Don't Dream It's Over

"Don't Dream It's Over"
Single by Crowded House
from the album Crowded House
B-side "That's What I Call Love"
Released October 1986
Format CD single
Vinyl single
Cassette single
Recorded Capitol Recording Studios
Sunset Sound Factory, Los Angeles, 1986
Genre Soft rock
Length 3:55
Label CapitolCL 438
Writer(s) Neil Finn
Producer Mitchell Froom
Crowded House singles chronology
"Now We're Getting Somewhere"
"Don't Dream It's Over"
"Something So Strong"
Audio sample
file info · help

"Don't Dream It's Over" is a pop/rock song written by Neil Finn and performed by Crowded House released in 1986 from their self-titled debut album.[1] It became the band's biggest international hit, reaching #2 on the Billboard Hot 100. The lyrics are about a lover telling his partner that despite the barriers and obstacles attempting to divide them, they must persevere while continuing to dream that their union is forever.

In May 2001, Australasian Performing Rights Association (Apra) celebrated its 75th anniversary by naming the best New Zealand and best Australian songs of all time, as decided by Apra members and an industry panel. "Don't Dream It's Over" was ranked second on the New Zealand list [2] and seventh on the Australian list.[3] While the Australian listing was considered controversial in New Zealand[citation needed], it was noted that the band drew members from New Zealand, Australia and America and was formed in Melbourne.


Music video

The music video, which features some surreal special effects such as household objects – including shattering crockery – and film reels that float in the air, shows lead singer Neil Finn playing a guitar and walking through the same house during different time periods while his bandmates are either performing household chores or playing various backing instruments.[4] It was nominated for Best Group Video, and Best Direction at the 1987 MTV Video Music Awards, and earned the group a Best New Artist award.[5]

Track listing

"Don't Dream It's Over" written by Neil Finn. "That's What I Call Love" written by Neil Finn and Paul Hester.

7": Capitol / CL 438 United Kingdom

No. Title Length
1. "Don't Dream It's Over"   4:03
2. "That's What I Call Love"   4:22

12": Capitol / 12CL 438 United Kingdom

No. Title Length
1. "Don't Dream It's Over (Extended version)"   6:10
2. "Don't Dream It's Over"   4:03
3. "That's What I Call Love"   4:22
  • also available on CD and MC


Release history

Region Date
Australia October 1986
United Kingdom January 1987


Chart (1987) Peak
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 2
U.S. Billboard Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks 11
Canadian Singles chart 1
UK Singles Chart 27
Irish Singles Chart 19
German Singles Chart 3
Dutch Top 40 7
Norwegian Singles Chart 6
New Zealand Singles Chart 1
Australian Singles Chart 8
Chart (1996) Peak
UK Singles Chart 25
Preceded by
"Lean on Me" by Club Nouveau
Canadian Singles Chart
2 May 1987 – 9 May 1987
Succeeded by
"With or Without You" by U2
Preceded by
"Funkytown" by Pseudo Echo
New Zealand Singles Chart
17 April 1987 – 23 April 1987
Succeeded by
"Lean on Me" by Club Nouveau

Paul Young version

"Don't Dream It's Over"
Single by Paul Young
from the album From Time to Time – The Singles Collection
Released 19 September 1991
Format 7" vinyl
Recorded 1990
Genre Rock
Length 3:56
Label ColumbiaCL 438
Writer(s) Neil Finn
Producer Dan Hartman
Paul Young singles chronology
"Both Sides, Now"
"Don't Dream It's Over"
"Come On In"

In 1991 Paul Young covered "Don't Dream It's Over" on his compilation From Time to Time – The Singles Collection. Young's version featured Paul Carrack.

