Monday, April 30, 2007

Fleetwood Mac

@ Wiki
Fleetwood Mac (formed in July 1967) are an influential and commercially successful Anglo-American band, who have had a high turnover of personnel and varied levels of success.

The only two members who have been in the band from the beginning are its namesake drummer Mick Fleetwood and bassist John McVie. Keyboardist Christine McVie has, to date, appeared on all but two albums, either as a member or as a session musician.

The two most successful periods for the band were: during the late 1960s British blues boom, when they were led by guitarist Peter Green, and from 1975-1987, with the rock band that consisted of Mick Fleetwood, John McVie, Christine McVie, Stevie Nicks, and Lindsey Buckingham.

Fleetwood Mac's album and single sales total more than 100 million, easily making them part of the list of best-selling music artists.

Peter Green-led era (1967-1970)
Early years
Fleetwood Mac were formed in 1967 in London when Peter Green left the British blues band John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers. Green had replaced guitarist Eric Clapton in the Bluesbreakers, and received critical acclaim for his work on their album, A Hard Road. After he had been in the Bluesbreakers for some time, Green asked if drummer Mick Fleetwood could replace Aynsley Dunbar. Peter had been in two bands with Fleetwood; Peter B's Looners and the subsequent Shotgun Express (which featured a young vocalist named Rod Stewart). John Mayall agreed and Fleetwood became a member of the band.

The Bluesbreakers now consisted of Green, Fleetwood, John McVie, and Mayall. Mayall gave Green free recording time as a gift, in which Fleetwood, McVie, and Green recorded five songs. The fifth song was an instrumental that Green named after the rhythm section, "Fleetwood Mac."

Fleetwood and McVie were known for their regular drunkenness. In fact, McVie had been fired from the band several times for his drunkenness (once replaced by Jack Bruce, which led to the formation of Cream). Fleetwood was fired from the band because of his drinking problems. Green decided to leave the band and was replaced by future Rolling Stones guitarist Mick Taylor.

Formation of the band
Green contacted Fleetwood to form a new band. The pair desperately wanted McVie on bass and even named the band 'Fleetwood Mac' as a way to entice McVie. However, McVie decided that his pay with the Bluesbreakers was just too good to give up. In the meantime, Peter Green and Mick Fleetwood teamed up with talented slide player Jeremy Spencer and bassist Bob Brunning, who was in the band on the understanding that if and when McVie agreed to join, he would leave. This version of the band made its debut on August 13, 1967 at the Windsor Jazz and Blues Festival. Within weeks of this show, John McVie agreed to become the bassist for the band.

Fleetwood Mac's first album, Fleetwood Mac, was a no frills blues album and was released on the Blue Horizon label in February 1968. In fact, there were no other players on the album (except for the song "Long Grey Mare," which was recorded when Bob Brunning was in the band). The album was successful, though it did not have any singles on it. To alleviate that, the band released two singles "Black Magic Woman" (later a big hit for Santana) and "Need Your Love So Bad."

The band's second album, Mr. Wonderful, was released in August 1968. Like the first album, it was an all-blues album, but this time they had a few more frills. For example, they had it produced to sound as if it were twenty years older than it really was. They also added horns and featured a friend of the band's on keyboards, Christine Perfect of Chicken Shack.

Danny Kirwan
Shortly after the release of their second album, Fleetwood Mac added a guitarist, Danny Kirwan, to their line-up. Kirwan brought a more easy going, harmony-rich sound that was reminiscent of other bands playing in California at the time. With Kirwan, the band released its first number one single in Europe, "Albatross." Around this time, the band released its second American album, English Rose, which contained half of Mr. Wonderful, a few new songs from their new guitarist, and its third European album called The Pious Bird Of Good Omen, which was a collection of singles, b-sides, and a selection of some work the band did with Eddie Boyd.

When the band went to the United States in January 1969, they recorded many songs at the soon to close Chess Records Studio, with some of the musical "legends" of Chicago, including Willie Dixon, Buddy Guy, and Otis Spann. These would prove, however, to be Fleetwood Mac's last all-blues recordings. Along with their change of style, the band was also going through some label changes. Up until this point, they had been on Blue Horizon. With Kirwan in the band, however, the musical possibilities were too great for them to stay on a blues-only label. The band moonlighted with the Immediate label and released "Man Of The World", another European hit single. Even though the Beatles wanted the band on Apple Records, the band's manager Clifford Davis decided to go with Warner Bros. Records, the label they have stayed with ever since. Their first album for Warners, released in September of 1969, was the well-regarded Then Play On. The American release of this album contains the song "Oh Well", featured consistently in live performances until 1997. Then Play On, which was the band's first rock album, featured only the songs of Danny and Peter. Jeremy Spencer, meanwhile, recorded a solo album (he was backed by the rest of the band) that consisted of many 1950s-style rock and roll songs.

Departure of Green
Fleetwood Mac were arguably the most popular band in Europe at the time. However, Peter Green, the frontman of the band, was not in good health. He had been spiked with LSD in Munich, which began the onset of his schizophrenia. In Munich, Green penned what would be his last hit with Fleetwood Mac, "The Green Manalishi (With the Two-Prong Crown)" (which was later recorded by Judas Priest). Green's mental stability deteriorated, and he wanted to give all of the band's money to charity. The rest of the band did not concur.

Green decided to leave the band. His last show with Fleetwood Mac was on May 20, 1970. During that show, the band went past their allotted time, and the power was shut off. Mick Fleetwood kept drumming. The band, somewhat reluctantly, kept on without Peter Green and despite press reports suggesting Danny Kirwan would assume leadership, the media-savvy Fleetwood took over as leader of the band.

Transitional era (1970-1975)
Christine McVie
Danny and Jeremy were left with the task of having to fill up Peter's space in their shows and on their recordings. In September 1970, Fleetwood Mac released Kiln House. Danny's songs moved the band in the direction of 70s rock. Meanwhile, Jeremy's contributions focused on recreating the country-tinged "Sun Sound" of the late 1950s. John's wife, Christine, who had retired from the music business after one unsuccessful solo album made many contributions to "Kiln House," singing backup vocals, playing keyboards, and even painting the album cover. Since the band was sounding too "thin" at its tour rehearsals, they decided to ask Christine Perfect-McVie to join the band.

Christine was best known as the former keyboardist for Chicken Shack. She had had success with the Etta James classic, "I'd Rather Go Blind", and was twice voted female artist of the year in England. Christine McVie played her first gig as an official member on August 6, 1970 in New Orleans. CBS Records, which now owned Blue Horizon, released an album of previously unreleased material from the original Fleetwood Mac called The Original Fleetwood Mac. The album was relatively successful, and the band seemed to be gaining popularity again.

While on tour in February 1971, Jeremy Spencer said he was going out to "get a magazine", but never returned. After several days of frantic searching, the band discovered that Spencer had joined a religious group, the Children of God. Liable for the remaining shows on the tour they convinced Peter Green to help finish the tour. He brought along his friend, Nigel Watson, who played the congas (twenty-five years later Green and Watson would collaborate again to form the Peter Green Splinter Group). The band replaced Jeremy’s portion of the set with 90 minute instrumental improvisations of "Black Magic Woman". Green, however, would only be with Fleetwood Mac temporarily, so the band decided to search for a new guitarist.

Bob Welch
In the summer of 1971, the band held auditions for a guitarist in their large country home, Benifols, which they bought prior to the Kiln House tour. A friend of the band named Judy Wong recommended her high school friend, Bob Welch, who was living in Paris at the time. The band had a few meetings with Welch and decided to hire him, without actually playing with him or listening to any of his recordings.

