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 It’s not just a rumour: Fleetwood Mac are back | The Independent→
Fleetwood Mac: Stevie Nicks, Mick Fleetwood and Lyndsey Buckingham back in the spotlight
Amidst an absolute thunder of drums, a sleek, racing Formula One bass line and a fuzzed-up guitar attack, a high male and low female voice coalesce in a gorgeous California sunshine harmony to deliver Fleetwood Mac’s key message: “You can never break the chain.”
Apparently not. They’ve been going 45 years in one incarnation or another, yet they still seem quite unlikely, a fundamentally disparate and unstable set of elements forced through sheer popularity to share a stage together with results that may well be greater than the sum of the parts but still teeter on the brink of a kind of explosive disintegration. This long-running soap opera of conflicting personalities and opposing musical styles remains extraordinarily alive and compelling.
Even without the perfect pop songs of Christine McVie (who left the soap at the end of the last century but is rumoured to be returning for a guest appearance at their London concerts this week) and unwilling to draw on nine early albums of blues rock, Fleetwood
Mac still seem to comprise at least three groups in one. There’s the British rhythm section of Mick Fleetwood and John McVie, looking all Chas & Dave in waistcoats and flat caps, driving everything along with a propulsive pub rock efficiency. Then there’s Lyndsey Buckingham’s new wave art rock energy, hopping up and down on the spot in tight pants and leather jacket as he rips out trippy, echoing guitar parts and sings snappy songs like he’s going to combust if he doesn’t get the words out. Meanwhile Stevie Nicks, the hippie wet dream now looking like a dark folk witch, still waving her scarves about and drawling poetic fantasies in a voice that no longer floats ethereally but cuts and thrusts with the Americana grit of a female Dylan. On paper, this is a combination that shouldn’t work. Yet
that sense of hanging together by a thread is part of what lends the old troupers such vitality. This may be the least comfortable excercise in nostalgia I have ever seen and all the better for it. Continue reading Fleetwood Mac, O2 Arena, Dublin, review – Telegraph→
Fleetwood Mac’s reunion with Christine McVie at the beginning of their European tour is another regeneration for this musical soap opera, says Bernadette McNulty.
Fleetwood Mac perform in Philadelphia in April this year Photo: REX
For a band that have had more than their share of “not before hell freezes over” moments, the news that Christine McVie would be reuniting with Fleetwood Mac on stage in London for two nights this week has still managed to raise eyebrows. Only last year Stevie Nicks declared that there was little chance of the Brummie songwriter returning after she walked out 15 years ago.
Admittedly, as reunions go it’s fairly perfunctory. McVie won’t accompany the tour beyond London, apparently down to her fear of flying, and she will only join her former band mates on stage for one song. That the number will be Go Your Own Way, however, does sound like the band at least have a sense of humour.
This, of course, is just another plot twist in the life of a band that has regenerated itself as often as a Time Lord. While they are most often portrayed as a baby boomer soap opera in two acts – the respected but struggling British blues combo of the Sixties who merged with the American couple Lindsay Buckingham and Stevie Nicks in the early Seventies to become multi-million selling soft-rock behemoths – the mutation of the band has been constant. Fleetwood Mac were a band born out of a splintering from the Bluesbreakers, and they continued to fuse and split with a kind of nuclear energy throughout the next four decades. Continue reading Fleetwood Mac: the Time Lords of rock – Telegraph→
Stevie Nicks is back on tour with Fleetwood Mac. Steve Adams chats to her about what fans should expect.
Rock legends Fleetwood Mac are back on the road for their first UK shows in four years and the buzz is that keyboardist Christine McVie – who quit the band in 1998 – will rejoin other members of the band’s classic line-up for at least a couple of performances.
The move has delighted singer Stevie Nicks as much as the fans, as she formed an instant bond with the band’s only other female member when she joined in 1975 alongside guitarist Lindsey Buckingham.
“I knew from the beginning when Lindsey and I joined Fleetwood Mac, that Christine and I had to really stand our ground,” says the enigmatic singer.
