You Make My Dreams

Album: Voices (1980)
Charted: 5
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Songfacts®:

  • Daryl Hall and John Oates wrote this keyboard-driven classic with Sara Allen, who was Daryl's girlfriend and the subject of the song "Sara Smile." When Songfacts spoke with John Oates in 2011, he said of the track: "It's a great song, simple as that. Good songs are good songs. They stand on their own, they can be stripped away of the production. A song is what happens when a writer sits down on their individual instrument and creates something out of nothing. And there's magic involved and there's inspiration involved. 'You Make My Dreams Come True' represents a vibe, it represents a collaboration between myself and Daryl and the band in the studio in the '80s. Its simplicity and directness is where the charm lies in that song."
  • In the October 16, 2009 issue of Entertainment Weekly, Daryl Hall listed this as one of his Top 5 Hall & Oates songs. He explained: "It's funny - it's ubiquitous, especially now. I think because it's such a happy song, just a pure expression of joy. And it's set to a really old-time-gospel kind of groove. The fact that they use it in a pivotal scene in (500) Days of Summer... I'm very flattered."
  • Many movies and TV shows have used this song, including The Office ("Stress Relief" - 2009), Glee ("Mash Off" - 2011), Step Brothers (2008) and The Wedding Singer (1998). In the 2009 film 500 Days of Summer, it is part of a group dance scene on a city street with an animated bird. It plays under the end credits of the 2018 movie Ready Player One, which uses lots of '80s music.
  • Daryl Hall recalled to The Sun writing the song in his New York City apartment. "I had a Yamaha CP 30 piano, which is a very distinctive sounding electric piano," he said. "I started playing that riff, it just spoke to me. It just sounded really on point and aggressive and happy. And I just started singing, 'You make my dreams come true', over it. I wondered if it was too happy? Could I think of something a little more complicated? And I tried but it is what it is. It really just wrote itself."
  • The single was not initially a hit in the UK, but gathered momentum as time went on thanks to its frequent used on TV and film soundtracks. In 2018 it was the UK's most-streamed song during the year out of all the records released in 1980.
  • In 2019, NBC released a video as part of their Red Nose Day special with scores of celebrities lip synching to this song. Among them: Ben Stiller, Julia Roberts, Kelly Clarkson, Blake Shelton, Saoirse Ronan, Chrissy Metz and Julianne Hough.
  • Google used this to soundtrack their 2020 "Find Your Scene" commercial, where Google Maps users track down iconic movie locations, like Ralphie's house in Christmas Story and the steps from Rocky. The spot aired during the Oscars.

    In 2022, it showed up in a PepsiCo spot where a snowman breaks into a Christmas party to steal some snacks.
  • John Oates released a new version of this song on his 2011 solo album Mississippi Mile. He told Songfacts how it came together: "Through a happy accident, my guitar player friend of mine and myself were jamming in the dressing room, and I started playing a delta blues and he started playing a Texas swing, and we put them together, and all of a sudden into my head popped 'you make my dreams.' I just started singing it. I don't know why, but I did. And it sounded really cool and everyone liked it. It was as simple as that."

Comments: 6

  • Paul Osman from Liverpool, EnglandMany African-American singers and bands released songs which were not hits but found their way to the UK to be played in northern discos as Northern Soul one such act were the Soul Brothers Six. I wonder if Hall & Oates heard them? The SB6 had a song called Thank You Baby For Loving Me and you can hear a clear influence on Hall & Oates soulful sound Check the SB6 song on YouTube and be inspired!
  • AnonymousFavorite song to dance to!
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn February 27th 1982, Hall & Oates performed "You Make My Dreams" on the NBC-TV program 'Saturday Night Live"...
    Ten months earlier on April 26th, 1981 it entered Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart at position #82; and on June 28, 1981 it peaked at #5 (for 3 weeks) and spent 21 weeks on the Top 100 (and for 6 of those 21 weeks it was on the Top 10)...
    Was track two of side two of the duo's ninth studio album, 'Voices', and the album peaked at #17 on Billboard's Top 200 Albums chart...
    Three other tracks from the album also made the Top 100; ""How Does It Feel to Be Back" (#30), "You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'" (#12), and "Kiss on My List" (#1 for 3 weeks)...
    Track three of side two on the album was "Everytime You Go Away", it was composed by Daryl Hall and not released as a single, but in 1985 Paul Young covered it and it reached #1 on the Top 100.
  • Keith from Philadelphia, PaPhilly's own!!!!
  • Jon from St. Paul, MnHow come it is your least favorite from them Paul?
  • Paul from Detroit, Mimy least favorite from this creative Duo.
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