Celine Dion – “The Colour Of My Love”
After two successful English speaking albums, Celine Dion‘s profile outside of Canada was considerably higher than at the start of the decade. Having quadrupled her global record sales in just three years, attention now turned to a third album, with a bigger production budget and wider scope, the aim being to capitalise on her new, larger audience as well as targeting those countries yet unvisited or yet well known. By the end of 1993, only eighteen months after delivering “Celine Dion” (1992), the album was ready. And this is what we got:
1. The Power Of Love
Celine began album number three with her version of Jennifer Rush’s classic and enormous 1984 chart topper, which, surprisingly, was not a major hit in America when released. The song had risen to the very peak in the UK, Australia, Canada, New Zealand and many parts of Europe, but only made it as far as No.57 in the US. Celine released her powerful and faithful to the original version at the end of 1993 and this time, America listened and listened good. “The Power Of Love” would give Celine her fist US number one, selling over 1.4 million copies, she also took the song to the top in her home country, equalling Rush’s original nine years earlier. Globally the song was released during January and February 1994 and made the top ten in fifteen countries including the UK, where the song reached No.4, her highest placing yet in that country.
Celine followed her epic retelling of Jennifer Rush’s breakout hit with this groovy, full-of-life pop/dance number that will have anyone up thrusting their arms about to the beat and wallowing in Celine’s strong and commanding vocals, showing just how she can easily interpret a ballad just as much as a hard hitting dancefloor stomper. “Misled” was released as the second single in the Spring of 1994 reaching No.23 in the US, No.4 in Canada and charting top twenty around the rest of the world. This time, however, the song could only manage No.40 in the UK, but a little over a year later, once Celine had truly made the big time there, “Misled” was re-released and reached a new high of No.15.
3. Think Twice
Back to ballad territory straight away with seemingly tender love song that then explodes into a power ballad and finishes with Celine’s trademark long, high note keeping. The song is produced by Christopher Neil, who worked on so many from her English language debut “Unison” three years earlier and was released as the third single from the album in the Autumn of 1994. It made No.95 in America, her lowest charting single yet there, but it was internationally where “Think Twice” outstripped all Celine releases to date. The song would reach the top three in fifteen countries and top the chart in eight of them, most notably in the UK, where it took a record breaking thirteen weeks from chart entry to its peak position, spending a further seven weeks there throughout February and March 1995 and a total of 25 weeks in the UK top 40, selling 1.4 million copies in the process and becoming one of the biggest selling singles in both 1994 and 1995! The success of “Think Twice” catapulted this album to the top of the UK charts, where, for five continuous weeks, Celine claimed both the number one single and number one album there! She was now Queen of both sides of the Atlantic!
4. Only One Road
From the same pen as “Misled” comes another ballad, this time a more restrained number, slower paced and more soulful, nevertheless, giving Celine the chance to stretch her lungs over each and every chorus. The song was released as the fourth single in the US in late 1994 and internationally during the Spring of 1995. The song only marginally bettered “Think Twice” in mainland America, peaking at No.93 and No.15 in Canada, but it became a much bigger chart hit elsewhere, particularly in her new found country, the UK, where “Only One Road” reached at No.8.
5. Everybody’s Talkin’ My Baby Down
Time for something more uplifting from producer Ric Wake, who also contributes four other tracks on this album. The song deals with falling in love with someone who isn’t seen in such the same light with those immediately around you. “Momma says he’s bad for me, Papa says I’ll be sorry, everybody’s talkin’ my baby down”. Not only that, “and all my friends doubt him, tell me I should live without him…”. But love will lead the way and only those two people involved will be capable of judging whether this is forever or otherwise.
6. Next Plane Out
Diane Warren had contributed so many tracks from Celine’s 1992 album and she returns for this, the first of three numbers, a ballad and one which takes some time to ‘get off the ground’! With rain drops and the distant sound of thunder, Celine informs us “I listen to the sound of the rain pouring down my window”. Her love has been away for sometime and she can’t wait any longer. She jumps on the ‘next plane out’ cause she “gotta be with him”, “it’s been too long”. The song winds down with a mid-tempo, country style fade that proves just how brilliant and clever a songwriter Diane Warren is. “Next Plane Out” was released as a single in Australia in late 1995 reaching No.61 but not outside that territory, although the song is worthy of a single release in its own right.
