Fleetwood Mac
1967
United Kingdom
Music group
In 1966, John Mayall, one of the UK’s leading blues musicians, found himself having to find someone to fill in for Eric Clapton in his band, The Bluesbreakers. Clapton had gone off to Greece on a trip and Mayall needed to find a replacement. He discovered a nineteen year old guitar wunderkind named Peter Green and asked him to fill in for Eric while he was away. Peter Green gladly stepped in for a few weeks and fit in well with his new band mates bassist John McVie and drummer Hugh Flint. Eric did come back to the band, but then left again to join Cream.

Mayall then decided to name Peter as the permanent replacement for Clapton and Aynsley Dunbar as his new drummer. Peter was thrilled to join the band but wanted his friend Mick Fleetwood to replace Aynsley Dunbar on drums. Mayall went along with it and Mick was in the band.

Later than year, John Mayall gave Peter a birthday present -- a few hours of studio time. During that session, he recorded an instrumental song, called Fleetwood Mac. He named the song that way because Mick Fleetwood and John McVie were playing with him on that song and he couldn't think of another title. The explanation was that simple. After a while, Mick Fleetwood was fired by John Mayall for drunkenness. Then, out of nowhere, John Mayall rehired Eric Clapton. At this point, Peter Green felt it was time to leave Mayall and start his own band with the 'previously fired' Mick Fleetwood.

Peter decided to name his new band "Fleetwood Mac", after that instrumental he recorded in the studio not long ago. But Peter Green was still looking for another guitarist -- someone to take the spotlight off of him in the band.

Their producer Mike Vernon, who co-ran the Blue Horizon Label in the UK, was listening to a tape that he’d received from a semi-professional band called The Levi Set. Mike didn’t think the drummer and bass player were that good but he did like their guitarist -- Jeremy Spencer. Mike thought he would be great for Peter's band. Jeremy became a member of Fleetwood Mac two days later. As far as the bass position was concerned, Peter's first choice was John McVie from John Mayall's Bluesbreakers. John declined Peter's offer and young Bob Brunning became the first bass player in Fleetwood Mac.

The sound of the group primarily emanated from the emotional singing and masterful guitar playing of Peter Green. They played their first gig together at the "7th Windsor National Jazz and Blues Festival" at August 13th, 1967. Peter continued to ask John McVie to join them, but John kept putting Peter off. Finally, after a few months, John finally agreed to join the band named after him and Bob Brunning was gone. (side note that Bob eventually became a schoolteacher and part-time musician).

Fleetwood Mac's debut single "I Believe My Time Ain't Long" was released in October 1967 on Mike Vernon's "Blue Horizon" label in the UK. The Elmore James cover featured Jeremy on lead vocals and was never released in the states. The B-side, "Rambling Pony" was a Peter Green song. Unfortunately this first single never charted.

In February 1968 they released their first album, "Peter Green’s Fleetwood Mac" Then their second single "Black Magic Woman" was recorded and released, reaching the top 40 in the UK. Their next single "Need Your Love So Bad" fared much better, making it to all the way to #7 in Holland (#31 in the UK).

Next came the release of their second album "Mr. Wonderful" in August 1968. Peter then hired a third guitar player in anticipation of wanting to record their next album. His name was Danny Kirwan and he was just eighteen years old. The band put a single called "Albatross" out during this time and amazingly enough the song reached #1 in the UK.

"English Rose", with Danny on board, was released in the U.S. in early 1969 by Epic Records. The singles "Man Of The World" and "Oh Well" were released soon after, both of them rocketing all the way to #2 on the singles charts The band was on a roll.

Fleetwood Mac ended up releasing four albums that year -- "English Rose" (US only), "The Pious Bird Of Good Omen", "Fleetwood Mac In Chicago" (recorded with American blues legends like Otis Spann and Willie Dixon) and "Then Play On". The latter release was the first Mac album on the Reprise label and also the first of their album to sell over 100.000 copies).

