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Fleetwood Mac

The Fleetwood Mac story is an episodic saga that spans more than 30 years. It is the saga of a British blues band formed in 1967 that became a California-based pop group in the mid-Seventies. In between came a period where Fleetwood Mac shuffled personnel and experimented with styles, all the while releasing solid albums that found a loyal core audience. Despite all the changes, two members have remained constant over the years: drummer Mick Fleetwood and bassist John McVie, whose surnames provided the group name Fleetwood Mac.

Though most rock fans are familiar with the lineup that includes Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks - by far the longest-running edition of the band, responsible for the classic albums Fleetwood Mac and Rumours - the group possesses a rich and storied history that predates those epics. Earlier Fleetwood Mac lineups included guitarists Peter Green, Jeremy Spencer, Danny Kirwan and Bob Welch. Fleetwood Mac when Green, Fleetwood and McVie, who were all expatriates from British bandleader John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers, decided to form a band. McVie and Fleetwood had been playing with Mayall, a British blues legend, since 1963 and 1965, respectively, while Green replaced Eric Clapton (who exited to form Cream) in 1966. Initially a quartet, the original Fleetwood Mac also included guitarist Jeremy Spencer and then expanded with the addition of Danny Kirwan prior to their second album. Not surprisingly, the group’s first two U.K. albums-Fleetwood Mac (1967) and Mr. Wonderful (1967)-were heavily blues-oriented. “Black Magic Woman,” a Peter Green song from the latter album, later became a major hit for Santana.

Finally, the platinum edition of Fleetwood Mac came together in 1975 with the recruitment of Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks. The San Francisco duo had previously cut an album together as Buckingham-Nicks. Drummer Fleetwood heard a tape of theirs at a studio he was auditioning, and the pair were drafted into the group without so much as a formal audition. This lineup proved far and away to be Fleetwood Mac’s most durable and successful. In addition to the most solid rhythm section in rock, this classic lineup contained strong vocalists and songwriters in Buckingham, Nicks and Christine McVie. Male and female points of view were offered with unusual candor on the watershed albums Fleetwood Mac (1975) and Rumours (1977).

Resonating with a mass audience like no other album in rock history, Rumours yielded a bumper crop of songs with enduring appeal, among them the Top Ten hits “Go Your Own Way,” “Dreams,” “Don’t Stop” and “You Make Loving Fun.” Fleetwood Mac toured for seven months behind Rumours and reigned as the most popular group in the world. Rumours has to date sold 18 million copies, making it the fifth best-selling album of all time. As a group, Fleetwood Mac has sold more than 70 million albums since its inception in 1967.

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