“You Make My Dreams Come True” is pretty much the 1980s Philadelphia-based band Hall & Oates’s most recognizable hit. I couldn’t resist putting the scene from the Joseph Gordon-Levitt movie “500 Days Of Summer” on this post, because they use “You Make My Dreams Come True” to represent the lead character’s ultimate “feel good” song.
I’ve always loved the funky piano intro that sounds almost off-beat until the down-beat lands right as the vocals come in. Actually, it’s precisely that piano introduction that makes the song feel so familiar. It’s such a great 80s-90s dance tune. Trust me, the dance floor will be packed by the time the first verse begins.
When the upbeat lyrics start, that first verse has that same kind of “jangly” feel, with the syllables of those lyrics not really arriving precisely when and where you would expect them. It was unique in 1980, and is just as fresh today…to which the hit 2009 movie will attest.
What I want, you’ve got, and it might be hard to handle
But like the flame that burns the candle
The candle feeds the flame, yeah yeah
What I’ve got’s full stock of thoughts and dreams that scatter
You pull them all together, and how, I can’t explain,
Oh yeah, well well you. You make my dreams come true
Well well you, oh yeah. You make my dreams come true
Their style became known as “blue-eyed soul” because their songs were so strongly influenced by more traditional “soul” music. Some of their other most popular songs include “Sara Smile,” “Man Eater,” and “Rich Girl.” Hall lives up in the Hudson Valley, two hours north of NYC, and I’m not sure where Oates resides, but their hybrid rock-soul imprint seems to stay with me (at least) forever.
Daryl Hall’s the one on the left, John Oates is on the right. Their success has been celebrated by being inducted in to the “Songwriters Hall of Fame” in 2003, and the “Rock and Roll Hall of Fame” in 2014.
Check it out and let me know what you think.