Celine Dion – “Falling Into You”
After the runaway (and unplanned) success of “The Colour Of My Love” internationally, Celine Dion returned to her French-Canadian roots and recorded the album “D’Eux” in 1995, her first for six years. The album included five singles, the most notable “Pour Que Tu M’aimes Encore” (For You To Love Me Again), was a top ten hit all around Europe, Quebec and the UK. “D’Eux” would sell over ten million copies worldwide, by far her biggest selling ‘first language’ album yet and, as it would turn out, of all time. Whilst recording and promoting “D’Eux”, Celine was also in the studio recording the following up to “The Colour Of My Love“.
Once again, the production stakes were raised ever much higher than before with a host of big names writing and producing tracks for this new album, hopefully aiming to at least match the success of “Colour” if not surpass it. As it turned out, many of the songs on “D’Eux” would be recorded in English at the same time and so were made accessable to both sets of fans. By now Celine was a global superstar and by the beginning of 1996, a full two years had passed from her last English language release, but at the beginning of that year, new music started to flow and before too long, this album hit the shelves. But was it what people wanted…?
1. It’s All Coming Back To Me Now
Celine begins her new album with the biggest spectacle of all – a complete album in itself – thanks to Meatloaf’s best mate Jim Steinman. It’s “Bat Out Of Hell” and “Back Into Hell” all rolled into one seven and a half minute epic. The song was actually written back in 1986 for an intended Meatloaf album, but the man turned it down, instead favouring “I’d Do Anything For Love”. The song was then recorded by an all girl group called Pandora’s Box in 1989, who released it as a single, but this didn’t do very well at all. “It’s All Coming Back To Me Now” was actually inspired by the novel Wuthering Heights and Steinman envisaged it being performed by a female vocalist. Steinman was delighted when Celine Dion wanted to record the song and it was released as the third single from the album in September 1996. Meatloaf did eventually record the song for his “Bat Out Of Hell III” album in 2006 and released it as a single with Norwegian Marion Raven and although it was a top ten hit in Germany, the UK and Norway, it is Celine’s version that is by far and away the biggest, reaching No.1 in Canada, No.2 in America, No.3 in the UK, becoming one of the biggest singles of the year with more than two and a half million copies sold in those three territories alone.
2. Because You Loved Me
Favourite Diane Warren is back for her third Celine album and this time she comes up with a huge hit for her also from a film, ‘Up Close And Personal’. “Because You Loved Me” could easily be the successor to “Nothing Broken But My Heart” and is in the same style. Celine deals with this beautiful, soulful ballad in her own inimitable way and turns on the power over the final choruses. The song was the second single from the album released in America in February and worldwide from may onwards, becoming her second US chart topper as well as selling over two million copies. Globally it was a number one in six further countries and reached the top ten in over twenty five including the UK, where it gained Platinum certification for sales of over 600,000 copies. It could easily be the song that defines Celine’s meteoric rise in the music world with lines like “I’m everything I am, because you loved me”. “Because You Loved Me” was nominated for an Academy Award in 1997 but lost out to “You Must Love Me” from Madonna’s film ‘Evita’.
3. Falling Into You
The song that would give its name to this album has an interesting past. It was originally co-written and recorded by Argentinian singer Marie-Claire D’Ubaldo for her 1994 album. It was then offered to Belinda Carlisle for her 1996 album “A Woman And A Man”, but she fell out with the publishers and recorded “In Too Deep” instead. The song was offered to Celine to record and it was released as the first single in February 1996 internationally, though not in America. The song is sultry and schmoozy with only a hint of saxophone in the latter stages that add to the mood and sexiness of this down-tempo pop-ballad. The song was a hit making the top ten in the UK and across Europe, while charting top twenty the rest of the western world and confirmed Celine’s success beyond “The Colour Of My Love” as well as setting up this new era and all it would bring.
4. Make You Happy
Time to liven things up around here as “Makes You Happy” initially wants you to believe it’s a soulful ballad but then becomes a funky dance number that builds and builds till the catchy and sassy chorus in which Celine promises to “give you love without the rain, give you life beyond the pain”. She sure is gonna ‘make you happy’! And so will this great number from Andy Marvel, which yet again demonstrates Celine’s ability with a livelier, more energetic number. Just a shame she doesn’t do more songs like “Make You Happy”. “Yea yea yea”, to quote the lady herself towards then end!
5. Seduces Me
Haunting ballad time now with the dark and mysterious “Seduces Me” which has Latin flavours and a movie soundtrack feel to it. A simple track that highlights just how it feels when you find that special someone: “everything you are, everything you’ll be…seduces me”. Repeat that for a few verses and there you have it, simple yet effective. And very, very passionate.
6. All By Myself
Only a few vocalists could possibly attempt to do justice to Eric Carmen’s 1975 classic, but with her out-of-this-world voice, Celine is one of them and perhaps the only one big enough to lift the songs long and emotional chords at the end. Celine shatters glass and blows ear drums as she reaches that final “anymoooooooooooore”. Bring on the orchestra, drums and guitar as they prove no match for Celine as she repeats the songs central line again and again “don’t wanna be, all by myself”. Earth shattering and epic are the words and it was hardly surprising that it wouldn’t be released as a single in due course either. Released as the fourth in the run up to Christmas 1996, the song was a major hit the world over, reaching No.4 in America (two places lower than Carmen’s original) and No.6 in the UK, bettering that version by a further six places, and selling quite a few million copies in the process.
