In the vast world of social media, trends come and go, but sometimes a spark of creativity can reignite the flame of an ageless masterpiece.
Such was the case in 2020 when a viral TikTok video breathed new life into Fleetwood Mac’s legendary track, “Dreams.” Millions of users have created videos that feature the classic tune as a background track, and the result is a worldwide trend that has introduced a new generation to the band’s music.
And the source of it all, Nathan Apodaca of Idaho, achieved global fame in September of that year after posting a Tiktok of himself riding his skateboard while drinking Ocean Spray cran-raspberry juice and lip-syncing to “Dreams”.
Just another serendipitous moment that spawned a global phenomenon. That’s the internet for you.
The Birth of a TikTok Sensation
Like many viral trends, the “Dreams” challenge on TikTok started with one person’s video. Nathan Apodaca, known as @420doggface208 on the app, posted a video of himself skateboarding while drinking Ocean Spray cranberry juice and lip-syncing to “Dreams.”
Apodaca had quite a bad day after finding himself stranded after his truck broke down. And what do you do when such a thing happens? Of course, you smoothly skate your way to work on an Idaho highway as you lipsync the 1977 hit “Dreams”. That’s what cool people do, right?
The video went viral with millions of views, and soon others started creating their versions. The trend also inspired memes, merchandise, and even a response from Fleetwood Mac’s own Mick Fleetwood.
— *BLAZIN*4*1*NATION* (@doggface208) October 5, 2020
The band’s official Twitter also shared Apodaca’s video and loved the vibin’ mood.
Of course, they would more than love it! The viral video, which has amassed tens of millions of views and likes, significantly boosted the sales for “Dreams”.
We love this! https://t.co/LgMGOGZIer
— Fleetwood Mac (@fleetwoodmac) September 26, 2020
The classic Fleetwood Mac tune has re-entered the charts in major countries, even achieving a new peak in some of them, and has become Spotify’s and Apple’s most-streamed songs.
A Timeless Masterpiece
There’s a reason why “Dreams” can quickly become that popular. The song is one of the most enduring classics from Fleetwood Mac’s repertoire, a single from their best album, Rumours.
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As a song from one of the greatest albums of all time, it’s no surprise that “Dreams” has once again reached popularity, as it has done several times over the years after being featured and covered in TV series, other albums by various artists, and more.
The song, written by Stevie Nicks and features her distinctive vocals, also quickly climbed to the top of the charts after its release. What was surprising at the time though was the success of the album itself, as the band had been dealing with personal and professional turmoil at the time. Bands also rarely release something so good on their eleventh studio album, so there’s that, as well.
One of the defining features of “Dreams” is its smooth and rhythmic groove, driven by the stellar rhythm section of Mick Fleetwood on drums and John McVie on bass. The song’s infectious beat, combined with its melodic hooks, created a captivating blend of rock and pop sensibilities that make it instantly recognizable.
Impact of the Feel-Good Story We All Needed
The sales of the song notwithstanding, this whole viral phenomenon also uplifted the spirits of the people in 2020, at a time news about COVID and lockdowns dampened the mood of everyone.
Nathan Apodaca’s “Dreams” video struck a chord with audiences across the globe. His carefree attitude, combined with the catchy melody, was a breath of fresh air during uncertain times. People loved the simplicity and authenticity of the video, and it quickly became a cultural phenomenon.
Many people were inspired to create their versions of the challenge, including celebrities like Jimmy Fallon and Stevie Nicks herself. The trend also led to an increase in sales for Ocean Spray cranberry juice, which was featured prominently in Apodaca’s video.
Getting infected by the feel-good spirit, Ocean Spray had gifted Apodaca a brand new car and a trunk full of Ocean Spray goods. The car was an apt surprise to the Tiktok sensation after he shared that his old truck breaking down that fateful day wasn’t the first time.
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Faith in humanity restored, once more.
Resurgence and the Power of Nostalgia
It is not just Fleetwood Mac that has benefited from viral trends on social media. Many other artists have seen their music reach new audiences through challenges and memes on TikTok, Instagram, and other platforms.
These trends have the power to introduce younger generations to music that they may not have discovered otherwise and to bring back old favorites for fans to enjoy once again.
And it isn’t really a unique thing nowadays. Remember when the meme adherents of the internet rickrolled the whole world after successfully campaigning for a 2008 MTV Europe Music Award for Best Act Ever?
This is the culmination of decades of sending links, called rickrolling, to people who will be inadvertently exposed to an unsolicited viewing of Astley’s popular music video for the song, “Never Gonna Give You Up”. The video has long since viewed past 1 billion, a milestone very few on the platform can achieve.
Fast forward to 2022, Kate Bush’s 1985 techno-pop song, “Running Up That Hill”, also experienced a resurgence after gaining popularity after being featured in the fourth season of Netflix’s Stranger Things.
“I’ve never experienced anything quite like this before!” exclaimed the English singer after learning that her song had become her first-ever top 10 hit in the US.
Timeless music is timeless. Music is magical that way, folks.
Many of the songs that have gone viral on TikTok speak to a sense of nostalgia for past eras. From “Dreams” to “Running Up That Hill”, and to 80s hits like “Take on Me” by A-ha, these songs evoke a sense of longing for a simpler time. By tapping into these feelings, viral trends on TikTok can become a cultural touchstone.
The success of these songs on TikTok shows that nostalgia is a powerful force in music. By making use of our shared cultural memories, classic songs can and have become relevant once again.
As the music industry continues to evolve, it will be interesting to see how social media platforms like TikTok shape the way we discover, share, and enjoy music.