It's All Coming Back to Me Now

It's All Coming Back to Me Now

Infobox Single
Name = It's All Coming Back to Me Now

Artist = Pandora's Box
from Album = Original Sin
Released = 1989
Format = 7" single, 12" single, 3" CD single
[Recorded =]
Genre = Power ballad, Wagnerian rock
Audio sample? = yes
Length = 8:22 (album version)
6:32 (single edit)
Label = Virgin
Writer = Jim Steinman
Producer = Jim Steinman
[Certification =]
Last single =
[This single =]
Next single =
"It's All Coming Back to Me Now" is a power ballad, written by Jim Steinman. [According to Meat Loaf as indicated in [ this Reuters report (31 July 2006, accessed 11 September 2006)] , it was written for the first album in the "Bat out of Hell" album trilogy, recorded by Meat Loaf.] According to Steinman the song was inspired by "Wuthering Heights", and was an attempt to write "the most passionate, romantic song" he could ever create.cite web | |title=Jim Steinman on "It's All Coming Back To Me Now" |url= |accessdate=2006-09-04] Meat Loaf has said the song was intended for "" and given to the singer in 1986, but that they both decided to use "I'd Do Anything for Love (But I Won't Do That)" for "Bat II", and save this song for "Bat III".cite interview |last=Loaf |first=Meat |subjectlink= Meat Loaf |interviewer= Steve Wright |callsign=BBC Radio 2 |city= London |date=2006-08-04 |program= Steve Wright in the Afternoon] cite news |first=Zul |last=Othman |title=Man out of hell |work=Channel NewsAsia |date=2006-10-26 |url= |accessdate=2006-10-26]

The song has had three major releases, all roughly belonging to the soft rock genre. The first version appeared on the concept album "Original Sin", recorded by Pandora's Box. It was then recorded by Céline Dion for her album "Falling into You", and her version was a commercial hit, reaching No. 2 in the US Billboard Hot 100 and No. 3 in the UK singles chart. Meat Loaf recorded it as a duet with Norwegian singer Marion Raven for "Bat III" and released it as a single in 2006.

A music video was produced for each of the three versions; death is a recurring theme in all of these videos, fitting in with the suggestion in Virgin's press release for "Original Sin" that "in Steinman's songs, the dead come to life and the living are doomed to die."cite press release |publisher=Virgin Records |date=1989 |url= |format=Reprint on website |title=Pandora's Box Press Kit |accessdate=2006-09-04] This is particularly evident when the dead characters seem to be resurrected in the memories of the main vocalist. Although in the case of Celine Dion's video, the theme is less about the living being doomed and more about a lost love.


Influenced by Emily Brontë's novel "Wuthering Heights", Steinman compared the song to 'Heathcliffe digging up Cathy's corpse and dancing with it in the cold moonlight'. In the "Jim Steinman Opens Pandora's Box" promotional video, he posits that the novel:

is always made much too polite; it always has been in movies. This isn't the "Wuthering Heights" of Kate Bush -- that little fanciful "Wuthering Heights". The scene they always cut out is the scene when Heathcliffe digs up Catherine's body and dances in the moonlight and on the beach with it. I think you can't get much more operatic or passionate than that. I was trying to write a song about dead things coming to life. I was trying to write a song about being enslaved and obsessed by love, not just enchanted and happy with it. It was about the dark side of love; about the ability to be resurrected by it... I just tried to put everything I could into it, and I'm real proud of it.cite video |people=Jim Steinman |year=1989 |title=Jim Steinman Opens Pandora's Box | medium=DVD |publisher=Virgin Records]

In another interview, Steinman expands on his comments about the song being about the 'dark side of love'.

It's about obsession, and that can be scary because you're not in control and you don't know where it's going to stop. It says that, at any point in somebody's life, when they loved somebody strongly enough and that person returns, a certain touch, a certain physical gesture can turn them from being defiant and disgusted with this person to being subservient again. And it's not just a pleasurable feeling that comes back, it's the complete terror and loss of control that comes back. And I think that's ultimately a great weapon.

The website "Allmusic" called the song 'a tormented ballad about romantic loss and regret built on a spooky yet heart-wrenching piano melody'. [cite web | first=Donald A. |last=Guarisco |work=Allmusic | title=Original Sin: Pandora's Box review | url= |accessdate=2006-09-22] The torment is present in the song's opening ('There were nights when the wind was so cold'), from which the singer recovers ('I finished crying in the instant that you left... And I banished every memory you and I had ever made'). However, the defiance in the verses are replaced by the return of the 'subservient' feelings in the chorus ('when you touch me like this, and you hold me like that...'); this juxtaposition continues throughout the song.

