Song of the Day #4,569: ‘Dreams’ – Fleetwood Mac

Continuing the chronological presentation of my 25 favorite songs…

Tangled Up in Blue (Demo)‘ – Bob Dylan (1974)

This song is one of two selections on my list of 25 that refers to a specific version different from the official release. To be fair, Bob Dylan’s ‘Tangled Up in Blue’ would certainly make this list in its initial full-band Blood on the Tracks incarnation as well.

But the recording I’m listing was made by Dylan, alone with his acoustic guitar and harmonica, in New York City a year before the album’s release. Dylan recorded acoustic versions of much of Blood on the Tracks but was later convinced by his brother to give the songs more full-bodied treatments.

‘Tangled Up in Blue’ is one of Dylan’s greatest compositions, both lyrically and musically, and this version really showcases its genius, stripped of additional instruments and production. It’s a riveting, naked demonstration of talent.

My favorite touch is the clicking of Dylan’s cuff links as they brush against his guitar, highlighting the casual nature of this recording. Musical history was being made with the same nonchalance of an amateur guitarist practicing chords.

‘Dreams’ – Fleetwood Mac (1977)

Oh, the enduring fascination with Fleetwood Mac, and Rumours and ‘Dreams’ in particular. Just last summer, the formerly homeless Nathan Apodaca became TikTok famous when he posted a clip of himself cruising on a skateboard to this song.

He captured the vibe of this track perfectly… a laid back Southern California haze. It’s the epitome of the Laurel Canyon sound that launched dozens of artists to fame and has seen a renaissance in the past decade thanks to artists like Haim, Harry Styles and Lana Del Rey.

Stevie Nicks says she wrote this song in about ten minutes, sitting down at a piano and giving voice to her frustrations with bandmate and former lover Lindsay Buckingham. The first vocal she recorded when sharing the song with the band is the one that ended up on the album. Sometimes pure magic just happens like that.

[Verse 1]
Now here you go again, you say you want your freedom
Well, who am I to keep you down?
It’s only right that you should play the way you feel it
But listen carefully to the sound of your loneliness

[Pre-Chorus]
Like a heartbeat drives you mad
In the stillness of remembering what you had
And what you lost
And what you had
And what you lost

[Chorus]
Oh, thunder only happens when it’s raining
Players only love you when they’re playing
Say, women, they will come and they will go
When the rain washes you clean, you’ll know
You’ll know

[Bridge]

[Verse 2]
Now here I go again, I see the crystal visions
I keep my visions to myself
It’s only me who wants to wrap around your dreams
And have you any dreams you’d like to sell?
Dreams of loneliness

[Pre-Chorus]
Like a heartbeat drives you mad
In the stillness of remembering what you had
And what you lost
And what you had
Oh, what you lost

[Chorus]
Thunder only happens when it’s raining
Players only love you when they’re playing
Women, they will come and they will go
When the rain washes you clean, you’ll know
Oh, thunder only happens when it’s raining
Players only love you when they’re playing
Say, women, they will come and they will go
When the rain washes you clean, you’ll know
You’ll know
You will know
Oh, you’ll know

5 thoughts on “Song of the Day #4,569: ‘Dreams’ – Fleetwood Mac

  1. Dana Gallup says:

    Two good choices. “Tangled Up in Blue” would likely make my list as well. I might also include a Fleetwood Mac song, though I generally tend to gravitate more to the Lindsey Buckingham songs like “The Chain.”

  2. Peg says:

    Knew there had to be some Bob Dylan on your list! Love Fleetwood Mac. Good choices 😊

  3. Amy says:

    This would be one of my Dylan contenders (though it’s not yet on my list of 36 and soon to be climbing before being whittled). As much as I love this FM song (which I never associate with its title), “Landslide” was an obvious pick for me in this “slot.” That said, the skateboarding video could easily rocket this song up several notches on anyone’s list!

    • Clay says:

      I was down to ‘Landslide’ and ‘Dreams’ but ultimately it was the vibe of this song that won out… it’s hard to think of another song that feels quite this way.

  4. The Cool Guy (Daniel) says:

    I absolutely loved “Dreams” the first second I heart it. I was most taken with the space like almost futuristic sound its production evokes, when everything that I heard from “Classic rock” up to that point seemed fitting for its time. I guess that’s the mark of a timeless song, when it can be popular when it debuts, but still feel contemporary years later. “Tangled Up in Blue” is a classic Bob Dylan song and for some reason the lyrics “I helped her out of a jam, I guess. But I used a little too much force” have always stood out to me.

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