Tell Him (Barbra Streisand and Celine Dion song)

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"Tell Him"
Single by Barbra Streisand and Celine Dion
from the album Higher Ground and Let's Talk About Love
Released November 3, 1997 (1997-11-03)
Format CD single
Recorded 1997 Wallyworld, Record Plant Studios, The Hit Factory, Chartmarker Studios, Paramount Studios, Masterphonics
Genre Adult contemporary
Length 4:51 (Album Version)
4:53 (Radio Edit)
Label Columbia, Epic
Writer(s) Linda Thompson, Walter Afanasieff, David Foster
Producer(s) David Foster, Walter Afanasieff
Certification Platinum (Belgium, Netherlands)
Gold (Australia, France, Norway, Switzerland, UK)
Barbra Streisand singles chronology
"I Finally Found Someone"
(1996)
"Tell Him"
(1997)
"If You Ever Leave Me"
(1999)
Celine Dion singles chronology
"Dreamin' of You"
(1997)
"Tell Him"
(1997)
"Be the Man"
(1997)

"Tell Him" is a duet between Barbra Streisand and Celine Dion. It was released on November 3, 1997 as the first single from Dion's Let's Talk About Love and Streisand's Higher Ground albums.[1]

On March 24, 1997 Dion became the first artist ever to perform twice on the same Academy Awards night. In addition to singing "Because You Loved Me," she also sang "I Finally Found Someone" from the movie The Mirror Has Two Faces, recorded by Barbra Streisand and Bryan Adams. Streisand preferred not to perform that night and Natalie Cole had been scheduled to sing her song instead. But Cole pulled out and two days before the Oscar night, Dion was asked if she could do it. Although nervous, she accepted and managed to perform on the night.

A few days later, Streisand sent Dion flowers and a note: "I watched the tape afterwards, you sang my song beautifully and I regret I wasn't in the room to hear you, next time let's make one together. I really wish your song would have won, you are a wonderful singer." That note wasn't left without an answer and René Angélil called up David Foster to write a song for them, and the result was "Tell Him."

On October 7, 1997 "Tell Him" had its first runs on the United States radio waves. This duet was rejected however by non-adult contemporary radio stations. Even if the song was a large adult contemporary hit, Sony Music Entertainment cancelled the U.S. single release, because it did not have a broad enough support to put the song on top of the charts. However, "Tell Him" was a huge hit outside the U.S.

The music video was directed by Scott Floyd Lochmus and premiered on VH1, on October 24, 1997. It was included as a bonus on the Au cœur du stade DVD.

"Tell Him" peaked at number 1 in the Netherlands, number 2 in Ireland, number 3 in Belgium, France and the United Kingdom, number 4 in Italy and Switzerland, and was a top 10 hit in many other countries. The single has sold very well around the world, receiving platinum awards in the Netherlands (75,000), Belgium (50,000), and gold in the United Kingdom (400,000), France (400,000), Australia (35,000), Switzerland (25,000) and Norway (10,000).

"Tell Him" was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals in 1998.

Dion performed this song as a virtual duet with Barbra Streisand during the Let's Talk About Love Tour. However, Dion and Streisand never performed the song together live since recording it.

"Tell Him" was later included on both artists' compilations: Dion's The Collector's Series, Volume One and Streisand's The Essential Barbra Streisand and Duets. In 2008, it became also a part of Dion's greatest hits My Love: Essential Collection.

Critical reception[edit]

This song received positive reviews. Allmusic senior editor Stephen Thomas Erlewine wrote, in his review for Let's Talk About Love that this song "shines the most brilliantly".[2] In his review for Higher Ground he highlighted it and wrote: "Higher Ground comprises both traditional religious songs and new material (even "Tell Him," an overblown duet with Celine Dion, vaguely touches on that theme)." [3] Allmusic editor Matthew Greenwald in review for Tell Him single wrote: "Barbra Streisand always had a knack for choosing just the right partners to record duets with, and "Tell Him," with Celine Dion, is no exception. Their voices blend together extremely well on this song, with both singers trading off and joining together with a wonderful reassurance. Musically, the song is dominated by what is, unfortunately, a somewhat bombastic arrangement. This tends to get in the way of the very pretty melody. The overall arrangement seems to come out of the 1980s school of over-production, and it is a bit cloying. However, the vocalists take the song to a higher place with their performance, and the song and recording have aged fairly well despite of this."[4]