Fleetwood Mac had become enormously popular and had a virtual lock on the British Blues scene at the time. . This band sold more records in Great Britain in 1969 then the Beatles and the Rolling Stones. Simply astonishing.

They played in all the British Blues Clubs during that time, often playing on the same bill as another popular British Blues band, called Chicken Shack (who had a big UK hit with "I'd Rather Go Blind"). The lead singer of Chicken Shack was a girl named Christine Perfect. The two bands would often socialize together. Christine and John McVie began to date and had ended up marrying in the summer of 1968. Christine left Chicken Shack in 1969, at around the same time that she was selected by the readers of the UK's music magazine "Melody Maker" as best female vocalist of the year. .

It was around this time that Peter Green became obsessed with giving away his money. He just felt bad about making so much when others in the world didn't have enough to eat. It got worse as time went on. He would cry in front of the television when they'd show those less fortunate suffering in the news. He'd go to the likes of Oxfam, point to impoverished places on the map and ask government representatives there how much money it would take to end the suffering. Whatever the amount he was told would be how much he offered to pay to rid the country of the problem. He wanted his band mates to be as charitable as he was but they simply didn't buy into his philosophy. Shortly after the US tour and right before the 1970 European tour began, he decided to leave the band. They did record one final single together though before he left - the haunting classic "The Green Manalishi" .

Peter recalls why he left: "There are many reasons why I'm leaving. The main thing is that I feel it is time for a change. I want to change my whole life, because I don't want to be a part of the conditioned world and as much as possible, I'm getting out of it." He literally withdrew himself entirely and, in essence, stayed home for almost three years.

That same year, Mick Fleetwood married Jenny Boyd, a girl he met in 1963 in London, while he was playing in the Blues clubs there. His two daughters Amy Rose and Lucy were born a few years later.

The rest of the group, Mick, John, Jeremy. and Danny struggled on without Peter for a few months. Everybody knew that it wouldn’t be easy to replace him, but it was really the fans that couldn’t accept Peter's departure. The band retreated to a country estate called Kiln House where they recorded the "Kiln House" album. This album represented a significant milestone for the band in that it was the first Fleetwood Mac album to make the Top 100 in the U.S..

"Jewel Eyed Judy" was the first single from "Kiln House" -- a track named after band friend Judy Wong.The classic "Station Man" was the B-side. A uncredited guest appearance on that album was made by John McVie’s wife, Christine, who had already played with the band on their "Mr.Wonderful" and "English Rose" albums. Christine also painted the "Kiln House" cover sleeve and had also just released her first solo album, simply called "Christine Perfect". The album contains a hit from her Chicken Shack years ("I'd Rather Go Blind"), along with some new blues tracks. It came to no one's surprise that the group asked Christine to become the fifth member of Fleetwood Mac in August of 1970. Also by the end of that year Peter Green had released his first solo record, "The End Of The Game", an instrumental album that didn't sell well.

In 1971, Fleetwood Mac was touring the U.S. with its new lineup, when suddenly Jeremy Spencer left his LA hotel room and never returned. After two days of searching. they ended up finding Jeremy at the Children of God 'headquarters' with his hair shaved off. Although it was initially unclear as to why Jeremy had run off and done this, Fleetwood Mac's manager Clifford Davis did eventually get to speak to Jeremy and ask him why he had joined this 'cult'. He discovered that he was indeed with them because he wanted to be. The band had no choice but to accept the situation and move on. Jeremy would be sorely missed. Peter Green did stand-in for Jeremy for the rest of the tour, but refused to play any of the hits he formerly had together with Fleetwood Mac. The only recording that came out of this period was the single "Dragonfly" with "The Purple Dancer" as the B-side. Peter Green did not participate in the recording of either track.

At the same time, a young American guitarist named Bob Welch was given a tip by his friend Judy Wong that Fleetwood Mac was looking for a guitarist to replace Jeremy Spencer. She suggested that he come over and meet the band The meeting went well and they hired him. Bob was American and the band thought that this would be the perfect opportunity to take some steps towards re-defining Fleetwood Mac as a soft rock band.

