Falling into You
Celine Dion had plenty of career momentum going into the release of 1996’s Falling Into You. The Quebec native had been a superstar in Canada since the ’80s thanks to a string of French-language albums, and she was gaining ground in the U.S. thanks to her multiplatinum 1993 English-language effort The Colour of My Love. But Falling Into You ended up becoming a bona fide global phenomenon, selling more than 30 million records worldwide and winning a GRAMMY® Award for Album of the Year. The album’s appeal largely stems from its heart-on-sleeve romanticism and Dion’s talent as a vocal interpreter. Although she’s without question a singular belter—witness the anguished wails ending a majestic, orchestrated take on Eric Carmen’s "All By Myself," or her brassy spin on the Tina Turner-popularized “River Deep, Mountain High”—her sense of dynamics is even more impeccable. For example, the Jim Steinman-penned power ballad “It’s All Coming Back to Me Now” amasses melodrama at a leisurely pace, aided by moments of tranquility—plaintive piano melodies and heavenly harmonies featuring (among others) Todd Rundgren—alternating with periodic surges of crashing chords and intense vocal emoting. Although Falling Into You’s success was accelerated by this kind of blockbuster single, the album’s range gives it endurance. Dion moves easily from upbeat pop songs—the splashy, horn-peppered soul-rocker “Declaration of Love” and the guitar- and sax-heavy “I Don’t Know”—to more delicate numbers such as the sparkling R&B ballad “Dreamin’ of You" or the Spanish guitar-driven "Call the Man.” Falling Into You rightfully catapulted Dion permanently into the soft-rock stratosphere.