Not to be confused with the 1984 Frankie Goes To Hollywood UK #1
or the Huey Lewis & the News
US chart-topper from 1985, this "Power Of Love" is a soaring ballad that Jennifer Rush took to #1 in the UK. In 1994, Celine Dion's version went to #1 in America.
The song is rather dramatic, with a cold vocal intro that reads like a romance novel:The whispers in the morning
Of lovers sleeping tight
Are rolling like thunder now
As I look in your eyes
Ultimately, the "power of love" soothes the singer, giving her the strength to carry on:Suddenly the feeling that I can't go on
Is light years away
Jennifer Rush wrote the lyric about her boyfriend, the Harvard graduate Steven Engebretson. She said he was just her second boyfriend; the couple was still together long after the song was released.
Rush is from New York City, but she lived in Germany for a while and ended up getting her record deal with the German division of CBS Records, which paired her with the producers Gunther Mende and Candy DeRouge (real name: Wolfgang Detmann). Her songs began as poems, which she put to the music created by her producers, who didn't speak English. On "Power Of Love," she worked with the poet/lyricist Mary Susan Applegate, who got a songwriting credit on the track along with Rush, Mende and DeRouge.
Rush released a few moderately successful singles in Germany before issuing "Power Of Love," which became a huge hit across Europe, landing at #1 in the UK, Austria and Norway. In America, the Australian duo Air Supply (who certainly knew the power of songs with "love" in the title) released the first version of the song, titled "The Power Of Love (You Are My Lady)," which made #68 on the Hot 100 in August 1985. The Jennifer Rush rendition didn't appear in America until six months later, peaking at #57 in April 1986. Laura Branigan took a crack at it in 1987, reaching #26.
The song was seemingly made for Celine Dion, who says she "got goosebumps" when she first heard it. Released as the first single from her 1993 album The Colour of My Love, it went to #1 in America in February 1994, where it stayed for four weeks.
This was the first ever million seller by a female soloist in Britain and the biggest selling single in UK in 1985. It held the record for the largest-selling single ever by a woman until Whitney Houston's 1992 smash "I Will Always Love You." At the time it held the record for the longest ever climb to #1 in the UK, with 16 weeks.
Celine Dion's version was produced by David Foster, who also helmed Whitney Houston's cover of "I Will Always Love You
." As he did with Houston, Foster had Dion stretch out the big "money note" as long as she could.
Jennifer Rush (real name Heidi Stern) is the daughter of opera singer Maurice Stern. "Power Of Love" was her first hit in the UK and her only solo chart entry in America. Her only other UK Top 20 was her follow-up "Ring Of Ice," which reached #14. In 1987 she reached #36 with "Flames Of Paradise," a duet with Elton John.
Rush's version runs 6 minutes on the album but was cut down to 4:20 for the single. Dion's clocks in at 4:46.
Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson chose this for their first dance at their 1986 wedding. Many less famous couples did as well.