The singer is relieved her tip about the band’s big return has come true, writes Sarah Walters
‘I TOLD the press last year that 2013 was going to be the year of Fleetwood Mac,” comes the nervous confession of Stevie Nicks, the band’s vocalist and songwriter. “I was just hoping with all my heart that this big statement was gonna come true!”
Certainly, the UK hasn’t made a liar out of Nicks who, at the age of 65, is about to embark on a headline trip around the country’s biggest arenas. Nor, in fact, has the rest of the world: the band’s biggest selling album, 1977’s Rumours, found itself nearing the top of several worldwide charts again this year – adding hundreds of thousands more sales to the 40m copies shifted since its release.
Nicks is still a blonde stunner, and it’s hard to believe she’s preparing to celebrate her 40th year with the group in 2014; in that same year, Fleetwood Mac – completed by Mick Fleetwood (drums), John McVie (bass) and Lindsey Buckingham (vocals, guitar) since the departure of Christine “Perfect” McVie in 1998 – will reach the grand age of 47. Continue reading
SUNDAY 22 SEPTEMBER 2013
Three songs into the first European date Fleetwood Mac have played since 2009 comes the first of several magical moments as mad-eyed drummer and ringmaster Mick Fleetwood suddenly hits his monogrammed kit harder to underpin the “loneliness of a heartbeat drives you mad” lyric of the US chart-topper ”Dreams” Stevie Nicks is delivering in her trademark low yearning voice. This perfect marriage of musicians from two different countries united by a common language and purpose is part of what makes the Mac such a compelling concert attraction and must-see act into their fifth decade.
However, the main ingredient remains the soap opera of their intertwined relationships, acknowledged from the off with ”Second Hand News” from 1977’s epochal Rumours, and given a sense of closure with the apposite ”Say Goodbye” at the end. Not many set lists have a narrative arc or the feel of a group therapy session but no band, not even ABBA, have lived their personal lives in public and used this emotional roller-coaster as inspiration like the Mac. Guitarist Lindsey Buckingham, wearing a Ramones-like tight jeans and leather jacket combo, admits as much, talking about “the power of change” before an impassionate solo version of ”Big Love”. He has just been hugged by Nicks after a sublime double whammy of ”Sisters Of The Moon” and ”Sara”, two of four selections from Tusk, the somewhat self-indulgent double set the Mac issued in 1979, since reclaimed by left-field acts like Camper Van Beethoven. Continue reading
SUNDAY 22 SEPTEMBER 2013
Fiona Sturges hails the legacy of the Mac, a band who have weathered more storms than the Atlantic
Fleetwood Mac may have had their ups and downs but they sure know a thing or two about timing. Last year singer Stevie Nicks told Rolling Stone that 2013 would be “the year of Fleetwood Mac”. And so it has proved. Thirty-six years on from their 40 million-selling album Rumours, a languid, harmony-laden work about heartbreak which now resides in one in six US households, the Mac are back on top.
Since their Seventies heyday the band have been as famous for broken marriages and drug addictions as their music, and only recently has their back catalogue been deemed ripe for reappraisal. Following a series of re-issued LPs, next week their comeback tour rolls into the UK. Meanwhile, a new generation of artists are making known their appreciation. Below some of them explain the band’s appeal and pick their favourite LP from the back catalogue.
Tom McRae, solo artist
Favourite album: Rumours
“I first heard Fleetwood Mac via my older sister’s record collection, at a time when I had no concept of what was cool and what wasn’t. Fleetwood Mac didn’t connect with this country as they did in America. When I was living in LA I would turn the dial on the radio and they would come on five times.
When [1977’s] Rumours came out it was dismissed as AOR, but I think it was cooler than that. It chimed with the demographic and the technology. Where a lot of their contemporaries were playing rough-around-the-edges folk-rock, Fleetwood Mac came up with this pristine sound coupled with incredible songwriting.
Rumours is the Seventies equivalent of Thriller – every song is a potential single. What was going on privately [between warring couples Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham, and Christine and John McVie] made it that much more potent. Dylan might have got the poetry of Blood on the Tracks out of divorce, but Fleetwood Mac got all the hits.” Continue reading