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Fleetwood Mac

Fleetwood Mac

Pop/rock group

For the Record…

Broke into American Market

Buckingham, Nicks Joined Group

Personal Struggles Reflected in Rumours

Pursued Solo Careers

Reunited for The Dance

Selected discography

Sources

Although Fleetwood Mac is today recognized as one of the most successful pop/rock bands in contemporary music—selling more than 70 million albums worldwide—they originally began as a strict blues outfit. Guitarist Peter Green, bassist John McVie, and drummer Mick Fleetwood were all alumni of Englishman John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers when they first appeared on August 12, 1967, as Peter Green’s Fleet-wood Mac at the British National Jazz & Blues Festival. Jeremy Spencer added his Elmore James-flavored licks to the band which “in that early incarnation, evolved into a fantastic blues band—sharp-edged without rawness, steady in the Chicago blues mold, impressive and direct,” according to The Guitar: The Music, The History, The Players.

The band signed with Mike Vernon’s Blue Horizon label and were then known as Fleetwood Mac. Their first big hit came with “Black Magic Woman,” from their debut LP, Fleetwood Mac, in 1968. The song, which remained on the charts for 13 weeks, stretched their blues roots to include Latin percussions and weaving guitar lines. In late 1968 they added a third guitarist, Danny Kirwan, as the band continued to slowly move away from their roots with a number one British single, “Albatross.” “The BBC used it for some wildlife program

For the Record…

Members include Lindsey Buckingham (born on October 3, 1947; group member, 1975-87, 1993, 1997–), guitar; Mick Flcctwood (born on June 24, 1942), drums; Peter Green (born on October 29, 1946; group member, 1967-70), guitar, vocals; Danny Kirwan (group member, 1968-73), guitar; Christine McVie (born on July 12, 1943; originally performed under maiden name Christine Perfect; group member, 1970-93, 1997), keyboards, vocals; John MeVic (born on November 26, 1945), bass; Stevie Nicks (born on May 26, 1948; group member, 1975-93, 1997–), vocals; Jeremy Spencer (born on July 4, 1948; group member, 1970-71), guitar; Boh Welch (born on July 31, 1946; group member, 1971-75), guitar. Other members have included Bekka Bramlett (group member, 1993-96), vocals; Billy Burnette (group member, 1987-96), guitar, vocals; Dave Mason (group member, 1994-96), guitar, vocals; Rick Vito (group member, 1987-91), guitar.

Group formed in England as Peter Green’s Fleetwood Mac, 1967; released the blues-tinged albums Fleetwood Mac and Mr. Wonderful, 1968; released English Rose and Then Play On, 1969; broke into the American market with the rock ‘n’ roll album Kiln House, 1970; released Future Games, 1971, and Bare Trees, 1972; released Mystery To Me, 1973, and Heroes Are Hard to Find, 1974; released Fleetwood Mac, 1975, and Rumours, 1977; released double album Tusk, 1979; released Mirage, 1982; Tango in the Night, 1987; Behind the Mask, 1990; performed “Don’t Stop” at President Bill Clinton’s inauguration, 1993; group formally reunited for the MTV special and CD The Dance, 1997; released Say You Will, 2003.

Awards: Rolling Stone magazine’s Critics’ Awards, Band of the Year, Album of the Year for Rumours, 1977; Grammy Award, Album of the Year for Rumors, 1977; BRIT Award for Outstanding Contribution to the British Music Industry, 1998; induction, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, 1998.

Addresses: Record company—Warner Bros./Reprise, 3300 Warner Blvd., Burbank, CA 91505, website: http://www.repriserecords.com. Website—Reetwood Mac Official Website: http://www.fleetwoodmac.com.

and then someone put it on Top of the Pops and it was a hit,” Fleetwood told Rolling Stone.

Broke into American Market

The band was still relatively obscure in America, however, and was billed as the opening act for an American tour that included Jethro Tuli and Joe Cocker. Green left the group temporarily in May of 1970 for religious reasons while the group scored a hit with his “Green Manalishi” soon after. The Mac broke into the American market with their Kiln House LP later that year as McVie’s wife, Christine Perfect (formerly of Chicken Shack), filled in on keyboards on the record and the ensuing tour.

The band struggled through more personnel changes as Spencer quit in February of 1971 to join a religious cult, Children of God. Green replaced him briefly (after quitting the second time, Green was committed to a mental institution for giving his royalty money away) before a California singer/guitarist named Bob Welch joined. His work on Future Gamesand Bare Trees was instrumental in bringing the group recognition in the States as their British popularity declined. In late 1972 Kirwan was booted from the band and Bob Weston and Dave Walker were hired for 1972’s Penguin LP and the following year’s Mystery To Me.

By now Fleetwood Mac was calling Los Angeles their home, but legal complications prevented them from working until late 1974. Their former manager, Clifford Davis, had formed a bogus Fleetwood Mac band, with no original members, and was gearing up for a United States tour. A court order finally blocked Davis’s efforts but left the real band on hold until their Heroes Are Hard To Find LP. Mick Fleetwood and lawyer Michael Shapiro decided to run the band on their own after ditching Davis. “We probably would have broken up when there were problems,” Fleetwood told Rolling Stone about the possibility of hiring an outside manager. “This band is like a highly tuned operation and wouldn’t respond to some blunt instrument coming in. There’s a trust between all of us that would make that a problem.”

Buckingham, Nicks Joined Group

Fleetwood Mac’s musical course took a financial upswing in 1975 when Welch left to form the band Paris and was replaced by the songwriting/performing team of Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks (who were, at the time, romantically involved). “When I joined [the band was] still hovering on the edge,” Welch told Rolling Stone. “When I left, they’d done a complete swit-charound to a slick, sophisticated, production kind of band.” He later told Guitar World, “I agreed with the philosophy but I said, ‘Naah, I don’t really want to stay for another go-round.’ Much to my dismay.” While searching for a studio to record the band, Fleetwood overheard the duo’s LP, Buckingham/Nicks, at Sound City Studios in Van Nuys, California. Nicks had previously sung with Buckingham in the band Fritz and their addition to Fleetwood Mac brought the group a new melodic sound that catapulted them to superstar status nearly overnight with the LP Fleetwood Mac in 1975.

