Unison (Celine Dion album)
|Studio album by|
|Released||2 April 1990|
|Celine Dion chronology|
|Singles from Unison|
Unison is the ninth studio album by Canadian singer Celine Dion and her first album recorded in English. It was originally released on 2 April 1990 by Columbia Records. Its music incorporates a range of contemporary genres with a mix of ballads and dance songs. Dion worked with a range of professional writers and producers, including Christopher Neil, David Foster, Tom Keane and Andy Goldmark.
Upon release, the album received generally positive reviews from music critics, who complimented Dion's voice and technique, as well as the album's content. On the commercial level, Unison reached top ten in Norway and top twenty in Canada. Eventually, it was certified seven-times Platinum in Canada, Platinum in the United States, and Gold in the United Kingdom and France. The album has sold over three million copies worldwide.
Up to five singles were released from Unison, depending on the country. "Where Does My Heart Beat Now" became a top five hit on the Billboard Hot 100, reaching number four. The next US single, "(If There Was) Any Other Way" peaked at number thirty-five. In 1991, Unison won Juno Award for Album of the Year and Dion won Juno Award for Female Vocalist of the Year.
In the 1980s, Dion released eleven French-language albums in Canada and three in France. One compilation album was issued in Europe. In Canada, Incognito (1987) was certified two-times Platinum, Tellement j'ai d'amour... (1982) Platinum, and Les chemins de ma maison (1983) and Mélanie (1984) Gold. Dion topped the Quebec chart with hits like "D'amour ou d'amitié", "Mon ami m'a quittée", "Incognito", "Lolita (trop jeune pour aimer)", "Comme un cœur froid" and "D'abord, c'est quoi l'amour". "D'amour ou d'amitié" and "Une colombe" were certified Gold in Canada. In the 1980s, Dion won fifteen Félix Awards, including Newcomer of the Year, Female Vocalist of the Year, Album of the Year (Melanie), Pop Album of the Year (Tellement j'ai d'amour...), Best Selling Album of the Year (Les chemins de ma maison, Melanie), Most Popular Song of the Year ("Une colombe", "Incognito"), Best Selling Single of the Year ("Une colombe"), Best Stage Performance of the Year (Incognito tournée) and Artist of the Year Achieving the Most Success Outside Quebec. In France, Dion became the first Canadian artist to receive a Gold record for her top ten single "D'amour ou d'amitié". Further success in Europe came when she represented Switzerland in the Eurovision Song Contest 1988 with the song "Ne partez pas sans moi", which later won the contest.
CBS Records had originally offered $25,000 to make the album, which would allow Dion to record new vocals over the original musical tracks from Incognito. Three events would raise the ante. First, Dion performed a duet with Dan Hill on "Can't We Try" at the CBS Canada 1987 convention. The performance impressed the company's president Bernie DiMatteo enough for him to raise the budget to $100,000 so that some new songs could be commissioned. Next, at the Juno Awards of 1987 she sang "Have a Heart". After the performance the budget rose to $300,000. When David Foster later saw it on videotape, he told DiMatteo that $300,000 was not enough, so they were given an unlimited budget. The record ended up costing $600,000. Unison was recorded in London, New York and Los Angeles.
Before releasing Unison in 1990, "Can't Live With You, Can't Live Without You", a duet with Billy Newton-Davis was issued as a single in Canada in 1989 from his album, Spellbound. Dion also sang a duet with Warren Wiebe on "Listen to Me", taken from the American drama film of the same name. The third duet recorded in 1989 was with Dan Hill on "Wishful Thinking" from his album, Real Love. However, these duets were not included on Unison.
Content and release
Unison includes four songs produced by British record producer, Christopher Neil who previously worked with artists like Sheena Easton, Mike + The Mechanics and Shakin' Stevens. Neil produced three singles from the album, including the successful "Where Does My Heart Beat Now" and a cover of Sheena Easton song, "The Last to Know". Five songs were produced by Canadian record producer and composer, David Foster. His production work included "Have a Heart", which in French-language version was recorded for Dion's 1987 album, Incognito. Andy Goldmark produced a cover of Junior's song for the Tom Cruise movie All the Right Moves, "Unison".
The album, with ten tracks, was released on 2 April 1990 in Canada and on 11 September 1990 in the United States. In other parts of the world, Unison was issued on 21 February 1991 in Japan, on 4 March 1991 in Australia and on 16 September 1991 in the United Kingdom.