Track listing

Side one
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Don't Dream It's Over"   Neil Finn 3:56
Side two
No. Title Writer(s) Length
2. "I Need Somebody"   Paul Young 4:00


Chart (1991) Peak
UK Singles Chart 20
Irish Singles Chart 13
German Singles Chart 71
French Singles Chart 27
Dutch Top 40 67
Norwegian Singles Chart 6
Swedish Singles Chart 25

Sixpence None the Richer version

"Don't Dream It's Over"
Single by Sixpence None the Richer
from the album Divine Discontent
Released 2003
Format CD
Recorded 2001
Genre Pop rock
Length 4:03 (Album Version)
3:39 (Radio Edit)
Label Reprise/Squint
Writer(s) Neil Finn
Sixpence None the Richer singles chronology
"Breathe Your Name"
"Don't Dream It's Over"
"My Dear Machine"

"Don't Dream It's Over" was the second radio single released in promotion of the album Divine Discontent by Sixpence None the Richer. The commercial single release features the B-side "Don't Pass Me By", which was recorded during the sessions for Divine Discontent.

Track listing

US Commercial Single

  1. "Don't Dream It's Over" (Radio Edit): 3:39
  2. "Don't Pass Me By": 3:26

Radio Promo Single

  1. "Don't Dream It's Over" (Radio Edit): 3:39
  2. "Don't Dream It's Over" (LP Version): 4:04


Chart (2003) Peak
US Billboard Hot 100[6] 78
US Billboard Adult Top 40[6] 9
US Billboard Adult Contemporary[6] 12

Other cover versions/samples

British dance act Less Stress recorded the song in 1990, with Katherine Wood on lead vocals.[7] In 2005, Sarah Blasko sang the song during the closing ceremony of the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne;[8] it was also included in the tribute album She Will Have Her Way. Other artists who have covered it include Donny Osmond,[9] Teddy Thompson,[10] Faith No More, Paul Shaffer, Stacy & The Kid on an episode of Kids Incorporated,[11] Howie Day, and most recently Susan Boyle[12] and Hitomi Yaida.[13]

Rapper Classified has sampled the riff on the song "It Ain't Over",[14] as have Irish R&B trio Dove on their hit "Don't Dream".[15] Italian singer Antonello Venditti included his own re-written version of "Don't Dream it's Over" – "Alta Marea" – on his 1991 album Benvenuti in Paradiso, which became a hit in Italian charts; Angelina Jolie, who was then sixteen, played a seductress in the video.[16]


  1. ^ Bailey, Marck; Comprehensive discography of Crowded House including track listings for all albums and singles. Released 28 March 1995. Retrieved 5 July 2007. Site offline after 2008.
  2. ^ "Our top song - but vote kept a secret". The New Zealand Herald. 3 November 2001. Retrieved 29 September 2011. 
  3. ^ "The final list: APRA'S Ten best Australian Songs". APRA. 28 May 2001. Archived from the original on 8 March 2008. Retrieved 8 May 2008. 
  4. ^ rvdgu2006. "Music video in". Retrieved 13 April 2011. 
  5. ^ "MTV Video Music Awards". Mtv. 11 September 1987. Retrieved 13 April 2011. 
  6. ^ a b c "Sixpence None the Richer – Don't Dream It's Over (Billboard chart history}". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. Retrieved 19 August 2010. 
  7. ^ "Less Stress". Retrieved 13 April 2011. 
  8. ^ / (13 August 2007). "Sarah Blasko". Retrieved 13 April 2011. 
  9. ^ "Donny Osmond". BBC News. Retrieved 13 April 2011. 
  10. ^ "Teddy Thompson". Retrieved 13 April 2011. 
  11. ^ 5 Apr 2010, 6:51 pm Idolator (5 April 2010). "Kids Inc". Retrieved 13 April 2011. 
  12. ^ "Susan Boyle". Daily Mirror. 19 September 2010. Retrieved 13 April 2011. 
  13. ^ "矢井田瞳、移籍第2弾シングルは「同情みたいなLOVE」". Natalie. 17 March 2011. Retrieved 17 October 2011. 
  14. ^ Quinlan, Thomas. "Classified". Retrieved 13 April 2011. 
  15. ^ "Dove". 23 April 1998. Retrieved 13 April 2011. 
  16. ^ Mendoza, Nadia (6 May 2008). "Angelina Jolie Alta Marea". The Sun. UK. Retrieved 13 April 2011. 

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