With its folksy, lush vocals, the album “finally realized the apotheosis of that early-Sixties blues crusade to get back to the roots,” wrote John Swenson in Rolling Stone. In concert, Nicks took on the persona of the mythological Welsh witch Rhiannon, swirling about on stage in a black cape and adding a new sexual element to the band’s presence. Tunes like “Say You Love Me,” “Over My Head,” and “Monday Morning” pushed Fleet-wood Mac to platinum status and became Warner Bros.’ best-selling LP ever at the time (previous Mac albums sold around 200,000 copies each). Released in July of 1975, the LP reached the top 20 and then sank to the top 40 just before peaking at number three right before Christmas. Of their success, Buckingham told Guitar World, “It wasn’t a supergroup. They were selling no albums at all. They were broke for all practical purposes. I’m not saying it was our doing, but it was all of our doing. It was the right chemistry” The album earned five-times platinum sales by 1986.

Personal Struggles Reflected in Rumours

Musically, the band members meshed perfectly, but their personal relationships were not as smooth. During the next eleven months they worked on their follow-up LP, Rumours, while trying to cope with the breakups of the McVies and Nicks and Buckingham. “Go Your Own Way” was typical of the album’s tone and, as the band struggled with their relationship problems, their record flew up the charts to the number one spot. “What makes the difference this time is knowing that, for all the problems we’ve encountered, we’ve got a huge album,” Fleetwood told Rolling Stone during the recording of the LP. “It makes any bad things that happen seem not nearly as bad as if the last album had stifled.”

The high recording expense paid off as Rumours had sold 19 million copies in the United States—more than 40 million worldwide—as of fall 2003. With Fleetwood Macand Rumours, the band had made pop history and defined the decade’s musical characteristics. “Catchy but emotionally affecting pop rock for the late Seventies,” was how John Rockwell described their music in The Rolling Stone Illustrated History of Rock and Roll. “The music was unabashedly pop, yet it touched on serious themes without being weighed down by them.”

Buckingham took control on their next effort, the double-LP Tusk, from 1979. More folk than rock, nine of the tunes were penned by the guitarist. “Another series of saccharine-soaked melodies, guaranteed to stick to your cassette deck like a layer of crazy glue,” stated Keith Sharp in Rock Express. “[Buckingham] recognizes the powerful Yuppie, Middle America market and he’s orchestrated an album that will fill a huge void in the lazy summer months ahead. Functional but no longer fun. And with Lindsey Buckingham holding the reins, I’m surprised he hasn’t renamed the band Buckingham Mac.”

Other critics were not as harsh and some even compared Tusk to the finest work of the Beatles. No one could have possibly expected it to sell like their previous two LPs, and it didn’t, but Buckingham told Rolling Stone about the pressures of trying to create Rumours Two. “Suddenly the phenomenon was the sales and not the work. And that’s dangerous ground as far as I’m concerned.”

Pursued Solo Careers

During the 1980s, Fleetwood Mac released a live LP and two more studio albums while Nicks worked on a solo career for the Modern label and Buckingham recorded the exceptionally fine Law and Order on his own. After their Mirage LP in 1982, Mick Fleetwood declared bankruptcy and in 1987 called on Buckingham to take a break from his solo career to help out on the band’s Tango in the Night. Fleetwood Mac was back in the spotlight thanks to the hit single “Seven Wonders” as Buckingham returned to his solo work while being replaced by two guitarists, Billy Burnette and Rick Vito, and during his absence from the group during the mid-1990s by Dave Mason.

In 1990 the band released their Behind the Mask LP and were, amazingly, still going strong after 23 years and eleven different lineups. “No rock band has had more excuses to break up. Or fewer inclinations to do so,” wrote Edna Gundersen in the Lansing State Journal. “Fleetwood Mac has weathered soured romances, commercial slumps, drug addiction, alcoholism, bankruptcy and abrupt membership shuffles; any might have splintered a less resilient menage.”

Reunited for The Dance

Though it took some convincing, Buckingham reunited with Fleetwood Mac in 1997 after releasing his third solo album, Out of the Cradle, four years earlier. The group had played at President Bill Clinton’s inauguration in 1993 (“Don’t Stop” became a campaign anthem), but soon split. It was at this time that Nicks officially left the group and was replaced by Bekka Bramlett. With Nicks now on board, the group formally rejoined, signing with Reprise and releasing a CD and DVD recorded for an MTV special called The Dance, which included Fleetwood Mac classics and some new material. A highly successful tour followed, which grossed $36 million in ticket sales, likely powered by the popularity of the Rumours lineup of the band. “We can all go our separate ways for periods of time, but we always seem to come back to each other,” Nick told Billboard about the resilient group in 1997. “There’s a connection between each of us that has nothing to do with business.” The Grammy Award-nominated album went five-times platinum in 2000.

What was originally intended to be Buckingham’s fourth solo album morphed into another opportunity for the group to come together, though this time without Christine McVie, who had opted out because she didn’t want to tour. The result was 2003’s Say You Will, which featured the Nicks-penned songs “Say You Will,” “Destiny Rules,” “Silver Girl,” and the September 11th-inspired “Illume.” Notable Buckingham tracks include “Red Rover,” the uncharacteristically sexual “Come,” and “Murrow Turning Over in His Grave,” about legendary newsperson Edward R. Murrow. The group once again embarked on a tour.

Though Buckingham’s solo career stalled in the 1990s, Nicks continued to release albums, including Street Angel in 1994 and Trouble in Shangri-La in 2001. Fleetwood Mac has also been the subject of odes from fellow musicians, most notably on the album Legacy: A Tribute to Fleetwood Mac’s Rumors in 1998, and covers of “Landslide” by the Smashing Pumpkins and the Dixie Chicks. The group was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and received a BRIT Award for Outstanding Contribution to the British Music Industry in 1998.

Selected discography

Fleetwood Mac, Blue Horizon, 1968.

Mr. Wonderful, Blue Horizon, 1968.

Fleetwood Mac in Chicago, Blue Horizon, 1969.

Then Play On, Reprise, 1969.

