hours… album coverWritten by: David Bowie, Reeves Gabrels
Recorded: 1998; February-June 1999
Producers: David Bowie, Reeves Gabrels
Engineer: Kevin Paul

Released: 4 October 1999

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David Bowie: vocals, keyboards, drum programming
Reeves Gabrels: guitar, keyboards, synthesizer, drum programming
Mark Plati: bass guitar
Sterling Campbell: drums, chimes

‘The Dreamers’ is the closing song on David Bowie’s 22nd studio album ‘hours…’.

Dreams and dreaming were recurring themes in Bowie’s lyrics. His songs included ‘An Occasional Dream’, ‘Did You Ever Have A Dream’, ‘If I’m Dreaming My Life’, ‘Planet Of Dreams’, and ‘When I Live My Dream’, with further lyrical references such as “great utopia dream”, “treasured dream”, “untold dream”, “nightmare dreams”, “sunken dream”, “dream reality”, “electric dreams”, “where dreams are woven”, “dream car”, “my dream test baby”, “you will be like your dreams tonight”, “make love only once but dream and dream”, “screaming dreaming”, “a million dreams, a million scars”, “dreaming of tramlines, factories, pieces of machinery”, “life’s still a dream”, “I dream of Amlapura, of an ocean or dream of a princess in stone”, “I love you in my dreams”, “dreaming alone”, “scheming dreams”, “concrete dreams”, “now I’m wiser than dreams”, “we are the dead dreams”, “we’ll dream if we don’t go down”, “he promised her a dream life”, and almost the entirety of the final verse of ‘Time’ (“I had so many dreams, I had so many breakthroughs…”).

In the latter months of 1998, Bowie agreed to provide music and appear in the computer game, Omikron: The Nomad Soul, developed by Quantic Dream and published by Eidos Interactive. The game was released for Microsoft Windows in 1999, and the Sega Dreamcast the following year.

Bowie appeared in two guises in the game: as Boz, the leader of ancient religious order The Awakened, and with Gabrels and Gail Ann Dorsey as a virtual band, the Dreamers. Characters in Omikron were able to purchase a virtual album by the band.

In all, the game featured eight songs written by Bowie and Reeves Gabrels – ‘Thursday’s Child’, ‘Something In The Air’, ‘Survive’, ‘Seven’, ‘The Pretty Things Are Going To Hell’, ‘New Angels Of Promise’, ‘The Dreamers’, and the b-side ‘We All Go Through’.

The music for ‘We All Go Through’, ‘Survive’ and ‘The Pretty Things Are Going To Hell’ came from songs that I had started for my solo record [Ulysses (Della Notte)]. On the other hand, ‘Thursday’s Child’ and ‘The Dreamers’ were from keyboard/vocal ideas that David had had.
Reeves Gabrels
Strange Fascination, David Buckley

‘The Dreamers’ was one of four songs on ‘hours…’ which Bowie never performed live. The others were ‘What’s Really Happening?’, ‘New Angels of Promise’, and ‘Brilliant Adventure’.

‘hours…’ was reissued in September 2004 as a limited edition double CD set. The second disc contained numerous bonus tracks, including ‘The Dreamers’ (Omikron: The Nomad Soul Longer Version).

The Omikron version also appeared on Re:Call 5, part of the 2021 box set Brilliant Adventure (1992-2001).

Previous song: ‘Brilliant Adventure’
Next album: Heathen
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