Official Chart Flashback 1998: Celine Dion's My Heart Will Go On becomes a Titanic-sized hit

Watch out for that iceberg! Oh wait, no, it's just Celine Dion's world-conquering ballad.

There are movie themes and then there are movie themes - songs that seem to not only perfectly define the film in which they were featured, but the time in society in which they were released. 

It's the way for Whitney Houston's beloved I Will Always Love You cover from The Bodyguard, and it's the same for My Heart Will Go On, Celine Dion's blockbuster theme for Titanic, the highest-grossing film of all time for 12 years, from 1998-2010. 

From the moment that My Heart Will Go On Starts, you can basically feel the overwrought emotion and dramatism dripping from Dion's voice. "Every night in my dreams, I see you, I feel you, that is how I know you go on..." we mean...come on. There is melodramatic and then there's that. 

But My Heart Will Go On's un-dying passion was perfectly suited for Titanic, a sprawling three-hour epic that seemed transplanted from another age; a Golden Age spectacle that somehow came out in 1997, starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet. It's success was never, ever ensured; it was looked upon as James Cameron's biggest folly, a massive risk, until it suddenly became a global phenomenon. 

MORE: Celine Dion's Official Charts history in full

It's also the defining song of Dion's career; an insurmountable ballad which couldn't have been sung by anyone else than her, with that voice. Funny, then, that she actually didn't even want to record the song at all - having to be forced into the recording booth by her husband and manager to cut the demo

The story then goes that writer-director James Cameron was hesitant to include the song at the end of the film (fearing it would be "too commercial") until hearing the final product, co-produced by the film's composer James Horner and Walter Afanasieff (which explains why at points the track sounds very similar to an early-career Mariah Carey power ballad, no?).

Titanic-mania swept the globe upon release (helped in part by the extreme popularity of its leading man) and My Heart Will Go On became a sensation. This week 24 years ago, the track debuted at Number 1 on the Official Singles Chart, with first week sales of 234,000. It became Dion's second UK Number 1 single, and was her last to hit the top spot.

Overall, My Heart Will Go On has chart sales in excess of 2.1 million, making it one of the biggest-selling singles by a female artist of all time in the UK

MORE: More movie theme songs that went to Number 1

And the songs popularity (much like the film that birthed is - Titanic remains the third highest-grossing movie of all time worldwide) endures to this day. February isn't even over yet and according to Official Charts Company data, My Heart Will Go On's streaming chart sales tot up to 240,000. 

Elsewhere in the Official Singles Chart for this week in 1998, Dion knocked previous chart-toppers Aqua to Number 2 with their frantic hit Doctor Jones, while there were two further new entries in the Top 10; Camisra with Let Me Show You (6) and Bluetones' Solomon Bites The Worm (10). 

There were further new entries that week from; DJ Quicksilver with Planet Love (12), Air's Sexy Boy (13), a re-entry for Stereophonics and Local Boy In The Photograph (14), Lily's A Night In Manhattan (16), Sholo Ama's Much Love (17), Hurricane 1's Only The Strongest Will survive (19), DJ Supreme and The Horns of Jericho (29), Dive's Boogie (35) and finally, Uresei Yatsura with Hello Tiger (40)

View the full Top 100 Official Singles Chart from this week in 1998

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Article Image: Paramount/Fox