|"Working on a Dream"|
|Single by Bruce Springsteen|
|from the album Working on a Dream|
|Released||November 21, 2008|
|Format||Digital download, CD|
|Bruce Springsteen singles chronology|
"Working on a Dream" is the title song to, and first single from, Bruce Springsteen's 2009 album Working on a Dream. At the 52nd Annual Grammy Awards it won the Grammy Award for Best Rock Vocal Performance, Solo.
The song's sunny lyric develops what Rolling Stone called "a rare and timely moment of unabashed optimism" for Springsteen, possibly connected to the impending arrival of the Barack Obama administration:
The title phrase is present in both the verses and chorus, and occurs some twenty times altogether in the song. The arrangement is mid-tempo, propelled by an acoustic guitar with organ and electric guitar washes throughout; the glossy Brendan O'Brien production also features partly submerged "la-la" backing vocals. The instrumental break features Springsteen whistling against a bari sax line.
"Working on a Dream" was first performed during Springsteen's November 2, 2008 appearance in Cleveland for Barack Obama's 2008 presidential campaign, in an acoustic performance accompanied by Patti Scialfa. A chopped-up airing of the recorded version first appeared during the November 16 NBC Sunday Night Football broadcast at halftime.
The intact "Working on a Dream" began airing on radio stations and their websites on November 21, 2008, and was made available for free download via iTunes and the Sony BMG website on November 24. The track entered the UK Singles Chart at position 195 the following week. A music video appeared on some foreign sites showing the recording of the song. The song was a big hit on the American Triple-A Charts, peaking at No. 2, blocked only by "Get On Your Boots" by U2.
"Working on a Dream" had its first E Street Band performance on February 1, 2009, when it was included as part of Springsteen's halftime show during Super Bowl XLIII. This abbreviated rendition featured a full choir backing Springsteen, Scialfa, and Steve Van Zandt delivering the vocals from a pit stage in front of the main stage. Days later, during the Grammy Awards of 2009, Coldplay singer Chris Martin dropped the title phrase into the group's performance of "Viva La Vida".
When the 2009 Working on a Dream Tour began, the song became one of the surprisingly few selections from the album to be included into the show. Augmenting-for-the-tour backing vocalists Curtis King and Cindy Mizelle (two veterans of the Sessions Band Tour) had a significant role to play in the vocal layering, and saxophonist Clarence Clemons performed the whistling break in the middle of the song. Three minutes in, Springsteen inserted a modified version of this "Build a House" stage rap that had been developed during the prior Magic Tour.
|Canadian Hot 100||91|
|Croatian Top 40||1|
|Swedish Singles Chart||2|
|U.S. Billboard Hot 100||95|
|US Adult Alternative Songs (Billboard)||2|
|Italian Singles Chart||26|