The River of Dreams

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"The River of Dreams"
Single by Billy Joel
from the album River of Dreams
B-side "The Great Wall of China",
"No Man's Land"
Released July 19, 1993 (UK), August 9, 1993 (US)
Format 7-inch, CD, cassette single
Recorded 1992, in New York
Genre Pop rock
Length 4:05 (album version)
5:21 (original version)
Label Columbia
Writer(s) Billy Joel
Producer(s) Joe Nicolo, Danny Kortchmar
Billy Joel singles chronology
"All Shook Up"
(1992)
"The River of Dreams"
(1993)
"All About Soul"
(1993)

"The River of Dreams" is a song by Billy Joel. It is the title track and first single from his 1993 album River of Dreams. The song was a hit, peaking at #3 on the United States and UK charts, making it his highest charting of the 1990s (it was his only album released during the 1990s). It also hit the top spot in Australia and on the Billboard Adult Contemporary chart. The song was produced by Joe Nicolo and Danny Korchmar.

In the video, the filming was shot on the Providence & Worcester railroad bridge spanning the Connecticut River in the city of Middletown, Connecticut. Joel and three backup singers appear throughout the video standing on the western span of the bridge, with the open center section of the bridge behind them. Joel's then-wife Christie Brinkley can be seen painting the artwork that features on the front cover of the album River of Dreams. She is the illustrator who painted the actual album artwork and each single released from the album featured one part of the large painting as a cover art. Their daughter Alexa Ray Joel seems to be the young girl who briefly appears before the scene with Christie Brinkley, Alexa would have been approximately 7 years old at the time.

At 3 minutes 45 seconds into the song, you can hear Joel singing The Cadillacs version of "Gloria" as the song fades out.

At least four versions of the song have been recorded and released. Two versions (released years later) include a bridge section containing a piano interlude paralleling Joel's melody from his song "Lullabye (Goodnight My Angel)", which is from the same album. These versions can be found on the boxed sets My Lives and Complete Hits Collection: 1973-1999 - but even these versions differ from each other, both in length and in arrangement: one, for instance, has more percussion. A fourth mix appears as a bonus cut on the UK CD single of "River of Dreams" — the "percapella mix" done by Nicolo.

"The River of Dreams" was nominated for the 1993 Grammy Record of the Year award, but lost to "I Will Always Love You" by Whitney Houston.

In his performance of the song during the 1994 Grammy Awards telecast, Joel left a long pause in the middle of the song to protest the decision to cut off Frank Sinatra's acceptance speech after Sinatra received that year's Grammy Legend Award. During the pause, Joel noted he was wasting "valuable advertising time."

Track listing[edit]

UK CD single[edit]

All songs written by Billy Joel.

  1. "The River of Dreams" – 4:05
  2. "The River of Dreams" (Percapella mix)
  3. "The Great Wall of China" – 5:45

Japanese 3" CD single[edit]

All songs written by Billy Joel.

  1. "The River of Dreams" – 4:07
  2. "No Man's Land" – 4:49 [1]

Chart positions[edit]

Peak positions[edit]

Chart (1993) Peak
position
Australia (ARIA)[2] 1
Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 40)[3] 2
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)[4] 11
Canada (RPM)[5] 2
France (SNEP)[6] 4
Germany (Media Control Charts)[7] 4
Ireland (IRMA)[8] 2
Italy (FIMI)[9] 26
Japan (Oricon)[10] 8
Netherlands (Single Top 100)[11] 5
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[12] 1
Norway (VG-lista)[13] 8
Sweden (Sverigetopplistan)[14] 8
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)[15] 2
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[16] 3
US Billboard Hot 100[17] 3
US Adult Contemporary[17] 1
Zimbabwe Singles (ZIMA)[18] 5

End of year charts[edit]

