It’s just one of those songs, really. I mean, for me it is. I can come across it while scanning for something to listen to while driving and I will stop. It is sort of funny, very 80’s in a way that hasn’t been co-opted by Urban Outfitters or American Apparel to sell deep v-necks to hipsters. It has remained sweetly 80’s and as far as I know, has not been the soundtrack to a gory Tarantino mass murder montage. So I guess any memories of the song are not splintered in different directions, they are simply driving with friends because there was really nothing else to do.
“Shattered Dreams” entered the UK Singles Chart in March 1987 at #92 but gained popularity through extensive radio play and video rotation on MTV and the song quickly climbed the charts and peaked at #5 in May 1987, spending three weeks at the top and a total of 16 weeks in the chart. It went on to become a top five hit throughout Europe and Asia, reaching #2 in Japan.
The song fared even better the following year in the U.S. There, “Shattered Dreams” was released early in 1988 with a totally different music video, shot entirely in black and white and directed by David Fincher. The single peaked at #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and topped Billboard’s Adult Contemporary chart for one week. A midtempo club remix of the track was released on 12″ vinyl.
Billboard magazine ranked “Shattered Dreams” as the #26 song of the year 1988 in their December 31 issue.
Clark Datchler and the group would soon part, and Datchler released an acoustic version of the song as a track on his 1990 Virgin solo single “Crown of Thorns.”
The song has been covered by boyband Ultra, on its UK Top 40 eponymous album in 1999; by House artist Jaybee in 2005; by Russian pop star Sergey Lazarev in 2007; and in 2009 by Quentin Elias, former singer for French boyband Alliage and by House artist Vibelicious.