:'There were those empty threats and hollow lies:'And whenever you tried to hurt me:'I just hurt you even worse and so much deeper.'

Eroticism is implied in the lines 'There were nights of endless pleasure' and 'The flesh and the fantasies: all coming back to me'. The song ends with a passionate, quiet reprise of the chorus. Critics have also identified Wagner, of whom Steinman is an admirer, as an inspiration. Specifying this song, the "Sunday Times" said "the theme of Wagner's opera "Tristan and Isolde", with its extreme passions and obsessive love, informs all his best work."cite news |first=Spencer |last=Bright |title=Jim'll Fix It |work=Sunday Times |url= |date=1996-12-08 |accessdate=2007-07-09]

A 2007 article in the "Toronto Star" claims that the song was written as Steinman's "tryout" as lyricist for Andrew Lloyd Webber's "Sunset Boulevard". [cite news |first=Richard |last=Ouzounian |title=Whistle blower | |url= |date=2007-12-29 |accessdate=2007-12-30]

Pandora's Box

In 1989, Steinman produced a concept album, "Original Sin", with an all-female group called Pandora's Box. The album featured many tracks that would later be recorded by other artists, particularly Meat Loaf. Elaine Caswell was the lead vocalist for "It's All Coming Back To Me Now", collapsing five times during its recording. Caswell has since performed the song as part of The Dream Engine at Joe's Pub in New York City.

For the track, Roy Bittan performed on the grand piano, with Steinman and Jeff Bova on keyboards. Guitars were by Eddie Martinez, with Steve Buslowe on bass guitar. Todd Rundgren arranged the background vocals, which were performed by Ellen Foley, Gina Taylor and Deliria Wilde. [cite web | first=Richard |last=Murray| work=Rick's World | title= It's all coming back to me now |url=| accessdate=2006-09-20]

The song was released as a single in the UK, but only reached No. 51 in the singles charts, in October 1989. ["British Hit Singles", Guinness] In its emphatic review of the album, "Kerrang!" magazine called the song 'excruciatingly operatic'. [cite news |first=Neil |last=Jeffries |title=Jim In A Box |url= |format=Reprint on website |work=Kerrang! |date=1989 |accessdate=2006-09-04]

Ken Russell directed the video, which was filmed at Pinewood Studios in Buckinghamshire. Steinman wrote the script, based on Russell's segment in the compilation opera movie "Aria".cite news |first=Sylvie |last=Simmons |title=Sex, Lies & Videotape |url= |format=Reprint on website |work=RAW magazine |date=1989 |accessdate=2006-09-04] Elements include leather, snakes, tombstones and cockrings with shrunken heads, and the video featured Caswell as a girl near death - from a motorcycle crash - being ministered to by paramedics, fantasizing and being 'sexually aroused by a large python and writhing on a bed that lit up in time with the music, while surrounded by a group of bemused, semi-naked dancers'.cite news |first=Jon |last=Hotten |title=Bat Out Of Hell - The Story Behind The Album |url= |format=Reprint on website |work=Classic Rock Magazine |date=September, 2000 |accessdate = 2006-09-03] When Steinman's manager saw it, he responded 'It's a porno movie!' The two-day shoot ran over schedule and budget, costing £35,000 an hour. Russell and Steinman even designed a sequence where a motorcyclist would cycle up the steps of a local church-tower, jump out of the turrets at the top, and then explode; alas, the wardens of the church refused permission.

The 7", 12" and CD singles featured Steven Margoshes's piano solo "Pray Lewd" (containing elements of "It's All Coming Back To Me Now"), Steinman's monologue "I've Been Dreaming Up A Storm Lately", and "Requiem Metal", a sample from Verdi's "Requiem Mass", all from the album "Original Sin". [cite web | |title= Pandora's Box Discography & Collectibles |url= |accessdate=2006-09-03]

