It really should be a Fleetwood Mac album. The debut duo album from Lindsey Buckingham and Christine McVie sounds like a Fleetwood Mac album but is missing one essential voice: Stevie Nicks.
30 minutes with…
Thurs 1st June 2017
The guitarist talks about how Christine McVie – with whom he has recorded a duet album – rejoined the band
Hello Lindsey. Where are you? I’m in London and it’s quite hot.
I’m in Los Angeles and you’d think it would be hotter, but it’s actually quite cool.
What have you done so far today?
I’ve got three kids who are all in the last couple of weeks of school so my wife and I got up, had coffee and breakfast, and got the kids off to school. I went out and took my morning walk up a hill and down to get the blood going, then had a shower, and immediately got on the phone to do interviews.
Now here we are.
Here we are. A little bit later, I’m off to rehearsals. We’ve got a couple of Fleetwood Mac festival shows, but they’re interspersed with Christine and I doing a few dates – we’re starting off by doing 20 or so shows.
Let’s talk a bit about your new album with Christine  before I subtly manoeuvre the conversation on to demanding information about the new Fleetwood Mac album. A lot of it was done remotely, is that right?
Well, only initially. It was done in stages – before Christine decided to rejoin Fleetwood Mac, Mick Fleetwood, John McVie and I had gone into the studio, just the three of us, to cut some of my songs. We put that material on the shelf. A year after that, Christine phoned up Mick and was nosing around about wanting to rejoin the band.
Yes! I don’t think she assumed we’d necessarily be OK with it — we had been doing quite well as a four-piece. I think she was trying to nose around to see if there was any openness to it before she got too assertive or specific about it.  I had to have a conversation with Christine and say: “Well, we’d love you to come back, but you can’t leave again.” She told me she’d been reconnecting with her creative muse and had some rough ideas she sent to me – I, of course, took great liberties with them in my studio. And she was interested in these songs I’d been working on, and Mick and John thought it would be good to bring her over early and cut tracks on some of these things. It was unbelievable. We only expected to do it for a couple of weeks but we stayed for a month. Nobody was saying it was a duet album – we didn’t care what it was!
So riddle-me-ree: given that this album has involvement from so many members of the band, how many songs could have been Fleetwood Mac songs?
That’s sort of a question you can’t answer …
Have a go.
Well, defining something being a Fleetwood Mac song is calling it a Fleetwood Mac song, you know? Nothing becomes Fleetwood Mac until that’s what you call it. The thing that defines this duet album as being a duet album is that it has elements of what I’ve learned over the last 15 years and brought to my own work, which is away from the palette of Fleetwood Mac. But there’s also a heart that exists by the symmetry of being only the two of us.
June 2nd, 2017
It’s a Monday after noon on the Sony Pictures Lot when I drive on to meet Fleetwood Mac’s Lindsey Buckingham and Christine McVie as the two iconic singer/songwriters rehearse for their upcoming tour in celebration of Lindsey Buckingham/Christine McVie, their first album as the duo of Buckingham and McVie.
When I tell the guard who I am there to see, he replies, “Really? I love them both.” In hindsight, it is no surprise. Maybe more than any other band, Fleetwood Mac defined the marriage of pop and rock, crafting some of the most beloved and iconic songs of the rock era. Between the two of them, Buckingham and McVie wrote or played a part in “Go Your Own Way,” “Never Going Back Again,” “Over My Head” and the sublime “Songbird,” among countless more rock era standards.
Given the beauty, majesty and universality they have conveyed so many times before it’s not surprising that in rediscovering their musical connection after almost two decades apart the pair of Buckingham and McVie have crafted arguably the perfect album for 2017. While most of music understandably tries to make sense of and protest the current administration and the continued global atrocities happening on a daily basis, Buckingham and McVie have delivered an album of hope and optimism, one that brings a much-needed sweetness back to the world of music for a sublime 45 minutes of near perfect pop.
I was fortunate to speak with the two greats about the superb new album.
Steve Baltin: This is day six of rehearsals?
Lindsey Buckingham: Yes, we came in and basically did a lot of prep, which we thought was only gonna take a couple of days and someone had given us a lot of stuff that was not usable and we had to start over. Took most of the first week, so there wasn’t a lot of getting up and playing the first week.
Fleetwood Mac’s guitarist and keyboardist team up for a new album
Pre-Order the CD and Vinyl below
People often think of Fleetwood Mac as a band propelled to artistic eminence by interpersonal turmoil. Who could forget that Rumours, the band’s defining album, was the product of a period of libertine excess and relational meltdowns? Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks were on the rocks, Christine McVie and John McVie were divorcing and Mick Fleetwood’s civilian marriage was disintegrating, too. Long before bloggers began parsing insinuating lyrics from Taylor Swift and others who’ve passed through her orbit, there was perverse sport in scrutinizing the wistful, wounded or prickly lines in Fleetwood Mac songs, not to mention group members’ on-the-record comments and on-stage interactions, for evidence of unresolved conflict.
