River of Dreams

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For the song, see The River of Dreams. For the Hayley Westenra album, see River of Dreams: The Very Best of Hayley Westenra.
River of Dreams
Studio album by Billy Joel
Released August 10, 1993 (1993-08-10)
Recorded The Boathouse at the Island Boatyard, Shelter Island, NY
Cove City Sound Studios, Glen Cove, NY
The Hit Factory, New York, NY 1993
Genre Rock
Length 49:10
Label Columbia
Producer Billy Joel, Danny Kortchmar, Joe Nicolo, David Thoener
Billy Joel chronology
Storm Front
River of Dreams
Greatest Hits Volume III
A Voyage on the River of Dreams
Australian 1994 box set cover
Singles from River of Dreams
  1. "The River of Dreams"
    Released: July 19, 1993 (UK only)
  2. "All About Soul"
    Released: 1993
  3. "No Man's Land"
    Released: 1993
  4. "Lullabye (Goodnight, My Angel)"
    Released: 1994
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 2/5 stars[1]
Deseret News (Positive)[2]
Entertainment Weekly 10/12 stars (A-)[3]
The Los Angeles Times 2/4 stars[4]
The New York Times (Not rated)[5]
Robert Christgau (dud)[6]
Rolling Stone 4/5 stars [7]

River of Dreams is the twelfth and final studio album by American singer-songwriter Billy Joel, released on August 10, 1993. He stopped recording new music as a performer after this album although he has subsequently released live albums, and composed the music for an instrumental album performed by Richard Joo. River of Dreams presented a much more serious tone from Joel than found in his previous albums, dealing with issues such as trust and long-lasting love. It was rumored that the themes of trust and betrayal, particularly certain lyrics from the songs "A Minor Variation" and "The Great Wall of China", stem from Joel's legal disputes with his former manager and ex-brother-in-law, Frank Weber, who reportedly embezzled millions of dollars from Joel and used dubious accounting practices to cover it up.[8]

The album cover was a painting by Joel's then-wife, Christie Brinkley. In 1993, Rolling Stone gave her the Top Picks award for "The Best Album Cover of the Year".[9]

Track listing[edit]

All songs written and composed by Billy Joel.

  1. "No Man's Land" – 4:48
  2. "The Great Wall of China" – 5:45
  3. "Blonde Over Blue" – 4:55
  4. "A Minor Variation" – 5:36
  5. "Shades of Grey" – 4:10
  6. "All About Soul" – 5:59
  7. "Lullabye (Goodnight, My Angel)" – 3:32
  8. "The River of Dreams" – 4:05
  9. "Two Thousand Years" – 5:19
  10. "Famous Last Words" – 5:01

A Voyage on the River of Dreams[edit]

A Voyage on the River of Dreams is an Australian 3-CD box set released in 1994, which includes the studio album, River of Dreams, along with a 6-track live CD from the '93–'94 River of Dreams Tour, plus a Questions & Answers CD recorded at Princeton University.[10] This box set made the charts in Australia (#33) and New Zealand (#47), the only places besides Japan where the set was officially released.[11]

Disc one (River of Dreams – Studio album) - as per original album

Disc two (Billy Joel Live)

All songs written and composed by Billy Joel, except where noted

  1. "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road" (Elton John/Bernie Taupin)
  2. "No Man's Land"
  3. "The Ballad of Billy the Kid"
  4. "Lullabye (Goodnight, My Angel)"
  5. "The River of Dreams"
  6. "A Hard Day's Night" (Lennon–McCartney)
Disc three (Questions & Answers Disc)
  1. "Q & A recorded at Princeton University"


Grammy Awards[edit]

Year Recipient Award Result
1994 River of Dreams Album of the Year[12] Nominated
"The River of Dreams" Song of the Year[12] Nominated
Record of the Year[12] Nominated
Best Pop Vocal Performance – Male[12] Nominated


Certifications and sales[edit]

Region Certification Sales/shipments
Australia (ARIA)[41] 3× Platinum 210,000^
Austria (IFPI Austria)[42] Platinum 50,000x
Canada (Music Canada)[43] 3× Platinum 300,000^
Germany (BVMI)[44] Platinum 500,000^
Ireland (IRMA)[45] 2× Platinum 30,000x
Japan (RIAJ)[46] Platinum 241,000[A][47][48]
Netherlands (NVPI)[49] Platinum 100,000[50]
New Zealand (RMNZ)[51] Platinum 15,000^
Sweden (GLF)[52] Gold 50,000^
Switzerland (IFPI Switzerland)[53] Platinum 50,000x
United Kingdom (BPI)[54] Platinum 300,000^
United States (RIAA)[55] 5× Platinum 5,000,000^
Europe (IFPI)[56] Platinum 1,000,000*

^shipments figures based on certification alone
xunspecified figures based on certification alone

  • A^ Combined sales of standard edition and its expanded reissue.



