Timeless: Fleetwood Mac
Written by: Isobel Bush
Although most bands experience a great deal of stylistic changes throughout their career, it’s safe to say not many have experienced a history as turbulent as that of Fleetwood Mac.
Originally touted as a British blues band – founding drummer Mick Fleetwood; guitarist Peter Green; and guitarist Jeremy Spencer were joined by bassist John McVie in time for the release of their first studio album. Green and Spencer left the band along with several other members who came and went during the early years. Fleetwood and McVie would be the only consistent members throughout the band’s lifetime.
With the intact rhythm section remaining, the group experimented with a variety of tones and sounds with each meandering member bringing their unique talents and attributes. One such member, keyboardist Christine Perfect, married McVie to become Christine McVie. But it was in 1974 when Fleetwood Mac would find the pieces that would make them whole.
Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks were introduced to Fleetwood while he was scouting talent in Los Angeles. Buckingham agreed to be the new guitarist, but only if Nicks could also join the band. The duo brought a pop element to the group – the distinctive talent the band had been lacking. In 1975, Fleetwood Mac or The White Album was the first album to feature their newest additions. The group went on to dominate the charts, <reaching number one in the United States. Even though this was Fleetwood Mac’s tenth album it was only the beginning.
In 1977, the band created Rumours. To this day it is one of the best-selling albums ever made. The album produced four US top 10 singles and remained number one on American album charts for 31 weeks. Inspired by the real life tensions when both couples in the group split, the album is essentially a breakup record. Despite their inner toils, they continued making music together. The group remained together for three more studio albums but began to disintegrate due to the solo careers of Buckingham and Nicks. There have been many other members of the band since then, but the Rumours quintet was by far the most influential on the music industry.
Regardless of their complicated history, the songs of Fleetwood Mac can only be described as timeless. The group’s raw talent and authenticity has spoken to generations of people. Most recently, the Rumours classics “Dreams” reentered the Billboard Rock Songs Chart at number 14 in 2018, 41 years after its release. Timeless.