Would You Believe That Fleetwood Mac Only Had One US Number One Single
Fleetwood Mac for "Dreams" - Fleetwood Mac / Youtube
Fleetwood Mac, known for their enduring legacy and tumultuous history, achieved a remarkable feat with their first and only US number one single, ‘Dreams’, in 1977. Despite their continued success and widespread popularity, this song remains their sole chart-topping hit in the United States.
During the creation of the track, Fleetwood Mac was in the midst of recording their iconic album Rumours. The late 1970s proved to be a period of turmoil for the band, marked by internal conflicts, breakups, and substance abuse. In 1976, Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks parted ways, while Christine and John McVie, as well as Mick Fleetwood and his wife Jenny Boyd, went through divorces.
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This internal turmoil heavily influenced the themes and legacy of Rumours, including the album’s second single, ‘Dreams’. Nicks shared her recollection with The Daily Mail, stating:
“I remember the night I wrote ‘Dreams.’ I walked in and handed a cassette of the song to Lindsey. It was a rough take, just me singing solo and playing piano.”
Reflecting on the situation at the time, she added:
“Even though he was mad with me at the time, Lindsey played it and then looked up at me and smiled. What was going on between us was sad. We were couples who couldn’t make it through. But, as musicians, we still respected each other – and we got some brilliant songs out of it.” ‘
Dreams’ was undoubtedly one of those brilliant songs.
Stevie Nicks’ Musical Revelation: Penning ‘Dreams’ in a Matter of Minutes
Nicks astonishingly penned the number one single in just ten minutes. It served as a response to Buckingham’s breakup anthem, ‘Go Your Own Way’, which had been released as the album’s first single. Nicks explained to Q magazine:
“It was the fairy and the gnome. I was trying to be all philosophical. And he was just mad.”
‘Dreams’ captivates with its understated brilliance, blending Nicks’ enchanting, emotionally charged vocals with soft pop-rock instrumentals. True to its name, the song creates a sonically dreamy atmosphere, while its warm instrumentals belie the biting lyrics aimed at Buckingham. Nicks calmly sings, “Players only love you when they’re playing.” With the use of guitar pedal effects to create a distinct tone, the single shines through its vulnerability and simplicity. The infectious melody propelled it to the top of the charts, securing the number one spot in the US and Canada in 1977 and selling over a million copies.
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Rumours went on to achieve similar success, becoming one of the best-selling albums of all time and the band’s defining masterpiece. Even after 46 years, ‘Dreams’ remains adored and culturally relevant. The song has found a place in popular culture, appearing in various TV shows such as The Office, Glee, Big Little Lies, and the Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, as well as the 2010 film Eat Pray Love.
The track experienced a resurgence in popularity when it became the soundtrack for a viral TikTok video a few years ago. In 2020, TikTok user Dogg Face uploaded a video of himself skateboarding and sipping cranberry juice while lip-syncing to the song. The video garnered millions of views, reintroducing ‘Dreams’ to a new generation of listeners.