In September 1971, the band released Future Games. This album was radically different from anything the band had done up to that point. There were many new fans in America who were becoming more and more interested in the band. In Europe, CBS released Fleetwood Mac's first Greatest Hits package, which was predominantly comprised of songs by Peter Green, though there was one song by Jeremy and one by Danny.

In 1972, six months after the release of Future Games, the band released the well-received album Bare Trees. Bare Trees featured Bob Welch's "Sentimental Lady", which would be a much bigger hit for him five years later when he re-recorded it, backed with Mick Fleetwood, Christine McVie, and Lindsey Buckingham, for a solo album. It also featured "Spare Me a Little of Your Love," a bright Christine McVie tune that would become a staple of the band's live act throughout the early-to-mid 1970s.

While the band was doing well in the studio, their tours were not going well at all. Danny Kirwan stopped eating, started drinking and became alienated from Welch and the McVies. It wasn't until he smashed his Les Paul Custom guitar, refused to go on stage, and criticised the band afterwards that Fleetwood finally decided that he had no choice but to fire Danny.

Tension in the band
The next two and a half years proved to be the most challenging for the band. In the three albums they would release in this period, they would constantly change line-ups. In September of 1972, the band added guitarist Bob Weston and vocalist Dave Walker, formerly of Savoy Brown. Fleetwood Mac also hired Savoy Brown's road manager, John Courage. Mick, John, Christine, Welch, Weston, and Walker recorded Penguin, which was released in January, 1973. After the tour, the band fired Walker because his vocal style and attitude did not fit in with the rest of the band.

The remaining five carried on and recorded Mystery To Me six months later. This album contained the song "Hypnotized", which got a lot of airplay on the radio and became one of the band’s most recognisable songs to date. While the album was a hit, things were not well within the band. The McVies' marriage at this time was under a lot of stress, which was aggravated by constantly working with each other, and John McVie's considerable alcohol abuse. During the tour, Weston had an affair with Fleetwood's wife, Jenny Boyd Fleetwood (whose sister, Pattie Boyd, was the subject of Eric Clapton’s classic "Layla"). Fleetwood soon fired Weston and the tour was cancelled.

"Fake" Mac
In what would be one of the most bizarre events in rock history, the band's manager, Clifford Davis, claimed that he owned the name Fleetwood Mac and put out a "fake Mac". Nobody in the "fake Mac" was ever officially in the real band, although some of them later acted as Danny Kirwan's studio band. Fans were told that Bob Welch and John McVie had quit the group, and that Mick Fleetwood and Christine McVie would be joining the band at a later date, after getting some rest. Fleetwood Mac's road manager, John Courage, worked one show before he realised that the line being used was a lie. Courage ended up hiding the real Fleetwood Mac's equipment, which helped shorten the tour by the fake band. But the lawsuit that followed put the real Fleetwood Mac out of commission for almost a year. The issue was who actually owned the name "Fleetwood Mac". While it would seem obvious that the band was named after Fleetwood and McVie, they had signed contracts (while they were in "altered states") that showed the band forfeited the rights to the name.

During this period, Welch stayed in Los Angeles and connected with entertainment attorneys. Welch quickly realized that the band was unknown to Warner Bros., and that if they wanted to change that, they would have to change their base of operation to Los Angeles. The rest of the band agreed immediately. Rock promoter Bill Graham wrote a letter to Warner Bros. to convince them that the "real" Fleetwood Mac were in fact Fleetwood, McVie, McVie, and Welch. While this did not end the legal battle, the band was able to record as Fleetwood Mac again. Instead of getting another manager, Fleetwood Mac decided to manage themselves.

Departure of Welch
After Warner Bros. made a record deal with them, the quartet released Heroes Are Hard To Find in September 1974. For the first time in its history, the band only had one guitarist. On the road, they added a second keyboardist. The first was Bobby Hunt, who had been in the band Head West with Bob Welch back in 1970. The second was Doug Graves, who was an engineer on Heroes Are Hard To Find. Neither lasted too long.

This tour proved to be the last one for Bob Welch. The constant touring and fighting in the band had taken its toll on Welch. He felt that he had hit the end of his creative road with the band. While his tenure wasn't a commercial success, Bob Welch provided musical and professional direction to the group, helped the band through three major crises, and left it in a situation where it had a record contract, a direct line to the record company, connections to industry insiders, no pressure from the record company, and a management situation that would help foster creativity. Thus, many feel that Bob Welch had laid the foundations for Fleetwood Mac's future.

Mainstream Success (1975-1987)
Buckingham Nicks
After Welch announced that he was leaving the band, Fleetwood began searching for a possible replacement. While Fleetwood was scouting Van Nuys, California, the house engineer for California's Sound City Studios, Keith Olsen, played him a track titled "Frozen Love" (from Buckingham Nicks, Polydor PD 5058, September 1973), which he had mixed there for an American band, Buckingham Nicks. Fleetwood liked it, was introduced to the guitarist from the band, Lindsey Buckingham, and Fleetwood soon asked him to join. Buckingham agreed, on the condition that his musical partner and girlfriend, Stephanie Nicks (better known as Stevie Nicks), also become part of the band; Fleetwood agreed to this.

Fleetwood Mac (white album)
In 1975, the new line-up released the self-titled Fleetwood Mac, which has since informally become known as their "white album" due to its cover. The album proved to be a breakthrough for the band and became a huge hit (reaching #1 in the US). Among the hit singles from this album were Christine McVie's "Over My Head" and "Say You Love Me", and Stevie Nicks' "Rhiannon" and "Landslide" (actually a hit twenty years later on "The Dance" album).

But in 1976, with the success of the band also came the end of John and Christine McVie's marriage, as well as Buckingham's and Nicks' longtime romantic relationship. Even Fleetwood was in the midst of divorce proceedings from his wife Jenny. Pressure was put on Fleetwood Mac to release a successful follow-up album, which, when combined with its new-found wealth, led to creative and personal tensions, fueled by large amounts of drug and alcohol consumption.

The album the band members released in 1977 was Rumours, in which the band members laid bare the emotional turmoil experienced at that time. Produced largely by Buckingham, it became the best-selling album of the year, spending over 6 months at the top of the U.S. chart, and was the recipient of the Grammy Award for Album Of The Year for 1977. Hit singles included Buckingham's "Go Your Own Way", Nicks' "Dreams" (sample (info)), and Christine McVie's "Don't Stop" and "You Make Loving Fun". Buckingham's "Second Hand News," Nicks' "Gold Dust Woman" and "The Chain" (the only song written by all five bandmates) also received a lot of radio airplay. By 2003, Rumours had sold over 19 million copies in the U.S. alone (certified as a diamond album by the RIAA), and a total of 30 million copies worldwide making it one of the biggest selling albums of all time.

Buckingham was able to convince Fleetwood to allow his work on their next album to be more experimental and to work on tracks at home, then bring them to the band in the studio. His expanded creative role for the next album was influenced by an appreciation for new wave music.

The result of this was the quirky double album, Tusk, released in 1979. It spawned three hit singles; Lindsey Buckingham's "Tusk", which featured the USC marching band; Christine McVie's "Think About Me"; and Stevie Nicks' seven minute opus "Sara". The latter was cut to 4½ minutes for both the hit single and the first CD-release of the album, but the unedited version has since been restored on the 1988 "Greatest Hits" compilation and the 2004 reissue of "Tusk". Somewhat surprisingly, original guitarist Green also took part in the sessions, his playing for the Christine McVie track "Brown Eyes" is not credited on the album.

Tusk remains one of Fleetwood Mac's most ambitious albums to date, although only selling four million copies worldwide. This, in comparison to the huge sales of Rumours, inclined the label to deem the project a failure, laying the blame squarely with Buckingham himself. Fleetwood, however, blames the album's relative failure on account of a major U.S. radio station playing all 20 tracks in their entirety prior to release thus allowing for home taping. Additionally, Tusk was a double album, which increased its retail price tag in stores compared to that of a single album.

