Thursday, December 22, 2016

"I Can Dream About You" by Dan Hartman

Top 10 Alert!
Rated 10 Alert!
Song#:  1888
Date:  05/05/1984
Debut:  84
Peak:  6
Weeks:  25
Genre:  Pop, Dance, Soundtrack

Pop Bits:  Hartman always seemed like he was on the brink of stardom. He wrote and produced for other artists and even joined up with the Edgar Winter Band at one point where played bass on their 1972 #1 hit "Frankenstein," and wrote and sang the #14 follow-up "Free Ride." Later, he had two solo #1 Dance hits with 1978's gold-selling "Instant Replay" (#29 Pop) and 1980's "Relight My Fire," but he couldn't parlay that into further hits. He finally broke through with this song that was featured on the soundtrack to the film Streets of Fire. While the film was a bomb at the box office, the single slowly caught on. It finally reached the Pop Top 10 thanks in part to an MTV video that hit heavy rotation. It would also get to #7 AC, #8 Dance, and #60 R&B.

ReduxReview: This is near-perfect pop with excellent production that has, for me, gotten better with age. Nearly every part of this song is memorable, which is certainly not easy to do. I think this would have been a perfect song for Hall & Oates (see below), but Hartman and co-producer Iovine created something special here. It outlived both the movie and the decade. Hartman was never able to recapture this magic, but it didn't really matter as this song secured him a place in pop history.


Trivia:  Hartman originally wrote this song for Daryl Hall & John Oates. While the duo liked the song, they had just finished recording their album and had to turn it down. Later on, producer Jimmy Iovine needed a song for an upcoming film and tapped Hartman's shoulder. Iovine needed a tune that would be good for an R&B vocal group and Hartman reached back and grabbed his demo of this song. Sensing this could be a potential breakthrough if the film was a hit, Hartman did a little legal wrangling for his benefit. The song was recorded for the film with singer Winston Ford. That version would be used in the film with four actors miming the tune in the finale. However, Hartman contracted that he would sing the soundtrack album version, get the credit, have his version used for any music video, and if there was a single to be released, this would be the one. Hartman's feeling about this song was spot-on and it got him his first and only Pop Top 10. Hall & Oates would later record this song for their 2004 covers LP Our Kind of Soul.


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