Stevie Nicks wrote the song originally circa 1979, and the earliest demo recordings were recorded in early 1980 with Tom Moncrieff for possible inclusion on her solo debut Bella Donna. However, when Nicks' friend Robin Anderson died of leukemia, the song took on a new inspiration and Nicks held it over for Fleetwood Mac. "Gypsy" was the second single release and second biggest hit from the Mirage album following "Hold Me." "Gypsy" reached #12 on the Billboard Hot 100. The video for this song, which is directed by Russell Mulcahy, was the very first "World Premiere Video" on MTV in 1982, and was the highest-budget music video ever produced at the time.
On March 25, 2009 during a show in Montreal on Fleetwood Mac's Unleashed Tour, Stevie Nicks gave a short history of the inspiration behind Gypsy. She explained it was written sometime in 1978-79, when the band had become "very famous, very fast", and it was a song that brought her back to an earlier time, to an apartment in San Francisco where she had taken the matress off her bed and put it on the floor. To contextualise, she voiced the lyrics: "So I'm back, to the velvet underground. Back to the floor, that I love. To a room with some lace and paper flowers. Back to the gypsy that I was."
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