The 25 years of the album Of them: the little story of a monster

Les 25 ans de l’album D’eux: la petite histoire d’un succès monstre

Vito Luprano remembers the first time he has heard that you love me still. It was in September 1994 in Paris, during a listening session of the demos that Jean-Jacques Goldman had concocted for the album Of them by Céline Dion. “When he did play, I am fallen to the ground, tells the executive producer of the disc to the Journal. I said : “OK that’s it! We have to be the big hit.” This was not well done, but next melody, it was amazing. “

Vito Luprano was not deceived. Published on march 28, 1995, Of them has quickly risen to the top of the charts thanks to the massive success of the piece. The following excerpts, a collection of numbers a in become including I don’t know, The last shall be first , and Destiny, were going to send to extend his reign.

Twenty-five years later, the figures of sales of the disc are staggering. According to the official data of Sony Music, Of them sold more than 10 million copies worldwide, becoming the passage the French album the most popular of all time.

“With Jean-Jacques Goldman and René [Angélil], we thought we would sell a maximum of 2 or 3 million, reveals Vito Luprano. This is completely crazy ! ”

Custom

Beyond record sales, Of them brand above all an encounter : the one between Celine Dion and Jean-Jacques Goldman. In an interview to the Journal in march 1995, the author-a French composer confessed that before meeting Celine Dion, and begin writing the disc, it had taken several months to read everything that was written on it, the history of lay songs even more personalized. Statement from Goldman : “Celine Dion is not the little perfect girl that she wants to show. ”

This long-term work carried out in upstream, explains the success of the project, according to Mike Gauthier. Attached to the phone, the facilitator describes them as the album “the most equal” of Céline Dion. “Because there was a line director, a single director, a single songwriter. Goldman wrote for her. The others, it was the ready-to-wear. To them, it was the custom. It was like a designer who had found his muse. ”

Vito Luprano is full of praise for Jean-Jacques Goldman, which he describes as ” Bruce Springsteen French “.

“It’s one of the guys the most honest and open-minded I’ve met. He was open to suggestions. He often took my own. It impacted me a lot. ”

A turning point

Celine Dion was about to blow out her 27 candles at the time of launch Of them. Sonia Benezra, who was in his talk show daily at TQS, remembers a singer’s febrile and transformed. “I remember it as if it was yesterday, sharing the facilitator. Her look, her short hair, her music… Everything was clean and sober. They had chosen to let the music speak. It was all planned. Jean-Jacques Goldman had done the work of a master. There was a softness that was rarely heard at Celine. An energy more real, less showbiz. ”

Vito Luprano confirms the turning point. “As soon as we started the recording of the disc, Jean-Jacques Goldman warned Céline : “The vibrato, it’s necessary to stop it.” And she had listened to him. It gave more of a feeling. ”

The planets aligned

The recording of them took place in the month of November 1994 at Studio Mega in Paris. Céline Dion, who was still living at the time of Montreal, woke up every day at around 13 h, and pushed the note to the evening, tells the story of Vito Luprano. The recording took place in harmony, supports the executive producer. “I will never forget this experience, because we had a lot of fun. Make a disk, it can be difficult. Sometimes it is necessary to throw out songs they thought were going to walk, make compromises… But to them, it was magical. Everything fell into place : her voice, the melodies, the lyrics, the production… We felt that everything was floating. ”

A steamroller

The home disk of Celine Dion, Sony Music, has begun to recognize the 25th anniversary of them last week in a posting on YouTube of the high-resolution video of the show that accompanied the album. Fans can especially enjoy the performances of I was expecting, Prayer pagan and Destiny. To see the bright smile that the artist was on stage, it’s clear that she appreciated the success that it won.

“At this time, Celine released an album per year,” says Mike Gauthier. With Falling Into You [1996] and Let’s Talk About Love [1997], it was like passing the roller. The impact was huge. It was a domination similar to the Beatles. It did not stop. I worked at MusiquePlus in time. I have lived through a decade of incredible because of Celine. There was so much excitement around it. ”

A difficult choice

Of them deserves its place in the pantheon of albums, the most significant in Quebec. Over time, artists of every stripe have taken his songs : Sisters Boulay, Lara Fabian (so that you love me still), passing by Safia Nolin (Fate), Alex Nevsky (I’ll go where you go) and Guylaine Tanguay (Flies). We asked a few singers to select their extract favorite.

Guylaine Tanguay : The memory of Abraham

“My father died in a work accident. Brutal, unexpected, incomprehensible, his death was a real shock. The flames took away our father who was only 47 years of age… Exactly the age I am today. My father was a good man, he had a good heart, but he had to live with his demons that haunted him. For us, his family, it was difficult to experience and also to understand. Little, I prayed every night for life to free my father of his large dark things, without of course knowing that the only release for him was death… I accepted his death, saying to me that the top of his cloud, he was released from his misfortunes, and he was finally happy… ”

For the past three years, Guylaine Tanguay realizes a dream girl by presenting This was just a dream, a show entirely devoted to the repertoire of Celine Dion, in which she takes a few pieces of disc Of them, which For you to love me still and Flies. When we contacted to know his favorite song on the album, the star of the country is out of the beaten track in citing The memory of Abraham, a part she has sung to the funeral of his father, Guy. Here is the message she sent us.

Annie Villeneuve : Destiny

“Songs that stand the test of time, there isn’t tons. But there’s a lot on this album ”

Spring 1995 in the Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean. At the back of the school, the twins Villeneuve engaging regularly in their rooms to sing. On one side of the wall, Suzie is époumone on the album Obsession Eric Lapointe ; on the other hand, Annie did the same on them Celine Dion.

