Dreams (The Cranberries song)

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Original 1992 release
Single by The Cranberries
from the album Everybody Else Is Doing It, So Why Can't We?
Released 29 September 1992
1 April 1994 (reissue)
Recorded 1992
Length 4:32 (album version)
4:15 (UK radio edit)
4:02 (U.S. radio edit)
Label Island
Producer(s) Stephen Street
The Cranberries singles chronology
Music video
"Dreams" on YouTube
Everybody Else Is Doing It, So Why Can't We? track listing
"I Still Do"
Audio sample
file info · help
USA CD single (1994)

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"Dreams" is a song by Irish rock band the Cranberries. The song was released as the band's debut single in the industry in late-1992 from their debut studio album, Everybody Else Is Doing It, So Why Can't We? (1993). An early 1990 version was released in Ireland only in the summer of that year.

The promotional single reached the Top 15 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 Airplay and the top 30 on the UK charts in early 1994.

The backing vocals on the song are sung by Mike Mahoney, ex-boyfriend of Cranberries lead singer Dolores O'Riordan. This hit was also a main feature of the Cranberries in the 1994 Woodstock Revival Festival.

Music video[edit]

There are three versions of the video. The first version of the music video features Dolores O'Riordan donning her original hairstyle that is seen on the Everybody Else Is Doing It, So Why Can't We? album cover. The video revolves around O'Riordan with the other band members flashing up throughout the video while she's sitting on in a chair with a cross as a back or a close up of her face and eyes. The video shows a mirrored image of O'Riordan to show she does the background vocals and towards the end the band members fade in and out constantly in front of O'Riordan.

The second version shows the Cranberries performing the song in a dimly lit aquatic-themed room interspersed with shots of geometric flowers hitting water. This video received high rotation on MTV's 120 Minutes in 1993 before the release of the bands next single, Linger, and the re-release of Dreams worldwide.

The third version, which was most commonly shown in America, shows the Cranberries performing the song in a nightclub. After which, Dolores O'Riordan heads out to a house where graverobbers dressed in black have placed in a very large tree pile. Dolores bathes the tree pile in water and a man is buried under the pile. The water frees him and in the final seconds of the video, the man wakes up.

Track listings[edit]

UK and European 12" Single/CD Single (1992)[1]
  1. "Dreams" (Radio Edit) - 4:15
  2. "What You Were" (Previously Unreleased) - 3:41
  3. "Liar" (Previously Unreleased) - 2:22
"What You Were" is written by Dolores O'Riordan. "Liar" is written by Dolores O'Riordan and Noel Hogan. "Liar" was later featured in the 1995 film Empire Records.
UK and European 7" Single[2]
  1. "Dreams" (Album Version) - 4:32
  2. "What You Were" (Previously Unreleased) - 3:41
UK and European Special Edition 2-Disk CD Single (1994)
CD 1[3]
  1. "Dreams" (Radio Edit) - 4:15
  2. "What You Were" (Previously Unreleased) - 3:41
  3. "Liar" (Previously Unreleased) - 2:22
CD 2[4]
  1. "Not Sorry" (Live at The Record Plant, Hollywood) - 4:37
  2. "Wanted" (Live at The Record Plant, Hollywood) - 2:00
  3. "Dreams" (Live at The Record Plant, Hollywood) - 4:10
  4. "Liar" (Live at The Record Plant, Hollywood) - 3:17
US CD Single[5]
  1. "Dreams" (Album Version) - 4:32
  2. "What You Were" (Previously Unreleased) - 3:41
  3. "Waltzing Back" (Live at The Record Plant, Hollywood) - 4:02
  4. "Pretty" (Live at The Record Plant, Hollywood) - 2:09
2-Track CD Single[6]
  1. "Dreams" (Album Version) - 4:32
  2. "Linger" (Album Version) - 4:34

In other languages[edit]

A Cantonese cover of the song, "Dream Lover", with backing vocals by herself, was a hit single for Chinese singer Faye Wong, included in her 1994 album Random Thoughts. It was later recorded in Mandarin on Sky. The Cantonese version was featured prominently in director Wong Kar-wai's critically acclaimed film Chungking Express, in which Faye Wong co-starred. Her cover versions are still played frequently in Chinese media.[7]

"Dreams" was also covered by Dario G in their song Dream to Me.

Passion Pit played a cover of this song at the 2010 Big Day Out festival across Australia, and is featured as a bonus-track on the re-released version of their first studio album, Manners.

It was covered by Japanese pop singer Mami Kawada for her 2010 album LINKAGE.

Bella Ferraro performed the song on X Factor Australia in 2012, that week the song re-entered the ARIA Charts just missing the top 50 at No.51.

American indie pop band Bleachers covered the song at Lollapalooza in 2014.

Appearances in other media[edit]

In the 2011 independent film Sound of My Voice, the character of cult leader Maggie, played by Brit Marling, a self-professed time traveller from the future, sings this song to her prospective cult members when asked about music from her time, claiming the song was sung by an artist named "Bennetteau." The recognizability of this song among various prospective cult members as being a popular track by the Cranberries from 1993 sows doubt among many of them, and the film's audience, as to the veracity of her claim.

The song was often referenced on the Opie and Anthony show, particularly during Patrice Oneal's appearances.

Poppy (played by Holli Dempsey and Jodhi May) is heard listening to it in both 1996 and 2013 in ITV drama The Ice Cream Girls.



Television series


Chart (1993-94) Peak
Australia (ARIA)[12] 30
Canada Top Singles (RPM) 27
Ireland (IRMA)[13] 9
Scotland (Official Charts Company)[14] 31
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[15] 27
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 42
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 Airplay 14
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 Singles Recurrents 14
U.S. Billboard Hot Modern Rock Tracks 15
U.S. Billboard Top 40 Mainstream 33