Over thirty years after they were formed and two decades since the release of their most famous and biggest selling album, Fleetwood Mac are being honoured with the BRIT Award for Outstanding Contribution to the British Music Industry.
The Anglo/American rock group emerged from Britain’s blues boom of the late 1960s, moved to America in the mid 70s, released the 20 million selling album “Rumours” in 1977 and re-appeared last year with their million selling comeback album ‘The Dance,” During that time Fleetwood Mac have featured a total of 16 musicians in more than a dozen different line-ups built around the one remaining original member, drummer Mick Fleetwood. But it is the five piece of Fleetwood, John McVie, Christine McVie, Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks (the band that created the award-winning “Rumours” album and re-formed last year) which is acknowledged as the classic Fleetwood Man line-up and the group honoured at this year’s BRIT Awards ceremony.
Fleetwood Mac released their first hit record in 1968 and, over the next three decades, notched up a total of 25 hit singles alongside 16 chart albums in the UK, whilst their American record consists of 24 hit singles and 15 chart albums. Oddly their record of number one albums in the UK and the US over the years is exactly the same; one single and four albums reaching the top spot.
In the UK, Fleetwood Mac, with close to 800 weeks, are ranked 10th in the all-time list of weeks spent in the UK album charts while “Rumours” is second on the list of weeks on the charts by one album (443 weeks is 29 less then Meatloafs “Bat Out Of Hell”), and Mac’s 107 weeks on the album chart in 1988 puts them among the 34 artists who have notched up 100 weeks on the chart in one year.
Over in America, the band’s home since 1974, Mac are at 20 in the list of American album chart artists with over 1000 weeks and, with “Rumours”, have the top album of the 1970s and hold equal third place for most consecutive weeks at number one with 31 weeks. In 1997, Fleetwood, Nicks, McVie, McVie and Buckingham get together again to make an album and then tour America to commemorate the 20th anniversary of their 1977 landmark album Rumours and, with The Dance, the legendary Fleetwood Mac added another chapter in the story entitled ‘The Famous Five Back Again…”
July: Fleetwood Mac formed with Mick Fleetwood, Peter Green, Jeremy Spencer and Bob Brunning.
Sept: Brunning leaves and is replaced by John McVie from John MayaII’s Bluesbreakers. First single release “I Believe My Time Ain’t Long” credited to Peter Green’s Fleetwood Mac.
Mar: Debut album “Fleetwood Mac” released and reaches number four in UK. Apr Single “Black Magic Woman” makes UK top 40.
Aug: New member Danny Kirwan joins band for UK tour. Sept Single “Mr Wonderful” reaches UK top ten and features Chicken Shack’s Christine Perfect on piano.
Jan: “Albatross”, written by Green, becomes the band’s only UK number one single.
Oct: Fleetwood Mac leave original label Blue Horizon and reach UK number six with album “Then Play On”, their first for US Reprise label.
Mar: “Oh Well”, a UK number two, becomes band’s first US top 100 hit single.
Apr: During European tour Green announces intention to leave group.
May: Green plays last gig at Bath Festival.
Aug: Perfect joins group and her husband John McVie in US.
Oct: Album “Kiln House” becomes band’s first US top 75 album.
Feb: Spencer quits group during US tour and is not seen by band for two years.
Apr: US musician Bob Welch is recruited.
Aug: Kirwan leaves group and is replaced by Bob Weston and ex-Savoy Brown vocalist Dave Walker is also recruited.
May: Album “Penguin”, with Green guesting, reaches US top 50.
June: Walker leaves group which becomes a five-piece.
Sept: Weston is sacked from band after US tour is cancelled.
Jan: Fleetwood Mac relocate to Los Angeles
Nov: Album “Heroes Are Hard To Find” reaches US top 40.
Dec: Welch leaves band but US duo Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks are recruited.
Aug: “Fleetwood Mac”, album co-produced by band and Keith Olsen, is released.
Jan: “Over My Head” become band’s first US top 20 single.
Sept: Over a year after release “Fleetwood Mac” tops US album chart and is certified platinum.
Mar: Single “Go Your Own Way” becomes band’s first US top ten hit.
Apr: “Rumours” album reaches number one in US chart and remains there for 31 weeks.
Aug: “Dreams” becomes band’s only US number one single and peaks at 24 in UK.
Jan: “Rumours” tops UK album charts and band win American Music Awards for Favourite Pop/Rock Band and Favourite Pop/Rock Album.
Feb: Fleetwood Mac collect the US Grammy award for Album Of The Year.
Oct: Band are awarded a ‘Star’ on Hollywood’s Walk Of Fame.
Nov: Single “Tusk”, recorded at LA Dodger’s Stadium with marching band setting a record for number of musicians on a single, reaches UK and US top ten while album “Tusk” reaches number one in UK and peaks at four in US.
Aug: First studio album for three years, “Mirage” tops US chart for five weeks.
Aug: Buckingham announces decision to leave band.
Oct: Album “Tango In The Night” tops UK chart.
Aug: European tour features new group members Billy Burnette and Rick Vito.
Apr: “Behind The Mask” enters UK album chart at number one.
Sept: Nicks and Christine McVie announce they are leaving the band.
Nov: Band earn Gold Ticket award from New Yorlc’s Madison Square Garden for ticket sales over 100,000.
Nov: Vito quits band to go solo.
Jan: Fleetwood, Buckingham, Nicks and the McVies re-form for one-off show at US President Bill Clinton’s Inaugural concert.
Oct: Album “The Time” features new members Bekka Bramlett and ex-Traffic man Dave Mason.
Aug: Album “The Dance”, featuring Fleetwood, Buckingham, Nicks and the McVies, reaches number one in US.
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