Fleetwood Mac

2014 Fleetwood Mac

Few bands have undergone as thorough a metamorphosis as Fleetwood Mac. The group has survived into its fourth decade in the music business with two original members, dozens of albums, and a continued ability to remake itself. What started as an all male, British blues band from the sixties has transformed into a transatlantic pop group. The band produced smooth harmonies and made a super star of Stevie Nicks, one of the strongest women in rock, who is considered by many the 'Queen of Rock and Roll'. Fleetwood Mac has sold over 100 million albums, making them one of the most popular bands in rock history.

Begun in 1967 as part of the British blues explosion, the band formed when Peter Green left Eric Clapton's Bluesbreakers, taking drummer Mick Fleetwood and bassist John McVie with him. The group took its name, and the name of its first album, from these founding members - Peter Green's Fleetwood Mac. This first album hit big in the UK, but it wasn't until the third album, English Rose, that the foursome made a dent stateside, most notably with 'Black Magic Woman.' 1969 saw their first US major label release, Then Play On, and some changes in line-up. Front man Peter Green left the band, and Christine McVie, wife of John McVie, joined on keyboards and back up vocals. Over the next five years the band went through four guitarists - Jeremy Spencer, Bob Welch, Danny Kirwan and Bob Weston and released five albums - Future Games, Bare Trees, Penguin, Mystery to Me, and Heroes Are Hard to Find.

In 1975, the group brought in the pop duo Lindsey Buckingham (guitar) and Stevie Nicks (vocals), creating what is now considered the band's classic lineup. The new Fleetwood Mac released its eponymous 1975 album, which became its biggest hit to date, reaching No. 1 in the US. Despite their success, the new group was beset by turmoil - both of the band's couples, John and Christine McVie, and Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks, split the next year. However, out of struggle was born their biggest success - the 1977 smash hit Rumours. The Grammy winning album spawned four Top 10 singles "Go Your Own Way," "Don't Stop," "Dreams" and "You Make Loving Fun' and held the record for best selling album of all time until Michael Jackson released Thriller.

Taking a hiatus after Rumours, Fleetwood Mac reformed in 1985 and two years later, released Tango in the Night, which produced four Top 20 hits: "Big Love," "Everywhere," "Seven Wonders" and "Little Lies." The band continued throughout the 80's and 90's despite further lineup changes and the solo careers of Lindsay Buckingham and Stevie Nicks. In 1992, the Rumours era version of Fleetwood Mac -- Mick Fleetwood, John McVie, Christine McVie, Stevie Nicks, and Lindsey Buckingham -- reformed again to perform at Bill Clinton's inauguration. Although a version of the band toured with Pat Benetar in 1995, in 1997 the classic line-up released The Dance, followed by a sold-out world tour. Fleetwood Mac celebrated the beginning of 2004 with world and US tours, and a VH1 behind the scenes documentary on their fifteenth studio album Say You Will - their first new release since 1997 and the first album in almost thirty years not to feature Christine McVie.


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