All By Myself

There is so much in this song.

Written by Eric Carmen in 1975 by pulling together strands of two already existing tunes, it was also famously covered by Celine Dion in 1996.

The verse is so beautiful and evocative – and no wonder – it is based on the second movement (Adagio sostenuto) of Sergei Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2 in C minor, Opus 18. Listen at 1:35 here.

The chorus was taken from a previous song Carmen wrote for a group he was in called The Raspberries called Let’s Pretend – you’ll recognise the melody and chords at 0:30 even if they’re a bit faster than you might imagine.

There’s the piano instrumental section – so unusual to hear in a power ballad yet so good. Hear it at 2:05 in Celine Dion’s version here.

And then there’s the note. THE note.

You can see the story of this note told by Celine Dion herself here, or by Celine and David Foster (producer) in a really good Netflix documentary on Foster’s life called David Foster: Off The Record – the relevant part starts 59 mins in.

It’s the featured song this week on my online tuition website, and you can find 6 questions that will help develop your ear and music knowledge on it here.