Better known as Dan Hill among his fans, this Canadian-born pop singer and songwriter was born on June 3, 1954, as Daniel Grafton Hill IV. His father was a social scientist and public servant while his mother was a social activist. For Dan, his interest in music developed at a young age when he received his first guitar as a birthday gift when he turned ten years old. Unlike his siblings, Karen and Lawrence Hill, he opted to pursue a music career instead of writing. As a high school student, he was performing and singing at concerts and coffee houses. There was a time he worked as a mail sorter for the provincial government of Ontario during the day and as a performer at night. Before he finished high school, he recorded a demo with his childhood friend, Matt McCauley. McCauley later became famous as a composer and music arranger.
In 1972, Dan Hill signed his first recording contract with the label, RCA, which later came as a disappointment to him as there simply wasn’t enough progress made during his time with them. With the help of McCauley, Dan Hill broke his contract with RCA and signed up with the Canadian independent label, GRT Records. Starting in 1975, Dan Hill was finally making a breakthrough with an album release, as well as a series of hit singles that won both the fans and the music critics. In 1996, Dan Hill won a Grammy award as a co-producer to Celine Dion’s critically acclaimed album, Falling Into You. In 2021, he was inducted into the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame. In addition to a Grammy Award, Dan Hill earned a series of Juno Awards for his work as he, along with Bruce Cockburn and Murray McLauchlan, were considered as prominent symbols of Canadian pop culture.
In total, Dan Hill has released sixteen albums, as well as twenty-seven hits.
Top 10 Dan Hill Songs
#10 – In Your Eyes (featuring Rique Franks)
The final single Dan Hill recorded and released to appear on the music charts was “In Your Eyes,” which charted as high as number thirty-eight on the US Billboard Adult Contemporary chart in 1994. Dan Hill and Rique Franks collaborated their musical talent together to bring forth one of the most beautiful ballads ever recorded. At the timing of its release, it had become a favorite wedding dance song of choice among many couples who felt they could relate to the song as the subject matter revolved around two lovebirds seeing in each other all the qualities that make love what it’s supposed to be about.
#9 – Let the Song Last Forever
Frozen in the Night was Dan Hill’s fourth studio album, which was released in 1978 and produced the hit single, “Let the Song Last Forever.” On the Canada RPM Adult Contemporary chart, it peaked as high as number nineteen and was a number fourteen hit on the Canada RPM Singles chart. On the US Billboard Adult Contemporary chart, Let the Song Last Forever climbed as high as number fifty and appeared at number ninety-three on the US Billboard Hot 100. This beautiful, piano-rich ballad performed by Hill featured vocals revolving around winning over a love interest’s heart through song is the very reason why the most powerful ballads earn the amount of popularity it richly deserves.
#8 – You Make Me Want to Be
Dan Hill’s self-titled debut album, “You Make Me Want to Be” served as his debut single in 1975. On the Canada RPM Adult Contemporary chart, it peaked as high as number sixteen and charted as high as number twenty-four on the Canada RPM Singles chart. Most of Dan Hill’s best singles have been ballads as the talent of his voice really seems to know how to address a romantic subject matter into a spectacular, easy listening piece of music that turns them into timeless classics.
#7 – All I See Is Your Face
In 1978, Dan Hill’s “All I See Is Your Face” came from his Frozen in the Night Album and it peaked at number eight on the US Adult Contemporary chart and at number forty-one on the US Billboard Hot 100. On the Canada RPM Singles chart, it climbed as high as number thirty-five and it was a number thirty-six hit on the Canada RPM Adult Contemporary chart. A ballad that’s as beautiful as it is tear-jerking, the tale of the lonely narrator wishing for his lost love to return makes All I See Is Your Face a genuine classic for fans who appreciate good, easy listening music.
#6 – Wishful Thinking (featuring Celine Dion)
The duet of love lost featured Celine Dion and Dan Hill’s magical chemistry between the two at its best. “Wishful Thinking” came from Dan Hill’s tenth studio album, Dance of Love. Although it seems to have escaped chart appearances, this does not discount this song as among his best. The beautiful vocals provided by Celine Dion paired perfectly with Dan Hill’s as one of those epic ballads that became an easy favorite among fans who can’t get enough of good, romantic music that makes love the one and only subject matter that means the most. The tale of two lovers longing to give their relationship another try was addressed as wishful thinking as circumstances seemed to prevent the two from getting back together again.