Céline Dion

Infobox Single
Name = It's All Coming Back to Me Now

Artist = Céline Dion
from Album = Falling into You
Released = Start date|1996|7|29
Format = CD single, cassette single, vinyl single
Recorded = The Hit Factory
Genre = Power ballad, soft rock
Audio sample? = yes
Length = 7:37 (album version)
5:31 (radio edit)
Label = Columbia, Epic
Writer = Jim Steinman
Producer = Jim Steinman, Steven Rinkoff, Roy Bittan
Certification = Platinum (United States)
Gold (Australia, New Zealand)
Silver (United Kingdom)
Last single = "J'irai où tu iras"
This single = "It's All Coming Back To Me Now"
Next single = "The Power of the Dream"
Misc = Extra album cover
Upper caption = Alternate covers
Type = Single

Lower caption = Remixes single
Extra album cover

Lower caption = Promotional single
The "Sunday Times" posits that 'Steinman protects his songs as if they were his children." Meat Loaf had wanted to record "It's All Coming Back..." for years, but Steinman saw it as a "woman's song." Steinman won a court movement preventing his "Bat" vocalist from recording it. Céline Dion went on to record it, which upset Meat Loaf because he was going to use it for a planned album with the working title "Bat out of Hell III".

The song was the first on Dion's album "Falling into You." Steinman produced the track, with Steven Rinkoff and Roy Bittan as co-producers. "Bat out of Hell" and Meat Loaf collaborators Todd Rundgren, Eric Troyer, Rory Dodd, Glen Burtnick and Kasim Sulton provided backing vocals.
Nigel Dick directed the music video for Dion's version, with Simon Archer as cinematographer and Jaromir Svarc as art director. It was shot between June 29 and July 3, 1996 in the summer palace of the Czech Emperor, Ploskovice and Barandov Studios, Prague, Czech Republic; it was later released in July 1996. [cite web |work=Nigel Dick |title= Celine Dion "It's All Coming Back To Me Now" |url= |accessdate=2006-09-25 ] Castle Ploskovice in Ploskovice supplied the exterior of the gothic mansion. [cite web |work=BOEHMISCHER KULTUR KLUB |title= Castle Ploskovice * A visit of the Castle * |url= |accessdate=2006-09-06 This site does not mention the video, but a comparison of the photographs on that site to the video are conclusive.] There are two versions of this music video; the full version (about 7:44 in length) and the single version (about 5:00 in length). Both of them are included on Dion's 2001 DVD video collection "All the Way… A Decade of Song & Video".

The video opens with a man dying in an explosive motorcycle crash, after lightning strikes a tree down in his path. Dion's character is haunted by her lover's image, which she sees through a mirror, and images of them together through picture frames. There are stylistic similarities to Russell Mulcahy's video for Steinman's "Total Eclipse of the Heart", to the extent that "Slant Magazine" calls Dick's video an update. [cite web |work=Slant Magazine |title= 100 Greatest Music Videos |url=| accessdate=2006-09-20] Dion is seen running alone through a dark, gothic mansion, with wind blowing through the open windows.

Several versions of the CD single were released in 1996. They featured the songs "The Power of the Dream", "Le fils de Superman", "Fly", "To Love You More", and a live version of "Where Does My Heart Beat Now"; a cassette and 7" vinyl version were also released. [ [] & [] , "" Accessed September 6, 2006] Another CD contained several dance remixes, although these attracted negative reviews. While praising its original form, Allmusic said that 'as a dance song, it misses the mark...the final 'Moran' mix is a little better [than the other dance mixes] because the vocals don't pop up until three and a half minutes into the song'. [cite web |author=Promis, Jose |work=Allmusic |title= It's All Coming Back to Me Now |url= |accessdate=2006-09-22]

The single version of "It's All Coming Back to Me Now" was included also on Dion's compilation album "All the Way… A Decade of Song" (1999) and the Japanese only hits collection "Complete Best" (2008), while the song itself was a smash hit around the world, reaching No. 1 in the United World Chart, Belgium (5 weeks at the top), No. 2 in the United States, Canada and Ireland, No. 3 in the United Kingdom, No. 4 in the Netherlands, and so on. It sold 1,176,000 copies in the U.S. and was certified platinum, as well as being certified gold in Australia (35,000) and New Zealand (5,000), and silver in the UK (350,000). The track reached No. 1 in some other American charts, such as Hot 100 Airplay (2 weeks), Hot Adult Contemporary Tracks (5 weeks), Top 40 Mainstream (1 week) or ARC Weekly Top 40 (5 weeks). It also peaked at No. 3 on the Hot 100 Singles Sales. "It's All Coming Back to Me Now" topped the Canadian Adult Contemporary chart as well.

