I Can Dream About You

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"I Can Dream About You"
Single by Dan Hartman
from the album I Can Dream About You and Streets of Fire
Released April 1984
Format 7"
Recorded 1984
Genre Pop, blue-eyed soul
Length 4:12
3:50 (7")
Label MCA
Writer(s) Dan Hartman
Producer(s) Dan Hartman, Jimmy Iovine
Certification Gold (US)
Dan Hartman singles chronology
"All I Need"
(1981)
"I Can Dream About You"
(1984)
"We Are the Young"
(1984)

"I Can Dream About You" is a song performed by American musician-singer-songwriter Dan Hartman on the soundtrack of the film Streets of Fire. Released in 1984 as a single from the soundtrack, and included on Hartman's album I Can Dream About You, it reached #6 on the Billboard Hot 100.[1] In 2006, the song appeared in the popular video game Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories.

Background[edit]

The song first appeared in Streets of Fire, where it was performed by the fictional group The Sorels. The real voice behind the version used in the movie was Winston Ford, but Hartman's version was the one used on the soundtrack and released as a single.[2] In a Songfacts interview with the film's musical director, Kenny Vance, he recalled "The same guy that sings lead on that and "Countdown to Love," a song that I wrote for the film, was a guy working at a Radio Shack (Winston Ford), and I think when you look at the film and The Sorels are singing it live in the movie, that was the version that was supposed to come out, and I recorded that version. But then when Dan Hartman heard it, I don't know what happened next, but I know that he took that guy's voice off and he put his own on, and he had a hit with it. Hollywood is a very slippery place."[3][2]

According to Daryl Hall, Hartman had initially written the song with Hall & Oates in mind, and offered the song to them to record as their own. Hall & Oates declined, as their new album was about to be released. Later in their career, however, they issued an album of covers called Our Kind of Soul, in 2004, on which they recorded their own version (with changed lyrics) of Hartman's song.[4] When performing the song live in February 2005, Hall revealed before the performance; "Here's a song that we did on the new album that we sort of did twenty years late. An old friend our ours, Dan Hartman, wrote this song. I remember back in the day he came up to me and said 'You know, I have this great song I wrote for you guys. It's you, you know? - you have to sing this song.' And unfortunately we had just finished an album, we couldn't put it on the album so I said sorry Dan. About six months later I was watching MTV and there it was, and it was a hit for him, God bless him. So here we are twenty years later, I hope he's hearing it, and I hope he enjoys it."[5]

Originally producer Jimmy Iovine had asked Hartman to write a song for a film he was working on. Hartman was told that the song was going to be sung by four black guys in a concert situation within the film, and Hartman ended up thinking about a demo he made of "I Can Dream About You." Hartman then went through some legal maneuvering to get the benefit of his breakthrough. The use of the song in the film being performed by actors did not feature Hartman on vocals but a studio singer. After some contract negotiating, Hartman insisted he sing the song on the soundtrack, and that his version be released if a single were to be issued from the soundtrack album. Additionally, any music video had to feature his own voice using the song. These clauses helped Hartman become an "overnight sensation." Both Hartman and Iovine worked on his 1984, same-titled solo album I Can Dream About You, following the song's use in the film. The album would spawn two other Top 40 charting singles on the US Billboard Hot 100 - "We Are the Young" and "Second Nature".[6]

Promotion[edit]

Aside from the two music videos which accompanied the song, Hartman appeared on various American and European TV shows to perform the song once it was released as a single.

On the musical variety show Soul Train, during December 1984, Hartman mimed the song with his touring band, along with "We Are ethe Young",[7][8] and later again he appeared on the show alone in May 1985 to perform both "I Can Dream About You" and "Second Nature" alone, but with live vocal.[9][10][11] He also mimed the song on the music-performance show American Bandstand in December 1984, with his touring band.[12] "Second Nature" was also performed, and both performances aired on the January 12, 1985, episode of the show.[13][14] In November 1984, Hartman and his band performed the song on the David Letterman show, along with "We Are the Young".[15][16][17] It was also mimed on the American syndicated half hour television show This Week's Music, where his name was incorrectly spelt as 'Harkman'.[18]

Within the UK, Hartman performed the song on Top of the Pops, dated 29 August 1985.[19][20] He also mimed the song on Cheggers Plays Pop, dated 31 October 1985,[21] and

A tour was also organized to promote the I Can Dream About You album and its singles, and Hartman toured alongside Toto in 1985. It was his first tour in a decade but also his last. The song was performed on this tour.[6]

Music videos[edit]

Two music videos accompanied the song. One didn't feature Hartman and mainly featured scenes from the Streets of Fire film with actor Stoney Jackson lip-syncing the song. Another featured Hartman playing a bartender, filmed at the Hard Rock in London, who tries to charm a young lady while scenes from Streets of Fire are playing. This young lady was played by Joyce Hyser. In a 2010 interview with Hyser for the blog Old School: Back to the 80s, she was asked how she came to feature in the video. She replied "I knew Dan's manager and he asked me if I would do it. We shot at the Hard Rock in London. I honestly remember very little about it, but Dan was very nice and I absolutely love that song. I did another music video for ZZ Top's song "Pin Cushion" which I really like. It was directed by Julian Temple."[22]

