Dreams is a song about the end of a relationship. Written in just 10 minutes by Stevie Knicks in 1977, it is still one of Fleetwood Mac‘s biggest hits. It is also featured on one of the greatest albums of all time, Rumours. Even though it seemed impossible, Dreams was almost left out of Rumors. “One day when I didn’t need to be in the main studio, I grabbed a little Fender Rhodes keyboard and found a room,” Stevie recalled in a 2009 interview. I immediately liked the fact that I was writing something danceable because it was different for me,” he recalls.
Rumors is an album with many stories. It was recorded when all the band members were breaking up in their private life. Stevie by guitarist Lindsey Buckingham, John McVie by keyboardist Christine McVie, and Mick Fleetwood by his wife, Jenny Boyd. To make matters worse, Stevie and Mick embarked on a romance. Add the drugs consumed in excess and the backstage of the recordings became tense.
When Stevie played Dreams for the band nobody liked it. “I said, ‘Please, please record this song or at least try. It’s because sometimes it’s my way of playing, you have to listen,” she pleaded.
As you might imagine, Dreams was written for Lindsey in response to the aggressive Go Your Own Way. Lindsey sang to Stevie, “You can go your own way, go your own way, you can call it another lonely day“.
In Dreams she replied, “Thunder, only happens when it’s raining, players, only love you when they’re playing”. In English, “players” has several meanings. From the literal, player, to the flirt and the most subtle, musician. So she would be singing “Musicians only love you when they’re playing“. Wow.
The fact that Dreams and Go Your Own Way are both in the album Rumours only makes it even more historic. Lindsey and Stevie were barely on speaking terms at the time, and although he is said to have disliked the lyrics, in 2009 she told a different version.
“I gave him the cassette recording, it was a poor quality recording, just my voice, and a piano. Despite being furious with me at the time, Lindsey played the tape, looked at me, and smiled,” she recalled. “What was happening between us was sad, we were a couple separating, but, as musicians, we still respected each other and managed to make some brilliant songs about the separation”, he admits.
Lindsey created a new arrangement and the band approved it. Christine McVie remembers what it was like. “‘Dreams was developed in a bizarre way. The first time Stevie played on the piano, with only three notes and another one in her left hand, I thought ‘this is boring'”, commented the keyboardist in an interview. “But Lindsey, genius, came in and played three strokes taken from those three identical notes, making each session sound completely different. He gave the impression that there’s a net through the whole song,” she credits.
Today, Dreams is not just a classic covered by countless bands. It is one of the greatest hits ever made by Fleetwood Mac. Launched in March 1977, it is also the biggest phenomenon on TikTok in 2020. It started when skateboarder Nathan Apodaca, known on the platform as Doggface208, used the song in a video that went viral and reached millions of views. In it, Nathan goes down a highway, drinking juice, and singing. Stevie Knicks, Lindsey Buckingham, and Mick Fleetwood also entered with their videos in the challenge that has brought together the world with creative videos. A dream they would never have imagined coming true.