Bob Welch had left Fleetwood Mac and the group was in disarray. Mick Fleetwood, John McVie, and Christine McVie decided to replace him with the obscure duo of Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks, who had issued one commercially unsuccessful album. The Buckingham/Nicks addition would turn out to be brilliant and, when combined with the remaining three members, would create music history.
The band’s self-titled album was released July 11, 1975. It was a release that gathered commercial speed as the months passed. It took 53 weeks to reach the number one position on The United States charts, which was a record at the time. It would eventually sell five million copies in The USA alone. It would not be as initially successful in Great Britain as the new Fleetwood Mac would not be embraced until the release of Rumours, which would allow this album to reach number 23. Rolling Stone magazine would honor it as one of The 500 Greatest Albums Of All Time.
Lindsey Buckingham’s “Monday Morning” is the first track and quickly established the fact that this was indeed a new Fleetwood Mac. Their blues foundation had been left behind and been replaced by a pop/rock masterpiece. It is an infectious, up-tempo classic that featured the beginnings of the legendary McVie, Buckingham, and Nicks harmonies. His other solo composition, “I’m So Afraid,” closed the album on a haunting note.
Christine McVie wrote four tracks and co-wrote a fifth. “Say You Love Me,” with its sensual vocal, and the emotional “Over My Head,” would both become successful singles and be identified with the Fleetwood Mac sound for decades. Her lesser known “Warm Ways” is smooth and romantic. “Sugar Daddy” may not measure up to the first three but is a solid creation in its own right. She wrote “World Turning” with Buckingham which is slow, smoldering, and a little funky in places.
Not to be outdone Stevie Nicks contributed three songs. The hit single “Rhiannon” established her persona as the Welch witch and quickly became one of her signature performances. “Crystal” was originally released on her duet album with Buckingham. The lyrics provide an impact and the music is airy in a typical Stevie Nicks way. Her “Landslide” has an innate beauty that leaves you wanting more.
Mick Fleetwood and John McVie must have thought they had died and gone to heaven. The group that bore their names was now on top of the music world in The United States. They could not have imagined at the time that this brilliant album was only a warm-up for what was to come in the very near future.
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