The band embarked on a huge 18-month tour to support and promote Tusk. They traveled extensively across the world, including the USA, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, France, Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom. It was on this world tour that the band recorded music for the Fleetwood Mac Live album, which was released at the end of 1980.

The next album, 1982's Mirage, following 1981 solo turns by Nicks (Bella Donna) and Buckingham (Law and Order), was a return to the more conventional. Buckingham had been chided by critics, fellow bandmembers and music business managers for the limited commercial success enjoyed by Tusk. Recorded at a chateau in France, Mirage was an attempt to recapture the pop success of Rumours. Its hits included; Christine McVie's "Hold Me" and "Love In Store" (each song being co-written by Robbie Patton and Jim Recor respectively), Stevie Nicks' "Gypsy", and Lindsey Buckingham's "Oh Diane", which made the Top 10 in the UK. A minor hit was also scored by Buckingham's "Eyes Of The World".

Unlike the Tusk Tour, the band only embarked on a short tour of 18 American cities, the Los Angeles show being recorded and released on video. It also headlined the first US Festival for which the band was paid $500,000.

Following Mirage, the band went into hiatus, which allowed members to pursue solo careers. Stevie Nicks released two more solo albums (1983's The Wild Heart and 1985's Rock A Little), Lindsey Buckingham issued Go Insane in 1984, the same year that Christine McVie made a self-titled album (yielding the Top 10 hit "Got A Hold On Me" and the Top 40 hit "Love Will Show Us How"). All three met with success but it was Nicks who became the most popular. However, also during this period, Mick Fleetwood had filed for bankruptcy, Nicks was admitted to the Betty Ford Clinic for addiction problems, and John McVie had suffered an addiction-related seizure - all attributed to the lifestyle of excess afforded to them by their worldwide success. It was rumoured that Fleetwood Mac had finally broken up, however Buckingham commented that he was unhappy to allow Mirage to remain as the band's last effort.

Tango In The Night
The Rumours line-up of Fleetwood Mac recorded one more album for the time being, Tango In The Night, in 1987. Initially, like various other Fleetwood Mac albums, the material started off as a Buckingham solo album before becoming a group project. The album went on to become their best-selling release since Rumours, especially in the UK where it hit no.1 three times over the following year and was one of the biggest selling albums of the decade. The album contained four hits; Christine McVie's "Little Lies" and "Everywhere" (the former being co-written with McVie's new husband Eddy Quintela), Sandy Stewart and Stevie Nicks' "Seven Wonders", and Lindsey Buckingham's "Big Love". "Family Man" and "Isn't It Midnight" were also released as singles, with lesser success. The band intended to tour as usual to support the album but Buckingham refused. According to Fleetwood, Buckingham withdrew from Fleetwood Mac following a heated, angry exchange in August 1987. Nicks and Christine McVie have also confirmed the infamous incident taking place during various interviews, including when the band were interviewed for the British music programme Rock Steady screened in March 1990. McVie herself described the incident, which took place in her house, as "ugly". However, years later on a 2001 VH-1 Behind The Music documentary on Lindsey Buckingham, both Fleetwood and Buckingham played down the incident.

Following Buckingham's departure, Fleetwood Mac added two new guitarists to the band, Billy Burnette and Rick Vito. Burnette is the son of Dorsey Burnette and nephew of Johnny Burnette, both of The Rock and Roll Trio. He had already worked with Mick Fleetwood in Zoo, with Christine McVie as part of her solo band and did some session work with Stevie Nicks and even backed up Lindsey Buckingham on Saturday Night Live.

Furthermore, Fleetwood and Christine McVie played on his Try Me album in 1985. Vito, a Peter Green admirer, played with many artists from Bonnie Raitt to John Mayall, and even worked with John McVie on two Mayall albums. Billy was mainly added for his singing and songwriting skills and Rick for his lead guitar abilities.

The 1987-88 "Shake The Cage" tour was the first outing for this line-up, and was successful enough success to warrant the release of a concert video (simply titled "Tango In The Night"), filmed at San Francisco's Cow Palace arena in December 1987.

Capitalising on the success of Tango in the Night, and without Buckingham, the band continued with a "Greatest Hits" album in 1988. It featured singles from the 1975-88 era, and included two new compositions: "No Questions Asked" written by Nicks, and "As Long As You Follow" written by McVie and Quintela, which was released as a single in 1988 but only made #43 in the US and #66 in the UK. It did, however, reached #1 on the US Adult Contemporary charts. The "Greatest Hits" album, which peaked at #3 in the UK and #14 in the US (though has since sold over 8 million copies there), was dedicated to Buckingham by the band, with whom they had now reconciled.

Broken Chain (1987-Present)
Behind The Mask
Following the Greatest Hits collection, Fleetwood Mac recorded Behind The Mask. With this album, the band veered away from the stylised sound that Buckingham had evolved during his tenure in the band (also evident in his solo works), and ended up with a more adult contemporary style from producer Greg Ladanyi. However, the album yielded only one Top 40 hit, McVie's "Save Me". Behind The Mask only achieved gold album status in the US, peaking at #18 on the Billboard album chart, though it entered the UK album chart at #1. It received mixed reviews, and was seen by some music critics as a low point for the band in the absence of Lindsey Buckingham (who had actually made a guest appearance by playing on the title track). However, Rolling Stone magazine said that Vito and Burnette were "the best thing to ever happen to Fleetwood Mac" and the British "Q" Magazine also praised the album in their review. The subsequent "Behind The Mask" tour saw the band play sold out shows at London's Wembley Arena, and on the final show in Los Angeles, the band were joined onstage by Buckingham. The two women of the band, McVie and Nicks, had decided that the tour would be their last (McVie's father died during the tour) though both stated that they would still record with the band. However, in 1991, both Nicks and Rick Vito announced they were leaving Fleetwood Mac altogether.

The Chain: 25 Year Anniversary
In 1992, Fleetwood himself arranged a 4-disc box set spanning highlights from the band's 25 year history, entitled "25 Years - The Chain" (an edited 2-disc set was also available). A notable inclusion in the box set was "Silver Springs", a Stevie Nicks composition that was recorded during the "Rumours" sessions but was omitted from the album and used as the B-side of Go Your Own Way instead. Nicks had requested use of the track for her 1991 "Best Of" compilation "TimeSpace", but Fleetwood had apparently refused her request as he had planned to include it in this collection as something of a rarity. The disagreement between Nicks and Fleetwood garnered press coverage, and is believed to be the main catalyst for Nicks leaving the band in 1991. The box set, however, also included a brand new Stevie Nicks/Rick Vito composition, "Paper Doll", which was released in the US as a single. As both members had left the band by this point, the track was presumably a leftover from the Behind The Mask sessions. There was also a new Christine McVie composition, "Love Shines", which was released as a single in the UK and certain other territories. Fleetwood also released a deluxe hardcover companion book to coincide with the release of the box set, entitled "My 25 Years In Fleetwood Mac". The volume featured many rare photographs and notes (written by Fleetwood himself) detailing the band's 25 year history.

Some months after this, the Buckingham/Nicks/McVie(s)/Fleetwood lineup reunited at the request of U.S. President Bill Clinton for his first Inaugural Ball in 1993. Clinton had made Fleetwood Mac's "Don't Stop" his campaign theme song. His subsequent request to perform it at the Inauguration Ball was met with enthusiasm by the band, however this line up had no intention to reunite again.

