Fleetwood Mac


Fleetwood Mac (1967-1995, 1997-present): a Rock band from London, UK.


ritish-American rock band Fleetwood Mac formed in London in 1967. Fleetwood Mac were founded by Peter Green (guitar), Mick Fleetwood (drums) and Jeremy Spencer (guitar), before bassist John McVie joined. McVie, Fleetwood and Green all previous of The Bluesbreakers. The name of the band was derived from when The Bluesbreakers (then consisting of Green, Fleetwood, John McVie and John Mayall) when Mayall gave Green free recording time as a gift, which Fleetwood, McVie and Green used to record five songs; the fifth song an instrumental that Green named after the rhythm section, "Fleetwood Mac" ("Mac" being short for McVie).

Soon after this, Green suggested to Fleetwood that they form a new band. The pair wanted McVie on bass guitar and named the band "Fleetwood Mac" to entice him, but McVie opted to keep his steady income with Mayall & company rather than take a risk with a new band. In the meantime Green and Fleetwood teamed up with slide guitarist Jeremy Spencer and bassist Bob Brunning. Brunning was in the band on the understanding that he would leave if McVie changed his mind. The Green, Fleetwood, Spencer, Brunning version of the band made its debut on 13 August 1967 at the Windsor Jazz and Blues Festival as "Peter Green's Fleetwood Mac, also featuring Jeremy Spencer". Brunning played only a few gigs with Fleetwood Mac. Within weeks of this show, McVie agreed to join the band as permanent bassist.

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Fleetwood Mac's self-titled debut album was a blues rock album, released by the 'Blue Horizon' label in February 1968. There were no other musicians on the album (except on the song Long Grey Mare, which was recorded with Brunning on bass). The album was successful in the UK to reach 4, although no tracks were released as singles. Later in the year the singles Black Magic Woman (later a big hit for Santana) and Need Your Love So Bad were released.

The band's second studio album, Mr. Wonderful, was released in August 1968. Like their first album, it was all blues. The album was recorded live in the studio with microphoned amplifiers and a PA system, rather than being plugged into the board. They also added horns and featured a friend of the band on keyboards and vocals, Christine Perfect of Chicken Shack. Soon after the release Fleetwood Mac recruited 18-year-old guitarist Danny Kirwan. Perfect would subsequently marry McVie and joined permanently in 1970.

On tour in the US in January 1969, the band recorded Fleetwood Mac in Chicago (released in December as a double album) at the soon-to-close 'Chess Records' Studio. Then Play On (1969) would follow.

All three guitarists left in succession during the early 1970s over the course of the albums Kiln House (1970), Future Games (1971), Bare Trees (1972), Penguin (1973), Mystery to Me (1973) and Heroes Are Hard to Find (1974), replaced by guitarists Bob Welch and Bob Weston, along with vocalist Dave Walker. By 1974, Welch, Weston and Walker had all either departed or been dismissed, leaving the band without a male lead vocalist or a guitarist. In late 1974, while Fleetwood was scouting studios in Los Angeles, he heard the American folk-rock duo Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks. He asked Buckingham to be their new lead guitarist and Buckingham agreed on the condition that Nicks could also join.

The addition of Buckingham and Nicks gave the band a more pop rock sound and their 1975 release, Fleetwood Mac reached 1 in the US. Rumours (1977), the follow-up, produced four US top 10 singles and remained at number one on the American albums chart for 31 weeks. It also reached the top spot in countries around the world and won a Grammy Award for Album of the Year in 1978. Rumours would go on to sell more than 40 million copies worldwide, making it one of the best-selling albums in history. Although each member of the band went through a personal relationship breakup (John and Christine McVie, Buckingham and Nicks, as well as Fleetwood and his wife Jenny) while recording the album, they continued to write and record together; the album deriving its name from the events during that time, as well as the title for the track Go Your Own Way.

The lineup remained stable through Tusk (1979; seeing one track by Peter Green on guitar - "Brown Eyes"), Mirage (1982) and Tango in the Night (1987), but by the late 1980s the band began to disintegrate. After Buckingham and Nicks left, they were replaced by a number of other guitarists and vocalists; for the release of Behind the Mask (1990), Rick Vito (lead guitars/vocals) and Billy Burnette (guitars/vocals) had taken their place, and for Time (1995), Dave Mason (guitars/vocals) and Bekka Bramlett (vocals) had entered the scene until the act split in 1995.

A 1993 one-off performance for the first inauguration of President Bill Clinton reunited Fleetwood, Nicks, Buckingham, and John and Christine McVie for the first time in six years. A full reunion occurred four years later, with Fleetwood Mac releasing their fourth US number 1 album, The Dance (1997), a live compilation of their hits, also marking the 20th anniversary of Rumours. Christine McVie left in 1998, but continued to work with the band in a session capacity. They continued as a four-piece, releasing Say You Will (2003). Christine McVie rejoined in 2014. In 2018, Buckingham was fired and replaced by Mike Campbell, formerly of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers and Neil Finn of Split Enz and Crowded House.

Christine McVie died after a brief illness late November of 2022 at the age of 79.

Primarily a British blues band at first, Fleetwood Mac achieved UK number ones with the singles Albatross, and had other hits such as Oh Well, Man of the World, and the The Green Manalishi. Their biggest hits by far were from the Rumors album with smash hit tracks like Songbird, Go Your Own Way and Dreams to name just three that are in regular rotation on radio to this day.

Fleetwood Mac have sold more than 120 million records worldwide, making them one of the world's best-selling bands. In 1979, the group were honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. In 1998 the band were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and received the Brit Award for Outstanding Contribution to Music. In 2018, the band received the MusiCares Person of the Year award from The Recording Academy in recognition of their artistic achievement in the music industry and dedication to philanthropy.

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Nation UK
Location London
Genre Rock
Formations 2
Active Years 1967-1995, 1997-
Last Modified 2023-02-28
Diskery ID 2532

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