Friday, July 1, 2011

Jukebox Friday: Wallace Collection - Daydream

I renamed the "song of the week" column and wrote a post with nearly as many YouTube videos as words. That's okay, I promise.

Wallace Collection was a Britain-based Belgian pop rock sextet active between 1968 and 1971. They got their name from a museum adjacent to the headquarters of their record label, EMI. In 2005, the group was revived as a quintet with four of the original members.

The group's most famous song is "Daydream", recorded at Abbey Road Studios in 1968 and released in 1969. Its famous melody was borrowed from Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake ballet. The track became a hit, but has since become even more well-known through numerous covers and samplings by other artists (see below).

First, here's the official video from 1969.



Lyrics:

Daydream, I fell asleep amid the flowers
for a couple of hours on a beautiful day

Daydream, I dreamed of you amid the flowers
for a couple of hours, such a beautiful day!

I dreamed of the places I've been with you
how we sat with the stream flowing by

And then when I kissed you and held you
So near tell me why, tell me why you're so shy?

Daydream, I fell asleep amid the flowers
for a couple of hours on a beautiful day

Daydream, come share a dream amid the flowers
For a couple of hours on a beautiful day

I dreamed of the places I've been with you
how we sat with the stream flowing by

And then when I kissed you and held you so near
tell me why, tell me why you're so shy?

Daydream, I sing with you amid the flowers
for a couple of hours, singing all of the day

(Na-na-na ending á la "Hey Jude")


Ever since "Daydream" was released, artists have been covering and sampling the hell out of it. Here are some prominent examples.

Claude François - Rêveries (1969)


Gunter Kallmann Chorus - Daydream (1970)


Paul Michiels feat. Leki - Daydream (2001)


The Gunter Kallmann Chorus version is often sampled instead of the original. Examples are the two following songs:

I Monster - Daydream In Blue (2001)


Lupe Fiasco feat. Jill Scott - Daydreamin' (2006)


Finally, the Norwegians know "Daydream" primarily through their love of skiing.

In 1967, after 17 people had lost their lives in the Norwegian mountains over the course the Easter holidays, the Norwegian Red Cross created a set of instructional guidelines known as Fjellvettreglene ("the mountain codes"). To promote these guidelines, The Norwegian Tourist Association made a series of TV advertisements. The soundtrack? Franck Pourcel's cover of "Daydream".

I couldn't find any of the films online, but here's the song anyway. I dare you to find a Norwegian who can listen to this without immediately thinking of white-capped mountains, powdery snow and a skinny, hapless skier named Severin Suveren.

10 comments:

  1. Thanks for sharing this, baby :)

    Amazing how they used that song for a Norwegian commercial for mountain safety. I had no idea!

    PS don't forget to add Paul Michiel's version ;)

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  2. One of the most timeless songs ever from a Belgian band. A true evergreen. This is one of those songs to be played in ideal circumstances while in the open fields, eyes closed, feel the sun on your skin, and then full volume on the MP3 player. The lyrics seem to sort of describe that scene but it fits just perfectly well. I can't think of a better decor to listen to this while somewhere relaxed in a sunny open field, far away from the rush and daily routine, forgetting just for a few minutes that life is far from painless, and drift away to a utopian dreamworld.

    Sylvain Van Holme of the Wallace Collection produced some records for other Belgian bands, including Gorki. None of them made an epic song like this though.

    Also worth knowing: this song broke barriers. Back in that time, Spain and Portugal were dictatorships run by fascist regimes. Even just dressing differently was sometimes enough to get in trouble. Wallace Collection was, thanks to this song, so popular though in Portugal that the regime had no other choice than to allow them to perform in Portugal. They were the first band whose members had long hair that were allowed to perform in Portugal at that time ; hard to imagine now when we just get the haircuts we want, but at that time it was groundbreaking that they were allowed in to perform there. But well, we all know music breaks barriers very often. This song was too powerful for the fascist regimes to stop people from listening to it!

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  3. PS: just realised while typing the above ... if the same haircut restrictions were still in place in Spain and Portugal now, I'd be in very very big trouble :)

    Cheers for posting this one, just listened to it again and it remains as lovely and fresh as when I first heard the song.

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  4. @Bika: Thanks for reminding me ;) <3

    @Gerrit: Interesting story about the Wallace Collection playing in Portugal. Are they popular on the Iberian Peninsula?

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  5. They used to be back in those days ; the Portuguese regime did not like their appearance but had to allow a concert anyway due to high demand of fans. Not sure if many people remember them now, but Daydream will always be an epic. Maybe younger people here will know ONLY that song and know not much about the band, but for sure that one song will survive the hands of time.

    Recently Spanish TV did some documentaries on bands from the sixties and seventies, docu footage that has to assure those bands won't be forgotten and introducing them to a new generation of music fans. I doubt they will cover Wallace Collection since they existed only briefly, but it would be great if they would be included in such a program. But regardless if they will be, Daydream will be an evergreen forever.

    Such a shame many talented bands are seen as a one hit wonder for wrong reasons while they had several gems waiting to be rediscovered. I have the same issue with some of my favourite bands, like The Connells of whom people only remember 74-75 while that was just one of their brilliant songs. The Wallace Collection is mainly known for that one track, but people often forget that there were more gems. Hopefully those other songs will be re-introduced to the audience sooner or later, the internet is a good tool for that.

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  6. You're right about The Connells. They get lots of airplay in Norway, but that is limited to only that one song. I miss getting pleasant surprises from the radio. (Last.fm has taken over that role now.)

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  7. The Connells are one of my favourite bands. Songs such as "Seven", "Scotty's Lament", "Lay Me Down", "Darker Days" are almost as good as "74/75". I guess it will be eBay for me to get those records: they've been out of print for ages and now finally they announced a new release, but it's legal MP3 only. Old-fashioned as I am ;) I prefer a real CD with a booklet and artwork. Guess I'll dig in second hand auctions and hope I'm lucky with the prices...

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  8. I'll check out those songs too, now ;)

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  9. It's you I swear, it's you I swear, I delight in my despair....
    One of the best chorus lines ever.

    Seven is haunting, describing the anxieties I often suffer from myself so well.

    The Connels: brilliant band, grotesquely underrated. Emailed with their former bass player, George Huntley, several times. Extremely friendly person. Their records are out of print, I was lucky to find the Ring album in a small record store in Barcelona (probably the last unsold copy in Spain?) for just 7 €, what a gem! But for their other records, I fear it'll be second hand sales on eBay :(

    PS to go back to topic: the Gorki album produced by Wallace Collection member Sylvain VanHolme was "Hij Leeft". A story about it is here: http://www.goddeau.com/content/view/2568

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