Inspired by the new interest in the band, Mick Fleetwood, John McVie, and Christine McVie recorded another album as Fleetwood Mac, with Billy Burnette taking on lead guitar duties. However, just as they made the decision to continue, Billy Burnette announced in March 1993, that he was leaving the band to pursue a country album and an acting career. Bekka Bramlett, who had worked a year earlier with Mick Fleetwood's Zoo, was recruited. Traffic/solo singer/songwriter/guitarist Dave Mason, who had worked with Bekka's parents Delaney & Bonnie twenty five years earlier, was subsequently added. By March 1994, Billy Burnette, himself a good friend and co-songwriter with Delaney Bramlett, returned with Fleetwood's blessing.

The band, minus Christine McVie, toured in 1994, opening for Crosby, Stills, & Nash, and in 1995 as part of a package with REO Speedwagon and Pat Benatar. The tour saw the band perform classic Fleetwood Mac songs from the initial 1967-1974 era. In 1995, at a concert in Tokyo, the band was greeted by former member Jeremy Spencer, who performed a few songs with them.

On October 10, 1995, Fleetwood Mac released the unsuccessful Time album. Although hitting the UK Top 60 for one week the album failed completely in the US. Shortly after the album's release, Christine McVie informed the band that the album was her last. Bramlett and Burnette subsequently formed a country music duo.

The Dance
The second reunion in the 1990s also came as a surprise to critics. Just weeks after disbanding Fleetwood Mac, Mick Fleetwood announced that he was working with Lindsey Buckingham again. John McVie was soon added to the sessions, and later Christine McVie. Stevie Nicks also enlisted Lindsey Buckingham to produce a song for a soundtrack.

In May 1996, Mick Fleetwood, John McVie, Christine McVie, and Stevie Nicks made an appearance at a private party in Louisville, Kentucky prior to the Kentucky Derby (with Steve Winwood filling in for Lindsey Buckingham). A week later, the Twister film soundtrack was released, which featured the Stevie Nicks-Lindsey Buckingham duet, "Twisted", with Mick Fleetwood on drums. This eventually led to a full Rumours line-up reunion in the form of a live concert recorded on a Warner Bros. Burbank, California soundstage, which resulted in the 1997 live album The Dance, returning Fleetwood Mac to the top of the US album charts for the first time in 15 years. A successful arena tour followed the MTV premiere of The Dance, which kept the reunited Mac on the road throughout much of 1997, the 20th anniversary of their Rumours album. However, this would be the final foray of the classic 1970s lineup with Christine McVie.

In 1998, Fleetwood Mac (Mick Fleetwood, John McVie, Christine McVie, Stevie Nicks, Lindsey Buckingham, Peter Green, Jeremy Spencer and Danny Kirwan) was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and performed at the Grammy Awards program that year. They were also the recipients of the "Outstanding Contribution to Music" award at the Brits (British Phonographic Industry Awards) the same year.

In 1998, Christine McVie left the band and returned to the UK to retire from touring (though not from the music business entirely as she created a new album, In The Meantime, in 2004). This left Buckingham and Nicks to sing the vocals for the band's 2003 album, Say You Will. The album debuted at #3 on the Billboard 200 chart (#6 in the UK) and yielded AC chart hits with "Peacekeeper" and the title track, and a successful world arena tour lasted through 2004. Drummer Mick Fleetwood and bass guitarist John McVie remain the only original members still with the band.

In interviews given in November 2006 to support his Under the Skin solo album, Buckingham stated that plans for the band (including Christine) to reunite once more for a 2008 tour were still in the cards. Recording plans, however, have been put on hold for the foreseeable future.[citation needed]

Official Albums
* 1968 Fleetwood Mac (#4 UK, #198 U.S.)
* 1968 Mr. Wonderful (UK release) (#10 UK)
* 1968 English Rose (U.S. release) (#184 U.S.)
* 1969 The Pious Bird of Good Omen (UK release) (#18 UK)
* 1969 Then Play On (#6 UK, #109 U.S.)
* 1969 Fleetwood Mac in Chicago/Blues Jam in Chicago, Vols. 1-2 (#118 U.S.)
* 1970 Kiln House (#39 UK, #69 U.S.)
* 1971 The Original Fleetwood Mac (released as Black Magic Woman in the U.S.) (#143 U.S.)
* 1971 Future Games (#91 U.S.)
* 1971 Greatest Hits (#36 UK)
* 1972 Bare Trees (#70 U.S.)
* 1973 Penguin (#49 U.S.)
* 1973 Mystery To Me (#67 U.S.)
* 1974 Heroes Are Hard to Find (#34 U.S.)
* 1975 Fleetwood Mac (#23 UK, #1 [1 week] U.S.)
* 1977 Rumours (#1 [1 week] UK, #1 [31 weeks] U.S.)
* 1979 Tusk (#1 [1 week] UK, #4 U.S.)
* 1980 Live (#31 UK, #14 U.S.)
* 1982 Mirage (#5 UK, #1 [5 weeks] U.S.)
* 1987 Tango in the Night (#1 [5 weeks] UK, #7 U.S.)
* 1988 Greatest Hits (#3 UK, #14 U.S.)
* 1990 Behind the Mask (#1 UK [1 week], #18 U.S.)
* 1992 25 Years - The Chain
* 1995 Time (#47 UK)
* 1997 The Dance (#15 UK, #1 [1 week] U.S.)
* 2002 The Very Best of Fleetwood Mac (#7 UK, #12 U.S.)
* 2003 Say You Will (#6 UK, #3 U.S.)
* 2004 Live in Boston (#84 U.S.)

Additional Compilations/Outtakes Collections/Live Albums
* Live at the Boston Tea Party, Vols. 1-3 (recorded Feb 5-7, 1970. Released on Snapper, 1998-2000. A remix and expansion of countless grey-market versions of these tapes, released from 1985 on. The only tracks it lacks are an alternate live "World in Harmony" and a 3-minute bongo solo, edited out of "Green Manalishi.")
* Oh Well--Greatest Hits Live (Mainline, 1989. Most complete version of earlier rough mixes of Feb 5-7 1970 Boston Tea Party concerts. Contains the 2 variations cited above.)
* Live at the Marquee, 1967 (released 1992)
* Masters: London Live '68 (released 1998)
* Live at the BBC (released 1995) (UK #48)
* Shrine '69 (live 1969, released 1999)
* The Complete Blue Horizon Sessions 1967-1969 [Box set] (Columbia UK, 1999)
* The Vaudeville Years of Fleetwood Mac: 1968 to 1970 [Box set] (released 1999) (UK #168)
* Show-Biz Blues 1968-1970 [Box set] (Companion to "Vaudville", released c. 2002)
* Best of Peter Green's Fleetwood Mac (Columbia UK, 2000)
* Original Fleetwood Mac: The Blues Years (3-CD set, Castle, 2000)
* Jumping at Shadows: The Blues Years (Castle/Sanctuary, 2002)
* Madison Blues [Kiln House/Christine Perfect Band outtakes box set] (Shakedown Records, 2003)
* Men of the World: The Early Years (Sanctuary, 2005)

Peter Green Era
* "I Believe My Time Ain't Long"/"Rambing Pony" (Nov 1967, Blue Horizon)
* "Black Magic Woman" [#37 UK] /"Long Grey Mare" (June 1968, Blue Horizon)
* "Need Your Love So Bad" [#31 UK] "Stop Messin' Round" (UK, Blue Horizon) /"No Place To Go" (US, Epic)
* "Albatross" [instrumental] [#1 UK - 2 weeks]/"Jigsaw Puzzle Blues" [instrumental] (Jan 1969, Blue Horizon)
* "Man Of The World" (1969) [#2 UK] /"Somebody's Gonna Get Their Head Kicked In Tonight" (B-side as "Earl Vince and the Valiants") (April 1969, Immediate)
* "Rattlesnake Shake"/"Coming Your Way" (September 1969, Reprise)
* "Oh Well pts 1 & 2" [#55 US, #2 UK] (November 1969, Reprise)
* "The Green Manalishi" [#10 UK] /"World In Harmony" [instrumental] (June 1970, Reprise)

