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Saturday, 11 July 2015

Rewind: 1975 - New Line Up and New Album for Fleetwood Mac

Fleetwood Mac
Released 11th July 1975
Produced by Fleetwood Mac and Keith Olsen
US Chart #1 (though it took almost a year after entering the chart to do so!)
UK Chart #23

Fleetwood Mac
    Lindsey Buckingham – guitar, banjo, vocals
    Stevie Nicks – vocals
    Christine McVie – keyboards, synthesizer, vocals
    John McVie – bass guitar
    Mick Fleetwood – drums, percussion

Additional personnel
    Waddy Wachtel – rhythm guitar on "Sugar Daddy"

Singles from Fleetwood Mac
Warm Ways / Blue Letter
Released: October 1975 (UK)
Over My Head / I'm So Afraid
Released: November 1975 (USA #20) / February 1976 (UK)
Rhiannon / Sugar Daddy
Released: February 1976 (USA #11) / April 1976 (UK)
Say You Love Me / Monday Morning
Released: June 1976 (USA #11) / September 1976 (UK #40)

Okay, stick with me here as it might get a little confusing. Let's Rewind this Rewind back to 1973 for a moment.

Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham are in Los Angeles having dropped out of college. Nicks is doing all manner of jobs from cleaning to being a waitress whilst Buckingham is at home mastering his guitar skills. They scraped by and were living in poverty but they managed to write an album's worth of songs Soon they would meet producer Keith Olsen and via a man named Lee LaSeffe they managed to secure a distribution deal with Polydor. This came an important time because Nicks was on the verge of giving up and going back to school because she was "sick of being miserable and I hate being poor" (interview in The Island Ear 1994).

Guitarist Waddy Wachtel was brought on board by Olsen to help record the album and became friends with the duo.

The album, Buckingham Nicks saw the light of day in September 1973 (Someone has kindly put the album in full on You Tube for your listening pleasure) but it was a commercial failure and deleted from the label's catalogue. There has been talk over the years about it finally seeing the light of day on CD but nothing has come of that at all.

Forward wind to December 1974. Bob Welch left Fleetwood Mac after a tour promoting the 'Heroes are Hard to Find' album. That left Mick Fleetwood (Drums), John McVie (Bass) and Christine McVie (Keyboards and Vocals) and no guitarist.

One day Mick Fleetwood was checking out Sound City Studios in LA and the house engineer there was Keith Olsen. Olsen played him the track 'Frozen Love' by Buckingham Nicks. Fleetwood liked the guitar solo on it and met Buckingham who just happened to be at the studio that day recording demos. Later Mick would offer Lindsey the job with The Mac but the offer on Buckingham's part would only be a yes if his girlfriend Stevie Nicks was a part of the deal to join also. So on New Years Eve 1974 Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks joined Fleetwood Mac. Phew! Catch a breath.

Not only were The Mac getting a guitarist but they were getting two songwriters (Rhiannon, Crystal and Monday Morning were already part of Buckingham Nicks live sets).

Within a very short space of time Fleetwood Mac were back in the studio (Sound City Studio actually!) with their two new members on board and began work on their tenth album (funnily enough this was to be the tenth line-up of The Mac in 9 years!) as Fleetwood Mac and it is the second Fleetwood Mac album that is Self-Titled (the first being their 1968 Debut Album). This particular album is commonly known as The White Album.

The album reached number one on the Billboard 200 over a year after entering the chart, spent 37 weeks within the top 10, and more than fifteen months within the top 40. It launched three top twenty singles: "Over My Head", "Rhiannon" and "Say You Love Me", the last two falling just short of the top ten, both at No. 11. In 1986, it was certified 5x platinum by the RIAA representing shipments of five million units in the United States.

This album was a good sign of things to come musically speaking (though in their personal lives things were about to start falling apart and all those experiences were the breeding ground for their biggest selling album two years later - Rumours). .

Live they were sounding great as well, very bluesy still and here's a couple of shows from the tour in 1975:

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