“This is what I listened to the most,” recalls Annie Villeneuve. I loved her album Unison, but when you come from the Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean, you have an English rather doubtful, so I was happy to be able to sing in French on them. I knew all the words by heart. ”

A quarter of a century later, Annie Villeneuve continues to listen to this opus. She now shares this activity with Leah, her six year old daughter. In the car, for some time, they can go to the volume on Destiny. “This is the song that she asks me all the time. She has learned at school. It is also my favorite. But it could change next month ! ”

Upper level

For Annie Villeneuve, Celine Dion has logged-on to the next level with them. Especially as a performer. “Céline had proven that she was capable of anything vocally. It was a feat voice after another. With them, she showed that she was capable of introspection. [Jean-Jacques] Goldman did sing in a more humane way. It was more accessible. ”

Annie Villeneuve has often taken the songs from the album them on stage. Among his fondest memories, she mentions her participation in the show of Celine Dion in Quebec city in 2008, when the latter had stormed the plains of Abraham in front of 200 000 people. “It was crazy !” exclaims the one who provided the backing vocals during this unforgettable evening in the month of August.

Not old-fashioned

Annie Villeneuve speaks of songs of a disk Of them with great affection, as still Looking. She also emphasised the emotional load of Flies, a ballad that she describes as a ” huge challenge to interpretation “.

“Songs that stand the test of time, there isn’t tons. But there’s a lot on this album “, she says.

Only downside : it is “able” to endure For you to love me still. “I’ve just too heard. ”

Véronic DiCaire : I do not know

Anyone who knows the course of Véronic DiCaire is not surprising to learn that she was particularly fond of, I do not know, a song Jean-Jacques Goldman has written to depict the long-term relationship between Céline Dion and René Angélil. The popular imitator has met her husband and manager, Rémon Boulerice, when she was a teenager. Since, they make their road together.

Véronic DiCaire remembers the first time she has heard I do not know. In a message sent to the Newspaper, the artist of franco-ontarians speak of a stroke of lightning. It is a song that she has interpreted several times in the show. The words to the affect ” straight to the heart “, especially those in the chorus : “But life without you, I don’t know. ”

Critical

Céline presents the tour Of them at the Capitole de Québec on September 25, 1995

WHAT WE THOUGHT IN 1995

Here are a few excerpts from the archives of the Journal de Montréal in the spring of 1995.

“Celine Dion is dead ! “

“His best drive French-speaking […]”

“She managed still to surprise us. “

“She sings better than ever. She has learned to restrain his voice. “

WHAT WE THINK IN 2020

Is this the album Of them has crossed the time ? Here is a review of the disc, song by song, 25 years later.

1. For you to love me still

  • A classic. The best song of the career of Celine Dion, all languages combined. This declaration of love in crescendo takes us again and again.

2. The ballet

  • The arrangements have taken on a few wrinkles, but it is still fun to snap your fingers while listening to Céline to sing the blues public. If she had recorded it in 2017, the diva would have certainly given the title a touch more sensual, as evidenced by the dancing lascivious she runs with her friend and dancer Pepe Munoz during his summer tour of european in 2017.

3. Look at me

  • A piece that ages more or less well. Its invoice in a very French varieties hang an amused smile on his face. Fortunately, the piece avoids the train crash thanks to the powerful acrobatics voice of Céline, which command our attention.

4. I don’t know

  • The great ballad From them. A text of great beauty that fits perfectly to Celine Dion. It is far to rhyme “love” with ” always “. Another positive point : the saxophone solo, has long since disappeared from the popular repertory, is still on the way.

5. The memory of Abraham

  • Crossroads managed between a prayer and a lullaby. For Céline, it is a first – albeit timid – trip ground gospel music, a style that she would revisit it the following year on the album Falling Into You with Call the Man.

6. Still looking

  • The room where we had forgotten the existence. A song mid-tempo little memorable, but well built. The weakest link of an album is extremely solid.

7. Destiny

  • An irresistible catchy pop-rock filled with good feelings, which shows the good sides of the life of a superstar who travels around the world at speed large V. The voice of Céline Dion has never been so sunny. The musical equivalent of a feel-good movie.

8. The last shall be first

  • Of course, Goldman transplanted in an expression exhausted, but the rest of the text is too felt for yelling at a bunch of clichés. Done to to mention, the result of onomatopoeia monosyllabic Celine product at the very end of the song, still sounds great. Everyone together : “The di di do do lo li do li li di do do di di oh he…”

9. I’ll go where you go

  • The pleasure with which Céline Dion and Jean-Jacques Goldman is to return the ball is still contagious. A song a vitamin with a chorus of worm-like ear. No wonder it has become a staple at karaoke. Highlight of the song : the alright of Celine, started at 1 minute 54 seconds, in the middle of a (still curious) portion of instrumental accents from the middle east.

10. I was expecting

  • A pretty ballad of love where Celine shows extreme gentleness, while spreading his impressive vocal range. To fill your reading list ” slows to the end of the night “.

11. Prayer pagan

  • The treasure “hidden” on the disk. It is unknown why this bomb on which Céline is loose slack vocally has never been launched in good and due form. A gospel choir, a sax solo, a chorus, resulting in a change of tone… What do you want more ?

12. Flies

  • Touching and haunting posthumous tribute to Karine, one of the nephews of Dion, who was suffering from cystic fibrosis. The interpreter adds a little extra soul to the piece, it complements a few nice flights in head voice.

Note : ★★★★½

  

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