EW editor David Browne wrote: "Streisand glides like buttah into the duet Tell Him — making Dion sound like margarine in the process — but the song is an Uberschlock ode to subservience."[5] The New York Observer editor Jonathan Bernstein wrote positive review: "The centerpiece of Let’s Talk About Love is “Tell Him,” a duet with Barbra Streisand. Anyone who’s witnessed, through the cracks of his or her fingers, the video for “Tell Him” in which Ms. Dion relates to Ms. Streisand like a newly born fawn nuzzling up against its mother, will sense that this is no diva face-off. The two singers give each other room to emote, restraining themselves until the final choruses before transforming into something akin to a pair of drunks wrestling over the microphone on karaoke night."[6]

Formats and track listings[edit]

Australian/European/Japanese CD maxi single

  1. "Tell Him" (radio edit) – 4:53
  2. "Everything Must Change" – 4:05
  3. "Where Is the Love" – 4:55

Charts[edit]

Certifications and sales[edit]

Region Certification Sales/shipments
Australia (ARIA)[39] Gold 35,000^
Belgium (BEA)[40] Platinum 50,000*
France (SNEP)[41] Gold 400,000[42]
Netherlands (NVPI)[43] Platinum 75,000^
Norway (IFPI Norway)[44] Gold 10,000*
Switzerland (IFPI Switzerland)[45] Gold 25,000x
United Kingdom (BPI)[46] Gold 436,000[47]

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone
xunspecified figures based on certification alone

