I Can Dream About You

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"I Can Dream About You"
Dan Hartman - I Can Dream About You single cover.jpg
Single by Dan Hartman
from the album I Can Dream About You and Streets of Fire
ReleasedApril 1984
August 1985 (UK re-issue)
Recorded1983
GenrePop rock
Length4:12
3:50 (7")
LabelMCA
Songwriter(s)Dan Hartman
Producer(s)Dan Hartman, Jimmy Iovine
Dan Hartman singles chronology
"All I Need"
(1981)
"I Can Dream About You"
(1984)
"We Are the Young"
(1984)

"I Can Dream About You" is a song performed by American singer Dan Hartman on the soundtrack album of the film Streets of Fire. Released in 1984 as a single from the soundtrack, and included on Hartman's album I Can Dream About You, it reached number 6 on the Billboard Hot 100.[1]

Background[edit]

The song first appeared in Streets of Fire, where it was performed by the fictional group The Sorels. The real voice behind the version used in the film was Winston Ford, but Hartman's version was the one used on the soundtrack album and released as a single.[2] In a Songfacts interview with the film's musical director, Kenny Vance, he recalled the following:

"The same guy that sings lead on that and "Countdown to Love," a song that I wrote for the film, was a guy working at a Radio Shack (Winston Ford), and I think when you look at the film and The Sorels are singing it live in the movie, that was the version that was supposed to come out, and I recorded that version. But then when Dan Hartman heard it, I don't know what happened next, but I know that he took that guy's voice off and he put his own on, and he had a hit with it. Hollywood is a very slippery place."[2][3]

Originally, producer Jimmy Iovine had asked Hartman to write a song for a film he was working on. Hartman was told that the song was going to be sung by four Black guys in a concert situation within the film, and Hartman ended up thinking about a demo he made of "I Can Dream About You." As described by Tuber (1985), Hartman went through some “legal maneuvering to get the benefit of his breakthrough”.[4] The use of the song in the film being performed by actors did not feature Hartman on vocals but rather Ford. After some negotiating to enforce the original contract, Hartman insisted he sing the song on the soundtrack, and that his version be released if a single were to be issued from the soundtrack album. Additionally, any music video had to feature his own voice using the song. These clauses helped Hartman become an "overnight sensation" despite the fact that Hartman had been a working musician since adolescence. In an interview snippet from Portzline (2014), Hartman elaborated on another controversy related to the song—stating that “…some people had a fit because it was my name and my voice coming out of this group that looked like the Temptations. It was a big mess, but it was the best I could do under the circumstance."[5]

In the film, the Sorels are played by Stoney Jackson (lead singer), Grand L. Bush, Mykelti Williamson and Robert Townsend (the latter three portraying backing singers). In a 2012 interview, Williamson stated that people were initially confused and thought that Jackson was Hartman. As a result, Hartman was supposedly upset; however, he might have had a change of heart by the following year due to the “good publicity” that the confusion generated (Tuber, 1985).[4][6] Although the choreography for the Sorels was arranged by Jeffrey Hornaday, the actors eventually improvised much of the dance moves with Hornaday’s support. Williamson further mentioned that he, Jackson, Bush and Townsend received vocal coaching from Jim Gilstrap and they provided background vocals for the track.[6] In the vinyl releases, Hartman, Joe Pizzulo, and Ford are credited as providing backing vocals for the song. Thus, in the interview, Williamson may have been referring to the version that appeared in the film with Ford's vocals.

According to Daryl Hall, Hartman had initially written the song with Hall & Oates in mind, and offered the song to them to record as their own. Hall & Oates declined, as their new album was about to be released. Later in their career, however, they issued an album of covers called Our Kind of Soul, in 2004, on which they recorded their own version (with changed lyrics) of Hartman's song.[7] When performing the song live in February 2005, Hall revealed before the performance:

"Here's a song that we did on the new album that we sort of did twenty years late. An old friend of ours, Dan Hartman, wrote this song. I remember back in the day he came up to me and said 'You know, I have this great song I wrote for you guys. It's you, you know? – you have to sing this song.' And unfortunately we had just finished an album, we couldn't put it on the album so I said sorry Dan. About six months later I was watching MTV and there it was, and it was a hit for him, God bless him. So here we are twenty years later, I hope he's hearing it, and I hope he enjoys it."[8]

Before Ford settled as a musician in Colorado, he went on to tour as a vocalist for artists such as The Platters, Earth, Wind & Fire, The Drifters and Phat Daddy. He died in a motor vehicle accident in 2007 in Denver.[9][10][11][12]

