Hello there again you lucky lot, I’ve been delving into my huge hard drive of music the last few weeks to see if I could possibly make space for some new stuff I’ve recently got, but I can’t.
You see, everything I have on there is special for one reason or another. Then I thought maybe I should just delete a few albums and just keep my favorite tracks, a sort of ‘Grim’s Greatest hits’ of each artist… nope, to hard to pick. So I’ve come to the conclusion I’m just going to have to overflow to another drive or buy a bigger drive, 2TB’s just isn’t enough!
While I was going through my collection I got thinking about who my favorites were, and I certainly have a diverse collection and in all honesty I don’t think I could say I have one favorite, could you?
Well, today I’m going to surprise a few people, I know you all think I’m some sort of Death Metal Headbanging Headcase, well, your right, sometimes and here’s proof!
I love a bit of Fleetwood Mac, early or late in their career, from the Peter Green’s blues to the latest line up (on tour again in 2015 by the way!) A few of us were talking the other day about them, most people think of them as the pop group of the 80’s but they are far from it, even Wikipedia have them as ‘Rock, Blues, Blues Rock, Pop Rock, Soft Rock’ More Rock than anything.
One of the albums everyone mentioned ‘Tango In The Night’ which I do love to bits but for me ‘Rumors’ is pure Fleetwood Mac. Every Track is superb, and I guarantee you know some one that has this album (apart from me of course!) The albumwas released in the spring of 1977, in which the band members laid bare the emotional turmoil experienced at that time. Critically acclaimed, it was the recipient of the Grammy Award for Album of the Year for 1977. The album generated multiple Top Ten singles, including Buckingham’s “Go Your Own Way”, Nicks’ U.S. No.1 “Dreams”, and Christine McVie’s “Don’t Stop” and “You Make Loving Fun”. Buckingham’s “Second Hand News”, Nicks’ “Gold Dust Woman” and “The Chain” (the only song written by all five bandmates (and used here in the UK for the Grand Prix theme) also received significant radio airplay. By 2003, Rumours had sold over 19 million copies in the U.S. alone (certified as a diamond album by the RIAA), and a total of 40 million copies worldwide, making it the second biggest selling album of all time.
Now, if you know Fleetwood Mac through the years you’ll know that it hasn’t been an easy ride, marriage/divorce, affairs within the band, drug addiction both prescribed and illegal and many other problems hasn’t kept this band down, far from it in fact, most of the song’s are written as a way of letting out feelings in different ways and (as admitted in a rockumentry several years ago) a way of giving a message to another band member/ex partner! Like I said in my first post on UTB Geek, we all use music for something, this was certainly the case for these guys. Christine McVies’s “You Make Lovin’ Fun” for example was written for the guy she was having an affair with whilst married to the bass player Jon McVie, while “Don’t Stop” reflects Christine McVie’s feelings after her separation from Fleetwood Mac’s bass guitarist, John McVie, after eight years of marriage. “‘Don’t Stop’ was just a feeling. It just seemed to be a pleasant revelation to have that ‘yesterday’s gone’,” she remembers in The Fleetwood Mac Story: Rumours and Lies, “It might have, I guess, been directed more toward John, but I’m just definitely not a pessimist.”.
Everyone has heard “Dream’s”, it’s been covered many a time and so far only one band in my eye’s has done it justice, Irish pop/Folk band ‘The Corr’s’ who I think did a great job of it! Even to the point that in 1998 Mick Fleetwood joined The Corr’s on St. Patrick’s night to play drums with them live in Dublin.
So, if you don’t know your Fleetwood mac from a rain mac but like the sounds of them I’d recomend trying Fleetwood Mac’s Greatest Hits Album to start, and just to help you out I’ll give you a track listing and rough breakdown.
Track 1 – Rhiannon.
Written by Stevie Nicks and first released on their self-titled album in 1975, it was subsequently issued as a single the following year.
“Rhiannon” was voted #488 in The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time by Rolling Stone magazine. Its US chart peak was in June 1976, when it hit #11. It peaked at #46 in the UK singles chart for three weeks after re-release in February 1978.
The song is always referred to as simply “Rhiannon” on Fleetwood Mac albums. The suffixed title “Rhiannon (Will You Ever Win)” was only used on singles in certain territories.
