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Dissected: Fleetwood Mac

Running through the shadows of 17 albums

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dissected logo Dissected: Fleetwood MacWelcome to Dissected, where we disassemble a band’s catalog, a director’s filmography, or some other critical pop-culture collection in the abstract. It’s exact science by way of a few beers. This time, we sort through the best and worst of the most fucked up rock ‘n’ roll marriage.

Over the course of four decades, numerous lineup changes, and 17 studio releases, Fleetwood Mac has transformed from a British blues quartet of guitar prodigies into a truly “classic” band with more longevity than most could ever fathom having.

Appealing to anyone from the Deadheads and cokeheads of the ‘70s and ‘80s, to 20-somethings in Urban Outfitters and dive bars, Fleetwood Mac has always culled from the experiences and emotions that no one else would consider withstanding long enough to take away something special. That is precisely the reason why this messy, emotional, fascinating group of individuals almost always arrives at a place that is greater than the sum of its parts. From Mick and Stevie’s affair and Jeremy Spencer’s run-in with the Children of God, to “Fake Mac’s” first bogus tour, the revolving cast has always been dependable when it comes to incorporating drama into their personal lives, and subsequently, back into their music.

In honor of Fleetwood Mac’s enduring crystal vision and their 2013 world tour, let’s take a moment to remember their music and everything in between.

Peter Green’s Fleetwood Mac (1968)

 Dissected: Fleetwood Mac

Band personnel: Mick Fleetwood, Peter Green, Jeremy Spencer, and John McVie

Album ranking in terms of artwork: 15/17

Album ranking in terms of BGV arrangements/usage: 16/17

Number of cover songs: 4

Number of Elmore James covers: 2

BaNd DrAmA: Fleetwood Mac begins recording before they can lure John McVie into the band. When he finally agrees to join, Bob Brunning (featured on “Long Grey Mare”) is kicked to the curb and McVie takes charge of the ol’ boom stick for the rest of FM’s career.

Cause for excitement: Overnight success in the UK, and an upcoming hit with “Black Magic Woman” to keep things afloat.

Cause for concern: Fleetwood Mac is a blues-rock band in the midst of the late ‘60s British Blues Boom! They will play blues-rock for four more years.

Essential tracks: “Long Grey Mare”, “Looking For Somebody”, and “I Loved Another Woman”

Hello: Harmonica solo on “Looking for Somebody”

Obscene lyric alert: “Loved the little girl so good / she made my low down butter come.”

Mr. Wonderful (1968, UK)

 Dissected: Fleetwood Mac

Band personnel: Mick Fleetwood, John McVie, Peter Green, Jeremy Spencer, and Christine Perfect (unofficially)

Album ranking in terms of artwork: 17 — It’s hard to believe that any human being looks like Mick Fleetwood on this cover. The photo doesn’t look too touched up, but somehow, Fleetwood winds up looking like any combination of characters from Disney’s The Sword in the Stone or Pete’s Dragon.

Album ranking in terms of BGV arrangements/usage: 17/17

Number of blues tracks based on the same four chords: 12

Number of cover songs: 3

Number of Elmore James covers: 2

Number of songs using Elmore James riffs as intros: 4 — “Dr. Brown”, “Dust My Broom”, “Need Your Love Tonight”, and “Coming Home”

Controversial song title that has chat rooms/online blues forums up in arms over its meaning: “Dust My Broom”

Cause for excitement: “Evenin’ Boogie” — This song has literally awoken me from a heavy siesta with its standout energy level before.

BaNd DrAmA: Christine Perfect (soon to be Christine McVie) is brought away from her UK band, Chicken Shack, to play keys for the first time. She and bassist John McVie impulsively marry in August of 1968, thus officially introducing the first (of many) band romances and/or potential complications.

Then Play On (1969)

 Dissected: Fleetwood Mac

Band personnel: Mick Fleetwood, John McVie, Peter Green, Jeremy Spencer, Danny Kirwan, and Christine McVie (unofficially)

Album ranking in terms of artwork: 2

Album ranking in terms of BGV arrangements/usage: 15/17

Number of versions of this album released: 4 — I used the CD listing so I could hear all the tracks (as opposed to the shortened original UK LP tracklisting).

