“The River of Dreams” is a single by Billy Joel. It is the title track and first single from his 1993 album River of Dreams. The song was a hit, peaking at #3 on the US and UK charts, making it his highest charting of the 1990s (it was his only album released during the 1990s). It also hit the top spot in Australia and on the Billboard Adult Contemporary chart. The song was produced by Joe Nicolo and Danny Korchmar. At least four versions of the song have been recorded and released. Two versions (released years later) include a bridge section containing a piano interlude paralleling Joel’s melody from his song “Lullabye (Goodnight My Angel)”, which is from the same album. These versions can be found on the boxed sets “My Lives” and “Complete Hits Collection: 1973-1999” – but even these versions differ from each other, both in length and in arrangement (one, for instance, has more percussion). A fourth mix appears as a bonus cut on the UK CD single of “River of Dreams” – the “percapella mix” done by Nicolo. “The River of Dreams” was nominated for the 1993 Grammy Record of the Year award, but lost to “I Will Always Love You” by Whitney Houston.
In his performance of the song during the 1994 Grammy Awards telecast, Joel left a long pause in the middle of the song to protest the decision to cut off Frank Sinatra’s acceptance speech after Sinatra received that year’s Grammy Legend Award. During the pause, Joel noted he was wasting “valuable advertising time.”
At 3 minutes 45 seconds into the song, you can hear Billy Joel singing The Cadillacs version of “Gloria” as the song fades out.