Originally released in December 1979, ‘I Have a Dream’ became a worldwide hit at the end of that decade for ABBA. 20 years later, Westlife repeated worldwide success with a new version produced by Pete Waterman and Dan Frampton*.
Written by Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus, the single was the fourth and final single off Voulez-Vous, ABBA’s sixth studio album. The b-side was a live version of ’Take a Chance on Me’ recorded at Wembley.
ABBA – I Have a Dream (Live Version Wembley Arena 1979)
Peak positions for ‘I Have a Dream’ (ABBA):
The Netherlands: 1
Westlife – I Have a Dream
In December 1999, the track returned in a new version by Westlife. The new version was produced by Pete Waterman – one third of the hugely successful production team Stock, Aitken & Waterman – together with David Foster. The latter has produced artists such as Will Young, Rick Astley and Five.
Westlife’s version reached No.1, becoming the boy band’s fourth chart-topper in the UK. It was a double A-side single, also including a cover of Jacques Brel’s 1961 hit ‘Seasons in the Sun’ which was made famous by Terry Jacks in 1973.
The 1999 version was the UK Christmas No.1, continuing its chart-run into 2000 – a new millennium. In total, it spent 17 weeks on the chart becoming the 26th biggest selling single of 1999. The hit was succeeded by Bob the Builder’s novelty hit ‘Can We Fix It?’
Peak positions for ‘I Have a Dream’ (Westlife):
New Zealand: 10
*CORRECTION: In an earlier version of this blog post, David Foster was pointed out as the producer of the Westlife track. Apologies for that.
CHART REFLECTION. According to Sweden’s leading evening paper Aftonbladet, actor and producer Tom Hank’s ultimate dream is to direct ABBA’s reunion. “Wouldn’t half the world go crazy then?,” he says to Aftonbladet’s entertainment section Nöjesbladet.
The 54-year old Academy Award winning actor from Philadelphia and Forrest Gump produced the two success movies My Big Fat Greek Weedding and Mamma Mia! He has directed his second movie Larry Crowne, which will open in Sweden this September.
Exclusive Interview on ABBA
Aftonbladet was the only Swedish news paper who was offered an exclusive interview with Hanks in London and the conversation quickly moved to musical movies.
“When I saw Mamma Mia! In London, my first thought was ‘this is amazing, I know each and every one of these songs.’ I actually stood up and song along before I knew it,” Hanks say. Ultimately he, and wife Rita Wilson produced the movie version with Stellan Skarsgård in one of the movies.
Björn Ulvaeus says no
ABBA’s Björn Ulvaeus claims that “he can give it a try. But I say no. It’s quite amazing that they still talk about this. We quit in 1982. The odds against this are very high.” Never say never, in 2008 the supergroup did re-unite for the premiere of the Mamma Mia! Movie. In January, WelcheMusic reported that ABBA Gold was the third biggest selling album in UK history.
CHART REFLECTION. According to leading news daily Aftonbladet, Eric Saade will be the eighth to perform in the semi final on May 12. This is the same starting number as Abba and Carola who both the ESC. Lots were drawn earlier this week, giving Saade this nice surprise.
WelcheMusic will closely follow Eric Saade up until the competition. His “Popular” won big time on Saturday. Israel’s grand ESC diva and former winner Dana International will be competing against the Swede. Favorites such as Hungary and Norway will be competing in the second round. That goes for Russia as well, whose entry was written and produced by RedOne.
CHART REWIND. According to the Office for National Statistics, the 1992 Greatest Hits collection ABBA Gold is the biggest selling album since 1956. The agency has compiled sales statistics between 1956 and 2009 and the ABBA album has sold 4.6m copies since its release. Earlier this month, rumors of a reunion sparked on the Internet. Agnetha Fältskog has hinted that a charity event could be an excuse. In 2008, the group turned down $1bn to play a 100-date world tour in 2000.
The biggest selling album is Queen’s Greatest Hits (1981) which sold 5.7m. It was followed by The Beatles’sSgt. Pepper’s Lonely Heart Club Band (1967) at 4.9m. The biggest selling single was Elton John’s “Candle in the Wind ’97,” which was rush-released after Princess Di’s death.