Best production team member name: Dinky Dawson (Sound Consultant)

Cause for concern: Peter Green is typically wearing robes and a crucifix at this point, as well as taking large doses of LSD and bizarrely trying to convince his band members to give all their money away to charity. None of them are interested in doing this.

BaNd DrAmA: After a little too much fun at an LSD party in Munich, Peter has to be retrieved from a German commune by his band members. Two months later, in May, 1970, he quits the band.

Number of songs about a woman named Madge: 2 — “Searching for Madge” and “Fighting for Madge” — These both just unremarkably spill over into one another, no thanks to the US album sequencing. Lengthy, tweaked out instrumental blues soloing for about 10 minutes is what you won’t miss by not listening to these songs.

MOJO MOMENTS: “Rattlesnake Shake” — Hugh Hefner provides a smooth introduction for the band in this live performance of the song; Mick Fleetwood can be seen wearing what looks to be a radiant women’s blouse.

Departures: Peter Green

Kiln House (1970)

 Dissected: Fleetwood Mac

Band personnel: Mick Fleetwood, John McVie, Jeremy Spencer, Danny Kirwan, and Christine McVie (unofficially)

Album ranking in terms of artwork: 7 — This cover art was illustrated by Christine McVie before she was even officially in the band.

Album ranking in terms of BGV arrangements/usage: 14/17

Number of ‘50s doo-wop throwbacks: 4“This is the Rock”, “Blood on the Floor”, “Hi Ho Silver” (Fats Waller cover), and “Buddy’s Song”.

Causes for excitement/concern: Christine McVie is brought on the road for this tour, beginning her permanent placement in Fleetwood Mac, and the phase where she and her husband are forced to be together 24/7 before the affairs start happening.

BaNd DrAmA: Spencer confirms the onset of his schizophrenia in March of 1970 during this supporting tour, thanks to a bad batch of LSD (or he finally just found the tab that wrecked the camel’s brain). By the beginning of 1971 (on the same tour), Spencer permanently bails on his bandmates to join the “Children of God” religious group (now known as The Family International).

Essential tracks: “Jewel Eyed Judy” — written by Fleetwood, Kirwan, and John McVie as everything fundamental in Weezer, Wilco and The Beatles (especially the rocking four-minute coda of “Hey Jude”).

Song that is far more interesting than its title: “Earl Gray” — one of Kirwan’s slow, wistful instrumental ballads with an unusual chord progression. It’s relaxing, although it’s hard to say how gratifying it would be if it weren’t surrounded by Spencer’s heap of doodoo-wop (shitwop).

Departures: Jeremy Spencer

Future Games (1971)

futuregamesfleetwfuture 27 Dissected: Fleetwood Mac

Band personnel: Mick Fleetwood, John McVie, Danny Kirwan, Bob Welch, and Christine McVie (officially made a full member)

Album ranking in terms of artwork: 16

Album ranking in terms of BGV arrangements/usage: 10/17

Single that failed as a single: “Sands of Time” — let’s just say this bizarre Kirwan tune is hard to sing along to…or remember how it goes…

Song with most oft-repeated riff: “Lay It All Down” — some people may like hearing this rockin’ bass/guitar riff repeated 100 times in a row, and others will not. 1993 called and said it wants the Paul Shaffer cover of “Roll Over Beethoven”  from Beethoven’s 2nd back

BaNd DrAmA: “The Mac” is in the midst of their “uncertain early ‘70s transitional period.” Translation: Four years of confusion, lineup changes, drama, and lack of direction. But after Spencer’s departure, the songwriting changes and become a little more melodic pop-driven, as well as emotional and unpredictable with Kirwan, McVie, and Bob Welch steering things.

Essential tracks: “Show Me a Smile”; “Future Games” — Fleetwood Mac takes on a new smoother, more experimental sound with this track, similar to some late ’60s and early ‘70s rock bands like The Zombies, The Byrds and The Doors

Nonessential track:  “What a Shame” — the hastily recorded jam per the request of the label to add an 8th song. Don’t waste your time.

