Dream On

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Dream On
Single-Dream.jpg
Song
Artist
Depeche Mode
Album
Songwriter
Produced by
Recorded at
RAK and Sarm West (London)
Sound Design (Santa Barbara)
Electric Lady
Sony Music Studios (New York City)
Label
Length (mm:ss)
4:19 (album version)
3:39 (single version)
Tempo
128 BPM
Time signature
4/4
Key
B♭ Minor
Engineering
Engineering assistance
Boris Aldridge
Andrew Davies
Andrew Griffiths
Nick Sevilla
Lisa Butterworth
Jonathan Adler
Alissa Myhowich
James Chang
Pre-production
Additional production
Mixing
Steve Fitzmaurice
Mastering
Mike Marsh
Art direction
Photography
Sleeve design
Form
Recorded
June 2000 - February 2001
Originally released
April 23, 2001
Played live
87 times *
Total live plays
108 times *

Notes

Dave Gahan told Entertainment Weekly in 2017:

"Mark Bell who produced [Exciter] — he actually died a couple of years ago, he’s not with us anymore, unfortunately — but he taught me some interesting things about using my voice because he had been working with Björk before that, and he brought in a lot of the things she was doing with her voice into the studio. I learned how to [whispering] sing very quietly and very close to the microphone, to use all the noises in my voice to be able to create this creature, this thing, and “Dream On” was one of those songs lyrically where it was a character that I was becoming, that I could be without all the misery. I could step into it, and step out."[1]

Martin Gore and Andrew Fletcher in the EPK for Exciter in 2001:

Andrew Fletcher: "We worked on 'Dream On' first and it was probably the first or second song Martin wrote for the album. But I think it's the real defining track of the album: the mixture of electronic beats with acoustic blues guitar and some really good lyrics and a great catchy chorus. So it was great that we recorded that song first and I really think it was important and set the way for the rest of the album."

Martin Gore: "I don't know [what the inspiration was behind 'Dream On']. I always hate explaining away songs, because for me they mean something and for other people they'll mean something absolutely different. But I'll tell you about the atmosphere of the song and the way it was created. We were going to take the original demo I just played to Gareth [Jones] and Paul [Freegard]. I just played it on the guitar and the idea was to not use a guitar at all, just to take it off in a totally different direction. And after we'd been working on it for about four days, we had this real kind of edgy electronic percussion going on in the background and we just cut the original guitar that I'd played in and it just sounded really good, because it was just so different to everything else that was going on in the track."

Martin told Associated Press in 2001:

Martin Gore: "I've said a million times that I don't really like talking about the songs that much, but what I can say is it's about a lot of people that I know and me. The songs are never about one thing in particular. It's a song about loathing other people and self loathing for me. How have I destroyed that?! "Here's our new single, it's all about self loathing.""

Andrew Fletcher: "I'm glad you've told me that. I'm going to use that."

Martin Gore: "Don't ever use it as your wedding... for a wedding song."

Dave Gahan: "They will, Mart, don't worry."

The late Mark Bell told Keys Magazine (translated from German):

"'Dream On' consists mainly of two guitar lines. We used nylon strings for the first and steel strings for the second line. Both lines were recorded very close to the microphone to receive a lot of noise and this special "pump effect". When you play acoustic guitars very softly, you get a lot of strange tones and noises, which make it sound almost electronic. We had one guitar line with the right groove. And we worked with it as if it was a loop. We adjusted the other line with the PlugIn Vocalign. It was like a live performance, but with a very tight timing."

Mark Bell continued in the May 2001 issue of Keyboard magazine:

"We treated the electronic sounds in 'Dream On' with the same respect as the acoustic ones. I find it really boring when electronic things are treated as if they're from the future, with all that phasing and bouncing silly shit all over the place. This one was really honest with the complete live performances intact, with decorative electronics adding to the pace and the narrative of the song."

In the same magazine, Andrew Fletcher and Martin Gore are asked by Robert L. Doerschuk:

Doerschuk: "On your single, 'Dream On', there's one detail that caught my attention: Right before you go into the verse and after the bridge, two little synthesizer blips pop up. Why was it important to drop them into the arrangement?"

Martin Gore: "They're hooks."

Andrew Fletcher: "They're strange, and oddly melodic. They were created on the Nord Lead and the Synthi, I believe."

Lyrics


Dream On

As your bony fingers close around me

Long and spindly

Death becomes me

Heaven can you see what I see


Hey you pale and sickly child

You're death and living reconciled

Been walking home a crooked mile


Paying debt to karma

You party for a living

What you take won't kill you

But careful what you're giving


There's no time for hesitating

Pain is ready, pain is waiting

Primed to do it's educating


Unwanted, uninvited kin

It creeps beneath your crawling skin

It lives without it lives within you


Feel the fever coming

You're shaking and twitching

You can scratch all over

But that won't stop you itching


Can you feel a little love

Can you feel a little love


Dream on, dream on


Blame it on your karmic curse

Oh shame upon the universe

It knows its lines

It's well rehearsed


It sucked you in, it dragged you down

To where there is no hallowed ground

Where holiness is never found


Paying debt to karma

You party for a living

What you take won't kill you

But careful what you're giving


Can you feel a little love

Can you feel a little love


Dream on, dream on


Songwriter: Martin L. Gore
Publishing Information: ©2001 EMI Music Publishing Ltd. London WC2H 0EA. Assigned by Grabbing Hands Music Ltd. All rights Reserved.

Dates with available recordings of Dream On

There are currently 102 recordings of Dream On available.

Dates where Dream On was played

2001 Exciter Tour

Dream On was played 87 times during this tour.

2003 Paper Monsters Tour (Dave Gahan solo)

Dream On was played 21 times during this tour.

2003 "A Night With Martin L. Gore" (Martin L. Gore solo)

  • Dream On was not played during this tour.

2005-2006 Touring The Angel

  • Dream On was not played during this tour.

2009-2010 Tour Of The Universe

  • Dream On was not played during this tour.

2013-2014 Delta Machine Tour

  • Dream On was not played during this tour.

2017-2018 Global Spirit Tour

  • Dream On was not played during this tour.
1. Dream On
List of Exciter songs
2. Shine