Live performances of the song were sometimes prefaced with Nicks saying, “This is a song about an old Welsh witch.” During 1975–1980, Fleetwood Mac’s live performances of “Rhiannon” took on a theatrical intensity not present on the FM-radio single. The song built to a climax in which Nicks’ vocals were so impassioned that, as drummer and band co-founder Mick Fleetwood said, “her Rhiannon in those days was like an exorcism.”
Track 2 – Don’t Stop.
Written by vocalist and keyboard player Christine McVie. Sung by Christine McVie and guitarist Lindsey Buckingham, it was a single taken from the band’s 1977 hit album, Rumours. It is one of the band’s most enduring hits, peaking at number three on the Billboard singles chart. In the UK market, “Don’t Stop” followed “Go Your Own Way” as the second single from Rumours and peaked at #32. In the U.S, it was the third single released, and peaked at #3 in October 1977.
Track 3 – Go your own way.
Written by Lindsey Buckingham to describe the bands feelings as the two “couples” in the band were splitting up, a bit of anger and angst towards each other and all the other feelings everyone was going through, it was the first single from the group’s 1977 album Rumours. It peaked at number ten on the Billboard Hot 100, becoming the group’s first top-ten hit in the U.S. In the UK, the single was not as successful, and would only reach #38. However, the song became very popular in the U.K. over a longer period as Rumours received more radio airplay and it re-entered the singles chart on many occasions. This led to the song selling gradually over the years. It has been certified Silver in the U.K. for digital sales of over 200,000 copies.
Track 4 – Hold Me.
The song was the first track to be released from the 1982 album Mirage (not one of my favorite albums but great track none the less.), the fourth album by the band with Lindsey Buckingham acting as main producer. “Hold Me” was written by Christine McVie and Robbie Patton and it became one of Fleetwood Mac’s biggest hits in the USA. Released there in July 1982, it peaked at #4 for seven consecutive weeks.
Track 5 – Everywhere.
From their album Tango in the Night, written by Christine McVie who also performs lead vocals on the song.
“Everywhere” was released in the United Kingdom on February 24, 1988 and reached #4 there. In the United States, it was released earlier on November 28, 1987 and reached number 14 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and went to #1 on the U.S. adult contemporary chart, remaining there for three weeks. The song also reached #45 in Australia.
After featuring in an advert for UK mobile phone provider 3 (Who won’t stock BlackBerry because they have gone bust… Yeah, ok!), the song re-entered the UK Singles Chart and peaked at number 15 in March 2013. As a result of this newfound success, the song was featured on the compilation disc, Now That’s What I Call Music! 84 in March 2013.
Track 6 – Gypsy.
Gypsy, taken from ‘Mirage’ reached a peak of #12 on the Billboard Hot 100 for three weeks.
This was written and sung by Stevie Nick’s and was originally going to be on here solo album ‘Bella Donna’ but got held back after friend Robin Anderson died of leukemia, the song took on a new significance and Nicks held it over for Fleetwood Mac. “Gypsy” was the second single release and second biggest hit from the Mirage album.
Track 7 – You Make Lovin’ Fun.
Was released as the fourth and final 45 rpm single from the band’s album Rumours in 1977; its fourth top-ten hit from Rumours, it peaked at number nine on the Billboard Pop Singles Chart. As said earlier the song was inspired by an affair Christine McVie had with Curry Grant. “To avoid flare-ups”, she told her then-husband John McVie that the song was about her dog; he found out later what it was really about.
Track 8 – As Long As you Follow.
Written and sung by band member Christine McVie, and her then-husband Eddy Quintela, the song was one of two new tracks on the band’s 1988 greatest hits album. Released as a single in November 1988, the song reached number 66 on the UK Singles Chart late in the year. It narrowly missed the Top 40 in the United States, peaking at number 43 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in the early part of 1989; however, the song did spend one week at number 1 on the Billboard adult contemporary chart in January 1989.
Track 9 – Dreams.
Written by Stevie Nicks, for the 1977 album Rumours. The song was the only U.S. No. 1 hit for the group where it sold over a million copies, and remains one of their best known songs.
