I Drove All Night

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"I Drove All Night"
Single by Cyndi Lauper
from the album A Night To Remember
B-side "Maybe He'll Know" (Remix)
Released April 4, 1989
Genre Pop rock
Length 4:11
Label Epic Records
Writer(s) Billy Steinberg, Tom Kelly
Producer(s) Cyndi Lauper, Lennie Petze
Certification Gold (U.S.)
Silver (UK)
Cyndi Lauper singles chronology
"Hole in My Heart (All the Way to China)"
"I Drove All Night"
"My First Night Without You"
Music sample

"I Drove All Night" is a song written and composed by American songwriters Billy Steinberg and Tom Kelly and made famous by American singer Cyndi Lauper. The song was originally intended for Roy Orbison, who recorded it in 1987, but his rendition was not released until 1992, after Lauper's version of it had become a top 10 hit on both sides of the Atlantic in 1989. The song has been covered by Pinmonkey (2002), Celine Dion (2003), and The Protomen (2012), among others.

Cyndi Lauper version[edit]

"I Drove All Night" was recorded by Cyndi Lauper for her third solo album, A Night To Remember. Lauper said she wanted to do it because she liked the idea "of a woman driving, of a woman in control." The song was a top 10 pop hit in the United States (and is her last U.S. top 40 single to date), peaking at number 6 on the Billboard Hot 100, and also a hit in other countries. The single was certified gold by the RIAA. It received a Grammy Award nomination for Best Female Rock Vocal Performance.

The only official remix of Lauper's version of the song is the Jungle Mix, a version that incorporates supposed jungle noises. The music video for "I Drove All Night," directed by Scott Kalvert and Cyndi Lauper, features shots of an antique car, Lauper's characteristically manic dancing, and movie film projected onto Lauper's naked body.


Roy Orbison version[edit]

"I Drove All Night"
Single by Roy Orbison
from the album King Of Hearts
Released 1992
Recorded 1987
Genre Rockabilly, country, Soft rock
Length 3:46
Label Virgin Records
Producer(s) Jeff Lynne
Roy Orbison singles chronology
"Oh, Pretty Woman"
"I Drove All Night"

Jeff Lynne remixed Orbison's 1987 recordings for the posthumous album King Of Hearts, of which "I Drove All Night" was one of the tracks. However, Orbison's version of the song was released as a single from the 1991 compilation album Nintendo: White Knuckle Scorin'. The song was a significant hit in the United Kingdom, reaching number 7 on the UK Singles Chart, matching the peak position of Lauper's version three years earlier. King of Hearts and "I Drove All Night" were generally well received in the United States, returning Orbison to the Billboard charts and receiving a Grammy Award. The Roy Orbison version peaked at number 132 on the Australian ARIA Singles Chart.[13]

A music video featuring Jason Priestley and Jennifer Connelly was also made for the single.

Pinmonkey version[edit]

"I Drove All Night"
Single by Pinmonkey
from the album Pinmonkey
Released November 16, 2002
Format Airplay
Genre Country
Length 3:29
Label BNA
Producer(s) Paul Worley
Pinmonkey singles chronology
"Barbed Wire and Roses"
"I Drove All Night"
"Let's Kill Saturday Night"

Country music band Pinmonkey recorded a cover of the song on its 2002 self-titled album, issued by BNA Records. This cover was released as a single in late 2002, reaching number 36 on the Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks (now Hot Country Songs) chart. It was the second and final single from the album.[14]

Chart performance[edit]

Chart (2002-2003) Peak
US Hot Country Songs (Billboard)[15] 36

Celine Dion version[edit]

"I Drove All Night"
Single by Celine Dion
from the album One Heart
Released March 3, 2003 (2003-03-03)
Recorded Echo Beach Studios (vocals )
Masterplan Studios (Musicians) Fall 2002
Length 4:00
Celine Dion singles chronology
"At Last"
"I Drove All Night"
"Have You Ever Been in Love"

"I Drove All Night" was recorded by Celine Dion for her tenth English studio album, One Heart, which was released in 2003, and it was released as the lead single from that album on March 3, 2003.[16] The song was featured in a promotional ad for Chrysler. The "I Drove All Night" music video was directed by Peter Arnell and released in February 2003. It was included on the United Kingdom enhanced double A-side single "One Heart/I Drove All Night". The song was commercially successful, reaching number 1 for five weeks in Canada, while also topping the charts in Belgium (Flanders) and Sweden.


