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Fleetwood Mac Interview Sunday Mail (SA) < Fleetwood Mac < Main Page

Fleetwood Mac Interview Sunday Mail (SA)
Penguin

HEADLINE: Fleetwood Mac back on track

BODY:
In 1975, when Fleetwood Mac entered the studio to begin recording

a new studio album, no one could have predicted the massive

success this veteran English band would soon achieve.

Following a 10-year, chequered history of changing personnel,

which frequently left the band minus key members and a musical

direction, founding fathers Mick Fleetwood and John McVie recruited

a little known singer-songwriting duo, Lindsey Buckingham and

Stevie Nicks.

Nicks' musical persona and Buckingham's guitar and arrangement

talents, coupled with the earlier addition of Christine Perfect

(later Mrs McVie), gave this band all the chemistry and direction

it needed.

The resulting album, simply titled Fleetwood Mac, catapulted

a band with a limited sales base into a multi-platinum hit machine.

In the years that followed, the band solidified its superstar

status with 1977's Rumours LP (an incredible 20 million copies

sold worldwide); survived the traumatic break-up of two romances

within the band - Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham, and John

and Christine McVie - dabbled in experimentation with the ambitious

1979 two-record set Tusk; and recorded the lacklustre 1982

LP Mirage that had critics and fans wondering if the band had

finally run out of creative steam.

But rumors of the band's demise proved premature. In 1987,

after a five-year layoff, Fleetwood Mac released the excellent

Tango in the Night, an album that re-established the band both

commercially and artistically. That was the good news.

The bad news was Lindsey Buckingham, whose production and instrumental

skills had so greatly contributed to their success, would be

leaving the fold. Undaunted, the band recruited two musicians,

guitarist/vocalists Rick Vito and Billy Burnette, to fill the

void.

Now, with the release of their current Greatest Hits album,

Fleetwood Mac appears to be taking stock of its platinum past

and looking forward to its future.

The album is a reminder of past glories - Rhiannon, Don't

Stop, Dreams and Go Your Own Way - and a harbinger of things

to come, with two new tracks, As Long as You Follow and No

Questions Asked, featuring the band's new guitar line-up.

We recently spoke to the two first ladies of Fleetwood Mac,

Stevie Nicks and Christine McVie, about the band's past, present

and future.

Question: Tell me about the new Fleetwood Mac. What's different

and unique about Fleetwood Mac as we're seeing you now?

Nicks: That it's still together.

Q: Why release a greatest hits album now?

McVie: Well, we've thought about doing a greatest hits album

in the past, but we've never actually got around to making the

decision. Because Lindsey left the band, it seemed like a very

appropriate time to do a collection of stuff from the past,

along with a couple of songs from right now.

Q: So, along with the old hits, you've given your fans an indication

of the future. Why choose to debut your new line-up on a collection

of songs from the past?

Nicks: After playing on the road for 4 months, we felt that

we needed to go in and spend a little time in the studio. We

were going in to do two specific songs, and we were under the

pressure of time. It was disciplined, and we had a lot of fun

doing it. You walk out of the studio feeling like you've done

something besides just giving people the old songs that they

love. You've given them something new from your heart.

Q: Greatest hits collections not only give the record-buying

public a nice overview of an artist's career, it also gives

the artist a chance to look back on his or her own career and

assess it. Are there any songs that you "rediscovered" when

assembling the tracks?

McVie: Well, hearing them back-to-back like that is very refreshing.

Q: "As Long As You Follow is the first single. It was written

by you,
Christine and

McVie:
And my husband, Eddy. It's yet another love song. It's

just something which I related to, have always related to -

telling different stories about relationships.

Q: You're not known as a collaborator; that's something which

has happened more in the last few years. How is it writing with your

husband?

McVie: It's fun. We like it. I go through phases where I like

writing with people, then I can't stand to be around someone when trying to

work out a song. But at the moment it's fun collaborating- because you get

the

bonus of two heads instead of one.

Q: Lindsey Buckingham was often credited as the architect of

Fleetwood Mac's sound, by the band itself as well as critics.

While recording the new tracks, I wonder if his role in the

studio - his arrangement and production touches - were missed?

McVie: Not yet. Lindsey was probably the prominent architect,

if you want to use that word, but we all tried our hand at production

as well. And I think it's forcing us to come out of ourselves

a bit now that Lindsey's not there anymore. And so far, we haven't

missed Lindsey in that way. I'm hoping that it'll go on like

that.

Q: Lindsey's layered guitar was an integral part of the band's

recordings. Rick Vito's playing is very different from Lindsey's

style. How will that affect that band's sound?

McVie: I think that Rick's an incredibly versatile guitar player,

and I think we've missed that in the last 12 years. Lindsey

is brilliant at what he does, but Rick brings us back a little

bit more to the blue days. With Rick, we can cover practically

any musical field.

Q: Fleetwood Mac has this interesting way of taking in new

members. On your last tour in support of the Tango in the NightLP, you had two new guitarists going out for months and months

on the road. How did you get along, and how did you develop

together on the road?

McVie: Even in the rehearsal stage, we got on really well.

As far as Billy (Burnette) goes, we've known him for years,

and when we met Rick, it seemed like we'd known him for years,

too. So we didn't have to really work anything out. We had a

very warm, wonderful tour - both in America and Europe.

Q: What about solo projects?

McVie: Stevie's already in the middle of doing a solo album

while working with us. And I'm sure at some point or other,

Mick Fleetwood's Zoo will do another album. I know I'll do a

solo record, too. But the prime goal at the moment is the next

Fleetwood Mac album. I'm not thinking beyond the record and touring with the

band.


Date: 1989-03-12         Number of views: 2230

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