No such history hangs over the pairing of Buckingham and Christine McVie, he a famously exacting guitarist and producer, she a blues-schooled keyboardist, and each of them singers and songwriters responsible for significant chunks of their band’s discography. Over the decades they’ve ventured into a handful of direct collaborations, but they haven’t truly explored the potential of their partnership until now. Their album features most of the band’s classic lineup (notably, minus Nicks), but gets its identity from ideas generated within the closed circuit of the duo; all of the songs are credited to Buckingham, McVie or both. Continue reading
By CLAIR WOODWARD
PUBLISHED: 00:01, Sun, May 28, 2017
FLEETWOOD Mac star Christine McVie reveals why she returned to the spotlight with her band… and a new duet album.
The new album from Fleetwood Mac’s Lindsey Buckingham and Christine McVie feels like a big, warm hug.
The great melodies, intimate harmonies and terrific arrangements are instantly recognisable as coming from two of the band’s songwriters yet they’re new and intriguing enough to make it more than just another side project from an iconic group.
And for Christine, 73 – the understated genius behind the keyboards in Fleetwood Mac and writer of some of their most recognisable songs (Don’t Stop, Little Lies, Say You Love Me, Hold Me and Everywhere) – the sensation of reconnecting with old friends was the inspiration behind the new collaboration.
She officially retired from the band in 1998, after stepping away from touring a few years earlier, and it was her return to it for the 2015 reunion tour that sparked the collaboration with Lindsey.
“The whole band was just chemistry abounding but Lindsey and I, me being the piano player and him the guitar player, understand each other musically without saying anything.
“We’ve always worked well together over the years but never thought about doing an album together until recently and now we wonder why we didn’t think about doing it before.
Lindsey Buckingham & Christine McVie ****
Lindsey Buckingham & Christine McVie
EAST WEST. CD/DL
Fleetwood Mac’s new not-quite Fleetwood Mac album
The party line is that Stevie Nicks’ solo commitments have forced Fleetwood Mac to put their next album on hold. But as the recent Tango In The Night reissue proved, Lindsey Buckingham and Christine McVie were often the band’s great unsung partnership.
Confusingly, this duets album also includes bass guitarist John McVie and drummer Mick Fleetwood, making it essentially Fleetwood Mac, minus Nicks.
McVie brings the sing-song pop (Feel About You, Red Sun) and the slightly cloying Game Of Pretend; Buckingham, the whispered vocals and fingernail-splitting guitar solos on Sleeping Around The Corner and Love Is Here To Stay, plus the album’s best song: the nagging and melancholy In My World.
Does it miss Stevie Nicks? Yes, just as the last Fleetwood Mac album, 2003’s Say You Will, missed Christine McVie. But until all parties can sync their calen-dars, this will do nicely.
A graduate of Birmingham’s blues clubs, her songwriting and harmonic joy helped make Fleetwood Mac one of the biggest acts in the world. Then, she withdrew. “I just shut myself off,” admits a fully returned Christine McVie.
Interview by ANDREW MALE
Portrait by TOM SHEEHAN
June 2017, MOJO Magazine
I’M SORRY,” SHOUTS CHRISTINE McVIE FROM the kitchen, as she rummages for mugs under the I sink, “it’s a rented flat, and everything’s still in storage.” They’re words that conjure up a cheerless one-bedroom studio with wipe-clean beige walls and collapsed sofa bed, but for Christine McVie, 73-year-old singer-songwriter and on-off veteran of Fleetwood Mac, one of the biggest-selling bands of all time, the flat is a penthouse in Belgravia, decorated with antique Turkish carpets, giant African drums and, hanging in the drawing room, Edward Reginald Frampton’s 1898 Pre-Raphaelite masterpiece, – Saint Cecilia With Angels. “It looks like she’s playing a Hammond B3, doesn’t it?” smiles McVie, pointing at the spinet in the painting, a nod to her own early years, when as art student Christine Perfect she played keyboards in late-’60s Brummie blues outfits Sounds Of Blue and Chicken Shack.
Today, McVie’s look is a designer variant on Brumbeat beatnik; grown-out blonde bob, blue jeans, white T-shirt and black leather jacket, and her Smethwick drawl is still audible beneath a warm, measured voice with the same low blue tones that have coloured such soulful Mac belters down the years as Say You Love Me, Don’t Stop and Little Lies.
Indeed, Mac history is all around us, McVie’s walls bedecked with early photos of herself with band founder and drummer Mick Fleetwood, and bassist and one-time husband John McVie. There’s tour posters from the early-’70s Bob Welch years, and a plethora of platinum record updates on the 30-million-plus sales of the band’s 1977 LP Rumours. Recorded with LA conscripts Lindsey Bucking-ham and Stevie Nicks, the album set in motion 20 years of infra-band dance, dalliance and excess, and finally ended for McVie when she walked away from the group in 1998, exhausted and disillusioned, with a dream of living quietly in the Kent countryside.
