22 January 2018

22 January 2018 - Fleetwood Mac - The Chain

I really intended to keep it to just a week. But there was too much good material.

Like this song.  This song was a bit of a happy accident, made by splicing together a bunch of stuff from the cutting room floor.  Little of the original song's instruments were recorded together, nor the vocals.  It was a spliced-up mess, right down to the seemingly nonsequetor closing baseline.  I've talked pretty extensively about how fractured the band was during the recording of the Rumours album. What a better allegory for that than a song that the players couldn't even get together to record!

And it STILL worked!

19 January 2018

19 January 2018 - Fleetwood Mac - Hold Me

So many good Fleetwood Mac songs, right?  We're not done yet!

Released as the first single from the Mirage album in 1982, this is one of Fleetwood Mac's biggest hits, and yet it is often forgotten when discussing their best songs.  And, indeed, the band was a mirage at the time.  Notice how very little they are on screen together during this video.  That's because none of them were getting along.  At all.  Stevie Nicks was broken up with TWO of her bandmates, neither of whom were really fond of her.  Neither was the video producer, who complained about her diva behavior.  John McVie was largely drunk throughout the shoot, and Christine McVie was just sick of all the drama.... which didn't endear her to her bandmates, either.

Did you get all that?  I had to draw it all out.  But the Magrite-inspired video that ensured from the chaotic drama sure turned out pretty, and the song itself is a sweet Christine McVie-Lindsey Buckingham duet, written by McVie.

18 January 2018

18 January 2018 - Fleetwood Mac - Go Your Own Way

If you think Stevie Nicks looks pissed when Lindsey Buckingham sings "Loving you isn't the right thing to do", it's with good reason.  She is the "you" being referenced here.

That look could melt ice.

17 January 2018

17 January 2018 - Fleetwood Mac - Landslide

This is perhaps one of Fleetwood Mac's most recognized songs.   Written by Stevie Nicks before she and Lindsey Buckingham joined Fleetwood Mac, it's really a collaboration between both of them and an extension of the Buckingham Nicks project they did prior to joining the band.  The story goes that the two of them were recording their second album together in the same studio that Fleetwood Mac was recording in during the winter of 1974-1975.  The band heard them and asked them to join, an offer that the commercially unsuccessful duo could not refuse.

This song ended up on the band's 1975 self-titled album, an album getting a reissue this Friday, January 19th, 2017.  "Landslide" was a song about the uncertainty of Nicks's life after the failure of the first Buckingham Nicks album - she was at a crossroads as to whether or not she was going to continue a career in music, her world figuratively crashing around her.  It wasn't a hit song at the time, but did get some radio play as a popular tune, and did eventually chart in a live version in 1998. 

The song itself is sparse yet hauntingly beautiful, with little accompaniment besides a guitar. 

16 January 2018

16 January 2018 - Fleetwood Mac - Don't Stop

Yesterday, we featured a Christine McVie-penned song about a woman struggling in her marriage  Here, we have another Christine McVie-penned song, written after the marriage crumbled and her search for hope for the future which struggling with the depression of the lost relationship.  From the classic 1997 album Rumors, this song was sung by Lindsey Buckingham and Christine McVie, and is genuinely filled with such hope that it has become an anthem for sunny outlooks. 

This particular song was a big enough deal to get the band together on stage after a decade of acrimony - they recorded some together, but never toured or performed completely - at President Clinton's inaugural celebration.  And it's a great performance!

I promise I'll post a Stevie Nicks song at some point!!!

15 January 2018

15 January 2018 - Fleetwood Mac - Say You Love Me

This is one of Fleetwood Mac's best known songs, and as one with a Christine McVie lead vocal (she wrote the song as well), you know there's a story.

Christine was married to John McVie, the bassist (and frankly the Mac) in the band.  In 1975, their marriage was on the rocks, and she was feeling troubled.  So she wrote a very happy-sounding, sweet-sounding song that was basically begging her husband to tell her that he loved her.

Which might be why she absolutely doesn't look like she's having fun performing the song.

The song didn't work.  They divorced in 1976.  Nevertheless, she stayed with the band until 1998.... their Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction.   She still didn't look like she enjoyed performing the song (although Lindsey Buckingham sure was enjoying the banjo).  One other noteworthy aspect of this performance: John McVie is singing backup vocals.

Christine rejoined the band in 2014.  She finally looks like she enjoys her cheerful little ditty.