Artist and Musician Biographies

FLEETWOOD MAC

Here is Fleetwood Mac's "Dreams."

When most people think about Fleetwood Mac, the line up that comes to mind is Stevie Nicks (1948) on vocals, Lindsey Buckingham (1949) on guitar, Christine McVie (1943) on keyboard and backup vocals, John McVie (1945) on bass, and Mick Fleetwood (1947) as the drummer.

However, prior to this popular line up, the original Fleetwood Mac had their own series of triumphs. The original Fleetwood Mac was formed in July 1967 by Peter Green (1946), guitar and Mick Fleetwood, both of whom had recently left John Mayall's Bluesbreakers. Because of Peter Green's reputation as a blues guitarist, the group was able to secure a recording contract with Blue Horizon easily.

Shortly thereafter, John McVie and Jeremy Spencer (1948), guitar, joined the group called Peter Green's Fleetwood Mac. The group made their debut in 1967 at the Windsor's National Jazz and Blues Festival. Their first album, "Fleetwood Mac" reached the UK Top 5. Fleetwood Mac's second album, "Mr. Wonderful", another blues effort proved to be another triumph.

Peter Green became the leader of the group with his guitar storytelling backed up with the rhythmic bass and drums of McVie and Fleetwood. A third guitarist, Danny Kirwan (1950) was added to the line-up in September 1968, which brought some California rock influence to the group. The new quintet had an immediate hit with "Albatross" (1969), which reached #2 in 1973 in the UK. At this point in their career, the group was known as a blues-rock band and began to earn a small following outside of Europe.

This new international attention proved to be too much for Peter Green who left the group in May 1970. He was replaced by Christine McVie, the band's keyboard player and backup vocalist who was married to John McVie. The group continued to work and produced their fourth album, "Kiln House". However, despite their perseverance, the group was faced with a continual change in personnel. Spencer left the group in 1971 to join the religious group, the Children of God. He was replaced by Californian musician, Bob Welch (1946). This further influenced the band towards straight-ahead rock.

The new line-up produced two new albums, "Future Games" (1971) and "Bare Trees" (1972). Neither release made much impression with UK audiences who continued to mourn the passing of the Green-led era, but in America the group began to assemble a strong following for their newfound transatlantic sound.

The line up continued to undergo change when Kirwan left the band. He was replaced by Bob Weston. Weston however was fired shortly thereafter for having an affair with Mick Fleetwood's wife. After Weston's dismissal, the remaining four returned with the "Heroes Are Hard To Find" album. Welch then decided to leave in 1974, leaving the band without a significant writer with an American perspective.

Fortunately at this time, Mick Fleetwood was introduced to the soft rock duo, Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham who were invited to join the band. The addition of these two members changed the band's sound towards pop and proved to be the most successful line up. The newcomers provided easy, yet memorable compositions with smooth harmonies, while the British contingent gave the group its edge and power. The line up of popular singles including "Over My Head", "Say You Love Me" and "Rhiannon" confirmed that a perfect balance has been found with the group's long line of US Top 20 singles.

While the group gained commercial success, their internal personal problems began to escalate. The McVies divorced and Nicks and Buckingham split up. However, rather than splitting up, the group used their emotional turmoil as inspiration for their 1977 "Rumours" which included the singles; "Go Your Own Way", "Don't Stop" and "Dreams. "Rumours", proved to be the group's highpoint with the album remaining for 31 weeks at No.1 and selling 25 million copies. Two years later, the album, "Tusk" was released that showed the group's experimentation with new fresh sounds.

In 1980, rumors of the group splitting up began to spread. In the midst of the rumors, "Fleetwood Mac: Live" was released. Nicks, Buckingham, and Fleetwood were all pursuing their own solo careers at this time although they produced the album, "Mirage" which included the successful singles, "Hold Me", "Gypsy", and "Oh Dianne".

Five years passed before a new Fleetwood Mac album was issued. 1985's "Tango in the Night" was a dramatic return to form, recapturing all the group's flair and invention with a succession of heartwarming performances in "Little Lies", Family Man", and "Everywhere". Christine McVie contributed a further high point with the rhythmic sing-along "Anyway".

In 1988, Lindsey Buckingham departed from the band. Two replacement singer/guitarists, ex-Thunderbyrd Rick Vito and Billy Burnette, had joined the remaining quartet and produced their debut, "Behind the Mask" which went platinum. The band refused to die. Mick Fleetwood then compiled a set of songs to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the band. This set called, "The Chain" gave the band greater critical acclaim than previously earned.

The next album, "Time" included guitarist, Dave Mason and Bekka Bramlett. However, the band did not have a clear direction, which ended up in another breakup. In 1997, the popular line up which produced "Rumours" reunited for a very successful tour and began to record again. A live album, "The Dance" was released in August on the 20th anniversary of "Rumours".

Fleetwood Mac has sold over 100 million albums, which makes them one of the most successful rock groups of all time.

Page author: L.C.