English Rose, Epic, 1969.

Kiln House, Reprise, 1970.

Future Games, Reprise, 1971.

Bare Trees, Reprise, 1972.

Penguin, Reprise, 1972.

Mystery To Me, Reprise, 1973.

Heroes Are Hard To Find, Reprise, 1974.

Fleetwood Mac, Reprise, 1975.

Rumours, Warner Bros., 1977.

Tusk, Warner Bros., 1979.

Fleetwood Mac Live, Warner Bros., 1980.

Mirage, Warner Bros., 1982.

Tango in the Night, Warner Bros., 1987.

Behind the Mask, Reprise, 1990.

The Very Best of Fleetwood Mac, Reprise, 1992.

25 Years: The Chain (box set), Reprise, 1992.

Time, Warner Bros., 1995.

The Dance, Reprise, 1997.

Say You Will, Reprise, 2003.

Sources

Books

Christgau, Robert, Christgau’s Record Guide, Ticknor & Fields, 1981.

Graff, Gary, and Daniel Durchholz, editors, MusicHound Rock: The Essential Album Guide, Visible Ink Press, 1999.

Kozinn, Allan, Pete Welding, Dan Forte and Gene Santoro, The Guitar: The Music, the History, the Players, Quill, 1984.

Logan, Nick, and Bob Woffinden, The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Rock, Harmony, 1977.

Marsh, Dave, and John Swenson, editors, The Rolling Stone Record Guide, Random House/Rolling Stone Press, 1979.

Miller, Jim, editor, The Rolling Stone Illustrated History of Rock & Roll, Random House/Rolling Stone Press, 1976.

Periodicals

American Amusement, December 8, 1997.

Billboard, August 16, 1997; February 21, 1998.

Detroit Free Press, July 1, 1990.

Entertainment Weekly, August 22, 1997.

Guitar Player, January 1977; January 1978; April 2003.

Guitar World, January 1983; May 1987; December 1989.

Interview June 2003, p. 74.

Lansing State Journal, June 30, 1990.

Rock Express, May-June, 1987.

Rolling Stone, April 8, 1976; March 24, 1977; April 21, 1977; December 29, 1977; January 12, 1978; December 13, 1979; February 7, 1980; June 5, 1986; March 26, 1987; September 24, 1987.

Online

BRIT Awards, http://www.brits.co.uk (October 4, 2003).

“Fleetwood Mac,” All Music Guide,http://www.allmusic.com (October 3, 2003).

“Fleetwood Mac,” Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, www.rockhall.com/hof/inductee.asp?id=103 (October 4, 2003).

“Musicians to Make Tribute to Rumours” RollingStone.com, http://www.rollingstone.com/news/newsarticle.asp?nid=2847&cf=714 (October 3, 2003).

Record Industry Association of America, http://www.riaa.com (October 3, 2003).

Recording Academy, http://www.grammy.com (September 12, 2003).

Reprise Records, http://www.repriserecords.com (September12, 2003).

Calen D. Stone

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McVie, Christine

Christine McVie

Singer, songwriter, keyboardist

An English songwriter, vocalist, pianist, and synthesizer player who has worked both in bands and as a solo artist, McVie is one of the most highly regarded female musicians in the genres of pop/rock and blues/rock. She is considered a pioneer, and was one of the first female musicians to enter the British blues scene of the 1960s, as well as one of the first to release a solo album. Her soulful alto, keen melodies, sensitive lyrics, and grounding presence were a focal point for nearly 30 years in Fleetwood Mac, a blues band that became a highly successful mainstream rock act.

McVie was born Christine Anne Perfect on July 12, 1943, in Lancashire, England. Her father, Cyril, was a music professor at Birmingham University and a concert violinist who played with the Birmingham Symphony Orchestra until he was in his eighties. Her mother, Beatrice, was a psychic, faith healer, and medium. McVie started playing the piano at the age of four and also played the cello. Noting her talent for art, McVie's teachers suggested that she transfer to Mosley Junior Art School, which she did at the age of 13. When McVie was 15, her older brother John brought home a Fats Domino songbook; after that, as she told The Penguin, it was "Goodbye Schubert, hello rock 'n' roll."

Inspired by the Blues

McVie began playing in duos and bands with other students. She became the bassist for the R&B group Shades of Blue, which featured guitarist Stan Webb and bassist Andy Sylvester, and did some street busking with guitarist Spencer Davis. After graduating from Mosley, McVie earned a degree in sculpture from Birmingham Art College. She showed no interest in a teaching profession, and after a friend told her that Webb and Sylvester needed a keyboard player for their new blues band, McVie moved to Birmingham and joined the group, called Chicken Shack. Knowing that she had never played blues piano before, Webb gave McVie an album by Freddie King, which featured Sonny Thompson on keyboards. McVie has said that Thompson's playing inspired her love for the blues and greatly influenced her musical style.

From Shack to Mac

After a long residency at the Star Club in Hamburg, Germany, a place where the early Beatles honed their craft, Chicken Shack was signed to the English independent blues label Blue Horizon. In 1968 they released their first album, Forty Blue Fingers Freshly Packed and Ready to Serve. That August, Chicken Shack played at the prestigious Windsor Jazz and Blues Festival with John Mayall's Bluesbreakers. The Bluesbreakers featured Eric Clapton on guitar, John McVie on bass, and Fleetwood Mac, a group named for McVie (who was contracted to Mayall at that time) and drummer Mick Fleetwood. Chicken Shack often played the same clubs as Fleetwood Mac, and the latter asked Christine to play keyboards on their second album, Mr. Wonderful (1968). For a while, she was interested romantically in the band's lead guitarist, Peter Green. However, when John McVie asked her out, she consented; the couple were married in August of 1968.

