“Dreamlover” is a song by American singer Mariah Carey, released on July 27, 1993, as the lead single from her third studio album, Music Box (1993). It was written by Carey and Dave Hall and was produced by Carey, Walter Afanasieff and Hall. The song incorporates a sample of the hook from “Blind Alley” by the Emotions into its melody and instrumentation. “Dreamlover” helped Carey transition into the pop music market, a choice made following the mixed reception to her previous studio effort Emotions (1991), which featured gospel and 1960s soul influences. Lyrically, the song pictures a protagonist calling for a perfect lover, her “dreamlover,” to whisk her away into the night and not disillusion her like others in the past.
“Dreamlover” received generally positive reviews from contemporary music critics, many of whom praised the song’s incorporated sample, as well as Carey’s carefree vocal style. The song was the first of several of her lead singles that sampled older tunes as a musical bed, as seen in “Fantasy” (1995), “Honey” (1997), “Heartbreaker” (1999), and “Loverboy” (2001). It experienced strong worldwide success, becoming Carey’s seventh chart-topper on the US Billboard Hot 100, remaining there for eight weeks. It peaked at number one in Canada and became a top-ten single in Australia, the Netherlands, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom.
Carey performed “Dreamlover” live on several televised talk shows around the world, including The Arsenio Hall Show in September 1993, the British music chart program Top of the Pops, and the 1993 Music Fair in Japan. In 1999, following the release of Carey’s Rainbow, the song was included in the Mariah Carey Homecoming Special, and her appearance on The Today Show. Additionally, “Dreamlover” was featured in the set-lists of most of her succeeding tours, making its debut on the Music Box Tour (1993). The song was included on Carey’s compilation albums, Number 1’s (1998), Greatest Hits (2001), and #1 to Infinity (2015).
The song’s music video was filmed by Diane Martel in Copake, in upstate New York, during August 1993. It includes an appearance by Carey’s dog Jack and shows Carey dancing in a flowerbed and field, swimming in a large pond, boarding a hot air balloon, and dancing alongside several shirtless male dancers. According to author Chris Nickson, the video’s carefree setting harmonized well with the song’s soft instrumentation. Due to the song’s strong radio airplay and extended charting, the video received frequent play on several music video channels throughout the summer of 1993.