Transitional Era
* "Jewel Eyed Judy"(written for good friend Judy Wong)/"Station Man" (1970)
* "Dragonfly"/"The Purple Dancer" (1971)
* "Sands Of Time"/"Lay It All Down" (1971)
* "Sentimental Lady"/"Sunny Side Of Heaven" [instrumental] (1972)
* "Spare Me A Little Of Your Love"/"Sunny Side Of Heaven" [instrumental] (1972)
* "Did You Ever Love Me"/"The Derelict" (1973)
* "Remember Me"/"Dissatisfied" (1973)
* "Did You Ever Love Me"/"Revelation" (1973)
* "For Your Love"/"Hypnotized" (1973)
* "Heroes Are Hard To Find"/"Born Enchanter" (1974)

With Christine McVie/Lindsey Buckingham/Stevie Nicks
* "Over My Head" (1976) #20 US
* "Rhiannon" (1976) #11 US, #46 UK
* "Say You Love Me" (1976) #11 US, #40 UK
* "Go Your Own Way" (1977) #10 US, #38 UK, #9 United World Chart
* "Dreams" (1977) #1 US - 1 week, #24 UK
* "Don't Stop" (1977) #3 US, #32 UK
* "You Make Loving Fun" (1977) #9 US, #45 UK
* "Tusk" (1979) #8 US, #6 UK
* "Sara" (1979) #7 US, #37 UK
* "Think About Me" (1980) #20 US
* "Sisters Of The Moon" (1980) #86 US
* "Fireflies" (1981) #60 US
* "Hold Me" (1982) #4 US
* "Gypsy" (1982) #12 US, #46 UK
* "Love In Store" (1982) #22 US
* "Oh Diane" (1982) #9 UK
* "Big Love" (1987) #5 US, #9 UK
* "Seven Wonders" (1987) #19 US, #56 UK
* "Little Lies" (1987) #4 US, #5 UK
* "Everywhere" (1988) #14 US, #4 UK
* "Family Man" (1988) #90 US, #54 UK
* "Isn't It Midnight" (1988) #60 UK
* "As Long As You Follow" (1988) #43 US, #66 UK
* "Save Me" (1990) #33 US, #53 UK
* "In The Back Of My Mind" (1990) #58 UK
* "Love Shines" (1992)
* "Silver Springs" (1997) #41 US
* "Landslide" (1998) #51 US
* "Peacekeeper" (2003) #80 US
* "Say You Will" (2003)

* Bone Thugs-N-Harmony sample The Chain for their song Wind Blow which is on their latest CD, Strength & Loyalty.
* The Chain was used by the BBC for their Grand Prix Programme title sequence since the programme's inception in 1978 until ITV won the F1 rights for 1997.
* From its inception until the end of 1974, no incarnation of Fleetwood Mac lasted more than 18 months.

Fleetwood Mac personnel (1967)
* Bob Brunning - bass
* Peter Green - vocals, guitar
* Jeremy Spencer - vocals, guitar
* Mick Fleetwood - drums
(After McVie refused to join the band, they decided to go on with Brunning, with the understanding if McVie changed his mind, Brunning was out.)

* Peter Green - vocals, guitar
* Jeremy Spencer - vocals, guitar
* John McVie - bass
* Mick Fleetwood - drums

* Danny Kirwan - guitar, vocals
* Peter Green - vocals, guitar
* Jeremy Spencer - vocals, guitar
* John McVie - bass
* Mick Fleetwood - drums

* Jeremy Spencer - vocals, guitar
* Danny Kirwan - guitar, vocals
* John McVie - bass
* Mick Fleetwood - drums

* Jeremy Spencer - vocals, guitar
* Danny Kirwan - guitar, vocals
* Christine McVie - keyboard, vocals
* John McVie - bass
* Mick Fleetwood - drums
(Peter Green filled-in on guitars for the remainder of the tour after Spencer abruptly quit the band.)

* Bob Welch - vocals, guitar
* Danny Kirwan - guitar, vocals
* Christine McVie - keyboard, vocals
* John McVie - bass
* Mick Fleetwood - drums

* Dave Walker - vocals
* Bob Weston - guitar
* Bob Welch - vocals, guitar
* Christine McVie - keyboard, vocals
* John McVie - bass
* Mick Fleetwood - drums

* Bob Weston - guitar
* Bob Welch - vocals, guitar
* Christine McVie - keyboard, vocals
* John McVie - bass
* Mick Fleetwood - drums

* Bob Welch - vocals, guitar
* Christine McVie - keyboard, vocals
* John McVie - bass
* Mick Fleetwood - drums

* Lindsey Buckingham - guitar, vocals
* Stevie Nicks - vocals
* Christine McVie - keyboard, vocals
* John McVie - bass
* Mick Fleetwood - drums

* Rick Vito - guitar, vocals
* Billy Burnette - guitar, vocals
* Stevie Nicks - vocals
* Christine McVie - keyboard, vocals
* John McVie - bass
* Mick Fleetwood - drums

* Bekka Bramlett - vocals
* Dave Mason - guitar, vocals
* Billy Burnette - guitar, vocals
* Christine McVie - keyboard, vocals
* John McVie - bass
* Mick Fleetwood - drums

* Stevie Nicks - vocals
* Lindsey Buckingham - guitar, vocals
* Christine McVie - keyboard, vocals
* John McVie - bass
* Mick Fleetwood - drums

* Stevie Nicks - vocals
* Lindsey Buckingham - guitar, vocals
* John McVie - bass
* Mick Fleetwood - drums, cajon =>>>>>>>>>>>

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Stephen Thomas Erlewine @ All Music
While most bands undergo a number of changes over the course of their careers, few groups experienced such radical stylistic changes as Fleetwood Mac. Initially conceived as a hard-edged British blues combo in the late '60s, the band gradually evolved into a polished pop/rock act over the course of a decade. Throughout all of their incarnations, the only consistent members of Fleetwood Mac were drummer Mick Fleetwood and bassist John McVie -- the rhythm section that provided the band with its name. Ironically, they had the least influence over the musical direction of the band. Originally, guitarists Peter Green and Jeremy Spencer provided the band with its gutsy, neo-psychedelic blues-rock sound, but as both guitarists descended into mental illness, the group began moving toward pop/rock with the songwriting of pianist Christine McVie. By the mid-'70s, Fleetwood Mac had relocated to California, where they added the soft rock duo of Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks to their lineup. Obsessed with the meticulously arranged pop of the Beach Boys and the Beatles, Buckingham helped the band become one of the most popular groups of the late '70s. Combining soft rock with the confessional introspection of singer/songwriters, Fleetwood Mac created a slick but emotional sound that helped 1977's Rumours become one of the biggest-selling albums of all time. The band retained its popularity through the early '80s, when Buckingham, Nicks, and Christine McVie all began pursuing solo careers. The band reunited for one album, 1987's Tango in the Night, before splintering in the late '80s. Buckingham left the group initially, but the band decided to soldier on, releasing one other album before Nicks and McVie left the band in the early '90s, hastening the group's commercial decline.

