The Life of a Song: Fleetwood Mac’s ‘The Chain’ | FT.com

JANUARY 9, 2017
by: David Honigmann
FT.com

The hit was born of a romantic geometry complex enough to baffle the Bloomsbury Group

Stevie Nicks and Christine McVie perform in Atlanta, Georgia, June 1977 © Getty

In early 1975, two Americans, Lindsey Buckingham and his girlfriend Stevie Nicks, had just joined a once-famous British blues band now down on its uppers. Buckingham, a perfectionist, buzzed around showing the other members how to play their parts on the songs he was bringing to the project. The bassist was unimpressed.

“The band you’re in is Fleetwood Mac,” John McVie told him. “I’m the Mac. And I play the bass.” And that — as Mick Fleetwood, who was the Fleetwood, records in his autobiography — was that.

A couple of years later Buckingham and Nicks had been integrated into the band, and the new line-up had a successful album under their belt. It was now Fleetwood and McVie together who laid down the signature bass-and-drums riff that would define what was (with all due deference to former members Peter Green, Jeremy Spencer, Danny Kirwan and Bob Welch) the high water mark of Fleetwood Mac: “The Chain”, from their globe-conquering album Rumours. Continue reading