The version of “‘Dream” I know best is Glen Campbell’s. It always seemed a sad song to me; lonesome and woozy. The Everlys’ recording is bittersweet at worst. The key line in the song is the ‘gee whiz’ one – “I’m dreaming my life away”. Campbell sings it like a man closing the door on the real world; the Everlys sing it like boys choosing to play somewhere else for a while. Their sweet, twined harmonies tell us that life is wonderful and endless, why not waste some of it?
“All I Have To Do Is Dream” feels like a big step forward for pop. From the first ringing guitar chord it sounds crisp, clean and gentle but still totally informed by rock and roll (if you couldn’t hear it in the way the drums twitch on the fourth beat you could flip over and learn it from “Claudette”). The lullaby harmonies are something fresh too, a new seduction technology that cracks teenage music right open. Compare it to Tab Hunter’s “Young Love”, the last big teen love ballad to reach the top, and Tab sounds grotesquely smarmy as well as ham-footed. When you add the harmonies to the echoing guitars “All I Have To Do Is Dream” becomes something more remarkable still: a song about a feeling whose sonics inhabit that feeling entirely.