The warbling, dramatic, pained-but-ultimately-triumphant song is used to great effect in a new ad for the return of football on sports channel ESPN, proving that even football fans sometimes have good taste in music. (We kid, we kid!)
The ad highlights the despair NFL fans faced when they didn’t know how the sport would fare during the pandemic, and their joy at the season starting up on Thursday. It features game highlights, fan reactions, a clip from “Family Guy,” lipsynching football players, the baby-raising scene from “The Lion King” for some reason, and — of course — Dion’s soaring vocals.
If you’re not familiar with the classic song, that’s something you should remedy immediately. “It’s All Coming Back To Me Now” was written by frequently Meat Loaf collaborator Jim Steinman, but when Steinman wouldn’t let Meat Loaf record it because he thought it needed to be sung by a female voice, Meat Loaf sued Steinman.
But Steinman won the lawsuit, blocking Meat Loaf from recording the song, which went on to become one of Dion’s biggest hits. (Years later, after he and Steinman reunited, Meat Loaf eventually recorded his own version. With all due respect to Meat Loaf, all we can say is that competing with Céline is rarely a wise choice.)
The song was Dion’s opener on her “Courage” tour last fall. It also has the dubious honour of apparently being called “the greatest love song ever written” by Andrew Lloyd Weber, and of being sung horribly almost every time my friends and I get drunk together.
2020 has been a difficult year, and we all need to grasp onto hope where we can find it. Football fans, drunk morons, Andrew Lloyd Weber, and everyone else: make sure to listen to as much Céline as you need.