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Glatzer, Jenna (2005). Céline Dion: For Keeps. Andrews McMeel Publishing. ISBN 0-7407-5559-5. 
  2. ^ http://www.allmusic.com/album/lets-talk-about-love-mw0000030974
  3. ^ http://www.allmusic.com/album/higher-ground-mw0000029437
  4. ^ http://www.allmusic.com/song/tell-him-mt0012339666
  5. ^ http://www.ew.com/ew/article/0,,290337,00.html
  6. ^ http://observer.com/1997/12/celine-dion-is-she-cool-someday-maybe-but-not-now/
  7. ^ "Barbra Streisand & Céline Dion - Tell Him (Song)". Hung Medien. Retrieved 28 September 2014. 
  8. ^ "Barbra Streisand & Céline Dion - Tell Him (Song)" (in German). Hung Medien. Retrieved 28 September 2014. 
  9. ^ "Barbra Streisand & Céline Dion - Tell Him" (in Dutch). Ultratop & Hung Medien. Retrieved 26 September 2014. 
  10. ^ "Barbra Streisand & Céline Dion - Tell Him" (in French). Ultratop & Hung Medien. Retrieved 26 September 2014. 
  11. ^ a b c "Hits of the World". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. 13 December 1997. Retrieved 28 September 2014. 
  12. ^ [>http://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/rpm/028020-119.01-e.php?brws_s=1&file_num=nlc008388.3383&type=2&interval=24&PHPSESSID=u3achcjsn764k581548u4f8gc3 "Adult Contemporary - Volume 66, No. 11, November 17, 1997"]. RPM. 17 November 1997. Retrieved 28 September 2014. 
  13. ^ "Barbra Streisand & Céline Dion - Tell Him (chanson)" (in French). Hung Medien. Retrieved 28 September 2014. 
  14. ^ "Barbra Streisand & Céline Dion, Tell Him" (in German). GfK Entertainment. Retrieved 19 October 2014. 
  15. ^ "The Irish Charts". IRMA. Retrieved 28 September 2014. 
  16. ^ "Italiancharts.com – Celine Dion – Tell Him". Top Digital Download. Retrieved 28 September 2014.
  17. ^ "Top 40: week 52 (27 december 1997)" (in Dutch). Stichting Nederlandse Top 40. Retrieved 28 September 2014. 
  18. ^ "Barbra Streisand & Céline Dion - Tell Him (Song)". Hung Medien. Retrieved 28 September 2014. 
  19. ^ "Barbra Streisand & Céline Dion - Tell Him (Song)". Hung Medien. Retrieved 28 September 2014. 
  20. ^ "Barbra Streisand & Céline Dion - Tell Him". Hung Medien. Retrieved 28 September 2014. 
  21. ^ "Celine Dion: Singles". OCC. Retrieved 28 September 2014. 
  22. ^ "Barbra Streisand Album & Song Chart History" Billboard Radio Songs for Barbra Streisand. Retrieved 28 September 2014.
  23. ^ "Barbra Streisand Album & Song Chart History" Billboard Adult Contemporary for Barbra Streisand. Retrieved 28 September 2014.
  24. ^ "ARIA Charts - End Of Year Charts - Top 100 Singles 1997". ARIA. Retrieved 28 September 2014. 
  25. ^ "Jaaroverzichten 1997" (in Dutch). Ultratop. Retrieved 28 September 2014. 
  26. ^ "Rapports annuels 1997" (in French). Ultratop. Retrieved 28 September 2014. 
  27. ^ "Adult Contemporary - Volume 66, No. 15, December 15, 1997". RPM. 15 December 1997. Retrieved 28 September 2014. 
  28. ^ "Le Bilan des Ventes de Singles en 1997" (in French). InfoDisc. Retrieved 28 September 2014. 
  29. ^ "I singoli più venduti del 1997" (in Italian). Hit Parade Italia. Retrieved 28 September 2014. 
  30. ^ "Jaaroverzichten - single 1997". Hung Medien. Retrieved 28 September 2014. 
  31. ^ "Topp 20 Single Julen 1997" (in Norwegian). VG-lista. Retrieved 28 September 2014. 
  32. ^ "Official Singles Chart 1994". Retrieved 28 September 2014. 
  33. ^ "Jaaroverzichten 1998" (in Dutch). Ultratop. Retrieved 28 September 2014. 
  34. ^ "Rapports annuels 1998" (in French). Ultratop. Retrieved 28 September 2014. 
  35. ^ "Adult Contemporary - Volume 68, No. 12, December 14, 1998". RPM. 14 December 1998. Retrieved 28 September 2014. 
  36. ^ "Jaaroverzichten - single 1998". Hung Medien. Retrieved 28 September 2014. 
  37. ^ "Swiss Year-end Charts 1998". Hung Medien. Retrieved 28 September 2014. 
  38. ^ "Les Meilleures Ventes Tout Temps de 45 T. / Singles" (in French). InfoDisc. Retrieved 29 September 2014. 
  39. ^ "ARIA Charts – Accreditations – 1997 Singles". Australian Recording Industry Association. 
  40. ^ "Ultratop − Goud en Platina – 1997". Ultratop & Hung Medien / hitparade.ch. 
  41. ^ "Certifications Singles Or - année 1997" (in French). SNEP. Retrieved 28 September 2014. 
  42. ^ "Les 45 T. / Singles" (in French). InfoDisc. Retrieved 28 September 2014. 
  43. ^ "Dutch single certifications – Celine Dion – Tell Him" (in Dutch). Nederlandse Vereniging van Producenten en Importeurs van beeld- en geluidsdragers. 
  44. ^ "IFPI Norsk platebransje" (in Norwegian). IFPI Norway. Retrieved 28 September 2014. 
  45. ^ "The Official Swiss Charts and Music Community: Awards (Celine Dion; 'Tell Him')". Hung Medien. 
  46. ^ "British single certifications – Celine Dion – Tell Him". British Phonographic Industry.  Enter Tell Him in the field Search. Select Title in the field Search by. Select single in the field By Format. Click Go
  47. ^ "Celine Dion's Official Top 40 Biggest Selling Singles revealed". Official Charts Company. 14 November 2013. Retrieved 28 September 2014.