I love Fleetwood Mac. Many people have said that to themselves while browsing through the cd aisle. They then approach this and buy it on instinct. A lot of people own this cd, that is true. But most people who buy it love it for a few months then end up hating it. Why? Well, first of all, the only way to critique it is to begin by naming all the songs it’s missing. Landslide, Gold Dust Woman, Think About Me, Love In Store, Seven Wonders, not to mention the great music they made afterwords. But once Lindsey Buckingham announced he would be leaving, the future of the band was in jeopardy. They decided to make a greatest hits album, and obviously you can’t sum up this group’s work in only 16 tracks. I hate reviewing compilations, but I’ll try it anyway.
Everyone should first of all know that Fleetwood Mac is basically a supergroup. The only member who didn’t make a solo album in their lifetime is John McVie, one of the greatest bass players of all time. The only one who had any success was obviously Stevie Nicks. This compilation was made after Tango In The Night. Lindsey said he’d rather quit than tour, because touring is so hectic. He was replaced with Rick Vito and Billy Burnette, who were actually quite worthy. After the tour Fleetwood Mac recorded a new song, As Long As You Follow, and released this album.
The first song on the album is a Stevie Nicks cult classic that everyone knows and loves, Rhiannon. The finger picked guitar courtesy of Lindsey is spectacular. Stevie sings about a mystical woman whose story comes from some myth, which Stevie did not know about until after writing the song. Weird, ain’t it? There’s no way they could have left this off. Following Rhiannon is another one of the band’s most popular songs, the hopeful Don’t Stop. This is one of my favorite songs of all time; I must say I love it to death. It fits in very well to give this cd’s beginning great album flow. Following it is exactly what followed it on the epic Rumours, Go Your Own Way. Most conflicts involving love and drugs were gone in 1988. This song is powerful, and remains a classic rock staple to this date. Hold Me, a very poppy song is next. The two part harmonies between Lindsey and Christine are simply beautiful. When it comes to 80’s pop (something I hate), this is one of my favorite songs. Everywhere contains the same harmonies. It’s a little cheesy, but still very enjoyable.
Gypsy is another Stevie Nicks cult classic. Superb bass groove and wonderful guitar are here, but Stevie’s singing takes center stage. Just another song that will hook you to this band. You Make Loving Fun made me obsessed with this band. I was listening to this (my brother’s copy) on a car trip. I thought the harmonies in the chorus were so out of this world that Fleetwood Mac (a band I knew only for the Say You Will stuff) was definitely my new favorite band. The new song, As Long As You Follow, is next. It’s very impressive. The new guys’ harmonies add quite a lot to Christine’s voice. Her lyrics are hopeful and wonderful. Dreams is next, and it needs no introduction. This might be the only song that you will find skipable, just because it’s so overplayed, and you really don’t need to hear it again. Say You Love Me is probably the same way. Just too much good treatment from FM radio stations make this song slightly skipable.
Tusk will turn you onto the band’s darker side. The marching band added here is unbelievable. When I first heard this song I was going through a phase in my life where I heard Marilyn Manson’s The Beautiful People on the radio. I did not know what it was, but it scared the *** out of me. I always hesitated to turn on the radio after that, not knowing what to expect. When I heard this song’s chanting and drumming, I thought it might be the same song, so I skipped it right away. Later when I learned the name of the song I came back and listened, and fell in love. Little Lies is another cheesy 80’s song, but it still rules. It’s a catchy breakup song with weird synth. “Tell me lies, tell me sweet little lies.” Gotta love it. The full length version of Sara is included here. This song unbelievable. The drumming is slightly too fast, the bass slightly too slow, creating an unspeakably good rhythm. The lyrics are about an abortion she had, which she regrets, while dating Don Henley. She claims this isn’t true, but the lyrics suggest it way too much. The next two songs are sort of easy to get sick of. Big Love and Over My Head are a little repetitive, but still great tracks. The final song, No Questions Asked, I believe was the b-side to Little Lies. I’m not sure who plays guitar, but it is wonderful. Stevie seriously rocks out here, and it’s a very underrated song.
So should you buy this? Yes and no. If you aren’t sure if you absolutely love Fleetwood Mac then get it. You will soon find yourself flocking like a zombie to the cd store surrendering your cash to the likes of The White Album, Rumours, and Say You Will. Trust me, it happens. If you’ve been exposed to tons of Fleetwood Mac music and think that they’re one of your favorite bands, then just go for Rumours instead of a compilation. Overall, this compilation kicks butt as long as you’ve never heard the songs that are missing. It’s weird to think that this doesn’t contain any material from Fleetwood Mac’s first nine album, but that’s Fleetwood Mac in a nutshell for you.