It was 1977. The year Fleetwood Mac released Rumours which, flabergasting to me, was their 11th studio album. I suppose I must have thought the band had just started up with Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham’s arrival and the popularity of Rumours. But there also seemed to be a kind of a “new band hype” about the group that year… maybe it was just me. They were big though, and it was a foundational album for my lifetime love of music that’s been like an always-reliable friend.
The opening track, “Second Hand News,” is the third song I’ve posted from the album (please see my posts on “You Make Loving Fun” and “Go Your Own Way“).When thinking about it today, I can picture putting the record on the stereo at our family home in the St. Norbert suburb of Winnipeg, Canada.
Aside from all my memories of the time Rumours came out, today’s song is an opening to “Dreams” which then launches you into an album of so many moods, styles and textures, all driven by the chaotic lifestyles and relationship breakdowns within the band during its recording, and how all that influenced their artistry.
Anyway, the record was newly released, and no one in the family knew the album, to my recollection, anyway. I have an image in my mind of my mum hearing it and dancing around enthusiastically as she loved to do; music was so profoundly important to her, throughout her life. I think I had a feeling about the song back then, putting it on the record player, when she was going to hear it for the first time.
The stereo in our living room had a great sound. It must have been somewhat high-end for the times; rather good componentry in a beautifully-designed and built teakwood console/cabinet… it was sleek, modern and clean-lined, and looked something like a credenza with a flip-top that revealed the turntable and radio tuner, plus a slot for very few albums. Of all my friends, my parents had the coolest stereo setup. (Hey, that was something to be proud of, in that age. My family was of humble means, but my mum was “ferociously efficient” [as I think a brother termed it] at shopping for bargains to expand the power of modest but earnestly-earned earnings. Nonetheless, like many I imagine, I still could feel inferior to peers in the community much of the time.)
I would play the album for my friends, too, at my “listening parties,” where I’d spin a song or two from an album, take it off the turntable, pile it with the played records, then put on another LP. Some friends were annoyed by this practice, which only I seemed to follow, but I like to think of it as a precursor to the playlist that dominates the music-playing realm now.
Almost a half decade ago, Mum used a brother’s retired iPhone as a digital music player. I don’t know if “Second Hand News” was on the playlist he set up for her, though I know there would have been many of her longtime favourites. And if it wasn’t, I’m sure there were plenty that had her dancing around. What a rich memory.
Now you know a little about why this is my song of the day for today. Thanks for joining me here, and please enjoy.