River of Dreams

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River of Dreams
File:Billy Joel - River of Dreams.jpg
Studio album by Billy Joel
Released August 10, 1993 (1993-08-10)
Recorded The Boathouse at the Island Boatyard, Shelter Island, NY
Cove City Sound Studios, Glen Cove, NY
The Hit Factory, New York, NY 1993
Genre Rock
Length 49:10
Label Columbia
Producer Billy Joel, Danny Kortchmar, Joe Nicolo, David Thoener
Billy Joel chronology
Storm Front
(1989)Storm Front1989
River of Dreams
Greatest Hits Volume III
A Voyage on the River of Dreams
Australian 1994 box set cover
Australian 1994 box set cover

Greatest Hits Volume III1997

Singles from River of Dreams
  1. "The River of Dreams"
    Released: July 19, 1993 (UK only)
  2. "All About Soul"
    Released: 1993
  3. "No Man's Land"
    Released: 1993
  4. "Lullabye (Goodnight, My Angel)"
    Released: 1994
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 2/5 stars[1]
Deseret News (Positive)[2]
Entertainment Weekly 10/12 stars (A-)[3]
The Los Angeles Times 2/4 stars[4]
The New York Times (Not rated)[5]
Robert Christgau (dud)[6]
Rolling Stone 4/5 stars [7]

River of Dreams is the twelfth studio album by American singer-songwriter Billy Joel, released on August 10, 1993. He stopped recording new music as a performer after this album although he has subsequently released live albums, and composed the music for an instrumental album performed by Richard Joo. River of Dreams presented a much more serious tone from Joel than found in his previous albums, dealing with issues such as trust and long-lasting love. It was rumored that the themes of trust and betrayal, particularly certain lyrics from the songs "A Minor Variation" and "The Great Wall of China", stem from Joel's legal disputes with his former manager and ex-brother-in-law, Frank Weber, who reportedly embezzled millions of dollars from Joel and used dubious accounting practices to cover it up.[8]

The album cover was a painting by Joel's then-wife, Christie Brinkley. In 1993, Rolling Stone gave her the Top Picks award for "The Best Album Cover of the Year".[9]

Track listing

All songs written and composed by Billy Joel.

  1. "No Man's Land" – 4:48
  2. "The Great Wall of China" – 5:45
  3. "Blonde Over Blue" – 4:55
  4. "A Minor Variation" – 5:36
  5. "Shades of Grey" – 4:10
  6. "All About Soul" – 5:59
  7. "Lullabye (Goodnight, My Angel)" – 3:32
  8. "The River of Dreams" – 4:05
  9. "Two Thousand Years" – 5:19
  10. "Famous Last Words" – 5:01

A Voyage on the River of Dreams

A Voyage on the River of Dreams is an Australian 3-CD box set released in 1994, which includes the studio album, River of Dreams, along with a 6-track live CD from the '93–'94 River of Dreams Tour, plus a Questions & Answers CD recorded at Princeton University.[10] This box set made the charts in Australia (#33) and New Zealand (#47), the only places besides Japan where the set was officially released.[11]

Disc one (River of Dreams – Studio album) - as per original album

Disc two (Billy Joel Live)

All songs written and composed by Billy Joel, except where noted

  1. "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road" (Elton John/Bernie Taupin) - 5:08
  2. "No Man's Land" - 5:44
  3. "The Ballad of Billy the Kid" - 5:52
  4. "Lullabye (Goodnight, My Angel)" - 3:40
  5. "The River of Dreams" - 5:28
  6. "A Hard Day's Night" (Lennon–McCartney) - 3:20
Disc three (Questions & Answers Disc)
  1. "Q & A recorded at Princeton University"


Grammy Awards

Year Recipient/Nominated work Award Result
1994 River of Dreams Album of the Year[12] Nominated
"The River of Dreams" Song of the Year[12] Nominated
Record of the Year[12] Nominated
Best Pop Vocal Performance – Male[12] Nominated