That 'softer' sound can clearly be heard on the "Future Games" album, which was released towards the end of 1971. Two songs on this album were written by Bob Welch ("Lay It All Down": and "Future Games"), but Danny Kirwan and Christine McVie also contributed significantly. With these three different styles of songwriting at work on the same record, "Future Games" was seen by many as being probably the most varied Mac album to date. It was the beginning of an entirely new era for the band. While they were gaining a strong following in the U.S., the UK audience did continue to mourn the passing of the Peter Green era. "Future Games" reached the Top 100 in the US but not surprisingly never charted in the UK.

The next album produced by this line up was "Bare Trees" in 1972. It was recorded rather quickly -- between two tours -- but still stands out as one of the finest Mac albums ever. Take Christine’s "Spare Me A Little Of Your Love" or Bob Welch’s "Sentimental Lady" -- these songs are Mac classics to this day . After the release of "Bare Trees" the band successfully toured the U.S. and UK but the tide was noticeably shifting. Fleetwood Mac was becoming more popular stateside than in the UK although in both places they were appearing with the same big name acts -- bands like Deep Purple and Savoy Brown (sometimes as the headliner, sometimes as the opening act).

The rush of touring and recording began to take its toll -- especially on Danny Kirwan. He always had chronic stage fright and this together with the fact that he was forced to be more in the spotlight as the only lead guitarist left in the band made him lose control over himself. Under the influence of alcohol, he became aggressive. One night he got into a heated discussion with Bob Welch about something really trivial like tuning. He got so irritated with Bob that he smashed his own head against the wall , wrecked his guitar. and refused to go on stage for that nights performance. When Danny criticized the rest of the band after the concert, Mick fired him and the rest of the tour was cancelled.

The search for a new vocalist/guitarist led to the hiring of two new members. Dave Walker, lead singer of Savoy Brown, and Bob Weston. Dave brought a harder-edged sound to Fleetwood Mac which was a direction that their manager Clifford Davis was intrigued by. He knew that most of the popular bands of the day were hard rockers like Deep Purple and Davis wanted to capitalize on that. Dave, as Savoy Brown's lead, was known as a powerful stage presence. The thought was that this would hopefully make up for the star power lacking with Peter Green out of the band. The second new member was Bob Weston, a guitarist who had played with Long John Baldry. Once the two newcomers were adapted in, Fleetwood Mac started to tour again -- for the first time ever with six members.

In January 1973, right after their tour ended, they went into the studio to record their "Penguin" album. Two singles were released from that album, Christine's song "Remember Me" and "Did You Ever Love Me" , a duet featuring Christine with Bob Weston. Neither of these two singles charted. Curiously enough, the sound of the album was close enough to what they had released prior that the album ended up charting fairly well -- even without hit songs or a hard rock sound. "Penguin" reached the Top 50 in the US and summarily was their greatest commercial success in the states thus far. But the record flopped in the UK. The British fans were still clamoring for the Blues sound as proven yet again in 1973 when "Albatross" was re-released and reached #2 on the charts.

The group got together and wanted to make a change. They wanted Dave Walker out of the band. It's not that they didn't think he was a great vocalist -- they just didn't want a 'defined frontman'. Dave left after only eight months with the band. The remaining quintet completed another album, "Mystery To Me". It features some outstanding material including Bob Welch’s "Hypnotized" and "Emerald Eyes", and Christine McVie’s "Why". "Why" was particularly heart-wrenching as it chronicled the dissolution of her marriage to John McVie. A song that The Yardbirds made famous, "For Your Love", was also on the album. At the time, Bob Weston suggested it be released as a single - thinking a cover song would become a hit and therefore please the powers that be at Reprise. So "For Your Love" was released as a single with "Hypnotized" on the B-side. Ironically enough it was the Welch-penned "Hypnotized" that became the Mac classic, not the cover song.

