Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)

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"Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)"
Single by Eurythmics
from the album Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)
Released 21 January 1983 (UK)
2 May 1983 (US)
Format 7" single, 12" single
Recorded 1981
Length 3:35 (7" single)
4:48 (12" single)
Label RCA
Producer(s) David A. Stewart
Certification Gold (SNEP)[3]
Silver (BPI)[4]
Gold (RIAA)[5]
Eurythmics singles chronology
"Love Is a Stranger"
"Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)"
"Who's That Girl?"

"Love Is a Stranger" (1991 reissue)

"Sweet Dreams '91" (Remix)

"I Saved the World Today"
Music video
"Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)" on YouTube

"Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)" is a song written and performed by the British new wave music duo Eurythmics (Annie Lennox and David A. Stewart). It was released as a single in early 1983, the title track of their album Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This), and was one of their biggest hits, and the song which provided the group with their breakthrough into commercial success. Its striking music video helped to propel the song to number 2 on the UK Singles Chart and number 1 on the US Billboard Hot 100, on 3 September 1983, after The Police's "Every Breath You Take" had held it off at number 2 for four consecutive weeks in August. It was the fourth and final single released from the Sweet Dreams album in the UK and the first single released by Eurythmics in the US.

"Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)" is arguably Eurythmics' signature song. Following its success, their previous single, "Love Is a Stranger", was re-released and also became a worldwide hit. On Rolling Stone's The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time issue in 2003, "Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)" was ranked number 356; it was the Eurythmics's only song to appear on the list.[6] Eurythmics have regularly performed the song in all their live sets since 1982, and it is often performed by Lennox on her solo tours.

In 1991, the song was remixed and reissued to promote Eurythmics' Greatest Hits album. It re-charted in the UK, reaching number 48, and was also a moderate hit in dance clubs. Another remix by Steve Angello was released in France in 2006, along with the track "I've Got a Life" (peaking at number 10).

In 1999, Dave Stewart and Annie Lennox reunited and released Peace, their first album of new material in 10 years. Its lead single, "17 Again", directly references this song, with lyrics that culminate in the declaration, "Sweet Dreams are made of anything that gets you in the scene." The song ends on a refrain of the first verse from Sweet Dreams.


The original recording's main instrumentation featured a sequenced analog synthesizer riff, which Stewart accidentally discovered in the studio when he played a bass track backwards. Apart from the synthesizer, the arrangement also uses a Movement Systems Drum Computer, a piano in the middle eight, and Lennox's multitracked harmony vocals.

Track listings[edit]

  • A: "Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)" (LP version) — 3:36
  • B: "I Could Give You a Mirror" (Alternate version)* — 4:15
  • A: "Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This)" (Extended version) — 4:48
  • B1: "I Could Give You a Mirror" (Alternate version)* — 4:15
  • B2: "Baby's Gone Blue" (Non-LP track) — 4:19
3" CD (1989 re-release)
  1. "Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)" (LP version) — 3:36
  2. "I Could Give You a Mirror" (Alternate version)* — 4:15
  3. "Here Comes the Rain Again" (LP version) — 4:54
  4. "Paint a Rumour" — 7:30

* - This version is different from the one found on the album Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This).

Music video[edit]

The music video for "Sweet Dreams" was directed by Chris Ashbrook and filmed in January 1983, shortly before the single and the album were released. The video received heavy airplay on the then-fledgling MTV channel and is widely considered a classic clip from the early-MTV era.

Lennox's striking androgynous visual image, with close-cropped, orange-coloured hair, and attired in a man's suit brandishing a cane, immediately made her a household name. Her gender-bending image would be further explored in other Eurythmics videos such as "Love Is a Stranger" and "Who's That Girl?".

