"When I Fall in Love" is a popular song, written by Victor Young (music) and Edward Heyman (lyrics). It was introduced in the film One Minute to Zero. Jeri Southern sang on the first recording released in April 1952 with the song's composer, Victor Young, handling the arranging and conducting duties. The song has become a standard, with many artists recording it; the first hit version was sung by Doris Day released in July 1952.
Day's recording was made on June 5, 1952. It was released by Columbia Records as catalog number 39786 and issued with the flip side "Take Me in Your Arms". The song reached number 20 on the Billboard chart.
A version was recorded by Nat King Cole on December 28, 1956. It was issued by Capitol Records on an LP album titled Love Is the Thing, catalog number SW824. The song was also used in the 1957 film Istanbul. Cole played in the movie and sang the song. The single was released in the UK in 1957, and reached number 2 on the UK singles chart. This recording was re-released in 1987 and reached number 4. Since 2014, Cole's version of the song has featured in adverts for SSE.
Natalie Cole recorded two different versions of the song: The first, a contemporary R&B/smooth jazz version for her 1987 album, Everlasting (#14 U.S. AC), then a more traditional version for her 1996 Stardust album, as a virtual duet with her father, Nat King Cole, which included recordings of his vocals from his 1956 version. This version won two awards at the 39th Grammy Awards: Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals and Best Instrumental Arrangement with Accompanying Vocal(s) for arrangers Alan Broadbent and David Foster.
A version by The Lettermen was released as a single in 1961 and spent 14 weeks on the Billboard Hot 100, reaching No. 7, while reaching No. 1 on the Billboard's Easy Listening chart. Veteran drummer Earl Palmer played on this version.
The version by Rick Astley was released on November 30, 1987, coinciding with the 30th anniversary of the release of Nat King Cole's version of the song. This single is mainly remembered for a closely fought contest for UK Christmas number one. Rivals EMI, hoping to see their act, Pet Shop Boys, reach number one with "Always on My Mind", re-released the version by Nat King Cole. This led to a slow down of purchases of Astley's version, allowing Pet Shop Boys to reach the coveted top spot. Despite selling over 250,000 copies and gaining a Silver certification from the BPI, it peaked in the UK at number 2 for two weeks. The re-release by Nat King Cole reached number 4. Since the single was released as a double A-side, the other half of the single was "My Arms Keep Missing You", which was successful in its own right in Europe.
In 2019, Astley recorded and released a "Reimagined" version of the song for his album The Best of Me, which features a new piano arrangement.
AllMusic senior editor Stephen Thomas Erlewine noted that Dion's album, The Colour of My Love, which featured the song, had "careful production, professional songwriting (highlighted by "When I Fall in Love," "The Power of Love," and "Think Twice").The Baltimore Sun wrote that "it's no accident that Celine Dion keeps recording all those movie-theme duets -- she's got the perfect voice for wide-screen romance, all unbridled power and telegraphed emotion." They added that she "sounds great" when working with "tunefully romantic stuff" like "When I Fall In Love"".Billboard wrote that Dion "is at home within an arrangement of delicate rhythms and sweeping orchestration," while also noting that Griffin's voice "is a pure thrill." Christopher Smith from TalkAboutPopMusic said that Dion and Griffin "do credible justice to Nat’s signature tune as she remains in subdued and romantic mood for the entire length" of the song.
"When I Fall in Love" reached top forty in several countries, including number 21 in Canada, number 22 in New Zealand, number 23 in the United States, and number 37 in the Netherlands. It was popular on the Canadian Adult Contemporary chart and the US Hot Adult Contemporary Tracks, peaking at numbers two and six, respectively.