Posts Tagged ‘John McVie’


A friend of mine said once that Fleetwood Mac is a band of solo artists – or something like that. Currently, you have Stevie Nicks – the lead singer, In this case he is right on the money. His proof: the documentary Fleetwood Mac: Destiny Rules.

Destiny Rules is a candid documentary that follows the making of the band’s 2003 studio album Say You Will. It was the first album without longtime member and keyboardist Christine McVie and the first record with guitarist Lindsey Buckingham back in the band. Buckingham left the band shortly before the tour for their 1987 album Tango In the Night.

What Destiny Rules shows us is that, while a considerable amount of healing has taken place among the band – particularly between the notoriously stormy relationship between Buckingham and singer Stevie Nicks, there are still some caveats. For starters, they are somewhat worlds apart in their approaches to their craft – in particular the overall style.

For starters, Buckingham wanted their latest album to be a double album. A sordid Tusk 2.0 if you will. Nicks and the rest of the band see a double album as career suicide. She is right in her assessment that younger people, their target audience, will not buy a double album in 2003. After all, she would know because her solo efforts have, for the most part, consistently sold well despite her own age. Buckingham’s albums haven’t sold as well as hers.

To further drive home this point, when I saw Nicks in August 2011, her audience was a pretty full house. It consisted of young

English: FLEETWOOD MAC on March 3, 2009 in St....

women, families with children, some men and older women. It was at the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavillion in the Woodlands – just outside Houston, TX. When Lindsey Buckingham came to the Verizon Wireless Theater in downtown Houston, it was a smaller audience that consisted of older men and women. I and my friend Javier both joked that the audience was “the Woodstock generation” because we are in our mid-twenties.

But one of the best things is that it shows the actual production process that the album went through. Such as the scene where Stevie and Lindsey converse about Throw Down and the possibility of editing out a verse. Also the idea of choosing the right mixing person to mix the songs is shown.

However the biggest complaint with this DVD is that there are absolutely NO extras. It is bare bones. It says on the back that the documentary was culled from over 500 hours of footage. You mean to tell me that you couldn’t make some extras out of that?!

B+

 


Fleetwood Mac is one of those bands that loves to experiment with new sounds. Sometimes it works for them – such as the stylistic change they experienced with the addition of the two Americans in 1974 [guitarist Lindsey Buckingham and his then-girlfriend, Stevie Nicks] to a then-all British blues band. Other times the band experiments a little too much, such as they did with the addition of Bekka Bramlett in the 90’s due to the absence of singer Stevie Nicks.

Cool Water is the b-side to their hit 1982 single Gypsy from Mirage. Thankfully, it was left off the album. It’s stylistically more fitting for a Lindsey Buckingham album, not Fleetwood Mac.

The verdict: don’t waste your time with this track.


In the music world, there are “jam bands.” Fleetwood Mac used to be one of these, albeit a british blues band. The Mac daddy and friends return to this with the b-side to the 1987 smash hit Little Lies entitled Ricky. However this time that semi-jamlike sound gets a nice 80’s production makeover.

Ricky is a Christine McVie and Lindsey Buckingham-penned track. It doesn’t have much as far as lyrics go, but it shows off the rest of the band’s musicianship, especially the licks from bass player John McVie, whose bass playing serves as the main melody of the entire song. McVie shines well on this track.

A+


Tusk (album)

Image via Wikipedia

Fleetwood Mac is one of those bands that’s timeless: they have a tendency to stay relevant regardless of the time period, yet somehow stay true to their musical roots. However, they are a little prone to experimentation, which can be somewhat of a hit or miss.

Tusk is one of those albums where Lindsey and co. do exactly that. At times, such songs as The Ledge sound great, but lyrically sound like a veiled reference to all the fights that led to the demise of the romantic relationship between band members Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham – who wrote the song. If it is meant to invoke the insanity of their breakup, well Lindsey captured it very well. Other songs such as I Know I’m Not Wrong, sound a bit reminiscent of their previous album, Rumours, but with a bit of a nice kick.

