Who remembers the classic line from Kevin Costner in Field of Dreams? “If you build it, he will come”… That classic line ranks #39 on the all time most memorable movie quotes. During the scene an Iowa farmer played by Costner, hears a voice telling him that if he builds a baseball diamond in his field, Shoeless Joe Jackson will appear. Of course, true to Hollywood form, the field is completed and indeed, Shoeless Joe Jackson and other notable deceased baseball players emerge from the cornfield to play on field.
That is a textbook example of “Prescience” which is defined as: a foreknowledge of events: a : divine omniscience. b : human anticipation of the course of events : foresight.
It also applies to today’s Superstars – Fleetwood Mac.
Whoever named Fleetwood Mac was either extremely lucky or prescient. The only thing that has not changed since Fleetwood Mac’s inception in 1967 is the rhythm section of Mick Fleetwood and John McVie. From their original roots as traditional British Blues band, Fleetwood Mac have metamorphosed through personnel to maker of one the top selling pop music albums ever, Rumors. Since the release of Rumors in 1977, Fleetwood Mac has gone through personnel like Tim Horton’s goes through creamers. In both cases they not only survive they thrive.
The early years of Fleetwood Mac 1967-1970 came with moderate success in the UK music scene however they were largely ignored in the US market. Christine Perfect (who would become John McVie’s wife, known as Christine McVie) joined the band in 1969. Bob Welch who wrote Sentimental Lady, joined the band in 1971. In what could be best known as a transitional era for Fleetwood Mac from 1970-1974 the Band released a few more albums, with little fanfare or recognition. The year 1974 also marked the Fake Fleetwood Mac fiasco. The bands manager, Clifford Davis claimed he own the rights to the name Fleetwood Mac and sent a newly formed band to tour the US. After a successful cease and desist order was granted the fake Fleetwood Mac were forced to stop. The real Fleetwood Mac then relocated to California in 1974. The band released their 9th studio Album, Heroes Are Hard To Find, in 1974 to a modest reception. Bob Welch left the band making room for two new members Lindsay Buckingham and the ineffable Stevie Nicks.
Buckingham demonstrated his brilliance in the studio and Stevie Nicks with her flowing gowns and raspy vocal tones became a mid – 1970’s sex symbol. The release of the 1975, self titled album Fleetwood Mac, propelled Fleetwood Mac to the top of the charts hitting #1 and selling more than 5 million copies. Among the hit singles from this album were Christine McVie’s “Over My Head” and “Say You Love Me” and Stevie Nicks’ “Rhiannon”, as well as the much-played album track “Landslide”, a live rendition of which became a hit twenty years later on The Dance album.The success of this album brought tension to the personal lives of both, the McVie’s, who divorced in 1976 as well as Buckingham and Nicks who separated soon after.
Perhaps it was the existential angst and tension that set Fleetwood Mac up the event about to happen in 1977. The band’s eleventh studio album, Rumours was released in the spring of 1977. In this album the band members laid bare the emotional turmoil they were experiencing at the time. Rumours was critically acclaimed and won the Grammy Award for Album of the Year in 1977. The album generated multiple Top Ten singles, including Buckingham’s “Go Your Own Way”, Nicks’ US No.1 “Dreams”and Christine McVie’s “Don’t Stop” and “You Make Loving Fun”. Buckingham’s “Second Hand News”, Nicks’ “Gold Dust Woman” and “The Chain” also received significant radio airplay. The classic “Songbird” was also a cult phenomenon. By 2003 Rumours had sold over 19 million copies in the US alone and a total of 40 million copies worldwide, bringing it to eighth on the list of best-selling albums. Fleetwood Mac supported the album with a lucrative tour.
After spending the next year touring some of the biggest venues in the world, Fleetwood Mac released Tusk in 1979. Critics claimed that the album was too ambitious and experimental for commercial success but it still managed to hit #4 on the Album Charts with two top 10 hits, the title track “Tusk” and “Sara”. The album still managed to sell over 4 million copies. After taking a break for Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham to record solo albums, Fleetwood Mac returned to the studio to release their 13th studio album. Its hits included Christine McVie’s “Hold Me” and “Love in Store” and the Stevie Nicks’ featured hit “Gypsy”.
Fleetwood Mac recorded their fourteenth studio album, Tango in the Night, in 1987. As with various other Fleetwood Mac albums, the material started off as a Buckingham solo album before becoming a group project. The album went on to become their best-selling release since Rumours, especially in the UK where it hit No. 1 three times in the following year. The album sold three million copies in the USA and contained four hits: Christine McVie’s “Little Lies” and “Everywhere” Stevie Nicks’ “Seven Wonders”, and Lindsey Buckingham’s “Big Love”.
After the release of Tango In The Night, the band was subject to more adversity, turmoil and personal issues. It seemed that success on the world stage and the lifestyle that goes with that, caught up with them. Linsey Buckingham left the group over personal conflicts, McVie and Nicks were battling substance issues and it led to a 3 year hiatus from the studio. In 1990 the band released their 14th studio album, Behind The Mask, which became their first studio album since 1975 that failed go platinum. The album peaked at #18 and produced only one top 20 hit, “Save Me”. In 1991 Nick’s left the band as well. The band got back together briefly in 1993, strangely enough at the request of Bill Clinton, for his Inaugural Ball. “Don’t Stop” was a featured theme song on the Clinton campaign trail.
In 1998 Christine McVie retired from touring. The band stayed together as a four-piece consisting of John McVie, Mick Fleetwood, Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks. In 2014 Christine McVie rejoined full-time. The latest studio album by the band was 2003’s Say You Will. In 2018, Buckingham was fired from the band, and was replaced by Mike Campbell, formerly of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, and Neil Finn of Split Enz and Crowded House.
The Fleetwood Mac Discography consists of 17 studio albums, 8 live albums, and 23 compilation albums. Legendary Status
Fleetwood Mac have spanned 5 decades and have proven themselves over and over again classic KOOL 98 Superstars!