"#9 Dream" came to Lennon in a dream. Lennon has said that the song was just "churned out" with "no inspiration."
That's what I call craftsmanship writing, meaning, you know, I just churned that out. I'm not putting it down, it's just what it is, but I just sat down and wrote it, you know, with no real inspiration, based on a dream I'd had.
— John Lennon, 1980, BBC
According to May Pang's website, two working titles for the song were "So Long Ago" and "Walls & Bridges". Pang also states that the phrase repeated in the chorus, "Ah! böwakawa poussé, poussé", came to Lennon in a dream and has no specific meaning. Pang added that Al Coury of Capitol Records initially protested against the use of the word "pussy" in the chorus, but after Lori Burton, the wife of studio engineer Roy Cicala, suggested that it should be sung as "poussé," as if in a foreign language, the lyrics were kept.
The song was notable as a favourite of Lennon's, despite his later claim that the song was a "throwaway." Pang said on the matter, "This was one of John's favorite songs, because it literally came to him in a dream. He woke up and wrote down those words along with the melody. He had no idea what it meant, but he thought it sounded beautiful."
Lennon liked the string arrangement he wrote for Harry Nilsson's rendition of "Many Rivers to Cross," originally by Jimmy Cliff, from the album Pussy Cats so much that he decided to incorporate it into the song.
The backing vocal is provided by May Pang, Lennon's partner at the time. Lennon wrote and arranged the song around his dream, hence the title and atmospheric, dreamlike feel, including the use of cellos in the chorus. The song is also much more heavily produced than most songs that Lennon produced.
It peaked, coincidentally, at number 9 on the Billboard Hot 100, also peaking at number 10 on the Cashbox Top 100 in the US. It also charted at number 23 on the UK Singles Chart and number 35 in Canada.
The musicians who performed on the original recording were as follows:
This section needs additional citations for verification
. (September 2011)
- ^ Kane, Larry (2007). Lennon Revealed (1st pbk. ed. 2007. ed.). Philadelphia, Pa.: Running Press. p. 88. ISBN 9780762434046.
- ^ a b c d e f g "#9 Dream". Beatles Bible.
- ^ "FAQ | May Pang's Official Website". Maypang.com. 22 February 1999. Archived from the original on 16 January 2010.
- ^ a b Blaney, John (2005). John Lennon: Listen to This Book (illustrated ed.). [S.l.]: Paper Jukebox. p. 326. ISBN 978-0-9544528-1-0.
- ^ Joel Whitburn's Top Pop Singles 1955–1990 – ISBN 0-89820-089-X
- ^ Steffen Hung. "John Lennon – #9 Dream". Australian-charts.com. Retrieved 2016-10-09.
- ^ Whitburn, Joel (1999). Pop Annual. Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin: Record Research Inc. ISBN 0-89820-142-X.
- ^ Blaney, John (2005). John Lennon: Listen To This Book. Guildford, Great Britain: Biddles Ltd. p. 147. ISBN 0-9544528-1-X.
- ^ Cohen, Jonathan (March 12, 2007). "Original R.E.M. Quartet Covers Lennon For Charity". Billboard. Retrieved May 17, 2008.
- ^ Steffen Hung (2011-09-30). "Bill Frisell – Number 9 Dream". Australian-charts.com. Retrieved 2016-10-09.
- ^ "José González – "#9 Dream" & "Step Out"". Stereogum. 2013-12-11. Retrieved 2016-10-09.