Cover songs are a very important part of the music industry. The term “cover” dates by to the 1950s when The Chicago Tribune defined the term as “trade jargon meaning to record a tune that looks like a potential hit on someone else’s label.” However, musicians have had the right to re-record work by other artists since the Copyright Act of 1909. Covers help fuel the music industry, especially in the United States, because songwriters and publishers are allowed to collect royalties each time a song is used. Covers also allow users to borrow music from other genres and reinvent songs that may have initially been recorded to appeal to a certain audience.
While many artists choose to cover songs that were once popular, others breathe new life into songs that went unnoticed upon their initial release. A good cover often includes the artist’s own spin, and can even make listeners forget that the song ever existed beforehand. Some of the world’s biggest musicians have gotten their starts as a result of re-recording previously released songs. Celine Dion, now one of the world’s biggest superstars, is among the group of artists who can attribute much of her career’s initial success to a standout cover song. Dion’s strong voice combined with her ability to connect to every song she sings, has helped her find common ground even while singing songs that weren’t originally intended to be sung by her. Although many people may be unaware, some of Dion’s cover versions have superseded the original recordings and become some of the biggest hits in her catalog. Here are five Celine Dion songs that you didn’t know were covers.
5. “Beauty and the Beast”
The song “Beauty and the Beast” was originally performed by actress Angela Lansbury during the 1991 film, Beauty and the Beast. The song’ writers, Howard Ashman and Alan Menken, originally intended for “Beauty and the Beast” to be performed as a rock song; however, Lansbury did not feel comfortable performing the song in that style. Ashman and Menken suggested that Lansbury “sing the song the way she envisioned it,” and she successfully recorded the song in one take. The film was substantially nominated for three Academy Awards for Best Song; however, producers, decided that a pop version of “Beauty and the Beast” could help alleviate the possibility of a tie and help the movie’s title song take home the award. Because the studio could not afford a big name singer, they enlisted Celine Dion who was relatively unknown at the time. Along with vocals from R&B singer, Peabo Bryson, “Beauty and the Beast” won the Academy Award for Best Song in 1992. The song has since been credited with helping Celine Dion reach achieve mainstream success in the United States.
4. “I Drove All Night”
“I Drove All Night” was written for Roy Orbison who originally recorded the song in 1984. However, his version of the song was not released until 1992, after it had already been made famous by pop icon, Cyndi Lauper. “I Drove All Night”was re-released in 2003 as the lead single on Celine Dion’s album, One Heart. Dion’s version of the song was also used to advertise Chrysler’s cars after Dion signed a $14 million deal with the company in 2003. Dion’s “I Drove All Night” received mostly positive reviews from critics and it debuted at number one on Canada’s Hot 100.
3. “All By Myself”
“All By Myself” was originally recorded by Eric Carmen and released in 1975 and was certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) the following year. The song was covered and re-released by many artists over the years; however, Celine Dion’s version is one of the most noteworthy. Released just over 20 years after the original, Dion’s version was a single from her album, Falling into You, was also recorded in Spanish and, according to TheSpanishVersion.org, eventually became the best Spanish cover version of an English language pop song. “All By Myself” also became one of her biggest hits in the United States and went on to sell 500,000 copies.
2. “It’s All Coming Back To Me Now”
Written by Jim Steinman, “It’s All Coming Back To Me Now,” is a power ballad written by Jim Steinman who described the song as being about the “dark side of love.” When discussing the song during an interview, Steinman stated: “It’s about obsession, and that can be scary because you’re not in control and you don’t know where it’s going to stop. It says that, at any point in somebody’s life, when they loved somebody strongly enough and that person returns, a certain touch, a certain physical gesture can turn them from being defiant and disgusted with this person to being subservient again…’ Rock star Meat Loaf wanted to record the song; however, Steinman wanted the song to be sung by a female vocalist. The song was originally recorded in 1989 by the all-female rock Pandora’s Box on their concept album, Original Sin. Dion re-recorded and re-released the song in 1996 on her album, Falling into You. Dion’s version earned positive reviews and The Calgary Sun described the song as, “the highlight of her English-language recording career. Dion’s over-the-top vocals soar and swoop around Steinman’s epic, ostentatious arrangement. Not surprisingly, everything else that follows… pales in comparison.”
1. “The Power of Love”
“The Power of Love” is one of Dion’s most successful and memorable songs to date. The song was originally recorded in 1984 by Jennifer Rush for her self-titled album. Rush’s version of “The Power of Love” became the United Kingdom’s highest selling single in 1985. Dion recorded her own version of the song in 1993 and earned her first number one single in the United States. “The Power of Love” has become Dion’s signature song and is often performed during her live shows. To date, Dion’s version of the song has nearly 1.5 million copies.
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