7. Real Emotion
Diane Warren is back for a second time with this really great and upbeat pop/dance tune that sparkles with class and believe me, you need a real emotion! Celine informs us “I don’t need no fancy cars, just need something from the heart…” that something is a “Real Emotion”. With loads of jingling and tingling and a great guitar strewn middle-eight, “Real Emotion” is a welcome respite from all the ballads and down tempo numbers and definitely one to go back and repeat many times (like I do!).
8. When I Fall In Love
Celine recorded her version of the Nat King Cole classic with British singer Clive Griffin for the film ‘Sleepless In Seattle’. It was released as the first single from the album in the Summer of 1993 and reached No.21 in Canada and No.23 in America, although it saw little commercial release anywhere else other than on the film soundtrack album. Both Celine and Clive do credible justice to Nat’s signature tune as she remains in subdued and romantic mood for the entire length of this rare offering of the song in duet form. The success of the film and the four million plus selling soundtrack certainly helped raise Celine’s profile in readiness for this album and that makes it a welcome addition to the tracklist here.
9. Love Doesn’t Ask Why
More traditional and familiar Celine territory is regained with “Love Doesn’t Ask Why”, complete with choir over the end choruses. From producer Walter Afanasieff, again it smells so much of a Mariah song of the same period, the track explains exactly what love does, how it happens and most of all, just enjoy every second of it. This song is a candidate for potential single release, bus alas, others were considered more appropriate and it wasn’t long before this era of Celine’s career was superseded by the next album.
10. Refuse To Dance
Ok, weird song coming up! Haunting. Dark. Eclectic. Just some words to describe “Refuse To Dance”, perhaps one of Celine’s oddest recordings of all time. Yet…After a few plays this one really grows on you. It’s an uptempo track with some crazy violin playing that heightens the drama of this song, much like Kylie’s “Confide In Me” does toward the end. Now, if this one had been released as a single…(!)
11. I Remember LA
Time to relax with something a little less frizzy and complicated. “I Remember LA” is a sweet and silent number that takes a while to get off the ground with some atmospheric people and street noise. The song is almost a lullaby with only a short spell of Celine’s uber powerful voicebox being allowed out. Cute.
12. No Living Without Loving You
Diane (Warren) is back again, this time offering something mid-tempo and in the country style as Celine ‘wrestles’ with lines like “oh, the clock wouldn’t stop, no” and “this world would still be spinnin’ ’round” (how did she know?!). It’s great B side fodder and adds to the quirkiness of the second half of this album.
13. Lovin’ Proof
And here comes Diane‘s fourth song for this album, another great mid-tempo song with flare and passion that works so well as a great stage and show tune. Celine “needs lovin’ proof” and with all her energy she gets it, helped along with a fanfare of trumpets. A great song for performing live and one for Celine to demonstrate her command of the stage.
14. Just Walk Away
“Just Walk Away” was a bonus track for the international version of the album, not included on the US release. It was also released as a promo single in Spain, although it never saw a full release for the chart either here or anywhere else. It’s by far the most sombre track on the album, a torch song ballad if ever there was allowing Celine to pour over the sad and emotional lyrics as she says, “there’s nothing left to say, just walk away”. Pretty self explanatory really.
15. The Colour Of My Love
We end with the song that would give its name to the album. A beautiful and soft piano ballad courtesy of David Foster that doesn’t outstay its short presence, just long enough for Celine to paint her mood in shades of blue, a sun to warm your heart and, most importantly of all, the truth. They are all the colour of her love. She concludes “I offer what you cannot buy, devoted love until we die”. Prophetic words borne out by events that would occur in Celine’s own life.
“The Colour Of My Love” was released in the US and Canada at the end of November 1993, seventeen months after “Celine Dion“, and globally from February 1994. The success of “The Power Of Love” ensured that it immediately became a huge hit across mainland America, where it sold over six million copies, double that of its predecessor and a million and a half in Canada, once again greatly improving on sales of that album. But it was the international success of “Think Twice” that would catapult “The Colour Of My Love” far higher than anything Celine had released previously, and that wouldn’t happen until 1995.
The album would eventually top the charts in over a dozen countries, receiving multiple Platinum discs in Australia, Japan, Norway and New Zealand. The crowning glory of this new success would come from the UK, where the album would spend a total of seven weeks at the top of the album chart during February and March of 1995, eventually being certified 6 times Platinum for sales of more than 1.8 million copies! Celine’s previous albums had sold three and five million copies respectively, “The Colour Of My Love” has shifted more than twenty million copies to date and put Celine under the global spotlight, fifteen years after her debut and with the whole planet now wondering what she would do next.
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