What Makes You Think You’re The One shows the overall strong musicianship of original member, drummer Mick Fleetwood.

However, there are some major misses with this album, such as That’s All For Everyone. The song drowns in mediocrity – something very uncharacteristic when it comes to the creativity of Lindsey Buckingham. Even worse, on both this song and Not That Funny you can barely decipher what Buckingham is actually saying.

One of the major hit and misses with Tusk is some of Stevie’s contributions. On one hand, you have Sara, which is very beautiful track. Sara was written about Stevie’s then-best friend Sara Recor, whom Mick Fleetwood (who Stevie was dating at the time) fell in love with and eventually married and divorced her. One must wonder though, considering the circumstances, is this meant as sarcasm to her or just a nice song to a close friend? One of her better songs is Angel, which sounds more like the familiar Fleetwood Mac sound, albeit with a rather interesting bass line provided by John McVie.

However, keyboardist Christine McVie almost steals the album with her contribution of the hauntingly beautiful Brown Eyes. The track itself is reminiscent of both the Doors and Led Zepplin. McVie is the true balladeer of Fleetwood Mac. She proves this on the following track as well: Never Make Me Cry.

The best thing about Tusk is the title track. The band goes all out – complete with the USC Trojan Marching Band. The track has an overal stalker-like tone when Buckingham whispers the lyrics, then Mcvie and Nicks break in with him with the rallying cry of “Don’t say that you love me/ just tell me that you want me/ TUSK!”

Unfortunately, when it was released, it wasn’t the massive hit that Rumours was for many reasons: since it was a double album, it cost consumers $15.98 which was a steep price to pay for an album released in 1979. Another nail in the album coffin was the fact that the RKO radio chain played Tusk in its entirety shortly before the album was released and many listeners possibly recorded the album off the radio. Additionally, the album itself cost over $1 million to make.

Overall Tusk is the equivalent of a musical rollercoaster ride with an ongoing soap opera element. You never know where it will go next.


Very few albums, or artists for that matter, have served as a soundtrack to a generation. Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours does exactly that. It’s still is a relevant album because it explores in a voyeuristic way, the personal turmoil amongst the band members during the recording of the album. The mix of personal turmoil amongst the band, though it nearly cost them their sanity and was fueled by lots and lots of drugs, make this a beautiful masterpiece.

Best of all, it is easy to relate to lyrically due to its content –  which includes jabs at other band members, all of whom were experiencing romantic turmoil: bassist John McVie and his wife Christine’s marriage was in shambles as was the romantic relationship between singer Stevie Nicks and guitarist Lindsey Buckingham. Additionally, Nicks and drummer Mick Fleetwood (who was married at the time) were having an affair.

Songs like Don’t Stop and Songbird which are nothing short of an offer of hope both personally and for the band itself. Perhaps they were thinking in they lyric from The Chain: “I can still hear you saying you would never break the chain.” It is one of the few songs that is written by the ENTIRE band and it is a gem.

Also, one of the other great things is the actual skill of the musicians. One of the best sounding tracks on the album is You Make Lovin’ Fun. Lead vocalist [for this track] and keyboard player Christine McVie is remarkable on all accounts. However, all of the lyrical greatness and great sound come together on Gold Dust Woman – which is both a metaphor for drugs and quite possibly the ending of the relationship of the songs author, Stevie Nicks, and then-boyfriend Lindsey Buckingham.

For those of you that saw last week’s episode of Glee, this is an album worth buying due to the fact that it is great musicianship under fire, something that happens to us all. It is very relatable if you have ever endured a never-ending breakup. That is what makes this album one of the greatest albums.

Also be sure to check out the special Classic Albums that VH1 Classic and the BBC documentary they did on Rumours, where they go into both the technicality of making the album as well as what the songs are about – including stories and interviews with band members and album personnel.


Fleetwood Mac Birmingham NIA 3

Image by ahisgett via Flickr

Former George Harrison and Eric Clapton Muse Pattie Boyd Spills the Beans | Music News | Rolling Stone.

