Kiss Me Red

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"Kiss Me Red" is a 1984 song written by the songwriting duo of Billy Steinberg and Tom Kelly. It was the theme song of the short-lived TV series Dreams (TV series), and was performed on the show by the fictional title band. The song was notably covered by Cheap Trick in 1986, on their album The Doctor, and by ELO Part II in 1990.

Dreams version[edit]

"Kiss Me Red"
Dreams TV Series Soundtrack Album 1984.jpg
Song by Dreams from the album Dreams
Released 1984
Genre Pop
Length 3:39
Label Columbia
Writer(s) Billy Steinberg, Tom Kelly
Producer(s) Bruce Botnick


The song was originally released in 1984, as the theme song to the short-lived TV series Dreams, a CBS television series that aired in 1984-1985 for one season.[1] The show follows the story of a fictional rock band that tries to get a recording contract.[2] "Kiss Me Red" featured on the series soundtrack, released only on vinyl, remaining out-of-print today.[3][4] The series saw the six member band perform the soundtrack themselves, featuring the American actors John Stamos, Jami Gertz, Albert Macklin and Cain Devore.[1]

The song was performed on the show.[5]

The song was produced by American engineer/producer Bruce Botnick.[6]

In the October 1984 issue of Billboard magazine under the "Single Reviews" section, "Kiss Me Red" was listed as recommended pop pick, described as a "techno-dance song".[7]

On the soundtrack album, Dreams also performed the song "Alone", also written by Steinberg and Kelly,[8] which would become a hit in 1987 when performed by American rock band Heart.[9]


Additional personnel[edit]

  • Bruce Botnick - producer

Cheap Trick version[edit]

"Kiss Me Red"
Single by Cheap Trick
from the album The Doctor
B-side "Name of the Game"
Released 1986
Format 7"
Genre Rock, Power Pop
Length 3:34
Label Epic Records
Writer(s) Billy Steinberg, Tom Kelly
Producer(s) Tony Platt
Cheap Trick singles chronology
"It's Only Love"
"Kiss Me Red"
"The Flame"

"Kiss Me Red" was covered by American rock band Cheap Trick, included on their 1986 album The Doctor and released as a single.[10] The single was released as a 7" vinyl in Europe only, particularly aiming at the Dutch market.[10] The song was not remixed for the single, being exactly the same as the album version. A promotional 12" vinyl was released in America, featuring the song on both sides of the vinyl.[11]

The b-side "Name of the Game" was featured on the same album.[12] It was also used as the b-side to the previous American single "It's Only Love".[13]

Both tracks were produced by Tony Platt.[14]

The single's artwork is a re-working of the album cover.[10]

Epic Records had hoped "Kiss Me Red" would be a potential hit single for the band. The single would be the band's last release with bassist Jon Brant, as original bassist Tom Petersson would rejoin the group in 1988. This was also the band's last release until 1988 when the band scored a number one hit in America with "The Flame".

"Kiss Me Red" was originally supposed to be the lead single from the album in America, but it was replaced by "It's Only Love", backed by "Name of the Game" in November 1986.[15]

The single failed to chart within Europe.


Unlike "It's Only Love", no music video was created for the single, but the band did perform the song live on the American TV show The Rock 'n' Roll Evening News, along with the tracks "It's Only Love" and the previous hit single "I Want You to Want Me".[16][17]

Despite being performed on American TV and being a European single, the song was never performed live in concert.

Adverts for "The Doctor" album upon release highlighted "Kiss Me Red" as a stand-out track.[18][19]

Track listing[edit]

7" Single
  1. "Kiss Me Red" - 3:34
  2. "Name of the Game" - 4:16
12" Single (American promo)
  1. "Kiss Me Red" - 3:34
  2. "Kiss Me Red" - 3:34


  • Robin Zander - lead vocals, rhythm guitar
  • Rick Nielsen - lead guitar, backing vocals
  • Jon Brant - bass, backing vocals
  • Bun E. Carlos - drums, percussion

Additional personnel[edit]

