What Is The Greatest “Dream” Song Of All Time? (POLL)
Fleetwood Mac’s classic song “Dreams” was a number single on this week in 1977 but is it the greatest song to ever be written about the subject?
There have been many artists who’ve written classic songs about dreaming while they sleep or dreaming of a better tomorrow while they’re awake. Below are ten that stand out the most and, thanks to the website Song Facts, some very interesting stories behind each:
The Allman Brothers Band (1969)
Gregg Allman wrote this sorrowful song about unrealized dreams when he was living in Los Angeles. He left Georgia to get his music career going there, and wrote a bunch of songs before returning and forming The Allman Brothers Band with his brother Duane. This was the song that won over his band-mates. Allman wrote in his 2012 biography: “I showed them ‘Dreams,’ and let me tell you, they joined right in. We learned that song the way you hear it today, and I was in, brother.”
2. “Dream On”
Steven Tyler’s father was a classically trained musician, and when Steven was three years old, he would lie underneath the piano and listen to his dad play. In his book, Does The Noise In My Head Bother You?, Tyler writes, “That’s where I got that ‘Dream On’ chordage.”
3. “#9 Dream”
John Lennon (1974)
John Lennon was fascinated with the recurrence of the number nine throughout his life, which included:
- Lennon was born on October 9.
- His first home was 9 Newcastle Road, Wavertree, Liverpool – three names which each contain nine letters.
- The Beatles’ first gig took place on February 9, 1961.
- Brian Epstein, The Beatles’ manager, first saw them perform on November 9 that same year.
- The Beatles’ contract with EMI was confirmed on May 9,1962.
- The Beatles’ debut single, “Love Me Do,” was on Parlophone R4949.
- Lennon’s son Sean shared his father’s birthday.
4. “Dream Weaver”
Gary Wright (1975)
This Gary Wright classic was inspired by a trip to India with George Harrison in 1972 along with the book Autobiography of a Yogi by Paramahansa Yogananda. In it was a poem called God! God! God! where one of the lines referred to the idea of the mind weaving dreams. Wright wrote it down in his journal of song titles and forgot about it until several months later when he came across it again. Feeling inspired, he picked up his acoustic guitar and began writing. The song was finished in an hour.
Fleetwood Mac (1977)
During the sessions for Rumours, everyone in the band was going through a breakup (Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham with each other, John and Christine McVie with each other, Mick Fleetwood with his wife Jenny Boyd) and doing a lot of drugs. They were able to work together, but most of the songwriting was on an individual basis. Stevie Nicks wrote this in the studio next door, where Sly Stone was recording. He had a big, semicircular bed and red velvet all over the walls – a great vibe for a song about dreams.
6. “Street Of Dreams”
Street of Dreams is a song by former Deep Purple guitarist Ritchie Blackmore and his band Rainbow from their 1983 album Bent Out Of Shape. This features the voice of Joe Lynn Turner, who replaced the band’s original vocalist Ronnie James Dio. Ritchie Blackmore has stated that “Street of Dreams” is one of his favorite Rainbow songs.
7. “These Dreams”
This was one was written by Elton John’s long-time songwriting partner Bernie Taupin and Martin Page. It was originally titled “Boys In The Mist.” Taupin wrote the song for Stevie Nicks with a dreamlike feel typical of her work. She turned it down, so Page composed the music and changed the title.
Van Halen (1986)
This is a song about following your dreams and never giving up. Sammy Hagar has stated that this is a highpoint of his career vocally and gives thanks in part to Mick Jones of Foreigner. Jones produced the Van Halen album 5150 and pushed Hagar beyond his own expectations in the studio. It’s one of the more optimistic songs on this list and the video is very uplifting in a Top Gun kind of way: it’s footage of the Blue Angels fighter jets from the United States Navy.
9. “Your Wildest Dreams”
The Moody Blues (1986)
The song was written by The Moody Blues guitarist/singer Justin Hayward, who told Song Facts that it was inspired by a real person, but one that shall go nameless. “I found with ‘Wildest Dreams’ that it was a common experience for a lot of people,” he said. “I thought I was writing a frivolous sort of song. I thought ‘Wildest Dreams’ would be a throwaway thing that people wouldn’t really take much notice of lyrically. But I found out that it was a common experience and desire by a lot of people. So that was very revealing.”
10. “Runnin’ Down A Dream”
Tom Petty (1989)
Heartbreakers’ guitarist Mike Campbell wrote this with Tom Petty and Jeff Lynne. The three of them worked on the album at Mike’s house. The animated video for the song, which ended up in heavy rotation on MTV, was inspired by a comic strip called Little Nemo In Slumberland by Winsor McKay. Each strip told the story of one of Nemo’s dreams. At the end, he always woke up.