"Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)" is a song written and performed by the British new wave music duo Eurythmics. The song is the title track of their album of the same name and was released as the fourth and final single from the album in early 1983. The song became their breakthrough hit, establishing the duo worldwide. Its music video helped to propel the song to number 2 on the UK Singles Chart and number 1 on the US Billboard Hot 100. It was 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'sThe 500 Greatest Songs of All Time issue in 2003, "Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)" was ranked number 356. 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).
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.
"Sweet Dreams" was Eurythmics' commercial breakthrough in the United Kingdom and all over the world. The single entered the UK chart at #63 in February 1983 and reached number two the following month.
"Sweet Dreams" was the first ever single release by Eurythmics in the United States when it was released in May 1983. The single debuted at #90 and slowly eased up the chart. By August, the single had reached number two and stayed there for four weeks, kept from the top by The Police's "Every Breath You Take" before "Sweet Dreams" took the number one spot.
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.
The music video begins with a fist (presumably Stewart's) pounding on a table, with the camera panning up to reveal Lennox in a boardroom, with images of a Saturn V launch projected on a screen behind her, which are later replaced by a shot of a crowd walking down a street. Stewart is shown typing on a computer (actually an MCS drum computer). The camera cuts to Lennox and Stewart meditating on the table. Stewart is next shown playing a cello in a field. The scene then returns to the boardroom, with Lennox and Stewart lying down on the table, and a cow walking around them. Stewart is shown again typing on the computer, with the cow chewing something right next to him. The scene cuts to the duo in a field, with a herd of cows, and Stewart still typing. Lennox and Stewart are then seen floating in a boat, with Stewart again playing cello. The video ends with Lennox lying in bed, with the last shot being a book on a nightstand bearing a cover identical to the album. The screen then fades to black as Lennox turns off the bedside lamp. The video has 125 million views by March 11, 2017.
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."
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. 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."
The American rapper Swing (later on known as Swingfly) released a europop version of the song featuring Dr Alban. It included additional rap verses but sampling greatly on the original song. The single had chart success in Sweden and in many European clubs.
Rapper Nas uses an interpolation of the chorus from "Sweet Dreams" in his 1996 hit "Street Dreams".
The song was used in the first episode of series three of the British drama Ashes to Ashes, on the series unveiling of Gene Hunt's Audi Quattro on Alex Drake's noting that "There's nothing for it – let's fire up the Quattro".
The Marilyn Manson version was used in the horror film Trick 'r Treat during the iconic werewolf transformation scene.
A remix of the song was used for the Ukrainian rhythmic gymnastic group for its 3 balls 2 ribbons routine in 2013 and 2014.
The Manson version was used in the 2015 Spanish film A Perfect Day.
The original version is used in the 2016 film X-Men: Apocalypse, during the scene where Quicksilver uses his superhuman speed to evacuate the Xavier Mansion. The film is set in 1983, the same year as the song's release.
In the 2016/17 skating season Ashley Wagner skated to a mix of this song for her short program.
An orchestral version was used in a commercial for the PS4 Pro
^Judith A. Peraino (2005). University of California Press, ed. Listening to the Sirens: Musical Technologies of Queer Identity from Homer to Hedwig. p. 241. ISBN978-0520215870. "Marilyn Manson entered the mainstream in 1995 with a cover song of the 1980s synth-pop hit "Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)" by the Eurythmics"
^Larry Starr, Christopher Alan Waterman (2007). Oxford University Press, ed. American popular music: from minstrelsy to MP3, Vol. 1. ISBN978-0195300536. ""Sweet Dreams" is a good example of commercial new wave music of the early 1980s, an outgrowth of the 1970s new wave/punk scene promoted by major record labels."