A "Perfect" Record

After releasing the album OK Ken? in 1969 with Chicken Shack, Christine retired from the music business to become a homemaker. However, the album yielded two hit singles, both sung by her: "I'd Rather Go Blind" (a cover of the Etta James song) and "Tears in the Wind." The influential English music magazine Melody Maker voted McVie the Best Female Vocalist in their readers' poll. Thus encouraged to come out of retirement, she formed the Christine Perfect Band, which featured ex-Yardbirds' guitarist Top Topham, and released her first solo album, Christine Perfect in 1970. Although McVie now dismisses the record, which included both originals and covers by artists such as Jimi Hendrix and the Mac's Danny Kirwan, it has developed a reputation for being ahead of its time. In 1976 Sire Records issued the LP in the United States as The Legendary Christine Perfect Album. Joe Viglione of All Music Guide called it "classic and tremendous," noting its "phenomenal sounds," and concluded that when fans of Fleetwood Mac "need a fix for their obsession, this is the album."

The Heart of the Group

Christine McVie played keyboards and sang background vocals (sometimes uncredited) on several records by Fleetwood Mac, and she even painted the cover for their album Kiln House (1970). In August of 1970 she was asked to join as a permanent member, replacing guitarist Peter Green as the band's main songwriter. The early 1970s was a difficult period for Fleetwood Mac: they lost several band members and released critically acclaimed but generally unsuccessful records. In addition, John McVie had begun to drink heavily, and his behavior strained his marriage.

In 1974 Fleetwood Mac relocated to Los Angeles. After Fleetwood heard a recording by the California duo Buckingham Nicks in a Los Angeles studio, he invited the pair—guitarist Lindsey Buckingham and vocalist Stephanie "Stevie" Nicks—to join his band. The quintet's first recording, Fleetwood Mac (1975), was a huge success, becoming the top-selling album produced by Warner Brothers up to that point. Three of the four songs that Christine wrote for the record—"Over My Head," "Say You Love Me," and "Warm Ways"—were hit singles, and she also began a fruitful collaboration with Buckingham with "World Turning." Writing in The Encyclopedia of Popular Music, Colin Larkin called Fleetwood Mac "a promise fulfilled. The newcomers provided easy, yet memorable compositions while the British contingent gave the group its edge and power."

Rumours Addressed

Although they enjoyed the success of their record, the McVies continued to have personal problems. Christine had affairs with record producer Martin Birch and lighting director Curry Grant, while John continued to abuse alcohol. The couple finally divorced in 1976. Despite its internal struggles, the band continued to record and perform together. The songs on their next album, Rumours (1977), directly addressed their personal lives. Christine's compositions reflected her affection for her ex-husband ("Don't Stop"), for Grant ("You Make Loving Fun"), and for Fleetwood ("Oh Daddy"). "Songbird," one of her most popular numbers, was "a song and a prayer for everyone," as she told Cath Carroll in the book Never Break the Chain.

For the Record . . .

Born Christine Anne Perfect on July 12, 1943, in Grenodd, Lancashire, England; daughter of Cyril (a concert violinist and music professor) and Beatrice (a.k.a. Tee; a psychic, faith healer, and medium) Perfect; married John McVie (a musician), 1968; divorced, 1976; married Eduardo (a.k.a. Eddy) Quintela (a musician), 1986; divorced, 1998. Education: Graduated from Birmingham Art College, Birmingham, England, with a degree in teaching sculpture.

Sang and played keyboards with blues band Chicken Shack and released two albums, 1968-69; retired and then returned to music business, 1969; released first solo album, Christine Perfect, 1970; joined Fleetwood Mac, 1970; relocated to Los Angeles with Fleetwood Mac, 1974; contributed three hit singles to successful self-titled Mac album, 1975; released album Rumours, 1977; released second solo record, Christine McVie, 1984; reunited with the band for MTV special and live album The Dance, 1997; inducted into Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, 1998; quit Fleetwood Mac to return to England, 1998; released third solo album, In the Meantime, 2004.

Awards: (As Christine Perfect) Melody Maker Readers' Poll, Best Female Vocalist, 1969, 1970; (as Christine McVie) Rolling Stone magazine Critics' Awards, Band of the Year, Album of the Year, for Rumours, 1977; Grammy Award, Album of the Year, for Rumours, 1977; BRIT Lifetime Achievement Award for Outstanding Contribution to the British Music Industry, 1998; induction, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, 1998; Capital Gold Legends Award, Legendary Album, for Rumours, 2003; VH1, listed among 100 Greatest Women, 2004.

Addresses: Record companies—Koch Entertainment, 22 Harbor Park Dr., Port Washington, NY 11050, website: http://www.kochent.com; The Sanctuary Group plc, Sanctuary House, 45-53 Sinclair Rd., London W14 ONS England, website: http://www.sanctuarygroup.com. Website—Christine McVie Official Website: http://www.christinemcvie.com.

Rumours, which sold more than 25 million LPs, became one of the best-selling albums of all time; in fact, until Michael Jackson released Thriller in 1982, it was the biggest-selling record in history. Writing in the Guardian, Will Hodgkinson called Rumours "one of the most significant records in the history of pop music." Christine told Nigel Williamson of Uncut, "We knew we had something pretty powerful, to a point that transcended everybody's misery and depression. I think we knew that if we'd been getting on like a house on fire, the songs wouldn't have been nearly as good."

Love Had a Hold on Her

After the release of Rumours, Christine had a passionate affair with Dennis Wilson, the drummer/vocalist of the Beach Boys, but the romance was marred by Wilson's addiction to cocaine and alcohol, and the couple broke up in 1982; Wilson's death from drowning occurred the following year. During their relationship, Christine contributed songs to Fleetwood Mac's experimental album Tusk (1979) and to its pop record Mirage (1982). The band's "Everywhere" and "Hold Me," both McVie compositions, were hit records.

In 1984 she recorded her second solo album, Christine McVie, assembling a band that included guitarist Todd Sharp, bassist George Hawkins, and drummer Steve Ferrone, and enlisted Buckingham, Fleetwood, Clapton, Elton John, and Steve Winwood to contribute. Another musician who appeared on the album was Eduardo (Eddy) Quintela, a Portuguese keyboardist twelve years her junior; Christine and Quintela married in 1986, but were divorced in 1998. Stephen Thomas Erlewine of All Music Guide called Christine McVie "a collection of soft-rock pop and ballads that are pleasantly melodic and ingratiating." A reviewer in People called the album's songs "snappy and full of rhythmic rock and roll hooks." Christine had two hits from the LP, "Got a Hold on Me" and "Love Will Show Us How."