Whilst recording a mimed TV performance of the song, Hartman explained why one music video featured actors and not himself. The actors that made up the fictional doo-wop style group were Stoney Jackson, Grand L. Bush, Mykelti Williamson, and Robert Townsend. Hartman explained the situation thus: "The producers and directors of "Streets of Fire" wanted the best of everything, so they hired the best singers, the best dancers and best actors to play the parts in the film. So the singers in "I Can Dream About You" who are The Sorels are actually actors, and I wrote and sang this song."[23]

Track listing[edit]

7" Single
  1. "I Can Dream About You" - 3:50
  2. "Blue Shadows" (performed by The Blasters) - 3:14
7" Single (American promo release)
  1. "I Can Dream About You (Long Solo Version)"
  2. "I Can Dream About You (Short Solo Version)" - 3:51
7" Single (Brazilian release)
  1. "I Can Dream About You (Versão Solo Longa)"
  2. "I Can Dream About You (Versão Solo Curta)" - 3:51
7" Single (1985 UK reissue)
  1. "I Can Dream About You (Edited Version)" - 3:51
  2. "Instant Replay" - 3:25
12" Single (American and Italian release)
  1. "I Can Dream About You (Jellybean Remix)" - 7:31
  2. "I Can Dream About You" - 4:23
  3. "I Can Dream About You (Instrumental)" - 4:23
12" Single (Australian, Canadian and US #2 release)
  1. "I Can Dream About You (Extended Remix)" - 5:56
  2. "I Can Dream About You (Jellybean Remix)" - 7:31
12" Single (American promo release)
  1. "I Can Dream About You (Jellybean Remix)" - 7:31
  2. "I Can Dream About You" - 4:23
  3. "I Can Dream About You (Instrumental)" - 4:23
12" Single (German release)
  1. "I Can Dream About You (Jellybean Remix)" - 7:31
  2. "I Can Dream About You (Extended Remix)" - 5:56
12" Single (Spanish release)
  1. "I Can Dream About You (Jellybean Remix)" - 7:31
  2. "I Can Dream About You (Instrumental)" - 4:23
  3. "Blue Shadows" (performed by The Blasters) - 3:14
12" Single (1985 UK release)
  1. "I Can Dream About You (Extended Mix)" - 5:56
  2. "I Can Dream About You (7" Version)" - 3:51
  3. "Instant Replay" - 8:18
12" Single (1985 UK white label promo release)
  1. "I Can Dream About You (Extended Mix)" - 5:56
  2. "Instant Replay" - 8:18

Critical reception[edit]

Alex Henderson of Allmusic reviewed the I Can Dream About You album and stated "This excellent album finds Hartman showing his enthusiasm for R&B on pop/rock gems that range from the hit title song and the anthemic "We Are the Young" to the Motown-tinged "Name of the Game" and the new wave-ish "Electricity"."[24]

In the Billboard magazine of November 3, 1984, another review of the album was published in the Pop Picks section, which meant that Billboard predicted the album to hit the top half of the chart. The review stated "The title track survived the failure of the "Streets of Fire" motion picture to become a recent top 10 smash. Hartman follows it with an album reflecting the same broad-based pop/rock appeal."[25]

Chart performance[edit]

Chart (1984-85) Peak
position
Australian Singles Chart 3
Belgian Singles Chart (Vl)[26] 16
Canadian Adult Contemporary Chart[27][28] 7
Canadian Singles Chart[27][29] 11
Dutch Singles Chart[30] 18
French Singles Chart[31] 62
Irish Singles Chart[32] 4
New Zealand Singles Chart[33] 47
South African Singles Chart[34] 7
Swedish Singles Chart[35] 13
UK Singles Chart[36] 12
U.S. Billboard Hot 100[37] 6
U.S. Billboard Adult Contemporary Chart[37] 7
U.S. Billboard Dance/Club Play Songs Chart[37] 8
U.S. Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks Chart[37] 60
US Cash Box Top 100 Singles Chart[38] 6

Personnel[edit]

  • Lead Vocals, All Instruments (except as noted below) – Dan Hartman
  • Producers – Dan Hartman, Jimmy Iovine
  • Recording Engineer – Dan Hartman
  • Additional Recording Engineer – Shelly Yakus
  • Assistant Mixing Engineer – Steve Krause
  • Mastering – Steve Marcussen
  • Mixing on "I Can Dream About You" – Humberto Gatica
  • Backing Vocals on "I Can Dream About You" - Dan Hartman, Joe Pizzullo, Winston Ford
  • Bass on "I Can Dream About You" – Eddie Watkins
  • Additional Drums on "I Can Dream About You" – Art Wood
  • Additional Engineer on "I Can Dream About You" – Gabe Veltri
  • Additional Guitar on "I Can Dream About You" – Richie Zito
  • Percussion on "I Can Dream About You" – Bobbye Hall
  • Acoustic Piano on "I Can Dream About You" – Billy Payne
  • Management – Robert A. Finkelstein