  1. ^ River of Dreams at AllMusic
  2. ^ Boren, Ray (1989-06-18). "`RIVER OF DREAMS' FEATURES WELL-CRAFTED SONGS". deseretnews.com. Deseret News. Retrieved 2011-08-31. 
  3. ^ Sandow, Greg (1993-08-13). "River of Dreams Review". ew.com. Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2011-08-31. 
  4. ^ Willman, Chris (1993-08-22). "BILLY JOEL - "River of Dreams"". articles.latimes.com. The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2011-08-31. 
  5. ^ Holden, Stephen (1993-08-08). "RECORDINGS VIEW; Billy Joel, A Pundit Of Suburbia". nytimes.com. The New York Times. Retrieved 2011-08-31. 
  6. ^ Christgau, Robert. Consumer Guide Reviews: Billy Joel. Retrieved 2011-06-29.
  7. ^ Kara Manning (1993-08-19), "Music Reviews: River of Dreams by Billy Joel", Rolling Stone, archived from the original on 2011-08-29 
  8. ^ Goldman, Andrew (24 May 2013). "Billy Joel on Not Working and Not Giving Up Drinking". New York Times. Retrieved 3 January 2014. 
  9. ^ "Christie Brinkley biography". Official website. Retrieved 2009-03-19. 
  10. ^ "Billy Joel – A Voyage On the River of Dreams Australia Box Set". Eil.com. 1994-10-14. Retrieved 2011-08-25. 
  11. ^ Steffen Hung (1994-11-27). "Billy Joel – A Voyage On the River of Dreams". australian-charts.com. Retrieved 2011-08-25. 
  12. ^ a b c d "THE 36TH GRAMMY NOMINATIONS : Grammy Nods: The Populists Lead the Way : Awards: Sting, who already has 10 Grammys, earns six nominations. The competition includes Whitney Houston, Billy Joel and R.E.M.". article.latimes.com. The Los Angeles Times. 1994-01-07. Retrieved 2011-08-29. 
  13. ^ "australian-charts.com Billy Joel – River of Dreams". Australian Recording Industry Association. Retrieved 2011-08-08. 
  14. ^ "Billy Joel – River of Dreams – austriancharts.at". Retrieved 2011-08-19. 
  15. ^ "Top Albums/CDs - Volume 58, No. 9, September 11, 1993". RPM. Retrieved 2011-10-03. 
  16. ^ "dutchcharts.nl Billy Joel – River of Dreams". dutchcharts.nl. MegaCharts. Retrieved 2011-08-29. 
  17. ^ http://books.google.ca/books?lr=&rview=1&id=-BEEAAAAMBAJ&q=billy+joel#v=snippet&q=billy%20joel&f=false
  18. ^ Pennanen, Timo (2006). Sisältää hitin - levyt ja esittäjät Suomen musiikkilistoilla vuodesta 1972 (in Finnish) (1st ed.). Helsinki: Kustannusosakeyhtiö Otava. p. 263. ISBN 978-951-1-21053-5. 
  19. ^ "Album Search: Billy Joel" (in German). Media Control. Retrieved 2011-08-08. 
  20. ^ http://www.mahasz.hu/?menu=slagerlistak&menu2=archivum
  21. ^ a b "Hit Parade Italia - Gli album più venduti del 1993" (in Italian). hitparadeitalia.it. Retrieved 2011-10-03. 
  22. ^ ビリー・ジョエル-リリース-ORICON STYLE-ミュージック "Highest position and charting weeks of River of Dreams by Billy Joel". oricon.co.jp (in Japanese). Oricon Style. Retrieved 2011-08-29. 
  23. ^ "charts.org.nz – Billy Joel – River of Dreams". Recording Industry Association of New Zealand. Retrieved 2011-08-29. 
  24. ^ "norwegiancharts.com Billy Joel – River of Dreams". Retrieved 2011-08-29. 
  25. ^ "Hits of the World". Billboard. 4/12/1993. Retrieved 9 February 2012.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  26. ^ Salaverri, Fernando (September 2005). Sólo éxitos: año a año, 1959–2002 (1st ed.). Spain: Fundación Autor-SGAE. ISBN 84-8048-639-2. 
  27. ^ "swedishcharts.com Billy Joel – River of Dreams". Sverigetopplistan. Retrieved 2011-08-29. 
  28. ^ "Billy Joel – River of Dreams – hitparade.ch". Retrieved 2011-08-08. 
  29. ^ "Chart Stats – Billy Joel – River of Dreams". UK Albums Chart. Retrieved 2011-08-29. 
  30. ^ Allmusic – River of Dreams > Charts & Awards > Billboard Albums