#5 – I Fall All Over Again
Released as a single in 1991, “I Fall All Over Again” came from Dan Hill’s tenth studio album, Dance of Love. On the US Billboard Adult Contemporary chart, it peaked at number seven and was the final top ten hit in the US. I Fall All Over Again is one of the best ballads ever written, as well as best performed by Dan Hill. His lyrical talent is unparalleled, and according to many of his fans, underappreciated. However, Dan Hill was just as dedicated a songwriter as he was a singer, especially during the 1990s. This song served as an inspiration for many artists who benefited from Dan Hill’s songwriting talent.
#4 – Unborn Heart
From Dan Hill’s 1989 album, Real Love, “Unborn Heart” was released as his final number one hit on the Canada RPM Adult Contemporary chart. It peaked at number three on the US Billboard Adult Contemporary chart. This heartwarming ballad of parents expecting their first child was one of the most beautiful pieces of music ever written. If there was ever a song to bring forth to ease the anxiety of an unborn child on the way, Unborn Heart would be the perfect one to choose.
#3 – Never Thought (That I Could Love)
“Never Thought (That I Could Love)” was the second single that came from his 1987 album, Dan Hill. It was a number one favorite on the Canada RPM Adult Contemporary chart and a number two favorite on the US Billboard Adult Contemporary chart. On the US Billboard Hot 100, Never Thought peaked as high as number forty-three and on the Canada RPM Singles chart at number twenty-two. As a love ballad, Never Thought has remained a solid favorite among the fans who fell in love with the song. It was and still is, a popular wedding song that’s often played by couples who relate to Never Thought the most. When a ballad is performed as tenderly as this one, it comes as no surprise it is one of the most requested songs when Valentine’s Day approaches.
#2 – Can’t We Try (featuring Vonda Shepard)
This love ballad, “Can’t We Try,” was performed as a duet between Dan Hill and Vonda Shepard, which depicted the tale of two lovers struggling to keep their troubled romantic relationship alive. Both the album, Dan Hill (1987), and the single were released in 1987 and both achieved great success commercially and on the music charts. “Can’t We Try,” peaked at number two on the Canada RPM Adult Contemporary chart and on the US Billboard Adult Contemporary chart, as well as number six on the US Billboard Hot 100.
This single also earned international success as it climbed as high as number thirty-six on the Dutch Top 40 and at number forty-one on the official singles chart belonging to Australia. In 1998, Rockwell covered this duet with Collage as a dance single, which peaked at its best at number eleven on the US Billboard Hot Dance Music/Maxi-Singles chart. On the Santa Barbara soap series, it was Dan Hill’s version that played as a theme song for two of its characters, Kelly and Jeffrey, and their on-screen presence as a couple. For Dan Hill, Can’t We Try was the second biggest hit in his career while it was Vonda Shepard’s only recording that earned a top ten chart appearance.
#1 – Sometimes When We Touch
This heartwarming love ballad, “Sometimes When We Touch,” is the signature song belonging to Dan Hill. Of all the singles he’s released that have earned chart success. It is this romantic classic that has become one of the all-time fan favorites, especially among Canadians. For Dan Hill, the inspiration behind the song came from a previous relationship he had. In an interview, he admitted he had feelings for a woman who didn’t return the favor as she was interested in somebody else. This hit single peaked at number one on the Canada RPM Singles chart and on the Canada RPM Adult Contemporary chart. It also topped the national music chart belonging to South Africa. On the official singles chart belonging to Australia and on the US Billboard Hot 100, Sometimes When We Touch charted as high as number three.
Recorded and released from his 1977 album, Longer Fuse, this single has since become a cult favorite that has been featured several times over among movies, television shows, and commercials. Sometimes When We Touch has also influenced a number of artists to cover the song with their own versions and in more than one language. In Sweden, this song is titled När vi rör varann, which was performed by Swede artists, Kikki Danielsson in 1980 and Susanne Alfvengren in 1984. For Alfvengren, the Swedish version of Dan Hill’s greatest hit became the signature song of her career.
Top 10 Dan Hill Songs article published on Classic RockHistory.com© 2022
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