All the Way... A Decade of Song garnered positive reviews from music critics. They praised the first uptempo single "That's the Way It Is" and a ballad "If Walls Could Talk". Some criticism was directed towards including a small number of hits and many new recordings. Despite that, the album became a commercial success throughout the world and peaked at number one in every major music market around the globe. All the Way... A Decade of Song has sold over twenty-two million copies worldwide, including over nine million in the United States, five million in Europe, two million in Japan and one million units in Canada.
After ten years of standing in the spotlight, Celine Dion decided go on vacation. "I'm looking forward to having no schedule, no pressure, to not caring about whether it's raining or not, just visiting with family and friends, cooking at home, trying to seriously have a child. I want no pressure for a while," she said. But before Dion embarked on her two-year respite from the music industry beginning 1 January 2000, she prepared All the Way... A Decade of Song to cap a ten-year period in which she has sold over 100 million records worldwide. In the '90s, Dion has transformed herself from a regional Canadian success into one of the world's most successful pop artists. In that time, she's released seven English-language albums, from 1990's Unison to All the Way... A Decade of Song, and six newly recorded French albums, picking up numerous awards, including five Grammys.
The process of putting together All the Way... A Decade of Song was laborious for all involved, from balancing the number of hits and new songs to ensuring that each of the latest tracks showed a new side of Dion. "We had hourly conversations, back and forth, about what the combination should be," said John Doelp, the album's co-executive producer. He added, "We wanted to make sure we had some new sounds and that we were able to go to new places". Co-executive producer Vito Luprano added: "The first idea was to record three new songs, then Dion said, 'Let's go for five,' her lucky number. But we had so many great songs coming in that we ended up recording nine. Out of that, we decided to go with seven".
Sony Music Entertainment released eight different versions of her greatest hits, tailored to Dion's individual successes in North America, Europe, France, Australia/New Zealand, Asia, Japan, Latin America and Brazil.
All the Way... A Decade of Song garnered generally positive reviews from music critics. Michael Paoletta from Billboard gave it a very positive review, calling the album a reminder of why the decade has been Dion's signature era – and why the future looks bright for her. According to him, regarding seven new songs, All the Way... A Decade of Song is Dion's most focused album yet, drawing on a team of collaborators that understands this artists's strengths. Among the highlights Paoletta mentioned: the first single "That's the Way It Is", a welcome uptempo number; "I Want You to Need Me", a consummate love song ripe for a second single; "If Walls Could Talk;" "Then You Look at Me", a characteristically "roof-raising, fan-stoking" Dion anthem; her "beyond-the-pale" duet with Frank Sinatra on "All the Way"; and "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face", a remake that "affirms Dion's ability to lay low and still scintillate".
Chuck Taylor from Billboard also praised "That's the Way It Is". He wrote that Dion at last "ups the tempo with the irresistible" first single. According to Taylor, this new track, a joyful ode to holding the faith but allowing love to take its course when it's ready, matches Dion with a new team of collaborators, consistent hitmakers: Max Martin, Kristian Lundin and Andreas Carlsson. "Replete with a festive mandolin and a midtempo beat to bring new heights to her as-ever splendid vocal," this song is "destined to enrapture" top forty and AC the first time through, at last stripping away mainstream radio's gripe that Dion is "too adult". He said that, youthful and yet elegant, and glowing brightly with warmth, the song also represents a bold step forward for Martin, who is best known for his work with chart-topping youth acts. All in all, "That's the Way It Is" is "one of the most compelling radio releases yet" from "one of the core voices of the decade".
Chuck Taylor also reviewed "I Want You to Need Me" and wrote that linking Dion and Diane Warren has always been about "as fine a fit as a trusty pair of Thom McAn's". Between Warren's "heart-drenched" words and dramatic melody writing and Dion's "potent vocals straight from soulside, divadom has never sounded so mighty". According to him, for fans of Dion's "high-caliber" power ballads, this is truly among the best ever and a highlight on All the Way... A Decade of Song. Longing for romantic attention, Dion sings, "I want you to need me, like the air you breathe/I want you to feel me, in everything/I want you to see me, in your every dream/The way that I taste you, feel you, breathe you, need you". Taylor stated that Warren's trusty melody is wholly natural and free-flowing, while production from the usually rock-oriented Matt Serletic is "sheer perfection". It all peaks from the glorious midsection through to the end, where Dion delivers exactly what we've come to expect: a crescendo as "spine-tingling" as those first few times we heard "My Heart Will Go On".
