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Music Review: Christine McVie – Christine McVie

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Christine McVie is one of those artists I will follow anywhere. She has produced excellent music from her time with Chicken Shack, to her Christine Perfect solo album, to the blues of early Fleetwood Mac, to the masterpieces of the classic Fleetwood Mac pop lineup, and down to the present day.

During early 1984 she followed in the footsteps of her Fleetwood Mac bandmates, Lindsey Buckingham, Stevie Nicks, and Mick Fleetwood by releasing her own self-titled solo album.

She may not have received the glamour of the Buckingham-Nicks duo, but she was the heart and soul of Fleetwood Mac for over three decades. Her melodic voice and ability to write catchy songs were some of the foundations of their sound and commercial popularity.

Christine McVie explores pop, rock, and the blues, and while it may be a little inconsistent in places, it was still an enjoyable album.

She assembled a capable group of musicians to assist her. The basic band was guitarist Todd Sharp, bassist George Hawkins, and drummer Steve Ferrone. Sharp also co-wrote seven of the ten tracks. Lindsey Buckingham, Stevie Winwood, Mick Fleetwood, and Eric Clapton all make appearances on various tracks.

The album produced two top forty hits. The biggest was “Got A Hold On Me” which reached number ten on the pop chart and number one on the adult contemporary chart in The United States. It was a pop/rocker that would have fit on many of the Fleetwood Mac albums of the era. The other hit was “Love Will Show Us How” which topped out at number 30 on the pop charts. McVie’s wonderful voice is always a pleasure and here it is at its best.

The album’s best performance may be the song “Ask Anybody” which was co-written by Stevie Winwood. It is a dark and haunting tune that stays with you; plus it is a nice departure from her usual bubbly songs.

There are several other tracks of note. “One In A Million” has some nice shared vocal work by Stevie Winwood. Lindsey Buckingham is the lead guitarist on “The Smile I Live For,” which is always welcome. Clapton’s appearance on “The Challenge” could have been a little more up front but the track is fine.

It would be twenty years before she would release another solo album. Christine McVie is an album that plays to her strengths which is always welcome. It remains a comfortable listen over a quarter of a century after its release.

 

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About David Bowling

  • Leslie

    There’s something so soothing about Christine McVie’s voice. Remember she was dubbed the “Mother Earth” of Fleetwood Mac?Her first solo album is still my favorite — it rocks out in places — but I love the “unplugged” iTunes version of “Friend” from In the Meantime. And David Bowling, I love your column. You’re a good writer and reviewer.