More Than a Dream

Writers - Tennant/Lowe/Cooper/Higgins/Resch/Jones
First released - 2009
Original album - Yes
Producer - Brian Higgins, Xenomania
Subsequent albums - Pandemonium (only a brief segment of a remix)
Other releases - (none)

I have a dream.
             - Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.

We can make it more than a dream.
             - Pet Shop Boys

Especially optimistic on an album full of optimistic songs, "More Than a Dream" sounds in some ways downright utopian. The Boys have confirmed that the lyric was partly inspired by the 2008 U.S. presidential election—specifically the candidacy of Barack Obama—and the feelings of hope and anticipation surrounding it, not just in the United States, but in other countries as well. As the lyrics themselves put it, they're written "from the other side looking in"—that is, Neil the Englishman looking across the ocean to America.

It grew out of a song that the Boys had originally titled "Where the Wild Things Are," which they had actually recorded. But then they set that track aside and used part of its melody—as well as some newer melodies by Chris—for this song, temporarily renamed "Revelation," the backing track of which was composed by Xenomania. The lyrics of "More Than a Dream" (which Neil wrote with Miranda Cooper, who also came up with the melody of the chorus) could have been composed in the 1960s, looking toward a somewhat idealized future:

Coming soon, something good
Something we can share, understood ….

I believe we can change
We can make it more than a dream

As is so often the case, Neil manages to take wider social issues and attitudes and apply them to much more personal concerns. He (or at least his narrator) zeroes his social optimism in on his current romantic relationship, echoing the similarly upbeat "Liberation" in the process:

Driving through the night
Just you and me ….
Something's calling, calling us away

Indeed, falling in love make even the bleakest prospects take a sharp turn for the better.

Whether it's more general social optimism, more private personal optimism, or both (and I suspect the latter), "More Than a Dream" serves as the album's benchmark and perhaps even its centerpiece, concluding the sequence of songs that, in Neil's words, make up "Side 1" of Yes. It's the song that, perhaps more clearly than any other, epitomizes the positivism that lies at its core.



Officially released

Official but unreleased

List cross-references