Fleetwood Mac – “I’m So Afraid” – Song Discussion

This is an exciting article to write because this happens to be one of my favorite songs off of one of my favorite records from one of my favorite bands. “I’m So Afraid” closes out Fleetwood Mac’s second eponymous album released in 1975 which also includes other very well known songs from the band such as “Rhiannon” and “Landslide”. The album itself was very soft rock oriented, with mostly relaxed acoustics and easy going lyrics and melodies. “I’m So Afraid”, however, isn’t. Written entirely by guitarist Lindsey Buckingham (who also provides vocals along with Stevie Nicks) this one is mid tempo and features an organ, even drumming to keep time, and lots and lots of electric guitar.

This track doesn’t seem like much in the musical department at first until the guitar solos slowly make their way in. The most exceptional part on this entire song are the overabundance of smooth guitar solos where all the notes flow seamlessly from one to another. The low organ playing in the background makes for the perfect background filler for the guitar parts to take front and center and the drumming is also perfectly crafted to match every change in the song. All of the solos are centered around the same melody piece but change throughout the song to keep from getting repetitive along with a smaller three chord melody that’s heard at the end of every chorus that signifies a new verse. Although the song can be over five minutes in length at times (live versions tend to be a little longer while the original studio version is only around four minutes long) it never becomes unbearable to sit through and keeps the listener penitently waiting for what is to come next.

This track alone should have shattered the image that the rest of the record worked so hard to achieve. However, although this one is heavier and doesn’t seem to fit as well with the rest, being placed as the last song creates a kind of unfinished feel to the record, possibly giving fans a snippet of where the band was going to go next with their music. This is a song that is fun to watch live, especially for all of the guitar lovers out there. From very old performances of this song from the 70’s to more recent versions, the song doesn’t change much, nor does it need to. “I’m So Afraid” remains one of their best tracks to this day and is one that I’m ecstatic is still played live.


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