Although Stephen Thomas Erlewine of AllMusic gave the album four out of five stars, he criticized it for including seven new songs and just nine hits. According to him, if it had been a straight hits collection, with "That's the Way It Is" and "If Walls Could Talk" added to the end, it would have been fine, but padding it with nearly a full album worth of new material hurts it. He also noticed that Dion's first American hit, "Where Does My Heart Beat Now", isn't here, nor is her duet with Barbra Streisand, "Tell Him". Erlewine stated that the best of the hits, like the Meat Loaf-ian epic "It's All Coming Back to Me Now" and "My Heart Will Go On", are certainly among the best adult contemporary songs of the decade. In comparison to the new material, he felt that the danceable "That's the Way It Is" and the "pretty" ballad "If Walls Could Talk" work, but he did not like "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face" and "All the Way". According to him, the remaining three new songs "aren't bad", but they're not particularly memorable, especially compared to the hits.
All the Way... A Decade of Song debuted at number three on the US Billboard 200 with sales of 303,000 copies, the second-largest opener in Dion's career at that time, exceeded only by the 334,000 units that 1997's Let's Talk About Love spun in its first week. Thanks to Dion's CBS television special, she earned a second-week gain of 30% (394,000 copies) and the third number-one album of her career. The next week, All the Way... A Decade of Song stayed at number one, selling another 328,000 units. In the following week, it fell to number two with sales of 415,000 copies. In the fifth week, it topped the chart again, selling 537,000 units.All the Way... A Decade of Song draw the biggest weekly sales in its sixth week when it sold 640,000 copies, falling to number two. On the Billboard's list of best-selling records of 1999 in the US, All the Way... A Decade of Song was placed at number thirteen with sales of 2,900,000 units. As of February 2016, All the Way... A Decade of Song has sold 8,100,000 copies in the United States according to Nielsen SoundScan, with an additional 1,100,000 units sold at BMG Music Club. SoundScan does not count albums sold through clubs like the BMG Music Service, which were significantly popular in the 1990s. Despite selling over 9.2 million copies in the US, it was certified only seven-times Platinum by the RIAA.All the Way... A Decade of Song is also the fourth best-selling greatest hits album in the US in the Nielsen SoundScan era and the best-selling greatest hits album by a female artist. According to Billboard, it became the 26th best-selling album of the decade (2000–09) in the US.
In Canada and in Quebec, All the Way... A Decade of Song debuted at number one. The album shipped one million copies and was certified Diamond by the CRIA.All the Way... A Decade of Song was also successful in Japan where it peaked at number one and was certified two-times Million by the RIAJ, denoting shipment of two million copies. Also in Australia, the album topped the chart for two weeks and was certified
three-times Platinum by the ARIA. In the United Kingdom, All the Way… A Decade of Song debuted at number one selling 74,681 copies. It became one of five Dion albums to sell more than one million copies in the UK. As of October 2008, the album has sold 1,318,223 units in the UK and was certified four-times Platinum by the BPI. Also in Germany, the album entered the chart at number one spending six non-consecutive weeks at the top. It was certified seven-times Gold by the BVMI after it shipped 1,050,000 copies. Overall, it sold over five million copies in Europe and was certified five-times Platinum by the IFPI.
All the Way… A Decade of Song topped the charts around the world and was certified multi-platinum in various countries. During the first two years of its release, the album had sold over seventeen million copies globally. Overall, it has sold twenty-two million copies.
^As of February 2016, All the Way... A Decade of Song has sold 8,100,000 copies in the United States according to Nielsen SoundScan, with an additional 1,100,000 units sold at BMG Music Club. SoundScan does not count albums sold through clubs like the BMG Music Service, which were significantly popular in the 1990s.