There is also an alternative music video with the duo on a train.[7]

Chart performance[edit]

"Sweet Dreams" was Eurythmics' commercial breakthrough in the United Kingdom and all over the world. The single entered the UK chart at #63 on 12 February 1983 and reached number two on 19 March.[8] The single equaled that position in Ireland after debuting on 6 March 1983.[9] In the Netherlands, the single entered at #34 on 9 April 1983 and peaked at #10 on 30 April.[10] In Belgium, the song debuted at #33 on 16 April 1983 and peaked at number three for two weeks starting on 7 May.[11] In Switzerland, the single debuted at #10 on 22 May 1983 and peaked at number eight on 5 June.[12]

On 25 June, the single debuted at #49 on the Canadian RPM single chart and reached number one for two weeks beginning on 10 September.[13][14] In New Zealand, the single debuted at #25 on 10 July 1983 and peaked at number two on 7 August.[15] In Austria, the single debuted and peaked at #9 on 15 August 1983.[16]

"Sweet Dreams" was the first ever single release from Eurythmics in the United States when it was released in May 1983. The single debuted at #90 on 14 May 1983 and slowly eased up the chart.[17] On 9 July, after eight weeks, the single reached the top twenty followed by the top ten at number six on 30 July.[18][19] On 6 August, the single reached number two and stayed there for the entire month, kept from the top by The Police's "Every Breath You Take" before "Dreams" dethroned the song on 3 September 1983. It stayed at the top for one week.

Sales and certifications[edit]

Region Certification Sales/shipments
France (SNEP)[3] Gold 951,000[3]
United Kingdom (BPI)[30] Silver 250,000^
United States (RIAA)[31] Gold 1,000,000^

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

Marilyn Manson cover[edit]

"Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)"
Single by Marilyn Manson
from the album Smells Like Children
Released 1995
Format CD-Single
Recorded 1994
Genre Industrial rock[32]
Length 4:53 (EP), 4:25 (single)
Label Interscope
Marilyn Manson singles chronology
"Dope Hat"
"Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)"
"The Beautiful People"
Music sample

Marilyn Manson released a cover version of "Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)" as the first single from the 1995 EP, Smells Like Children. This version became an MTV staple and helped to establish the band in the mainstream. Their groundbreaking video was directed by Dean Karr and produced by Arthur Gorson. It also appears on the band's greatest hits album, Lest We Forget: The Best Of. This version is featured on the soundtracks to the 2005 documentary film Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room and the 2009 film Gamer. It is also featured in the films Trick 'r Treat, House on Haunted Hill, the trailer to Wrath of the Titans[33] and in the pilot of The Following. In Manson's autobiography, The Long Hard Road out of Hell, he states that Nothing Records did not want to release this as a single. They wanted to release their cover of Screamin' Jay Hawkins' "I Put a Spell on You", which, according to Manson, "was far too dark, sprawling and esoteric, even for some of our fans."

Marilyn Manson added some extra lines to the lyrics that are not present in the Eurythmics version: "I wanna use you and abuse you/I wanna know what's inside you" along with "I'm gonna use you and abuse you/I gotta know what's inside you."[34]

The video for Manson's cover contains several clips of Manson and bandmates in what appears to be an abandoned building. In between the clips are a number of surreal shots of Manson wearing a wedding gown, Manson wandering around an abandoned street in a tutu, birds fluttering around him and leaving droppings on his body, and of him riding a pig wearing a cowboy hat and covered with mud. In 2010 the music video was rated the "Scariest music video ever made" by Billboard, beating Michael Jackson's Thriller for the top spot.[35] Dave Stewart has said he liked the Marilyn Manson version of his song and "the video was one of the scariest things I’d seen at the time."[36]

Formats and track listings[edit]

Australian CD single
  1. "Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)" — 4:25
  2. "Dance of the Dope Hats" (Remix) — 4:46
  3. "Down in the Park" — 4:58
  4. "Lunchbox (Next Motherfucker)" — 4:47
US promotional CD single
  1. "Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)" — 4:25

Chart positions[edit]