July 8

American Dream by Nitty Gritty Dirt Band As Among the Best Californian Soft-Rock Songs of Its Time

Everyone has a dream – whether it’s British, Asian, or an American Dream. American Dream by Nitty Gritty Dirt Band was recorded and released in 1979, a year after the release of the original. The song was composed and primarily recorded by Rodney Crowell in 1978. 

The song helps the band back on pop radio after several years, though this time without tricks: No new melodies and plainly an expertly composed, performed, and interpreted the song. Billboard evaluates the version as pop; however, from a non-chart viewpoint, it’s as country as some Nitty Gritty Dirt Band Songs by that date, considering it’s been lent by the real country icon. 

It was Rodney Crowell‘s ability as a composer and the Band’s great taste—that the rendition of the song hardly differs in quality or nature from the first “American Dream” version. The beat is somewhat amplified; the piece mellows over some edges. And Jeff Hanna gives his pleasant, soft vocal generally by following leads from Crowell, and the bandmates jump on the bandwagon, attesting the Band did ultimately learn the importance of simply leaving the best thing. 

Soundly, Nitty gritty dirt band‘s American Dream grooves in between the California rendition of easy rock and the emerging “pop-country” vibe of 1980s Nashville. The song reached the 13th spot on the Billboard Hot 100 and 16th on the Adult Contemporary chart. It has also peaked at the 3rd spot on Canada Top Singles. Thus, placing the band in the spotlight as the soft rock scene they’d become. 

Regardless of the song’s generation, it’s still among the iconic songs to listen to. Watch the video of American Dream by Nitty Gritty Dirt Band below and reminisce. Surely, several memories will flash.


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nitty gritty dirt band


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