Five singles from Unison were released in Canada: "(If There Was) Any Other Way" in March 1990, "Unison" in July 1990, "Where Does My Heart Beat Now" in September 1990, "The Last to Know" in March 1991 and "Have a Heart" in July 1991. All singles reached top forty in Canada, and "Where Does My Heart Beat Now" peaked at number six. They were also successful on the Canadian Adult Contemporary chart. Four of them reached top ten and "Where Does My Heart Beat Now" topped the Adult Contemporary chart for two weeks. In the United States, "Where Does My Heart Beat Now" was released as the lead single in September 1990. It was followed by "(If There Was) Any Other Way" in March 1991 and "The Last to Know" in June 1991. "Where Does My Heart Beat Now" became Dion's first US top ten hit. The song reached number four on the Billboard Hot 100. "(If There Was) Any Other Way" peaked at number thirty-five there. All three songs also charted on the US Adult Contemporary chart where the most successful "Where Does My Heart Beat Now" peaked at number two. In early 1991, "Where Does My Heart Beat Now" was released as the first single from Unison outside North America. It was successful in Norway, reaching number four. "Where Does My Heart Beat Now" peaked inside top forty in Ireland, France, Belgium, Netherlands and New Zealand. It also charted in Australia and the United Kingdom.
On 6 May 1989, Dion opened the Eurovision Song Contest with a performance of her previous year winning song, "Ne partez pas sans moi" and "Where Does My Heart Beat Now", a track from her upcoming English-language album, Unison. In 1990 and 1991, Dion promoted Unison on various television shows. Her first American television appearance was on The Tonight Show, where she performed "Where Does My Heart Beat Now" on 21 September 1990. Dion sang the same song on The Tonight Show again on 15 November 1990. Other US performances included: "Where Does My Heart Beat Now" on Good Morning America, Live with Regis and Kathie Lee and Into the Night with Rick Dees, "Where Does My Heart Beat Now" and "(If There Was) Any Other Way" on Super Dave, and "The Last to Know" on The Tonight Show. In Canada, Dion performed "Where Does My Heart Beat Now" during the Juno Awards of 1991. She also sang "(If There Was) Any Other Way", "Unison" and "Where Does My Heart Beat Now" on various Canadian television shows. Dion promoted Unison with her sold-out Unison Tour in Canada as well. Performances on television shows in other countries included "Where Does My Heart Beat Now" in the Netherlands in 1990, in France on TV show Le Monde Est À Vous on 7 April 1991 and "(If There Was) Any Other Way" and "Where Does My Heart Beat Now" in Norway in 1991.
|The Rolling Stone Album Guide|||
The album was largely influenced by the 1980s soft rock sound that was a fit for the adult contemporary radio format. Unison hit all the right notes with critics: Jim Farber of Entertainment Weekly wrote that Dion's vocals were "tastefully unadorned", and that she never attempted to "bring off styles that are beyond her." Stephen Thomas Erlewine of AllMusic declared it as "a fine, sophisticated American debut." Jan De Knock of Chicago Tribune said that "though Dion's big voice invites comparisons to the power-pop stylings of Taylor Dayne and Laura Branigan... she also has a deft touch with an R&B groove.
In Canada, Unison reached number fifteen and was certified seven-times Platinum. In the United States, it peaked at number seventy-four and has sold over 1.2 million copies achieving Platinum certification. Unison reached number eight in Norway, number fifty-five in the United Kingdom and also charted in Belgium. It was certified Gold in the United Kingdom and France. In Australia, it charted as a combo with Celine Dion in 1992 and peaked at number fifteen. Unison has sold over three million copies worldwide.
