Edge Of A Dream
Recording Artist: Joe Cocker
Writers: Jim Vallance
Bryan Adams
Date Written: Started December 1982 / Finished 1984
Albums: Teachers Soundtrack (1985)
Long Voyage Home (1995)
Classic Cocker (EMI Records, August 28, 2007)
Charts: #69 - Billboard Hot 100 Singles Chart / November 1984 (7 weeks on the chart)
Awards: 1985 - Procan Award (Performing Rights Organization of Canada)
1986 - BMI Citation of Achievement for significant U.S. radio airplay
Audio:
 
Musicians
 
Produced by Keith Forsey.  Recorded by Michael Frondelli at Westlake Audio (Los Angeles) and Oasis Recording Studio (Universal City, California). Mixed by Michael Frondelli at Oasis Recording Studio.
Cover Versions: Also recorded by Helen Hofner
Comments:
Joe Cocker >
(photo: Mickey Krakowski)
Bryan Adams and I originally wrote "Edge Of A Dream" for the film "Staying Alive", a "Saturday Night Fever" sequel written and directed by Sylvester Stallone (released 1983). As I recall, our song title was lifted directly from a line of dialogue in the "Staying Alive" script (we never did see the movie).

Unfortunately -- or perhaps fortunately -- our song was rejected. The film was poorly received by the press and the public. 

"Edge Of A Dream" remained "on ice" for a year or two until we played it for Aaron Russo, producer of the film "Teachers".   Aaron had Joe Cocker record it for the "Teachers" soundtrack.

Bryan and I wrote "Edge Of A Dream" at a time when we'd already had a few "hits" to our credit, and we'd become quite skilled and confident as writers. Or so we thought ...

We played the song for our friend, producer Bob Ezrin (Alice Cooper, Pink Floyd) and asked him for his opinion.  Bob made an observation that, in retrospect, seemed obvious. Except to us!  Bob's comments (see below) not only prompted us to re-think the song's chorus, but we continued to apply the "Ezrin Principle" to just about every song we wrote after that.
Bob Ezrin
Initially our chorus consisted of the same line of lyric and melody repeated four times, the standard "hammer it home" approach to songwriting:

              On the edge of a dream (you know we are)
              On the edge of a dream (you know we are)
              On the edge of a dream (you know we are)
              On the edge of a dream (you know we are)

It seemed just fine to us, but to Bob's experienced ear the song wasn't finished yet.  It needed something more ... not much more, but there was definitely room for improvement.

"Try changing the lyric and the melody, but only for the third line of the chorus", Bob said.  We tried a couple of different options, and eventually settled on the following:

              On the edge of a dream (you know we are)
              On the edge of a dream (you know we are)
              We've been waiting for this chance to be free
              We're on the edge of a dream (you know we are)

Very subtle ... but it worked, and I believe it improved the song immeasurably.  Thank you Bob!
 
Invitation to the premier of the movie "Teachers" (click on image to view full-size) >
My wife and I met Joe Cocker at the film's premiere in Los Angeles. I took the opportunity to thank him for recording our song.

Joe's a very sweet and humble man ... he actually apologized for his singing on "Edge Of A Dream". He said he'd had the flu the day of the vocal session, but the film deadline forced him to deliver a performance regardless. He said he did the best he could, under the circumstances.

I told him, "I wish I could sing that well on a good day!"
Lyrics: If tomorrow never comes, would you still belong to me
Guess I've always known it was meant to be
We took a second chance on love and it carried us away
Now it's gettin' stronger day by day

The closer it gets the further it seems
It's always one step out of reach

On the edge of a dream (you know you are)
On the edge of a dream (you know you are)
We've been waitin' for this chance to be free
On the edge of a dream

And if nothing ever changed
Would you feel the same way too
Ya - you know I'll always be there for you

'Cause they say the strong survive
And we've nearly made it thru
Now we'll soon be seein' our dreams come true

The harder it gets the harder you fall
It never turns out like it seems

On the edge of a dream (you know you are)
On the edge of a dream (you know you are)
We've been waitin' for this chance to be free
On the edge of a dream

Movin' in and out of love
Can't say we never tried
I knew that you believed in me
I can see it in your eyes

On the edge of a dream (you know you are)
On the edge of a dream (you know you are)
We've been waitin' for this chance to be free
On the edge of a dream
 
45RPM single sleeve