I Don't Want to Know

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"I Don't Want to Know"
Japan single cover
Single by Fleetwood Mac
from the album Rumours
A-side "Oh Daddy" (Japan only)
Released 1978
Format 7"
Recorded 1976
Genre Rock
Label Warner Bros.
Writer(s) Stevie Nicks
Producer(s) Fleetwood Mac, Richard Dashut, Ken Caillat
Rumours track listing

"I Don't Want to Know" is a song written by Stevie Nicks that was first released by Fleetwood Mac on their 1977 album Rumours. It was also released as a single in Japan with "Oh Daddy." Artists covering "I Don't Want to Know" include the Goo Goo Dolls. The song was featured in an episode of Glee.


Nicks wrote "I Don't Want to Know" much earlier than the Rumours sessions but rather when she and Lindsey Buckingham were performing as a rock duo Buckingham Nicks prior to joining Fleetwood Mac.[1] The other members of Fleetwood Mac decided to use the song as a replacement for a song Nicks had written for Rumours, "Silver Springs," when they decided that "Silver Springs" would not fit on the album.[1][2] The other four band members made a recording of the song without Nicks late in the Rumours recording sessions.[2] Buckingham was able to sing Nicks' lead vocal on this version as well as the harmony vocals because he knew the song from their Buckingham Nicks days.[1] Drummer Mick Fleetwood then broke the news to Nicks that they decided that they needed to replace "Silver Springs" with "I Don't Want to Know" and wanted her to re-record her vocal part over the one Buckingham recorded for the song.[1][2] Nicks was originally very angry and did not want to cooperate with recording "I Don't Want to Know" for the album, but ultimately relented because otherwise only two songs she wrote would be on the album.[1][2]

Nicks later stated that if "Silver Springs" had to be replaced, she was glad that "I Don't Want to Know" was used, since she likes the song.[1] She particularly noted the Everly Brothers-like harmonies in her vocals with Buckingham.[1]

Lyrics and music[edit]

"I Don't Want to Know" has a country music flavor.[3][4] It is an uptempo song, which recording engineer Ken Caillat describes as "3:16 of high impact energy."[2] Fleetwood Mac biographer Cath Carrolll describes the opening of the song as being "unprepossessing" and "almost lumpen."[4] However, she claims this has a purpose, as it makes it even more powerful and energetic when the main part of the song kicks in.[4]

The lyrics provide a conciliatory view of the end of a romantic relationship.[4] Although the song was written long before the breakup of Nicks' relationship with Fleetwood Mac bandmate Lindsey Buckingham, "I Don't Want to Know" fits the pattern of the songs of Rumours where Nicks' songs, such as "Dreams" provided a conciliatory perspective and Buckingham's songs, such as "Go Your Own Way" and "Second Hand News," were more bitter.[4]

One of the lines of the song seems to be in answer to a line in a song Buckingham wrote for the previous self-titled Fleetwood Mac album.[5] On "Monday Morning", Buckingham sang the lines

I got nothing but love for you
So tell me what you really wanna do
First you love me then you move down the line.[5]

In "I Don't Want to Know" Nicks picks up the "move down the line" motif with the lines:

I don't want to know the reasons why
Love keeps right on walking down the line.[5]


Rolling Stone Magazine critic John Swenson described "I Don't Want to Know" as "pure post-Buffalo Springfield country-rock formula."[3] Carroll attributes its strength to the vocal harmonies between Nicks and Buckingham and to Buckingham's "strong country-pop guitar solo."[4] Stylus magazine critic Patrick McKay regards "I Don't Want to Know" as one of the "strongest tracks" on Rumours.[6] In his book Killing Yourself to Live: 85% of a True Story, Chuck Klosterman praised Buckingham's acoustic guitar playing in that the way you can hear the squeaking sound of his fingers sliding down the guitar strings made the opening of the song sound "organic and raw."[7] Music historian Joel Whitburn lists "I Don't Want to Know" as an essential song for downloading to an iPod.[8] Author Joe S. Harrington regards Liz Phair's "Six Foot One" as a "musical [and] spiritual descendent" of "I Don't Want to Know."[9]

The Goo Goo Dolls covered "I Don't Want to Know" on Legacy - A Tribute to Fleetwood Mac's Rumours in 1998.[10] According to Allmusic critic Stephen Thomas Erlewine, the Goo Goo Dolls rock the song up.[11] The song was used in an episode of Glee entitled "Rumours."[12] The song was performed by Cory Monteith (as Finn Hudson) and Dianna Agron (as Quinn Fabray).[12]



  1. ^ a b c d e f g Classic Albums - Fleetwood Mac - Rumours. Eagle Rock. 2005. ASIN B0007GADZE. 
  2. ^ a b c d e Caillat, Ken & Stiefel, Steve (2012). Making Rumours: The Inside Story of the Classic Fleetwood Mac Album. Wiley & Sons. pp. 294–297. ISBN 9781118218082. 
  3. ^ a b Swenson, John (April 21, 1977). "Rumours". Rolling Stone Magazine. Retrieved 2015-06-14. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f Carroll, Cath (2004). Never Break the Chain: Fleetwood Mac and the Making of Rumours. Chicago Review Press. pp. 128, 138, 144. ISBN 9781556525452. 
  5. ^ a b c Brackett, Donald (2007). Fleetwood Mac: 40 Years of Creative Chaos. Greenwood Publishing. p. 131. ISBN 9780275993382. 
  6. ^ McKay, Patrick (August 14, 2007). "Fleetwood Mac Rumours". Stylus Magazine. Retrieved 2015-06-14. 
  7. ^ Klosterman, Chuck (2005). Killing Yourself to Live: 85% of a True Story. Simon & Schuster. pp. 143–144. ISBN 9780743274487. 
  8. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2005). Joel Whitburn Presents Songs & Artists: The Essential Music Guide for Your IPod and Other Portable Music Players. Record Research. pp. 61, 207. ISBN 9780898201642. 
  9. ^ Harrington, Joe S. (2002). Sonic Cool. Hal Leonard. p. 303. ISBN 9780634028618. 
  10. ^ Verna, Paul, ed. (March 28, 1998). "Albums". Billboard Magazine. p. 55. 
  11. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Legacy: A Tribute to Fleetwood Mac's Rumours". Allmusic. Retrieved 2015-06-15. 
  12. ^ a b "Glee Rumours soundtracks". IMDB. Retrieved 2015-06-14. 

External links[edit]