While they were on the road in America in 1973 to support "Mystery To Me", Mick realized something was terribly wrong. Band mate Bob Weston was spending more and more time with Mick’s wife Jenny. It wasn't long before Mick found out that his wife was having an affair with his bandmate. Mick laid low for a while, not making any decisions, until he finally had enough. Bob was let go although it's not clear which bandmember actually told him that he was out of the band. Bob Welch then called their manager, Clifford Davis, and told him that the rest of the tour would have to be cancelled.

Davis then took it upon himself to form a new group with musicians to fulfill 'Fleetwood Mac's contractual obligations. At the time he felt like he was the owner of the Fleetwood Mac name and could do what he wanted with that name. He sent this bogus band out on the road to complete the balance of dates on the tour. The battle for justice began. The goal? -- to find out who really legally owned the name Fleetwood Mac. It was also during that time period that Christine and John McVie, Mick Fleetwood and Bob Welch decided to settle permanently in the U.S. The name Fleetwood Mac eventually got legally assigned to its rightful owners, Mick Fleetwood and John McVie - but this didn't happen without a lengthy legal fight that dragged on for years . After the legal nightmare they had both been through, Mick and John decided to form their own management company so they could control their own recording and touring destiny. Thus 'Seedy Management' was born.

The entire band was relieved and felt liberated from all the trouble that had nothing to do with music. They couldn't wait to get back into the studio again to record a new album. All of the songs on "Heroes Are Hard To Find" were written by Christine and Bob Welch. Some standout tracks include jewels like Christine's "Come A Little Bit Closer" and "Heroes Are Hard To Find" which was released as a single. And the positive U.S. album sales trend continued as this album charted better than the one before, reaching all the way up to #34.

At the end of 1974, despite all the success and contributions he had made as a singer/songwriter in the past four years, the controversy for the bands name and all the trouble that came with it, became too much for Bob Welch. He grew tired of drama that is Fleetwood Mac and decided to leave the band. A tremendous loss...

No one could have foreseen, at that time, that Fleetwood Mac would soon become a record breaking hit making machine, with a stable line-up for the next twelve years.

In late 1974, Mick started checking out potential studios in the L.A. area for a place to record the next Fleetwood Mac album. He came upon Sound City Studios and owner Keith Olsen. Keith began demonstrating to Mick the quality of recording that his studio could produce. He used the studio recording of a song called "Frozen Love" to make his point of just how good the acoustics were in his studio. Mick then asked Keith who the duo was on that amazing. recording as he was just knocked out by their talent. This duo turned out to be none other than Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks.

Mick kept those names in his memory, and when Bob Welch quit, he and John McVie arranged to meet the two young artists. In that moment, Mick and John were only interested in hiring Lindsey Buckingham, because they were really looking for someone to replace Bob Welch. Once they realized that Buckingham/Nicks were a package deal, they hired both of them.
No time was wasted in booking studio time at Olsen's Sound City for the 10th edition of Fleetwood Mac. After only ten days in the studio, they recorded an album simply called "Fleetwood Mac". known to most fans as simply "The White Album". One of the reasons why the album was recorded so quickly was that "Rhiannon", "Monday Morning", and "I'm So Afraid" were already written for what would have been Buckingham and Nicks' second album. And the song "Crystal" was simply a re-recording of the song of the same name on the Buckingham Nicks LP with Polydor. Christine also was well-prepared with a few songs she had ready to contribute to the album.

Only a few weeks after the White Album's release in July 1975, this new incarnation of Fleetwood Mac was already proving to be the most commercially successful lineup yet. The first single taken from the album was Christine's "Over My Head" with Lindsey's "I'm So Afraid" as the b-side. "Over My Head" became a radio staple and was their first top 20 single ever in the States. "The White Album" topped the album charts in September 1976 and incredulously stayed on that chart until 1978.