Album release and promotion[edit]

Both Hartman and Iovine worked on his 1984, same-titled solo album I Can Dream About You, following the song's use in the film. The album would spawn two other Top 40 charting singles on the US Billboard Hot 100 – "We Are the Young" and "Second Nature".[4] A tour was also organized to promote the I Can Dream About You album and its singles, and Hartman toured alongside Toto in 1985. It was his first tour in a decade but also his last. The song was performed on this tour.[4]

Music videos and promotion[edit]

Two music videos accompanied the song. One does not feature Hartman and consists of scenes from Streets of Fire, intercut with footage of the fictional Sorels miming the song as part of a live performance. In the second video, filmed at the Hard Rock in London, Hartman appears as a bartender trying to charm a young woman (played by Joyce Hyser), singing to her as the Sorels' performance plays on a TV set hanging above the bar. In a 2010 interview with Hyser for the blog Old School: Back to the 80s, she was asked how she came to feature in the video. She replied, "I knew Dan's manager and he asked me if I would do it. We shot at the Hard Rock in London. I honestly remember very little about it, but Dan was very nice and I absolutely love that song."[13] While recording a mimed TV performance of the song, Hartman explained why one music video featured actors: "The producers and directors of Streets of Fire wanted the best of everything, so they hired the best singers, the best dancers and best actors to play the parts in the film. So the singers in "I Can Dream About You" who are the Sorels are actually actors, and I wrote and sang this song."[14]

Aside from the two music videos which accompanied the song, Hartman appeared on various American and European TV shows to perform the song once it was released as a single. On the musical variety show Soul Train, during December 1984, Hartman dubbed the song with his touring band, along with "We are the Young",[15][16] and later appeared on the show solo in May 1985 to perform both "I Can Dream About You" and "Second Nature" alone, but with live vocal.[17][18][19] He also dubbed the song on the music-performance program American Bandstand in December 1984, with his touring band.[20] "Second Nature" was also performed, and both performances aired on the January 12, 1985, episode of the show.[21][22] In November 1984, Hartman and his band performed the song on Late Night with David Letterman, along with "We Are the Young".[23][24][25] It was also dubbed on the American syndicated half hour television show This Week's Music, where his name was incorrectly spelled as 'Harkman'.[26]

Within the UK, Hartman performed the song on Top of the Pops, dated August 29, 1985.[27][28] He also dubbed the song on Cheggers Plays Pop, dated October 31, 1985.[29]

Track listing[edit]

7" Single
  1. "I Can Dream About You" – 3:50
  2. "Blue Shadows" (performed by The Blasters) – 3:14
7" Single (American promo release)
  1. "I Can Dream About You (Long Solo Version)"
  2. "I Can Dream About You (Short Solo Version)" – 3:51
7" Single (Brazilian release)
  1. "I Can Dream About You (Versão Solo Longa)"
  2. "I Can Dream About You (Versão Solo Curta)" – 3:51
7" Single (1985 UK reissue)
  1. "I Can Dream About You (Edited Version)" – 3:51
  2. "Instant Replay" – 3:25
12" Single (American and Italian release)
  1. "I Can Dream About You (Jellybean Remix)" – 7:31
  2. "I Can Dream About You" – 4:23
  3. "I Can Dream About You (Instrumental)" – 4:23
12" Single (Australian, Canadian and US #2 release)
  1. "I Can Dream About You (Extended Remix)" – 5:56
  2. "I Can Dream About You (Jellybean Remix)" – 7:31
12" Single (American promo release)
  1. "I Can Dream About You (Jellybean Remix)" – 7:31
  2. "I Can Dream About You" – 4:23
  3. "I Can Dream About You (Instrumental)" – 4:23
12" Single (German release)
  1. "I Can Dream About You (Jellybean Remix)" – 7:31
  2. "I Can Dream About You (Extended Remix)" – 5:56
12" Single (Spanish release)
  1. "I Can Dream About You (Jellybean Remix)" – 7:31
  2. "I Can Dream About You (Instrumental)" – 4:23
  3. "Blue Shadows" (performed by The Blasters) – 3:14
12" Single (1985 UK release)
  1. "I Can Dream About You (Extended Mix)" – 5:56
  2. "I Can Dream About You (7" Version)" – 3:51
  3. "Instant Replay" – 8:18
12" Single (1985 UK white label promo release)
  1. "I Can Dream About You (Extended Mix)" – 5:56
  2. "Instant Replay" – 8:18

