Dream Police (song)
|Single by Cheap Trick|
|from the album Dream Police|
|Genre||Hard rock, New Wave,
power pop, symphonic rock
|Cheap Trick singles chronology|
"Dream Police" is a song written by Rick Nielsen and originally released in 1979 by the American rock band Cheap Trick. It was the opening track of Cheap Trick's album Dream Police. The single peaked at #26 on the Billboard Hot 100. Nielsen has stated that the song "is an attempt to take a heavy thought - a quick bit of REM snatched right before waking up - and put into a pop format." Cheap Trick biographers Mike Hayes and Ken Sharp describe the song as "a magnificent tour-de-force, characterized by an addictively infectious chorus and jarring bursts of dissonance.
Tom Maginnis of AllMusic described the song as "a tongue in cheek Orwellian nightmare" and that it represents "late '70's power pop at it’s (sic) zenith." Maginnis also noted that "Dream Police" follows up on its B-side, "Heaven Tonight" (which had been released on a previous album), in that both songs represent dreams. Dave Marsh of Rolling Stone described the song as a "trash thriller like John Carpenter's Halloween, and also noted that it is "nearly as good as the earlier ones in which Cheap Trick used similar stylistic devices."
In the 2007 book "Shake Some Action: The Ultimate Power Pop Guide", a section on Cheap Trick featured reviews on the top 20 stand-out tracks from the band. One track included was "Dream Police", where the author John M. Borack wrote "Entire careers have been built around lesser songs than this monster, which sits proudly alongside "Surrender" as the quintessential Cheap Trick song. Everything about it is perfect, from Zander's alternately cute and menacing vocal to Carlos's pounding drums to Nielsen's cracked spoken-word interlude. Oh, can't forget the instrumental build up heading back into the final chorus, which is pure genius."
In popular culture
- The song was covered in 2011 by North Carolina-based band The Verses for the "Facility Review: Manifold Recording" feature in Pro Audio Review's October 2011 issue. The song was released internationally as a digital single via major retailers iTunes, Amazon, and more.
- The song was covered in 2010 by Rob Gravelle, former guitarist of Ivory Knight, and released as a digital MP3 single.
- The song was featured in the movie Hard Rock Treasures.
- In the Simpsons episode "Two Bad Neighbors", Apu Nahasapeemapetilon sings part of the song as he is washing his car.
- The song is featured as a playable track in the video game Guitar Hero: Aerosmith.
- The song is partially sung by the character ticket scalper Mike Damone in the movie Fast Times at Ridgemont High as he tries to drum up a (scalped) ticket sale.
- The song was referenced in the TV series United States of Tara. The manager of the restaurant where the protagonist's daughter works, is seen singing it to the daughter before they proceed in romance.
- The song was featured in the Lost episode The Lie.
- In 2010, Cheap Trick re-recorded "Dream Police" as "Green Police," a spoof of police who arrest people for acts deemed to be damaging to the environment. The song was the focus of a commercial played during Super Bowl XLIV for Audi.
- The song was covered by punk rock band No Use for a Name, which featured on the Fat Wreck Chords compilation Harder, Fatter + Louder!.
- The song was used in the promotional commercials for the second season of Superjail!.
|Netherlands (Dutch Top 40)||37|
|New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)||7|
|U.S. Billboard Hot 100||26|
The B-side of the "Dream Police" single was "Heaven Tonight," previously released as the title track of Cheap Trick's previous studio album, 1978's Heaven Tonight. It is a disturbing song that was written by Rick Nielsen and Cheap Trick bassist Tom Petersson. "Heaven Tonight" was one of two songs on the album that involved death, "Auf Wiedersehen" being the other. In this song, potential death comes from drug abuse; Nielsen described it as an "anti-drug" song. Stephen Thomas Erlewine of AllMusic described the song as being "dreamily psychedelic." Mitchell Schneider of Rolling Stone noted a resemblance between "Heaven Tonight" and The Beatles' "Strawberry Fields Forever." The Village Voice critic Susin Shapiro describes the song as cross between Led Zeppelin's "Kashmir" and the Beatles' "I Want You (She's So Heavy)."
Nielsen played a mandocello on the song, and other instruments include harpsichord and cello. Nielsen described the song as "a kind of parody on some of the drug songs of the sixties" and stated that "it could even be the basis for a movie." Petersson stated that they tried to make the song sound like Led Zeppelin's "Kashmir." Nielsen noted that the song's ending line: "you can never come down" was taken from a Joe Byrd and the Field Hippies song.
- "Cheap Trick-Dream Police".
- "Cheap Trick Billboard Singles". Allmusic. Retrieved 2010-12-09.
- Hayes, M. & Sharp, K. (1998). Reputation Is a Fragile Thing. Poptastic. pp. 75–76. ISBN 978-0-9662081-0-8.
- Maginnis, T. "Dream Police". Allmusic. Retrieved 2010-12-09.
- Marsh, D. (November 29, 1979). "Dream Police". Rolling Stone Magazine. Retrieved 2011-10-10.
- Borack, J.M. Shake Some Action - The Ultimate Guide To Power Pop. p. 42.
- Rothing, Hilary (2009-02-27). "Lost: Behind the Music". UGO Networks. Retrieved 2011-04-26.
- "Nederlandse Top 40 – Cheap Trick search results" (in Dutch) Dutch Top 40.
- "Charts.org.nz – Cheap Trick – Dream Police". Top 40 Singles.
- Hayes, M. & Sharp, K. (1998). Reputation Is a Fragile Thing. Poptastic. pp. 50–56. ISBN 978-0-9662081-0-8.
- Erlewine, S.T.. "Heaven Tonight". Allmusic. Retrieved 2011-10-10.
- Schneider, M. (August 10, 1978). "Heaven Tonight". Rolling Stone Magazine. Retrieved 2011-10-10.
- Shapiro, S. (June 26, 1978). "Cheap Trick's Slick Schtick". The Village Voice. p. 60. Retrieved 2014-02-14.