at a time when Puff Daddy and his sample-heavy pop-rap tunes ruled the charts, so Puffy was enlisted as the song's remixer. Three takes on the Puffy remix are included, two which prominently feature cartoonish Wu-Tang Clan member Ol' Dirty Bastard playfully rapping along with Carey. Track two, "Bad Boy Fantasy," features ODB and includes the original chorus of the song, which track three, "Bad Boy With ODB," does not. Instead of the chorus, that version uses the breakdown of "Genius of Love" as its chorus (and is the version included on her #1's collection -- much to the dismay of purists). Track four is the "Bad Boy Mix" minus ODB, but includes the original chorus. All three "Bad Boy" mixes are extremely infectious, and ODB's charismatic raps definitely add a street touch to the song, which Carey has since heavily delved into. The final mix, 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. This single packed quite a lot of punch, with an excellent hip-hop and dance remix, as well as the original, definitive album version, and easily explains how this bubblegum pop song could have turned into such a huge hit. Marketing, marketing, marketing.
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AllMusic Review by Jose F. Promis