The song, however, attracted mixed reviews. "The Calgary Sun" stated: " [The song] is undoubtedly the highlight of her English-language recording career. Dion's over-the-top vocals soar and swoop around Steinman's epic, ostentatious arrangement. Not surprisingly, everything else that follows... pales in comparison." Toronto's "Eye Weekly" said Steinman's "fatal absence from the last Meat Loaf record is finally justified here", and "The Miami Herald" said "Dion knocks a couple out of the ballpark... [the song] features seven minutes of Wagnerian bombast, thunderclap piano chords and emoting that would wither an opera diva. Sure, it's over-the-top but it's passionate and musical."

Some other reviews were less enthusiastic. After labelling Dion "a Madonna-meets-Meat Loaf vocal freak", "The Vancouver Sun" called the song "intensely self-indulgent, pompously self-important and mediocre beyond belief, the song just never ends." "The Ottawa Sun" called it 'turgid', while "The Toronto Sun", coincidentally, said that it "sounds like a Meat Loaf reject." [ All of these quotations from reviews are borrowed from cite web | |title= Hedonists & Heretics |url= |accessdate=2006-09-20]

According to the "Sunday Times", Andrew Lloyd Webber told Steinman he thought this song "the greatest love song ever written", and on hearing the Dion version reportedly said: "This will be the record of the millennium."

Official versions

#"It's All Coming Back to Me Now" (Classic Paradise radio mix #1) – 4:20
#"It's All Coming Back to Me Now" (Classic Paradise radio mix #2) – 3:47
#"It's All Coming Back to Me Now" (Classic Paradise mix) – 8:17
#"It's All Coming Back to Me Now" (the Moran anthem 7" edit) – 4:20
#"It's All Coming Back to Me Now" (the Moran anthem mix) – 14:38
#"It's All Coming Back to Me Now" (the Moran anthem mix part 1) – 10:32
#"It's All Coming Back to Me Now" (the Moran breakdown dub) – 9:09
#"It's All Coming Back to Me Now" (Prophet mix) – 7:04
#"It's All Coming Back to Me Now" (Aphrodisiac mix) – 7:47
#"It's All Coming Back to Me Now" (Amnesia mix) – 7:33
#"It's All Coming Back to Me Now" (radio edit #1) – 5:31
#"It's All Coming Back to Me Now" (radio edit #2) – 6:06
#"It's All Coming Back to Me Now" (album version) – 7:37


Meat Loaf and Marion Raven

Infobox Single
Name = It's All Coming Back to Me Now

Artist = Meat Loaf featuring Marion Raven
from Album =
Released = October 16, 2006
Format = CD, DVD, 7"
[Recorded =]
Genre = Power ballad, Wagnerian Rock
Audio sample? = yes
Length = 6:07 (album version)
4:31 (single edit)
Label = Mercury
Writer = Jim Steinman
Producer = Desmond Child
[Certification =]
Misc = Extra chronology
Artist = Meat Loaf singles
Last single = "Man of Steel"
This single = "It's All Coming Back to Me Now"
Next single = "Cry over Me"
Extra chronology
Artist = Marion Raven singles
Last single = "Here I Am"
This single = "It's All Coming Back to Me Now"
Next single = "Heads Will Roll"
In interviews, Meat Loaf has said that, in his mind, the song was always meant to be a duet. [cite web |work=Channel 9 |title=Rock Legend |url= |accessdate=2006-09-02 -- interview posted on YouTube]

It was recorded as a duet by Meat Loaf and Marion Raven for the album "", produced by Desmond Child. Raven had been working on her solo album with Child, and was chosen because the timbre of her voice starkly contrasts to Meat Loaf's. [cite episode | title = Bat out of Hell III | series = Liner Notes | network = XM Satellite Radio | airdate = 2006-09-11] In promotional interviews, Meat Loaf said that "I believe that the version that Marion Raven and myself did on this album is the definitive version."

Meat Loaf cried when he first heard the song, which "is the only time that's happened."cite news |first=Cameron |last=Adams |title=Meat Loaf's a Hell raiser |work=Herald Sun |url=,21985,20642893-5006024,00.html |date=2006-10-26 |accessdate=2006-10-26] He has also said that the song could refer to Steinman and himself, with an array of emotions coming back every time they work together. Referring to lines like 'when I kiss you like that', he said that although "I love Jim Steinman', he wouldn't French kiss him!"cite interview |last= Loaf|first= Meat |subjectlink= Meat Loaf |interviewer=Ken Bruce |title= |callsign=BBC Radio 2 |city= London |date=2006-10-18 |program=Ken Bruce]

To me it wasn't a song about romance, it was about me and Jim Steinman. We'd had a load of problems with managers in the early '80s and all of a sudden after five years we started to communicate. After I'd been to his house, he sent me the song, and it was "It's All Coming Back To Me Now". Not the line 'When you kiss me like that', but the emotional connection. It doesn't have to be literal.