Harbinger of Christine McVie’s imminent greatness: Her performance of “Morning Rain” winds up coming off like a badass girl-fronted ‘70s group like The Shocking Blue or The Runaways.

Bare Trees (1972)

 Dissected: Fleetwood Mac

Band Personnel: Mick Fleetwood, John McVie, Danny Kirwan, Bob Welch, and Christine McVie

Album ranking in terms of artwork: 14

Album ranking in terms of BGV arrangements/usage: 13/17

Number of “strictly scat” tracks: 1 — “Danny’s Chant” — written by Kirwan, for Kirwan, this little creation is no words, just scatting — nearly three-and-a-half minutes of kooky scatting.

Additional symbols of Kirwan’s wacky ways: The weird chord in the chorus of “Dust” that always manages to sneak up on you and change the entire feel of the song every time. It’s the one “imperfection” in an otherwise perfect song.

BaNd DrAmA: Kirwan is fired (for attitude, health, and alcohol problems) during the supporting tour and replaced by Dave Weston.

Best/worst rhyme: “Sentimental” with “gentle” on Bob Welch’s “Sentimental Lady.” Aside from the stupidity of the main lyric, it’s still a catchy song, and an album standout.

Number of poetry readings: 1 — “Thoughts on a Grey Day” — a poem read by “Mrs. Scarrott” at the end of Bare Trees, which ties into the album nicely. If you can avoid picturing Mrs. Doubtfire doing the recitation, this reading is one to be appreciated.

Which came first: The “descending notes” riff repeatedly used in Kirwan’s “Sunny Side of Heaven” sounds awfully similar to the classically-inspired outro riff used in British prog-rockers Curved Air’s 1971 single, “It Happened Today.”

Departures: Danny Kirwan

Penguin (1973)

 Dissected: Fleetwood Mac

Band personnel: Mick Fleetwood, John McVie, Christine McVie, Bob Welch, Bob Weston, and Dave Walker

Album ranking in terms of artwork: 12/17

Album ranking in terms of BGV arrangements/usage: 13/17

Essential tracks: Bob Welch’s “Night Watch” — the lyrics to this hazy song are descriptive and intriguing atop wistful chords. “I hope that in the desert there are ships and there is noise / and above the greatest city there will shine a magic shadow and a voice.”

Point at which you realize this Fleetwood Mac is starting to sound like The Eagles: Midway through the chorus of “Night Watch” — In fact, for the next two albums, Fleetwood Mac will generally sound like a variation of The Doors, The Eagles, REO Speedwagon, ELO, and Pink Floyd. Although anything’s better than more Dave Walker.

BaNd DrAmA: Dave Walker leaves Fleetwood Mac before they record their next album because his style and attitude “don’t fit in” with the rest of the band.

Number of songs that are ill-suited for this album: 2 — “(I’m A) Road Runner” and “The Derelict,” both sung by Dave Walker. Walker’s vocal approach is almost identical to that of Billy Joel’s on the Storm Front album or the Oliver and Company soundtrack.

Nonessential tracks: 2 — “(I’m A) Road Runner” and “The Derelict”

Song that demands to play in a slow-motion movie scene: “Bright Fire” is a gleaming example of Bob Welch’s ability to control song ambiance and vibe like Bob Ross controls a sunset on a canvas.

Harbinger of Christine McVie’s imminent greatness: “Did You Ever Love Me” — a catchy number whose Motown slant adds some nice variety to the album.

Departures: Dave Walker

Mystery to Me (1973)

 Dissected: Fleetwood Mac

Band personnel: Mick Fleetwood, John McVie, Christine McVie, Bob Welch, and Bob Weston

Album ranking in terms of artwork: 4/17

Album ranking in terms of BGV arrangements/usage: 8/17

BaNd DrAmA: The McVies’ marriage is on the rocks and John is having problems with alcohol abuse. Christine begins having an affair with the band’s lighting director. Mick Fleetwood discovers that his then-wife, Jenny, is sleeping with band guitarist, Bob Weston, right before leaving for their US tour in support of the album. Fleetwood fires Weston, cancels the tour, and the band temporarily breaks up. Meanwhile, there’s a “New Fleetwood Mac” touring around the country pretending to be the real band members, hastily thrown together by their whackjob manager, Clifford Davis.

