|First posted 10/23/2020; updated 10/25/2020.|
Don’t Dream It’s Over
Writer(s): Neil Finn (see lyrics here)
Released: October 20, 1986
Peak: 2 US, 3 CB, 3 RR, 9 AC, 11 AR, 1 CO, 25 UK, 1 CN, 8 AU (Click for codes to singles charts.)
Sales (in millions): -- US, 0.4 UK, 0.4 world (includes US + UK)
Airplay/Streaming (in millions): 2.0 radio, 211.3 video, -- streaming
About the Song:
New Zealand-born singer/songwriter Neil Finn got his big break in the late ‘70s when older brother Tim invited him to join his band Split Enz. Over the next few years, Neil assumed co-frontman duties (most notably on 1980’s “I Got You”) and even led the band briefly before its demise when Tim left for a solo career. Neil and the drummer from Split Enz then formed the Mullanes in 1984, which later became Crowded House rounded out by bassist Nick Seymour, whose older brother was Mark, leader of Hunters & Collectors.
The trio released their self-titled debut in August 1986. It was preceded by singles “Mean to Me” and “World Where You Live,” which were minor hits in Australia. Third single “Now We’re Getting Somewhere,” sadly, went nowhere and it looked like Crowded House might be nothing more than an afterthought to the more successful Split Enz. However, the fourth single from the album was a hit. “Don’t Dream It’s Over” reached #2 in the U.S. in April 1987. It also went to #1 in New Zealand and Canada. It was a top-10 hit in Australia, Norway, and the Netherlands.
Finn said he wrote the “majestic ballad” WK on his brother’s piano and that it was “about, on the one hand feeling kind of lost, and on the other sort of urging myself on.” SF In 2016, he said “I’m super pleased and proud that the song that is almost the most identiable for us is, I think, one of my best songs.” SF Seymour said it was “about not giving up hope and succumbing to the effects of the mass media and consumerism.” WK Naturally it was used in commercials for the New Zealand Tourism Commission. SF
The video featured surreal images of household objects floating in the air. Finn plays guitar and walks through the house while his bandmates are doing chores or playing background instruments. At the 1987 MTV Video Music Awards, it earned the group a Best New Artist award. It was also nominated for Best Group Video and Best Direction.
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