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The River of Dreams

"The River of Dreams" is a song by American musician Billy Joel. It is the title track and first single from his 1993 album River of Dreams. The song was a hit, peaking at number 3 on the United States and UK charts, making it Joel's highest charting of the 1990s (River of Dreams was the only album he released during the 1990s). It also hit the top spot in Australia, New Zealand, and on the Canadian and US Adult Contemporary charts. The song was produced by Joe Nicolo and Danny Kortchmar.

At least four versions of the song have been recorded and released. Two versions (released years later) include a bridge section containing a piano interlude paralleling Joel's melody from his song "Lullabye (Goodnight My Angel)," which is from the same album. These versions can be found on the boxed sets My Lives and Complete Hits Collection: 1973–1999 – but even these versions differ from each other, both in length and in arrangement: one, for instance, has more percussion. A fourth mix appears as a bonus cut on the UK CD single of "River of Dreams" — the "percapella mix" done by Nicolo.

"The River of Dreams" was nominated for the Grammy Award for Record of the Year in 1994, but lost out to "I Will Always Love You" by Whitney Houston. Joel performed the song at the ceremony, and abruptly stopped in the middle of his performance in order to verbally protest Frank Sinatra's lifetime achievement speech being cut off earlier in the night.

In 1993, Gary Zimmerman, a songwriter from Long Island, New York, attempted to sue Joel for ten million dollars, claiming more than half of "The River of Dreams" was based on his 1986 song "Nowhere Land." Joel claimed he had no knowledge of Zimmerman or his music, and Zimmerman dropped the lawsuit in 1994.

Last Updated: May 18, 2020


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This page uses material from the Wikipedia articles "The River of Dreams" (contributors), and the Wikipedia article "Billy Joel" (contributors), which are released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.

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