Critical reception[edit]

Alex Henderson of Allmusic reviewed the I Can Dream About You album and stated "This excellent album finds Hartman showing his enthusiasm for R&B on pop/rock gems that range from the hit title song and the anthemic "We Are the Young" to the Motown-tinged "Name of the Game" and the new wave-ish "Electricity"."[30]

In the Billboard magazine of November 3, 1984, another review of the album was published in the Pop Picks section, which meant that Billboard predicted the album to hit the top half of the chart. The review stated "The title track survived the failure of the "Streets of Fire" motion picture to become a recent top 10 smash. Hartman follows it with an album reflecting the same broad-based pop/rock appeal."[31]

Chart performance[edit]

Personnel[edit]

  • Lead Vocals, All Instruments (except as noted below) – Dan Hartman
  • Bass – Eddie Watkins
  • Acoustic Piano – Billy Payne
  • Additional Drums – Art Wood
  • Additional Guitar – Richie Zito
  • Percussion – Bobbye Hall
  • Backing Vocals – Dan Hartman, Joe Pizzullo, Winston Ford
  • Producers – Dan Hartman, Jimmy Iovine
  • Recording Engineer – Dan Hartman
  • Additional Recording Engineer – Shelly Yakus
  • Assistant Mixing Engineer – Steve Krause
  • Mastering – Steve Marcussen
  • Mixing on "I Can Dream About You" – Humberto Gatica
  • Additional Engineer on "I Can Dream About You" – Gabe Veltri
  • Management – Robert A. Finkelstein

References[edit]