Nicks wrote the song at the Record Plant studio in Sausalito, California, in early 1976. “One day when I wasn’t required in the main studio,” remembers singer Stevie Nicks “I took a Fender Rhodes piano and went into another studio that was said to belong to Sly, of Sly & the Family Stone. It was a black-and-red room, with a sunken pit in the middle where there was a piano, and a big black-velvet bed with Victorian drapes.”
“I sat down on the bed with my keyboard in front of me,” continues Nicks. “I found a drum pattern, switched my little cassette player on and wrote ‘Dreams’ in about 10 minutes. Right away I liked the fact that I was doing something with a dance beat, because that made it a little unusual for me.”
When Nicks played the song to the rest of the group, they decided to record it the following day. Only a basic track was recorded at Sausalito. Recording assistant Cris Morris remembers that “all (they) kept was the drum track and live vocal from Stevie – the guitars and bass were added later in Los Angeles.”
Track 10 – Say That You Love Me.
Christine wrote this song after her fifth year in the band. During the writing of “Say You Love Me”, Christine McVie was married to John McVie, bassist of Fleetwood Mac.
“Say You Love Me” has been performed on seven of Fleetwood Mac’s tours since its release. In a rare occurrence, John McVie sang background vocals for the song during The Dance tour. The song peaked at #11 on the Billboard Hot 100 for three weeks, and remains one of their best known songs. Its success helped the group’s eponymous 1975 album to sell over 8 million copies worldwide. In the UK, “Say You Love Me” was the fourth single from the Fleetwood Mac album, but the first to chart, where it peaked at #40 on the UK Singles chart in September 1976. In Canada, Shirley Eikhard covered “Say You Love Me” and released it as a single several weeks in advance of Fleetwood Mac in early June 1976. Eikhard took the song into the Canadian top 40, peaking at #34; Fleetwood Mac’s version, released only a few weeks later, peaked at #29 in September.
Track 11 – Tusk.
From the 1979 double LP of the same name. The song peaked at #8 on the U.S. charts for three weeks, reached #6 in the U.K. (where it was certified Silver for sales of over 250,000 copies) and #3 in Australia and Canada. It was one of the first songs to be released using a digital mixdown from an original analog source.
Looking for a title track for the as yet unnamed album, Mick Fleetwood suggested that they take the rehearsal riff that Lindsey Buckingham used for sound-checks. Producers Richard Dashut and Ken Caillat hence created a drum-driven production.
The single was recorded live together with the supporting video at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, California in collaboration with the University of Southern California Trojan Marching Band. The performance was also filmed for the song’s music video. John McVie was in Tahiti during the Dodger Stadium recording, but he is represented in the video by a cardboard cutout carried around by Mick Fleetwood and later positioned in the stands with the other band members.
The band’s part would both set a record for the highest number of musicians performing on a single and earn the marching musicians a platinum disc. Lindsey Buckingham, Stevie Nicks and Mick Fleetwood presented it to the Trojan band on October 4, 1980 during a game at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, this time in front of a huge crowd. The song was also performed live during Fleetwood Mac’s concert in 1997 in conjunction with the USC Band.
The single was released with two different picture sleeves in many territories: The first featured the black and white picture of producer/engineer Ken Caillat’s dog Scooter snapping at a trouser leg, the same as that used for the album cover, whilst the second featured a plain cover with the same font as the album cover but without the dog picture. A very limited promotional 12-inch version, featuring mono and stereo versions, was also released to US radio stations.
Track 12 – Little Lies.
It was the third single to be taken from their 1987 album Tango in the Night. As of 2014, it is their final top 10 hit in the U.S.
The song was composed by the band’s keyboard player and vocalist, Christine McVie and her then-husband Eddy Quintela. When released, the song reached #4 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the U.S. (#1 for four weeks on the American adult contemporary chart) and #5 on the UK Singles Chart. It continues to be played on radio stations as a classic hit of the late 80’s, along with ‘Everywhere’ released a year later.
Track 13 – Sara.
Written by Stevie Nicks and released in an edited version, cut at 4:37 mintes long, as a single from the 1979 Tusk double LP. The album version of the song runs at 6:22 minutes. The song peaked at #7 on the U.S. charts for three weeks, #37 in the UK for two weeks, #11 in Australia and #2 in Canada.