The band was excited about their newfound success and couldn't wait to take their new show and new, now commercially successful band on the road. The second single taken from the album was Stevie's beautiful "Rhiannon", which proved to be even a bigger hit than "Over My Head" reaching #11 on the charts. Then came the release of "Say You Love Me" which also reached #11.

Christine recalls: "We could tell by the first concert we ever did it was going to be good. That first show went down like a storm. There was something about the combination of people on the stage that was very special."

Despite some side projects and guest appearances on some other artists albums, the band spent most of 1976 in the Record Plant Studios in Sausalito, California recording their follow-up to the "White Album". A clear theme was beginning to emerge during the recording of the new album, which ultimately would be called "Rumours". And that theme was 'relationships on the rocks'. Yes, this is exactly what was happening. Stevie and Lindsey's relationship seemed to be heading towards a painful end but so was John and Christines. Even Mick and his wife Jenny were splitting up -- their situation not helped by her affair with Bob Weston. The stress of the unraveling relationships of these five people was painfully evident on the songs recorded during at the time.

And to complicate matters further, there were some technical difficulties during the recording process and one the "Rumours" tapes got destroyed. They did re-record the material but it made their experience in Sausalito that much more frustrating.
Eleven songs made the albums final cut but one particular stand-out track was missing. The name of that song was "Silver Springs", a song Stevie wrote and really wanted on the album. Mick told Stevie that the song couldn't be on the album because there simply wasn't enough room. He suggested that she shorten the length of the track. She flatly refused, believing that his explanation sounded like a cop out. (sidenote that "I Don't Wanna Know" ended up replacing "Silver Springs" on the record).

The "Silver Springs" issue would remain a sore spot for Stevie for years to come. In order to appease her, the band agreed to make "Silver Springs" the b-side of the first single, Lindsey's "Go Your Own Way". That Lindsey anthem ironically became a huge hit in the States (#10) and also did very well in the UK (#38).

'Rumours' was finally released in February 1977 - and by the largest label they had dealt with thus far, Warner Bros. The album shot up to #1 and remained there for an astonishing six months. It shattered all previously held album sales records. And to this day, "Rumours" is still one of the best-selling albums of all time (19 times platinum in the U.S. alone, 30 million albums sold worldwide).Fleetwood Mac won the Rolling Stone award for 'Artist of the Year', 'Best Album', 'Best Single' ("Dreams") and numerous other awards in several countries. "Rumours" also won the Grammy Award in 1977 for 'Album of the Year',

Stevie Nick's "Dreams" was the second single and proved to be an even bigger hit than "Go Your Own Way". "Dreams", released in June 1977, still stands as the only Fleetwood Mac single that ever topped the Billboard Hot 100. On the b-side was Christine's "Songbird", the only track on "Rumours" that was not recorded in Sausalito. Rather it was recorded in the emptiness of the Zellerback Auditorium. The third single was Christine's buoyant song of hope "Don't Stop" -- with Stevie's "Gold Dust Woman" as the flip side. The fourth, and final single was "You Make Loving Fun" with "Never Going Back Again" as the b-side.

The "Rumours" tour started in February in the States. It took the band, with few interruptions to Europe, Australia and then back to the States where it concluded in August 1978. Although Fleetwood Mac didn't release any new material during this time, most of the band members also had side projects going on as well. After a short period of relative rest, they began to make plans for the follow-up to the musical and cultural phenomenon that was "Rumours".

Although all five Macsters were intent on releasing the follow-up, they didn't spend much time together in the studio. Lindsey chose to record his songs for the new album in his home studio. Christine and Stevie contributed their fair share of material as well. "Tusk", as it would eventually be called, morphed into an artistic mosaic of pop-rock songs by three very different songwriters with distinct creative voices.

Lindsey recalled years later "One of the problems with "Tusk" was that it was a lot like a one-man experience. It was just me doing over dubs and stuff . . . It didn't include the band."
The "Tusk" double album was released in October 1979 with the title track as the first single. The song, written by Lindsey, came out of a jam the band often played around with at rehearsals. Mick then came with the idea of recording the song with a marching band, the U.S.C. Trojan Marching Band. Indeed, the whole concept for the song was eclectic from the start.

