Alone (Heart song)

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"Alone" is a song composed by Billy Steinberg and Tom Kelly. It first appeared via Steinberg and Kelly's 1983 pet project, I-Ten, on Taking a Cold Look. It was later recorded by Valerie Stevenson and John Stamos, in their roles as Lisa Copley and Gino Minelli, on the original soundtrack of the CBS sitcom Dreams in 1984. the American rock band Heart, recording it for and releasing it from their 1987 album Bad Animals, made it a number-one US and Canadian hit that year. In 2007, by then twenty years later, Celine Dion recorded it for her album Taking Chances.

Heart version[edit]

Heart Alone.jpg
Single by Heart
from the album Bad Animals
B-side "Barracuda" (live)
Released May 16, 1987
Recorded February 19, 1987
Length 3:39
Label Capitol
Producer(s) Ron Nevison
Heart singles chronology
"If Looks Could Kill"
"Who Will You Run To"

"If Looks Could Kill"
"Who Will You Run To"

Heart, as stated above, released the song as the first single from their ninth studio album, Bad Animals, in May of 1987. Their version is a power ballad[1] that begins with a piano line and a subdued vocal from Ann Wilson before exploding into an amplified hard rock and synth-led chorus. The song has been covered numerous times on American Idol, According to a Songfacts interview with Steinberg, Kelly, himself an experienced session singer, provided the high harmony parts on the record.[2] "Alone" is Heart's biggest hit, spending three weeks at No. 1 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 that July. It ranked No. 2 on the Billboard Year-End Top Pop Singles of 1987, behind "Walk Like An Egyptian" by The Bangles. It is also their most successful single in the United Kingdom, where it peaked at No. 3 on the UK Singles Chart, so far as the band's only ever song to peak inside the UK Top 5; it is also one out of three UK Top 10 singles by the band.

The song was also a big global hit, reaching No. 1 in Canada, the top five in Ireland, Norway, and Switzerland, the top ten in Australia, Belgium and the Netherlands as well as the top twenty in Germany. An "unplugged" version of the song later appeared on Heart's 1995 album The Road Home. An extended version of "Alone" clocking in at 5:30 was released in Japan as the B-side of Heart's third single from Bad Animals, "There's the Girl". This "Long Version" is exclusive to this 3" mini-CD single, and not found on any other release.[3]

Music video[edit]

The video for the song was directed by Marty Callner, and was released in June of 1987. It starts with Ann at the top of a balcony singing to Nancy, who is at the bottom (similar to the famous "Romeo & Juliet" scene). Ann is then seen in all black, including a funeral veil and gown. The two sisters are then seen performing the refrain to an audience on stage, when Nancy's piano collapses at the first bang of the chorus. During the second verse, a broken-down and dilapidated set (the same set from the "These Dreams" video) is seen, with Nancy playing the piano within it. Nancy is then seen riding atop a black horse and jumping out on stage with her guitar as the instrumental section kicks in. It then shows Ann, in the all-black outfit within the broken set and thereby resembling a witch, before cutting directly back to the stage performance as the song reaches its climax. As the song fades out, a shot of Ann and Nancy together is shown, with each one looking directly into each other's eyes, before finally finishing with a quick shot of Ann's face as the screen goes black.

Charts and certifications[edit]

Weekly charts[edit]

Chart (1987) Peak
Australia (KMR)[4] 6
Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 40)[5] 22
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)[6] 8
Canada Top Singles (RPM)[7] 1
Canada Adult Contemporary (RPM)[8] 1
Canada (The Record's Retail Singles Chart)[9] 1
Europe (European Hot 100 Singles)[10] 9
Germany (Official German Charts)[11] 18
Ireland (IRMA)[12] 3
Netherlands (Dutch Top 40)[13] 6
Netherlands (Single Top 100)[14] 6
Norway (VG-lista)[15] 5
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)[16] 4
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[17] 3
US Billboard Hot 100[18] 1
US Adult Contemporary (Billboard)[19] 2
US Mainstream Rock (Billboard)[20] 3

Celine Dion version[edit]

