Fleetwood Mac began their music career in 1967 as a British blues band. By the mid 70’s they’d relocated to California and became a pop group. The band’s name came from the combination of Mick Fleetwood and John McVie.
The idea to form the band had came from Peter Green, both Fleetwood and McVie had been in a band with Green. The three had joined together at Greens suggestion and formed Fleetwood Mac. The fourth member of the band was Jeremy Spencer.
Ironically, over the years the only things that have remained the same with Fleetwood Mac has been the band’s name and the rhythm section of Fleetwood and McVie!
Although, many bands have went through member changes, Fleetwood Mac changed both their members and styles with almost every new album! Even amidst all the changing going on the band still somehow managed to release albums that attracted a very loyal fan base.
The band’s debut appearance in August of 1967 at the British Jazz and Blues Festival got the band a record contract! Fleetwood Mac was a success in Britain immediately, their debut album spent 13 months near the top of the charts!
Through 1970 the band saw success in the UK, with hits such as “Black Magic Woman” and “Albatross”. The U.S. showed the band very little interest, in their first American tour they were billed third behind Joe Cocker and Jethro Tull.
“Fleetwood Mac” was recorded in Chicago and featured blues favorites such as Otis Spann and Willie Dixon. The album was recorded in 1969, but wasn’t released until 1971. By the time the album was released, Fleetwood Mac had already began easing away from the all blues style.
In early 1970, Green quit the band to pursue his religious beliefs. Christine Perfect and Danny Kirwan joined the band and their music took on a melodic style. Perfect was already under contract and couldn’t officially join the band until 1971 and by then her and McVie were married!
In 1971, Spencer disappeared and soon turned up as a member of the Children of God, a religious cult! Spencer’s departure from the band resulted in the addition of Bob Welch.
Before long Kirwan was fired and Dave Walker and Bob Weston came in to replace him. However, both of them left the band before long. The band’s manager then formed a band including Walker and Weston, he called the band Fleetwood Mac and sent them on a tour in the U.S.
The real band filed an injunction and the bogus Fleetwood Mac was forced to drop the name. But, Fleetwood was unable to tour for the biggest part of 1974 due to legal complications. Mick Fleetwood performed most of the responsibilities of being the manager up until 1980.
After Welch left the band in 1975, Fleetwood Mac finally found their most popular line-up. Producer Keith Olsen let the band listen to an album he’d done for Buckingham-Nicks. The band not only hired Olsen, but they also hired the duo of Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham.
In 1975, “Fleetwood Mac” was released, because of the white cover, it’s often referred to as the “White Album”. The record was a big success for the band and it reached #1 in the U.S. The albums singles were Christine McVie’s “Over My Head” and “Say You Love Me” and Stevie Nicks, “Rhiannon” and “Landslide”.
By 1976, Fleetwood was going through a divorce, Buckingham and Nick’s broke up and John and Christine McVie’s marriage came to an end. The band was being pressured to release a follow-up album, but the personal tensions were fueled even more with the alcohol and drug abuse.
Fleetwood Mac released “Rumors” in 1977, the album possessed a lot of the turmoil that was going on in the band members lives at the time. But, the album became the years best selling album and stayed at the top of the charts for over six months.
“Rumors” also won a Grammy to Album of The Year in 1977. Several hit singles came from the album, “Go Your Own Way”, “Dreams”, “Don’t Stop” and “You Make Loving Fun”. By 2003, “Rumor” had sold over 19 million copies in the U.S. and was certified diamond. It has become one of the biggest selling albums of all time with a total of 30 million albums worldwide!
Fleetwood Mac’s double album, “Tusk” was released in 1979. The album only sold 4 million copies worldwide and was deemed a failure by the label. The label blamed Buckingham who had produced the album and Fleetwood blamed the radio stations. One major U.S. radio station had been playing all twenty songs on the album before it was released.
After the release of “Mirage” in 1982, which went double platinum, and the tour to promote the album the band took a break. Some of the members used the time to pursue solo careers.
Christine McVie, Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks all released albums during this time. All three had success as solo artists, but Stevie Nicks became the most popular.
During this period Mick Fleetwood filed bankruptcy, Stevie Nicks entered the Betty Ford Clinic for drug addictions and John McVie had a seizure related to his addiction. Rumors were circling that the band had broken up for good.
The same member that had recorded “Rumors”, released another album “Tango In The Night” in 1987. A tour was planned, but Buckingham refused to go. Reportedly a heated argument took place between Buckingham and Fleetwood, Buckingham left the band!
With Buckingham gone, Billy Burnette and Rick Vito were added to the bands lineup. And, they toured along with the rest of the band in support of “Tango In The Night”.
In 1990 the bands first studio album that didn’t reach platinum since 1975, “Behind the Mask” was released. At the same time both Nicks and Christine McVie had announced they would stay with the band, but wouldn’t be doing any more touring.
Buckingham rejoined the band in 1993, they performed “Don’t Stop” at Bill Clinton’s inaugural gala. The next month Nicks made her departure and soon released “Street Angel”. The band once again had new members join in the fall of 1993. Dave Mason and Bekka Bramlett joined the group.
The following year, the “Rumors” lineup reunited to record “The Dance”. It included the bands greatest hits along with four new songs. Fleetwood Mac did their first worldwide tour in 15 years.
Fleetwood Mac was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1998. By 2000, the band had sold over 100 million albums and “Rumors” had sold 25 million copies!
“The Very Best of Fleetwood Mac” was released in October of 2002, the album went platinum. The double album contained 36 of the bands songs and was released on the Reprise Record label.
“Say You Will” came out in 2003, it debuted at #3 on the charts and the tour that followed proved to be successful. In 2006, Buckingham spoke of plans of for a reunion and a 2008 tour. But, any recording plans have been put on hold.
Fleetwood Mac has given us a wide range of music styles, they’ve sang songs that’s made us cry and songs that’s made us smile. And, despite all the changes in the lineup, they have became one of the most popular bands in the history of rock and roll!
In a more recent interview, Mick Fleetwood said, “Be very happy and hopeful that we will be working again. I can tell you that everyone is going to be extremely excited about what’s happening with Fleetwood Mac”!
Written by Connie Corder, Copyright 2010 all rights reserved BestOfAllTopics.com