Fleetwood Mac

Fleetwood Mac is a rock group led by Mick Fleetwood and John McVie (whose names partially form the group's name), who had their biggest hits in the 1970s.


Once singing the blues

Fleetwood Mac is one of the world's most creative and enduring bands, whose musical diversity is matched by its rich history. The band has endured different line-ups across the UK and USA, dramatically changed musical directions, with some members falling in and out of love with each other. At their peak, they sold the biggest-selling album in history, and even though the veteran band have been making music across four decades, their last two albums (not including Greatest Hits) hit no.1 and no.3 in the Billboard charts.

The group began as Peter Green's Fleetwood Mac in 1968 by guitarist Peter Green, drummer Mick Fleetwood, and bassist John McVie, after the three left (or were fired from) John Mayall's Bluesbreakers. They were then joined by Jeremy Spencer and Danny Kirwan. Fleetwood Mac would release a series of straightforward blues albums which did moderately well in the United Kingdom. Early singles included "Oh, Well", "Albatross", and "Black Magic Woman" (which was re-recorded by Santana and became a U.S. hit).

Welch jellies the Mac

Fleetwood Mac went through many personnel changes, losing multiple lead guitarists (including Peter Green) and gaining blues singer Christine McVie (John McVie's wife). When American guitarist Bob Welch joined them, the band adopted more of a southern California country rock sound, still tempered by the blues influence of the British members. Some of Fleetwood Mac's early hits in the Welch era include "Sentimental Lady" (from 1972's Bare Trees), which Welch himself remade during his solo career in 1977, and the stirring "Hypnotized" (from 1973's Mystery To Me).

Rumours are flying

In late 1974, Bob Welch left the band, and Mick Fleetwood was left to fill the vacancy. To show Mick Fleetwood his mixing skills, Keith Olsen played a track for Fleetwood titled "Frozen Love", which he had mixed for Buckingham Nicks (Album Title: Buckingham Nicks PD 5058, Released in September 1973). Having heard guitarist Lindsey Buckingham's skills, he asked Buckingham to join the band. Buckingham agreed, on the condition that his musical partner and girlfriend Stevie Nicks also be invited to the band.

In 1975, the new lineup released the eponymous Fleetwood Mac. The album proved to be a breakthrough for the band and thus became a huge hit, and the group was catapulted into stardom. Among the hit singles from this album included McVie's "Over My Head" & "Say You Love Me", and Nicks' "Rhiannon (Will You Ever Win)".

But in 1976, with the success of the band also came the end of John and Christine McVie's marriage, as well as Buckingham and Nicks' longtime romantic relationship. Huge additional pressures were placed on the band to release a followup album, which, when combined with the newly found wealth, led to large amounts of drug and alcohol consumption.

The resulting concept album was Rumours in 1977, in which the band laid bare the emotional turmoil of the time. It became the best selling album of its time, selling over 18 million copies worldwide. The RIAA certified Rumours as a diamond album. It spawned more hit singles than its predecessor, including Buckingham's "Go Your Own Way", Nicks' "Dreams", "Gold Dust Woman" and "The Chain" (the last song credited to the entire group, but actually composed by Nicks and Buckingham, and the chorus by Christine McVie from her song "Butter Cookie (Keep Me There)". The signature bass line at the end was composed by John McVie and was used as the main theme tune for the British BBC coverage of Formula 1, before it moved to ITV. It is unclear if Fleetwood adding anything to the song at all. The lyrics were penned by Nicks, except for the line "listen to the wind blow," which Buckingham wrote. The group has said this very much a jumble of pieces of music slapped together, but it was enough to make it a staple of their concerts and FM radio.), and McVie's "You Make Loving Fun" & "Don't Stop" (the group's signature song that usually closed their live concerts).

The elephant comes to the Mac

Rumours was the peak of Fleetwood Mac's popularity. Sales of future albums declined but the band still maintained critical success. This was particularly true of the followup album. Lindsey's response to the overwhelming popularity of Rumours was to avoid making a 'sequel'. His role as producer was even more pronounced for the next album and he was largely influenced by new wave tendencies.

This resulted in the quirky double album Tusk. It was released in 1979 and spawned three hit singles: Buckingham's "Tusk", McVie's "Think About Me", and Nicks' seven-minute opus "Sara" (cut to three-and-a-half minutes for the first CD version release--it has since been restored for CD reissue). Tusk remains Fleetwood Mac's most ambitious album to date.

The band embarked on a one-year tour to support Tusk. They travelled extensively across the world including USA, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, France, Belgium, Germany, Holland, and United Kingdom,. During that time, the band recorded music for the (Live, 1980).

The next album Mirage was a return to conventionalism. Hits included: McVie's "Hold Me", Nicks' "Gypsy", and Buckingham's "Oh Diane" which went Top 10 in the UK. A minor hit was also scored by Buckingham for his "Eyes Of The World". Unlike the Tusk Tour, the band only embarked on a short tour over 18 American cities. They also headlined the first US Festival for which they were paid $500,000.

The band went on a hiatus which allowed members to pursue solo careers. Nicks released "Bella Donna", Buckingham "Law and Order" and McVie a self-titled album. All three met with relative success but it was Nicks who proved to be the most viable.

They would record one more album, Tango In The Night, in 1987. The album was hugely popular, especially in the UK where it hit no.1 three times over a year. The album proved that Fleetwood Mac still had selling power and the album spawned four hits: McVie's "Little Lies" and "Everywhere", Nicks' "Seven Wonders" and Buckingham's "Big Love".

The band intended to tour to support the album but Buckingham felt that he had paid his dues to the band, and wanted to leave. The split was not amicable but his relationship with the band would heal in later years.

The Mac carries on

Fleetwood Mac added guitarists Billy Burnette and Rick Vito and recorded more albums through the late 1980s and early 1990s, beginning with Behind The Mask, in which the group ended up with a more adult contemporary album than rock. However, Behind The Mask did go to gold, but it is often seen by music critics as a low point for the band in the absence of Lindsey Buckingham.

The Buckingham/Nicks/McVie(s)/Fleetwood lineup would reunite from time to time in the 1990s. The first time was for the inauguration of President Bill Clinton, who had made Fleetwood Mac's Don't Stop his campaign song. The second time was for a live concert in Los Angeles which resulted in the 1997 album The Dance. A hugely successful stadium tour followed the MTV premiere of The Dance which kept the reunited Mac on the road throughout much of 1997. This would be the final time the 1970s incarnation would perform with Christine McVie. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inducted Fleetwood Mac in 1998.

In 1998 Christie McVie left the band (and the US in favor of England as well) permanently to retire from touring, though not from the music buisness completly, as she released an album In The Meantime in 2004. This left Buckingham and Nicks to handle the vocals for the band's latest album, Say You Will. The album debuted at #3 on the Billboard 200 and a well-attended arena tour lasted through 2004. Band leaders Mick Fleetwood and John McVie are the only original members still with the group.


See also

External links

es:Fleetwood Mac sv:Fleetwood Mac pl:Fleetwood Mac


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