Track 14 – Big Love.
From their 1987 album Tango in the Night. The song was the first single to be released from the album, reaching #5 on the U.S. charts, and number nine in the UK. The single was also a hit on the American dance charts, where the song peaked at #7.
Was written by Lindsey Buckingham, and was originally going to be part of his third solo album which he began working on in 1985, but the project became a Fleetwood Mac album instead. The song epitomised the stylised production techniques used on the album, with its provocative “oh – ahh” male/female vocal exchange. Though many assumed the female “ahh” to be Stevie Nicks, it was actually Lindsey Buckingham performing both, created by way of his voice being sampled and altered in the studio to mimic that of a woman. The sample was aired several times on Late Night with David Letterman, where Letterman told viewers they were hearing the sounds of CPR.
Track 15 -Over My Head.
“The song was written by group keyboardist/vocalist Christine McVie. In September 1975, “Over My Head” was released as the lead single from the LP album entitled Fleetwood Mac. It was the band’s first song ever to achieve ‘hit’ status in the United States by appearing on the Billboard Hot 100 Singles Chart (#20 in early 1976). Its success helped the group’s eponymous 1975 album to sell 8 million copies.
McVie has stated that she composed the song using a portable Hohner electric piano in a small apartment in Malibu, California, where she and then-husband John McVie (Fleetwood Mac’s bassist) resided after completing a concert tour to promote the previous album Heroes Are Hard to Find. The words of the song seem—though McVie has never confirmed this—to refer to her troubled marriage, which would end in divorce in 1976.
Track 16 – No Questions Asked.
Sung by Stevie Nicks and a new track just for the greatest hits album. As far as I’m aware it was never released as a single.
Like I say, A good album to get started with but in my eyes missing a few tracks to make it a real Greatest Hits, one being…
Songbird – It first appeared on the 1977 album Rumours. It is one of four songs written solely by Christine McVie on the Rumours album. She would frequently sing the song at concerts. It’s been covered by a fair few artists from Eva Cassidy to Red Hot Chilli Peppers (I know! It was live though during the 2006-2007 Stadium Arcadium tour) and more recently (and by far the WORST version I have ever heard…) Glee!
And the second being…
The Chain – Again from Rumours
According to interviews on the writing of Rumours, the final section of “The Chain”—beginning with a bass progression—was created by John McVie and Mick Fleetwood. Stevie Nicks had written the lyrics separately and thought they would be a good match; she and Christine McVie did some reworking to create the first section of the tune. Other elements were worked in from an early project of Christine’s called “Keep Me There”. The blues-style piano motif was removed, and the remainder combined with a bridge from yet another piece manually using a razor blade to cut and splice the tapes. To complete the song, Buckingham recycled the intro from an earlier song from a duet with Nicks, “Lola (My Love)”, originally released on their self-titled 1973 album.
Due to the spliced nature of the record (the drums and guitar were the only instruments actually recorded in each other’s company) and its sporadic composition and assembly from different rejected songs, “The Chain” is one of only a few Fleetwood Mac songs whose authorship is credited to all members of the band at the time. The finished song itself has a basic rock structure, although it has two distinct portions: the main verse and chorus, and the outro. The song shows influences of hard rock, folk, and country, using a dobro to play the guitar riff.
This has to be one of my all time favorite tracks… probably because I used to play bass guitar (sort of) many years ago and taught myself this from watching way to much formula one racing at the time!
If your feeling a bit more adventurous (and a little more flush with the money) and want, I’d say, the definitive Fleetwood Mac Greatest Hits go for ’25 years – The Chain’ A 4 CD collection with a massive 72 tracks! I have this in the car for those ‘Mac Moment’s’ that I have, honestly… I love a bit of Fleetwood Mac and I’m sure you will like at least a few of their tracks.
Well, I’m heading back to the hard drive to figure out next weeks rock out, I hope I didn’t shock to many of you with this weeks selection, I’ll try to go with something a bit heavier next week… if I don’t find something else first!
Come and check out the UTB Rocks Channel on BBMC C0021F214 or hit me up @CRAPPLEBASHING
Till next week… Reverend Grim is rockin’ outta here!