At the Juno Awards of 1991, Dion won awards for Album of the Year (Unison) and Female Vocalist of the Year. It was the first time in Juno Awards history that a French-Canadian artist had taken top honors in these categories. "Unison" (Mainstream Mix) was also nominated for Best Dance Recording and David Foster was nominated in category Producer of the Year for producing "Have a Heart" and "Love by Another Name". At the Juno Awards of 1992, Dion won again Female Vocalist of the Year and was nominated for Canadian Entertainer of the Year. In 1990, she received Félix Award for Anglophone Artist of the Year but publicly refused it not considering herself an Anglophone artist. In 1991, Dion won Félix Award for Artist of the Year Achieving the Most Success in a Language Other Than French and was nominated for the Félix Award for the Artist of the Year Achieving the Most Success Outside Quebec. Unison Tour won Félix Award for Stage Director of the Year and was nominated for Lighting Designer of the Year. Unison Tour also received Platinum Ticket Award for selling over 100,000 tickets in Quebec alone. In 1992, Dion was nominated for the Gemini Award for Best Performance in a Variety Program or Series for her performance of "Where Does My Heart Beat Now" at the Juno Awards of 1991. "Where Does My Heart Beat Now" also won ASCAP Pop Award for Most Performed Song in the United States. Additionally, Céline Dion - Unison and Céline Dion: 10 ans déjà television specials were nominated for various Gémeaux Awards in 1990 and 1992, respectively. Céline Dion - Unison won Gémeaux Award for Best Variety Special.
|1.||"(If There Was) Any Other Way"||Paul Bliss||Christopher Neil||4:00|
|2.||"If Love Is Out the Question"||Neil||3:53|
|3.||"Where Does My Heart Beat Now"||Neil||4:32|
|4.||"The Last to Know"||Neil||4:35|
|5.||"I'm Loving Every Moment with You"||4:08|
|6.||"Love by Another Name"||Foster||4:51|
|8.||"I Feel Too Much"||4:08|
|9.||"If We Could Start Over"||Stan Meissner||Foster||4:21|
|10.||"Have a Heart"||Foster||4:12|
- René Angélil - personal manager
- John Barnes - keyboards, synclavier, synthesizer, vocoder
- Andy Batwinas - assistant engineer, mixing assistant
- Paul Bliss - drums, keyboard programming, keyboards, programming, background vocals
- Michael Boddicker - percussion, programming, synthesizer, synthesizer programming
- Rev. Dave Boruff - programming, synthesizer programming
- Richard Bowen - programming
- Rick Bowen - programming, synthesizer, synthesizer programming
- Mike Brooks - engineer
- Robbie Buchanan - keyboards, programming
- Alan Carvell - background vocals
- Keith "KC" Cohen - mixing
- David Dachinger - engineer, programming
- Céline Dion - lead vocals, background vocals
- Andy Duncan - drums and percussion (track 3)
- Chris Earthy - production coordination
- Charles Fearing - guitar
- David Foster - arranger and producer (tracks 5, 8), keyboards, background vocals
- Humberto Gatica - engineer, mixing
- Andy Goldmark - arranger, drum programming, keyboards, producer, programming, synthesizer, synthesizer bass
- Art Graham - artwork
- Simon Hurrell - engineer
- Paul Jackson, Jr. - guitar
- Randy Jackson - bass (track 5)
- Tom Keane - arranger, keyboards, producer, programming, synthesizer, synthesizer programming, background vocals
- Randy Kerber - arranger, keyboards, programming, synthesizer programming
- Michael Landau - guitar, soloist
- Laura Livingston - assistant engineer, mixing assistant
- Vito Luprano - executive producer, producer
- Clif Magness - keyboards, programming
- Francis Manzella - programming
- Stan Meissner - arranger
- Christopher Neil - producer (tracks: 1-4), background vocals
- Aldo Nova - arranger
- Phil Palmer - guitar
- Paul Pesco - guitar
- Steve Pigott - bass and drums (track 4), keyboards, percussion
- Ruth Pointer - background vocals
- Jeff Porcaro - drums
- Dave Reitzas - assistant engineer, percussion
- Norene Rill - production coordination
- Bob Rosa - mixing
- Jack Rouben - engineer
- Biti Strauchn - percussion, voices
- Hugh Syme - artwork
- Linda Taylor - background vocals
- Fonzi Thornton - background vocals
- Freddie "Ready Freddie" Washington - bass
- Paul "Wix" Wickens - bass, keyboards (track 3)
- Jeffrey "Woody" Woodruff - engineer
- Richard Zuckerman - executive producer, producer
Certifications and sales
|Canada (Music Canada)||7× Platinum||700,000^|
|United Kingdom (BPI)||Gold||100,000^|
|United States (RIAA)||Platinum||1,227,000|
^shipments figures based on certification alone
|Canada||2 April 1990||Columbia||80150|
|United States||11 September 1990||Epic||
|Japan||21 February 1991||SMEJ||CD||ESCA-5184|
|Australia||4 March 1991||CBS||
|United Kingdom||16 September 1991||Epic|
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