My Heart Will Go On

Happy TUNEBACK TUESDAY! Today’s TuneBack, My Heart Will Go On, is dedicated to the incredible Celine Dion. Sadly, she lost both her husband and brother to Cancer this past week. My thoughts are with her and her family during this difficult time.

ORIGINAL RELEASE DATE: December 8, 1997

TRIVIA: James Horner had originally composed the music for the song as an instrumental motif which he used in several scenes during Titanic. He then wanted to prepare a full vocal version of it, for use in the end credits of the film. Director James Cameron did not want such a song, but Will Jennings went ahead anyway and wrote the lyrics. When Dion originally heard the song, she did not want to record it. Horner showed the piano sketch to Simon Franglen, who was working with him on electronic textures and synthesizers for the film score. Franglen, who had, himself, worked with Dion for several years on many of her major hits to date, programmed and arranged an extensive demo to take to Dion.

In Hitmaker: The Man and His Music by Tommy Mottola, he claims that Dion recorded the song in one take, and that demo is what was released. Mottola states that since so much money was on the line for Cameron’s film that Cameron felt obligated to include a theme song to promote the movie.

Dion’s manager and husband René Angélil convinced her to sing on this demo version, which she had not done for many years. Horner waited until Cameron was in an appropriate mood before presenting him with the song. After playing it several times, Cameron declared his approval, even though he worried that he might be criticized for “going commercial at the end of the movie”. Cameron also wanted to appease anxious studio executives and “saw that a hit song from his movie could only be a positive factor in guaranteeing its completion.”

See you next Tuesday!

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