PART 27: 2017. The history concludes here (for now).
This Caffé Latté special tribute spans the decades since the release of the group’s debut album in 1968, stopping off at 100 of the best tracks from its 50 years of recorded output as a band and as soloists in chronological order.
100 GREAT SONGS OVER 50 YEARS
The group’s history defies the odds. There’s been several line-up changes; shifts in musical directions and internal relations that rival those in soap operas. Throughout it all, 2 members have remained its core: Mick Fleetwood and John McVie.
The latter 2 founded Fleetwood Mac with Peter Green, in 1967. That same year, Jeremy Spencer joined the fledgling group’s line-up.
In 1968, Fleetwood Mac released its debut album followed by another 2 new singles: “Black Magic Woman” and the UK #1 “Albatross”. By now, Danny Kirwan was in the line-up. Fleetwood Mac released a series of singles and early albums.
By 1971, Green and Spencer had been replaced by Christine McVie (John’s wife) and Bob Welch. ‘Bare Trees’ followed in 1972, the last album to feature Kirwan. Bob Weston and Dave Walker joined. The former was ditched before the completion of the ‘Mystery To Me’ LP later that year. Weston was sacked prior to the group’s 1974 album, ‘Heroes Are Hard To Find’.
When Welch quit, Fleetwood Mac asked Lindsey Buckingham, Fleetwood asked him to join the band. He agreed on the condition that his partner Stevie Nicks would also be recruited. They all agreed. Finally, the platinum-selling line-up of Fleetwood Mac was in place; with Buckingham and Nicks now flanking Christine McVie, Mick Fleetwood and John McVie. The first album to feature this new combination was ‘Fleetwood Mac’ in 1975.
Follow-up album ‘Rumours’ was recorded while all of the members dealt with the end of their relationships. Mick’s marriage to Jenny was over. John & Christine McVie were divorced. Buckingham and Nicks had ceased being a couple. Despite the odds, the band created a classic LP filled with exceptional tracks. It reached #1 all over the globe. In America, it spent a total of 31 weeks at the top. The album has sold in excess of 40 million copies worldwide.
In 1977, former member Bob Welch enjoyed solo success with singles from his ‘French Kiss’ album. It featured a reworking of “Sentimental Lady”, a track he had contributed to Fleetwood Mac’s ‘Bare Trees’ and “Ebony Eyes”.
Meanwhile, Fleetwood Mac released the highly anticipated follow-up to ‘Rumours’ in 1979, the ambitious double album ‘Tusk’. The next year saw the release of a live album with new tracks.
‘Mirage’, issued in 1982, was a return to form for Fleetwood Mac. By 1985, the 3 principal songwriters within the band had issued solo albums, with Nicks attracting the most acclaim and sales.
The group re-united to record new album ‘Tango In The Night’, issued in 1987. This would be the final studio LP to feature the classic ‘Rumours’ line-up. Buckingham quit the band shortly after the LP’s release.
A compilation of the ‘Rumours’ line-up’s greatest hits was issued in 1988 and included new track “As Long As You Follow”, written by Christine McVie and new husband Eddy Quintela.
In 1990, Fleetwood Mac released ‘Behind The Mask’ which featured Buckingham’s replacements Rick Vito and Billy Burnette. The former quit in 1991. Hopes were high when the ‘Rumours’ line-up reunited briefly to perform at President Bill Clinton’s inauguration in 1993. Nicks quit that same year. The group added new members Dave Mason (ex- Traffic) and (daughter of Delaney & Bonnie) Bekka Bramlett. This line-up recorded the 1995 album ‘Time’.
By 1995, Mason and Bramlett were gone while Nicks and Buckingham were back. The most successful version of the group re-united for a live album entitled ‘The Dance’ which included some new songs. This would be the final Fleetwood Mac album to feature Christine McVie as a member.
Buckingham dropped a new solo studio album in 2008 entitled ‘Gift Of Screws’ with the lead single “Did You Miss Me”, co-written with his wife Kristen.
In 2003, a new Fleetwood Mac album emerged, highlighted by the return of Buckingham and Nicks. It was the now 4-piece band’s first in 8 years and the first to include the latter 2 since 1987.It returned the band to the Top 10. This remains the most recent Fleetwood Mac studio album.
Christine McVie returned to Fleetwood Mac in 2014. She and Buckingham released a self-titled duet album 3 years later. It included cameos by Mick Fleetwood and John McVie. Since then, Buckingham has not joined his bandmates on their live tour. Neil Finn (Crowded House) and Mike Campbell (Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers) replaced him.
LINDSEY BUCKINGHAM CHRISTINE McVIE
- Lindsey Buckingham & Christine McVie
UK: #5; USA: #17
99FEEL ABOUT YOU
Writers: Lindsey Buckingham & Christine McVie
100IN MY WORLD
Writer: Lindsey Buckingham
With each update on this site, tracks will be added to the spotify playlist- FLEETWOOD MAC Caffé Latté selects 100 GREATEST SONGS (1968 - 2018).