PART I: THE EARLY DAYS 1981-1988
Du Soleil Au Coeur (1983) Era
The career of Celine Dion started in her native Quebec, the French-speaking area of Canada, in 1981. That year saw the release of two albums, La Voix Du Bon Dieu in early November and Christmas album Celine Dion Chante Noel barely three weeks later. Both albums had some success in Quebec, although former Canadian RPM charts weren’t reflecting Quebec sales, explaining why the artist never entered Canadian charts before 1990. Those albums were not released outside Canada, just like her third album Tellement J’Ai D’Amour issued in 1982.
This album included the song D’Amour Ou D’Amitié yet, that became a sizable #5 hit in France in 1983. If Tellement J’Ai D’Amour still hasn’t been issued, this success led Pathé Marconi label to drop a compilation in France of her early songs, Du Soleil Au Coeur. This record failed to chart due to the restricted Top 30 available by late 1983, but still sold 50,000 units during its first years. Not available in CD until 2002, this album wasn’t a strong beneficiary of her upcoming success, but we will get into those points later.
Les Oiseaux Du Bonheur (1984) Era
As her popularity was not as strong in France as in Quebec, following years the same logic was used with regular studio albums released in Canada and only compilations of them issued in France. Thus, Les Chemins De Ma Maison (1983), Chants Et Contes De Noël (1983), Mélanie (1984), Les Plus Grands Succès De Celine Dion (1984) were Canadian only releases and their songs got mostly covered on Celine Dion second album to be issued in France, the compilation Les Oiseaux Du Bonheur. Lacking a hit single, this album sold an estimated 15,000 copies only and has never been issued as a CD since, being out of print for many years.
Incognito (1987) Era
C’Est Pour Toi (1985), live set Celine Dion En Concert (1985), compilation Les Chansons En Or (1986), the artist first release involving a CD format, were released in Canada but not in France. Celine Dion was needing some extra help to confirm the previous success of D’Amour Ou D’Amitié in France.
This help came in April 30, 1988. On that date, Celine Dion represented Switzerland with the song Ne Partez Pas Sans Moi at Eurovision song contest. It was close as she got 137 points against UK singer 136 points, but the Canadian singer ended wining the competition.
In May the song was released all over Europe and by June, The Best Of Celine Dion, covering her first seven years of career, was issued too to benefit from Eurovision exposure. Later in the year, the artist last album Incognito, released one year before the Eurovision in Canada, was released in France with Ne Partez Pas Sans Moi song added to the tracklist. Once again, the success was still not met as only the single charted, at #36. Both albums still respectively sold an estimated 40,000 and 20,000 units.
Top 3 Most Streamed Tracks on Spotify
- Ne Partez Pas Sans Moi – 829,000
- D’Amour Ou D’Amitié – 686,000
- Mon Ami M’A Quittée – 263,000