Saturday, February 6, 2010

The Tangled Relationships of Fleetwood Mac

By Jeff Bachmeier

Mixing relationships and business together can either be a disaster or lead to success. With Fleetwood Mac, although the breakups of band members John and Christine McVie as well as Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks created chaos, it lead to the creation of the hit album Rumours with hit singles "Go Your Own Way", "Dreams", "Don't' Stop" and "You Make Loving Fun." Rumours sold over 19 million copies in the U.S. alone and 40 million copies worldwide.

Fleetwood Mac saw many changes before this success. The band was formed in 1967 in London by Peter Green. He was joined by Mick Fleetwood and John McVie. At the time the band was called Peter Green's Fleetwood Mac, which played blues rock. In the 1970s the band topped charts with Green's "Black Magic Woman", which Santana later picked up and made popular. But the band, with Green, never realized worldwide notoriety. Green then began struggling with his abuse of LSD and suffered from schizophrenia and later he quit the band in 1970.

Just after Green left, Christine Perfect McVie joined the group, not long after marrying Fleetwood Mac band member John McVie. Christine was perfect for the band as she had been a long time fan of Fleetwood Mac and knew all of Green's lyrics, allowing her to pick up where he left off. With a music background, once performing with the group Chicken Shack, fitting in with the group was an easy fit.

With the group's reformation, they decided to move to the United States and try their hand with American audiences. In 1972 they released the album Bare Trees. Meanwhile the band struggled with band members coming and going, it wasn't until a scouting tour in Van Nuys, California that Mic Fleetwood discovered the band Buckingham Nicks, made up of Lindsey Buckingham and Stephanie "Stevie" Nicks." Fleetwood asked Buckingham to join, Buckingham agreed if his musical partner and girlfriend could also be a part of the band. And the rest is history.

In 1975 the new mix of band members released the album "Fleetwood Mac". Hit songs included "Over My Head", "Say You Love Me", "Rhiannon" and "Landslide." The album sold over 5 million copies.

The following year, relationships began to crumble. Fleetwood was in the middle of a divorce from his wife Jenny, John and Christine's marriage came to an end and Buckingham and Nick's romance fell apart. Other songs that came from the Rumours album that achieved great success was "Second Hand News", "Gold Dust Woman" and "The Chain."

After the group's success, the band went back to the drawing board searching for a new sound. The result was the 20 track double album Tusk released in 1979. The song "Tusk" reached #8 on U.S. charts and featured the USC Trojan Marching Band. "Think About Me", and "Sara" were also successful.

In 1982 the band released the album Mirage. It included hits "Gypsy" and "Oh Diane." Mirage received a double platinum status in the United States. Touring the United States, Stevie Nicks' popularity grew and grew. With her popularity came pressure and it wasn't long before she was admitted to the Betty Ford Clinic for addiction problems.

John McVie was also suffering from addiction-related problems. While there were rumors the band was breaking up, they later released Tango In The Night along with their Greatest Hits album in 1988. Tango in the Night included hits "Big Love", "Little Lies", and "Everywhere".

The band came back to the forefront of the music scene when asked by U.S. President Bill Clinton to perform at his first Inaugural Ball in 1993 performing his campaign theme song "Don't Stop."

The band, minus Christine McVie toured in 1984, opening for Crosby, Stills and Nash. In 1998, Fleetwood Mac (Mick Fleetwood, John McVie, Christine McVie, Stevie Nicks, Lindsey Buckingham, Peter Green, Jeremy Spencer and Danny Kirwan) were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and performed at the Grammy Awards program that year. They were also the recipients of the "Outstanding Contribution to Music" award at the BRIT Awards (British Phonographic Industry Awards) the same year.

Despite the tangled relationships the group had throughout the years, success continued to follow them and the band is still highly recognized.
Jeff Bachmeier is owner of, an online music and online radio station network providing live streaming Internet Radio channels with music from the 50's thru Today. Users can also choose to create their own customized on demand playlist through their own social media profile. For more information please visit

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