Cause for concern: The number of songs on this album that remind me of Santana’s version of “Black Magic Woman” (written by Peter Green), or The Eagles’ “Witchy Woman”.

Harbinger of Christine McVie’s upcoming greatness: “The Way I Feel” — a gorgeous, stripped-down, piano-driven ballad that ensures if Madea/Tyler Perry were narrating the progression of this album, she’d probably scream something like, “DAYUM! Christine McVie gettin’ all Carole King up in this shit!”

Essential tracks: Any of the non-filler by Bob Welch on side 1 — the “treats” from the album.

Nonessential tracks: Any of the filler by Bob Welch on side 2 — the “tricks” after all those treats: “The City”: a boring throwback to the exhaustive solos and predictable blues of Mr. Wonderful — ; “Miles Away”: an endless, prog-rock jam that would make Dave Matthews proud with its funky (annoying) riff that plays 80 times underneath mumbled lyrics; “Somebody”: Perhaps the worst song on the album, and has literally the same melody as “Hypnotized.”

Departures: Bob Weston

Heroes Are Hard To Find (1974)

 Dissected: Fleetwood Mac

Band personnel: Mick Fleetwood, John McVie, Christine McVie, and Bob Welch

Album ranking in terms of artwork: 10/17

Album ranking in terms of BGV arrangements/usage: 9/17

BaNd DrAmA: Bob Welch tires of legal struggles and leaves the band shortly after the tour is over.

Causes for concern: The worst Fleetwood Mac song ever is on this album — “Silver Heels”. Even if you ignore the nonsensical melody and jazzy flute soloing, you’re still left with that godawful chorus where Bob Welch sings, “If I could sing like Paul McCartney, get funky like Etta James, I’d never change silver heeled ways.”

I could’ve sworn: I heard Rodney from The Wulfe Brothers — (the cover band trio of brothers annually hired to perform at my rural Kentucky elementary school in the mid ‘90s) — singing, before I realized it was just Bob Welch up to his vocal tricks again on “Silver Heels.”

Essential tracks: “She’s Changing Me” — its unusual chord changes and relaxed style pair nicely with lyrics like, “…’cause they call her the sweet Omega”; “Prove Your Love” — original, romantic, and catchy, the hook would be a perfect candidate for getting ripped off in a Gap commercial.

Nonessential tracks: “Bad Loser” — Sounds like Bob somehow got to Christine and convinced her to write one of those mysterious “Witchy Woman” soundalikes.

Number of Sneaky Pete Kleinow solos: 2 — The pedal steel player is featured on “Come a Little Bit Closer” and “She’s Changing Me”

Misheard song titles: “Hair Gel” (from the song “Angel”)

Departures: Bob Welch

Fleetwood Mac (1975)

fleetwoodmacfleetwfleetw 02 Dissected: Fleetwood Mac

Band personnel: Mick Fleetwood, John McVie, Christine McVie, Lindsey Buckingham, and Stevie Nicks

Album ranking in terms of artwork: 5/17

Album ranking in terms of BGV arrangements/usage: 5/17 — When you hear Lindsey, Stevie, and Christine’s vocals unite for the first time on the pre-chorus of “Monday Morning”, you know a new era has arrived.

BaNd DrAmA: And so it truly begins. Briefly put: The McVies’ marriage ends; Mick Fleetwood is in the middle of divorce proceedings from his wife, Jenny; Lindsey and Stevie end their very serious long-term romance — all in 1976, right before the recording and release of Rumours.

Causes for concern: Not enough drugs went into the making of this album; it doesn’t pack the same emotional, drug-fueled punch that Rumours does.

Essential tracks: “Monday Morning”, “Rhiannon”, “Over My Head”, “Say You Love Me”, and “Landslide”

Nonessential tracks: “World Turning” — If I could turn back time and prevent Billy Squire from releasing “The Stroke” or Bon Jovi from performing “Dead or Alive”, then maybe this track wouldn’t hit such a melodic nerve with me.

