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My Favorite Record #7 | Sheila B
My Favorite Record #7

Fleetwood Mac: Sara (Reprise, 1979)

In anticipation of Monday night’s Fleetwood Mac concert at Madison Square Garden, I will be spending the entire weekend listening to (Buckingham/ Nicks era) Fleetwood Mac. I’m currently making myself a Fleetwood Mac mix to accompany my solo trip to the Allentown Record Fair tomorrow in Pennsylvania. “Gypsy” will be first, as it is on my many attempts at the perfect Fleetwood Mac mix. And then “Sara.” Oh Sara. When I get asked to pick my all-time favorite record, I struggle between the Ronettes “Be My Baby” and “Sara.” This is a rare song; direction-less, sparse, no obvious chorus, and nearly impossible to hum. Even Mick Fleetwood was baffled, struggling to come up with a suitable drum beat. I can think of no reasonable explanation for how and why this song works, yet it is as catchy and addictive as the most glaring pop records. Stevie Nicks has this special ability to write pop songs that don’t feel like pop songs. They don’t tire after too many listens. They are understated, tough to grasp, always slipping through your fingers. So easy to get lost in. I used to fall asleep every night to “Sara,” which at six and a half minutes long felt far too short. The original demo was 16 minutes long, written by Stevie alone at the piano.

It is one of the most beautiful records ever written. I hope they play it live. 

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