Fleetwood Mac (1975)


 
1. Monday Morning 2. Warm Ways 3. Blue Letter 4. Rhiannon 5. Over My Head 6. Crystal 7. Say You Love Me 8. Landslide 9. World Turning 10.Sugar Daddy 11.I'm So Afraid

 

Another line-up change. Ho-hum. Right? Nobody could have possibly foreseen how the fortunes of this band was about to dramatically change. Bob Welch was out. Lindsey Buckingham was currently in a "band" with his girlfriend Stevie Nicks called "Buckingham Nicks". They had one album that really didn't do much, but oddly, they were incredibly popular in some areas of the country, such as Mobile, Alabama. Why there, is anyone's guess. Originally it was only Buckingham that was asked to join. It was his insistence that Stevie Nicks be included in the package. Will all the fluctuating personnel in the band, who would really care?

Well, to make a long story short, this album managed to sell more copies than all of the other Fleetwood Mac albums up to this point combined. The key to the success is a trifle baffling. It can easily be stated the Buckingham, Nicks and Christine McVie together in a recording studio is a little bit like the Reeces Peanut Butter Cup commercial, where two strangers accidentally bump into one and other and realize that the mix of their ingredients produced something far better than either of the edibles by themselves.

Christine McVie is really the same person she always was. Her songs always had the same quality that they would exhibit here. It's just that now they were visible enough to where most people can take notice. Over My Head and Say That You Love Me were the hits of hers, but all her songs are magical and deserve equal recognition. Maybe you could argue that having newcomer Stevie Nicks on backing vocals made them better? They certainly didn't hurt.

Nicks would soon prove to the world that she, herself, was a star of her own - it just took some time for everyone to sit up and take notice. She was only a "singer", not contributing any musical instrument to the band, but what a singer. She would soon have one of the most unique female voices in the history of rock and roll music that would be instantaneously recognized and loved as well by most. Her biggest contributions are her hit single Rhiannon that, not only became the best loved Stevie song, but possibly the best known Fleetwood Mac song of all time. Landslide is a beautiful, quieter piece that seems to have aged well, and more people seem to recognize it today than when this record was first released.

Opinions differ, but I would argue that Lindsey Buckingham was really the brains of this new five piece. He wouldn't write the most hit songs, nor would he be as visible of a personality, but he seem to steer this band in the direction where they always needed to go. His guitar work alone is incredible. Not a blues player per se as a Peter Green, but more of a classically trained guitarist with fingers flying up and down the frets that would morph into great rock and roll. He didn't have any hit singles here, but his work is just as loved by the faithful. Especially captivating are the driving World Turning and the pseudo-paranoia induced I'm So Afraid

Well, every fan would have their "favorite" of the three, and as time would later show, any future incarnation of the group that didn't have all three of these members together would never do quite as well. These were the key ingredients that spiced up the stew. A definitive record for its time.

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