“Shattered Dreams” by Johnny Hates Jazz

Johnny Hates Jazz’s “Shattered Dreams” is pretty straightforward in detailing the vocalist’s feelings post-breakup. The titular “shattered dreams” are actually a metaphor for the sense of disappointment he feels due to said relationship coming to an end. That is primarily due to his partner making a bunch of romantic “promises” to him, specifically in terms of committing to the narrator, even stating that she would die for him. 

You can view the lyrics, alternate interprations and sheet music for Johnny Hates Jazz's Shattered Dreams at Lyrics.org.

Yet, succinctly put, the lyrics read as if she rather just flat out dumped him. And he was apparently caught unaware, believing her words which later proved to be “lies”. Or as detailed in the second verse, he was under the impression that this lady could ‘do him no wrong’.

But now the reality is that he has to face the future, unexpectedly, without the woman he loves. And at the end of the day, he doesn’t feel as if he benefited from his romance with her at all. Rather what this lady has given him is “nothing but shattered dreams”. And whereas he makes a somewhat-ambiguous statement saying that he ‘feels like he could run away from this empty heart’, it appears as if his depression will persist into the foreseeable future.

lyrics of “Shattered Dreams” by Johnny Hates Jazz

Facts about “Shattered Dreams”

Johnny Hates Jazz is a pop group from the UK. And “Shattered Dreams” came out, via Virgin Records, as the second single from their debut album, “Turn Back the Clock”, on 23 March 1987.

In fact this song was the band’s first official hit, peaking at number 5 on the UK Singles Chart, number 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 and number 1 on Billboard’s Adult Contemporary Chart. It also managed to chart in a dozen other countries including Japan, Austria and Italy.

The track’s significant success in America is deemed to be partially attributable to an alternate music video to the song, helmed by director David Fincher, which was aired in the United States. And here’s something interesting to note – David Fincher would go on to have a successful movie-directing career, handling films such as “Seven” (1995) and “Fight Club” (1999).

“Shattered Dreams” was written by Johnny Hates Jazz’s frontman Clark Datchler. And it was produced by his bandmates at the time, Mike Nocito and Calvin Hayes.

Clark Datchler decided to leave Johnny Hates Jazz in 1988 (though he rejoined a couple of decades later). And he released his own renditions of “Shattered Dreams” in both 1990 and 2007.

Datchler buys Cottage with proceeds from “Shattered Dreams”

According to Clark Datchler, he used the money he made from this classic hit to buy his first property. And this property was a four-bedroom cottage in Surrey, England.

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