For me, Van Halen epitomise the golden age of 80s hard rock. The winning blend of catchy melodies, fast rhythms, Eddie Van Halen’s virtuoso guitar solos, and anthemic lyrics contributes to a legacy of epic hits which rock music doesn’t produce today.
Van Halen was set up by two brothers, Eddie and Alex Van Halen in 1972. It has since had a few line up changes, while remaining a firmly Van Halen family affair!
The context of “Dreams” is the arrival of a new singer, Sammy Hagar, after David Lee Roth left.
The first album with Hagar as frontman is 5150, released in 1986, and in my opinion it’s one of the band’s best. Of course, topping the iconic 1984 and the band’s eponymous debut.
In fairness, it actually went higher than 1984 did in the charts, because that album coincided with Michael Jackson’s Thriller.
“Dreams” is such a motivational song that it was chosen to close the 2004 Democratic Party convention. With it’s aspiration lyrics and uplifting tune, that’s no surprise.
Eddie Van Halen plays both the awesome keyboard part and the soaring guitar solos, which are two of the highlights of the track. Sammy Hagar is passionate enough, but perhaps doesn’t compare well to David Lee Roth…
The song was released on the 5150 album in 1986, and was the second single from that album.
It might not be particularly profound, but I defy anyone not to admit how catchy this is!