Daniel Earl "Dan" Hartman (December 8, 1950—March 22, 1994) was an American musician, singersongwriter and record producer, best known for such songs as: "Free Ride", "I Can Dream About You", "Instant Replay", "Love Sensation", and "Relight My Fire", all of which had world-wide success.[1]


 [hide*1 Career


Born in Pennsylvania's capital, Harrisburg, Hartman joined his first band at the age of 13, The Legends. His brother Dave was also a member of the band. He played keyboards and wrote much of the band's music, but despite the release of a number of recordings, none turned out to be hits. He subsequently spent a period of time backing the Johnny Winter Band and then joined the Edgar Winter Group where he played bass on three of their albums and wrote the band's second biggest pop hit "Free Ride" in 1972. Upon launching a solo career in 1976, he released a promotional album which had, as its full title, Who Is Dan Hartman and Why Is Everyone Saying Wonderful Things About Him?. It was a compilation disc including songs from Johnny Winter and the Edgar Winter Group. His second release, Images, was his first true album and featured ex-Edgar Winter Group members Edgar Winter, Ronnie Montrose and Rick Derringerand guests Clarence Clemons and Randy Brecker.

From October 21 until November 5, 1977 Blues legend Muddy Waters used Hartman's Studio Westport, Connecticut. Hartman had Waters's band record 12 tracks while he (Hartman) ran the recording board for them during the sessions.

In late 1978, Hartman reached #1 on the Dance Charts with the disco single, "Instant Replay," which crossed over to #29 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1979 and also reached the Top 10 on the UK charts. Musicians Hartman worked with on the associated album included Vinnie Vincent and G. E. Smith. This was followed by his second chart topper, 1979's "Relight My Fire," which featured friend Loleatta Holloway on vocals. This song later became the theme for theNBC talk show Tomorrow and in 1993 became a hit single for British boy band Take That featuring Lulu. There was also a cover version of "Instant Replay" recorded by the duo Yell! (Paul Varney and Daniel James) in January 1990.

He was back on the charts again with the Top 10 single "I Can Dream About You," which was featured on his new album of the same name as well as the Streets of Fire soundtrack in 1984. The tune reached #6 on the U.S. charts, and (on re-release in 1985) #12 in the UK. Hartman was featured as a barman in one of the two videos that were released for the single, which received heavy rotation on MTV. In the movie Streets of Fire, the single "I Can Dream About You" was actually sung by Winston Ford, whose vocals were convincingly lip-synched by a group led by black actor Stoney Jackson, and included among its members future actor/director Robert Townsend. Also in 1985, the single "Talking To The Wall" was featured on the Original Motion Picture Soundtrack Perfect starring Jamie Lee Curtis and John Travolta.

In 1984, Hartman also performed "Heart of the Beat" under the band name 3V with Charlie Midnight for the soundtrack of Breakin', directed by Joel Silberg and, in 1985, scored a third Number 1 single on the Dance Music charts, "We Are the Young." The single "Second Nature" also charted during this period. In 1988, he co-wrote the song "Why Should I Worry?" with Charlie Midnight, for the Walt Disney Animation Studios film Oliver and Company. His other film contribution was the song "Waiting to See You", which was used in the film Ruthless People and its accompanying soundtrack album.

During the next decade he worked as a songwriter and producer, and collaborated with such artists as Tina TurnerDusty SpringfieldJoe CockerBonnie TylerPaul YoungJames BrownNona HendryxHolly JohnsonLiving in a Box, the Plasmatics and Steve Winwood. Hartman produced and co-wrote "Living in America", a #4 hit for James Brown which appeared on the soundtrack of 1985's Rocky IV. The song was the last of Brown's 44 hit recordings to appear on the Billboard Top 40 charts.

In 1991, Hartman recorded (That's Your) Consciousness for the soundtrack to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze.


Hartman died at his WestportConnecticut home of an AIDS-related brain tumor. His remains were cremated. At the time of his death, his music was enjoying a revival of sorts: A cover version of "Relight My Fire" became a British number-one hit for Take That and Lulu. Sales of Hartman's solo recordings, group efforts, production, songwriting and compilation inclusions exceed 50 million records worldwide.

Hartman's solo cover of the Edgar Winter Group's "Free Ride" was featured in Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie the year after his death. In 2006, 12 years after his death, "I Can Dream About You" was featured in the video game Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories and "Relight My Fire" was also featured in the video game Grand Theft Auto: The Ballad of Gay Tony.

Personal life[edit]Edit

Dan never married and had no children. At the time of his death both parents, a brother and a sister were all still alive. He kept his HIV status a secret, even after Holly Johnson announced his own HIV status in 1991. [2]

Although it is unclear if he was ever publicly out about his sexuality, Dan's website features tributes from many friends and colleagues who were aware that he was gay. Several of them mention how Hartman never seemed completely comfortable with his homosexuality, although he was much more open about it with those who shared his orientation.[3][4]




Year Song U.S. Hot 100[5] U.S. R&B[6] U.S. A.C.[7] U.S. Dance[8] UK Singles Chart[9] Australian Singles Chart Album
1978 "Instant Replay" 29 44 - 1 8 - Instant Replay
1979 "This Is It" 91 - - - 17 -
"Hands Down" - - - 26 - - Relight My Fire
1980 "Vertigo"/"Relight My Fire" 105 - - 1 - -
1981 "Heaven in Your Arms" 86 - - - - - It Hurts to Be in Love
1982 "It Hurts to Be in Love" 72 - - 48 - -
1983 "All I Need" - - 41 - - -
1984 "I Can Dream About You1 6 60 7 8 12 3 I Can Dream About You
"We Are the Young" 25 58 - 1 - -
1985 "Second Nature" 39 - 19 40 66 -
"Get Outta Town" - - - - - - Fletch(soundtrack)
1986 "Waiting to See You" - - - - - - Ruthless People(soundtrack)
1994 "Keep the Fire Burnin'" (with Loleatta Holloway) - - - - 49 - Keep the Fire Burnin'
"The Love in Your Eyes" - - - - - -
  • 1 Also on the soundtrack for Streets of Fire
  • 2 1985 re-release; originally peaked at #78
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