Today she positively beams when discussing the band, especially her surprise return to the fold at the 02 Arena in September 2013 that led to the On With The Show world tour (“There was nothing bad about that tour. Everything was a joy!”) and the resultant reunion sessions with Buckingham, Fleetwood and McVie that have resulted in a buoyant new “duets” album, Lindsey Buckingham Christine McVie, recorded in Studio D at Village Recorders in Los Angeles, the same custom-designed annex the Mac had built, at ludicrous expense, for the recording of Tusk, some 39 years ago. “Lindsey gets me,” says McVie, happily, “and I love working with him. As with everything in Fleetwood Mac, it’s chemistry. I feel like I’ve come home. The prodigal daughter returns.”
So, how did Lindsey Buckingham Christine McVie come about?
I’d rejoined the band, after being retired for 16 years, and I had a phone call from Lindsey saying, “If you’re going to do that Chris you gotta commit.” He’s very hardline. I said, “I’m committing!” And I did. I worked out, I started writing songs, I sent Lindsey some demos, and he did his magic on them. It never occurred to us anything would happen in terms of an album. Then we thought it was a good way of getting me back into the swing of things for the upcoming Fleetwood Mac tour. We got some studio time, Lindsey brought in some songs he’d recorded with John and Mick a few years back, and before we knew it we had, like, six or seven songs. We shelved them, because we had to rehearse to go on the road, then we just pulled them back out a few months ago and decided to make it a proper duets album.
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.”
Go Your Own Way
Fleetwood Mac should be preparing for their farewell tour but, true to form, their epic saga has taken on another complicated turn. Introducing, then, the dynamic duo of Buckingham McVie – “a nice splinter off the main artery of Fleetwood Mac.” In this exclusive interview, Lindsey Buckingham and Christine McVie reveal all to Stephen Deusner about their unexpected side project, and about how it fits into the storied past, present and future of Fleetwood Mac. “It’s that umbilical cord that can’t be broken,” says Christine. “It just pulls you back.”
“THERE WAS SOMETHING COSMIC about it.” says Lindsey Buckingham. He’s sitting at the head of a long table in the brightly lit conference room of an anonymous office building in the Westwood neighbourhood of L.A, talking about Buckingham McVie, the new album he wrote and recorded with his Fleetwood Mac bandmate Christine McVie. Even as they are preparing for a Fleetwood Mac farewell tour in 2018, these two members have emerged as intimate collaborators proving there’s still a lot of life left in the band. “She and I kept saying to each other, ‘Why did it take us so long to think that it would be cool to do a duets album?’ I guess it was logistics – just getting to the point where the stars all aligned.” It’s a record with a lot of history behind it: more than 40 years of hook-ups and break-ups, marriages and divorces, drug abuse and recovery, departures and returns, hits and misses. It’s a story that begins with pub gigs in the late 1960s and a fateful Tex-Mex dinner meeting in the early 1975 and ends with a final arena tour in the late 2010s, spanning nearly every continent (even Antarctica, if you count the band’s penguin mascot) and almost every style of rock, including Buckingham’s early acid-rock and McVie’s beloved blues. And yet, these two musicians, both so embroiled in their own dramas, never really had any drama between them.
“The idea of us working together wasn’t about what kind of album we were making, at least not initially. It was just about getting together and finding some common ground. The fact that she had stuff she wanted to work on was really intriguing, and as soon as we got in the studio – maybe a week in – we looked at each other and were like, Holy shit, this feels like… something… I don’t want to say a ‘duets album’, but it felt like something substantial. It had never occurred to us to pursue anything like that.” As he speaks, Buckingham glances out the window, which offers a perverse panorama of L.A swallowed up by low clouds. “It’s been raining for a while,” he says, “but we need it.” That might be an understatement. The city with which he and Fleetwood Mac have long been associated is under siege: it’s been pouring for hours, with a strong wind coming in off the ocean. Meteorologists call it a bombogenesis, or a weather bomb. Streets are flooding all over town. Traffic lights are going out. Fallen trees are blocking roads. There are reports of sinkholes opening up and swallowing cars whole. The scene is apocalyptic – if California is ever going to sink into the Pacific, today might be the day.
“I’ve grown up since I last worked with her”
Buckingham, by contrast, looks the model of a gracefully ageing Golden State rock star, tanned and animated, his grey-green eyes still lively and his salt-and-pepper hair still standing on end. He’s sporting a black leather jacket over a plunging black V-neck and blue jeans: something of a uniform for the singer-songwriter-guitarist, producer. His hands fidget at the table, as though he’d much rather be playing guitar than talking to a journalist. Who wouldn’t?