However "Tusk", because it was a double album, was considered an expensive purchase for music fans -- at least for those days. It also threw off the bands American fans who were expecting "Rumours Part 2". So the album didn't do as well in the States as the bands two former albums. It did do very well though selling an impressive 4 million copies in the States and reached #4 on the album charts. In the UK, "Tusk" managed to do what "Rumours" couldn't, reach #1. "Tusk" was, and still is to this day, considered to be somewhat of an experimental album -- Lindsey's personal Fleetwood Mac masterpiece if you will.

The second single taken from 'Tusk' was the magnificent Stevie song "Sara". The song had been edited down from it's original version which had clocked in at 6 min 26 seconds. The edited version is the one we all heard on the radio, so much so that it rocketed up to #7 on the U.S. charts. The 3rd and 4th singles, Christine's "Think About Me" (#20) and Stevie's "Sisters of The Moon" (#86), didn't fare as well. To this day, however, the latter track is considered by many to be the 'holy grail' of Stevie live performances. She often rocked out and spoke in tongues while performing the song.

The band once again hit the road -- this time for the longest tour ever. For nearly eleven months the band ran themselves ragged around the world, playing for hundreds of thousands of fans. According to the liner notes of their subsequent "Live" album, Fleetwood Mac played for 1,276,000 people during that tour. They literally went everywhere -- Japan, Australia, New Zealand, back to the States and Canada, then over to Europe and then ended the tour in the States in LA on September 1st, 1980.
After the band had finished their "Tusk" tour, they obviously needed a break. They used this down-time to put together their first official "Live" album. The live tracks that ended up on this second consecutive double LP came out of three tours: "White Album", "Rumours", and "Tusk". One of the standout tracks on the album was Lindsey playing lead on the old Peter Green track "Oh Well". And then there was "Don't Let Me Down Again" a song originally recorded by Stevie and Lindsey on their Buckingham Nicks album.

The album also included three previously unreleased tracks that the band had recorded in front of some friends and their road crew at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium. One of these songs was "Fireflies", a Stevie song, which was also the first single to be released from the album. The second single was the Brian Wilson-penned Beach Boys cover "The Farmer's Daughter". Neither of these singles became a bona fide hit and "The Farmer's Daughter" failed to chart at all. The other new song, Christine's "One More Night", was never released as a single. The album itself placed fairly well on the charts, reaching #14 in the U.S. and #31 in the UK.

With the live album en route to record stores, Mick, Lindsey, John, Stevie and Christine took off in separate directions. "We needed the breathing space," says Mick, "and I think we all deserved at least a six-month vacation." Stevie agrees: "Fleetwood Mac is like a marriage of five people and sometimes you've just got to have some room."

During that period away from Fleetwood Mac, most of the members pursued solo projects. Stevie released her first and very successful solo album, "Bella Donna." (4x platinum) Lindsey made his first solo statement with "Law and Order" and Mick traveled to Ghana to record his first solo effort, "The Visitor" (which featured a guest appearance by. Peter Green). John went sailing with his boat to Tahiti. Christine joined her boyfriend, Beach Boy Dennis Wilson on the road for a few weeks, writing songs and enjoying a well-deserved vacation.

But even with Fleetwood Mac on hiatus, we were still able to enjoy a release from them. In 1981, the "Fleetwood Mac Documentary and Live Concert" was released. The video was shot during the "Tusk" tour and is a fan favorite to this day. It contains some live video clips along with some interviews with the band.

Several music pundits, fans and maybe even a few of the band members themselves thought that these solo projects might spell the end of Fleetwood Mac. Wrong. On the contrary, the fact they were all able to have a solo outlet seemed to feed their desire to work together again soon -- in an even more collaborative way.

