Happy Anniversary: Van Morrison, “Call Me Up in Dreamland”
45 years ago today, Van Morrison released the third and final single from his fourth full-length solo album, HIS BAND AND THE STREET CHOIR.
Recorded – like the rest of the album – at A&R Recording Studios in New York City, “Call Me Up in Dreamland” was one of the tracks laid down during the second set of sessions for the album. After “Domino” proved to be a top-10 hit and its follow-up, “Blue Money,” climbed into the top 30, Warner Brothers decided to go for broke and pick a third single.
The song they selected, of course, was “Call Me Up in Dreamland,” and it’s no wonder that Warners saw it as having hit-single potential, given the way it had been rapturously received by critics. In particular, Jon Landau singled out the song as a particular highlight of HIS BAND AND THE STREET CHOIR in his Rolling Stone review of the album:
"‘Call Me Up In Dreamland’ is the sing-along of the year. Like ‘Blue Money’ it has a sort of doubled bass in the bottom but the chorus, sung by what seems like everyone on the record, is especially powerful: ‘Call me up in dreamland / Radio to me man / Get the message to me / Anyway you can…’ While ‘Blue Money’ sounds almost too loose and ‘Give Me A Kiss’ for all its drive, a bit too conventional. ‘Call Me Up In Dreamland’ is both loose and familiar, but still sounds thoroughly original and fresh.”
Unfortunately, for as much as Landau loved the song, it failed to capture the attention of radio programmers: it managed to make it onto the Billboard Hot 100, but it stalled at #95, effectively ending its chances of becoming a big hit. Thankfully, you can still listen to it in the context of the original album, and when you do, there’s a good chance you’ll feel the same way that Landau did.