The roots of Fleetwood Mac lie in John Mayall's legendary British blues outfit, the Bluesbreakers. Bassist John McVie was one of the charter members of the Bluesbreakers, joining the group in 1963. In 1966 Peter Green replaced Eric Clapton, and a year later drummer Mick Fleetwood joined. Inspired by the success of Cream, the Yardbirds, and Jimi Hendrix, the trio decided to break away from Mayall in 1967. At their debut at the British Jazz and Blues Festival in August, Bob Brunning was playing bass in the group, since McVie was still under contract to Mayall. He joined the band a few weeks after their debut; by that time, slide guitarist Jeremy Spencer had joined the band. Fleetwood Mac soon signed with Blue Horizon, releasing their eponymous debut the following year. Fleetwood Mac was an enormous hit in the U.K., spending over a year in the Top Ten. Despite its British success, the album was virtually ignored in America. During 1968, the band added guitarist Danny Kirwan. The following year, they recorded Fleetwood Mac in Chicago with a variety of bluesmen, including Willie Dixon and Otis Spann. The set was released later that year, after the band had left Blue Horizon for a one-album deal with Immediate Records; in the U.S., they signed with Reprise/Warner Bros., and by 1970, Warner began releasing the band's British records as well.

Fleetwood Mac released English Rose and Then Play On during 1969, which both indicated that the band was expanding its music, moving away from its blues purist roots. That year, Green's "Man of the World" and "Oh Well" were number two hits. Though his music was providing the backbone of the group, Peter Green was growing increasingly disturbed due to his large ingestion of hallucinogenic drugs. After announcing that he was planning to give all of his earnings away, Green suddenly left the band in the spring of 1970; he released two solo albums over the course of the '70s, but he rarely performed after leaving Fleetwood Mac. The band replaced him with Christine Perfect, a vocalist/pianist who had earned a small but loyal following in the U.K. by singing with Spencer Davis and the Chicken Shack. She had already performed uncredited on Then Play On. Contractual difficulties prevented her from becoming a full-fledged member of Fleetwood Mac until 1971; by that time she had married John McVie.

Christine McVie didn't appear on 1970's Kiln House, the first album the band recorded without Peter Green. For that album, Jeremy Spencer dominated the band's musical direction, but he had also been undergoing mental problems due to heavy drug use. During the band's American tour in early 1971, Spencer disappeared; it was later discovered that he left the band to join the religious cult the Children of God. Fleetwood Mac had already been trying to determine the direction of their music, but Spencer's departure sent the band into disarray. Christine McVie and Danny Kirwan began to move the band towards mainstream rock on 1971's Future Games, but new guitarist Bob Welch exerted a heavy influence on 1972's Bare Trees. Kirwan was fired after Bare Trees and was replaced by guitarists Bob Weston and Dave Walker, who appeared on 1973's Penguin. Walker left after that album, and Weston departed after making its follow-up, Mystery to Me (1973). In 1974, the group's manager, Clifford Davis, formed a bogus Fleetwood Mac and had the band tour the U.S. The real Fleetwood Mac filed and won a lawsuit against the imposters -- after losing, they began performing under the name Stretch -- but the lawsuit kept the band off the road for most of the year. In the interim, they released Heroes Are Hard to Find. Late in 1974, Fleetwood Mac moved to California, with hopes of restarting their career. Welch left the band shortly after the move to form Paris.

Early in 1975, Fleetwood and McVie were auditioning engineers for the band's new album when they heard Buckingham-Nicks, an album recorded by the soft rock duo Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks. The pair were asked to join the group and their addition revived the band's musical and commercial fortunes. Not only did Buckingham and Nicks write songs, but they brought distinctive talents the band had been lacking. Buckingham was a skilled pop craftsman, capable of arranging a commercial song while keeping it musically adventurous. Nicks had a husky voice and a sexy, hippie gypsy stage persona that gave the band a charismatic frontwoman. The new lineup of Fleetwood Mac released their eponymous debut in 1975 and it slowly became a huge hit, reaching number one in 1976 on the strength of the singles "Over My Head," "Rhiannon," and "Say You Love Me." The album would eventually sell over five million copies in the U.S. alone.

While Fleetwood Mac had finally attained their long-desired commercial success, the band was fraying apart behind the scenes. The McVies divorced in 1976, and Buckingham and Nicks' romance ended shortly afterward. The internal tensions formed the basis for the songs on their next album, Rumours. Released in the spring of 1977, Rumours became a blockbuster success, topping the American and British charts and generating the Top Ten singles "Go Your Own Way," "Dreams," "Don't Stop," and "You Make Loving Fun." It would eventually sell over 17 million copies in the U.S. alone, making it the second biggest-selling album of all time. Fleetwood Mac supported the album with an exhaustive, lucrative tour and then retired to the studio to record their follow-up to Rumours. A wildly experimental double album conceived largely by Buckingham, 1979's Tusk didn't duplicate the enormous success of Rumours, yet it did go multi-platinum and featured the Top Ten singles "Sara" and "Tusk." In 1980, they released the double-album Live.

Following the Tusk tour, Fleetwood, Buckingham, and Nicks all recorded solo albums. Of the solo projects, Stevie Nicks' Bella Donna (1981) was the most successful, peaking at number one and featuring the hit singles "Stop Draggin' My Heart Around," "Leather and Lace," and "Edge of Seventeen." Buckingham's Law and Order (1981) was a moderate success, spawning the Top Ten "Trouble." Fleetwood, for his part, made a world music album called The Visitor. Fleetwood Mac reconvened in 1982 for Mirage. More conventional and accessible than Tusk, Mirage reached number one and featured the hit singles "Hold Me" and "Gypsy."

After Mirage, Buckingham, Nicks, and Christine McVie all worked on solo albums. The hiatus was due to a variety of reasons. Each member had his or her own manager, Nicks was becoming the group's breakaway star, Buckingham was obsessive in the studio, and each member was suffering from various substance addictions. Nicks was able to maintain her popularity, with The Wild Heart (1983) and Rock a Little (1985) both reaching the Top 15. Christine McVie also had a Top Ten hit with "Got a Hold on Me" in 1984. Buckingham received the strongest reviews of all, but his 1984 album Go Insane failed to generate a hit. Fleetwood Mac reunited to record a new album in 1985. Buckingham, who had grown increasingly frustrated with the musical limitations of the band, decided to make it his last Fleetwood Mac project. When the resulting album, Tango in the Night, was finally released in 1987, it was greeted with mixed reviews but strong sales, reaching the Top Ten and generating the Top 20 hits "Little Lies," "Seven Wonders," and "Everywhere."

Buckingham decided to leave Fleetwood Mac after completing Tango in the Night, and the group replaced him with guitarists Billy Burnette and Rick Vito. The new lineup of the band recorded their first album, Behind the Mask, in 1990. It became the band's first album since 1975 to not go gold. Following its supporting tour, Nicks and Christine McVie announced they would continue to record with the group, but not tour. Vito left the band in 1991, and the group released the box set 25 Years -- The Chain the following year. The classic Fleetwood Mac lineup of Fleetwood, the McVies, Buckingham, and Nicks reunited to play President Bill Clinton's inauguration in early 1993, but the concert did not lead to a full-fledged reunion. Later that year, Nicks left the band and was replaced by Bekka Bramlett and Dave Mason; Christine McVie left the group shortly afterward. The new lineup of Fleetwood Mac began touring in 1994, releasing Time the following year to little attention. While the new version of Fleetwood Mac wasn't commercially successful, neither were the solo careers of Buckingham, Nicks, and McVie, prompting speculation of a full-fledged reunion in 1997. The live album Shrine 69 was released in 1999. Say You Will, the first Fleetwood Mac studio album in 15 years, appeared in April 2003. It also marked the group's first set without Christine McVie since 1997's live effort, The Dance. =>>>>>>>>>>>

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Fleetwod Mac @ You Tube

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More Free Music
The Fleetwood Mac Interview...
Vancouver, February, 1971

@ Rick McGrath
I remember this one very well. We were at The Bayshore Hotel, and the interview was with Jeremy Spencer and Mick Fleetwood. John MacVie and Christine Perfect were, I think. Christine had just joined the group, replacing the genius bluesman, Peter Green.