Recording sessions began in April of 1981 when the band traveled to France to cut basic tracks in an intentionally isolated environment. Subsequent recording, mixing, and mastering dates in Los Angeles delayed completion of the new album until June 1982. The album was called "Mirage" and it was like nothing Fleetwood Mac had ever done before

Maybe it wasn't as brilliant as "Rumours" or as adventurous as "Tusk," but "Mirage" turned out to be a wonderful album nonetheless. In the States the new album shot almost immediately to #1. And they were pleasantly surprised to find the LP selling impressively in the UK as well, peaking at #5. In the ensuing months four singles would be released from the album. First there was Christine's "Hold Me" which reached #4 in the U.S. Next came Stevie's classic, "Gypsy" (#12) which interestingly enough didn't place as high on the charts as "Hold Me". Most fans who love "Gypsy" will probably tell you that it was that memorable video clip for "Gypsy" that made them Stevie fans. The third single "Love In Store" was a moderate success in the States reaching #22. The final release off of "Mirage", Lindsey's "Oh Diane" really made its mark in the UK reaching #9. The song never charted Stateside.

A short tour to support "Mirage" followed however this time they only toured the States. They started off in Atlanta in early September and finished at the end of October in Austin, Texas. One of the best things that came out of this short U.S. tour is a recording that was made during their LA Forum concerts on October 21st and 22nd. This video, called "Fleetwood Mac in Concert Mirage Tour" was released in 1983 and to this day is a popular fan collectors item.

After the "Mirage" tour, the band members went off again on their own pursuing solo projects. Stevie released her "The Wild Heart" album in 1983 and 'Rock A Little' in 1985, followed by two successful tours. 1984 saw the release of Lindsey's second solo album, "Go Insane" and then Christine released her self-titled LP later that same year. Mick formed a new band, 'Mick Fleetwood's Zoo,' made a record, with them and also went on tour. Stevie, Lindsey, Christine, and Mick all enjoyed making their solo records and the subsequent tours that followed. John would continue to pursue his passion to sail.

As fate would have it, Fleetwood Mac wouldn't reconvene as a band again until 1987.

In 1986, Fleetwood Mac reunited to record "Tango in the Night". The album, which wasn't released until 1987, produced four Top 20 hits: "Big Love," "Everywhere," "Seven Wonders" and the MTV favorite "Little Lies." In spite of the albums success or maybe because of it, Lindsey Buckingham announced that he was formally quitting Fleetwood Mac to pursue a solo career. Fleetwood Mac then did what they had done so many times before -- adapt to change.

The Lindsey-less Mac went out on a successful tour which produced the wildly popular "Tango In The Night" tour video which was filmed on October 21st and 22nd at the Cow Palace in San Francisco CA. Then the band took another break during which Stevie Nicks released her "Other Side Of The Mirror" solo album.

Then the group (still without Lindsey Buckingham), reconvened to record "Behind The Mask" in 1990. The record quickly went platinum and The Mac once again proved that they were unstoppable. But even with a new seemingly solid lineup, changes were on the horizon yet again. Even after a sold-out World Tour which satiated Mac-hungry European fans in particular, guitarist Rick Vito cited personal decisions and left the band in 1991. Mac stalwart Stevie Nicks also decided to call it quits, leaving the future of Fleetwood Mac in question yet again.

Following another round of solo albums and side-projects, Fleetwood Mac decided that it was time to release a boxed set to commemorate the band's 25th anniversary. The 1992 collection was called "The Chain" and boasted four new songs.

That same year, a man named William Jefferson Clinton wanted to be U.S. President and was looking for a theme song for his campaign. He chose The Mac's "Don't Stop" which the band ended up playing live when Clinton was inaugurated. Clinton may have gone on to become President, but the "Rumours" lineup as an ongoing recording unit was not to be. Apparently, there were some disagreements as to the direction of the band at the time, and Stevie and Lindsey decided to opt out of any future projects. So Mick Fleetwood, forever the Macster, carried on without them.

