How a single tweet sent a 40-year-old Fleetwood Mac song back up the charts

Billboard's Hot Rock Chart is a listing that gathers together statistics about song popularity from rock radio stations across the US. It also includes data from download and streaming services. And it's full of the great and good of modern rock, with plenty of the names you'd expect to find on such a chart: Imagine Dragons, Twenty One Pilots, Five Finger Death Punch. 

And then there's the 41-year-old classic that's currently nestling comfortably inside the Top 20. Fleetwood Mac's Dreams is the song - and it's sudden new spike in popularity is due to a single tweet.   

On March 22, 19-year-old Twitter user Mark Villasana, better known as @bottlefleet, upload a 38-second clip of The Golden Girls, an all-female dance squad from Alcorn State University in Lorman, Mississippi. Featuring prominently in the clip was the squad's captain, Elexis Wilton, dancing in explosive fashion to Dreams. 140,000 retweets and the best part of seven million views later, and the song is back in the charts.

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This being the internet, the clip isn't quite what it seems. The source of the footage was a short film shot last September as the squad entered Alcorn's Jack Jinks stadium. They were actually dancing to Stay, a 1993 hit for the UK R&B act Eternal, and this clip made its way online. @bottlefleet removed Eternal, added Fleetwood Mac, and the rest is chart history: a 36 percent surge in download sales and a 24 percent gain in on-demand streams. Even sales of Rumours, the album from which Dreams is taken, are up 12 percent. 

“I was shocked that actually somebody watched that video,” says Wilson. “People have been emailing me and just telling me, did you know your video got seven million likes?” 

This newfound fame won't stop Wilson's plans to work in sports management. "You know how the Internet is,” she says, philosophically. 

Fraser Lewry

Online Editor at Louder/Classic Rock magazine since 2014. 38 years in music industry, online for 25. Also bylines for: Metal Hammer, Prog Magazine, The Word Magazine, The Guardian, The New Statesman, Saga, Music365. Former Head of Music at Xfm Radio, A&R at Fiction Records, early blogger, ex-roadie, published author. Once appeared in a Cure video dressed as a cowboy, and thinks any situation can be improved by the introduction of cats. Favourite Serbian trumpeter: Dejan Petrović.