Working on a Dream (song)

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"Working on a Dream"
Single by Bruce Springsteen
from the album Working on a Dream
Released November 21, 2008
Format Digital download, CD
Genre Rock
Length 3:31
Label Columbia
Writer(s) Bruce Springsteen
Producer(s) Brendan O'Brien
Bruce Springsteen singles chronology
"Girls in Their Summer Clothes"
(2008)
"Working on a Dream"
(2008)
"My Lucky Day"
(2008)

"Working on a Dream" is the title song to, and first single from, Bruce Springsteen's 2009 album Working on a Dream. At the 52nd Annual Grammy Awards it won the Grammy Award for Best Rock Vocal Performance, Solo.

History[edit]

The song's sunny lyric develops what Rolling Stone called "a rare and timely moment of unabashed optimism" for Springsteen, possibly connected to the impending arrival of the Barack Obama administration:[1]

I'm working on a dream,
Though sometimes it feels so far away ...
I'm working on a dream,
And I know it will be mine someday.

The title phrase is present in both the verses and chorus, and occurs some twenty times altogether in the song. The arrangement is mid-tempo, propelled by an acoustic guitar with organ and electric guitar washes throughout; the glossy Brendan O'Brien production also features partly submerged "la-la" backing vocals. The instrumental break features Springsteen whistling against a bari sax line.

"Working on a Dream" was first performed during Springsteen's November 2, 2008 appearance in Cleveland for Barack Obama's 2008 presidential campaign, in an acoustic performance accompanied by Patti Scialfa. A chopped-up airing of the recorded version first appeared during the November 16 NBC Sunday Night Football broadcast at halftime.

The intact "Working on a Dream" began airing on radio stations and their websites on November 21, 2008,[2] and was made available for free download via iTunes and the Sony BMG website on November 24. The track entered the UK Singles Chart at position 195 the following week.[3] A music video appeared on some foreign sites showing the recording of the song. The song was a big hit on the American Triple-A Charts, peaking at No. 2, blocked only by "Get On Your Boots" by U2.

Deep blue stage lighting matched the album cover's look and feel during a Working on a Dream Tour performance of the title song; the band looks on as Clarence Clemons does the whistling break. Hartford Civic Center, April 24, 2009.

"Working on a Dream" had its first E Street Band performance on February 1, 2009, when it was included as part of Springsteen's halftime show during Super Bowl XLIII. This abbreviated rendition featured a full choir backing Springsteen, Scialfa, and Steve Van Zandt delivering the vocals from a pit stage in front of the main stage. Days later, during the Grammy Awards of 2009, Coldplay singer Chris Martin dropped the title phrase into the group's performance of "Viva La Vida".[4]

When the 2009 Working on a Dream Tour began, the song became one of the surprisingly few selections from the album to be included into the show. Augmenting-for-the-tour backing vocalists Curtis King and Cindy Mizelle (two veterans of the Sessions Band Tour) had a significant role to play in the vocal layering, and saxophonist Clarence Clemons performed the whistling break in the middle of the song. Three minutes in, Springsteen inserted a modified version of this "Build a House" stage rap that had been developed during the prior Magic Tour.

Some elements of melody in "Working on a Dream" can be compared to The Beatles' 1966 song "And Your Bird Can Sing"[citation needed].

Charts[edit]

Chart (2009) Peak
Position
Canadian Hot 100 91
Croatian Top 40 1[5]
Swedish Singles Chart 2
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 95
US Adult Alternative Songs (Billboard)[6] 2
Italian Singles Chart[7] 26

Year-end charts[edit]

Chart (2009) Position
Hungarian Singles Chart[8] 171

References[edit]

  1. ^ Hiatt, Brian (January 21, 2009). "Album Review: Working on a Dream". Rolling Stone. Retrieved January 28, 2009. 
  2. ^ Goldstein, Stan (November 20, 2008). "Hear "Working on a Dream" on Friday". The Star Ledger. Retrieved November 25, 2008. 
  3. ^ UK Singles Chart, chart date December 6, 2008.
  4. ^ DeLuca, Dan (February 9, 2009). "Duo dominates Grammy night". The Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved February 9, 2009. [dead link]
  5. ^ "Otvoreni radio - nacionalni glazbeni radio". Otvoreni.hr. Retrieved 2012-03-15. 
  6. ^ "Bruce Springsteen Album & Song Chart History" Billboard Adult Alternative Songs for Bruce Springsteen. Retrieved December 22, 2014.
  7. ^ "Bruce Springsteen - Working On A Dream - Music Charts". Acharts.us. Retrieved 2012-03-15. 
  8. ^ "Éves összesített listák – MAHASZ Rádiós TOP 100 (súlyozott)". Mahasz. Mahasz. 

External links[edit]