Fleetwood Mac

Published Date: December 28th, 2006
Category: Pleasure Island

St. James Encyclopedia of Pop Culture by Celia White

Founded as a British blues band in 1967, Fleetwood Mac exploded as an American rock ‘n’ roll phenomenon in 1975, when a pair of young Californian songwriters joined the group. The bewitching Stevie Nicks and guitar genius Lindsey Buckingham rounded out the band of songwriter/keyboardist Christine McVie, bassist John McVie, and drummer Mick Fleetwood. Their first album together, the eponymous Fleetwood Mac (1975), hit number one with three hit singles; but these merits were far overshadowed by the follow-up album, Rumours (1977). Songs of love, anger, heartbreak, and hope launched the band into stardom, but the drama between the grooves mirrored that raging between the members of the band: Christine and John McVie divorced after seven years of marriage, Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham ended their long-time romance, and Mick Fleetwood split with his wife, Jenny Boyd.

Audiences sang along and sympathized, sending Rumours to the top of the charts and winning it the title of best selling album of all time to date. Fleetwood Mac continued to tour and make music together for the next ten years, while four of the five members also began solo careers. Of these Stevie Nicks garnered the greatest success, with her husky voice, mystical lyrics, boots and shawls, touring in support of BellaDonna, The Wild Heart, and other records, magnifying her identity as a popular culture icon. (New York City holds a Night of 1000 Stevies each year, when thousands of men and women pay tribute to the woman and her style by emulating her dress and gestures.) Lindsey Buckingham self-produced two albums, Law and Order and Go Insane, during this period as well, and Christine McVie made a self-titled LP.

Continuing tensions and creative dissention caused Buckingham to leave after 1987’s Tango in the Night album, and Stevie Nicks and Christine McVie followed not long after. As he had in the past, Mick Fleetwood again scouted out new talent to keep the band going: Bekka Bramlett, Billy Burnette, and Rick Vito toured and recorded with the band’s founders, but the Rumours line-up re-joined to perform at President Bill Clinton’s inauguration in 1993, and continued to flirt with group projects, culminating in a CD, tour, and video, called The Dance, in 1998. After several road dates, the band disbanded once again, citing old difficulties, both personal and creative. Nonetheless, Fleetwood Mac not only remains synonymous with the 1970s, but their musical and pop cultural influence endures.

Bibliography for ” Fleetwood Mac”

Celia White “ Fleetwood Mac“. St. James Encyclopedia of Pop Culture. FindArticles.com. 19 Dec. 2006.

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