Celine Dion - Alone.jpg
Single by Celine Dion
from the album Taking Chances
Released May 5, 2008 (2008-05-05)
Format Music download
Recorded January 2007 Conway Studios, Studio at the Palms
Genre Pop rock
Length 3:24
Producer(s) Ben Moody
Celine Dion singles chronology
"The Prayer"
"My Love"

"The Prayer"
"My Love"
Music video
"Alone" on YouTube

Celine Dion covered "Alone" for her tenth English-language studio album, Taking Chances, which she released in 2007. It was released as the second single in Europe and North America, and third in the United Kingdom, while "Eyes on Me" was released as the second single in the United Kingdom instead. "Alone" was produced by Ben Moody, ex-member of Evanescence. The version received mixed reviews from music critics, who thought that the cover was too similar with the original, considering it a dull and carbon-copy version.

Background and release[edit]

Dion covered "Alone" in 2007 for her tenth English studio album, Taking Chances, released that year. The version was produced by Ben Moody, former member of rock band Evanescence.[32] Dion's version features tinkling pianos and enveloping strings.[32] It was released as the second single in Europe and North America, and third in the United Kingdom. The digital single release in the UK on May 5, 2008 was coincided with the British leg of the Taking Chances World Tour.[33] In October 2008, "Alone" was included on the European version of My Love: Essential Collection.[34] A live version was included in the Taking Chances World Tour: The Concert CD/DVD.[35]

Critical reception[edit]

Music critics were divided on "Alone." Stephen Thomas Erlewine from AllMusic picked the song as one of the best tracks on Taking Chances, and wrote that "Celine attempts to snatch Heart's 'Alone' from Carrie Underwood and cribs from Kelly Clarkson's operatic rock, two blatant thieveries that, when combined with the quartet of explicit changeups, gives Taking Chances a vaguely desperate vibe, as if Celine needs to prove that she still reigns supreme among all divas."[36] Sarah Rodman wrote for The Boston Globe that "Enlisting former Evanescence guitarist Ben Moody adds little; in fact, the carbon-copy arrangement doesn't pack as much windswept melodramatic punch as Dion's own 'It's All Coming Back to Me Now.' Great vocal, terrific melody, a fine rendition, but 'Alone' is already indelibly stamped by Heart's Ann Wilson."[37]

Toronto Star editor Ashante Infantry called this song "sentimental, cringe-worthy diva track." Chuck Taylor of Billboard called it "a rowdy cover."[38] Rob Sheffield of Rolling Stone gave the song a negative review, writing: "That's nothing compared to Dion shrieking the ten millionth version of Heart's 'Alone' (mad pitchy, dog!), produced by ex-Evanescence guitarist Ben Moody – Amy Lee, meet the fugliest bullet you ever dodged."[39]

Commercial performance[edit]

The song debuted on November 24, 2007 at No. 85 on the UK Singles Chart.[40] It spent two weeks on the chart.[40] After selling 12,535 copies, it entered the US Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles at No. 24 and Canadian Hot 100 at No. 57. It entered the Swedish Singles Chart, due to strong digital sales, and peaked at No. 52.[41]

Music video and live performances[edit]

The music video was taken from Dion's CBS TV special That's Just the Woman in Me and released on March 8, 2008.[42] Dion promoted "Alone" at that time in France, performing it on Star Academy. On November 23, 2007, she went to the American talkshow The View to perform "Taking Chances" as well as "Alone."[43] Dion performed the song during most dates of her Taking Chances World Tour; the performance was included in the Taking Chances World Tour: The Concert CD/DVD.[35]

Formats and track listings[edit]

UK digital single

  1. "Alone" – 3:23


Chart (2007–08) Peak
Canada (Canadian Hot 100)[44] 57
Canada AC (Billboard)[45] 7
Norway (VG-lista Airplay)[46] 37
Sweden (Sverigetopplistan)[47] 52
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[48] 85
US Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles (Billboard)[49] 24
US Digital Songs (Billboard)[50] 81
US Pop 100 (Billboard)[51] 86

Release history[edit]

Country Date Format
United Kingdom[52] May 5, 2008 Digital download


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External links[edit]