Fleetwood Mac is one of the most influential and successful rock bands of all time. They have sold over 120 million records worldwide and have been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Their music spans various genres, from blues to pop, and features distinctive vocals, harmonies, and guitar work. In this blog post, I will explore some of the highlights of their career and legacy, as well as some of the challenges and controversies they faced along the way.
Fleetwood Mac was formed in 1967 by guitarist Peter Green, drummer Mick Fleetwood, bassist John McVie, and guitarist Jeremy Spencer. They started as a British blues band, influenced by artists like B.B. King and Muddy Waters. Their first album, Fleetwood Mac, was released in 1968 and reached number four on the UK charts. It featured songs like “Black Magic Woman”, “Albatross”, and “Need Your Love So Bad”. The band quickly gained a reputation for their live performances, which showcased their improvisational skills and energy.
However, the band also faced some difficulties, especially with Green’s mental health. He became increasingly erratic and paranoid, due to his heavy use of LSD and other drugs. He left the band in 1970, after releasing the album Then Play On, which marked a shift to a more experimental and psychedelic sound. Spencer also left the band shortly after, joining a religious cult. The band went through several lineup changes, with guitarists like Danny Kirwan, Bob Welch, and Bob Weston joining and leaving.
In 1974, Fleetwood Mac relocated to Los Angeles, California, hoping to revive their career. They hired two new members: singer-songwriter Lindsey Buckingham and his girlfriend, singer Stevie Nicks. The new lineup proved to be a breakthrough for the band, as they released their self-titled album in 1975, which reached number one on the US charts and sold over five million copies. It featured songs like “Rhiannon”, “Say You Love Me”, and “Landslide”. The band’s popularity soared, as they toured extensively and gained a loyal fan base.
However, the success also came with a price. The band’s personal relationships became strained and turbulent, as they dealt with infidelity, divorce, drug abuse, and creative differences. These tensions were reflected in their next album, Rumours, which was released in 1977 and became one of the best-selling albums of all time. It sold over 40 million copies worldwide and won the Grammy Award for Album of the Year. It featured songs like “Go Your Own Way”, “Dreams”, “Don’t Stop”, and “The Chain”. The album captured the raw emotions and drama of the band’s situation, as well as their musical chemistry and craftsmanship.
The band continued to produce successful albums in the following years, such as Tusk (1979), Mirage (1982), and Tango in the Night (1987), but also faced more challenges and changes. Buckingham left the band in 1987, after a heated argument with Nicks. He was replaced by guitarists Billy Burnette and Rick Vito. The band went on a hiatus in 1990, after Nicks decided to focus on her solo career. They reunited in 1993 for President Bill Clinton’s inauguration ball, as he had used their song “Don’t Stop” as his campaign theme song.
In 1997, Fleetwood Mac released a live album called The Dance, which featured the classic lineup of Fleetwood, McVie, McVie, Buckingham, and Nicks. The album was a huge success, reaching number one on the US charts and selling over five million copies. It also spawned a successful tour and a TV special. The band was honored with the Brit Award for Outstanding Contribution to Music in 1998.
The band has continued to record and perform in the 21st century, albeit with some hiatuses and lineup changes. In 2003, they released Say You Will, which was their first studio album without Christine McVie since 1970. She rejoined the band in 2014 for a reunion tour called On with the Show. In 2018, Buckingham was fired from the band due to disagreements over touring plans. He was replaced by guitarists Mike Campbell and Neil Finn.
Fleetwood Mac is widely regarded as one of the greatest bands of all time. They have influenced countless artists across genres and generations. They have also overcome many obstacles and challenges in their long and storied career. They have shown resilience, creativity, and passion for their music. They have created some of the most memorable songs in rock history. They are Fleetwood Mac.