References[edit]

  1. ^ "I Can Dream About You". Billboard Hot 100. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. Retrieved 19 November 2009. 
  2. ^ a b "I Can Dream About You by Dan Hartman Songfacts". Songfacts.com. Retrieved 2014-03-12. 
  3. ^ Tweet. "Kenny Vance: Songwriter Interviews". Songfacts.com. Retrieved 2014-03-12. 
  4. ^ "Daryl Hall & John Oates - Our Kind Of Soul at Discogs". Discogs.com. Retrieved 2014-03-12. 
  5. ^ "I Can Dream About You - Hall & Oates". YouTube. 2008-04-30. Retrieved 2014-03-12. 
  6. ^ a b "Orange Coast Magazine - Google Books". Books.google.co.uk. Retrieved 2014-03-12. 
  7. ^ http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1466784/?ref_=_66
  8. ^ "Dan Hartman - I Can Dream About You". YouTube. 2010-04-14. Retrieved 2014-03-12. 
  9. ^ "dan hartman i can dream about you". YouTube. 2009-09-15. Retrieved 2014-03-12. 
  10. ^ "dan hartman 2nd nature". YouTube. 2009-09-15. Retrieved 2014-03-12. 
  11. ^ http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2968764/?ref_=_63
  12. ^ "Dan Hartman - I Can Dream About You". YouTube. 1984-06-23. Retrieved 2014-03-12. 
  13. ^ "Dan Hartman - Second Nature". YouTube. 1988-08-08. Retrieved 2014-03-12. 
  14. ^ http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0511602/?ref_=_65
  15. ^ "Dan Hartman - I Can Dream About You". YouTube. Retrieved 2014-03-12. 
  16. ^ "Dan Hartman - We Are The Young". YouTube. Retrieved 2014-03-12. 
  17. ^ http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2905602/?ref_=_67
  18. ^ "dan hartman - I can dream about you". YouTube. 2013-04-15. Retrieved 2014-03-12. 
  19. ^ "Dan Hartman - I Can Dream About You (Studio, TOTP)". YouTube. 2011-06-10. Retrieved 2014-03-12. 
  20. ^ http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2909752/?ref_=_59
  21. ^ http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0813037/?ref_=_56
  22. ^ "Back to the 80s: Interview with Joyce Hyser from Just One of the Guys - Kickin' it Old School | tBlog.com". Oldschool.tblog.com. Retrieved 2014-03-12. 
  23. ^ "Dan Hartman explains why the video for I Can Dream About You features actors". YouTube. 2010-06-01. Retrieved 2014-03-12. 
  24. ^ Review by Alex Henderson. "I Can Dream About You - Dan Hartman | Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved 2014-03-12. 
  25. ^ "Billboard - Google Books". Books.google.co.uk. 1984-11-03. Retrieved 2014-03-12. 
  26. ^ "Dan Hartman - I Can Dream About You". ultratop.be. Retrieved 2014-03-12. 
  27. ^ a b "Results - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". Collectionscanada.gc.ca. Retrieved 2014-03-12. 
  28. ^ "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". Collectionscanada.gc.ca. Retrieved 2014-03-12. 
  29. ^ "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". Collectionscanada.gc.ca. Retrieved 2014-03-12. 
  30. ^ Steffen Hung. "Dan Hartman - I Can Dream About You". dutchcharts.nl. Retrieved 2014-03-12. 
  31. ^ "InfoDisc : Tout les Titres par Artiste". Infodisc.fr. Retrieved 2014-03-12. 
  32. ^ Jaclyn Ward - Fireball Media Group - http://www.fireballmedia.ie. "The Irish Charts - All there is to know". Irishcharts.ie. Retrieved 2014-03-12. 
  33. ^ Steffen Hung. "Dan Hartman - I Can Dream About You". charts.org.nz. Retrieved 2014-03-12. 
  34. ^ Brian Currin. "South African Rock Lists Website - SA Charts 1969 - 1989 Acts (H)". Rock.co.za. Retrieved 2014-03-12. 
  35. ^ Steffen Hung. "Dan Hartman - I Can Dream About You". swedishcharts.com. Retrieved 2014-03-12. 
  36. ^ "The Official Charts Company - I Can Dream About You {1985} by Dan Hartman Search". The Official Charts Company. 4 April 2014. 
  37. ^ a b c d Artist Biography by Stephen Thomas Erlewine. "Dan Hartman | Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved 2014-03-12. 
  38. ^ "Cash box pop singles charts, 1950-1993 - Pat Downey, George Albert, Frank W. Hoffmann - Google Books". Books.google.co.uk. Retrieved 2014-03-12. 

External links[edit]