Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)
"Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)" is a song written and performed by the British new wave music duo Eurythmics. The song is the title track of their album of the same name and was released as the fourth and final single from the album in early 1983. The song became their breakthrough hit, establishing the duo worldwide. Its music video helped to propel the song to number 2 on the UK Singles Chart and number 1 on the US Billboard Hot 100. It was the first single released by Eurythmics in the US.
|"Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)"|
|Single by Eurythmics|
|from the album Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)|
|B-side||"Baby's Gone Blue"|
|Released||21 January 1983 (UK)
2 May 1983 (US)
|Format||7" single, 12" single|
|Length||3:35 (7" single)
4:48 (12" single)
|Producer(s)||David A. Stewart|
|Eurythmics singles chronology|
"Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)" is arguably Eurythmics' signature song. Following its success, their previous single, "Love Is a Stranger", was re-released and also became a worldwide hit. On Rolling Stone's The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time issue in 2003, "Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)" was ranked number 356. Eurythmics has regularly performed the song in all their live sets since 1982, and it is often performed by Lennox on her solo tours.
In 1991, the song was remixed and reissued to promote Eurythmics' Greatest Hits album. It re-charted in the UK, reaching number 48, and was also a moderate hit in dance clubs. Another remix by Steve Angello was released in France in 2006, along with the track "I've Got a Life" (peaking at number 10).
Annie Lennox and Dave Stewart wrote the song after The Tourists had broken up and they formed Eurythmics. Although the two of them also broke up as a couple, they continued to work together. They became interested in electronic music, bought new synthesisers and started playing on it. According to Stewart, he managed to produce the beat and riff of the song on a synthesiser, and Lennox, on hearing it, said: "What the hell is that?" and started playing on another synthesiser, and beginnings of the song came out of the two duelling synths.
According to Lennox, the lyrics reflected the unhappy time after the break up of The Tourists, when she felt that they were "in a dream world", and that whatever they were chasing was never going to happen. She said: ""Sweet dreams are made of this" is basically me saying: "Look at the state of us. How can it get worse? I was feeling very vulnerable. The song was an expression of how I felt: hopeless and nihilistic." Stewart however thought the lyrics too depressing, and added the "hold your head up, moving on" line to make it more uplifting.
Lennox also said that people had misinterpreted lines like "Some of them want to use you … some of them want to be abused" to be about sex or S&M when that was not the intent.
The original recording's main instrumentation featured a sequenced analog synthesizer riff, which Stewart accidentally discovered in the studio when he played a bass track backward. Apart from the synthesizer, the arrangement also uses a Movement Systems Drum Computer, a piano in the middle eight, and Lennox's multitracked harmony vocals.
According to Stewart, the record company did not think the song to be suitable as a single as it lacks a chorus, and did not want to release it as a single. However, when a radio DJ in Cleveland kept playing the song from the album and it received a strongly positive audience reaction, the label then decided to release it.
"Sweet Dreams" was Eurythmics' commercial breakthrough in the United Kingdom and all over the world. The single entered the UK chart at number 63 in February 1983 and reached number two the following month.
"Sweet Dreams" was the first ever single release by Eurythmics in the United States when it was released in May 1983. The single debuted at number 90 and slowly eased up the chart. By August, the single had reached number two and stayed there for four weeks, kept from the top by The Police's "Every Breath You Take" before "Sweet Dreams" took the number one spot.
The music video for "Sweet Dreams" was directed by Chris Ashbrook and filmed in January 1983, shortly before the single and the album was released. The video received heavy airplay on the then-fledgling MTV channel and is widely considered a classic clip from the early-MTV era.
The music video begins with a fist (presumably Stewart's) pounding on a table, with the camera panning up to reveal Lennox in a boardroom, with images of a Saturn V launch projected on a screen behind her, which are later replaced by a shot of a crowd walking down a street. Stewart is shown typing on a computer (actually an MCS drum computer). The camera cuts to Lennox and Stewart meditating on the table. Stewart is next shown playing a cello in a field. The scene then returns to the boardroom, with Lennox and Stewart lying down on the table, and a cow walking around them. Stewart is shown again typing on the computer, with the cow chewing something right next to him. The scene cuts to the duo in a field, with a herd of cows, and Stewart still typing. Lennox and Stewart are then seen floating in a boat, with Stewart again playing a cello. The video ends with Lennox lying in bed, with the last shot being a book on a nightstand bearing a cover identical to the album. The screen then fades to black as Lennox turns off the bedside lamp. The video has more than 175 million views as of November, 2017.
