Fleetwood Mac will start a huge world tour in a few days. They have been making music for almost 50 years, but you won’t hear many songs from before the time of Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham. When they joined the band in 1975, it became a lot more popular, and that was the start of a very successful time.
They went from being a blues-rock band that was almost forgotten in the 1960s to one of the biggest bands in the world. We asked our readers to vote for their favorite Fleetwood Mac songs, and it’s not surprising that 90% of the top 10 songs are from the Buckingham/Nicks era. Follow the link to see what happened.
Many of the most popular rock bands of the 1970s broke up as soon as the 1980s started. Led Zeppelin and the Eagles both broke up in 1980, and as MTV took over the music industry, sales for groups like the Bee Gees, Peter Frampton, and even KISS went down the drain. Fleetwood Mac was not like this.
They changed well when music videos came out and had a lot of hits. Stevie Nicks even copied Phil Collins for a short time and switched back and forth between the band and her solo work.
In 1982, Fleetwood’s Mirage was a great way to start the decade. It had three songs in the Top 40, one of which was “Gypsy.” Nicks wrote the song, which is a nostalgic look back at her time with boyfriend Lindsey Buckingham before she became famous. They pretty much lived like gypsies.
When Tusk was being recorded in late 1978, Fleetwood Mac was under a lot of stress. Rumours, their last album, was about as big as a rock album could be. It would be impossible to beat it, and most things would seem like a letdown. They were also having a lot of personal problems, which gave them enough of an excuse to go way over budget.
The result was an album that cost more than $1 million, which was a record for the industry, and took up two LPs. Many people think of it as their “White Album” because the tones of the songs vary so much and it sounds like a bunch of solo songs. It’s also a perfect work of art and probably the best thing they’ve ever made. The label was angry that they made an album that was so long and didn’t sell well, but that’s not too surprising.
“Sara,” a ballad by Stevie Nicks, has the most commercial sound of any song on the album. It wasn’t a surprise that it was the project’s biggest hit, as it reached number seven on the American Hot 100. Nicks wrote the song about the band’s never-ending personal problems at first, but she later changed the words to make the song more about life in general.
8 “Gold Dust Woman”
Rumours is an emotional roller coaster that shows how different relationships can go up and down. It ends with “Gold Dust Woman,” which is one of Stevie’s most powerful songs. Simply put, it’s a song about drugs. At the time, the group was doing a lot of cocaine, which didn’t solve any of their problems.
The song shows that Stevie knew how hard it was on her, but she didn’t seem to be able to stop it. It’s a pretty sad way to end the record, but that’s where the band was at the time. The group was so smart because they put all of their pain into their songs. People in America were so interested in them that it was like they were real-life soap operas. Even though it’s been 40 years, none of them can do an interview without being asked about this crazy time.
7. ‘Oh Well’
If “Oh Well” sounds like it was done by another Fleetwood Mac group, that’s because it was. Mick Fleetwood on drums and John McVie on bass have been with the band since the beginning, but when Peter Green was in charge, they were a very different animal. “Oh Well” might be the most well-known song from this time.
Green wrote the blues-rock standard in 1969, and it’s easy to hear early Led Zeppelin and other hard-rock bands from the 1970s in the song. It’s been played by garage rock bands for decades. It has also been covered by Tom Petty, Ratt, and the Black Crowes, among others. The band played it for years, and Lindsey Buckingham did a good job of singing Peter Green’s parts.
6. ‘Silver Springs’
“Silver Springs” is one of Stevie Nicks’s most beautiful songs, but it has caused a lot of trouble for her and the band over the years. It was cut at the last minute from Rumours because there wasn’t enough room. Stevie was devastated, and she left the group a decade later, in part because Mick Fleetwood wouldn’t let her use the song on a solo album.
After another full decade, she joined the band again for a big money-making reunion tour. They played “Silver Springs” at the TV reunion show, and then they put out a single of this new version. VH1 played the video a lot, and it became a staple of their shows.
It’s a song about how two people who used to love each other can never really be apart. Stevie has said that she gets a lot of satisfaction from singing “You’ll never get away from the sound of the woman that loved you” night after night while standing just inches away from Lindsey.
When they wrote the songs for Rumours, Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham were going through a very painful and very public breakup of their eight-year relationship. They had stuck together through a lot of hard times, but their huge success was harder to handle.
In “Dreams,” Stevie doesn’t hide how she feels when she sings, “Listen carefully to the sound/Of our loneliness/Like a heartbeat, drives you mad/In the stillness of remembering/What you had and what you lost.” The group has had a lot of big hits, but this is their only Number One single.
“Rhiannon,” a song by Fleetwood Mac that came out in 1976, was the group’s first big radio hit with Nicks and Buckingham. Stevie wrote the song a few months after reading Mary Leader’s book Triad. It’s about a woman who is possessed by someone named Rhiannon, which is also the name of a Welsh witch. Her singing on the song is a tour de force, and it has only gotten better as time has gone on.
Because the song was so popular, many people began to think of Nicks as a real witch. She has sung this song at almost every concert she has done in the last 40 years, but she always makes it sound new.
Stevie Nicks was only in her mid-20s when she wrote the ballad “Landslide,” but it sounds like she put decades of wisdom and sadness into it. Before she joined Fleetwood Mac, she wrote it in Aspen. Her music career seemed to be in a rut, and her relationship with Lindsey was rough. She was thinking about giving up music and going back to school. She looked out at the mountains and imagined an avalanche coming down and burying the house.
In the 1970s, it wasn’t a single, but fans loved it right away. A live version of the song from Fleetwood Mac’s 1997 reunion concert was released as a single, exposing it to a new audience. Over the years, many artists, from the Dixie Chicks to the Smashing Pumpkins, have covered it. In many ways, it’s become Stevie’s signature song, and as she’s gotten older, it’s become even more meaningful to her.
2. “You do your own thing”
Lindsey Buckingham’s best moment on Rumours is the song that starts it off. Many of Stevie’s songs about relationships are sad and quiet, but this one is loud and angry. “All you want to do is pack up/shack up!” he yells at his ex-lover. Stevie agrees with him on that famous line, but she still says she doesn’t like it because she has never “shacked up” with anyone.
The song is also a great way to show off Lindsey’s amazing guitar skills. He has never been given nearly enough credit as a pure player, but this song shows why he is one of the best.
1. ‘The Chain’
The only song on Rumours that the band wrote together was “The Chain.” Mick Fleetwood said, “It got us out of a jam.” “At first, we didn’t know what to say. And it wasn’t really a song until Stevie wrote some lyrics. She came in one day and said, “I’ve written some words that might work for that thing you were doing in the studio the other day.” It was therefore put together.
Lindsey took all the bits and pieces that we were putting on tape and put them together to make a song.” They should have worked together more often, because what they made is so amazing. It was never a single, but radio plays it all the time, and it’s turned out to be one of their best songs.