Fleetwood Mac’s early years consisted of only sporadic commercial success in Great Britain and a small cult following in the United States as the band’s lineup went through many changes. It wasn’t until guitarist Lindsey Buckingham and vocalist Stevie Nicks joined the group that Fleetwood Mac enjoyed superstar success.
Mick Fleetwood Discovers the Buckingham Nicks Duo
In 1974, drummer Mick Fleetwood went shopping for a studio where his group could record their next album. He asked to hear a sample recording to help him judge the sound quality of the studio. The sample he heard was a song called “Frozen Love,” recorded by the duo, Buckingham Nicks. Fleetwood was especially impressed with the guitar work of Lindsey Buckingham.
According to an article by Lucy O’Brien, Fleetwood Mac’s guitarist, Bob Welch, left the band a few weeks later, so Mick Fleetwood contacted Lindsey Buckingham and invited him to join the band. Buckingham made it clear that he and his then-girlfriend, Stevie Nicks, were a duo and a package deal. If they wanted Buckingham, they would also have to take Nicks. Fleetwood Mac then became a band a five-piece band with three singer/songwriters and four instrumentalists.
The New Fleetwood Mac Begin Their Successful Musical Journey
The band released a self-titled album in 1975, which would become Fleetwood Mac’s first platinum album. They followed up in 1977 with Rumours, which became the best selling album of its time. Their platinum success continued in 1979 with Tusk and they released a live album the following year.
After three group members completed solo projects, Fleetwood Mac reunited to release Mirage in 1982. After more solo and side projects, Fleetwood Mac reunited and released Tango in the Night in 1987.
Fleetwood Mac After Lindsey Buckingham
After Lindsey Buckingham left the group, he was replaced by Billy Burnette and Rick Vito. Now a six-member group with four singer-songwriters, they released Behind the Mask in 1990. Considered a commercial disappointment, it was Fleetwood Mac’s first studio album since 1974 that did not go platinum.
After Stevie Nicks and Rick Vito left, Fleetwood Mac hired Bekka Bramlett and Dave Mason. In 1995, they released Time, a commercial disappointment.
The Super Group Reunites
In 1997, the lineup of Lindsey Buckingham, Mick Fleetwood, Christine McVie, John McVie, and Stevie Nicks reunited to release The Dance, which went on to enjoy multi-platinum status. After Buckingham and Nicks completed solo projects, the band reunited in the studio without Christine McVie, who had retired and moved back to England. In 2003, Fleetwood Mac released Say You Will, their first album without Christine McVie since 1970.
The Legacy of Fleetwood Mac
Because of the band’s longevity, personnel changes, and the various musical styles that are created as a result, Fleetwood Mac has one of the most extensive and diverse musical catalogs in the history of music. Their fans hope the chain will continue.