|Studio album by Céline Dion|
|Released||March 26, 1990
(see release history)
|Label||Sony Music, Columbia|
|Producer||David Foster, Andy Goldmark, Tom Keane, Christopher Neil|
|Céline Dion chronology|
|Singles from Unison|
Unison is the English-language debut album of Canadian singer Céline Dion, released in 1990 in North America and the next year in the rest of the world. Counting her previous French-language releases, it is her 15th album.
Before Unison, Céline Dion already had a solid music career in Francophone markets. She had released 14 albums in her native language: 11 in Canada and 3 in France. She had won numerous music awards including 15 Félix Awards, 2 Yamaha Music Festival Awards, Eurovision Song Contest Grand Prix or MetroStar Award. Dion received gold and platinum certifications for several of her albums (4 gold, 3 platinum awards) and singles (3 gold awards). She was very successful as a French artist but still unknown in the English-speaking world.
In 1985, Dion recorded her first English single called "Listen to the Magic Man" for the movie The Peanut Butter Solution. The soundtrack also contained "Michael's Song." The same year she released a live album, Céline Dion en concert which contained a few English songs: "Up Where We Belong," "Over the Rainbow" and "What a Feeling."
In 1989, she released her second English single in Canada "Can't Live With You, Can't Live Without You," a duet with Billy Newton-Davis. Dion also recorded "Listen to Me" with Warren Wiebe. This was the title song for the movie starring Kirk Cameron. Also in 1989, she recorded her third duet with Dan Hill, called "Wishful Thinking."
After all those duets and movie songs, it was time for Dion's solo effort, an entire album in English that would introduce her to the world. For the release, CBS Records had originally offered $25,000, which would allow Dion to record new vocals over the original musical tracks from the French album Incognito. Three events would raise the ante. First, Dion performed a duet in English with Dan Hill at CBS Canada's 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 she sang "Have a Heart" - the English version of "Partout je te vois" from Incognito. After the performance the budget rose to $300,000. When David Foster later saw it on videotape, he told DiMatteo that $300,000 wasn't enough, so they were given an unlimited budget. The record ended up costing $600,000. Dion worked with three well-known producers: David Foster, Christopher Neil and Andy Goldmark.
Unison was recorded in London, New York and Los Angeles. Singles from the album include: "(If There Was) Any Other Way," "Unison" (cover of Junior's song for the Tom Cruise movie All the Right Moves), "Where Does My Heart Beat Now," "The Last to Know" (previously recorded by Sheena Easton), and a radio single "Have a Heart" (English version of Dion's 1987 song "Partout je te vois" from Incognito).
Unison earned Dion two Juno Awards for the Album of the Year and the Female Vocalist of the Year.
Céline Dion did the Unison Tour in Canada to support the album. During the tour, she took part in the recording of "Voices That Care," a charity single recorded by a group of popular musicians, entertainers and athletes to help boost the morale of U.S. troops involved in the Gulf War, and also support the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement.
Unison home video with music videos from the album and live performances was also released.
The album met with positive reviews. It 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 Faber 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 Erlwine of Allmusic declared it as "a fine, sophisticated American debut."
"Where Does My Heart Beat Now" is considered the single that broke Céline Dion into the English world of music, reaching number 4 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100. Worldwide sales of Unison have crossed 3 million copies. The albums' biggest success was in Canada and the United States where it peaked at numbers 18 and 74 respectively, going 7x platinum in Canada (by selling over 700,000 copies), and platinum in the United States (with sales of over 1.3 million).
According to Nielsen SoundScan, Unison has sold 1,222,000 copies in the U.S. through August 23, 2009. However this number does not include first 6 months of sales, as Unison was released in September 1990, and Nielsen SoundScan began tracking sales data in March 1991. Also through January 21, 2007, additional 22,000 copies of Unison were sold in a 3CD box set, called The Collection: Unison/Celine Dion/The Colour of My Love from 2004.
Unison achieved top 10 status in Norway, reaching number 8, its highest position around the world. Five years after its initial release, in 1996, Unison peaked at number 55 in the United Kingdom. The album did not chart in France, but nevertheless it was certified gold in 1997 for selling over 100,000 copies. Although Belgian Ultratop charts are available only since April 1995, Unison managed to chart in that period and peaked in mid-1997 at number 56 in Wallonia and 80 in Flanders.
While Dion was enjoying her rising success in the English-speaking world, her French and Quebec fans criticized her for neglecting them. After she won the English-speaking Artist of the Year at the Félix Awards show, she attempted to reconnect with her French-speaking fans by refusing to accept the award. She stated she was and would always be, a French, and not an English artist. Nonetheless, she would continue to compose music in both French and English, effectively becoming a bilingual artist.
To present the award to Dion, the organizers had called Claudette Dion, Celine Dion's older sister, on stage.
|Belgian Flanders Albums Chart||801|
|Belgian Wallonia Albums Chart||561|
|Canadian Albums Chart||18||7x Platinum||700,000|
|French Albums Chart||—||Gold||100,000|
|Norwegian Albums Chart||8|
|UK Albums Chart||55|
|U.S. Billboard 200||74||Platinum||1,222,000|
1 chart is available only since April 1995
|1990||Billet Platine||Billet Platine for the Concert Céline Dion|
|1991||Juno Awards||Album of the Year – Unison|
|1991||Juno Awards||Female Vocalist of the Year|
|1991||Félix Awards||Quebec Artist Achieving the Most Success in a Language Other Than French|
|Canada||March 26, 1990||Sony Music, Columbia||CD||80150|
|United States||September 11, 1990||Epic||46983|
|Japan||February 21, 1991||Sony Music Japan, Epic||ESCA-5184|
|Australia, United Kingdom||March 4, 1991||Sony Music, Epic||4672032|