Single Stories: Fleetwood Mac, LITTLE LIES

Wednesday, September 1, 2021

Fleetwood Mac was not exactly in the best place during 1987. The band had struggled to record its fourteenth studio album, Tango in the Night. Singer Stevie Nicks was largely absent from the proceedings, as she was out promoting her solo album, Rock a Little. When Nicks was in the mix, she was typically disconnected from the proceedings.

Still, the group was able to pull together Tango in the Night, which went on to be Fleetwood Mac's most successful album after Rumours. Driving the album was a procession of hits: "Big Love," "Seven Wonders," and the third single taken from the LP, "Little Lies."

Released as a single in August 1987, "Little Lies" was the third smash from Tango in the Night. The song sauntered up the charts to peak at #4 on the Hot 100 for the week of November 6, 1987. The #1 song in America that week: Tiffany's "I Think We're Alone Now."

The song did even better on the Adult Contemporary chart, where it peaked at #1 October 10, 1987. It held the top spot for four weeks straight. It was overtaken by Swing Out Sister's "Breakout" for the week of November 7, 1987.

"The idea of the lyric is: If I had the chance, I'd do it differently next time," the song's lyricist, Christine McVie, once said (via Songfacts). "But since I can't, just carry on lying to me and I'll believe, even though I know you're lying."

Despite all of the success, guitarist Lindsey Buckingham would shock the rest of Fleetwood Mac later that year by announcing his departure from the band. He was replaced by guitarists Rick Vito and Billy Burnette for the tour in support of the album. Burnette played with the group off and on through 1995. Vito left in 1991. Both were invited to play with Fleetwood Mac with the band performed at  the pre-game show of Super Bowl XXVII in January 1993. Not present that day: Stevie Nicks. Watch a performance of "Say You Love Me" from that show here.

FUN FACT: "Little Lies" was the first Fleetwood Mac song issued on the cassette single format.

ANOTHER FUN FACT: Actress/singer Hilary Duff remade the song into a dubstep dance-floor tune for the TV Land show, Younger. Listen to it here.