" [cite web |first =Keith |last=Phipps |work=A.V. Club |title=Newswire: Watch: First video from BAT OUT OF HELL III |url= |accessdate=2006-09-20] ) in a car, which she crashes when swerving to avoid a man standing in the road.

This version of the song replaces the word 'nights' with 'lights', in the line 'There were nights of endless pleasure'. The ending of the single version is different, concluding with an additional 'We forgive and forget and it's all coming back to me now'. The album version, following those recorded by Pandora's Box and Céline Dion, ends with the female voice whispering 'And if we...', followed by four piano notes.

The track was available to download from iTunes in the UK in August 2006, two months before its UK release on October 16. The CD single includes the song "Black Betty", with the limited edition 7" featuring "Whore", a rock duet with Patti Russo; it was also released as a DVD single.cite web | work=Townsend Records | title=It's All Coming Back To Me Now (1xDVDS) | url= | accessdate=2006-09-06] The album version was made available on Meat Loaf and Marion Raven's respective MySpace sites in August, [ ;] with the single version being played during some of their promotional interviews, such as that on BBC Radio 2. The cover art is by Julie Bell, who is also the artist for the album "Bat out Of Hell III". [cite web | work= | title= BAT OUT OF HELL III - INFO UPDATE |url= | accessdate=2006-09-20]

The single entered the UK charts at No. 6 on October 22, 2006, giving Meat Loaf his highest position in the UK charts since "I'd Lie For You (And That's The Truth)" reached No. 2 in 1995. Critical reaction was generally positive, with "The Guardian" saying that the song is "ostensibly a reflection on love, but imbued with the delicacy of aircraft carriers colliding at sea." [cite news |first=Caroline |last=Sullivan |title=Meat Loaf, Bat Out of Hell III |work=The Guardian |format=Guardian Unlimited (online) |url=,,1926073,00.html |date=2006-10-20 |accessdate=2006-10-25]

Marion Raven joined Meat Loaf for his 2007 tour of Europe. She was the supporting act, promoting her "Set Me Free" album. Meat Loaf introduced her again on stage at the latter stages of the concerts to duet on "It's All Coming Back to Me Now". [cite web |title=Norwegian singer tours UK with Meat Loaf | |url= |accessdate=2007-05-25] A performance was recorded and released on DVD as "3 Bats Live".

Chart performance

s-ttl | title = Norwegian VG-lista number-one single (first run)
years = October 25, 2006 – November 8, 2006
s-ttl | title = Norwegian VG-lista number-one single (second run)
years = November 22, 2006 – December 13, 2006
s-ttl | title = Norwegian VG-lista number-one single (third run)
years = December 20, 2006 – December 27, 2006

Other versions

In addition to the three major releases, the song has been recorded by other artists and used in television series. A dance version was released by Natalie Browne in the UK in 1996, released by Almighty Records. [cite web |title=Natalie Browne | |url= |accessdate=2007-05-25] Contestants of the TV show "American Idol" regularly perform the song. Kimberly Kelsey sang it, accompanied by a piano, in season 2. [cite web |title=American Idol: KIMBERLY KELSEY |work=American Idol |url= |accessdate=2007-05-25] Before the listings for the album "" were made public, Meat Loaf performed the song in the 2006 season finale with Katharine McPhee. [cite web |first=Corey |last=Moss |title=Katharine Congratulates '39-Year-Old' Taylor, Calls Meat Loaf Duet 'Interesting' | |url= |date=2006-05-25 |accessdate=2007-05-25] Haley Scarnato sang it in season 6, [cite web |first=Bill |last=Lamb|title=American Idol Season 6 - The Songs: It's All Coming Back to Me Now | : Top 40/Pop |url= |accessdate=2007-05-25] [cite web |title=American Idol: Haley Scarnato |work=American Idol |url= |accessdate=2007-05-25] and David Hernandez sang it in season 7.


External links

* [ Lyrics]

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