A week or so after this interview Jeremy would leave the group in Los Angeles to join the Children Of God cult... he ended up being replaced by Bob Welsh.... who hung around for five albums before going off on his own trip. A couple years later, Mick meets two kids from L.A. and invites them to join the band... and the rest is....

One sidebar: I distinctly remember Mick telling me that John McVie had only one kidney... for some reason, that nugget of rock trivia never made it into the printed interview.

Rick: You people have moved to a farm?
Mick Fleetwood: It's not a farm, it's just a big house.

Rick: And it has a studio?
Mick: Yeah, I think by the time we get back to London it will be a four-track setup, but it will be eight-track shortly afterwards. It's supposed to be eight-track, but they've still got to get hold of the heads and everything. We've done things just on normal tape recorders that would have been, with a little more care, feasible, perfectly all right. So four tracks is plenty to start with. I don't think, unless you're really planning to do huge things with synthesizers, eight-track is perfect. Sixteen track I don't think we'll ever use.

Rick: Do you see this set-up working as a Beatles or Chicago thing?
Mick: I think the idea appeals to us, to be able to do that. Initially the setup is for us, but I think if the opportunity came along where someone wasn't fortunate enough to be able to afford studio prices, which a lot of groups can't, because they don't have a good record deal or something, then obviously I think we'd very much like to do that -- record them. I think, really, it's something like that. I think it's a good idea to have somebody build a studio, not in a private house like ours, but right in the country with very pleasant surroundings where a group can actually go out for a fortnight and live in the studio... live there, sleep there.

Rick: When you record, do you work things out in the studio at all?
Mick: It has worked like that. We have done that where Danny has worked something out or when Peter was in the band, he used to work things out and, even to the extent where he used to lay a lot of the tracks down himself, you know, just go in and use the tracks. But as a rule, I'd say no, things are not super worked out. I know some bands do that.

Rick: What I'm leading up to is the problem of spontaneity in the studio. Even though you overdub, do you try and get things down in as few takes as possible?
Mick: All the time. You've definitely got it in the back of your head that the least amount of time is that you have to do it. Obviously if someone goofs up or something you've got to do it again because it just isn't right, but I think that's right, especially with singing. If you find that you're singing it time and time again, you should either leave it completely, or if you're not getting something going the way you know it should be, and you know it's wrong, you can get to a stage where you should just leave it for a week, and go in fresh. Because it is a bad thing to overdo it.

Rick: Will your new album be like Kiln House?
Jeremy Spencer: No, Chris will be on it for a start. It will have the same sort of sound, even more normal and more natural. The influences are still the same.

Rick: Where did you pick up the Blue Suede Shoes thing? Like the movements and stuff?
Jeremy: I just started in my front room playing around with an old guitar and picked it up from there. I copied the movements from old photographs. Not moving photographs, but old stills. It was just fun. I suppose every kid used to do that.

Rick: It is really effective. There seems to be a lot of old Rock doing a revival thing these days, what with Sha Na Na and Brownsville Station. Do you parody the old days, or are you really into it?
Jeremy: You've got to parody it a little bit, but I mean I really like it and I listen to it a lot.

Rick: Are you going to be incorporating anymore of it into your act?
Jeremy: For the next album?

Rick: Either for live shows or an album.
Jeremy: Oh yeah. The reason it was like that on Kiln House is because we had to do an album in two weeks.

Rick: Did you find that difficult to do?
Mick: Yeah, the whole band was in a bit of a turmoil. First of all we hadn't fulfilled our contract in making another American tour. We had to do two every year. And we had to make another record. We have to do three albums a year, and we hadn't done either of those, so we had to do one to tie in with the American tour, which isn't unreasonable at all. I mean the point is, had we not done Kiln House, we still wouldn't have had an album out now. So really, there was that reason too, but the really big reason that it was quite important that the band put out something. I mean, that was an honest thing to do. It's not something we would say "awww" to, it wasn't perhaps everything it could have been, like there wasn't much thought attached to it, in the way that you were saying, like "Do you think about it?" which, obviously, I think you should... Think about the basic format that you're going to present. Well, there wasn't much of that involved. It was just a case of really doing it, and getting into the studio and making an album. And that was it. And that's the circumstances. Chris wasn't on it, but she's in the band now, you see, so the band still hasn't got, hasn't presented anything that is really from the band. Wholly, as a unit.

Rick: And the next one will, and you'll have the time to do it.
Mick: It certainly won't happen again. But we certainly don't regret it. There were certain circumstances that were certainly not the best-to make an album under.

Rick: It's rather surprising to me that the disc turned out as fine as it did, what with all these problems. It's a fine album. When you do a live show, do you find the audience demands change very much of your set? That is, do you find yourself getting into a rut by having to play the oldies?
Mick: I don't think as a band we do that very much For instance, we don't play anything off Then Play On, or something like that. When we last came to America this album, Kiln House, wasn't out. It came out when we left. So you can imagine. Peter had just left the band, Christine had joined about four days before, and added to that we didn't play, we just did not play, anything that was familiar with what they'd heard before, so, I mean, there was a large chunk of well-known numbers that Peter used to do and we just didn't do them, so I mean, someway or another, you could have done them but it would have been a little funny doing them because you'd think we had to. I mean, a lot of people probably didn't know that Peter Green had left the band, and then we turn up with a girl that's doing material she had never heard before, because the album wasn't out, so it must have been pretty weird.
Rick: That would have been the show you did with Jethro Tull. And it was a bit unexpected. The reviewers for the other papers got everything screwed up. They thought Jerry was Peter and they didn't know who the hell Christine was. That may explain his rather lame review, because how can you remain credible when you don't even know who you're writing about. To change the subject a bit, do you think the blues revival is still as big in England?
Jeremy: No, no. The bands that just play blues these days don't seem to be doing anything. It's just not being played right. I mean, if it's being played well, I'm sure the people would like it.

Rick: Peter's new album, have you heard it?
Mick: It's a jam.

Rick: Yeah, the whole thing.
Mick: It's not a bad jam, though

Rick: Yeah, but jams are pretty limited. You have to have more than one imagination working.
Mick: They're not sparking off properly.

Rick: There's a couple of cuts that are highly suggestive, but there's a few that don't do anything for me.
Jeremy: As far as playing the guitar, Peter is good, and some of the cuts sound like wild animals.

Rick: Yeah, especially the first cut. And it's done with a wah-wah
Mick: The whole thing is wah-wah, isn't it?
Jeremy: Yeah, it seems that wah-wahs aren't very popular these days.
Mick: Well, Jimi Hendrix played it so well that I thought people were scared to use it after him because he played it the best. If you're not going to do anything different, what's the point?

Rick: What do you think about the music scene?
Mick: The record business is fucking up the whole scene. There should be more free music. I think the people are putting too much responsibility on the bands for charging too much. And it's got nothing to do with them. Think of all the bands that charge exorbitant fees.

Rick: Like Led Zipper...
Mick: And Jethro Tull. They're interested in making money. I don't blame them really; but they're not as big as they were.

Rick: That's true, and they're somewhat like The Doors, who put out their best album first. The same with Led Zeppelin. =>>>>>>>>>>>

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Mark Coleman/Mark Kemp @ Rolling Stone
There are essentially three Fleetwood Macs: the first, a British blues-rock band in the vein of the Yardbirds; the second, a dreamy, laid-back California-style pop outfit; and the third -- well, that's the '70s hit-making, dysfunctional, made-for-TV, hippie family unit we've all come to know and love from reruns of Behind the Music.

