River of Dreams

River of Dreams
Studio album by Billy Joel
Released August 10, 1993 (1993-08-10)
Recorded 1992
Studio The Boathouse at the Island Boatyard, Shelter Island, NY
Cove City Sound Studios, Glen Cove, NY
The Hit Factory, New York City, New York
Genre Rock
Length 49:10
Label Columbia
Producer Billy Joel, Danny Kortchmar, Joe Nicolo, David Thoener
Billy Joel chronology
Storm Front
River of Dreams
Greatest Hits Volume III
A Voyage on the River of Dreams
Australian 1994 box set cover
Singles from River of Dreams
  1. "The River of Dreams"
    Released: July 19, 1993 (UK) September 1, 1993 (US)
  2. "All About Soul"
    Released: 1993
  3. "No Man's Land"
    Released: 1993
  4. "Lullabye (Goodnight, My Angel)"
    Released: 1994
Music video
"The River of Dreams" on YouTube
Professional ratings
Review scores
Deseret News(Positive)[2]
Entertainment Weekly (A-)[3]
The Los Angeles Times[4]
The New York Times(Not rated)[5]
Rolling Stone [6]

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 Hyung-ki 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.[7]

The album cover was a painting by Joel's then-wife, Christie Brinkley. In 1993, Rolling Stone gave the Top Picks award for "The Best Album Cover of the Year".[8]

The music video for the title track has over 20 million views on YouTube as of April 6, 2018.[9]

Track listing

All songs were written and composed by Billy Joel.

Side one
  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
Side two
  1. "All About Soul" – 5:59
  2. "Lullabye (Goodnight, My Angel)" – 3:34
  3. "The River of Dreams" – 4:05
  4. "Two Thousand Years" – 5:19
  5. "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 (No. 33) and New Zealand (No. 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"



  • A&R – Don DeVito
  • Art and Commerce – Jeff Schock
  • Art Direction – Christopher Austopchuk
  • Cover Art by Christie Brinkley
  • Design – Sara Rotman
  • Engineers – Carl Glanville (tracks 1–7, 9, 10), Joe Nicolo and Phil Nicolo (track 8), Dick Grobelny (assistant, track 8).
  • Engineer [Assistant, Cove City Sound Studios] – Dan Hetzel
  • Engineer [Assistant, The Hit Factory] – Brian Vibberts
  • Lyrics and Music by Billy Joel
  • Mastered by Ted Jensen at Sterling Sound, NYC
  • Mixed by Niko Bolas (tracks 1–4, 6, 7, 9, 10), David Thoener (track 5), Joe Nicolo and Phil Nicolo (track 8).
  • Photography – Glen Erler
  • Producers – Danny Kortchmar (tracks 1–4, 6–10), Billy Joel (track 5), David Thoener (associate producer, track 5), Joe Nicolo (co-producer, track 8).
  • Production Coordinator – Bill Zampino
  • Recorded by [The Boathouse] – Bob Thrasher, Bradshaw Leigh, Dave Wilkerson, Jay Healy.
  • 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.


Grammy Awards

Year Nominee/work Award Result
1994River of DreamsAlbum of the Year[13]Nominated
"The River of Dreams"Song of the Year[13]Nominated
Record of the Year[13]Nominated
Best Pop Vocal Performance – Male[13]Nominated


Certifications and sales

Region CertificationCertified units/Sales
Australia (ARIA)[45] 3× Platinum 210,000^
Austria (IFPI Austria)[46] Platinum 50,000*
Canada (Music Canada)[47] 3× Platinum 300,000^
Germany (BVMI)[48] Platinum 500,000^
Ireland (IRMA)[49] 2× Platinum 30,000^
Japan (RIAJ)[50] Platinum 241,000[lower-alpha 1][51][52]
Netherlands (NVPI)[53] Gold 50,000[54]
New Zealand (RMNZ)[55] Platinum 15,000^
Sweden (GLF)[56] Gold 50,000^
Switzerland (IFPI Switzerland)[57] Platinum 50,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[58] Platinum 300,000^
United States (RIAA)[59] 5× Platinum 5,000,000^
Europe (IFPI)[60] 5× Platinum 5,000,000*

^shipments figures based on certification alone

  1. Combined sales of standard edition and its expanded reissue.


  1. River of Dreams at AllMusic
  2. Boren, Ray (1989-06-18). "`RIVER OF DREAMS' FEATURES WELL-CRAFTED SONGS". deseretnews.com. Deseret News. Retrieved 2011-08-31.
  3. Sandow, Greg (1993-08-13). "River of Dreams Review". ew.com. Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2011-08-31.
  4. Willman, Chris (1993-08-22). "BILLY JOEL – "River of Dreams"". articles.latimes.com. The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2011-08-31.
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  12. Discogs – Zachary Alford – (profile & discography)
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