Tuesday, June 18, 2013

36 Years Ago Today: Fleetwood Mac's "Dreams" Hits No.1 on Billboard's Hot 100 Singles Chart

June 18, 1977: Fleetwood Mac's only No.1 single "Dreams" Topped Billboard's Hot 100 singles chart spending one week at the summit.

The track debuted on the Hot 100 on April 16, 1977 and spent a total of 19 weeks on the chart making it's last appearance on the August 20, 1977 chart.  The song took 10 weeks to climb to the top, it logged a total of 7 weeks in the top 10 and 4 weeks in the top 5.

Taken from the album "Rumours" released in April of 1977 which the following week would be certified 3X Platinum in the U.S. signalling shipments of 3 million units in the U.S.  That's huge for just over 2 months!

The members of Fleetwood Mac were experiencing emotional upheavals while recording Rumours. Drummer Mick Fleetwood was going through a divorce. Bass player John McVie was separating from his wife, keyboard player Christine McVie. Guitarist Lindsey Buckingham and Nicks were ending their eight-year relationship. "We had to go through this elaborate exercise of denial," explains Buckingham to Blender Magazine, "keeping our personal feelings in one corner of the room while trying to be professional in the other."

Nicks wrote the song at the Record Plant studio in Sausalito, California, in early 1976. "One day when I wasn't required in the main studio," remembers singer Stevie Nicks to Blender, "I took a Fender Rhodes piano and went into another studio that was said to belong to Sly, of Sly & the Family Stone. It was a black-and-red room, with a sunken pit in the middle where there was a piano, and a big black-velvet bed with Victorian drapes."

"I sat down on the bed with my keyboard in front of me," continues Nicks. "I found a drum pattern, switched my little cassette player on and wrote 'Dreams' in about 10 minutes. Right away I liked the fact that I was doing something with a dance beat, because that made it a little unusual for me."

When Nicks played the song to the rest of the group, they decided to record it the following day. Only a basic track was recorded at Sausalito. Recording assistant Cris Morris remembers that "all (they) kept was the drum track and live vocal from Stevie — the guitars and bass were added later in Los Angeles."

Christine McVie described the song as having "just three chords and one note in the left hand" and "boring" when Nicks played a rough version on the piano. McVie changed her mind, after Lindsey "fashioned three sections out of identical chords, making each section sound completely different. He created the impression that there’s a thread running through the whole thing."

"Dreams" was the second single from the Rumours album in the US, and it reached the number one spot on June 18, 1977, and held it for one week. It went to #24 in the United Kingdom as the third single, following "Go Your Own Way" (#38) and "Don't Stop" (#32).


Larry said...

Great song Stevie wrote about Lindsey!

Anonymous said...

Love this song my favorite from the Rumours lp. I feel as if I've been hearing it my whole life.

Anonymous said...

Great example of how Fleetwood Mac complemented each other to make magic. We all know that without Lindsey's genius for arrangement and production Stevie would never have become who she is. DREAMS is the core example of that. Which is not to say Stevie isn't an incredible talent in her own right - just that things can be achieved in a group that no one individual can make happen. The same can be said for Christine or Lindsey, whose songs wouldn't have had the same impact without Stevie - or each other.

Anonymous said...

Fleetwood Mac played two sold out shows at Madison Square Garden in NYC the week "Dreams" was number 1 on the charts. I was at both shows, and even though I've seen them and Stevie solo on every tour since, those shows remain a magic experience I will never forget. Fell in love with Stevie and the group on those two nights.

Anonymous said...

And in the time since hitting #1 they've worn the song into the ground.

Brian said...

with all the beautiful music they have this is my favorite of favorites it always leads me back to dreams and I never get tired of hearing this songs at her shows its one of her signature song to her shows and its blows my mind that this is the only number 1 song on the bill boards ever with all ther beautiful music.

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