Thursday, April 10, 2014

I is for "I Can Dream About You"

Oftentimes, lightning only strikes once for many singers and bands. My A-Z Challenge for 2014 will focus on those glorious "one hit wonders" spanning the 80s, 90s, and 2000s. Some are my favorite songs, others are just plain memorable (for better or for worse). Join me in celebrating these 26 one hit wonders in pop music!

In 1985, a movie nicknamed a "Rock N' Roll Fable" called Streets of Fire came out. It starred the alluring Diane Lane and William Defoe. The film bombed, but something DID come out of it....the top 10 hit "I Can Dream About You" by Dan Hartman.

The music video featured a scene from the movie where an all-African American group, The Sorels, performs the song (comedian and film maker/directer Peter Townsend is one of the members). So when the song became a hit, people thought the group in the movie actually sang the song.

We were all shocked to learn that some white guy sang it! I remember seeing him on Soul Train. Dan Hartman was the epitome of "blue-eyed soul." In fact, Dan Hartman had written "I Can Dream About You" for Daryl Hall & John Oats. But for the movie, the song featured in that concert scene was sung by a studio singer. Dan Hartman had to fight to get his vocal used for the soundtrack and the music video. He did release two other singles from his album, but "I Can Dream About You" would be his only hit, peaking at #6 in 1985.

Despite that, Dan Hartman continued to work as a songwriter and producer. He collaborated with Joe Cocker, Tina Turner, and co-wrote James Brown's "Living in America." Dan Hartman died in 1994 due to a brain tumor related to AIDS.

Below is not the original music video, as this second version was released to let people know who REALLY sang "I Can Dream About You."

12 comments:

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

The soundtrack for that film did ten times better than the movie. I tried watching it once the film hit video and didn't make it past the fifteen minute mark.
Interesting he had to fight to get his vocals used.

Robin said...

I can see why he wrote this song for Hall & Oates. It sounds like them.

I remember this song, but didn't know the backstory/controversy. It is a terrible thing when TPTB try to steal your song. They should have let him use his vocals in the movie, too... Although since it bombed, I guess that wasn't such a big deal.

Pat Dilloway said...

Never heard of that movie. I don't think I'm alone in that. It's always funny when a soundtrack is so much more popular than the movie that spawned it. Like does anyone remember he movie "Buster" that spawned Phil Collins' "Against All Odds?" I doubt it.

Julie Flanders said...

I didn't even know this song was from a movie! And I had totally forgotten about it but now I have a feeling I will be singing it in my head.

Tony Laplume said...

Vintage '80s right there. Wasn't sure I knew the song based on the title, but a few seconds in and I knew that I knew...

Maurice Mitchell said...

It's amazing how a song can sometimes eclipse the success of the movie or show. Ghostbusters is one of those examples of a song that's equally as popular as the movie.

David P. King said...

Love that song. And it's a crime that I haven't seen this William Defoe movie. :)

N J Magas said...

Nope. I name myself for a young'un (comparatively) and say this is before my time. Or at least, before my cognitive time.

River Fairchild said...

Great song and I never knew anything about the movie or the singer.

Vikki T said...

Just stopping by from the A-Z List to say Hi and good luck with the rest of the challenge :)

I love your theme! x

J.L. Campbell said...

This is about the only song I know that's listed on the page. Loved this song!

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