Q99.7 playing Fleetwood Mac’s ‘Dreams’ as a ‘current’ song after TikTok explosion

The sudden explosive popularity of a well-worn Fleetwood Mac song from 1977 thanks to a viral TikTok video led Atlanta Top 40 station Q99.7 to add the song Oct. 15 to its playlist.

In other words, the station is spinning the sweet, airy classic like a new song alongside the latest singles by Dua Lipa, BTS and Justin Bieber.

The station is playing “Dreams" about once every three hours, which is considered a moderate level of airplay, according to Mediabase 24/7, which tracks radio airplay nationwide.

A man on TikTok Nathan Apodaca recently shot a video riding his skateboard to work lip-syncing while drinking an Ocean Spray. The video went viral and a vast array of imitators followed suit. Fleetwood Mac drummer and founding member Mick Fleetwood joined in, then Stevie Nicks did her own TikTok a few days ago putting on skates.

Q99.7 program director Louie Diaz decided to add “Dreams," a move that evokes times in the 1980s and early 1990s when older songs came back on the pop charts thanks to popularity in a movie. Examples of the time: 1961′s “Stand by Me” by Ben E. King from the 1985 film of the same name, 1963′s “Twist and Shout” by the Beatles from 1986′s “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off," 1955′s “Unchained Melody” by the Righteous Brothers from 1990 film “Ghost,” and 1976′s “Bohemian Rhapsody” by Queen from 1992′s “Wayne’s World.” In each of those cases, the songs returned to the Top 40 charts after successful runs many years earlier.

Diaz explained in a recent memo to his staff: "We will treat it like a current song. You don’t need to wait for a DJ like KYGO to remix the song. People love it as it is … So when you hear it into the Weeknd or Post Malone on Q99.7, don’t think it’s weird.” (He was referencing Kygo recently reviving the 1990 Whitney Houston cover of the 1986 Steve Winwood hit “Higher Love.”)

This highlights the power of TikTok in 2020, which brought the music of Fleetwood Mac to a younger generation.

Five other Cumulus Top 40 outlets added the song as well, according to Sean Ross, a columnist for RadioInsight, including stations in Charleston, South Carolina, and Syracuse, New York.

Diaz, in an interview Saturday, said listener reaction has been positive. He isn’t sure how long he’ll keep it on the playlist but sonically, it does work with certain songs.

“'Dreams' didn’t sound out of place on Q99.7, perhaps because when I heard it, it was coming out of ‘Circles,’ another song with a similar loping feel. It was followed by a brief whisper sweeper and Saint Jhn’s ‘Roses,’ ” wrote Ross in his column. “The segue didn’t sound abrupt; ‘Dreams’ winds to its conclusion in a way that makes it easy to schedule next to a lot of songs.”

Diaz acknowledged that in this day and age of TikTok, Snapchat, YouTube and Spotify, FM Top 40 radio is no longer the gatekeeper it was a couple of decades ago. But he feels he has a duty to respond what’s red hot in the moment, much like Lil Nas X’s “Old Town Road” last year, even if it involves a bit of out-of-the-box thinking.

He noted that “Dreams” is now one of the top 3 most checked songs in Atlanta on Shazam, the app which identifies songs for people.

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Credit: Shazam

His boss, Brian Phillips (who helped create 99X in the 1990s), approves. “I think it’s a great call,” he said. “It’s staying true to the Top 40 ethic.”

Surprisingly, “Dreams” was Fleetwood Mac’s only No. 1 hit, coming from the band’s most successful album, “Rumours.”

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