In 2003, Chrysler signed Dion to a $14 million deal to endorse their cars. They were looking for a song to use in the campaign and release as a single. Billy Steinberg knew Dion and had written "Falling into You," which was the title track of her 1996 album. He sent a copy of Roy Orbison's version of "I Drove All Night" to her record company, who loved it and had Dion record it with Swedish producer Peer Astrom.[17] She used the song in her Las Vegas show and it became the centerpiece of the Chrysler campaign. The commercials were great exposure for the song and helped sell many albums, but they did not sell enough cars.[18] Chrysler pulled out of the deal after many of their dealers complained and it became clear the ads were not working.[17]

A 30 second sample of Dion's version for "I Drove All Night."

Problems playing this file? See media help.

In Dion's version, "I Drove All Night" is dance-pop.[18] It was also considered "a little bit dance-club, a little bit rock & roll."[19] Lyrically, she recalls a feverish trek for sexual gratification.[20] She sings in the first verse, "Maybe I should have called you first, but I was dying to get to you/I was dreaming while I drove the long, straight road ahead."[18] In the chorus, she sings, "Woke you from your sleep to make love to you/Is that all right?/I drove all night."[18] In the second verse, Dion duplicates a line as it is heard in Orbison's original recording. Instead of singing, "no matter where I go I hear the beating of our heart," Dion sings, "our one heart."[18] Like the original, the chorus is sung again twice, which ends the single.[18]


Dion's version of "I Drove All Night" is set in the key of G minor. It features a moderately fast tempo of 135 beats per minute, and her vocals span from F3 to E5.[21]

Critical reception[edit]

The song received positive reviews from music critics. AllMusic senior editor Stephen Thomas Erlewine noticed that the song was "a tongue-in-cheek, neo-house cover" and picked it as one of the best tracks on the album, alongside the title track and "Have You Ever Been in Love."[22] Rebecca Wallwork wrote a positive review for Amazon, calling it "the car-commercial-driven tempo,"[23] while Jam!'s Darryl Sterdan named it "a Cher-style eurodisco."[24] Slant Magazine's Sal Cinquemani echoed the same thought, saying that "she gets the Cher treatment on the blazing cover."[25] People's Chuck Arnold wrote that in the song, Dion "shows surprising restraint for a diva who just had a coliseum custom-built for her."[26]

The Guardian's Betty Clarke wrote a negative review, saying: "Her cover of Roy Orbison's "I Drove All Night" is full of reverberating notes and sultry asides, but reveals a fundamental lack of sincerity that renders her threatening when she is trying for tender."[27] David Browne of EW gave this cover C+, calling her delivery 'frigid' without over-singing it. He called the arrangement "blandly competent." [28]

Chart performance[edit]

In Canada, the song debuted straight at number one on the Canadian Hot 100 chart[29] and spent 5 consecutive weeks at the top.[30] "I Drove All Night" was Dion's third airplay-only single that charted on the Billboard Hot 100, peaking at number 45.[31] The commercial single was released five months later reaching number 26 on the Hot 100 Singles Sales.[32] Because of several club remixes created mainly by Hex Hector, the song peaked at number 2 on the Hot Dance Club Play.[31]

In Australia, the song debuted and peaked at number 22 on the ARIA Charts, on March 16, 2003.[33] The following week, the song dropped to number 35 and it kept fluctuating on the chart for the next two weeks, until it climbed from number 44 to number 43.[33] Later, the song fell to number 49, but it climbed to number 38, the following week.[33] It spent 10 weeks on the chart and it was certified gold.[33][34] In New Zealand, the song debuted at number 48 on the RIANZ chart, on March 2, 2003.[35] The following week, the song climbed to number 46, while in its third week, it jumped to number 30.[35] After falling to number 32, in its fourth week, the song remained at number 31, for two consecutive weeks.[35] Finally, on April 20, 2003, the song rose and peaked at number 24.[35] The song spent 9 weeks on the chart.[35]

