Celine Dion‘s first English language studio album in six years drops tomorrow. Loved Me Back To Life finds the Canadian superstar in fine form, mixing up her trademark big ballad sound with contemporary pop flourishes thanks to contributors like Sia, Ne-Yo and Eg White.
There is no shortage of potential hits on the LP including hip-hop/pop ballad “Incredible” and the angst-ridden “Breakaway” but lead single “Loved Me Back To Life” is yet to make a huge impact on radio. Unfortunately, this isn’t the first time a brilliant Celine song has misfired. Amongst all those platinum-selling top 10 hits are a couple of chart failures. Here are 10 singles from the legendary diva that deserved a better fate.
10. Alone (Watch)
Celine’s cover of the classic Heart ballad received no love when it was released as the second single from Taking Chances in early 2008. In fact, the misunderstood gem stiffed at a lowly number 124 despite TV performances and the high-profile involvement of ex Evanescence member Ben Moody. There’s no easy explanation. Dion proved her over-the-top rock ballad chops on “It’s All Coming Back To Me Now” and the arrangement, while faithful to the 1987 original, was freshened up enough for pop radio. Ann Wilson did it better but this still induces frenzied power-grabbing.
9. (If There Was) Any Other Way (Watch)
Interestingly for someone who became synonymous with big ballads, Celine’s first entry on the Billboard Hot 100 was a perky mid-tempo dance number. A moderate top 40 hit in 1990, “(If There Was) Any Other Way” finds the big-lunged diva wailing over tinny synths and even performing choreography (ok, she twirls a couple of times) in the now hilarious video. This early gem has a splash of Taylor Dayne, lashings of Laura Branigan and a lot of Dion vocal power.
8. Goodbye’s (The Saddest Word) (Above)
Motherly love is the subject of this heartfelt ballad. Released as the third single from A New Day Has Come in 2002, the song failed to reach the Billboard Hot 100 (a rare failure for the then untouchable songstress) despite making anyone with a pulse cry like a baby. Oh and if the backing vocals sound familiar, that’s because they belong to Shania Twain. The song was produced by Mutt Lange and he arranged for his then wife to lend her powerful pipes to the track.
7. Love Can Move Mountains (Watch)
The fourth single from Celine Dion barely scraped into the top 40 in 1992 despite being a C+C Music Factory-inspired early ’90s dance gem. Written by Diane Warren, this is one of the quirkiest tracks in Celine’s discography. Not only does it boast a gospel choir — a rare occurrence in dance music — but the Canadian superstar tries and fails to go urban in the amusing video. After ripping off her choir robe, she hits the local basketball court to hang with her homeboys. Who said Ms. Dion was never down with the kids?
6. Tell Him (Watch)
Divas collided in this over-the-top duet with Barbra Streisand. A major hit around the world, the David Foster-produced power ballad misfired completely in the United States despite being the lead single from Let’s Talk About Love — an album that would go on to sell 30 million copies worldwide. It’s hard to pinpoint why the song didn’t work here. Perhaps it was too theatrical or uncool for pop radio. Not that it mattered to Celine and Babs. It earned them a Grammy nomination and became an instant gay classic.
5. My Love (Above)
This lovely Linda Perry penned and produced ballad first appeared on Taking Chances but was recycled as the lead single for 2008′s greatest hits package My Love: Essential Collection. It didn’t fare particularly well, reaching a miserable 129 on the Billboard Hot 100 but it stands out as one of the beloved diva’s most subtle and powerful ballads. The acoustic production keeps Dion’s vocal acrobatics under control and she pours her heart into the emotional delivery. “I would share my whole life with you,” she sings wistfully. “Would you do the same for me?”
4. One Heart (Below)
Celine tried to mix things up by hitting the club on 2003′s “One Heart”. Released as the second single from the diva’s similarly-titled album in Europe and Australia, it was canned in the US in favor of power ballad “Have You Ever Been In Love”. It’s a shame because the John Shanks and Kara DioGuardi-produced dance-pop anthem is an absolute gem. Despite being an obvious attempt to jump on Cher‘s “Believe” bandwagon, the song still manages to shine due to the sunny lyrics and excellent vocal. And you also get to see Celine work it on the dancefloor in the video, which is quite the spectacle.
3. I’m Alive (Watch)
A New Day Has Come was the beginning of the end of Celine’s overwhelming chart dominance. Which is peculiar because it boasts some of her best mid- and up-tempo pop tunes. Take “I’m Alive”. The handiwork of Swedish producer Kristian Lundin, song finds the perfect balance between a (then) current pop sound and the diva’s trademark soaring vocals. It was also lyrically appropriate for the pop icon — touching on topics like love, relationships and motherhood. But it still stalled at number 104. Go figure!
2. Think Twice (Watch)
Considered one of the vocal giant’s signature songs around the world (it sold over a million copies in the UK alone), “Think Twice” could only reach number 95 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1994. Its failure to connect in this market is an absolute mystery. The rock-influenced power ballad boasts a brilliant vocal performance, heartfelt lyrics and even a guitar solo! I still have my CD single of this sassy love song somewhere. A classic.
1. Taking Chances (Below)
If you need proof that radio just won’t play along with the Grammy winner, look no further than 2007′s “Taking Chances”. This cover — it was originally recorded by not released by Kara DioGuardi and David A. Stewart as Platinum Weird — is a career best single from Celine. If an edgier diva had performed it, the soaring pop/rock ballad would have been massive. Instead it stalled at number 54. On the bright side, it got a second wind when Glee updated it and continues to win new fans. Watch the big-budget video, which finds Celine riding a motorbike, below.
You might also like