All by Myself

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"All by Myself"
All By Myself - Eric Carmen.jpg
Single by Eric Carmen
from the album Eric Carmen
ReleasedDecember 1, 1975[1]
Format7" single
Length7:10 (album version)
4:22 (single edit)
Songwriter(s)Eric Carmen, Sergei Rachmaninoff
Producer(s)Jimmy Ienner
Eric Carmen singles chronology
"All by Myself"
"Never Gonna Fall in Love Again"
Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusicNo rating[4]

"All by Myself" is a song by American artist Eric Carmen released in 1975. The verse is based on the second movement (Adagio sostenuto) of Sergei Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 2 in C minor, Opus 18, famously used to underscore the 1945 British film Brief Encounter. The chorus was taken from the song "Let's Pretend", which Carmen wrote and recorded with the Raspberries in 1972.[5]

The power ballad[6] was the first single from Carmen's first solo LP after leaving the power pop group the Raspberries and was released in December 1975, to great acclaim. It reached #2 on the Billboard Hot 100, both "Love Machine" by The Miracles and "December 1963 (Oh, What a Night)" by The Four Seasons, kept the song from #1.[7] "All By Myself" did reach #1 on Cash Box Top 100 Singles and #3 in Canada. The single sold more than one million copies in the United States and was certified gold by the RIAA in April 1976.[8] "All By Myself" was Carmen's first of eight US Top 40 hits. In the UK, however, this was his only Top 40 success, peaking at number 12. In a 2006 poll for UK's Five programme Britain's Favourite Break-up Songs, Eric Carmen's version of this song was voted seventeenth.

Rachmaninoff's music was in the public domain in the United States and Carmen thought no copyright existed on it, but it was still protected outside the U.S. Subsequent to the release of the album, he was contacted by the Rachmaninoff estate and informed otherwise.[9] An agreement was reached in which the estate would receive 12 percent of the royalties from "All by Myself" as well as from "Never Gonna Fall in Love Again", which was based on the third movement from Rachmaninoff's Symphony No. 2.[10][11]

Carmen has stated that he also incorporated part of another melody into this song. The melody was taken from his previous hit with the Raspberries, "Let's Pretend", as noted above.[12]

Carmen's original version has spawned numerous cover versions by such artists as Rico J. Puno in 1976, Sheryl Crow in 1993, Babes in Toyland in 1995, Celine Dion in 1996, Frank Sinatra, Igudesman & Joo, Il Divo, and Only Men Aloud!.

The slide guitar solo was performed by studio guitarist Hugh McCracken.[13]

Television performance[edit]

Carmen performed "All By Myself" and his follow-up hit, "Never Gonna Fall in Love Again," on The Midnight Special television program on July 23, 1976 (season 4, episode 37). The show was hosted by The Spinners.[14]

Chart performance[edit]

Celine Dion version[edit]

"All by Myself"
All by Myself (Celine Dion version).jpg
Single by Celine Dion
from the album Falling into You
ReleasedOctober 7, 1996
Length5:09 (album version)
4:30 (single version)
3:54 (radio edit)
Producer(s)David Foster
Celine Dion singles chronology
"The Power of the Dream"
"All by Myself"
"Les derniers seront les premiers"
Music video
"All by Myself" on YouTube

One of the most notable cover versions of "All by Myself" was recorded by Celine Dion in 1996. It was the fourth (or third, depending on the country) hit single from her album Falling into You.[31] Produced by David Foster at Compass Point Studios in The Bahamas, it was released on October 7, 1996, in Europe; January 13, 1997, in Australia; and March 11, 1997, in North America.

There were three music videos made. The first one was released in October 1996. It contains fragments from Dion's photo session for the Falling into You album cover and some scenes from her Live à Paris concert. It was made for the single version and it was directed by Nigel Dick. The second version was made for the UK market with the same white T-shirt scenes but adding footage of a young couple in love at Christmas time, instead of scenes from Dion's concert. This was made for the album version. Finally, a live music video was released in March 1997 in North America (from the 1996 concert in Montreal).

Dion performed this song many times during world tours,(Falling Into You: Around the World tour, Let's Talk About Love World Tour, Taking Chances World Tour) and TV shows and music events such as the Grammy Awards (1997), Billboard Music Awards (1997) and Bambi Awards (1996). A performance from her 2008-2009 Taking Chances World Tour can be found on the Taking Chances World Tour: The Concert DVD/CD. It was included in the set list of Dion's Las Vegas residency show Céline which premiered on March 15, 2011, and concluded on June 8th 2019. The song was also performed during the 2013 Sans attendre Tour; the Quebec City performance was included in the Céline... une seule fois / Live 2013 CD/DVD.[32] The song was also performed in Dion's 2017 European tour, and 2018 tour. "All By Myself" was performed by Dion during her BST Hyde Park concert on July 5, 2019.

