J'attendais ce moment depuis longtemps, depuis 10 ans en fait... quand j'avais 16 ans j'étais venue chanter trois chansons en première partie sur cette scène; c'était mon rêve qui enfin est devenu réalité.
The album was recorded on September 28 and 29, 1994, during two sold-out concerts at the Paris Olympia. Among songs from singer's previous French album Dion chante Plamondon, Céline Dion performed also "Calling You," (Academy Award nominated song from Bagdad Café), "Quand on n'a que l'amour" (originally by Jacques Brel), and a medley of songs from the Starmania musical, including two songs unavailable on Dion previous releases: "Quand on arrive en ville" and "Naziland, ce soir on danse" (full English version of that song called "Tonight We Dance (Extravagance!)" was recorded by Dion and included on the Tycoon compilation in 1992).
Although À l'Olympia was unavailable in most important music markets (United States, United Kingdom, Japan, Australia), the B-sides of English singles released there in 1995 and 1996 included tracks from that album.
The video with this concert was never released.
"Quand on n'a que l'amour," "Elle" and "Medley Starmania" were included on Dion's 2005 French compilation On ne change pas.
The album has sold over 2 million copies worldwide, including 1 million in Europe alone.À l'Olympia has sold 200,000 copies in Canada and was certified platinum. It was also certified platinum in France.
The album peaked at number 10 in France and number 31 in Canada, as Quebec sales did not factor into the Canadian Albums chart at that time. On the Belgian Wallonia chart, which is available only since April 1995, À l'Olympia reached number 19.