Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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It’s All Coming Back to Me Now

Originally recorded by Pandora’s Box (UK #51 1989).
Other hit versions by Celine Dion (US #2/MOR #1/UK #3/CAN #1/ 1996), Meat Loaf & Marion Raven (UK #6/SCOT #2/NOR #1/GER #7 2006).

If this sounds like a song Meat Loaf should’ve recorded, you’d be right. The songwriter was Jim Steinman, writer of Meat Loaf’s hits ‘Paradise By the Dashboard Lights’, and ‘Two Out of Three Ain’t Bad’. But, Steinman had other plans. Meat Loaf would, however, eventually, be given his opportunity to record ‘It’s All Coming Back to Me Now’ – in 2006 – a decade after Celine Dion had made it into an international hit.

From the wiki: “According to Jim Steinman the song was inspired by the book Wuthering Heights, and was his attempt to write ‘the most passionate, romantic song’ he could ever create. Meat Loaf had wanted to record the song for years, but Steinman saw it as a ‘woman’s song.’ Steinman won a court movement preventing Meat Loaf from recording it.

“In 1989, Steinman instead produced a concept album, Original Sin, with an all-female group called Pandora’s Box. Elaine Caswell was the lead vocalist for ‘It’s All Coming Back To Me Now’, who apparently collapsed five times during its recording. (Original Sin featured other tracks that would later be recorded by other artists, particularly Meat Loaf.)

“For the session, Roy Bittan (of the E Street Band) performed on the grand piano, with Steinman and Jeff Bova on electric keyboards. Todd Rundgren arranged the background vocals, which were performed by Ellen Foley, Gina Taylor, and Deliria Wilde. ‘It’s All Coming Back to Me Now’ was released as a single in the United Kingdom in October 1989, but only reached #51 in the singles charts.

“Seven years later, Celine Dion covered the song, which upset Meat Loaf because he had been planning (court order or not) to use it on the album with the working title Bat Out of Hell III (see below). Dion’s recording was the lead track on her album, Falling into You. Jim Steinman produced the track, joined in the studio by other Steinman collaborators, including Todd Rundgren, Glen Burtnik (Styx), Rory Dodd (probably best known for singing as the second voice (the ‘Turn around, bright eyes’ lyrics) on another Steinman composition, Bonnie Tyler’s ‘Total Eclipse of the Heart’), and Roy Bittan (Utopia).

“The Calgary Sun opined: ‘[‘It’s All Coming Back to Me Now’] is undoubtedly the highlight of Dion’s English-language recording career. Her over-the-top vocals soar and swoop around Steinman’s epic, ostentatious arrangement. Not surprisingly, everything else that follows… pales in comparison.’ According to the Sunday Times, Andrew Lloyd Webber told Steinman he thought this song was ‘the greatest love song ever written,’ and on hearing the Dion version reportedly said: ‘This will be the record of the millennium.’

“Meat Loaf would eventually be given the ‘okay’ by Steinman to record ‘It’s All Coming Back to Me Now’ – as a duet with Norwegian singer Marion Raven – for Bat III and it was released internationally as a single in 2006, peaking in the UK Top-10 and topping the chart in Norway.”

Celine Dion, “It’s All Coming Back to Me Now” (1996):

Meat Loaf & Marion Raven, “It’s All Coming Back to Me Now” (2006):

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