When I Fall in Love

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This article is about the song. For other uses, see When I Fall in Love (disambiguation).
Original recording by Jeri Southern

"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, though the first hit version was sung by Doris Day released in July 1952.

Doris 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.[1]

A 1996 cover by Natalie Cole, a "duet" with her father Nat King Cole by way of vocals from his 1956 cover, won 1996 Grammys for Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals and Best Instrumental Arrangement with Accompanying Vocal(s).


  • A version was recorded by Nat King Cole on December 28, 1956. It was issued by Capitol Records on an LP album entitled Love Is the Thing, catalog number SW824. The song was also used in the movie called Istanbul (1957). 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.
  • Natalie Cole recorded two different versions of the song: the first, a contemporary R&B/smooth jazz version for her 1987 album, Everlasting, 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.
  • Johnny Mathis recorded it on his 1959 album Open Fire, Two Guitars, which charted in the UK and many other countries.
  • Sandra Dee covered the song in 1960.
  • Blues-lounge singer Etta Jones hit the Billboard Top 100 with her 1961 version.
  • A version by The Lettermen issued as a single in 1961 also became quite popular, reaching number seven on the Billboard pop chart and number one on the Easy Listening chart.[2] Veteran drummer Earl Palmer played on this version.[3]
  • Big-band leader Guy Lombardo recorded the song. His version was released in 1962, and appears on his Decca LP By Special Request.
  • Teen idol/TV star Johnny Crawford recorded the song. His version was released in 1963.
  • Donny Osmond covered the song in 1973 for his album, A Time for Us. It reached number 14 on the US pop chart and number four in the UK.
  • The Carpenters recorded this song for their last television special, Music, Music, Music!. Richard Carpenter officially released it on their album Lovelines in 1989, six years after his sister's death. The song appeared on their second compilation, Interpretations, in 1994. Carpenter also released a VHS tape called Interpretations, which held the "When I Fall in Love" music video.
  • Little Willie Littlefield recorded a version for his 1990 album Singalong with Little Willie Littlefield.
  • Tom Jones recorded a version that was released on his 1966 Decca album From the Heart.
  • Country singer Kenny Rogers included his version on his collection of love songs Always and Forever.
  • Barry Manilow included a version of this song on his 2006 album of classic songs from the 1960s.
  • Opera singer Lesley Garrett recorded the song on her 2007 album and entitled the album after it.
  • More under the "Recorded versions" section here.

Rick Astley version[edit]

"When I Fall in Love"
Single by Rick Astley
from the album Whenever You Need Somebody
B-side My Arms Keep Missing You
Released 20 October 1987
Recorded 1987
Genre Traditional pop
Length 3:02
Label RCA
Producer(s) Stock Aitken Waterman
Rick Astley singles chronology
"Learning to Live (Without Your Love)"
"When I Fall in Love"
"My Arms Keep Missing You"
Music sample

The version by Rick Astley was released in December 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, re-released the version by Nat King Cole.[4][5] 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,[6] 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.


Chart (1987) Peak
Austrian Singles Chart 21
Belgian Singles Chart 1
German Singles Chart 7
Spanish Singles Chart 3
Swedish Singles Chart 12
Swedish Singles Chart 14
UK Singles Chart 2
Chart (1988) Peak
Australian Singles Chart[7] 5

Year-end charts[edit]

End-of-year chart (1987) Position
UK Singles Chart[8] 50
End-of-year chart (1988) Position
German Singles Chart 78

Celine Dion and Clive Griffin version[edit]

"When I Fall in Love"
Single by Celine Dion and Clive Griffin
from the album Sleepless in Seattle and The Colour of My Love
Released July 1993 (1993-07)
Genre Traditional pop
Length 4:20
Producer(s) David Foster
Celine Dion singles chronology
"Did You Give Enough Love"
"When I Fall in Love"
"Plus haut que moi"

The version by Celine Dion and Clive Griffin was featured in the romantic comedy Sleepless in Seattle and released as a single in July 1993. The song was recorded expressly for the soundtrack and was originally intended as a duet between Dion and Stevie Wonder. It was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal in 1994, and won a Grammy Award for Best Instrumental Arrangement Accompanying Vocalist(s). The award went to David Foster and Jeremy Lubbock. The song appears on both, the Sleepless in Seattle soundtrack (number one on the Billboard 200 and 4x Platinum RIAA certification for selling over 4 million copies in the U.S.), and later on Dion's album The Colour of My Love, released in November 1993.[9]

The music video was directed by Dominic Orlando in Hollywood, Los Angeles.

