Day 170: Dreams

Song: “Dreams” by Fleetwood Mac
Reached #1: June 18, 1977 (their first, 1 week)

You say you want your freedom…

Imagine this… a 5-person band where…

  • The drummer is getting a divorce.
  • The bassist is divorcing the keyboard player/backup vocalist.
  • The guitarist is breaking up a long relationship with the lead singer.

In the middle of all this, that lead singer goes off to a quiet studio and writes the first draft (that would be substantially unchanged) of one of the group’s defining songs in about 15 minutes.  And the band manages to produce the song in the midst of all of this personal turmoil.

Oh, and 35 years later, they still do the song in concert… although the keyboardist retired.

This is the enigma that is Fleetwood Mac.

Of course, that lineup wasn’t the original lineup – the bassist (John McVie) joined later, even though his name was used as part of the band name because they were hoping he’d sing on from the start.  Of course, it was the drummer (Mick Fleetwood) whose name was the other half of the band name.  The keyboardist (Christine Perfect McVie) came in shortly after her husband.   The guitarist (Lindsey Buckingham) came on-board when previous guitarist Bob Welch got tired of some lengthy legal battles that involved the band’s former manager creating a fraudulent touring version of Fleetwood Mac.  And the lead singer (Stevie Nicks) was part of the deal that brought Buckingham aboard.

The Rumours album was the product of all of that tension (plus some serious drug and alcohol abuse) and is still considered the band’s greatest.  With not only “Dreams” (the band’s only #1 pop hit), but “Go Your Own Way”, “Don’t Stop” and “You Make Loving Fun”, it’s hard to argue.  The people who bought 40 million copies of the album won’t argue, either.

The classic lineup broke up in 1987.  The band “broke up” in 1995, reunited in 1996, and saw Christine McVie retire in 1998.  They’ve toured as a foursome ever since.

One chapter of the Fleetwood Mac story ended two weeks ago, when Bob Welch killed himself.

OK, go click “Play” on the video.  Or just play the song in your head – you know you know it.

Tomorrow, one of pop’s greatest singer/songwriters…

Other songs that reached #1 on June 18:
1988 –
“Together Forever” by Rick Astley (his second, 1 week)

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