  1. ^ "I Can Dream About You". Billboard Hot 100. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. Retrieved November 19, 2009.
  2. ^ a b "I Can Dream About You by Dan Hartman Songfacts". Songfacts.com. Retrieved March 12, 2014.
  3. ^ Tweet. "Kenny Vance: Songwriter Interviews". Songfacts.com. Retrieved 2014-03-12.
  4. ^ a b c d Tuber, Keith (August 1985). "Fletch to the Beat". Orange Coast Magazine. p. 120. Retrieved March 12, 2014 – via Google Books.
  5. ^ Portzline, Larry (July 5, 2014). "FROM LOCAL LEGEND TO HITMAKER: Q&A With Dan Hartman". www.danhartman.com. Retrieved October 27, 2020.
  6. ^ a b "Actor Mykelti Williamson Remembers When The "I Can Dream About You" Music Video From STREETS OF FIRE Made Him Famous (Sorry, Dan Hartman)". Golden Age of Music Video. December 13, 2012. Retrieved October 27, 2020.
  7. ^ "Daryl Hall & John Oates – Our Kind Of Soul". Discogs.com. Retrieved March 12, 2014.
  8. ^ "I Can Dream About You – Hall & Oates". 2008-04-30. Retrieved 2014-03-12 – via YouTube.
  9. ^ Migration | (October 17, 2007). "Musician Ford was vocal about entertaining others". The Denver Post. Retrieved September 26, 2020.
  10. ^ Brogan, Daniel (October 18, 2007). "Remembering Winston Ford". 5280. Retrieved September 26, 2020.
  11. ^ Ellis, Judith Howard (October 19, 2007). "Wave of love for Denver musician". The Denver Post. Retrieved September 26, 2020.
  12. ^ Solomon, Jon (November 30, 2017). "Love Reigned at the Colorado Music Hall of Fame's Jazz Concert". Westword. Retrieved September 26, 2020.
  13. ^ "Back to the 80s: Interview with Joyce Hyser from Just One of the Guys - Kickin' it Old School | tBlog.com". Oldschool.tblog.com. Retrieved March 12, 2014.
  14. ^ "Dan Hartman explains why the video for I Can Dream About You features actors". YouTube. June 1, 2010. Retrieved March 12, 2014.
  15. ^ "'Soul Train' Dan Hartman/Champaign (TV Episode 1984)". imdb.com. Retrieved November 9, 2016.
  16. ^ "Dan Hartman – I Can Dream About You". April 14, 2010. Retrieved March 12, 2014 – via YouTube.
  17. ^ "dan hartman i can dream about you". September 15, 2009. Retrieved March 12, 2014 – via YouTube.
  18. ^ "dan hartman 2nd nature". September 15, 2009. Retrieved March 12, 2014 – via YouTube.
  19. ^ "'6.20 Soul Train' Episode dated 10 May 1985 (TV Episode 1985)". imdb.com. Retrieved November 9, 2016.
  20. ^ "Dan Hartman – I Can Dream About You". June 23, 1984. Retrieved March 12, 2014 – via YouTube.
  21. ^ "Dan Hartman – Second Nature". August 8, 1988. Retrieved March 12, 2014 – via YouTube.
  22. ^ "'Bandstand' Episode #28.19 (TV Episode 1985)". imdb.com. Retrieved November 9, 2016.
  23. ^ "Dan Hartman – I Can Dream About You". Retrieved March 12, 2014 – via YouTube.
  24. ^ "Dan Hartman – We Are The Young". Retrieved March 12, 2014 – via YouTube.
  25. ^ "'Late Night with David Letterman' Episode #3.133 (TV Episode 1984)". imdb.com. Retrieved November 9, 2016.
  26. ^ "dan hartman – I can dream about you". April 15, 2013. Retrieved March 12, 2014 – via YouTube.
  27. ^ "Dan Hartman – I Can Dream About You (Studio, TOTP)". June 10, 2011. Retrieved March 12, 2014 – via YouTube.
  28. ^ "'Top of the Pops' Episode dated 29 August 1985 (TV Episode 1985)". imdb.com. Retrieved November 9, 2016.
  29. ^ "'Cheggers Plays Pop' Episode #8.8 (TV Episode 1985)". imdb.com. Retrieved November 9, 2016.
  30. ^ Alex Henderson. "I Can Dream About You – Dan Hartman | Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved March 12, 2014.
  31. ^ Billboard – Google Books. November 3, 1984. Retrieved March 12, 2014.
  32. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992. St Ives, NSW: Australian Chart Book. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
  33. ^ "Dan Hartman – I Can Dream About You". ultratop.be. Retrieved March 12, 2014.
  34. ^ a b "Results – RPM – Library and Archives Canada". Collectionscanada.gc.ca. Retrieved March 12, 2014.
  35. ^ "Item Display – RPM – Library and Archives Canada". Collectionscanada.gc.ca. Retrieved March 12, 2014.
  36. ^ "Item Display – RPM – Library and Archives Canada". Collectionscanada.gc.ca. Retrieved March 12, 2014.
  37. ^ Steffen Hung. "Dan Hartman – I Can Dream About You". dutchcharts.nl. Retrieved March 12, 2014.
  38. ^ "InfoDisc : Tout les Titres par Artiste". Infodisc.fr. Archived from the original on September 20, 2013. Retrieved March 12, 2014.
  39. ^ Jaclyn Ward. "The Irish Charts – All there is to know". Irishcharts.ie. Archived from the original on June 3, 2009. Retrieved March 12, 2014.
  40. ^ Steffen Hung. "Dan Hartman – I Can Dream About You". charts.nz. Retrieved March 12, 2014.
  41. ^ Brian Currin. "South African Rock Lists Website – SA Charts 1969 – 1989 Acts (H)". Rock.co.za. Retrieved March 12, 2014.
  42. ^ Steffen Hung. "Dan Hartman – I Can Dream About You". swedishcharts.com. Retrieved March 12, 2014.
  43. ^ "The Official Charts Company – I Can Dream About You {1985} by Dan Hartman Search". The Official Charts Company. April 4, 2014.
  44. ^ a b c d Artist Biography by Stephen Thomas Erlewine. "Dan Hartman | Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved March 12, 2014.
  45. ^ Downey, Pat; Albert, George; Hoffmann, Frank W. (1994). Cash box pop singles charts, 1950–1993 – Pat Downey, George Albert, Frank W. Hoffmann – Google Books. ISBN 9781563083167. Retrieved March 12, 2014.
  46. ^ "Forum – ARIA Charts: Special Occasion Charts – Top 100 Singles 1984". Australian-charts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved December 14, 2018.
  47. ^ "Top 100 Singles of 1984 – Volume 41, No. 17, January 05 1985". RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Archived from the original on May 9, 2016. Retrieved May 21, 2018.
  48. ^ "Top 100 Hits of 1984/Top 100 Songs of 1984". musicoutfitters.com. Retrieved May 21, 2018.
  49. ^ http://tropicalglen.com/Archives/80s_files/1984YESP.html Archived September 7, 2013, at the Wayback Machine Cash Box Year-End Charts: Top 100 Pop Singles, December 29, 1984

External links[edit]