7. Declaration of Love
“Declaration of Love” is a great showy number that entertains at all levels, very much in the style of “Lovin’ Proof” from her last album (also produced by Ric Wake!). Celine seems to relish and throw all she has into this kind of song that allows her to parade and stand tall as she belts out lines like “you are my knight in armour, the hero of my heart”. “So listen up”, she demands of us all and then “pledge(s) allegiance to the heavens above” before confirming “tonight to you baby I make my declaration of love”. Job done!
8. (You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman
Another cover version, this time it’s Aretha Franklin’s 1967 top ten hit from the pen of Carole King, again another piece of showmanship that highlights how suited Celine is to this song and to make it her own, as if it had never been recorded previously. Although it wasn’t released commercially, it did find its way into airplay charts around the world, especially once Celine’s version was featured on the Carole King tribute album “Tapestry Revisited: A Tribute to Carole King”, in the company of other acts like The Bee Gees, Curtis Stigers and Rod Stewart.
9. Dreamin’ Of You
Dreamy pop is what “Dreamin’ Of You” is all about, luscious and bubbly, it allows Celine to revel and relax in it’s sweet and calming rhythms with loads of “de de de de de’s” and some “oh oh oh oh’s” in amongst the “dreamin’ of y-ou’s”. Beautiful and that’s a fact.
10. I Love You
How many songs do you know that discuss love, attempt to say those three words and how many do you know that are just simply titled “I Love You”? Well here is one. “I Love You”. And for five and a half minutes, Celine says “I love you, please say you love me too”. Couldn’t be much easier than that. It’s more dreamy pop and adds to the variety of this album, not seen on any previous Celine release.
11. If That’s What It Takes
“If That’s What It Takes” is “Pour Qui Tu M’aimes Encore” in English disguise, with different lyrics, but musically and production wise, it’s very much the latter song. It’s difficult to compare the two songs as they work so well in both forms and again, for the third song in a row, it allows Celine to give her lungs and voicebox a bit of a rest from all the drama of earlier tracks on the album.
12. I Don’t Know
Another “D’Eux” track (“Je Sais Pas” of course), which had been released as a single in France, Canada and Belgium, and topped the charts in all three countries. Here it’s recorded in its English language form and its easy to understand why it was such a huge hit in those three territories. Celine delivers power vocals throughout for anyone that’s missing her!
13. River Deep, Mountain High
Here comes another cover, this time it’s Ike and Tina Turner’s 1966 classic that Celine gives her all to with bravura and sees Jim Steinman return to produce the track, his second on this album. Apparently Phil Spector was originally involved with Celine’s recording but left the project, reasons unknown. He later openly criticised Steinman’s work on the track calling the end result a “bad clone of himself (Steinman)”. Make your own judgement of how it all turned out…
14. Your Light
More rock comes with “Your Light”, harking back to memories of the “Unison” album. It’s a great, sassy track that sees Celine letting her hair down and just enjoying the ‘lightness’ of this song, which is written and produced by Aldo Nova, who contributed the earlier track “Dreamin’ Of You”.
15. Call The Man
This is a long album (over 75 minutes of music) and it’s six minute ones like “Call The Man” that consume much of that. This long and brooding epic is full of theatrics and drama and it’s hardly surprising as it comes from Andy Hill and Peter Sinfeld who wrote “Think Twice” and not only that, back comes Jim Steinman to produce it! It was released as the fifth and final single in the Spring of 1997, although not globally. It made the top ten in Iceland, Ireland and The Netherlands and No.11 in the UK and Celine performed it at the 1997 World Music Awards where she collected an award for selling over 25 million records the previous year!
The album closes with this short and beautiful song, that could be best described as a lullaby and is another re-recorded track from the “D’Eux” album (Vole), allowing many song from that album to become more accessible in their English speaking form. It ends in a whisper and so elegantly as to be irresistibly sublime.
Celine’s fourth English language album was given the title “Falling Into You” after the title of the first single released at the beginning of 1996 and released from March onwards. The success of “Because You Loved Me” in America prompted even great interest in this than its predecessor and likewise with the release of the title track internationally, it seemed a global audience had an even greater thirst for the next Celine album than “The Colour Of My Love“. “Falling Into You” would go on to top the charts in over twenty countries and outperform “The Colour Of My Love” by two-to-one in virtually every territory.
The album has been certified 11 times Platinum in the US for sales of over 11.7 million copies and received multiple Platinum discs in practically every country that has ever existed, most notably in France, Japan, Germany and her home country of Canada. “Falling Into You” cemented her new found popularity in the UK and again out stripped “The Colour Of My Love“, receiving seven Platinum discs for sales of over 2.1 million copies and being listed as one of the biggest sellers for three consecutive years (1996, 1997 and 1998)!
“Falling Into You” is listed as one of the twenty biggest selling albums in music history with a total worldwide sale of thirty two million copies! It would be almost impossible for anyone to top this achievement, but thanks to a ship, Celine hadn’t yet peaked!
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