Songbird Spread Her Wings

In 1986 Christine recorded a version of Elvis Presley's "Can't Help Falling in Love" for the soundtrack of the movie A Fine Mess. In 1987 Buckingham decided to leave the Mac for a solo career. However, he stayed long enough to record Tango in the Night (1987), which is considered one of the group's best latter-day works. Christine's "Little Lies" and "Anyway" are considered the highlights of the record. Fleetwood Mac re-formed with vocalist/guitarist Billy Burnette and guitarist Rick Vito as Buckingham's replacements, and the group released Behind the Mask (1990). In 1993 Christine and the rest of the Rumours-era Mac reunited at the request of President Bill Clinton, who asked them to play his campaign theme, "Don't Stop," at his inauguration celebration. The group replaced Nicks, who had become a solo artist, with Bekka Bramlett, and Vito with seasoned guitarist Dave Mason.

The band's next album Time (1995) is generally considered to be the low point of their career. In 1997 the Rumours-era Mac again reunited to do a live broadcast for MTV; the result was the live album The Dance. In 1998 Christine McVie was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. That same year, she left Fleetwood Mac—and Los Angeles—and returned to England, settling in Canterbury, Kent.

Working as a quartet, the Rumours-era Mac released Say You Will (2003) without Christine McVie, though she did contribute to two songs. Her work in her home studio with nephew Dan Perfect led to a third solo album, In the Meantime (2004). She has performed solo material and songs co-written with Perfect, Hawkins, Burnette, and Quintela. She told Jan Freedland of Fleetwood Mac Legacy that her current songwriting is "tougher and not as soft as in the past-more brash and less careful." Noting the album's "polished adult-contemporary sound," a reviewer in People stated that some of her songs, such as "Northern Star" and "Calumny," "sound like Fleetwood Mac at its laid back best." Erlewine of All Music Guide noticed that she sounds "at ease for the first time in years." Though some observers have criticized Christine for the lightness of some of her material, most consider her to be an underrated artist, one who deserves wider recognition for her exceptional musicianship. Writing in Fleetwood: My Life and Adventures in Fleetwood Mac, Mick Fleetwood concluded, "The healer's daughter will always be my sister and inspiration."

Selected discography

Solo albums

(As Christine Perfect, with Chicken Shack) Forty Blue Fingers Freshly Packed and Ready to Serve, Blue Horizon, 1968.

(As Christine Perfect; contributor; with Fleetwood Mac) Mr. Wonderful, Columbia/Blue Horizon, 1968.

(As Christine Perfect, with Chicken Shack) OK Ken?, Blue Horizon, 1969. (As Christine Perfect; contributor, with Fleetwood Mac) English Rose, Epic, 1969.

(As Christine McVie; contributor, with Fleetwood Mac) Then Play On, Reprise, 1969.

(As Christine Perfect) Christine Perfect, Blue Horizon, 1970; reissued as The Legendary Christine Perfect Album, Sire, 1976.

(As Christine McVie; contributor; with Fleetwood Mac) Kiln House, Reprise, 1970.

Christine McVie, Warner Brothers, 1984.

In the Meantime, Sanctuary Records/Koch Records, 2004.

With Fleetwood Mac

Future Games, Reprise, 1971.

Bare Trees, Reprise, 1972.

Penguin, Reprise, 1973.

Mystery to Me, Reprise, 1973.

Heroes Are Hard to Find, Reprise, 1974.

Fleetwood Mac, Reprise, 1975.

Rumours, Warner Brothers, 1977.

Tusk, Warner Brothers, 1979.

Mirage, Warner Brothers, 1982.

Tango in the Night, Warner Brothers, 1987.

Behind the Mask, Warner Brothers, 1990.

Time, Warner Brothers, 1995.

The Dance, Reprise, 1997.

(Contributor) Say You Will, Reprise, 2003.

Sources

Books

Carr, Roy, and Steve Clarke, Fleetwood Mac: Rumours n' Fax, Harmony, 1978.

Carroll, Cath, Never Break the Chain: Fleetwood Mac and the Making of "Rumours," A Cappella/Chicago Review, 2004.

Fleetwood, Mick, with Stephen Davis, Fleetwood: My Life and Adventures in Fleetwood Mac, Avon, 1990.

Harrison, Nigel, Songwriters: A Biographical Dictionary, McFarland, 1998.

Larkin, Colin, The Encyclopedia of Popular Music, 3rd edition, Muze Ltd., 1998.

Lewry, Peter, Fleetwood Mac: The Complete Recording Sessions, 1967-1997, Blandford, 1998.

Periodicals

Entertainment Weekly, October 15, 2004.

Guardian, June 18, 2004.

People Weekly, March 19, 1984; September 27, 2004.

Uncut, May 2003.

Online

"Christine McVie," All Music Guide,http://www.allmusic.com (January 5, 2005).

"Christine McVie," Fleetwood Mac Legacy, http://www.fmlegacy.com (January 5, 2005).

Christine McVie Official Website, http://www.christinemcvie.com (January 1, 2005).

"Fleetwood Mac Biographies: Christine McVie," The Penguin, http://www.fleetwoodmac.net/penguin (January 1, 2005).

—Gerard J. Senick

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Fleetwood Mac

Fleetwood Mac

Pop/rock group

For the Record

Selected discography

Sources

Although Fleetwood Mac is today recognized as one of the most successful pop/rock bands in contemporary music, they originally began as a strict blues outfit. Guitarist Peter Green, bassist John McVie, and drummer Mick Fleetwood were all alumni of Englishman John Mayalls Bluesbreakers when they first appeared on August 12, 1967, as Peter Greens Fleetwood Mac at the British National Jazz & Blues Festival. Jeremy Spencer added his Elmore James-flavored licks to the band which in that early incarnation, evolved into a fantastic blues bandsharp-edged without rawness, steady in the Chicago blues mold, impressive and direct, according to The Guitar: The Music, The History, The Players.