  31. ^ ARIA Charts "End Of Year Charts – Top 50 Albums 1993". Australian Recording Industry Association. Retrieved 2011-08-29. 
  32. ^ "Austriancharts.at – Jahreshitparade 1993". Hung Medien. Retrieved 2010-05-30. 
  33. ^ "RPM Top 100 Albums of 1993". RPM. Retrieved 2011-10-03. 
  34. ^ http://dutchcharts.nl/jaaroverzichten.asp?year=1993&cat=a. Retrieved 2011-08-29.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  35. ^ 1993年 アルバム年間TOP100 "Oricon Year-end Albums Chart of 1993" (in Japanese). Retrieved January 1, 2011. 
  36. ^ "Hitparade.ch – Schweizer Jahreshitparade 1993". Hung Medien. Retrieved May 29, 2011. 
  37. ^ "UK best albums 1993". Retrieved 2011-08-19. 
  38. ^ "CHART: Billboard Top Pop Albums of 1993". Retrieved 2011-08-22. 
  39. ^ ARIA Charts "End Of Year Charts – Top 50 Albums 1994". Australian Recording Industry Association. Retrieved 2011-08-29. 
  40. ^ "CHART: Billboard Top Pop Albums of 1994". Retrieved 2011-08-22. 
  41. ^ "ARIA Charts – Accreditations – 1993 Albums". Australian Recording Industry Association. 
  42. ^ "Austrian album certifications – Billy Joel – River of Dreams" (in German). IFPI Austria.  Enter Billy Joel in the field Interpret. Enter 'River of Dreams' in the field Titel. Select album in the field Format. Click Suchen
  43. ^ "Canadian album certifications – Billy Joel – River of Dreams". Music Canada. 
  44. ^ "Gold-/Platin-Datenbank (Billy Joel; River of Dreams)" (in German). Bundesverband Musikindustrie. 
  45. ^ "Irish album certifications – Billy Joel – River of Dreams". Irish Recorded Music Association. 
  46. ^ "Japanese album certifications – ビリー・ジョエル – River of Dreams" (in Japanese). Recording Industry Association of Japan. 
  47. ^ Oricon Album Chart Book: Complete Edition 1970-2005. Roppongi, Tokyo: Oricon Entertainment. 2006. ISBN 4-87131-077-9. 
  48. ^ a-ビリー・ジョエル "Yamachan Land (Japanese Chart Archives) – Albums Chart Daijiten – Billy Joel" (in Japanese). Original Confidence. 2007-12-30. Retrieved 2011-08-29. 
  49. ^ "Dutch album certifications – Billy Joel – River of Dreams" (in Dutch). Nederlandse Vereniging van Producenten en Importeurs van beeld- en geluidsdragers. 
  50. ^ NVPI "de branchevereniging van de entertainmentindustrie". Retrieved 2011-08-17. Note: User needs to enter "Billy Joel" in the "Artiest" field and click below "zoek" button.
  52. ^ "Guld- och Platinacertifikat − År 1987−1998" (PDF) (in Swedish). IFPI Sweden. 
  53. ^ "The Official Swiss Charts and Music Community: Awards (Billy Joel; River of Dreams)". Hung Medien. 
  54. ^ "British album certifications – Billy Joel – River of Dreams". British Phonographic Industry.  Enter 'River of Dreams' in the field Keywords. Select Title in the field Search by. Select album in the field By Format. Select Platinum in the field By Award. Click Search
  55. ^ "American album certifications – Billy Joel – River of Dreams". Recording Industry Association of America.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH
  56. ^ "IFPI Platinum Europe Awards – 1994". International Federation of the Phonographic Industry. 
Preceded by
Sleepless in Seattle (soundtrack)
by Various artists
Billboard 200 number-one album
August 28 – September 17, 1993
Succeeded by
In Pieces by Garth Brooks
Preceded by
The Lobbyist by Diesel
Australian ARIA Albums Chart number-one album
August 29 – September 25, 1993
Succeeded by
Bat out of Hell II: Back into Hell
by Meat Loaf
Preceded by
The Classic Collection by Little River Band
New Zealand Chart number-one album
September 26, 1993
Succeeded by
Bat out of Hell II: Back into Hell
by Meat Loaf