These Dreams

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"These Dreams"
Heart These Dreams.jpg
Single by Heart
from the album Heart
B-side "All Eyes"
Released January 18, 1986[1]
Format 7", 12" (picture sleeve), CD Single (UK only)
Recorded The Record Plant, Sausalito, CA (January–April 1985)
Length 4:15 (Album Version)
3:46 (7" Version)
Label Capitol
Songwriter(s) Martin Page, Bernie Taupin
Producer(s) Ron Nevison
Heart singles chronology
"These Dreams"
"Nothin' at All"
"These Dreams"
"Nothin' at All"

"These Dreams" is a 1986 song by the American rock band Heart. It was released as a single in 1986 from their 1985 self-titled album. It was the first song by the band to become a number one hit on the Billboard Hot 100.[2]

Origin of the song[edit]

In 1985 Martin Page (who co-wrote several other pop hits, including "We Built This City" and "King of Wishful Thinking") and Bernie Taupin (longtime collaborator of Elton John) wrote the music and lyrics to the song now known as "These Dreams".[3] The song was offered to Stevie Nicks, who expressed no interest in recording it.[4] Heart had just recently signed with Capitol Records. While the band had previously recorded their own material, they were impressed by "These Dreams" and agreed to use it on their upcoming album.

"These Dreams" was different from earlier Heart songs: it was a polished, power ballad; and it was the first Heart single on which Nancy Wilson performed lead vocals instead of Ann Wilson. According to The Billboard Book of Number One Hits by Fred Bronson, when it came time for Nancy Wilson to record her vocal, she was suffering from a cold and her voice sounded somewhat raspy and gravelly. After the song reached its peak of success, producers reportedly wanted Nancy to recreate the gravelly sound on future recordings, asking her, "Can't you just get sick again?"[2]

Song's success[edit]

"These Dreams" was released as the third single from Heart's 1985 album Heart. Following two consecutive US top-ten singles, the song elevated the band's success even further, becoming Heart's first single to hit number one on the Billboard Hot 100 on March 22, 1986.[2] It also became Heart's first (and, to date, only) number one song in the US Adult Contemporary chart[5] and peaked at number sixty-two in the UK Singles Chart; however, a re-issue released in 1988 (re-released due in large part to the smash success of "Alone" there) reached number eight.

The music video for "These Dreams" (which used the shorter single version instead of the album version) received heavy airplay from MTV and was the third of four US top-ten singles from the Heart album. The single's B-side, "Shell Shock", was also the B-side of Heart's previous single "Never".

The petite sail-shaped electric guitar Nancy plays in the music video was the creation of Nashville luthier David Petschulat and had been purchased years earlier. Nancy uses a Dean Guitar for the majority of the video.


The song was dedicated (on the album) to Nancy Wilson's good friend Sharon Hess (May 28, 1963 – March 16, 1985), who died from leukemia shortly before the song was released.[4] The lyrics of the song describe the fantasy world a person enters when faced with a difficult situation in real life.

The lyrics of the song describe a woman who is within a world of fantasy that occurs every time she falls asleep, a world where what is and what isn't cannot always be determined, "every second of the night, I live another life." She speaks of wishing to "hide away from the pain".

Versions and formats[edit]

The song was remixed and extended to 5:25. This version appears only on a UK limited, laser etched, one sided 12" single. The UK CD single featured the b-side "Heart of Darkness", and is the only known CD format availability for this rare Heart track.

There was also a limited 7" picture disc version released in the UK.

In 1987 after the success of "Alone", "These Dreams" was re-released as a double A side in the UK with "Never".

Chart performance[edit]

Chart (1986) Peak
Australian Singles Chart[citation needed] 27
Canadian Adult Contemporary Chart[6] 1
Canadian Singles Chart[7] 6
Dutch Singles Chart[8] 38
French Singles Chart[citation needed] 3
Irish Singles Chart[9] 30
UK Singles Chart[10] 8
U.S. Billboard Hot 100[11] 1
U.S. Billboard Adult Contemporary Chart[12] 1
U.S. Billboard Mainstream Rock Chart[13] 2

Appearances in other media[edit]

  • In the 1980s, on The Young and the Restless, Nina (Tricia Cast), daydreams of a better life as the song plays in the background.
  • UK TV comedy show Balls of Steel has used the song as background music for montages featuring the 'Annoying Devil' character.
  • This song was playing on the radio as Will Ferrell was driving his car playing in the 2012 movie The Campaign.
  • The band performed a parody version of the song in the Family Guy episode "Grimm Job" in addition to "What About Beans?", a parody of "What About Love?". The lyrics 'these dreams' are replaced with 'these beans' during the "Jack and the Beanstalk" segment.
  • This song also appeared in the 2014 Brian Wilson biopic Love & Mercy around the 11th minute.

Cover versions[edit]

  • An instrumental version of "These Dreams" by the group Time Pools can be heard in an episode of season 6 (2006-7) of The Sopranos.
  • Another instrumental version was recorded by guitarist Dennis Coffey.
  • The song was covered in Spanish by the pop classical group The Three Graces on their 2008 self-titled album.
  • An acoustic version of the song appears on the Hawaiian group Na Leo Pilimehana's 2000 album Pocket Full of Paradise.
  • Filipino band MYMP covered the song from their 2008 album, Now.


  1. ^ Heart-Discography Archived January 21, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.
  2. ^ a b c Bronson, Fred. The Billboard Book of Number 1 Hits. New York: Billboard Books, 2003, p. 631.
  3. ^ Bio page at, last accessed 2008-07-04.
  4. ^ a b "These Dreams" by Heart on Last accessed 2008-07-04.
  5. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2002). Top Adult Contemporary: 1961-2001. Record Research. p. 113. 
  6. ^ "Results - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". Retrieved 2012-03-23. 
  7. ^ "Results - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". Retrieved 2012-03-23. 
  8. ^ Steffen Hung. "Heart - These Dreams". Retrieved 2012-01-08. 
  9. ^ Jaclyn Ward. "The Irish Charts - All there is to know". Retrieved 2012-01-08. 
  10. ^ "HEART | full Official Chart History | Official Charts Company". Retrieved 2016-11-09. 
  11. ^
  12. ^
  13. ^ "Heart". AllMusic. Retrieved 2012-01-08. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
"Sara" by Starship
Billboard Adult Contemporary number-one single
March 15, 1986
Succeeded by
"Secret Lovers" by Atlantic Starr
Preceded by
"Sara" by Starship
Billboard Hot 100 number-one single
March 22, 1986
Succeeded by
"Rock Me Amadeus" by Falco