The band signed with Mike Vernons Blue Horizon label and were then known as Fleetwood Mac. Their first big hit came with Black Magic Woman, from their debut LP, Fleetwood Mac, in 1968. The song, which remained on the charts for thirteen weeks, stretched their blues roots to include Latin percussions and weaving guitar lines. In late 1968 they added a third guitarist, Danny

For the Record

Band formed in England in 1967 as Peter Greens Fleetwood Mac; original members included Peter Green (guitar; born October 29, 1946); Mick Fleetwood (drums; born June 24, 1942); and John McVie (bass; born November 26, 1945); Danny Kirwan (guitar) joined band in 1968, left band in 1973; Green left band in 1970, was replaced by Jeremy Spencer (born July 4, 1948); Christine McVie (originally performed under maiden name Christine Perfect; keyboards; born July 12, 1943) joined band in 1970; Spencer left band in 1971, replaced by Bob Welch (born July 31, 1946); Welch left band in 1975, replaced by Lindsey Buckingham (born October 3, 1947); Stevie Nicks (vocals; born May 26, 1948), joined group in 1975; during 1980s Buckingham launched a solo career and was replaced by Billy Burnette and Rick Vito.

Awards: Winner of Rolling Stone magazines Critics Awards for band of the year and for album of the year (Rumours), 1977; recipient of Rolling Stone magazines Readers Poll Awards for artist of the year, best album of the year (Rumours), best single (Dreams), and for band of the year, 1977.

Addresses: Record company Warner Bros., 3300 Warner Blvd., Burbank, CA 91510.

Kirwan, as the band continued to slowly move away from their roots with a Number 1 U.K. single, Albatross. The BBC used it for some wildlife program and then someone put it on Top of the Pops and it was a hit, Fleetwood told Rolling Stone.

The band was still relatively obscure in America, however, and was billed as the opening act for a U.S. tour that included Jethro Tuli and Joe Cocker. Green left the group temporarily in May of 1970 for religious reasons while the group scored a hit with his Green Manalishi soon after. The Mac broke into the U.S. market with their Kiln House LP later that year as McVies wife, Christine Perfect (formerly of Chicken Shack), filled in on keyboards on the record and the ensuing tour.

The band struggled through more personnel changes as Spencer quit in February of 1971 to join a religious cult, Children of God. Green replaced him briefly (after quitting the second time Green was committed to a mental institution for giving his royalty money away) before a California singer/guitarist named Bob Welch joined. His work on Future Games and Bare Trees was instrumental in bringing the group recognition in the States as their U.K. popularity declined. In late 1972 Kirwan was booted from the band and Bob Weston and Dave Walker were hired for 1972s Penguin LP and the following years Mystery To Me.

By now Fleetwood Mac was calling Los Angeles their home, but legal complications prevented them from working until late 1974. Their former manager, Clifford Davis, had formed a bogus Fleetwood Mac band, with no original members, and was gearing up for a U.S. tour. A court order finally blocked Davis efforts but left the real band on hold until their Heroes Are Hard To Find LP. Mick Fleetwood and lawyer Michael Shapiro decided to run the band on their own after ditching Davis. We probably would have broken up when there were problems, Fleetwood told Rolling Stone about the possibility of hiring an outside manager. This band is like a highly tuned operation and wouldnt respond to some blunt instrument coming in. Theres a trust between all of us that would make that a problem.

Fleetwood Macs musical course took a financial upswing in 1975 when Welch left to form the band Paris and was replaced by the songwriting/performing team of Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks (who were, at the time, lovers). When I joined [the band was] still hovering on the edge, Welch told Rolling Stone. When I left, theyd done a complete switcharound to a slick, sophisticated, production kind of band. He later told Guitar World, I agreed with the philosophy but I said, Naah, I dont really want to stay for another go-round. Much to my dismay. While searching for a studio to record the band, Fleetwood overheard the duos LP, Buckingham/Nicks, at Sound City Studios in Van Nuys, California. Nicks had previously sung with Buckingham in the band Fritz and their addition to Fleetwood Mac brought the group a new melodic sound that catapulted them to superstar status nearly overnight with the LP Fleetwood Mac in 1975.

With its folksy, lush vocals, the album finally realized the apotheosis of that early-Sixties blues crusade to get back to the roots, wrote John Swenson in Rolling Stone. In concert, Nicks took on the persona of the mythological Welsh witch Rhiannon, swirling about on stage in a black cape and adding a new sexual element to the bands presence. Tunes like Say You Love Me, Over My Head, and Monday Morning pushed Fleetwood Mac to platinum status and became Warner Brothers best-selling LP ever at the time (previous Mac albums sold around 200, 000 copies each). Released in July of 1975, the LP reached the Top 20 and then sank to the Top 40 just before peaking at Number 3 right before Christmas. Of their success, Buckingham told Guitar World, It wasnt a supergroup. They were selling no albums at all. They were broke for all practical purposes. Im not saying it was our doing, but it was all of our doing. It was the right chemistry.

Musically, the band members meshed perfectly, but their personal relationships were not as smooth. During the next eleven months they worked on their follow-up LP, Rumours, while trying to cope with the breakups of the McVies and Nicks and Buckingham. Go Your Own Way was typical of the albums tone and, as the band struggled with their relationship problems, their record flew up the charts to the Number 1 spot. What makes the difference this time is knowing that, for all the problems weve encountered, weve got a huge album, Fleetwood told Rolling Stone during the recording of the LP. It makes any bad things that happen seem not nearly as bad as if the last album had stifled.

The high recording expense paid off as Rumours eventually sold 16 million copies, more than any other album by a single group. With Fleetwood Mac and Rumours, the band had made pop history and defined the decades musical characteristics. Catchy but emotionally affecting pop rock for the late Seventies, was how John Rockwell described their music in The Rolling Stone Illustrated History of Rock and Roll. The music was unabashedly pop, yet it touched on serious themes without being weighed down by them.

Buckingham took control on their next effort, the dou-ble-LP Tusk, from 1979. More folk than rock, nine of the tunes were penned by the guitarist. Another series of saccharine-soaked melodies, guaranteed to stick to your cassette deck like a layer of crazy glue, stated Keith Sharp in Rock Express. [Buckingham] recognizes the powerful Yuppie, Middle America market and hes orchestrated an album that will fill a huge void in the lazy summer months ahead. Functional but no longer fun. And with Lindsey Buckingham holding the reins, Im surprised he hasnt renamed the band Buckingham Mac.