Dion also recorded a Spanish version of "All by Myself," called "Sola otra vez" (English: By Myself Again). It was added to the Falling into You Latin American/Spanish edition, and as a B-side to other singles from that album. This version became available worldwide on Dion's later compilation The Collector's Series, Volume One. The CD single was released in 1996 in Brazil only. Dion's "Sola otra vez" was selected the number one Spanish language cover of an English pop song by TheSpanishVersion.Org.[33]

The "All by Myself" single became one of Dion's biggest hits in the United States, reaching number 1 on the Hot Adult Contemporary Tracks (for three weeks) and the Latin Pop Airplay (two weeks). It peaked at number 4 on the Billboard Hot 100 (number 7 on the Billboard Hot 100 Airplay and number 5 on the Hot 100 Singles Sales). It was also a top 10 hit in France, United Kingdom, Wallonia in Belgium and the Republic of Ireland. In Canada, "All by Myself" was released as a promotional single only, hitting number 1 on the Adult Contemporary Chart. "All by Myself" was certified gold in the US (500,000), and silver in the UK (200,000) and France (165,000).

The track was included on some editions of Dion's greatest hits All the Way... A Decade of Song in 1999 and on My Love: Essential Collection in 2008.

This version also features on the ITV game show Take Me Out if the contestant leaves the show without a date.

Critical reception[edit]

Dion's cover received positive reviews. New York Times editor Stephen Holden wrote that the remake, along with "Because You Loved Me," "are the strongest cuts on an album crammed with formulaic romantic bombast".[34] Dave Sholin from the Gavin Report commented: "Demand by both programmers and the public for this rendition of Eric Carmen's 1976 smash made it the obvious choice to be the third single lifted off Celine's multi-platinum and Grammy-nominated album, Falling Into You".[35] editor Dan Leroy wrote: "Trying to out-emote Eric Carmen was almost crazy enough to work".[36] Entertainment Weekly editor Chuck Eddy said:" ...But only in her desolate cover of Eric Carmen's All by Myself does she truly crash through the glass ceiling of passion".[37]


Certifications and sales[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/sales
France (SNEP)[74] Silver 164,400[75]
United Kingdom (BPI)[76] Silver 200,000^
United States (RIAA)[77] Gold 500,000^

^shipments figures based on certification alone

Release history[edit]

Country Date Format
United Kingdom[78] December 9, 1996
  • CD
  • cassette
United States[78] March 11, 1997
  • CD
  • cassette
  • 7"

Other cover versions[edit]

In 1977 American singer Rosemary Clooney performed this song on her album "Nice To Be".

In 1994, "All By Myself" was covered by New Zealand singer Margaret Urlich. Her version reached #100 in Australia in November 1994,[79] and #26 in New Zealand in March 1995.[80]

In 1995, alternative rock band Babes in Toyland covered this song, which appears on their 3rd album "Nemesisters".

The 2001 motion picture Bridget Jones's Diary featured a cover version performed by Jamie O'Neal[81] showing actress Renée Zellweger singing to it in the famous pajamas scene. This track is also played over the other Bridget Jones films Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason and Bridget Jones's Baby.

In 2008, the male voice choir Only Men Aloud! covered the song on their self-named album and also released it as a single.

Use in popular culture[edit]

The Carmen version is used in the video introduction for Conan O'Brien's "Legally Prohibited from Being Funny on Television Tour", when an obese and bearded version of the talk show host struggles to cope with losing his job as host of Tonight Show. The Carmen version is also featured in the second season's episode 17 of the popular 1990s sitcom Friends (set on Joey & Chandler's friendship), and a season 4 episode of the hit sitcom That '70s Show where Eric Forman is depressed because Donna Pinciotti broke up with him. A comedic version entitled "All By Ourselves" appears in the popular sitcom How I Met Your Mother, in the episode "The Sexless Innkeeper" when Robin and Barney see Lily and Marshall double dating another couple after having "broken up" with them. It was also featured in the films Under Wraps, Bridget Jones' Diary and To Die For. The version is used also in the film I nuovi mostri directed by Dino Risi, with Ornella Muti and Yorgo Voyagis. In the Disney film Zootopia, a snippet is heard of it as the main character, Judy Hopps, browses through one depressing song after another on her clock radio. Also, the Carmen version is featured in the fourth season's episode 1 of Scrubs called My Old Friend's New Friend in which J.D., Turk and Carla are shown taking the new scooters out for a ride. The song was also featured in the 2018 remake of The Grinch, in which the Grinch plays the instrumental version on the piano instead of singing, while Max is playing the drums.

A character is featured performing the song as karaoke in the 2001 Angel episode "Happy Anniversary".

The song was used in advertisements:

The Carmen version is used on The Late Late Show with James Corden in a segment called "Were You Paying Attention?" where audience members are asked questions by Corden on the opening monologue and other parts of the show to see if they were paying attention. If they get the question right, they win a prize; otherwise they lose their seat for the rest of the show to another audience member waiting in the backstage area who was previously denied a seat. As the eliminated audience member leaves the studio, Corden hands him or her a microphone and asks them to sing the song.[82]

The Carmen version appears in the "Penultimate Patrol" episode of Doom Patrol.

See also[edit]


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External links[edit]