Fleetwood Mac – Seven Wonders
Most people, if asked, would say that Seven Wonders was a proper hit, so familiar has it become; and if you lived in America you’d be right, because it made a fairly respectable no.19 there. In the UK, however, it petered out at a hugely undeserved no.56 – and after 28 years I still can’t understand why.
Pretty much the perfect pop song, right? As a follow up to the no.9 peaking Big Love – a slightly more unconventional Fleetwood Mac song that introduced the flawless Tango in the Night album, Seven Wonders was the anointed Stevie Nicks smash featuring all the elements we’ve come to expect from her – melodic, gargly, mildly overblown and largely unintelligible – and in 1987 this was just fine. Yet somehow the British public decided there were 55 better records than it in its peak week. And one of those records was Songbird by Kenny G, so please take a moment to think about that.
Things took an even stranger turn when the next single, the Christine McVie penned Little Lies soared to no.5, followed a couple of releases later by Everywhere, which became the album’s biggest hit at a no.4 peak. Both deserving smashes, naturally – but no more so than Seven Wonders, which has since gone on to become one of the group’s most beloved songs, and inspired an entire season of American Horror Story.
The UK has never entirely taken Stevie Nicks to its bosom in the way that the US has. I suspect all the witchy ethereal stuff was perhaps a bit off-putting for many. With Christine McVie you can imagine having a chat over the garden fence while she hangs out her washing, but with Stevie you’d have one eye on the back door at all times wondering if you could make it inside before she enchanted you into stabbing your husband. None of this, however, distracts from the utter brilliance of Seven Wonders.
Entered chart: 11/07/1987
Chart peak: 56
Weeks on chart: 4
Who could sing this today and make it a hit? Florence + the Machine.