Together in Electric Dreams

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"It was just a quick thing to do in a robot-like fashion. They sent me a tape, I wrote the words and popped down to London for two hours one afternoon and did it. I never liked that song. I thought it was just an old-fashioned synth record, sub-romantic and a bit sentimental, but my words were good." [4]

Originally released to advertise the film, "Together in Electric Dreams" quickly overshadowed the original film, and became a success in its own right. Oakey stated that it is ironic that a track that took literally ten minutes to record would become a worldwide hit, while some of his Human League material that took over a year to record did not. [5] "Together in Electric Dreams" is set in the key of E♭ major [6] in common time with a tempo of 130 beats per minute. Instruments used on the track included a Roland Jupiter-8 and a LinnDrum.[ citation needed ]

Music video

The promotional video was originally designed to promote the film Electric Dreams rather than the song, and this was how most viewers in the United States would see it. In the United Kingdom, where the original film was a flop, the promotional video was perceived to be a music video first, and often erroneously a Human League video.

Like many film soundtrack promos, the video splices key scenes from the film with footage of Oakey. In addition, other promotional scenes were created especially for the video: an Electric Dreams signboard is seen behind Oakey twice, the actual poster is seen behind him on the freeway and the computer from the film is seen relaxing on the beach. Oakey is seen being driven around what is purportedly San Francisco (actually Los Angeles) singing the lyrics. The video concludes with a sock puppet parody of the MGM Lion on a television screen, on a beach. [5] Moroder himself makes a cameo appearance, as the boss of the radio station taken over by the computer. [5]

Guest appearances

Critical reception

Upon its release as a single, Dave Ling of Number One noted that "Giorgio supplies the dazzling synthwork and Oakey lends his voice to a surprisingly catchy song" and added that the guitar solo "adds a touch of variation and originality". [7] Denis Kilcommons of the Huddersfield Daily Examiner praised it as "very electric, very good" with a "high-powered metronomic rhythm emcompass[ing] a tightly controlled song". [8]

Pedro of Record Mirror felt the collaboration was disappointing and called the song "not the titanic musical equivalent of King Kong vs. Godzilla but rather the chance to get in on the Hollywood film bonanza". [9] Gavin Martin, writing for the NME , was also critical, describing it as "a mess" from two musicians "well past their peak". He added that it's "workaday Moroder with Hysteria -era Oakey, the latter painfully straddling the allure of the synth singles bar and a new love for the pasty dynamics of idiot rock guitar blarge". [10]

Charts

"Together in Electric Dreams"
TIED.jpg
Single by Giorgio Moroder and Philip Oakey
from the album Philip Oakey & Giorgio Moroder and Electric Dreams
ReleasedSeptember 1984
Studio
Genre Eurodisco [1]
Length
Label Virgin
Songwriter(s)
  • Philip Oakey
  • Giorgio Moroder
Producer(s) Giorgio Moroder
Philip Oakey singles chronology
"Together in Electric Dreams"
(1984)
"Good-Bye Bad Times"
(1985)
Official video
"Together in Electric Dreams" on YouTube

Certifications

RegionCertification Certified units/sales
United Kingdom (BPI) [23] Platinum600,000

Sales+streaming figures based on certification alone.

In the media

Association with the Human League

Philip Oakey is the lead singer of the British synthpop band the Human League. "Together in Electric Dreams" is often erroneously credited as a Human League single. It was also released at the height of the band's international fame and success; because of this popularity the single has been included in the band's various Greatest Hits compilation albums.

Although the Human League have never recorded their own version, due to the song's popularity the band frequently play their own version when they perform live, often as an encore. The Human League version differs considerably from the Giorgio Moroder produced original in that it has a longer, more dramatic intro and female backing vocals by Susan Ann Sulley and Joanne Catherall, which are as prominent as Oakey's lead.

Cover versions

Together in Electric Dreams (EP)

Together in Electric Dreams
Together in Electric Dreams album cover.jpg
EP by
Various artists
ReleasedNovember 2007
Recorded2007
Length23:23
Label Sunday Best Recordings
Producer Rob da Bank

Together in Electric Dreams is an EP, released in the United Kingdom in November 2007. It was produced by Rob da Bank, and released by Sunday Best Recordings.

The album features five very different interpretations of "Together in Electric Dreams". The only track not especially commissioned for the album was the version by Lali Puna, which had previously been released on the tribute album Reproductions: Songs of The Human League (2000). [25] [26]

Track listing

  1. "Together in Electric Dreams" – Kish Mauve
  2. "Together in Electric Dreams" – Le Vicarious Bliss Pop Experience featuring Headbangirl
  3. "Together in Electric Dreams" – Daisy Daisy
  4. "Together in Electric Dreams" – Subway
  5. "Together in Electric Dreams" – Lali Puna

Seasonal versions

During Christmas 2020, a seasonal version of the song was released by Somerset duo The Portraits and their daughter. [27] In 2021, a similar cover of the song by Lola Young was used in the John Lewis Christmas advert. [28] The John Lewis advert marked the second time in two years that a cover of "Together in Electric Dreams" was used in a major advertising campaign, as an upbeat acoustic guitar-based version by the duo Waters/Kinley was used for a Strongbow commercial in 2019. [29] [30]

The Portraits: Release history

RegionDateFormatLabel
United Kingdom18 December 2020digital download
  • Sensorypulse
  • Lifelines Records

Lola Young: Release history

RegionDateFormatLabel
United Kingdom4 November 2021digital download

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References

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