How A “Boring” Stevie Nicks Song Is Transformed By Fleetwood Mac

How A “Boring” Stevie Nicks Song Is Transformed By Fleetwood Mac | I Love Classic Rock Videos

via Fleetwood Mac / Youtube

In the tumultuous history of Fleetwood Mac, there was only one song that managed to reach the number-one spot on the American charts. The band had undergone multiple lineup changes and struggled to find commercial success in the US after their initial triumph in the UK with “Albatross” in 1968. However, with the arrival of Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham in the mid-1970s, the group’s musical direction took a pop-oriented turn.

Their early tracks, such as “Rhiannon” and “Say You Love Me,” came close to breaking into the top ten of the Billboard Hot 100, but it wasn’t until their second single from the iconic 1977 album Rumours that they finally hit the jackpot. “Dreams,” a song written by Stevie Nicks during the album’s sessions, proved to be the magic formula. Nicks revealed that the song came to her in a burst of creativity, saying, “I found a drum pattern, switched my little cassette player on and wrote ‘Dreams’ in about 10 minutes.”

However, the rest of the band wasn’t initially sold on the track. Nicks pleaded with them to give it a chance, emphasizing the unique dance beat that set it apart from her usual style. Christine McVie recalled her initial skepticism, but Lindsey Buckingham’s creative genius transformed the song. He molded three distinct sections out of identical chords, creating a seamless progression throughout the track. Reflecting on this process, Buckingham explained:

“To take a song like ‘Dreams’ and make those same two chords evolve from section A to section B to section C… It comes at a price sometimes, you know? It comes at the price of having your defenses come up.”

The emotional dynamics within the band added an additional layer of complexity to the song’s creation. Nicks had pulled away emotionally, which made it challenging for Buckingham to find closure. Mick Fleetwood acknowledged this, saying, “He would say, ‘I’m doing this for her and making her music, but I can’t have closure.’” Despite the internal struggles, the band’s collective efforts paid off, and “Dreams” became their breakthrough hit, propelling Fleetwood Mac to the pinnacle of success in America.