Year-end Chart (1993) Position
Australia Singles Chart[19] 13
Canadian Singles Chart[20] 12
Netherlands Singles Chart[21] 41
Swiss Singles Chart[22] 37
US Billboard Hot 100[23] 26
Preceded by
"(I Can't Help) Falling in Love with You" by UB40
Australian ARIA Singles Chart number-one single
August 28, 1993 - September 4, 1993 (1 week)
Succeeded by
"I'd Do Anything for Love (but I Won't Do That)" by Meat Loaf
Preceded by
"I Don't Wanna Fight" by Tina Turner
New Zealand Singles Chart
September 11 - November 27, 1993 (1 week)
Succeeded by
"Said I Loved You...But I Lied" by Michael Bolton
Preceded by
"I Don't Wanna Fight" by Tina Turner
Billboard Adult Contemporary number-one single
September 11 - November 27, 1993
Succeeded by
"Said I Loved You...But I Lied" by Michael Bolton

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Sales/shipments
Austria (IFPI Austria)[24] Gold 25,000x
France (SNEP)[25] Silver 125,000*
Germany (BVMI)[26] Gold 250,000^

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

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.ebay.ca/itm/BILLY-JOEL-3-CD-JAPAN-3inch-japanese-single-The-River-of-Dreams-no-promo-/321342732367
  2. ^ "Australian-charts.com – Billy Joel – The River of Dreams". ARIA Top 50 Singles. Retrieved February 10, 2013.
  3. ^ "Billy Joel – The River of Dreams – Austriancharts.at" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40. Retrieved February 10, 2013.
  4. ^ "Ultratop.be – Billy Joel – The River of Dreams" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50. Retrieved February 10, 2013.
  5. ^ "100 Hit Tracks". RPM 58 (14). October 16, 1993. ISSN 0033-7064. Retrieved February 10, 2013. 
  6. ^ "Lescharts.com – Billy Joel – The River of Dreams" (in French). Les classement single. Retrieved February 10, 2013.
  7. ^ "Billy Joel – The River of Dreams". Officialcharts.de. GfK Entertainment. Retrieved February 10, 2013.
  8. ^ "River of Dreams". IRMA. Retrieved November 2, 2012. 
  9. ^ "Indice per Interprete: J" (in Italian). Retrieved November 2, 2012. 
  10. ^ "Oricon Singles Chart". Oricon (in Japanese). Retrieved November 2, 2012. 
  11. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Billy Joel – The River of Dreams" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved February 10, 2013.
  12. ^ "Charts.org.nz – Billy Joel – The River of Dreams". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved February 10, 2013.
  13. ^ "Norwegiancharts.com – Billy Joel – The River of Dreams". VG-lista. Retrieved February 10, 2013.
  14. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – Billy Joel – The River of Dreams". Singles Top 60. Retrieved February 10, 2013.
  15. ^ "Billy Joel – The River of Dreams – swisscharts.com". Swiss Singles Chart. Retrieved February 10, 2013.
  16. ^ "Archive Chart" UK Singles Chart. Retrieved February 10, 2013.
  17. ^ a b "Billy Joel – Awards". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved February 10, 2013. 
  18. ^ * Zimbabwe. Kimberley, C. Zimbabwe: singles chart book. Harare: C. Kimberley, 2000
  19. ^ "ARIA Charts – End of Year Charts – Top 50 Singles 1993". ARIA. Retrieved February 10, 2013. 
  20. ^ "The RPM Top 100 Hit Tracks of 1993". RPM 58 (23). December 18, 1993. Retrieved February 10, 2013. 
  21. ^ "Jaaroverzichten – Single 1993". GfK Dutch Charts (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved February 10, 2013. 
  22. ^ "Swiss Year-end Charts 1993". Swisscharts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved February 10, 2013. 
  23. ^ "Billboard Top 100 – 1993". Retrieved August 27, 2010. 
  24. ^ "Austrian single certifications – Billy Joel – River of Dreams" (in German). IFPI Austria. Retrieved February 10, 2013.  Enter Billy Joel in the field Interpret. Enter River of Dreams in the field Titel. Select single in the field Format. Click Suchen
  25. ^ "French single certifications – JOEL Billy – The River of Dreams" (in French). InfoDisc. Retrieved February 10, 2013.  Select JOEL BILLY and click OK
  26. ^ "Gold-/Platin-Datenbank (Billy Joel; 'The River of Dreams')" (in German). Bundesverband Musikindustrie. Retrieved February 10, 2013. 

External links[edit]