Imagine, if you will, you’re a teenage blues rock fan in 1974 recovering from the odd new melodic sound of one of your favorite bands, Fleetwood Mac. After their 1974 album Heroes Are Hard to Find was much more chart-friendly than previous outings, you start to wonder what kind of band this will become. It’s even more shocking to find out that Fleetwood Mac have apparently changed their scenery from bustling England to sunny California. More so, two new members have joined the band, and when you go to find out what music they’ve done in the past, you’re shocked to find an album cover featuring a couple that look more like models than rock stars. Fast forward to July the next year as you pick up Fleetwood Mac’s brand new album. To you, the blues-rock junkie looking for dirty riffs and Elmore James covers, what you hear is a more shocking musical departure than the last record. But to someone else, say the hot next door neighbor you’ve been crushing on since pre-k with long blonde hair and sunflowers on her sun dress, who rides with top down in her car, it’s the coolest album around.
Today is the 40th anniversary of the album that gave everyone a sneak peek of the sound that would turn Fleetwood Mac into superstars. It makes sense that the band’s first self-titled album (their 1968 debut) has been re-dubbed Peter Green’s Fleetwood Mac over the years, since the 1975 self-titled album served as a new identity for the band. Hints of folk, country, and FM-friendly pop rock are all over the 1975 album thanks to the presence of finger-picking Lindsey Buckingham and cooing gypsy woman Stevie Nicks. Funny enough, Nicks only joined the band as a package deal with Buckingham, as he only joined the band on the condition that Nicks (his girlfriend at the time) join too. Since bassist John McVie and keyboardist Christine McVie didn’t want to be hypocrites (they were married at the time), they and drummer Mick Fleetwood (the only man from the original line-up) brought the duo on board, and the rest is history.