Other critics were not as harsh and some even compared Tusk to the finest work of the Beatles. No one could have possibly expected it to sell like their previous two LPs, and it didnt, but Buckingham told Rolling Stone about the pressures of trying to create Rumours Two. Suddenly the phenomenon was the sales and not the work. And thats dangerous ground as far as Im concerned.

During the 1980s, Fleetwood Mac released a live LP and two more studio albums while Nicks worked on a solo career for the Modern label and Buckingham recorded the exceptionally fine Law and Order on his own. After their Mirage LP in 1982, Mick Fleetwood declared bankruptcy and in 1987 called on Buckingham to take a break from his solo career to help out on the bands Tango In the Night. Fleetwood Mac was back in the spotlight thanks to the hit single Seven Wonders as Buckingham returned to his solo work while being replaced by two guitarists, Billy Burnette and Rick Vito.

In 1990 the band released their Behind The Mask LP and were, amazingly, still going strong after twenty-three years and eleven different lineups. No rock band has had more excuses to break up. Or fewer inclinations to do so, wrote Edna Gundersen in the Lansing State Journal. Fleetwood Mac has weathered soured romances, commercial slumps, drug addiction, alcoholism, bankruptcy and abrupt membership shuffles; any might have splintered a less resilient menage.

Selected discography

Fleetwood Mac, Blue Horizon, 1968.

Fleetwood Mac in Chicago, Blue Horizon, 1969.

Then Play On, Reprise, 1969.

English Rose, Epic, 1969.

Kiln House, Reprise, 1970.

Future Games, Reprise, 1971.

Bare Trees, Reprise, 1972.

Penguin, Reprise, 1972.

Mystery To Me, Reprise, 1973.

Heroes Are Hard To Find, Reprise, 1974.

Fleetwood Mac, Reprise, 1975.

Rumours, Warner Bros., 1977.

Tusk, Warner Bros., 1979.

Fleetwood Mac Live, Warner Bros., 1980.

Mirage, Warner Bros., 1982.

Tango In The Night, Warner Bros., 1987.

Behind The Mask, 1990.

Sources

Books

Christgau, Robert, Christgaus Record Guide, Ticknor & Fields, 1981.

Kozinn, Allan, Pete Welding, Dan Forte and Gene Santoro, The Guitar: The Music, the History, the Players, Quill, 1984.

Logan, Nick, and Bob Woffinden, The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Rock, Harmony, 1977.

The Rolling Stone Illustrated History of Rock & Roll, edited by Jim Miller, Random House/Rolling Stone Press, 1976.

The Rolling Stone Record Guide, edited by Dave Marsh with John Swenson, Random House/Rolling Stone Press, 1979.

Periodicals

Detroit Free Press, July 1, 1990.

Guitar Player, January 1977; January 1978.

Guitar World, January 1983; May 1987; December 1989.

Lansing State Journal, June 30, 1990.

Rock Express, May-June, 1987.

Rolling Stone, April 8, 1976; March 24, 1977; April 21, 1977; December 29, 1977; January 12, 1978; December 13, 1979; February 7, 1980; June 5, 1986; March 26, 1987; September 24, 1987.

Calen D. Stone

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Fleetwood Mac

FLEETWOOD MAC

Formed: 1967, London, England

Members: Lindsey Buckingham, guitar, vocals (born Palo Alto, California, 3 October 1949); Mick Fleetwood, drums (born Redruth, Cornwall, England, 24 June 1947); Christine McVie, keyboards (Christine Perfect, born Grenodd, Lancashire, England, 12 July 1943); John McVie, bass (born London, England, 26 November 1945); Stevie Nicks, vocals (Stephanie Nicks, born Phoenix, Arizona, 26 May 1948). Former members: Billy Burnette, guitar, vocals (William Beau Burnette III, born Memphis, Tennessee, 8 May 1953); Bekka Bramlett, vocals (born Westwood, California, 19 April 1968); Peter Green, guitar (Peter Allen Greenbaum, born London, England, 29 October 1949); Danny Kirwan, guitar (born London, England, 13 May 1950); Dave Mason, guitar, vocals (Worcester, England, 10 May 1946); Jeremy Spencer, guitar (born Hartlepool, Cleveland, England, 4 July 1948); Rick Vito, guitar, vocals (born Darby, Pennsylvania, 13 October 1949); Dave Walker, vocals (born Birmingham, England); Bob Weston, guitar (born England); Bob Welch, guitar, vocals (Robert Welch, born Los Angeles, California, 31 July 1946).

Genre: Rock

Best-selling album since 1990: The Dance (1997)

Hit songs since 1990: "Peacekeeper," "Silver Springs"


Through a tangled web of broken relationships, rotating band members, and musical journeys weaving in and out of five decades, rock group Fleetwood Mac has sold more than 100 million records. The band experienced its greatest success in the 1970s when it focused on a marketable blend of pop rock. That stage of its existence contained the musical lineup most often identified with Fleetwood Mac, and the majority of that lineup reunited to record and tour into the new millennium.


Musical Chairs

When most of its fans think of Fleetwood Mac, they are referring to the band that consisted of singer Stevie Nicks, guitarist/singer Lindsey Buckingham, keyboardist/singer Christine McVie, bassist John McVie, and drummer Mick Fleetwood. However, Fleetwood Mac's roots extend back to 1967 when it was a renowned London blues band. John McVie and Fleetwood were members during that time. The other two original members were guitarist extraordinaire Peter Green and another fine London blues guitarist, Jeremy Spencer. All four core Fleet-wood Mac members were refugees from English blues legend John Mayall's group, the Bluesbreakers. By 1970 Christine McVieChristine Perfect before marrying John McViehad joined the group. Both Green and Spencer had already left the band to pursue their respective religious beliefs following excessive drug use, and in the case of Green, complications with mental illness. Guitarist Danny Kirwan and guitarist/singer/songwriter Bob Welch replaced them.

