“Albatross” by Fleetwood Mac

“Albatross” is a song by the legendary British-American rock band Fleetwood Mac. This instrumental rock song derives its name from the bird albatross – a large sea bird that can fly in the air for an extensively long period of time.

The song, which was written by British guitarist and songwriter Peter Green (the founder of Fleetwood Mac), was inspired by the 1798 poem The Rime of the Ancient Mariner by the renowned English poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge. In the aforementioned poem, an albatross follows a group of sailors and brings them bad luck after one of them kills it with a crossbow.

The word “albatross” is often used in a metaphorical sense to describe a psychological problem which prevents someone from being happy or successful. The word can also be used to refer to a burdensome thing that prevents one or something from progressing.

Facts about “Albatross” by Fleetwood Mac

  • The song was written solely by Peter Green. According to Green, he got the idea to write the track from Coleridge’s The Rime of the Ancient Mariner.
  • The song was produced by English record producer Mike Vernon. Aside his work with Fleetwood Mac, Vernon has produced songs for a number of renowned artists from Eric Clapton to David Bowie to Ten Years After.
  • The song was released on November 22nd, 1968 as a single. It appeared on the band’s 1969 compilation albums The Pious Bird of Good Omen and English Rose.
  • “Albatross” was the band’s first number one single in the United Kingdom and Europe.
  • In addition to reaching number 1 in the United Kingdom, this track also topped the charts in the Netherlands.
  • This piece inspired the Beatles’ 1969 song “Sun King”. According to a 1987 interview, guitarist George Harrison of the Beatles said “Albatross” was “the point of origin” of “Sun King”.
  • In Q magazine’s 2005 list of the 100 Greatest Guitar Tracks, this track occupied the number 37 position.
  • Being an instrumental song, this track features absolutely no singing.


Did “Albatross” win a Grammy?

Despite this track being one of the most notable instrumental rock songs of all time, it didn’t win a Grammy Award.

In which films have this track appeared?

Since “Albatross” was released in the late 1960s, it has appeared in a number of popular films, including the 2008 biographical documentary film Man on Wire.


1 Response

  1. james blackender says:

    is it true he wrote the song as a lullaby and never expected it to be a hit and was completely shocked when he received a phone call to say it has reached No1 in the UK

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