Fleetwood Mac's earliest studio albums are difficult to find, but they comprise such an essential part of the band's catalogue that you can't just pretend they never existed. Inspired by fellow British blues revivalist John Mayall, Fleetwood Mac began life as a straight-ahead blues band, named after its rhythm section: drummer Mick Fleetwood and bassist John McVie. The group's calling card, however, was the twin-guitar attack of Peter Green and Jeremy Spencer, who wielded a sure, sensitive hand with their oft-abused source material. Fleetwood Mac and En glish Rose revolve around Green's economical lead lines and Spencer's Elmore JamesÐstyle slide work; Carlos Santana plucked the guitar solo nearly intact for his own enduring version of Mac's "Black Magic Woman," from En glish Rose. Fleetwood Mac in Chicago (which wasn't released domestically until the mid-'70s) finds the group recording in the Windy City with its American blues heroes, including Willie Dixon and Buddy Guy.

Then Play On is Fleetwood Mac's transition from blues purists to a band that blends elements of psychedelia and British folk rock into a cool, blues-based stew. Adding a third guitarist, Danny Kirwan, and emphasizing Mick Fleetwood's adventurous rhythmic sense alongside Green's virtuosity, the group conjures a sparse, propulsive sound that's more reminiscent of the American West than Chicago or the Mississippi Delta. On the epic "Oh Well," an itchy electric-acoustic shuffle turns into a stately semiclassical fade with echoes of Ennio Morricone's spaghetti-western soundtrack music. More compact cuts like "Coming Your Way" and "Before the Beginning" pack the tangled guitar lines into clear melodic structures, while "Rattlesnake Shake" proves those guitar strings can still sputter and burn when required. The gentle harmonies of Kirwan's "Although the Sun Is Shining" showcase British progressive folk rock at its most spare and beautiful, as well as hints of Fleetwood Mac's future, more pop-oriented sound.

After Then Play On, Green split for a religious cult and a brief solo career (End of the Game) followed by early retirement. With Kirwan and Spencer in control, Kiln House is a low-key charmer, radically different from what folks expected from the blues-based Mac. Balancing spare folk and country songs with earnest nods to early rock & roll, the album is at once eclectic and cohesive. The gently rocking tributes to Buddy Holly (all three of 'em!) point out the differencebetween loose and sloppy, while the orgasmic guitar workouts (all three of 'em!) build to lazy, quivering peaks. Spencer left shortly after the album came out, and Fleetwood Mac was down to one guitarist. The addition of Christine McVie (nee Perfect) on keyboards and vocals turned out to be an important choice. Spencer's replacement, Bob Welch, was another matter; he never quite gelled with the rest of the group, despite his years of trying.

Flashes of Fleetwood Mac's latter-day pop can be found throughout the band's next set of transitional albums: the smooth talk of Kirwan's title track to Bare Trees; Christine's disarming "Show Me a Smile" (Future Games); her breezily melodic "Remember Me" (Penguin) and "Just Crazy Love" (Mystery to Me); and her stately ballad "Come a Little Bit Closer" (Heroes Are Hard to Find). Taken individually, however, these fair-to-middling albums are too scattershot to hold much interest. When Kirwan left the group after Bare Trees came out, Fleetwood Mac floundered for several years -- split between the heavy-handed pseudomysticism of Welch and the gentle, mainstream pop-rock balladry of Christine McVie. The group nearly splintered for good at one point; when Welch left in 1975, the McVies and Fleetwood were back at square one.

Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham were a young, Southern California folk-rock duo with one unremarkable album (Buckingham Nicks) under their belts when they joined Fleetwood Mac. Nicks' sultry voice and Buckingham's songwriting knack focused the group's fledgling pop ambitions. On Fleetwood Mac's self-titled album of 1975, Nicks and Buckingham not only fit in, but they stimulated the core trio, turning the group into a hit-making machine at the point when Fleetwood Mac was about to become a has-been. Christine McVie responded to the Buckingham-Nicks material with a brace of catchy songs, while John McVie and Mick Fleetwood lent their blues-rock punch to the smoothed-out mix. The result is easy-listening pop with a kick, and it was just what mainstream music fans were looking for in the mid-'70s. By the following year Fleetwood Mac was at #1, easily outdistancing all the band's previous efforts.

The album kicks off with Buckingham's infectious "Monday Morning" and then builds to new levels of pop-music pleasure with each subsequent track. "Rhiannon" establishes Nicks' seductive, sirenlike presence, while "Say You Love Me" unfurls Christine McVie's wry melodic edge. Unlike many blockbusters, the surrounding songs nearly equal the hits. In addition to the bouncy opener, Buckingham struts his tuneful stuff on the heavy centerpiece "World Turning" and soulful closer "I'm So Afraid." What's more, the slow tracks never impinge on the album's overall pace.

Rumours is even better. Using the same formula that propelled Fleetwood Mac, the band upped the quality of the songs. Not only did the album go to #1, it stayed there for 31 weeks! Fleetwood Mac's cast of voices cuts even deeper when you consider that the two couples in the group were breaking up as the album went down. Buckingham's "Go Your Own Way" and Nicks' "Dreams" spell out two clear takes on a romantic dilemma. Rumours can be heard as a conversation among a loose circle of estranged lovers, culminating with "The Chain" (written by the entire group). After striking such a perfect balance between self-expression and commercial appeal, Fleetwood Mac succumbed to studio artiness. The double-disc Tusk reveals Buckingham's secret fixation: to become Brian Wilson with a touch of Brian Eno thrown in. "Sara" maintains the band's pop profile, but the bulk of Tusk sounds cold and fussy next to the emotional heat of Rumours. On Mirage, Fleetwood Mac returns to simple pleasures, but the band seems to have lost its spirit. Reconvening five years later on Tango in the Night, the group carries on as if it were still 1982 -- or 1977. The hits "Big Love" and (especially) Christine McVie's "Little Lies" surge with all the relaxed soft-rock grace of yore but none of the quiet fire, hinting at a premature nostalgia. Buckingham quit the band prior to the 1987 tour; in retrospect, that last straw seems to have broken this venerable band's back.

Buckingham's L.A. cowboy replacements (Rick Vito and Billy Burnette) add little to the washed-out Behind the Mask. When Nicks left shortly after that album's release, Fleetwood Mac entered yet another phase, though short-lived. In spite of the capable vocals of new female singer Bekka Bramlett (Delaney & Bonnie's daughter) and guitar work of Traffic alum Dave Mason, Time proved to be a full-on bore. Fleetwood Mac's '70s-era lineup reunited for The Dance, but it seemed more of a business decision than an aesthetic one. In an MTV Unplugged setting, the band unavoidably devotes most of the album to repeats of its peak-era hits ("Dreams," "Rhiannon," "Go Your Own Way"), but they bring absolutely nothing fresh to the proceedings. The best cuts are new ones by Buckingham ("Bleed to Love Her" and "My Little Demon"), but they get buried in the nostalgia fest. For a band that practically became a brand-name franchise in the late '70s, Fleetwood Mac set a standard of quality that's proven tough to maintain -- or equal.

Not surprisingly, for an outfit as schizophrenic as Fleetwood Mac, none of its collections adequately captures the band. The Pious Bird is an excellent overview of the group's early Peter Green period, and the 1988 Greatest Hits package is a decent collection of the Buckingham-Nicks era. 25 Years: The Chain is frustrating; if ever there was a band for which a chronological overview is appropriate, it's Fleetwood Mac, whose evolution from blues to pop came slowly but dramatically. For whatever reasons, the compilers chose to mix and mingle the eras on this four-disc set, and it suffers as a result. =>>>>>>>>>>>

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