In 1994, Fleetwood Mac recorded an album tentatively titled "Another Link In The Chain".Mick had assembled an entirely new lineup consisting of him and John McVie, Christine McVie, "Tango" vet Billy Burnette, "Zoo" vocalist Bekka Bramlett, and ex-Traffic guitarist Dave Mason. While waiting for their album to be released, Fleetwood Mac embarked on a World Tour, opening for Crosby, Stills and Nash. They also toured in 1995 on an entirely different bill with Orleans as the opening act , Pat Benatar, co-headlining with 70's power ballad pioneers REO Speedwagon.

In October 1995, almost an entire year after the album was initially recorded -- and after the tour had already ended -- , Warner Brothers finally released the Mac's new album, which was now called "Time". The album sold poorly and the tour didn't fare much better. After all, it's hard to sell tickets for a tour when you're given no album to promote, have no support from your label, and have an essentially brand new lineup of a legendary band to push. Bandmember frustration ensued and yet another incarnation of Fleetwood Mac would enter the annals of Mac recording history.

In late 1996 it was announced that the "Rumours"-era lineup of Fleetwood Mac -- Mick Fleetwood, John McVie, Christine McVie, Stevie Nicks, and Lindsey Buckingham -- would be reuniting for a new album and tour. "Rumours"-era Mac fans were overwhelmed with joy. Their Mac was back! That album, "The Dance", was precipitated by a hugely successful MTV special and was released in August 1997. A wildly successful tour and DVD release followed soon after. The album spawned the hit "Silver Springs" -- an old Stevie-penned track that was originally supposed to be on the "Rumours" LP back in 1977.

The late '90s also saw a passel of releases of previously unreleased live recordings of the Peter Green/Jeremy Spencer version of Mac, including "Shrine '69" and three volumes from a 1970 concert in Boston titled "Live in Boston - Remastered (Vol. 1, 2 & 3)”).

At the start of the millennium, several of the current and former members of Fleetwood Mac were recording solo albums. Stevie Nicks, Billy Burnette, Rick Vito, and Peter Green all produced solo efforts between 2000-2002.

In October 2002, Reprise Records released "The Very Best of Fleetwood Mac", a 36-track double disc compilation CD. The UK version with the same name contains 21 tracks. We are pleased to announced that the album has already been RIAA Certified Platinum

The solo releases kept coming - the soundtracks kept coming - the collaborations kept coming. But the fans wanted new studio material from their favorite band. Lindsey was all set to release a solo project he had been working on tentatively entitled "Gift Of Screws" but was encouraged by Warner Brothers to morph his material into a new Fleetwood Mac project. Stevie had just released 2001's "Trouble In Shangri-la" and had just finished her summer tour. John and Mick were ready to participate but unfortunately Christine wasn't. She opted out of recording with The Mac -- a stinging loss to long-time Mac fans.

April 2003 saw the release this effort. An 18-track Buckingham/Nicks - penned opus called "Say You Will". The album marked The Mac's first studio release since "Time" in 1995. It also marked the first time Lindsey was in the Mac's studio lineup since 1987 and the first time in some 30 years that Christine McVie wasn't. But "Say You Will" proved to be not about what was missing. It was about what was still there and stronger than ever. VH1 filmed an insightful, telling documentary about the making of the album. It was called "Destiny Rules" and it aired on March 14, 2004 in the States. The special proved to be hugely popular with fans.

Fleetwood Mac is about to re-start its 2003-2004 World Tour which began May 2003 in Columbus, OH and is still going strong a year later. The tour has proven to be hugely successful -- so much so that PBS is airing two separate Mac related "Soundstage" specials this summer. One is Lindsey Buckingham solo (with Stevie Nicks) and the other is a broadcast of a Mac show from Worcester Mass from the summer of 2003. A concert DVD from the tour is also expected at some point.

To date Fleetwood Mac has sold over 100 million albums, making them one of the most popular bands in rock history. 16 bandmembers, 37 years. The Fleetwood Mac Legacy Plays On...

(Source: Jan Freedland, via fmlegacy.com)

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