Welch, an American from California with pop music roots, began influencing Fleetwood Mac away from the blues and the group made inroads toward a more polished pop rock sound. However, Kirwan's drug problems forced the band's manager at the time, Clifford Davis, to fire him in 1972 and hire ex-Savoy Brown band mates, guitarist Bob Weston and Dave Walker. That move nearly derailed the band as Walker drank heavily and Weston became involved romantically with Christine McVie. At different junctures, both Walker and Weston were sent packing. Weston's firing closed down the group's U.S. tour prematurely. A series of ensuing legal entanglements resulted in 1974, and the band was, for all practical purposes, disbanded. Eventually, Mick Fleetwood took control of the situation, relieved Davis of his responsibilities, and began managing Fleetwood Mac himself. The band's tumultuous history took its toll on Welch, who left in 1975 to pursue other projects.

Spot Light: Fleetwood Mac's Farewell for President Clinton

Fleetwood Mac came out of a three-year hiatus to perform a concert in Washington, D.C., in January 2001 for President Bill Clinton, who would soon be leaving office. Organized by President Clinton's staff, it was a surprise farewell party for the president. A favorite band of both the president and the First Lady, Fleet-wood Mac's invitation made sense because their song "Don't Stop," used as a theme song for Clinton's 1992 first-term election, helped put him in office. Now they were asked to help him out of office. The impromptu concert marked Fleetwood Mac's first appearance since Christine McVie announced that she would not be performing with the band anymore. Despite major concern within the band about showing rust due to the long layoff and a lack of rehearsal time, the eleven-song set went without a hitch. Fleetwood Mac's impromptu concert included Clinton's campaign theme song, along with other Fleetwood Mac signature fare, such as "Dreams," "Landslide," and "Go Your Own Way."


In an effort to replace Welch, Fleetwood brought songwriting/performing duo Buckingham and Nicks into the group. Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks had worked together previously and were lovers. Their soft rock sound, ripe with poignant lyrics coupled between catchy musical phrasing, struck an immediate chord with Fleetwood and greatly impacted the group to form the classic Fleet-wood Mac musical lineup. The band's next five years were massively successful as they turned out hits such as "Rhiannon," "Over My Head," "Say You Love Me," "Dreams," "Don't Stop," "Go Your Own Way," and many others. Their album Rumours (1977), recorded while the McVies were divorcing and the Nicks/Buckingham union was landsliding, went on to become one of the top five selling albums in rock history. Rumours has sold more than 30 million copies. Fleetwood Mac fired Fleetwood as manager in 1981 and then split up to allow various members to pursue solo careers. Nicks's solo career has become, by a wide margin over the others, the most commercially successful. They soon reunited to record Mirage (1982), but broke up again during the promotional tour that followed the album's release. They formed again in 1985 to record Tango in the Night (1987), but Buckingham left the band during the ensuing tour.


Breaking Up Is Hard to Do

Fleetwood Mac entered the 1990s with singers/guitarists Rick Vito and Billy Burnette as Buckingham's replacements and the band recorded Behind the Mask (1990), which went platinum. At the close of the album's extremely successful tour, Nicks and Vito left Fleetwood Mac. Nicks, a major star on her own merit, stated that she would never return. Meanwhile, Fleetwood fended off rumors of the group's demise by calling it merely a hiatus. In 1992 the band consisted of John McVie, Fleetwood, and Burnette with guitarist Dave Mason and Bekka Bramlett on vocals. Fleetwood Mac received an extra boost when Bill Clinton used one of its hits, "Don't Stop," to theme his 1992 presidential campaign. Burnette officially quit the group in 1992, but joined back up for its 1995 tour and new album release, Time (1995). The album did poorly and Fleetwood Mac broke up again. This time, the band reported, it was final.

In 1996 the band re-formed with its mid-1970s classic lineup for a twentieth anniversary tour of Rumours. They released The Dance (1997), a live recording from an intimate concert in Los Angeles. The Dance contains seventeen songs, mostly 1970s hits, with four new releases added. "Landslide," a hit written by Nicks from Fleetwood Mac (1975), was released as a single from the album as was a new song, "Silver Springs." The Dance went quadruple platinum in sales and earned three Grammy Award nominations, including Best Pop Album. When the album's tour ended in November of that year, Christine McVie announced that she could no longer handle the rigors of touring and recording with the band. Fleetwood Mac entered the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1998.

After another dormant period wherein Nicks and Buckingham resumed their solo careers, Fleetwood Mac regrouped yet again in 2002: this time, however, without Christine McVie but with the rest of the classic formation intact. They released Say You Will (2003) and promoted the album with an extensive North American tour. Say You Will harks back to the band's glory days with a trademark blend of moody rock, smooth harmonies, and Nicks's emotional vocal work. Many of the album's songs came from Buckingham, who used material he had slated for a solo effort that failed to work out.

No band has ever survived as much fluctuation as Fleetwood Mac and managed to achieve such monumental success. Its songs musically defined both the 1970s and the 1980s. With every effort by the band since the 1990s billed as its final act, fans have learned that, with Fleetwood Mac, never always means maybe.

SELECTIVE DISCOGRAPHY:

Then Play On (Reprise, 1969); Kiln House (Reprise, 1970); Fleetwood Mac in Chicago (Blue Horizon, 1971); Future Games (Reprise, 1971); Penguin (Reprise, 1973); Mystery to Me (Reprise, 1973); Heroes Are Hard to Find (Reprise, 1974); Fleetwood Mac (Reprise, 1975); Rumours (Warner Bros., 1977); Tusk (Warner Bros., 1979); Fleetwood Mac Live (Warner Bros., 1980); Mirage (Warner Bros., 1982); Tango in the Night (Warner Bros., 1987); Behind the Mask (Warner Bros., 1990); 25 Years . . . The Chain (Warner Bros./WEA, 1992); Time (Warner Bros., 1995); The Dance (Warner Bros., 1997); Say You Will (Warner Bros., 2003).

BIBLIOGRAPHY:

B. Brunning, Fleetwood Mac: The First 30 Years (London, 1999); L. Furman, Rumours Exposed: The Unauthorized Biography of Fleetwood Mac (New York, 1999); E. Wincentsen, Fleetwood Mac: Through the Years (New York, 1999).

donald lowe

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