Don't Dream It's Over

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"Don't Dream It's Over"
Australian release
Single by Crowded House
from the album Crowded House
B-side "That's What I Call Love"
Released October 1986
Length 3:55
Label Capitol
Writer(s) Neil Finn
Producer(s) Mitchell Froom
Crowded House singles chronology
"Now We're Getting Somewhere"
"Don't Dream It's Over"
"Something So Strong"
Audio sample
file info · help

"Don't Dream It's Over" is a song by Australian rock band Crowded House, recorded for their 1986 self-titled debut studio album.[1] The song was written by band member Neil Finn, and released in October 1986 as the fourth single from the album.

"Don't Dream It's Over", described by AllMusic as a "majestic ballad",[2] became the band's biggest international hit, reaching No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the United States in April 1987.[3] "Don't Dream It's Over" was also a great success in Neil Finn's native country New Zealand where it peaked at No. 1, it also topped the charts in Canada, while in Australia it peaked at No. 8. In Continental Europe, it reached No. 6 in Norway, No. 7 in the Netherlands, and No. 13 in Germany. In America the single was topped only by "I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me)" by Aretha Franklin and George Michael.

In May 2001, the Australasian Performing Rights Association (APRA) celebrated its 75th anniversary by naming the Best New Zealand and Best Australian songs of all time, as decided by APRA members and an industry panel. "Don't Dream It's Over" was ranked second on the New Zealand list[4] and seventh on the Australian list.[5]

Music video[edit]

The music video, directed by Alex Proyas, features some surreal special effects such as household objects – including shattering crockery – and film reels that float in the air, with lead singer Finn playing a guitar and walking through the same house during different time periods while his bandmates are either performing household chores or playing various backing instruments.[6] It was nominated for Best Group Video, and Best Direction at the 1987 MTV Video Music Awards, and earned the group a Best New Artist award.[7]

Track listing[edit]

"Don't Dream It's Over" written by Neil Finn. "That's What I Call Love" written by Neil Finn and Paul Hester.

7-inch vinyl
  1. "Don't Dream It's Over" – 4:03
  2. "That's What I Call Love" – 4:22
12-inch vinyl
  1. "Don't Dream It's Over" (Extended version) – 6:10 (only in 12-inch vinyl single)
  2. "Don't Dream It's Over" – 4:03
  3. "That's What I Call Love" – 4:22
7-inch US vinyl (American Pie label)
  1. "Don't Dream It's Over" – 4:03
  2. "Something So Strong" – 2:51
1995 UK CD1
1995 Netherlands CD
  1. "Weather with You" (live) – 4:35
    The only B-side track in other UK editions
  2. "Into Temptation" (live) – 4:48
  3. "Locked Out" (live) – 2:04
1995 UK CD2
  1. "Four Seasons in One Day" (live) – 3:08
  2. "In My Command" (live) – 4:14
  3. "Pineapple Head" (live) – 3:40


Release history[edit]

Region Date
Australia October 1986
United Kingdom January 1987

Chart performance[edit]

Preceded by
"Funkytown" by Pseudo Echo
New Zealand Singles Chart
19 April 1987
Succeeded by
"Lean on Me" by Club Nouveau
Preceded by
"Lean on Me" by Club Nouveau
Canadian Singles Chart
2 May 1987
Succeeded by
"With or Without You" by U2

Paul Young version[edit]

"Don't Dream It's Over"
Single by Paul Young
from the album From Time to Time – The Singles Collection
Released 19 September 1991
Format 7" vinyl
Recorded 1990
Genre Pop rock
Length 3:56
Label Columbia
Writer(s) Neil Finn
Producer(s) Dan Hartman
Paul Young singles chronology
"Both Sides, Now"
"Don't Dream It's Over"
"Come On In"

In 1991, Paul Young covered "Don't Dream It's Over" on his compilation From Time to Time – The Singles Collection. Young's version featured Paul Carrack.

Track listing[edit]

Side one
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Don't Dream It's Over"   Neil Finn 3:56
Side two
No. Title Writer(s) Length
2. "I Need Somebody"   Paul Young 4:00


Chart (1991) Peak
UK Singles Chart 20
Irish Singles Chart 13
German Singles Chart 71
French Singles Chart 27
Dutch Top 40 67
Norwegian Singles Chart 6
Swedish Singles Chart 25

Sixpence None the Richer version[edit]

"Don't Dream It's Over"
Single by Sixpence None the Richer
from the album Divine Discontent
Released 2003
Format CD
Recorded 2001
Genre Pop rock
Length 4:03
Writer(s) Neil Finn
Sixpence None the Richer singles chronology
"Breathe Your Name"
"Don't Dream It's Over"
"My Dear Machine"

"Don't Dream It's Over" was the second radio single released in promotion of the album Divine Discontent by Sixpence None the Richer. The commercial single release features the B-side "Don't Pass Me By," which was recorded during the sessions for Divine Discontent. Their version was also included in the 2003 compilation album Smallville: The Talon Mix.[13]

