Rush's original version, released in her native United States in late 1984 and in Europe during 1985, reached number one on the UK Singles Chart in October 1985 and became the biggest-selling single of the year in that country. It also topped the charts in several other European countries, as well as Canada, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. Dion's version peaked at number one in the United States, Canada and Australia in 1994. The song has been translated into several languages, becoming a pop standard.
"The Power of Love" was first recorded by Jennifer Rush for her 1984 eponymous album. This was a year after the band Frankie Goes to Hollywood conceived a song with the same title. It was released as a single in West Germany in December 1984. In June 1985, "The Power of Love" was issued as a single in the United Kingdom, where it topped the chart for five weeks in October 1985 and became the best-selling single of the year. As of March 2017, it had sold 1.45 million copies in the UK.
The massive success of "The Power of Love" in the UK followed with widespread international success for the single in the last months of 1985 and the first of 1986, including a German re-release with a resultant number-nine charting. Eventually "The Power of Love" reached number one in Australia, Austria, Ireland, New Zealand, Norway, South Africa and Spain (where Rush topped the chart with a version in Spanish called "Si tú eres mi hombre y yo tu mujer", translated as "If you are my man and I'm your woman"), number three in Switzerland, Sweden and Belgium, and number seven in the Netherlands.
CBS held off on releasing "The Power of Love" in North America feeling the disc was too European. It finally saw release in the United States and Canada in January 1986 but despite rising to number one in Canada, "The Power of Love" failed to become a significant US hit, stalling at number 57 on the Billboard Hot 100 for the week ending of 5 April 1986 and spending 13 weeks within the Hot 100. The song was performed by Rush on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson in March 1986 and American Bandstand in April 1986.
Michele Greppi from The Atlanta Journal-Constitution wrote in her review, that the song is "the best cut" of the album. She complimented Rush's voice, noting that her "operatic training shows in her incredible range (with no apparent loss of power or flexibility at either top or bottom)".Bergens Arbeiderblad commented that "the romance is back in music", adding it as "beautiful, well produced ballad-pop." Tom Ewing from Freaky Trigger stated that "The Power Of Love" is "a song about how love removes your own sense of scale, makes existence itself unfamiliar, so the disorientating disconnect between it and anything resembling my emotional reality makes a sort of warped sense." He added the chorus as "so memorable".Glåmdalen noted that Rush "has a voice that is reminiscent of Sally Oldfield or Kate Bush, but is much more fresher." They added that "she also has more power in her voice" that makes her "more interesting, especially in slow melodies." Australian music channel Max placed the song at number 771 in their list of "1000 Greatest Songs of All Time" in 2011.People Magazine noted that "what's most impressive is Rush's voice. Throaty, intense and wide-ranging". They noted that there is "intelligent passion" in the "broody" "The Power of Love". Pop Rescue described the song as a "fantastically classic power ballad" that is "flawless" in their review of Jennifer Rush. They added that Rush's vocals are "rich, strong, and wonderfully spine tingling as she reaches for those 'cause I am your lady' vocals. The drums are gentle, the bass tip-toes through with the bass drum, and the 80's synths give you a sense of a string section beneath."The Stage called it a "superballad".
Jennifer Rush in the music video for "The Power of Love".
The music video of "The Power of Love" was directed by German director Michael Leckebusch. It was filmed in New York City. As the video begins, we see New York City in the early morning hours. Some villainous types are walking around an empty office, obviously looking for something. They are being discovered by Rush's man, who obviously works at nights. But it's too late, they've already seen him. Then the focus switches to Rush who is seen leaving Madison Square Garden Center. On her way home, she starts singing. At home, she opens the door to her bedroom and sees that her man are lying asleep. When the chorus starts, Rush is standing in a freight elevator that is moving upwards. There are glimpses of the villainous men pushing her man to do things for them. Some scenes show Rush wearing black sunglasses, standing on the dock by the sea, while she watches the guys meeting on a pier to plot something. They are also hitting her man on the street by car. It seems like Rush is trying to help him out of the hands of these villains. She tries to talk to them. Towards the end, she walks through the city in the evening hours, singing. At home, she once again opens the bedroom door, checking that her man is lying there asleep. Then she shuts the door.
Australian duo Air Supply covered "The Power of Love" for their 1985 eponymous album. Since the song was sung by Russell Hitchcock, the gender roles were reversed in the lyrics ("I'm your lady and you are my man" became "You are my lady and I am your man"). It was released as a single in July 1985 in the United States, and later in Canada and New Zealand. Their version was titled "The Power of Love (You Are My Lady)" so as not to be confused with "The Power of Love" by Huey Lewis and the News which was on the charts at the same time. Air Supply's version was a moderate success in New Zealand and Canada, reaching the top 40 in both countries in late 1985. In the US, it peaked at number 68. Their cover was featured in the 2017 film Death Note.
American singer Laura Branigan recorded "The Power of Love" under the title "Power of Love" for her fifth studio album, Touch (1987). Produced by David Kershenbaum, the track was released in October 1987 as the album's second single and reached number 26 on the Billboard Hot 100 that December, becoming Branigan's seventh and final top-40 entry. "Power of Love" also peaked at number 19 on Billboard's Hot Adult Contemporary chart.
Branigan would say of "Power of Love": "[That] song [...] to me is the ultimate in singing. It's a real emotional tear-your-heart-out kind of song. It's [like] a classic torch song [but] with [a contemporary] feeling [...] It is really challenging vocally and yet it is really emotional".
Julie Ann Gigante, Ralph D. Morrison III, Clayton Haslop, Alexander Horvath, R.F. Peterson, Arthur Zadinsky, Michael Nowak, Raymond J. Tischer II, Margot MacLaine, Armen Ksjikian, Dennis Karmazyn, Michael Matthews – strings
David J. Holman – engineering, mixing, PPG programming
Canadian singer Celine Dion covered "The Power of Love" for her third English-language studio album, The Colour of My Love (1993). It was produced by David Foster and released as the first single in November 1993 in North America, in December 1993 in Japan, and in early 1994 in the rest of the world.
A music video for the song was released. It only used the radio edit, which was the opening track for all releases of the song.
About.com placed the song at number 7 in their ranking of "Top 10 Celine Dion Songs", noting it as a "big ballad".The Baltimore Sun wrote in their review of The Colour of My Love, that Dion "sounds great" when she's working with "tunefully romantic stuff" like "The Power of Love". Dave Sholin from the Gavin Report commented, "A song this powerful places extraordinary demands on those who sing it. Only a rare few are up to the task and who better than Celine Dion to revive the song first made a hit around the world by Jennifer Rush. Add Celine's interpretation to producer David Foster's arrangement and the result is nothing short of superb". Mike Wass from Idolator noted Dion's "flawless vocal" on a "classy" David Foster arrangement.Music & Media described it as a "tender rendition". Dennis Hunt from LA Times compared Dion to singers like Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston in his review. He noted "that grandiose, note-stretching finish" on the song.The Network Forty described it as "a reflective ballad brought to life by Celine's brilliantly distinctive vocals".The Plain Dealer called it a "soaring rendition". Christopher Smith from TalkAboutPopMusic noted it as a "powerful and faithful to the original version".