British-American rock band, Fleetwood Mac originated in 1967 and has stamped its name in the history of music by significantly contributing to the rock, pop rock, blues rock, folk rock, art pop and British blues genres.
This British-American band began their career as a blues rock band when it was formed in London, England in 1967 by Peter Allen Greenbaum (Peter Green). He started out his music career playing the guitar for the British Blues band, John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers in 1967 after he was recommended by his friend, Mick Fleetwood.
He left the band two months after his major assistance in their album, A Hard Road.
The Bluesbreakers also had John McVie as a guitarist for their band. The three (Peter Green, Mick Fleetwood and John McVie) became friends and recorded their first five songs in 1967 that year whilst still band members of the Bluesbreakers.
Peter Green suggested the three form their independent band called “Fleetwood Mac”, a combination of both John and Mick’s surname’s. Fleetwood accepted the offer but John initially declined.
Peter and Fleetwood got themselves new band members, guitarists Jeremy Cedric Spencer and Bob Robert Brunning (Late). This line-up made their first appearance on August 13, 1967 at a jazz and blues festival where they performed with the headline “Peter Green’s Fleetwood Mac”.
After a few months, John McVie agreed to join the group which meant Brunning’s departure since his recruitment was on the basis that he would resign anytime John was ready to join.
Their successful self-titled album was released in February 1968 by a British-blues independent record label. Their second album, Mr. Wonderful was released in August that year.
The band hired another guitarist Daniel David Kirwan into their group. Danny’s special skills in guitar added a new vibe to the band’s play which changed the band’s style of blues rock to a more erratic sound.
They released their first compilation album, English Rose in January 1969 which was followed by a more successful album, The Pious Bird of Good Omen in August that same year.
They embarked on their first tour in January of 1969 and recorded their December’69 released album Fleetwood Mac in Chicago. Around this time, the band did not have a consistent label they were working with so they signed a deal with Immediate Records to release another album, Man of the World which was a major hit.
The band soon changed labels after Immediate Records was not doing so well, signing a deal with Reprise Records under which the group has stayed signed till the time of this writing.
They released a third album which became the band’s first rock album titled Then Play On in September of 1969.
After these events, Peter Green unfortunately got himself hooked onto the use of drugs (Lysergic acid diethylamide) which led to his deteriorating musical relevance in the group. He was forced to quit on May 20 1970.
After Peter’s resignation, the band continued to release albums and singles while looking for his replacement.
John McVie was married to Christine Perfect at this time of his career and she joined the band officially in August 1970 after leaving her band, Chicken Shack.
A year later, guitarist Jeremy Spencer left the band to join another and was replaced by Robert Lawrence Welch (Late).
Despite the great successes of the group, they were faced with interpersonal problems which led to Danie Kirwan’s dismissal in 1972.
The band had continuous line-up changes for three of their albums afterwards until they temporarily disbanded in 1973.
The then manager of the band, Clifford Davis, having needs to meet and no band to manage, claimed Fleetwood Mac as his own and hired new band members and renamed the band The New Fleetwood Mac. This band did not do very well after a series of hostile responses from fans and the many lawsuits fired at them. They disbanded in 1974.
Fleetwood Mac arose from their fall and signed a contract with Warner Bros but still remained under Reprise Records. They had relocated to California in the United States at this time and recruited two new members, Stephanie Lynn Nicks and her then-boyfriend, Lindsey Adams Buckingham.
They were with the band from 1975 to 1987 when the band faced problems because of the romantic relationships of some of the team members. They recorded major ground-breaking albums, went on tours, earned awards and nominations and were still soaring until Christine McVie’s resignation in October 1995.
The group disbanded again that year and reformed again in May 1996. They performed live together with Christine McVie at the Warner Bros concert in California on May 22 1997.
Christine McVie left the band again in 1998 and rejoined again in January. Buckingham left the band in 2018 after which the death of former pacesetter for the band, Daniel Kirwan’s occurred on June 8, 2018.
Fleetwood Mac has since been recording and releasing albums and singles that are earning spots on American and British charts.
This group has not just been recognized as one of the best 20th Century bands but have also earned notable awards and nominations. Their self-titled album Fleetwood Mac reached No. 1 in the US charts in 1975.
They have sold over 120 million copies of singles and albums around the globe. Furthermore, they earned their Rock N’ Roll Hall of Fame induction in 1998.
The group has received numerous nominations and awards from the Grammy Awards, American Music Awards (AMA), the British Record Industry Trusts Show Awards and the Juno Awards.
Some of these awards include the below:
- 1978 Grammy Award for Album of the Year
- Juno award for Best Selling International Album for their album “Rumours”
- AMA’s for Favorite Pop/ Rock Album & Favorite Pop/Rock Band/Duo/Group (1978, 2003)
- Brit’s Outstanding Contribution to the British Music Industry in 1998
Interesting Facts about Fleetwood Mac
-Despite their successes in the music industry, they have topped the Hot 100 charts only once as of this writing.
–Fleetwood Mac’s 1977 album, “Rumors” still sells at an outrageous rate in America and Britain.
– Mick Fleetwood dropped out of school to pursue his dream of being a musician at age 15.
-The members of the band had a secret musical code for anytime anyone of them needed drugs.
Despite their inconsistent and unreliable line-up as well as their major personal and interpersonal problems as individuals and as a band, Fleetwood Mac has risen above and showed themselves as one of the most resilient bands in the history of the British and American music industry.
They continue to persevere through thin lines to bring out the very best of themselves into the limelight.
Top Fleetwood Mac Songs
Below is a list of some of the most famous songs released by Fleetwood Mac:
- “As Long as You Follow”
- “Big Love”
- “Black Magic Woman”
- “Can’t Go Back”
- “Did You Ever Love Me”
- “Don’t Stop”
- “Family Man”
- “For Your Love”
- “Go Your Own Way”
- “Hard Feelings”
- “Heroes Are Hard to Find”
- “Hold Me”
- “I Believe My Time Ain’t Long”
- “I Do”
- “In the Back of My Mind”
- “Isn’t It Midnight”
- “Jewel-Eyed Judy”
- “Jigsaw Puzzle Blues”
- “Little Lies”
- “Love in Store”
- “Love Is Dangerous”
- “Love Shines”
- “Man of the World”
- “Need Your Love So Bad”
- “Not That Funny”
- “Oh Diane”
- “Oh Well (Parts 1 and 2)”
- “Over My Head”
- “Paper Doll”
- “Rambling Pony”
- “Rattlesnake Shake”
- “Remember Me”
- “Sad Angel”
- “Sands of Time”
- “Save Me”
- “Say You Love Me”
- “Say You Will”
- “Sentimental Lady”
- “Seven Wonders”
- “Shake Your Moneymaker”
- “Silver Springs”
- “Sisters of the Moon”
- “Skies the Limit”
- “Somebody’s Gonna Get Their Head Kicked in Tonite”
- “Spare Me a Little of Your Love”
- “Stop Messin’ Round”
- “Tell Me All the Things You Do”
- “Temporary One”
- “The Chain”
- “The Farmer’s Daughter”
- “The Green Manalishi (With the Two Prong Crown)”
- “The Purple Dancer”
- “The Sun Is Shining”
- “Think About Me”
- “Warm Ways”
- “You Make Loving Fun”
Members of Fleetwood Mac
As of 2021, the band consists of the following:
- Michael John Kells Fleetwood (Mick Fleetwood)
- John Graham McVie (John McVie)
- Christine McVie
- Stephanie Lynn Nicks (Stevie Nicks)
- Michael Wayne Campbell (Mike Campbell)
- Neil Mullane Finn (Neil Finn)