After my review of the disastrous... well, that's slightly harsh, let's just say "very disappointing" Mirage, it gives me great pleasure to be reviewing 1975's Fleetwood Mac album. The band's debut with Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks showed the world just what to expect from this new lineup. A superb album which mixed veterans with musicians relatively new to the mainstream music scene, this mixture provided the ingredients for what was to become a collection of classics.
Buckingham and Nicks' Californian influence is felt very much in the tracks. They bring the band from being a blues rock group to poprock, and it was a transformation for the better. Nick's "Landslide," is one of the best songs on the album, with its beautiful accoustic guitar and her seductive vocals gently floating over the melody. "Rhiannon," which went on to become one of the group's most popular songs, is a wildly mystical song about a Welsh witch, and this mysticism is felt with the guitar picking and quiet but pounding drum beat that makes its way through the whole song. The remake of her song "Crystal," which appeared first of all on their 1973 solo LP "Buckingham Nicks", with lead vocals handled by Lindsey is also a beautiful, touching piece with Nicks poetic lyrics really getting to the listener.
Christine McVie was able to come forth in this album and show what she was really made of, seeing as before it was mostly down to Bob Welch (the previous guitarist, whom Buckingham had replaced). Two of her songs on the album, "Over My Head," and "Say You Love Me," were major hits in the charts. Over My Head was the first tune ever of Fleetwood Mac's, in all lineups since the late 60s, to enter into the Top 40 of the mainstream US charts. However it's her collaboration with Lindsey Buckingham on "World Turning" that is her greatest achievement on the album. From the very beginning it's clear that these two are quite the master musical collaboration. Their vocals complement each other extremely well and so do their musical styles. Lindsey's steady guitar in "Over My Head," is one of the most memorable riffs on the album, second to that in "World Turning."
Lindsey's own tracks, including the lively "Monday Morning," which also appeared on "Buckingham Nicks," really stress the Californian influence he provides. But it's the final track on the album, "I'm So Afraid," that is his masterpiece. The angst ridden vocals and heavy chords and powerful solo at the end are all part of a work he had been trying to complete for many years. And when it's finished, it's one hell of a piece.
The famous rhythm section of the band, Mick Fleetwood on drums and bassist John McVie, prove why they are just so famous as a duo. Their perfectly timed rhythm on "Rhiannon." and their effortless collaboration on"I'm So Afraid," prove why these two are a rhythmic force to be reckoned with in the music world.
The addition of Americans Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks was clearly a great move by the three Brits Mick Fleetwood, John McVie and Christine McVie. Going on to produce four more multi-million selling albums, this was the ultimate line up of an ever-changing band which has had the most enduring and long lasting influence. It's with albums such as this one that prove whether a band has staying power or not-and this and all the rest show just how much power there was, and still is, in Fleetwood Mac.