Lennox's androgynous visual image, with close-cropped, orange-coloured hair, and attired in a man's suit brandishing a cane, immediately made her a household name. Her gender-bending image would be further explored in other Eurythmics videos such as "Love Is a Stranger" and "Who's That Girl?".
A second video was also produced, featuring Lennox and Stewart on a train. A close-up shot of Lennox's lips is occasionally seen in the train car's window as she sings the song.
- A: "Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This)" (LP Version) – 3:36
- B: "I Could Give You A Mirror" (Alternate Version) – 4:15
- A: "Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This)" (Extended Version) – 4:48
- B1: "I Could Give You A Mirror" (Alternate Version) – 4:15
- B2: "Baby's Gone Blue" (Non-LP track) – 4:19
3" CD (1989 re-release)Edit
- "Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)" (LP version) – 3:36
- "I Could Give You A Mirror" (Alternate Version) – 4:15
- "Here Comes The Rain Again" (LP Version) – 4:54
- "Paint A Rumour" – 7:30
CD Single (1991 re-release)Edit
- Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This) ’91 - (3:35)
- Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This) (Nightmare Remix) - (7:27)
- Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This) (Hot Remix) - (5:21)
- Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This) (House Remix) - (3:34)
Credits and personnelEdit
Steve Angello RemixEdit
|Canada (Music Canada)||Gold||50,000^|
|United Kingdom (BPI)||Gold||500,000^|
|United States (RIAA)||Gold||1,000,000^|
*sales figures based on certification alone
Marilyn Manson coverEdit
|"Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)"|
|Single by Marilyn Manson|
|from the album Smells Like Children|
|Released||June 22, 1996|
|Recorded||1994 - 1995|
|Length||4:53 (EP), 4:25 (single)|
|Marilyn Manson singles chronology|
Marilyn Manson released a cover version of "Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)" as the first single from the 1995 EP, Smells Like Children. This version became an MTV staple and helped to establish the band in the mainstream. Their groundbreaking video was directed by Dean Karr and produced by Arthur Gorson. It also appears on the band's greatest hits album, Lest We Forget: The Best Of. This version is featured on the soundtracks to the films Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room (2005) and Gamer (2009). It is also featured in the films House on Haunted Hill (1999), Trick 'r Treat (2007), the trailer to Wrath of the Titans (2012), in the pilot of The Following and on the BBC drama Luther. In Manson's autobiography, The Long Hard Road Out of Hell, he states that Nothing Records did not want to release this as a single. They wanted to release their cover of Screamin' Jay Hawkins' "I Put a Spell on You", which, according to Manson, "was far too dark, sprawling and esoteric, even for some of our fans."
Marilyn Manson added some extra lines to the lyrics that are not present in the Eurythmics version: "I wanna use you and abuse you/I wanna know what's inside you" along with "I'm gonna use you and abuse you/I gotta know what's inside you."
The video for Manson's cover contains several clips of Manson and bandmates in what appears to be an abandoned building. In between the clips are a number of surreal shots of Manson wearing a wedding gown, Manson wandering around an abandoned street in a tutu, birds fluttering around him and leaving droppings on his body, and of him riding a pig wearing a cowboy hat and covered with mud. In 2010 the music video was rated the "Scariest music video ever made" by Billboard, beating Michael Jackson's Thriller for the top spot. Dave Stewart has said that he liked Marilyn Manson's version of his song and that "the video was one of the scariest things [he]'d seen at the time."
Formats and track listingsEdit
Australian CD single
- "Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)" – 4:25
- "Dance of the Dope Hats" (Remix) – 4:46
- "Down in the Park" – 4:58
- "Lunchbox (Next Motherfucker)" – 4:47
US promotional CD single
- "Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)" – 4:25