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Fleetwood Mac

Fleetwood Mac

As should be painfully clear from the albums I own and my choice of favorite songs, I am a fan of Fleetwood Mac during only a limited time in their career: The Buckingham-Nicks era. I appreciate Christine McVie's contributions, but the best stuff always seems to come from those two. In fact, looking at my favorite songs, it's always a Stevie Nicks song that ends up my favorite. Why? Not because her songs are great in themselves, but because Lindsey Buckingham is a master guitar player and arranger, and he almost always brings them to life. They would not be nearly as great without him. I've delved into their solo careers a bit, but it seems like they get their best results when they come together as a band. No surprise there, really. Here are my takes on a sampling of their albums.

Album Reviews

This album feels like basically the warm-up for Rumours. Everyone is already doing more or less what they'll be doing on the next album, just not quite as good. Stevie has her sort of mystical soft rock going with Rhiannon. Lindsey is doing upbeat pop, Monday Morning, and rock 'n' roll, Blue Letter. Christine is doing her soft rock as well with Over my Head, and also catchy pop music with Say You Love Me. It's all already here. The difference is that all of these things mostly just get even better on Rumours. This album is a fine addition to Fleetwood Mac's repertoire, but it clearly pales to its successor.

Best tracks:
1. Rhiannon
2. Monday Morning
3. Say You Love Me

The album that rightly made Fleetwood Mac mega famous. All the songwriters are firing on all cylinders. Fleetwood Mac's sound with Stevie and Lindsey was mostly defined already by the previous album; Rumours brings that sound to its peak. There's little to dislike on this one. I really detest Don't Stop, but I realize I'm in the minority here. Everything else is good, and there are an astonishing number of great tracks on this album. It really feels like a parade of hits sometimes. It's no surprise that Lindsey really felt like changing direction with the next album. Where else could he go when they're at the top?

Best tracks:
1. Dreams
2. The Chain
3. You Make Loving Fun

Now we're treated to a huge, 17-song White Alb... I mean, Tusk. Like the White Album though, it has its ups and downs, but it's basically an adventure to listen to it just as it is. My main gripe is not the quality of the music, though, as most every track has some charm to it. Overall, Lindsey just dominates this album. He wrote a ton of short, punky, quirky type songs, and there are an astonishing number of them. It seems like a Lindsey solo album with Stevie's and Christine's normal contributions thrown on. The difference is incredibly apparent. It must have seemed like Lindsey was trolling when people first heard this record. It begins with Christine's soft acoustic ballad, Over and Over, which would be fine. But it's followed by The Ledge, this absolutely bizarre sounding punk thing by Lindsey. People were probably freaked out, even though it's actually a really catchy song. Anyway, I think Tusk is a great album, but I think many are divided on it.

Best tracks:
1. Sara
2. Sisters of the Moon
3. Think About Me

Top 10 Songs

  1. Sara
  2. Bleed to Love Her
  3. Gypsy
  4. Silver Springs
  5. Sisters of the Moon
  6. Dreams
  7. The Chain
  8. You Make Loving Fun
  9. Peacekeeper
  10. Go Your Own Way