26th May 2017
Lindsey Buckingham and Christine McVie have got back together to sing duets, they tell Will Hodgkinson
Just when you have a handle on the Fleetwood Mac drama, the principal characters go way off script and do something nobody could have predicted. First, the songwriter and pianist Christine McVie makes a surprise return in 2013 after a 15-year absence. Now McVie has recorded a duets album with Lindsey Buckingham, the guitarist associated, through good and bad times, with the other woman in the group: one Stevie Nicks.
“This is a band where nothing fits into any formula,” says Buckingham, on an atypically stormy afternoon in Los Angeles. He is at the Beverly Hills office of Fleetwood Mac’s manager, Irving Azoff, where I have just heard a handful of songs from the forthcoming duets album. From Buckingham’s sweet, fairytale-like In My World to McVie’s breezily romantic Feel About You, the album features classic Fleetwood Mac-style soft rock, which isn’t surprising given that Mick Fleetwood and John McVie form the rhythm section. The only Maccer missing, in fact, is Nicks.
“Oh, she’s fine about it,” insists Buckingham, on what Nicks makes of her old boyfriend recording an album with her one-time ally in the male-dominated world of 1970s rock. “She was off on her own thing [a solo tour], she knew what we were doing, and it was clear early on that this wouldn’t be Fleetwood Mac. You can look at it cosmically. The universe was speaking to Christine and me, even to Stevie, for this to be a duets album.
“Doing a duets album with Lindsey was the last thing I expected,” says McVie. “We don’t hang out in the way Stevie and I do, but we do work well together, and we ended up with all this material while Stevie was off doing other things. It started when I was in LA to rehearse for the tour and it developed from there. It’s just another splinter off the tree.”