The song was even more successful on the Belgian Flanders Singles Chart, where it debuted at number 14, on March 8, 2004.[36] The following week, the song jumped to number 4, while in its third week, the song topped the charts.[36] It remained at the top ten for ten consecutive weeks and fifteen overall weeks on the chart.[36] It was certified platinum, for selling 50,000 copies.[37] The song was also a big success in Sweden, debuting at the top of the Swedish Singles Chart, on March 20, 2003.[38] However, the following week, the song fell to number 12 and in its third week, it fell to number 13.[38] In its fourth week, the song jumped to number 7, but it kept fluctuating on the chart for the next three weeks, until it climbed from number 22 to number 16.[38] It spent 17 weeks on the chart.[38] On the Danish Singles Chart, the song debuted at number 2, where it remained for three consecutive weeks.[39] Later, it fell to number 5, while on the following week, it fell to number 6, where it remained for another week.[39]

In France, even not reaching the top twenty, the song proved to be strong on the SNEP chart.[40] It debuted at number 89, however, it fell to number 94 in its second week and to number 97 in its third week.[40] Despite falling for two consecutive weeks and leaving the charts, the song re-entered at number 22, its peak position, on April 26, 2003.[40] It spent 11 non-consecutive weeks on the chart.[40]


The music video shot in Las Vegas, USA on February 2, 2003 was directed by advertising executive Peter Arnell, cinematographed by Rolf Kestermann and edited by Bee Ottinger.[41] An arty little black and white number, it features Dion, some arm stretches and back bends whilst a couple somewhere else seem to be merrily getting their groove on.[42] It was included in the UK Enhanced CD Single of "One Heart". The music video was nominated for the MuchMoreMusic Award in 2003.[43]

Dion appeared in four commercial spots—all scored with tracks from One Heart including "I Drove All Night"—for Chrysler, also directed by Arnell and edited by Ottinger, while Darius Khondji acted as director of photography on the ads.[41]

Dion performed "I Drove All Night" during A New Day... show and included it on the A New Day... Live in Las Vegas CD in 2004 and Live in Las Vegas - A New Day... DVD in 2007.[44][45] The A New Day... Live in Las Vegas bonus DVD, called One Year...One Heart contained the recording of the song and fragments from making the video.[45]

The song became also an opening track for the 2008-09 Taking Chances World Tour, preceded by an introduction video using the remix of "I Drove All Night" as well. The audio and footage of this performance was included in the Taking Chances World Tour: The Concert CD/DVD.[46] In October 2008, "I Drove All Night" was included on My Love: Essential Collection greatest hits.[47]

Formats and track listings[edit]

Official versions[edit]

Charts and certifications[edit]

Other versions[edit]