Certifications and sales

Region Certification Sales/shipments
Australia (ARIA)[42] 3× Platinum 210,000
Austria (IFPI Austria)[43] Platinum 50,000
Canada (Music Canada)[44] 3× Platinum 300,000
Germany (BVMI)[45] Platinum 500,000
Ireland (IRMA)[46] 2× Platinum 30,000
Japan (RIAJ)[47] Platinum 241,000[A][48][49]
Netherlands (NVPI)[50] Platinum 100,000[51]
New Zealand (RMNZ)[52] Platinum 15,000
Sweden (GLF)[53] Gold 50,000
Switzerland (IFPI Switzerland)[54] Platinum 50,000
United Kingdom (BPI)[55] Platinum 300,000
United States (RIAA)[56] 5× Platinum 5,000,000
Europe (IFPI)[57] Platinum 1,000,000

^shipments figures based on certification alone
xunspecified figures based on certification alone

  • A^ Combined sales of standard edition and its expanded reissue.


  • A&r – Don DeVito
  • Art Direction – Christopher Austopchuk
  • Artwork By [Cover Art] – Christie Brinkley
  • Backing Vocals – Frank Simms (tracks: 1, 2, 8), George Simms (tracks: 1, 2, 8)
  • Bass – T.M. Stevens (tracks: 1, 2, 4, 6, 9, 10)
  • Coordinator [Production Coordinator] – Bill Zampino
  • Design – Sara Rotman
  • Drums – Zachary Alford (tracks: 1 to 4, 6, 8)
  • Engineer – Carl Glanville
  • Engineer [Assistant, Cove City Sound Studios] – Dan Hetzel
  • Engineer [Assistant, The Hit Factory] – Brian Vibberts
  • Guitar – Danny Kortchmar (tracks: 1 to 4, 6, 8 to 10), Leslie West (tracks: 1, 2, 4), Tommy Byrnes (tracks: 1, 3, 5, 6)
  • Lyrics By, Music By – Billy Joel
  • Mastered By – Ted Jensen at Sterling Sound, NYC
  • Orchestrated By – Ira Newborn (tracks: 2, 6 to 8)
  • Other [Art And Commerce] – Jeff Schock
  • Other [Orchestra Manager] – Lew Delgatto
  • Photography – Glen Erler
  • Producer – Danny Kortchmar (tracks: 1 to 4, 6 to 10)
  • Recorded By [The Boathouse] – Bob Thrasher, Bradshaw Leigh, Dave Wilkerson, Jay Healy
  • Recorded By, Mixed By – Niko Bolas
  • Technician [Technical Support] – Andrew Baker*, Artie Smith, Courtney Spencer, Dave Hofbauer, David Hewitt, Doug Kleeger, Greg Garland, Howie Mendelson, Jon "J.D." Dworkow*, Larry DeMarco, Laura Delia, Lester Baylinson, Peter Goodrich, Steve Bramberg


  1. River of Dreams at AllMusic
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  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 "THE 36TH GRAMMY NOMINATIONS : Grammy Nods: The Populists Lead the Way : Awards: Sting, who already has 10 Grammys, earns six nominations. The competition includes Whitney Houston, Billy Joel and R.E.M." article.latimes.com. The Los Angeles Times. 1994-01-07. Retrieved 2011-08-29.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
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  51. NVPI "de branchevereniging van de entertainmentindustrie" Check |url= value (help). Retrieved 2011-08-17.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>Note: User needs to enter "Billy Joel" in the "Artiest" field and click below "zoek" button.
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  55. "British album certifications – Billy Joel – River of Dreams". British Phonographic Industry.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles> Enter 'River of Dreams' in the field Keywords. Select Title in the field Search by. Select album in the field By Format. Select Platinum in the field By Award. Click Search
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Preceded by
Sleepless in Seattle (soundtrack)
by Various artists
Billboard 200 number-one album
August 28 – September 17, 1993
Succeeded by
In Pieces by Garth Brooks
Preceded by
The Lobbyist by Diesel
Australian ARIA Albums Chart number-one album
August 29 – September 25, 1993
Succeeded by
Bat Out of Hell II: Back into Hell
by Meat Loaf
Preceded by
The Classic Collection by Little River Band
New Zealand Chart number-one album
September 26, 1993
Succeeded by
Bat Out of Hell II: Back into Hell
by Meat Loaf