In 1967 the original members of the band Fleetwood Mac met while working on another project together. Bassist John McVie was playing in a band called “John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers,” which included guitarist Eric Clapton. When Clapton left the band, Peter Green stepped in to fill his shoes, and soon after Mick Fleetwood took over the band’s drumming responsibilities. The band played their first show at the Windsor Jazz and Blues Festival on August 13th,1967, and soon after signed on to Blue Horizon records. They released their first self-titled album in 1968. It included songs such as “My Heart Beat Like a Hammer,” and “I Loved Another Woman.” The album hit number 4 on the British charts and made the band immediately popular in Europe. They then released the songs “Need Your Love So Bad,” and “Black Magic Woman.” “Black Magic Woman” is probably most famous because of the fact that guitarist Santana later covered the song.
The group’s second album, “Mr. Wonderful,” was released in August 1968. It included guitarist Danny Kirwan and keyboardist Christine Perfect. The album’s track “Albatross” became the bands’ first #1 hit in the UK, thanks in part to 18-year-old Kirwan’s guitar work. On January 14, 1969 the band released “English Rose” in the United States. This album would be a 50/50 spit between songs from the record “Mr. Wonderful,” and new material created with Kirwan’s help. Later that year, Fleetwood Mac changed record labels, moving to Warner Brothers, which would be the band’s only label change. Although Christine Perfect had been playing with the group, it wasn’t until after Peter Green exited, and the band released “Kiln House” that she became a full-fledged member. Perfect was also responsible for the album’s artwork. She later became Christine McVie after marrying band mate John McVie.
In 1971 Peter Green returned to temporarily fill a position abandoned by Jeremy Spencer. In February 1971 Spencer had gone out one night to never return. The band was later shocked to discover that Spencer had actually joined a religious group called the “Children of God.” Bob Welch later became Spencer’s replacement. Moving forward, the band released “Future Games” in September of 1971. Their platinum selling album, “Bare Trees,” which included the song “Spare Me a Little of Your Love,” was released six months later. After firing guitarist Danny Kirwan, they released “Penguin” In 1973 after the addition of guitarist Bob Weston and vocalist Dave Walker, and shortly after released the album “Mystery to Me.” Walker was let go soon after, as was Weston, who reportedly had an affair with Fleetwood’s wife while on tour.
After having extensive legal issues regarding the ownership of the name “Fleetwood Mac,” the group released “Heroes Are Hard to Find” in 1974, and with the addition of Lindsey Buckingham and his girlfriend Stevie Nicks, the band released their second self-titled album, this time in the US, which would go on to become #1 on the charts. It included the songs “Say You Love Me,” “Rhiannon,” “Over My Head,” and the Stevie Nicks classic, “Landslide.” The next little while was to be an extremely rough road for the band. John McVie and his wife Christine, as well Fleetwood and his wife got divorced. Buckingham and Nicks also split up. Determined to turn heartbreak into cash the band released the album “Rumors” in 1977. It sold 19 million copies in the US alone and 30 million copies worldwide, as well as earning a Grammy for Album of the Year. It’s safe to say that this was probably the most productive and lucrative bit of drama in recent music history.
“Rumors” was followed up by the double album “Tusk.” The record sold over 4 million copies and lead to an 18 month tour which took the band all over the world and had them performing alongside the likes of Bob Marley. This tour produced a live album which was released in 1980. The group, now more than successful, released “Mirage” in 1982, which sold over 2 million units in the US alone and 5 years later, in 1987, “Tango in the Night,” which sold over 3 million copies and would be their most successful album since “Rumors.” In 1993 the band would receive their biggest honor yet. After being requested by newly elected American president Bill Clinton, the band played at his first Inaugural Ball. Four years later the band would release a live album entitled “The Dance.” This album shot Fleetwood Mac to the top of the US charts, which would be the first time in 15 years. The album went on to sell over 5 million copies. As of April 2nd 2009 the band is currently touring as a quartet which includes Lindsey Buckingham, Stevie Nicks, Mick Fleetwood, and John McVie.
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