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