Dreaming (Blondie song)

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Blondie - Dreaming.jpg
Single by Blondie
from the album Eat to the Beat
  • "Sound-A-Sleep"
  • "Living in the Real World"
Released September 14, 1979
Format 7" single
Genre Power pop[1]
Length 3:08
Label Chrysalis
Songwriter(s) Chris Stein, Debbie Harry
Producer(s) Mike Chapman
Blondie singles chronology
"One Way or Another"
"Union City Blue"
Audio sample

"Dreaming" is a song by the American new wave band Blondie. Released in 1979, it was the lead single from their fourth album Eat to the Beat.[2] Inspired by ABBA musically, the song features an active drum performance from drummer Clem Burke.

"Dreaming" was released as a single in 1979, reaching number two on the UK singles chart and number 27 on the US Billboard Hot 100. Despite this, the single was less successful than other Blondie releases in the late 1970s.


The lyrics for "Dreaming" originated from the line "dreaming is free", which band member Chris Stein thought of.[3] After hearing the music for the song that Stein wrote, Debbie Harry wrote the rest of the lyrics.[3] Harry explained the process of writing the lyrics in an interview with Entertainment Weekly, saying "Sometimes Chris will come up with a track or a feel and pass it on to me, and he'll say, 'I was thinking 'Dreaming/Dreaming is free',' and then I'll fill it out with a story line or some more phrases. A lot of times it's the rhythm track that suggests what the lyric is going to be. I like working like that."[4]

Musically, "Dreaming" is a fast-paced new wave song. Stein has since claimed that "Dreaming" is "pretty much a cop" of "Dancing Queen" by ABBA; he continued, "I don't know if that was where we started, or if it ended just happening to sound like that."[3][4] Michael Gallucci of Ultimate Classic Rock said the song "tak[es] a cue from Phil Spector's Wall of Sound."[5]

According to the band's keyboardist Jimmy Destri, the song, like many from the Eat to the Beat album, was recorded live in the studio.[6] The song also features a frantic drum performance written by drummer Clem Burke.[7] Burke said of his drumming on the song:

The reason why 'Dreaming' came out the way it did is because [producer Mike Chapman] really gave me free rein and it was really a surprise. That take of 'Dreaming' was just me kind of blowing through the song. It's not like I expected that to be the take. I was consciously overplaying just for the sake of it because it was a run-through."[6]


The song was released on September 14, 1979 as the first single from Eat to the Beat. While the US release of the single had "Living in the Real World" as the B-side, the British version used "Sound-A-Sleep" instead. Both of those songs likewise feature on Eat to the Beat. A music video was produced to promote the single featuring Debbie Harry wearing a solid blue unitard and matching sheer blouse designed by Stephen Sprouse.[8]

"Dreaming" was most successful as a single in the UK, peaking at number two on the singles chart. Burke later expressed disappointment at the song's inability to reach number one in Britain unlike other Blondie singles, saying, "English audiences are notoriously fickle. They go off on people after a while. It's been done before. We're so spoiled by having all those number ones."[6]

The single was also successful in Ireland as well as in Canada, reaching number three and number four respectively. In the US, it peaked at number 27 on the Billboard Hot 100, becoming Blondie's third Top 40 hit there (after "Heart of Glass" (number one) and "One Way or Another" (number 24) earlier in the year). Clem Burke attributed the song's relatively lower chart position to his drumming, saying "I always say 'Dreaming' would have been a bigger hit had I not played like that. It was Top 40, but it was never a huge hit."[6]

"Dreaming" has since been featured on multiple compilation albums, such as The Best of Blondie, The Complete Picture: The Very Best of Deborah Harry and Blondie, Atomic: The Very Best of Blondie, and Greatest Hits Deluxe Redux. Blondie re-recorded the song for the 2014 compilation album Greatest Hits Deluxe Redux.

Live performances

"Dreaming" has become a staple of Blondie's live performances, being performed for a time as the second track in the band's setlist.[7] Blondie notably performed the song live on Saturday Night Live in 1979, a performance that ended with Burke jumping over his drumset toward the camera.[9] Burke later described the video of the performance as "awesome".[10]

Lead singer Debbie Harry performed a version of the song with the Dum Dum Girls at South by Southwest in 2014. Josh Terry of Consequence of Sound described the rendition as "woozy" and "upbeat".[11]

Charts and certifications

Release history

UK 7" (CHS 2359, September 1979)

  1. "Dreaming" (Deborah Harry, Chris Stein) — 3:08
  2. "Sound-A-Sleep" (Harry, Stein) — 4:18

US 7" (CHS 2379, September 1979)

  1. "Dreaming" (Deborah Harry, Chris Stein) — 3:08
  2. "Living in the Real World" (Jimmy Destri) — 2:53

US 12" Promo (CHS14-PDJ, September 1979)

  1. "Dreaming" (Deborah Harry, Chris Stein) — 3:08
  2. "Dreaming" (Deborah Harry, Chris Stein) — 3:08