Songs with “Daddy” in the title: “Sugar Daddy”

Songs about Celtic witches: “Rhiannon”

Rumours (1977)

 Dissected: Fleetwood Mac

Band personnel: Mick Fleetwood, John McVie, Christine McVie, Lindsey Buckingham, and Stevie Nicks

Album ranking in terms of artwork: 5/17

Album ranking in terms of BGV arrangements/usage: 3/17

BaNd DrAmA: Nearly all of the songs on Rumours are about the different romantic separations among the band members at the time, which means they’re all spending time together regularly during “the grieving process” and when they’re on tour. Christine has started dating the band’s lighting director now that she and John are separated. Stevie dates Don Henley in ’76 during the recording of Rumours, while also being involved in a two-year affair with Mick Fleetwood that started during the Rumours tour. Holy shit.

Causes for excitement: Cocaine, affairs, dreams. It also includes “The Chain”, Fleetwood Mac’s only five-way writing collaboration ever.

Cause for concern: Massive drug/alcohol consumption by the band members in order to bear (and bare) the emotional turmoil they were all experiencing.

Essential tracks: “Dreams”, “Go Your Own Way”, “Songbird”, “The Chain”, “You Make Loving Fun”, and “Gold Dust Woman”

Songs with “Daddy” in the title: “Oh Daddy”

Nonessential tracks: “Oh Daddy”

Un-tied Colbie Caillat ties: The album’s producer is California hotshot Ken Caillat, who goes on to produce several more excellent Fleetwood Mac albums. We can thank our lucky stars that his daughter Colbie didn’t have any involvement or else it would’ve been doomed.

Stevie Nicks’ voice at the end of “Gold Dust Woman”: A dry, yodeling throat rattle.

Tusk (1979)

 Dissected: Fleetwood Mac

Band personnel: Mick Fleetwood, John McVie, Christine McVie, Lindsey Buckingham, and Stevie Nicks

Album ranking in terms of artwork: 9/17

Album ranking in terms of BGV arrangements/usage: 2/17

Cause for excitement: Um, it’s a double LP of peerless art. It also includes “The Chain”, Fleetwood Mac’s only five-way writing collaboration ever.

Essential tracks: “Over and Over”, “The Ledge”, “Think About Me”, “Save Me A Place”, “Sara”, “What Makes You Think You’re The One”, “That’s All For Everyone”, and “Tusk”

Nonessential tracks: None

Songs about someone named Sara: 1, “Sara”

BaNd DrAmA: Post-Rumours, the band members are all psychologically/emotionally broken and shattered, but their success left them with a limitless budget and, (thanks to the drugs and alcohol), the creative capacities to craft the most unique, sprawling album in the band’s entire discography.

Number of songs requiring a marching band: 1 — “Tusk” features the University of Southern California Marching Band on the studio recording. They are also featured in the music video, along with some excellent baton twirling footage of Stevie Nicks.

Rumored meaning behind album title: Mick Fleetwood’s slang term for a male appendage

But what I’m really wondering is: How do I get to take my own self-indulgent musical journey aboard the Cocaine Train that Stevie Nicks is on in this video…

Mirage (1982)

miragefleetw 03 Dissected: Fleetwood Mac

Band personnel: Mick Fleetwood, John McVie, Christine McVie, Lindsey Buckingham, and Stevie Nicks

Album ranking in terms of artwork: 8/17

Album ranking in terms of BGV arrangements/usage: 1/17

BaNd DrAmA: Fleetwood Mac records Mirage right after an over-one-year hiatus. Buckingham and Nicks have both embarked on solo careers, and Christine McVie has just left a two-year relationship with Dennis Wilson.

Cause for excitement: This whole album — totally radio-friendly, timeless, soft rock hits.

Number of songs with the potential to get stuck in your head for longer than 24 hours: 8

Essential tracks: “Love in Store”, “Can’t Go Back”, “That’s Alright”, “Book of Love”, “Gypsy”, “Only Over You”, “Empire State”, “Hold Me”, “Oh Diane”, and “Eyes of the World”

Nonessential tracks: None.

Song title most likely to represent their feelings at the time: “Can’t Go Back”

Moments to savor forever: Stevie Nicks’ interpretation of “Gypsy”; the harmonies on “That’s Alright.”

