Throughout all of their incarnations, the only consistent members of Fleetwood Mac were drummer Mick Fleetwood and bassist John McVie -- the rhythm section that provided the band with its name. Ironically, they had the least influence over the musical direction of the band. By the mid-'70s, Fleetwood Mac had relocated to California, where they added the soft rock duo of Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks to their lineup.
Obsessed with the meticulously arranged pop of the Beach Boys and the Beatles , Buckingham helped the band become one of the most popular groups of the late '70s. The band retained its popularity through the early '80s, when Buckingham , Nicks , and Christine McVie all began pursuing solo careers. The band reunited for one album, 's Tango in the Night, before splintering in the late '80s. Buckingham left the group initially, but the band decided to soldier on, releasing one other album before Nicks and McVie left the band in the early '90s, hastening the group's commercial decline.
Bassist John McVie was one of the charter members of the Bluesbreakers , joining the group in Inspired by the success of Cream , the Yardbirds , and Jimi Hendrix , the trio decided to break away from Mayall in He joined the band a few weeks after their debut; by that time, slide guitarist Jeremy Spencer had joined the band. Fleetwood Mac soon signed with Blue Horizon , releasing their eponymous debut the following year. Fleetwood Mac was an enormous hit in the U. Despite its British success, the album was virtually ignored in America. During , the band added guitarist Danny Kirwan.
The set was released later that year, after the band had left Blue Horizon for a one-album deal with Immediate Records ; in the U. Fleetwood Mac released English Rose and Then Play On during , which both indicated that the band was expanding its music, moving away from its blues purist roots. Though his music was providing the backbone of the group, Green was growing increasingly disturbed due to his large ingestion of hallucinogenic drugs.
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After announcing that he was planning to give all of his earnings away, Green suddenly left the band in the spring of ; he released two solo albums over the course of the '70s, but he rarely performed after leaving Fleetwood Mac. She had already performed uncredited on Then Play On. Contractual difficulties prevented her from becoming a full-fledged member of Fleetwood Mac until ; by that time she had married John McVie.
For that album, Jeremy Spencer dominated the band's musical direction, but he had also been undergoing mental problems due to heavy drug use. During the band's American tour in early , Spencer disappeared; it was later discovered that he left the band to join the religious cult the Children of God. Fleetwood Mac had already been trying to determine the direction of their music, but Spencer 's departure sent the band into disarray. Walker left after that album, and Weston departed after making its follow-up, Mystery to Me In , the group's manager, Clifford Davis, formed a bogus Fleetwood Mac and had the band tour the U.
The real Fleetwood Mac filed and won a lawsuit against the imposters who, after losing, began performing under the name Stretch -- but the lawsuit kept the band off the road for most of the year. In the interim, they released Heroes Are Hard to Find. Late in , Fleetwood Mac moved to California, with hopes of restarting their career.
Welch left the band shortly after the move to form Paris. I still have a lot of love for John. He just went one step too far. One night during the tour we all got drunk together in the hotel bar after a gig and he decided to address the entire room on the subject. When sober, he is more philosophical. At one point, the highly strung Buckingham thought of quitting. What would we have done — sat around in LA and tried to start new bands? Instead of quitting, Nicks, Buckingham and Christine McVie began writing songs to each other, like pages from their respective diaries.
You had to feel rather sorry for John. Then Buckingham takes up the conversation again. Drug-taking was methodical when we got to LA. For me, it fitted right into the incense and candles and that stuff. And I really imagined that it could overtake everything, never thinking in a million years that it would overtake me. It was music through chemistry. But it was helping us make the best music. Every so often, one or other member of the band would demand another hit.
Breaking the chain: Lindsey Buckingham and Fleetwood Mac have officially parted ways
One day, engineer Ken Caillat substituted a dummy bag full of talcum powder. When it was next called for, he tipped the bag upside down and emptied the contents all over the floor. But such lighter moments were few and far between.
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Having spent a year making the album, the master tapes had been dragged across the machine heads a thousand times. In those pre-digital days, this had led to a marked degradation of the sound quality, particularly at the upper end of the register, and the band had to go back into the studio in LA to redub. Initially, the group appeared oblivious to the power of what they had gone and done. Has melodic MOR soft-rock ever surged with such emotional discharge and human electricity?
Has such a highly polished veneer ever been so dramatically juxtaposed with such a scalding cauldron of simmering tensions and seething passions? What was going on between us created a resonance that goes beyond the music itself. You had these dialogues shooting back and forth about what was going down between us and we were chronicling every nuance of it.
We had to play the hand out and people found it riveting. Released in February , Rumours topped the US album charts for six months. The record sold 10 million in its first year and at its height in America was going platinum one million sales every 30 days.
get link And the heady cocktail of success, drugs and more money than they knew how to spend left little space for reflection or time to slow down. Outside were parked a pair of matching Mercedes-Benz cars with license plates named after her pair of Lhasa Apsos. Fleetwood bought a cliff-top house in Malibu and a fleet of vintage sports cars.
Buckingham — who seemed the least impressed by the trappings of celebrity and money — bought a fine LA home which he shared with Rumours producer Richard Dashut, while John McVie divided his time between a foot schooner moored at Marina del Rey and a home in Beverly Hills. None of the band was reticent about flashing their cash. But she bought into the rich-and-famous lifestyle more enthusiastically than anyone, having been taught to spend money, she claims, during her affair with the notoriously ostentatious Don Henley. I need to go to LA.
I need to go now. That was the biggest surprise.
Everybody was angry, because Mick was married to a wonderful girl and had two wonderful children. I was horrified. I loved these people. I loved his family. Within five months, Nicks had become stepmother to the child by marrying the father.
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The rest of the band were appalled, and Christine McVie admits she even refused to buy the couple a wedding present. Their misgivings were well-directed. Within eight months the couple were divorced. Touring for Fleetwood Mac by now meant private jets and all manner of preposterous demands. Hotels would be told to paint rooms pink and install grand pianos. White, like the one on the cover of Imagine, of course.
Somewhere in the midst of the madness, the group managed to record further albums. Following Rumours was never going to be easy and the double album Tusk, released in November , met with distinctly mixed reactions.
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Again it took over a year to record and cost a million dollars — an unprecedented amount of money at the time. While most bands undergo a number of changes over the course of their careers, few groups experienced such radical stylistic changes as Fleetwood Mac. Throughout all of their incarnations, the only consistent members of Fleetwood Mac were drummer Mick Fleetwood and bassist John McVie -- the rhythm section that provided the band with its name. Ironically, they had the least influence over the musical direction of the band.
By the mid-'70s, Fleetwood Mac had relocated to California, where they added the soft rock duo of Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks to their lineup. Obsessed with the meticulously arranged pop of the Beach Boys and the Beatles , Buckingham helped the band become one of the most popular groups of the late '70s. The band retained its popularity through the early '80s, when Buckingham , Nicks , and Christine McVie all began pursuing solo careers.
The band reunited for one album, 's Tango in the Night, before splintering in the late '80s. Buckingham left the group initially, but the band decided to soldier on, releasing one other album before Nicks and McVie left the band in the early '90s, hastening the group's commercial decline.