She was as famous for her drugs battle and rock and roll lifestyle as for her distinctive voice during the height of her fame with Fleetwood Mac.
And as Stevie Nicks returns on tour with the band, she reveals that she holds a 20-year grudge against the psychiatrist she claims prevented her from marrying and having children when he treated her for over eight years in her thirties.
The 65-year-old star accused her psychiatrist of being a gossip-hungry groupie who fed her high doses of valium to keep her coming back into his surgery.
Miss Nicks became addicted to cocaine for 10 years but following her treatment at the Betty Ford clinic in America in the 1980s she then started seeing a psychiatrist.
Published Tuesday, Sep 17 2013, 19:18 BST | By Kate Goodacre
Friends for over 30 years, Stevie Nicks and Dave Stewart joined forces in 2010 to make her first solo record in almost a decade. In Your Dreams was recorded at the Fleetwood Mac member’s home in California over a 10-month period, and spawned a behind-the-scenes documentary Stevie Nicks: In Your Dreams.
Speaking to Digital Spy at the Curzon cinema in Mayfair before last night’s (September 16) UK premiere of the documentary – produced and directed by the musicians – Nicks tells the story of how Stewart convinced her to commit what she has since described as “the happiest year of my life” to camera.
Stevie Nicks and Dave Stewart speak to the media at the ‘In Your Dreams’ premiere
“Well, [it came about] because we were doing it at my house. When I first asked Dave [Stewart] to come over and talk to me about producing the record, I had decided never to do another solo record. So, I wrote ‘Moonlight’ the year before, in Australia, and that’s when I decided I’d maybe do a record, because I’ve got to surround this song with some other songs – otherwise, what am I gonna do, put out one song, you know? Continue reading Stevie Nicks: Why I let cameras into my home for ‘In Your Dreams’ film→
Nicks told DS at the UK premiere of documentary Stevie Nicks: In Your Dreams that McVie had approached Fleetwood Mac about joining up with them again, explaining: “Well, she said she’d do it. She did not say she would do it on the last two tours.
“So, she offered and we were thrilled, and it’s great to have her back and to do a song. She’s been very, very missed, so even to have her back for a little while is going to be good.
“And it will be good to see her, I mean, we never see her, you know? We’re all so far away. I mean, London to California is far. So it’s really great that she’s decided to hang out with us for a little bit.”
McVie and Mick Fleetwood joined Nicks at the Curzon cinema in Mayfair on Monday night (September 16) for a screening of In Your Dreams, which was directed and produced by Nicks and Dave Stewart.
Stevie Nicks lectured Lindsey Buckingham in candid phone call
Published: Thu, September 12, 2013
FLEETWOOD MAC star STEVIE NICKS rebuilt bridges with her former lover and bandmate LINDSEY BUCKINGHAM by spending 90 minutes lecturing him about their 35-year friendship.
The pair lived together for five years before joining the band in 1975 but their romance ended a few years later and Nicks has been bottling up her feelings about Buckingham ever since.
The Don’t Stop hitmakers announced last year (12) they were reuniting for a tour, and Nicks poured her heart out to Buckingham in a mammoth phone call in a desperate bid to clear the air ahead of the comeback.
She tells TV show Loose Women, “We are getting along probably better than we ever have… Because about a year and a half ago I had a talk with Lindsey. I had the ‘everything I wanted to say to you for 35 years’ talk. I started in 1968 and I worked up… I started with (recalling how) he cut my fingernail off once because he decided I should practice guitar more. That was not a good move on his part. And I went from there all the way up until now.
“I said, you know, ‘Do you remember how funny and sweet we were? Do you remember how cute we were? Do you remember how when we walked in the room we were a power couple… Do you know how long it’s been since we have not been that power couple? If we are going to do this again, we’ve got to go back to the way we were.’
“He was very quiet. It was a solid hour and a half where I never stopped talking… It’s much better now since the talk. Now we walk onstage and we are holding hands.”