May or may not be a deliberate rip-off: The intro accompaniment of “Eyes of the World” is constructed with primarily voices rather than instruments, to create an almost-acapella version of Pachelbel’s Canon. This is extremely cheesy, but Lindsey Buckingham’s concrete melodies make you forget the song’s almost-predictability.

But what I’m really wondering is: Why the hell did they have to use that Pachelbel’s Canon intro on “Eyes of the World?”

Tango In The Night (1987)

 Dissected: Fleetwood Mac

Band personnel: Mick Fleetwood, John McVie, Christine McVie, Lindsey Buckingham, and Stevie Nicks

Album ranking in terms of artwork: 3/17

Album ranking in terms of BGV arrangements/usage: 4/17

BaNd DrAmA: Buckingham abruptly announces his departure from the band right before the Tango tour, and remains on hiatus for 10 years.

Cause for concern: This lineup won’t play together again until 1993.

Essential tracks: “Big Love”, “Seven Wonders”, “Everywhere”, “Mystified”, and “Little Lies”

Nonessential tracks: None

Songs about someone named Sarah: 1, “Welcome to the Room…Sarah”

Celebrity guest appearance: the Kool-Aid Man on “Family Man”

Best use of modern day recording technology: “Family Man” — the vocal trickery on this number always stands out.

Effect(s) on Phil Collins: Fleetwood Mac practically dropped the Disney’s Tarzan soundtrack right into Collins’ lap with Tango.

“BGVs in the Spotlight” moment: The wet sensual oohs at the end of “Big Love” come in and are so prominent in the mix that you think Lindsey and the girls are in the room with you, seductively singing right next to your ears…

Song title most likely to represent their feelings at the time: “Little Lies”

Song that may or may not be about abortion: “Caroline”

Band’s music video identity for “Little Lies”: Amish gang/Amish pimps

Departures: Lindsey Buckingham

Behind The Mask (1990)

 Dissected: Fleetwood Mac

Band personnel: Mick Fleetwood, John McVie, Christine McVie, Stevie Nicks, Billy Burnette, and Rick Vito

Album ranking in terms of artwork: 1/17 — Are we looking at a Fleetwood Mac album or the cover illustration for a tawdry romance novel that takes place at Plymouth Rock? Are those even the real members of Fleetwood Mac? (No. Mick Fleetwood had this “spiritually symbolic” image created by some photographer because no one in the band actually wanted to be on the cover.)

Album ranking in terms of BGV arrangements/usage: 11/17

Also known as: The album Fleetwood Mac recorded without Lindsey Buckingham

BaNd DrAmA: Other than dealing with the flop of Behind the Mask, Fleetwood Mac isn’t doing too terribly because Lindsey isn’t there to add to the tension. At least not until 1993, per Bill Clinton’s request.

Causes for concern: Any songs contributed by Billy Burnette or Rick Vito; also, the album artwork.

Essential tracks: “Skies the Limit”, “Save Me”, “Do You Know”, “Affairs of the Heart”, and “When it Comes to Love”

Nonessential tracks: Plenty

Effect(s) on Phil Collins: This probably had no effect on Phil Collins; but it’s possible the opening riff of “Stand on the Rock” could’ve easily been snagged by Collins for Genesis’ “I Can’t Dance”.

Song best-suited for a made-for-TV movie about Plymouth Rock: “The Second Time”

Additional tie-ins to Plymouth Rock: “Stand on the Rock” — What rock? Plymouth Rock. This album shows us that we all get a little lost on our journey from time to time.

“Jambalaya (On the Bayou)” sound-alikes: “When the Sun Goes Down”

Creepiest Fleetwood Mac song to date: “In the Back of my Mind” — Is someone watching a Tomb Raider tutorial on YouTube nearby? Maybe this isn’t a song you should listen to after smoking the green you bought from a Dominican man on the streets of Harlem.

Departures: Stevie Nicks

Time (1995)

 Dissected: Fleetwood Mac

Band personnel: Mick Fleetwood, John McVie, Christine McVie, Billy Burnette, Dave Mason, and Bekka Bramlett

Album ranking in terms of artwork: 14/17

Album ranking in terms of BGV arrangements/usage: 8/17

Also known as: The album Fleetwood Mac tried to record without Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks; one long grocery store soundtrack; a disappointment.