"When I Fall in Love" reached top 40 in a few countries, including number 22 in New Zealand, number 23 in the United States, and number 37 in the Netherlands. It was popular on the U.S. Hot Adult Contemporary Tracks, peaking at number 6.

In 1998, Anne Murray performed "When I Fall in Love" with Dion live and included it on her DVD called An Intimate Evening with Anne Murray...Live. Later, this version appeared on Murray's 2007 album Anne Murray Duets: Friends & Legends.

Critical reception[edit]

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").[10]

Formats and track listings[edit]

Worldwide CD single
  1. "When I Fall in Love" – 4:20
  2. "If I Were You" – 5:07
UK CD maxi single
  1. "When I Fall in Love" – 4:20
  2. "If You Asked Me To" – 3:55
  3. "Marc Shaiman : An Affair to Remember" (instrumental) – 3:30


Recorded versions[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Whitburn, Joel (1973). Top Pop Records 1940–1955. Record Research. 
  2. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2002). Top Adult Contemporary: 1961–2001. Record Research. p. 144. 
  3. ^ Scherman, Tony, Backbeat: The Earl Palmer Story, forward by Wynton Marsalis, Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington D.C., 1999, p. 175
  4. ^ "The Ultimate Collection by Rick Astley". itunes.apple.com. Retrieved May 15, 2010. 
  5. ^ "Discography – When I Fall In Love". www.rickastley.co.uk. Retrieved May 15, 2010. 
  6. ^ "Certified Awards Search". BPI. Retrieved May 15, 2010. 
  7. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992 (Illustrated ed.). Sydney: Australian Chart Book. p. 20. ISBN 0-646-11917-6. 
  8. ^ The Complete Book Of British Charts by Warwick/Kutner/Brown
  9. ^ The Colour of My Love. Retrieved January 31, 1996.
  10. ^ Stephen Thomas Erlewine, "Celine Dion - The Colour of My Love" review, AllMusic.
  11. ^ Ryan, Gavin (2011). Australia's Music Charts 1988-2010. Mt. Martha, VIC, Australia: Moonlight Publishing. 
  12. ^ "Top RPM Singles: Issue 2263." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 3 September 2014.
  13. ^ "Top RPM Adult Contemporary: Issue 2253." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 3 September 2014.
  14. ^ Nanda Lwin (1999). Top 40 Hits: The Essential Chart Guide. Music Data Canada. ISBN 1-896594-13-1. 
  15. ^ "Céline Dion & Clive Griffin - When I Fall in Love (Song)". Hung Medien. Retrieved 9 September 2014. 
  16. ^ "Céline Dion & Clive Griffin - When I Fall in Love (Song)". Hung Medien. Retrieved 9 September 2014. 
  17. ^ "Celine Dion – Chart history" Billboard Hot 100 for Celine Dion. Retrieved 9 September 2014.
  18. ^ "Celine Dion – Chart history" Billboard Adult Contemporary for Celine Dion. Retrieved 9 September 2014.
  19. ^ "The RPM Top 100 AC Tracks of 1993". RPM. 18 December 1993. Retrieved 2 June 2015. 
  20. ^ "The Year in Music: 1993" (PDF). Billboard. 25 December 1993. p. 46. Retrieved 16 May 2015. 
  21. ^ Andy Abraham – The Impossible Dream
  22. ^ Ray Anthony › Songs List
  23. ^ When I Fall In Love Lyrics
  24. ^ Chet Baker When I Fall in Love
Preceded by
"Big Bad John" by Jimmy Dean
When I Fall in Love (The Lettermen Version) Billboard Easy Listening number-one single
January 6 1962 (1 Week)
Succeeded by
Can't Help Falling In Love by Elvis