Fleetwood Mac – Second Hand News

One of my favorites off of the band’s most successful album Rumors.

Second Hand News” was written by Fleetwood Mac frontman Lindsey Buckingham. The turmoil making this album would have made a thrilling TV movie or soap opera…take your pick.

This song was originally an acoustic demo titled “Strummer.” But when Buckingham heard the Bee Gees’ “Jive Talkin’,” he rearranged it with more audio tracks and the rhythmic effect from “playing” the faux-leather seat of a studio chair to make it evoke a slightly Celtic feel.

On recording Rumors…Stevie Nicks: “It lasted thirteen months and it took every bit of inner strength we had. It was very hard on us, like being a hostage in Iran, and to an extent, Lindsay was the Ayatollah.”

It was not released as a single but could have been…the album peaked at #1 in the Billboard 100, #1 in Canada, #1 in the UK, and #4 in New Zealand in 1977.

From Songfacts

 It is the first track on the Rumours album – the most successful album of Fleetwood Mac’s career with sales of over 40 million worldwide, going 19x platinum in the US and 10x platinum in the UK. The band’s original drummer Mick Fleetwood calls it the most important album they ever made.

Like many of the songs on the Rumours album, this one shows a darker side in the lyrics. It’s asking you to move on, leave the singer alone. Fleetwood Mac was experiencing the shatter of all of their emotional ties with not one, not two, but three break-ups! That was the divorce of the McVies, Buckingham and Stevie Nicks breaking up, and Fleetwood going through a divorce from his wife.

In Frank Moriarty’s book Seventies Rock: The Decade of Creative Chaos, Stevie Nicks is quoted from a Creem interview in July 1977, explaining the acrid lyrics: “We were all trying to break up and when you break up with someone you don’t want to see him. You especially don’t want to eat breakfast with him the next morning, see him all day and all night, and all day the day after…”

In Bill Martin’s Avant Rock: Experimental Music from the Beatles to Bjork, while meditating on the dichotomy between Yuppies and Yippies of the ’60s/’70s, the author states: “If I had to pick the ultimate musical document of AOR [Adult-Oriented Rock]/Yuppie rock, it would probably be the 1977 album by Fleetwood Mac, Rumours.” Well, take that!

Second Hand News

I know there’s nothing to say
Someone has taken my place
When times go bad
When times go rough
Won’t you lay me down in tall grass
And let me do my stuff

I know I got nothin’ on you
I know there’s nothing to do
When times go bad
And you can’t get enough
Won’t you lay me down in the tall grass
And let me do my stuff

One thing I think you should know
I ain’t gonna miss you when you go
Been down so long
I’ve been tossed around enough
Awh couldn’t you just
Let me go down and do my stuff

I know you’re hopin’ to find
Someone who’s gonna give you piece of mind
When times go bad
When times go rough
Won’t you lay me down in tall grass
And let me do my stuff

I’m just second hand news
I’m just second hand news yeah
I’m just second hand news
I’m just second hand news yeah
I’m just second hand news
I’m just second hand news yeah
I’m just second hand news
I’m just second hand news yeah, yeah
Yeah

Author: badfinger20 (Max)

Power Pop fan, Baseball fan, old movie and tv show fan... and a songwriter, bass and guitar player.

24 thoughts on “Fleetwood Mac – Second Hand News”

  1. While I also like the band’s pre-classic era, “Rumours” is the Mac’s Mount Rushmore, IMHO. I don’t think there’s any bad tune on that record.

    Apart from obvious highlights like “Dreams”, “Don’t Stop”, “Go Your Own Way”, “The Chain” and “You Make Loving Fun” one of my favorite songs is “Never Going Back Again.” It nicely illustrates Lindsey Buckingham’s great acoustic guitar chops!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I usually stick with the ones that are not totally burned out. This one and Never Going Back Again are the ones I listen to most off of this album.

      Like

  2. a great tune which, like you say could’ve been a single…and now most “oldies” stations treat it as such. Hard for me to pick a favorite on the album but this is certainly up there.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I’ve never liked this song – always thought it would make a good accompaniment to a movie about riding a horse – such is the rhythm! (But as you know Max – I know Sweet Fanny Adams about it really!)

    Liked by 1 person

  4. It’s a sad truth that SOMEONE has to be the hardass sometimes. Lindsay was pushing them to excellence. Challenges always push one to grow but often are unpleasant at the time. Sounds like he was leaving the door open for her at the end of the song. I understand that love-hate thing very well. Can’t live with them but can’t live without them. It is a shame that Stevie booted Lindsay from the band after all of these years and the others went along with it 😦

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yea you would think after almost 40 years it would settle a little bit…but no.

      I was hoping when that happened that Peter Green would reunite with them and they would do a one off…but that didn’t happen.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. You are right…and what you mentioned on Dave’s review with a question mark…yes I think it was the pop album of the 70s. If it would have been released in the 80s…more singles would have been released.

      Like

      1. Yes they were all modest back then- then Thriller came along and had what 7 singles or something crazy and that opened the flood gates. There was a few years between Rumours and Tusk they could have just released singles during that gap! Back then there must have been an unspoken agreement or something… The Beatles could have had more singles- I believe in 1966 they had only two singles released.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yea I always wondered why the change in the 80s. It’s not like greed wasn’t there before but they must have maybe thought it would hurt the album sales? Flooding the market I guess also.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Its odd because they had no problem back then issuing an album or two in a year- but were stingy with singles- the record industry.. then it went to years between albums and each album a lot of singles…hmmmm

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