  • Producer – Tony Platt
  • Mixers – Paul Klingberg, Tony Platt
  • Writers of "Kiss Me Red" – Billy Steinberg, Tom Kelly
  • Writers of "Name of the Game" - Rick Nielsen, Robin Zander

Elo Part II version[edit]

"Kiss Me Red"
Song by ELO Part II from the album
Electric Light Orchestra Part Two
Released 1990
Genre Pop
Length 4:01
Label Scotti Brothers Records
Writer(s) Billy Steinberg, Tom Kelly
Producer(s) Jeff Glixman

In 1990, the song was covered by ELO Part II who released an orchestrated version on their debut album Electric Light Orchestra Part Two.[20] The song was produced by American producer Jeff Glixman.[20]

The album was a fair success on the UK charts in 1991, peaking at #34.[21]

The song had been performed live by the group, with the song being performed and professionally filmed live in Moscow during 1991, which has been unofficially uploaded to YouTube in recent years.[22]

Critical reception[edit] spoke of the song in a review of the Electric Light Orchestra Part Two album, stating "Out of the blue, ELO II even takes a crack at "Kiss Me Red," a roguish non-hit composed by the authors of "Like a Virgin" that Cheap Trick attempted on the wire-crossing Doctor."[23]


Additional personnel[edit]

  • Louis Clark - string arrangements
  • Jeff Glixman - producer
  • Don Arden - executive producer
  • Mark Derryberry - engineer
  • Jonathan Miller - engineer
  • Bob Norberg - editing
  • Kevin Reeves - editing
  • Wally Traugott - mastering


  1. ^ a b
  2. ^ (1984-10-03). "Dreams". Retrieved 2012-03-11. 
  3. ^ Turkaor (2010-06-03). "80'S SOUNDTRACKS & AOR: Dreams (1984) Soundtrack". Retrieved 2012-03-11. 
  4. ^ Steffen Hung (2007-01-18). "Soundtrack / Dreams - Dreams". Retrieved 2012-03-11. 
  5. ^ "dreams kiss me red". YouTube. Retrieved 2012-03-11. 
  6. ^ Steffen Hung (2007-01-18). "Dreams - Kiss Me Red". Retrieved 2012-03-11. 
  7. ^ Billboard - Google Books. 1984-10-13. Retrieved 2012-03-11. 
  8. ^ ~ Trillion. "Taking a Cold Look: I-Ten: Music". Retrieved 2012-03-11. 
  9. ^
  10. ^ a b c "Cheap Trick - Kiss Me Red (Vinyl) at Discogs". Retrieved 2012-03-11. 
  11. ^
  12. ^ "Cheap Trick - The Doctor at Discogs". Retrieved 2012-03-11. 
  13. ^ "It's Only Love / Name of the Game by Cheap Trick : Reviews and Ratings". Rate Your Music. Retrieved 2012-03-11. 
  14. ^ "Cheap Trick - Standing On The Edge at Discogs". Retrieved 2012-03-11. 
  15. ^ Hayes, M.; Sharp, K. (1998). Reputation Is a Fragile Thing. Poptastic. pp. 142, 143. ISBN 978-0-9662081-0-8. 
  16. ^ "Cheap Trick - Kiss Me Red - LIVE 1986". YouTube. 2009-06-03. Retrieved 2012-03-11. 
  17. ^ "Cheap Trick - It's Only Love - LIVE 1986". YouTube. 2009-06-03. Retrieved 2012-03-11. 
  18. ^ Billboard - Google Books. 1986-09-13. Retrieved 2012-03-11. 
  19. ^ SPIN - Google Books. Retrieved 2012-03-20. 
  20. ^ a b "Electric Light Orchestra Part Two* - Electric Light Orchestra Part Two at Discogs". Retrieved 2012-03-11. 
  21. ^
  22. ^ "ELO Part 2 -Kiss me Red Live in Moscow 1991.avi". YouTube. 2010-07-16. Retrieved 2012-03-11. 
  23. ^ Stone, Doug. "Electric Light Orchestra Part Two - Electric Light Orchestra, Part II". AllMusic. Retrieved 2012-03-11.