Track listing[edit]

US Commercial Single
  1. "Don't Dream It's Over" (Radio Edit): 3:39
  2. "Don't Pass Me By": 3:26
Radio Promo Single
  1. "Don't Dream It's Over" (Radio Edit): 3:39
  2. "Don't Dream It's Over" (LP Version): 4:04


Chart (2003) Peak
Romania (Romanian Top 100)[14] 37
US Billboard Hot 100[15] 78
US Billboard Adult Top 40[15] 9
US Billboard Adult Contemporary[15] 12

Other cover versions and samples[edit]

British dance act Less Stress recorded the song in 1990, with Katherine Wood on lead vocals.[16] In 2005, Sarah Blasko recorded the song for the tribute album She Will Have Her Way. The next year in 2006, Blasko sang the song during the closing ceremony of the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne.[17] Other artists who have covered it include Donny Osmond,[18] Teddy Thompson,[19] Howie Day, Aiden Grimshaw,[20] Susan Boyle,[21]Hitomi Yaida,[22] G4[23] and Diana Krall.[24]

Rapper Classified has sampled the riff on the song "It Ain't Over",[25] as have Irish R&B trio Dove on their hit "Don't Dream", which became one of Ireland's biggest songs of that year and also reaching the UK Top 40.".[26] Italian singer Antonello Venditti included his own re-written version of "Don't Dream it's Over" – "Alta Marea" – on his 1991 album Benvenuti in Paradiso, which became a hit in Italian charts; Angelina Jolie, who was then sixteen, played a seductress in the video.[27]

Under the solo moniker Flock of Dimes, American singer Jenn Wasner, of indie rock duo Wye Oak, performed a version of the song in June 2015 with indie pop duo Sylvan Esso for The A.V. Club's A.V. Undercover series.[28]

Miley Cyrus and Ariana Grande performed the song in animal themed onesies as part of Happy Hippie Foundation's Backyard Sessions.[29]


  1. ^ Bailey, Marck; Comprehensive discography of Crowded House including track listings for all albums and singles. Released 28 March 1995. Retrieved 5 July 2007. Site offline after 2008.
  2. ^ Stephen Thomas Erlewine. "Crowded House - Crowded House - Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards - AllMusic". AllMusic. 
  3. ^ "Crowded House Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved 9 August 2013. 
  4. ^ "Our top song - but vote kept a secret". The New Zealand Herald. 3 November 2001. Retrieved 29 September 2011. 
  5. ^ "The final list: APRA'S Ten best Australian Songs". APRA. 28 May 2001. Archived from the original on 8 March 2008. Retrieved 8 May 2008. 
  6. ^ rvdgu2006. "Music video in". Retrieved 13 April 2011. 
  7. ^ "MTV Video Music Awards". Mtv. 11 September 1987. Retrieved 13 April 2011. 
  8. ^ 0275
  9. ^ "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". Retrieved 16 October 2013. 
  10. ^ a b c "Lyrics: Don't Dream It's Over by Crowded House". Retrieved 16 October 2013. 
  11. ^ 0275
  12. ^
  13. ^ Phares, Heather. Smallville: The Talon Mix at AllMusic
  14. ^ "Romanian Top 100: Editia 27, saptamina 14.07-20.07, 2003". 14 May 2005. Retrieved 16 October 2013. 
  15. ^ a b c "Sixpence None the Richer – Don't Dream It's Over (Billboard chart history)". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. Retrieved 19 August 2010. 
  16. ^ "Less Stress". Retrieved 13 April 2011. 
  17. ^ / (13 August 2007). "Sarah Blasko". Retrieved 13 April 2011. 
  18. ^ "Donny Osmond". BBC News. Retrieved 13 April 2011. 
  19. ^ "Teddy Thompson". Retrieved 13 April 2011. 
  20. ^ Emily Sheridan (15 November 2010). "Aiden Grimshaw". Retrieved 16 October 2013. 
  21. ^ "Susan Boyle". Daily Mirror. 19 September 2010. Retrieved 13 April 2011. 
  22. ^ "矢井田瞳、移籍第2弾シングルは「同情みたいなLOVE」". Natalie. 17 March 2011. Retrieved 17 October 2011. 
  23. ^ "G4 – Don't Dream It's Over". 
  24. ^ Krall, Diana. "Biography". Retrieved 24 January 2015. 
  25. ^ Quinlan, Thomas. "Classified". Retrieved 13 April 2011. 
  26. ^ "Dove". 23 April 1998. Retrieved 13 April 2011. 
  27. ^ Mendoza, Nadia (6 May 2008). "Angelina Jolie Alta Marea". The Sun. UK. Retrieved 13 April 2011. 
  28. ^ Modell, Josh (18 June 2015). "Flock Of Dimes (and Sylvan Esso) cover Crowded House". The A.V. Club. Onion, Inc. Retrieved 18 June 2015. 
  29. ^ 15 May 2015