BaNd DrAmA: By the end of the worldwide Time tour, Dave Mason, Bekka Bramlett, and Billy Burnette all leave the band. Nicks and Buckingham re-join in 1997 though, which is grounds for celebration. Christine McVie leaves the group permanently in 1998.

Causes for concern: Any songs contributed by Billy “The Troublemaker” Burnette or Dave Mason; Lindsey and Stevie have been replaced by the guitarist from Traffic and Bekka Bramlett. (Bramlett is a fantastic, but ill-fitting vocalist.)

Essential tracks: “Dreamin the Dream”, “Nights in Estoril”, “Winds of Change”, “I Do”, and “Nothing Without You”

Nonessential tracks: Plenty

Artists ill-suited for being a Fleetwood Mac member at any point: Billy Burnett, Rick Vito, Dave Mason, Bekka Bramlett, and Dave Walker

Songs best-suited for a made-for-TV movie about Plymouth Rock: “Winds of Change”; “Blow by Blow”

Songs best-suited for a Kroger commercial: “Talkin’ to My Heart”, “Winds of Change”, “Blow by Blow”

Songs best-suited for a ‘90s sitcom theme: “Hollywood” — think Captain & Tennille meets Caroline in the City, or any show featuring a frazzled-looking character that stops, smiles, and then looks comically “put out” while this song is playing through the credits. In fact, it seemed worth Googling whether or not Bekka Bramlett and Billy Burnett provided the vocals to the Step by Step theme song, but alas, it was Frederick and Teresa James.

Billy Joel’s Storm Front revisited: “Blow by Blow”

Most fitting song title: “These Strange Times” — the very strange spoken word closer on this album, written and performed by Mick Fleetwood. Much of the song features Mick crying out, “God is nowhere,” while the background vocalists softly chant, “Have faith,” or “I love you,” as the song fades out…

Song title most likely to represent their feelings at the time: “These Strange Times”

Song title most representative of my current feelings about this album: “These Strange Times”

But what I really want to know is: Why is Stevie Nicks so obsessed with the name Sara?

Departures: Christine McVie

Say You Will (2003)

 Dissected: Fleetwood Mac

Band personnel: Mick Fleetwood, John McVie, Lindsey Buckingham, and Stevie Nicks

Album ranking in terms of artwork: 12/17

Album ranking in terms of BGV arrangements/usage: 7/17

Also known as: The album that sounds kind of like Tango in the Night that your parents didn’t like as much but definitely liked better than Time.

BaNd DrAmA: Everyone gets involved in their own personal projects, which serve to hinder future touring or recording efforts, as well as give the band members reason to publicly complain about one another to the press for not being able to organize anything. #neverbreakthechain

Causes for concern: Christine isn’t present; also, the six minute HARD ROCK breakdown on “Come” that winds up turning into a wretched blues jam.

Other causes for concern: Sheryl Crow had a hand in this album and recorded BGVs on “Say You Will” (along with a children’s choir)

Essential tracks: “Steal Your Heart Away”, “Say Goodbye”, and “Peacekeeper”

Nonessential tracks: “Murrow Turning Over in His Grave” — unless you are interested in hearing a malfunctioning Furby’s take on a scene from Labyrinth or Little Monsters.

Song title most likely to represent their feelings at the time: “Thrown Down” or “Destiny Rules”

Clothing store most likely to play this album on rotation: Chico’s

Song candidate for Scarface soundtrack inclusion: “Running Through the Garden” — although it sounds more like running through the streets of Miami.

Song candidate for Wang Chung collaboration: “Running Through the Garden” — This song would be perfect on the To Live and Die in L.A. soundtrack!

Best (worst) lyrics: “Silver Girl” — “She had the Midas touch / She was Lady Luck / She’s got a million bucks / And she looks like it.”

Dido’s Choice: “Illume” — “Did I include this on No Angel?” – Dido

Joni Mitchell’s thoughts on “Illume”: “Oh god — this sounds just like when Counting Crows ruined ‘Big Yellow Taxi’”.

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