By Nigel Williamson
Career-changing 1975 album expanded into three-disc deluxe edition
When Lindsey Buckingham was invited to join Fleetwood Mac in late 1974, it was the group’s final throw of the dice. After nine lineup changes in eight years, the previous album, Heroes Are Hard To Find, had barely sold enough “to pay the electric light bill”, as Mick Fleetwood put it. When Buckingham insisted that his girlfriend Stevie Nicks join with him, the group agreed with considerable reluctance. Yet the results were transformative.
The newcomers wrote six of the 11 songs on the next album, including Nicks’ all-time classics “Rhiannon” and “Landslide”, which came to define the Mac’s ‘new’ sound. Their presence also energized Christine McVie, who contributed two of her most enduring compositions in “Say You Love Me” and “Over My Head”. The album was released to initial indifference, but support built slowly. Fifteen months after its release, the album was sitting on the top of the US charts, by which time the group were already back in the studio recording the epoch-defining Rumours.
Extras 8/10. An alternate version of the original album comprising unreleased outtakes and early versions of each of the 11 songs, plus a plethora of 1976 live performances.
Thanks to Stéphane Blanc for providing this review