The Things That Dreams Are Made Of

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"The Things That Dreams Are Made Of"
Single by The Human League
from the album Dare
Released 21 January 2008 (2008-01-21)
Format 12" single, digital download
Recorded 1981
Genre Synthpop, new wave
Length 8:57
Label Hooj Choons
Writer(s) Philip Oakey, Philip Adrian Wright
Producer(s) Martin Rushent
The Human League singles chronology
"Love Me Madly?"
"The Things That Dreams Are Made Of"
"Night People"
Music sample

"The Things That Dreams Are Made Of" is a song by the English synthpop group The Human League. It was originally recorded for the Dare album of 1981. It was remixed, remastered and released as a dance EP single in 2008; partly to coincide with the 30th anniversary of the Human League, 26th anniversary of Dare and the band's Dare '07 tour. It reached number two in the official UK Dance Chart in February 2008.


The song started as an album track on the Human League’s Dare album, recorded at Genetic Studios in the summer of 1981 and was produced by Martin Rushent. Often informally abbreviated TTDAMO, the song is a tribute to the simple pleasures in life which are then juxtaposed against a greater ambition. Philip Oakey namechecks some of his and Philip Adrian Wright's favourite things, an eclectic list from ice cream to Norman Wisdom and the names of the band members of Ramones. The song contains Dare's album title lyric "…do all the things you ever dared!". Philip Adrian Wright called the song a metaphor for the band's ambition in 1981. Female backing is provided by Susan Ann Sulley and Joanne Catherall (then 18-year-old schoolgirls) who today together with Oakey are now the only remaining band members from the original Dare line up. Perhaps viewed as a sly dig to their former band mates, the drum machine intro to the song is identical to that of the title track from the first Heaven 17 album Penthouse and Pavement. A more likely explanation is timing: the two albums were being recorded at the same time at a single recording studio—Genetic.

Since the recording of Dare, the Human League have frequently played the song live, principally because of its stadium friendly bass line. It was the opening track of performances on the Dare '07 tour. The song live today is now a much different and more dynamic version than the original. This due to the technical input of David Beevers the technology the band now uses live, although Sulley, Oakey and Catherall’s vocals are unchanged.

In August 2003, a mash-up of the instrumentation of "The Things That Dreams Are Made Of" and the lyrics to SOS Band's "The Finest" was released as a single under the title "Finest Dreams". Produced by Richard X, the song featured American singer Kelis on vocals. The song reached #8 on UK charts. It appears on Richard X's album Richard X Presents His X-Factor Vol. 1

In 2007 Martin Rushent's newly resurrected Genetic Recordings label released a limited edition EP of the song containing the 'More of Mix' and 'Justus Köncke Vocal Mix Edit'. Concurrently Hooj Choons issued a remix of the song by DJ/producer Tommy Bisdee aka 'Kissy Sell Out'. Realising that the song had commercial selling power Hooj Choons then released a full commercial version on 21 January 2008.[1]

Separate to the Hooj release, a version of the song remixed by British big beat group Groove Armada, appeared on their compilation album Late Night Tales: Groove Armada, released 12 March 2008 by Azuli Records.

Although an officially released Human League single, the band themselves did not initiate its release and have had nothing to do with the record's promotion. The track became popular with DJs and in clubs, gaining its own momentum through radio play on UK national BBC Radio One. After release it reached number two on the UK Dance Chart and number 17 on the UK Indie Chart in February 2008. It was the first return to the charts for the Human League in six years.[2]

Track listing[edit]

  1. "The Things That Dreams Are Made Of" (original dub), mixed by Martin Rushent A
  2. "The Things That Dreams Are Made Of" (Justus Kohncke dub), mixed by Justus Köncke A
  3. "The Things That Dreams Are Made Of" (Richard Stone mix), mixed by Richard Stone B

Use in television[edit]


External links[edit]