Fleetwood Mac - Fleetwood Mac
This is perhaps the greatest "remake" in the history of music.
A band that managed to reinvent itself.
A band that changed the lineup and style in such a fundamental way, and not only remained relevant, but surpassed its old version in terms of success.
So if you still do not understand what we're talking about, on July 11, 1975, "Fleetwood Mac" released the album "Fleetwood Mac", leaving the music world in utter shock.
This is the band's tenth album, but it could actually be considered its debut album as well. How can this be you ask?
Because in fact, it is a completely different band than the one that existed on the previous nine albums, both in terms of band members and in terms of musical style.
It's probably not for nothing that the band chose to name the band's tenth album - "Fleetwood Mac", as it did 7 years earlier with its debut album from 1968.
As we will see immediately, not only did "Fleetwood Mac" stand the test, but it also became one of the most famous and successful bands in the world with sales of tens of millions of albums.
If you think about it, the story of this album begins and ends with the name of the band and the album. The pair of friends who formed the band in 1967 and have been its hardcore ever since. A duo that has not changed over the years, was part of all the albums, and stood as a solid rock in the face of all the band changes during its more than 50 years of activity. We're talking about drummer Mick "Fleetwood" and bassist John "McVie" whose last names created the band name "Fleetwood Mac." It can be said that these two friends are "survivors". They survived the dominance of two genius guitarists. The drug problems of Peter Green and the devotion to the religion of Jeremy Spencer, who sent them out of the band. They clung to a third guitarist Danny Kirwan who served as a "glue" that kept the band from breaking up, until the arrival of Bob Welch, but even then everything threatened to crumble with the departure of Kirwan, who sent the band into a period of uncertainty with frequent lineup changes.
Then, in 1974, during a studio tour of Mick Fleetwood in California at the legendary "Sound City" studio, he met producer Keith Olsen who played demos of the duo Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks who were working on a sequel to their 1973 debut album "Buckingham Nicks", Which was produced by Olsen. Fleetwood was enthusiastic about Buckingham's guitar playing and Nicks' vocals and invited them to join the band. Bassist John McVie was not enthusiastic about this move which was most puzzling to him, because the style they brought was in the folk-rock direction, even pop, which did not correspond with the band's blues-rock style, seemingly, two different unrelated styles. However, producer Olsen convinced McVie that the change in style would lead the band to greater success that would also be reflected in his bank account, McVie was convinced and the rest is history.
One of the factors that helped the band connect the two worlds of pop and blues, was Fleetwood Mac's secret weapon in the form of Christine McVie. Christine served as the band's singer, keyboardist, and writer, and in our humble opinion, she contributed greatly in her writing, singing, and playing style to mediate between the various styles. She joined the band in the early 1970s from the band "Chicken Shack" and was the wife of bassist John McVie, when on the current album she simply broke forward and turned out to be a very important factor that contributed much to the connection between the musical ends from which the band members came from.
The album, which was eventually recorded in the same mythical "Sound City" studio where Mick Fleetwood discovered the Buckingham Nicks duo, introduced the music world to a completely different band from the one they had known about a decade earlier.
A band with a more melodic and commercial sound, on the verge of pop, which was closer to American AOR and classical rock, than to the blues-rock roots from which the band came from. It was a huge success in the United States and the United Kingdom, with 4 successful singles released, three of which became hits.
The album opens with "Monday Morning", a song Buckingham wrote about a guy who is in love with a girl but is unable to get her to commit. This song is the first of several songs originally intended for the second Buckingham-Nicks album, but eventually found their way to Fleetwood Mac's album. Already here we hear a significant change in the sound and style of the band, which stems in part from Buckingham's influence on the band.
The second song "Warm Ways" was written and sung by Christine McVie. This is the first single released from the UK album. A magical, melodic, and beautiful piece that reminds us at times of Paul McCartney in his solo career.
The third track "Blue Letter" is the only one on the album that was not written by any of the band members. A song written by brothers Richard and Michael Curtis who were friends of Buckingham and Nicks and offered them the song for their second album. Nicks and Buckingham brought the song with them and gave it their interpretation that corresponds very nicely with the rest of the material on the album. It is interesting to note that the Curtis brothers brought the Buckingham Nicks duo another song called "Seven League Boots" which the duo rejected. This song eventually rolled into the trio "Crosby, Stills & Nash" which made it the 1982 hit "Southern Cross".
From here we come to one of the most beautiful songs on the album, maybe one of the best from "Fleetwood Mac" - "Rhiannon", which rightly entered the list of the 500 greatest songs of all time by Rolling Stone magazine. A song written and sung by Stevie Nicks and was meant for the second "Buckingham-Nicks" album. The original title was "Rhiannon (Will You Ever Win)" and it was inspired by the novel" Triad" by Mary Bartlet Leader, one of the protagonists of which is "Rhiannon", which is also a type of a Goddess in the medieval Welsh fairy tales).
The fifth track "Over My Head" is another song written by Christine McVie and released as the first single from the album in the US. The song was written by Christine in an apartment in Malibu, California where she lived with her husband John, at the end of a tour designed to promote the band's previous album "Heroes Are Hard to Find".
The song that seals the first side of the vinyl "Crystal", was written by Nicks and sang by Buckingham. A melancholy, quiet and minimalist piece that pushes the boundaries of pop towards folk and country, with the vocal harmonies of Stevie Nicks.
The other side of the album opened with another single - "Say You Love Me", another song by Christine McVie who became one of the band's bestsellers and one of the reasons for the album's success. It's a light and catchy song in which Buckingham also plays the banjo and 12-string guitar.
The second track from the second side of the album "Landslide" was not released as a single, but it did march in the charts in light of its popularity. It is without a doubt one of the most beautiful and magical songs of Fleetwood Mac. Also in this case the song was written by Stevie Nicks to be included on the second album with Lindsey Buckingham. The song was written in a friend's living room overlooking the Rocky Mountains in Aspen Colorado. Nicks said her life felt like an avalanche at the time and when she watched the mountains reflected in front of her, she decided to write a song about it. The song features Nicks and Buckingham alone and it won a beautiful and interesting cover version from "The Smashing Pumpkins".
The origin of the song "World Turning" was found somewhere in 1968 on the band's first album. The song evolved from the track "The World Keeps on Turning" written by Peter Green and was included on the band's first album, and now the new band has been working on it again in honor of the current album. Those who got the credit for writing the new variation to the song are Lindsey Buckingham and Christine McVie and it's the only song on the album that includes a collaboration between them.
"Sugar Daddy" was also written by Christine McVie. A bouncy pop-rock piece, combined with soul music, that tells about the gap between the desire for emotional satisfaction and material needs.
From here we come to another amazing song that seals the album - "I'm So Afraid". A song written by Lindsey Buckingham, but it corresponds more with the old "Fleetwood Mac" era with Peter Green. An immortal piece whose live version surpasses the original, with Lindsey's devastating solo only intensifying towards the climax that awaits at the end.
The album "Fleetwood Mac" was a huge success with its release, it enjoys both, positive reviews from the majority of critics and huge sales of over 8 million copies. The album entered "Rolling Stone" magazine's 500 greatest albums of all time and became one of the band's milestones, whose popularity only intensified.
The band later embarked on an intense and demanding tour that would shatter McVie's marriage and break up the relationship between Buckingham and the Nicks.
But out of the great darkness and despite the great sadness, the band managed to channel the pain into another formidable album, even bigger than its predecessor, and for that read our coverage of the album "Rumors".