Let’s see. Which rock soap opera is more jucier: Fleetwood Mac’s Lindsey Buckingham vs. Stevie Nicks vs. Mick Fleetwood or The Beatles George Harrison vs The Yardbird’s Eric Clapton vs. Patti Boyd? Let’s do a comparison:

Fleetwood Mac’s Lindsey Buckingham vs. Stevie Nicks vs. Mick Fleetwood 

  • Stevie has an affair with drummer Mick Fleetwood, but he ends it because he falls in love, marries and later divorces her best friend Sara Recor. This serves as the inspiration for Fleetwood Mac classic Sara and quite possibly its baby sister Welcome to the Room…..Sara from 1987’s Tango In The Night. 
  • Stevie previously dated guitarist Lindsey Buckingham right up until sometime during the Rumours tour. A good 1/3rd of that album consists of songs that are jabs at each other including I Don’t Wanna Know and the ever-popular Go Your Own Way.
  • Life In the Fast Lane by the Eagles is rumored to be about the relationship between Buckingham and Nicks.
The Beatles George Harrison vs The Yardbird’s Eric Clapton vs. Patti Boyd
  • Clapton tries to steal Harrison’s wife in song – what a bully!
  • No knowledge as to if Harrison tries to actually fight back for her. I would say if you really love her, you will fight and do whatever it takes for her.
It’s a draw on this one folks

If you have followed the Wild Heart for awhile (ok this blog is only a couple of months old people!) you probably have figured out

"Ladies and Gentlemen....rock & roll!"

by now that there are 3 musical things that the Wild Heart is passionate about: the 80’s, Fleetwood Mac, and early Mtv.

Now once upon a time there was a little network called Mtv, where all 3 of those little passions would have gotten fed had I been born earlier (like in 1970 or earlier). But alas, I was born in the mid 80’s.

Aside from the fact that I was not allowed to watch it as a young girl due to religious upbringing (I was more into VH1 anyway!) and I was just too young to get it, I missed the good years of MTV. But now, I can watch them on a little channel on YouTube that someone has made that is 100% devoted to the 1st 24 hours of MTV – even right down to the commercials that were aired during those 1st 24 hours of amazingness. Talk about a meticulous recreation! All I need now is a long HDMI cable and the time and patience to put all the videos in order in a playlist and one day I shall have a little MTV video party!

Anyways here are 10 reasons I have become obsessed with this little channel and why you should be too!

  1. MTV was launched on August 1st, 1981. I, along with a few others I know, were born in the mid to late 80s. We missed all the good stuff on MTV.
  2. When was the last time you saw a historical musical event like this that aired on television with the original commercials? The answer is never. Sometimes watching a historical event (such as the local news breaking into a trailer for Zoolander to show the events that would be forever remembered as September 11th) is kinda like reading a passage out of the Bible: won’t make sense unless you read it in context. Same goes for commercials. In this case, it shows you what was popular at the time.
  3. If you ask the Wild Heart, this is the absolute best mix of videos ever made: the Who, Pretenders, Stevie Nicks, Pat Benatar, Todd Rundgren. It’s the visual equivalent of my (and maybe your) iPod mix.
  4. Ladies – Alan Hunter and Mark Goodman. Need I say more?
  5. Kids, this is what MTV used to be like. Not that horrible Jersey Shore crap!
  6. Good music lives on – sometimes even past the time of the artist and time of actual release. For example: a few years ago me and a friend went to see Heart, Journey and Cheap Trick together. My friend was about 19 and I was 22. I was expecting people at that concert as old as my parents. I was really surprised to see people both my parents age as well as my age at the concert. Furthermore, I even remember my friend telling me that some of her friends were jealous of her for going to the concert. It’s kinda cool to know that some of these artists are now in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
  7. It’s kinda cool to see some vintage artist interviews from the likes of REO Speedwagon, Pat Benatar, etc.
  8. The technical issues give it a sense of realism – like as if you are watching it live when it first aired, not on YouTube.
  9. You can feed your inner rockstar.
  10. I want to see the REO Speedwagon concert…….not.