CareerBorn in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, Hartman joined his first band, The Legends, at the age of 13, with his brother Dave. Hartman played keyboards and wrote much of the band's music. The band released several records, but none were hits. He spent some time backing the Johnny Winter Band and then joined the Edgar Winter Group where he played bass on three of their albums; he wrote the band's second biggest pop hit "Free Ride" in 1972. He launched a solo career in 1976. His first release was a promotional album whose full title is "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. It featured ex-Edgar Winter Group members Edgar Winter, Ronnie Montrose and Rick Derringer and guests Clarence Clemons and Randy Brecker.
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, it also reached the top 10 on the British sales 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 the NBC talk show Tomorrow. 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 rerelease in 1985) #12 in the UK. Hartman was featured as a bartender 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 Stoney Jackson, an African American actor, and that also included actor/director Robert Townsend.
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.
In 1985, Hartman scored a third number-one 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 Disney animated film Oliver and Company.
During the next decade he worked as a songwriter and producer, and collaborated with such artists as Tina Turner, Dusty Springfield, Joe Cocker, Bonnie Tyler, Paul Young, James Brown, Nona Hendryx, Holly Johnson, Living in a Box, the Plasmatics and Steve Winwood.
In 2009 his song "Relight My Fire" was featured in the video game Grand Theft Auto: The Ballad of Gay Tony.
DeathHartman died of a brain tumor resulting from AIDS on March 22, 1994 in his home in Westport, Connecticut at the age of 43. His remains were cremated. At the time of his death, his music was enjoying a revival of sorts; a cover version of his song "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 song "Free Ride", was featured in Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie the year after his death.
- Who Is Dan Hartman? (1976)
- Images (1976)
- Instant Replay (1978) #80 U.S.
- Relight My Fire (1979) #189 U.S.
- April Music Recorded Music Library (1981)
- It Hurts to Be in Love (1982)
- I Can Dream About You (1984) #55 U.S.
- White Boy (1986) Never Released
- New Green Clear Blue (1989)
- Keep The Fire Burnin' (1994)
- Super Hits (2004)
|Year||Song||U.S. Hot 100||U.S. R&B||U.S. A.C.||U.S. Dance||UK Singles Chart||Australian Singles Chart||Album|
|1978||"Instant Replay"||29||44||-||1||8||-||Instant Replay|
|1979||"This Is It"||91||-||-||-||17||-|
|1979||"Hands Down"||-||-||-||26||-||-||Relight My Fire|
|1980||"Vertigo"/"Relight My Fire" (With Loleatta Holloway)"||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 You" 1||6||60||7||8||12||3||I Can Dream About You|
|1984||"We Are the Young"||25||58||-||1||-||-|
|1986||"Get Outta Town"||-||-||-||-||-||-||Fletch (soundtrack)|
|1994||"Keep the Fire Burnin'" (with Loleatta Holloway)||-||-||-||-||49||-||Keep the Fire Burnin'|
- 1 Also on the soundtrack for Streets of Fire
- 2 1985 re-release; originally peaked at #78