Sara (Fleetwood Mac song)

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"Sara"
Single by Fleetwood Mac
from the album Tusk
B-side "That's Enough for Me"
Released December 5, 1979
Format 7" single
Recorded 1978–79
Genre Rock
Length 6:22
Label Reprise
Writer(s) Stevie Nicks
Producer(s) Fleetwood Mac, Richard Dashut and Ken Caillat
Fleetwood Mac singles chronology
"Tusk"
(1979)
"Sara"
(1979)
"Not That Funny"
(1980)

"Sara" is a song written by Stevie Nicks and released in an edited version 4:37 by Fleetwood Mac as a single from the 1979 Tusk double LP (the album version of the song runs 6:22). The song peaked at #7 on the U.S. charts for three weeks, #37 in the UK for two weeks, #11 in Australia and #2 in Canada.

Origin[edit]

The song has been described as a commentary on the tangled relationships and love affairs in which the band members were participating in 1977-1978, but the final recorded version omitted most of this.

Rumors have persisted that the song is about an alleged abortion Nicks had after getting pregnant from then boyfriend Don Henley.[1] Henley himself has suggested this to be the meaning of the song.[2][3]

Stevie Nicks wrote the track on a piano, and it was very hard for Mick Fleetwood to put a drum track together for it. He used brushes to make it work.[4]

Plagiarism suit[edit]

In 1980, the year after the song was released, Stevie Nicks was sued for plagiarism by Carol Hinton of Rockford, Michigan. In latter months of 1978, Hinton had written a song called "Sara", which she had sent to Warner Brothers, Fleetwood Mac's recording label. The lyrics in Hinton's song and Stevie Nicks' song were similar. Both shared the lines, "Drowning in the sea of love" and "When you build your house, call me." Stevie Nicks defended the lawsuit by proving that she had written and recorded a demo version of the song in July 1978, months before Hinton sent her lyrics to Warner. Eventually, Hinton gave up, accepting that Nicks had not stolen her song.[5]

Versions[edit]

The version of the song featured on the original vinyl release of Tusk was the unedited 6:22 version, but when Tusk was originally released as a single compact disc in 1987 it featured the edited 4:37 version of "Sara" which leaves out the middle verse and musical bridge. It was not until the 1988 Fleetwood Mac Greatest Hits compilation was released that the 6:23 version of the song became available on compact disc.

There is also a version known as "the cleaning lady" edit, so-called as Nicks is clearly heard to say at the beginning of the demo recording, "I don't want to be a cleaning lady!" This version lasts almost nine minutes and was actually released on the 2-disc remastered version Tusk in March 2004. It contains an extended vamp, which includes excised lines previously only heard in live performances, such as, "and the wind became crazy," "no sorrow for sorrow, you can have no more," and "swallow all your pride, don't you ever change—never change." [6]

Many different versions are available on bootlegs.

Personnel[edit]

Chart positions[edit]

Charts (1979/1980) Position
Australian Kent Music Report 11
Canadian Singles Chart 2
German Singles Chart 44
French Singles Chart 31
Dutch Singles Chart 10
New Zealand RIANZ Singles Chart 17
South African Singles Chart 18
UK Singles Chart 37
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 7

Appearances in other media[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://jam.canoe.ca/Music/Artists/H/Henley_Don/2000/05/21/745953.html
  2. ^ http://bla.fleetwoodmac.net/index.php?page=index_v2&id=349&c=11%7CYears later, Henley had this to say about his affair with Nicks: "[Stevie had] named the unborn kid Sara, and she had an abortion." She then wrote the song of the same name (which became a huge hit for her) and, according to Henley, dedicated it "to the spirit of the aborted baby".
  3. ^ http://voices.yahoo.com/can-don-henley-stevie-nicks-work-together-an-5155663.html" Don Henley, in an GQ article from the early 1990's, told the world that he believed Nicks became pregnant by him, aborted the baby and named the unborn fetus Sara. Henley shared that he believed Nicks then wrote one of her most famous songs, Sara, and dedicated it to the Henley sired love child that would never be."
  4. ^ Sara Songfacts
  5. ^ White, Timothy (September 3, 1981). "With Her New Solo Album, Fleetwood Mac's Good Fairy Tries to Balance Two Careers - and Two Personalities". Rolling Stone. 
  6. ^ "Tusk (Deluxe Edition): Fleetwood Mac: Music". Amazon.com. Retrieved 2011-07-29. 

External links[edit]