Dream Police

Album: Dream Police (1979)
Charted: 26
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Songfacts®:

  • This song is about a paranoid man who is convinced that his dreams are being monitored, and it's driving him insane. No matter what he does, the "Dream Police" are always inside his head and waiting to arrest him.

    Unlike the paranoia of, say, Black Sabbath, this song has a comedic element. Like most Cheap Trick songs, it was written by their guitarist Rick Nielsen, who creates lots of offbeat characters for his compositions, which keeps it in good fun.
  • "Dream Police" dates back to 1976. It was one of 22 songs the band had written for their first album, and it didn't make the cut. The song evolved as they played it live and refined it in the studio, and it was released as the title track of their fourth studio album. By this time, their live album At Budokan had been released, breaking them big with the single "I Want You To Want Me." The next single was "Dream Police," and it became one of their most popular songs, reaching #26 in the US.
  • A string section played on this track, which added an element of horror - those violin stabs are reminiscent of what we hear during the shower scene in the movie Psycho. When the song was developing, those parts were done with a keyboard arpeggiator as heard in "Surrender," but when they got the budget, they hired the strings.
  • Cheap Trick was always big on visual presentation and were one of very few American bands making concept videos before MTV (Devo was another). The "Dream Police" video was directed by Arnold Levine and starts with a vignette showing each band member in an interrogation, answering to the Dream Police (Bun E. Carlos says: "I'll never eat another double cheeseburger before bed"). Later in the clip, each member is shown with his alter ego who keeps watch.

    When MTV went on the air in 1981, this song was almost two years old, but they played it anyway, giving it renewed exposure.

Comments: 4

  • Jonathan Williams from Cocoa Beach Great band, great music videos, and great in concert!
  • George from AthensI first saw the video clip of dream police in the Greek TV channell YENED, in 1980 in Athens, which played some clips from police abba bee gees etc. and I loved it really!
    I really wonder where did they get it because they were not famous in Greece like the other bands.
    I was 11 years old a just a child and it impressed me and never forgot it but I discovered it again from you tube 35 years later. Still like it!
  • Noir It All from Allentown PaIn 1981, I spent a lot of time in Chicago on business. Dream Police was on the radio a lot. I really liked it. REO Speedwagon, Styx an Cheap Truck had huge albums at the time. Chicago ruled!
  • Stukka63 from St.augustine,fla.This a really kick ass song.
    Takes me back to 9th grade. The last place I need to be.
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