From British blues-rock to the extraordinary development of West Coast pop-rockers, Fleetwood Mac has spent decades building one of the most beloved catalogs in music. It started in 1967 when the guitarist Peter Greenbassist John McVie and drummer Mick Fleetwood – all short stints with London’s prolific incubator of rock stars John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers – Started a new band the same way with slide guitarist Jeremy Spencer. Greene named Fleetwood Mac after his favorite rhythm section Fleetwood and McVie (the three had previously recorded an instrumental called “Fleetwood Mac” during Mayall’s sponsored studios), although Bob Bruning played bass for the new group’s first few weeks, as McVie did not want to leave the protection of Mayall’s band. .
McVie soon changed his tune and Fleetwood Mac was off and running. By February 1968, they released their self-titled debut album, a mix of Green and Spencer originals and blues standards that became an instant hit in the UK. Within six months, Fleetwood Mac released new singles “Black Magic Woman” (later a hit for Santana) and “Need Your Love So Bad” and another album. sir wonderful, which added a horn section and session keyboardist Christine Perfect. In late 1968, Perfect married McVie, teenage guitar phenom Danny Kirwan joined the band and Fleetwood Mac scored their first UK No.1 single with the gorgeous instrumental slow jam ‘Albatross’.
They began 1969 by cementing the integrity of the blues by recording once and for all Life in Chicago along with the like Buddy Guy and Willie Dixon on Chess records Studio. More UK and European hits followed, including ‘Man Of The World’ and ‘Oh Well’. The latter appeared on Fleetwood Mac’s third album, Then play, which saw them expand beyond their hard-edged blues-rock origins into psychedelic rock and folk. The LSD-infused psych tendencies deepened in the 1970s with “The Green Manalishi (With the Two Prong Crown),” Green’s last hit before leaving the band. Following his departure, the band released the Kirwan-penned psych-folk highlight “Dragonfly”.
In Green’s absence, Spencer, who had been marginalized since Kirwan joined the band, re-engaged and partnered with Kirwan on their fourth album. Klin’s house, named after the communal house of the group. Spencer’s driving force as a group was short-lived; In early 1971, he disappeared from Fleetwood Mac’s tour to join a religious cult, leaving Green as a temporary replacement. After auditions for a new guitarist, Bob Welch’s fifth album was released future games It appeared in September. moving away from both blues and psych towards a more mainstream rock sound. This was the first time Christine McVie was an official member, although she had been performing live with the band since 1969.
A few months later, they released their sixth album, bare treeswhich included “Sentimental Lady,” Welch’s future solo hit. bare trees This would be Kirwan’s last release with the band; Later, in 1972, he was fired for erratic behavior related to alcoholism. In came slide guitarist Bob Weston and new singer Dave Walker, who both contributed in 1973. Penguin. Neither lasted a year in the consistently raging lineup, but Weston stuck around long enough to contribute to their eighth album. Mystery for me. After seeing American sales with their ninth LP Heroes are hard to findand its subsequent tour in 1974, the group moved to Los Angeles in search of a fresh start.
They discovered Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks. The young couple collaborated for half a decade leading up to the release of their album Buckingham Knicks in 1973. Impressed with the record, Fleetwood invited Buckingham to replace the departed Welch as Fleetwood Mac’s lead guitarist; Buckingham agreed on the condition that Nick could also join. The reformed and reformed band released their 10th album, Another LP, in 1975. He transformed Fleetwood Mac’s sound again, this time into a flawless blend of pop, rock, folk and R&B that never stopped being accessible. He maintained a loose sense of eccentricity. Full of bluesy riffs, soulful grooves and vocal harmonies as wide and beautiful as Laurel Canyon, it was a major breakthrough for the band, hitting No. 1 in the US and producing three top-20 singles, including “Over My Head,” “Rhiannon” and “Say You Love Me”. The album also featured the album track “Landslide”, a song that later gained new life as an oft-covered standard performed by artists ranging from Pumpkin crushing chicks.