Cover versions


  1. ^ Danyel Smith, ed. (2002). "Billboard 14 December 2002". Nielsen Business Media, Inc. ISSN 0006-2510. "The near-capacity crowd (...) then went wild when they heard Burke's unmistakable drum roll intro to "Dreaming," perhaps the band's definitive power-pop single."
  2. ^ Rae Cohen, Debra (November 30, 1983). "Eat to the Beat". Rolling Stone.
  3. ^ a b c "Dreaming". songfacts.com.
  4. ^ a b Beviglia, Jim. "Lyric Of The Week: Blondie, "Dreaming"". American Songwriter. ForASong Media, LLC. Retrieved March 24, 2019.
  5. ^ Gallucci, Michael. "Top 10 Blondie Songs". Ultimate Classic Rock. Townsquare Media. Retrieved March 24, 2019.
  6. ^ a b c d Porter, Dick; Needs, Kris (February 13, 2017). Blondie: Parallel Lines. ISBN 9780857127808.
  7. ^ a b Kramer, Barry L. "Clem Burke's interview with the fans". blondie.net. Retrieved March 24, 2019.
  8. ^ Cathy Che (1999), 'Deborah Harry: Platinum Blonde', MPG Books Ltd, Cornwall, p.96
  9. ^ Tramel, Jimmie. "From Rock Hall to Hard Rock: Blondie drummer Clem Burke talks about band's past, present". Tulsa World. Gloria Fletcher. Retrieved March 24, 2019.
  10. ^ Clem Burke [@clem_burke] (March 30, 2018). "Check out this awesome video: Blondie - Dreaming - Live (Saturday Night Live) (1979) (HD) dai.ly/x21f8qu Have a Good Friday !" (Tweet). Retrieved March 23, 2019 – via Twitter.
  11. ^ Terry, Josh. "Watch: Dum Dum Girls and Blondie's Debbie Harry play "Dreaming" at SXSW". Consequence of Sound. Consequence Holdings, LLC. Retrieved March 24, 2019.
  12. ^ bulion. "Forum - ARIA Charts: Special Occasion Charts - CHART POSITIONS PRE 1989". ARIA. Australian-charts.com. Archived from the original on October 20, 2013. Retrieved July 28, 2013.
  13. ^ "Austriancharts.at – Blondie – Dreaming" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40. Retrieved July 28, 2013.
  14. ^ "Ultratop.be – Blondie – Dreaming" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50. Retrieved July 28, 2013.
  15. ^ "Dreaming - BLONDIE". VRT (in Dutch). Top30-2.radio2.be. Archived from the original on April 9, 2012. Retrieved July 28, 2013. Hoogste notering in de top 30: 14
  16. ^ "Top Singles - Volume 32, No. 11, December 08 1979". Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved June 28, 2013.
  17. ^ Pennanen, Timo (2006). Sisältää hitin – levyt ja esittäjät Suomen musiikkilistoilla vuodesta 1972 (in Finnish). Helsinki: Kustannusosakeyhtiö Otava.
  18. ^ "The Irish Charts - All there is to know". IRMA. Archived from the original on June 2, 2009. Retrieved July 28, 2013. 4th result when searching "Dreaming"
  19. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – Blondie - Dreaming" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40. Retrieved July 28, 2013.
  20. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Blondie – Dreaming" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved July 28, 2013.
  21. ^ "Charts.nz – Blondie – Dreaming". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved July 28, 2013.
  22. ^ "Norwegiancharts.com – Blondie – Dreaming". VG-lista. Retrieved July 28, 2013.
  23. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – Blondie – Dreaming". Singles Top 100. Retrieved July 28, 2013.
  24. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved July 28, 2013.
  25. ^ "Eat to the Beat awards at Allmusic". AllMusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved June 28, 2013.
  26. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on February 21, 2015. Retrieved 2015-02-21.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  27. ^ "Offiziellecharts.de – Blondie – Dreaming". GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved February 18, 2019.
  28. ^ "Canadian 1979 Top 100 Singles". Library and Archives Canada. Archived from the original on June 30, 2017. Retrieved January 24, 2014.
  29. ^ "Top Singles 1979". Music Week. London, England: Spotlight Publications. December 22, 1979. p. 27.
  30. ^ Whitburn, Joel (1999). Pop Annual. Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin: Record Research Inc. ISBN 0-89820-142-X.
  31. ^ "British single certifications – Blondie – Dreaming". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved March 29, 2012. Select singles in the Format field. Select Silver in the Certification field. Type Dreaming in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.
  32. ^ Stephen Thomas Erlewine. "The Aeroplane Flies High review at Allmusic". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved July 28, 2013.
  33. ^ Jason Damas. "At Least, At Last review at Allmusic". AllMusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved July 28, 2013.
  34. ^ "Digital Release: Under the Covers Vol. 2 - Deluxe Edition". Second Hand Songs. Retrieved July 28, 2013.
  35. ^ "Katy Goodman / Greta Morgan: Take It, It's Yours Album Review | Pitchfork". pitchfork.com. Retrieved November 15, 2016.

External links

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