Inspired by the worldwide refugee crisis, "Dreamland" finds Neil Tennant duetting with Olly Alexander of the London synth act Years & Years. The song evokes a paradise:
I heard there's a dreamland In another world far away They say it's a freeland And they welcome everyone to stay
Tennant and Alexander are "tired of my homeland" and are looking for relief in this place of their dreams.
The song title comes from an Dreamland amusement park at the English seaside town of Margate. Alexander had just been there when he met the Pet Shop Boys for a coffee. Tennant told The Sun:
"I had never heard of it but I said it was a great title for a song. Chris (Lowe) had already written a basic track so we sang Dreamland over it and we all thought it was super."
The Pet Shop Boys and Alexander wrote the song in London after Tennant and Lowe's manager suggested a collaboration. The three originally intended the track for Years & Years' 2018 album, Palo Santo, but they concluded their style is so different from the Pet Shop Boys, it should go on Hotspot instead.
Until December 5, 1998, a song had to be issued as a single to make the Hot 100. Aaliyah's "Try Again" was the first tune to top the chart based on airplay alone, without any sales figures being included.
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