Still, the success of the self-titled album was nothing compared to the development that followed. Born out of a period of infighting between McVeigh, Buckingham and Nick and Fleetwood and his wife Jenny Boyd, the break-up in 1977 was known. rumours All this turmoil was channeled into glowing anthems that deeply connected with the listening public. It’s one of the best-selling and wildly beloved albums in popular music history and plays like a greatest hits collection. Nicks’ “Dreams” hit No. 1 in the US and, decades later, re-entered the charts after going viral on TikTok. Buckingham’s “Go Your Own Way” and Christine McVie’s pair of tracks “Don’t Stop” and “You Make Loving Fun” also hit the top ten. Although no official singles were released, “Gold Dust Woman”, “The Chain” and “Second Hand News” all scored radio airplay. rumours won the Grammy for Album of the Year and sold 40 million copies in the US alone, making it one of the 10 biggest US albums of all time. Even B-sides are a must (see “Silver Sources”).
Fleetwood Mac returned in 1979, expansive and experimental Tusk, a 20-track double album fronted by Buckingham. Although the project did not even try to repeat the historical success rumours – instead of exposing the band’s sophisticated California rock with a tirelessly eccentric edge – it still sent three songs to the US Top 20, including the title track Buckingham, which featured the USC marching band. McVeigh’s “Think About Me” and Nicks’ “Sara” both became hits. But Tusk It was less about getting the songs on the radio and more about finding that there was a lot more to this version of Fleetwood Mac than just getting the songs on the radio. (As a bit of an easter egg for fans, the album also features an uncredited Peter Green playing guitar on Christine McVie’s “Brown Eyes”).
After traveling the world once again Tusk – The trek that produced the 1980 live album alive – Three of the five members of Fleetwood Mac released solo albums in 1981, including Nicks’ blockbuster Bella DonnaCo-produced by Tom Petty. The band reunited to top the charts in 1982 Mirage. Returning to a relatively smooth and straightforward vibe, it spawned hits on both sides of the Atlantic, including Christine McVie’s “Hold Me,” Buckingham’s “Oh Diane” and Nicks’ “Gypsy.” Fleetwood Mac went on hiatus as solo careers took priority for most of the 80s, but the group made a grand comeback after 1987. Tango at night, another album of popular singles. What would be the last studio album recorded by the classics rumoursAs a line-up of the era, Fleetwood Mac fully adapted their sound to the late 1980s landscape, infusing hits like “Little Lies” and “Big Love” with traces of synth-pop and new wave while retaining their signature West Coast spirit.
after a few months Tango at nightUpon his release, tensions in the group boiled over. Buckingham left, replaced by new guitarists Billy Burnett and Rick Vito, both longtime bandmates. This version of the band toured back then Tango and made his studio debut on a pair of new tracks in 1988 greatest hits, a compilation charting Fleetwood Mac’s Buckingham-Nicks era. After the 1990s behind the maskNicks also left the group. In 1992, a box set was released 25 years – chain As did Democratic presidential candidate Bill Clinton rumours The song “Don’t Stop” as his campaign anthem. Both Nicks and Buckingham returned briefly at Clinton’s 1993 inauguration. As they broke up again, guitarists Becca Bramlett and Billy Burnett joined to make another album with Fleetwood and the McVies, 1995. time.
By 1997 rumours The line-up was back together again, recording an MTV special that would become a world-conquering live album I ate, which returned Fleetwood Mac to number one on the Billboard charts for the first time in 15 years, and became one of the best-selling live albums in popular music history. An induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame followed in 1998. It was Christine McVie’s turn to leave the band that year, though she was close enough to Fleetwood Mac’s orbit to make a cameo appearance at a 2003 performance. Say You Will. The remaining members of the group toured the world intermittently over the next decade, until 2013. Advanced game. In 2014, Christine McVie rejoined, ushering in another era of classic line-up tours and, in the absence of new contributions from Nicks, a duets album between Buckingham and McVie.
Endless staff turmoil continued. Not long after Fleetwood Mac was jointly named MusiCares Person of the Year as part of the 2018 Grammys, Buckingham was fired from the band and replaced by Neil Finn (A crowded houseSplit Entz) and Mike Campbell (Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers). Fleetwood Mac continued to tour and in 2020, had another chart hit when “Dreams” appeared in a viral video featuring a skater drinking cranberry juice – a concept that would have been completely foreign when Peter Green recruited his friends Mick Fleetwood and John McVie to new For a blues-rock band.
At the end of 2022, Christine McVie passed away, leaving the group’s future plans unclear. Either way, turmoil, turnover, and transformation were constant in the world of Fleetwood Mac, and the band continued to strike again and again, each new renaissance further cementing their place among the all-time greats. Decades after their formation, Fleetwood Mac remains a cherished institution around the world—a band whose music, though often born of conflict, has been more effective than most at bringing people together.