I Can Dream About You

Album: I Can Dream About You (1984)
Charted: 12 6
Play Video


  • Hartman wrote this for the 1984 movie Streets of Fire, where it was performed by the fictional group The Sorels, with the actor Stoney Jackson playing their lead singer, Bird (they do a sweet moonwalk at the line "moving sidewalks" when they perform it in the movie). The real voice behind the version used in the film was Winston Ford, but Hartman's version was the one used on the soundtrack and released as a single. The song also appeared on Hartman's album I Can Dream About You.
  • Kenny Vance was the musical director on Streets of Fire. In a Songfacts interview, he explained: "The same guy that sings lead on that and 'Countdown To Love,' a song that I wrote for the film, was a guy working at a Radio Shack [Winston Ford], and I think when you look at the film and The Sorels are singing it live in the movie, that was the version that was supposed to come out, and I recorded that version. But then when Dan Hartman heard it, I don't know what happened next, but I know that he took that guy's voice off and he put his own on, and he had a hit with it. Hollywood is a very slippery place."
  • In this song, the singer has a case of love-its (inflammation of the love) and the only cure is to see his girl again. If he can't be with her, at least he can dream about her.
  • Hartman was a singer, guitarist, songwriter and producer who was a member of the Edgar Winter Group from 1972-1976. He produced tracks for .38 Special, the Average White Band and James Brown. As a solo artist, this was his biggest hit, but he also charted with "Instant Replay," "We Are Young" and "Second Nature." Hartman died of a brain tumor at age 43.
  • Hartman had this song written and demoed when Jimmy Iovine, who was working on the Streets Of Fire soundtrack, asked him if he had a "blue-eyed soul" song they could use. He sent Iovine the demo of "I Can Dream About You," and the song was used in the film.
  • The music video for this song was made using footage of The Sorels performing it in Streets of Fire, and it used the version sung by Winston Ford. When Dan Hartman got wind of this, he put a stop to it, as his contract stipulated that any version released commercially or for promotional purposes had to have his voice on it. Hartman recorded a new vocal for the video that replaced the one recorded by Winston Ford. A new video with Hartman lip-syncing was later made for the song.

Comments: 9

  • Tony from Boaz, KyIs there a full version with Mr. Winston Ford without the crowd sounds available anywhere?! Specifically the version used in the actual movie?
  • Michael from Denver, CoWinston Ford grew up in Denver with Philip Bailey (Earth Wind and Fire) and was probably one of the best singers that has ever lived. "He could sing circles around me"…Philip Bailey. Winston died in a car accident back in 2007.
  • Dave from Normandy, MoActually, Hartman wrote this song for his friends Hall & Oates. They were not able to record it right away and Hartman used it in Streets of Fire instead. Hall and Oates finally recorded it years later. Listen to it carefully, even if you've never heard the H & O version you can hear Daryl reaching the high notes.
  • Leo from Towson, MdI swear! Joyce Hyser is a dead ringer of a young Natalie Wood in the "I Can Dream About You" video! Anyone agree? God rest your soul Dan.........U r loved, and missed!
  • Mary from Phoenix, AzI heard a rumor when this song came out, that the line "moving sidewalk", was a shoutout to Michael Jackson and his "moonwalk". Don't know if it's true though.
  • Musicmama from New York, NyThe funny thing about this song is that it embodies what I don't like about disco and '80's-era pop music. But I love it! Whatever it lacks in intellect, it makes up for up for in heart. Probably because of Hartman's vocals, I feel the protagonist's loneliness.
  • Eddie from Bayonne, NjI just realisied that the girl in the video for this song was none other than joyce Hyser. You might remember her from the 80's flick "Just One of the Guys".
  • Jennifer Harris from Grand Blanc, MiI love this song! It was a hit the same time Ghostbusters was a hit.
  • Michael from San Diego, CaThis heartfelt tune was the biggest commercial hit from the "Streets of Fire" soundtrack, which was outstanding and included many great artists.
see more comments

Editor's Picks

Chrissie Hynde of The Pretenders

Chrissie Hynde of The PretendersSongwriter Interviews

The rock revolutionist on songwriting, quitting smoking, and what she thinks of Rush Limbaugh using her song.

Van Dyke Parks

Van Dyke ParksSongwriter Interviews

U2, Carly Simon, Joanna Newsom, Brian Wilson and Fiona Apple have all gone to Van Dyke Parks to make their songs exceptional.

Jay, Peaches, Spinderella and other Darrining Victims

Jay, Peaches, Spinderella and other Darrining VictimsSong Writing

Just like Darrin was replaced on Bewitched, groups have swapped out original members, hoping we wouldn't notice.

Phone Booth Songs

Phone Booth SongsSong Writing

Phone booths are nearly extinct, but they provided storylines for some of the most profound songs of the pre-cell phone era.

Director Wes Edwards ("Drunk on a Plane")

Director Wes Edwards ("Drunk on a Plane")Song Writing

Wes Edwards takes us behind the scenes of videos he shot for Jason Aldean, Dierks Bentley and Chase Bryant. The train was real - the airplane was not.

Did They Really Sing In That Movie?

Did They Really Sing In That Movie?Fact or Fiction

Bradley Cooper, Michael J. Fox, Rami Malek, Reese Witherspoon, Gwyneth Paltrow and George Clooney: Which actors really sang in their movies?