  • John Waite recorded the song in 1987 while recording tracks for the CD Rover's Return, but he decided not to release it.
  • Italian project Bandido made a dance version of the song called "I Drove All Nite (Medley With Power Of The Time)" in 1993.
  • American rock singer and former American Idol contestant, Carly Smithson, covered the song during the semi-finals of the show during a week inspired by the music of the 1980s.
  • The Protomen had a limited cassette release, in December 2012, of a single of their cover of the song. It will also appear on their "The Cover Up" album.
  • The British band The Maccabees also covered this song, and it was added to the bonus tracks of their second album, Wall Of Arms.
  • South African singer Ray Dylan also covered this song, included on his album Ray Dylan Sings Roy Orbison.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Australian Singles Chart
  2. ^ Canadian Singles Chart
  3. ^ Dutch Singles Chart
  4. ^ French Singles Chart
  5. ^ German Singles Chart
  6. ^ Irish Singles Chart
  7. ^ Italian Singles Chart
  8. ^ New Zealand Singles Chart
  9. ^ Swedish Singles Chart
  10. ^ UK Singles Chart
  11. ^ Billboard Hot 100
  12. ^ Australian Charts (1988). "Australian Charts". Australian Charts. Retrieved 2012-02-12. 
  13. ^ "Response from ARIA re: chart inquiry, received 15 July 2015". Imgur. Archived from the original on 2015-07-16. Retrieved 24 September 2015. 
  14. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2008). Hot Country Songs 1944 to 2008. Record Research, Inc. p. 326. ISBN 0-89820-177-2. 
  15. ^ "Pinmonkey – Chart history" Billboard Hot Country Songs for Pinmonkey.
  16. ^ One Heart. Retrieved March 24, 2003.
  17. ^ a b "I Drove All Night by Roy Orbison". Songfacts. Retrieved August 24, 2012. 
  18. ^ a b c d e f "Music Review: Celine Dion "I Drove All Night"". Traveling to the Heart. October 9, 2004. Retrieved August 24, 2012. 
  19. ^ Browne, David (March 25, 2003). "I Drove All Night (2003)". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved August 24, 2012. 
  20. ^ "Celine Dion - One Heart - Album Review - Plugged In". Plugged In. Retrieved August 24, 2012. 
  21. ^ Thomas, Kelly,. "I Drove All Night". www.musicnotes.com. Retrieved 2016-01-25. 
  22. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas (March 25, 2003). "One Heart - Celine Dion - Allmusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 2012-01-05. 
  23. ^ Wallwork, Rebecca (March 25, 2003). "Amazon.com: One Heart - Celine Dion - Music". Amazon.com. Retrieved 2012-01-05. 
  24. ^ Sterdan, Daryl (March 25, 2003). "CANOE - JAM!Music - Artists- Album Review: One Heart". Jam! - Canadian Online Explorer. Retrieved 2012-01-05. 
  25. ^ Cinquemani, Sal (March 25, 2003). "Celine Dion: One Heart - Music Review - Slant Magazine". Slant Magazine. Retrieved 2012-01-05. 
  26. ^ Arnold, Chuck (March 25, 2003). "Picks and Pans Review: One Heart People.com". People (magazine). Retrieved 2012-01-05. 
  27. ^ Clarke, Betty (March 25, 2003). "CD: Celine Dion: One Heart - Music - The Guardian". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 2012-01-05. 
  28. ^ "Music Review: I Drove All Night, by Celine Dion". Entertainment Weekly. February 14, 2003. 
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  30. ^ "Canada (TOP 10) - 19th April 2003 (Week 16)". Chartts.Tripod.com. Retrieved August 23, 2012. 
  31. ^ a b Billboard Hot 100
  32. ^ Top 40 Tracks
  33. ^ a b c d Australian Singles Chart
  34. ^ "ARIA Charts - Accreditations - 2003 Singles". Australian Recording Industry Association. Retrieved 2004-01-01. 
  35. ^ a b c d e New Zealand Singles Chart
  36. ^ a b c Belgian Flanders Singles Chart
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  38. ^ a b c d Swedish Singles Chart
  39. ^ a b Danish Singles Chart
  40. ^ a b c d French Singles Chart
  41. ^ a b "A52 Finishes Celine Dion's "I Drove All Night" Music Video for Sweet Pea Productions". March 17, 2003. Retrieved August 15, 2013. 
  42. ^ "I Drove All Night | Celine Dion Music Video". Vid81.com. Retrieved August 23, 2012. 
  43. ^ "2003 MuchMusic Video Awards Nominees". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media LLC. 30 May 2003. Retrieved 10 January 2014. 
  44. ^ Theakston, Rob. "A New Day...Live in Las Vegas : AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved August 12, 2012. 
  45. ^ a b "Live in Las Vegas...A New Day [DVD] : Allmusic". AllMusic. Retrieved August 12, 2012. 
  46. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Taking Chances World Tour: The Concert : AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved August 12, 2012. 
  47. ^ "My Love: Essential Collection - Celine Dion". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 2008-11-15. 
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External links[edit]