Herald & Review (05/07/2004), Welcome Back Fleetwood Mac
Herald & Review
May 7, 2004
Welcome back, Fleetwood Mac: Group finds tour life good, as they arrive in Champaign
by Alan Sculley
A year ago, as Fleetwood Mac got set to release their new studio CD, "Say You Will," drummer Mick Fleetwood knew any extended future for the reunited group would probably hinge on how things went on the impending tour to support the CD
"Hopefully this will be a happy and successful tour and more importantly a happy tour for everyone this next year and a half of work," Fleetwood said in March 2003. "If that is the case, I think everyone is really open to making more music and doing it really quickly."
The mere fact that a year later Fleetwood Mac is in the midst of a 10-week American tour - including a stop Sunday at Assembly Hall in Champaign - says volumes in itself about the quality of life within the group, which today also includes guitarist/singer Lindsey Buckingham, singer Stevie Nicks and bassist John McVie. (Longtime singer/keyboardist Christine McVie did not rejoin the band for "Say You Will.")
"It could have turned into a nightmare, and it didn't," Fleetwood said of the tour.
What helps, of course, is that life has changed in drastic ways for the band members, whose personal dramas during the 1970s and '80s were as big a storyline as their record-setting success.
After the successes of "Fleetwood Mac" (featuring the "Over My Head," "Say You Love Me" and "Rhiannon") and 1976's "Rumours," which topped the charts for 31 weeks, the group dominated the music scene into the late 1980s before Buckingham left in 1987.
A decade later, Buckingham and his four former bandmates decided to try reuniting. The first step was recording a live CD, "The Dance," in 1997, followed by a lucrative tour.
After that, Fleetwood convinced Buckingham to abandon his third solo album and use that material as the base for the new Fleetwood Mac CD.
Finally last spring, Fleetwood Mac emerged with the solid 18-song "Say You Will" CD.
The year of touring that has since followed, Fleetwood said, has done much to rebuild the bruised but still-potent chemistry in the group.
"One thing people say, 'Oh, you just got back together to make some money,' " Fleetwood said. "I don't think so. Not unless you think basically a 10-year journey is some preconceived plan. Not even me in my wildest dreams is devious enough to do that or crazy enough."
Fleetwood said if the group makes another studio CD - something that all band members have expressed the hope and intention of doing - it will be significantly different from "Say You Will" in a major aspect.
"I would like to see, and I think all of us are pretty much on the same page, and Stevie has said if we do (another CD), she wants this to really be something that from the ground up reflects her and Lindsey playing and singing as everything is basically sung together, which would be very cool," Fleetwood said.
"If we do another album, no doubt we would be doing it from the ground up all together."
In the meantime, there are several current projects for Fleetwood and his bandmates. The albums "Fleetwood Mac," "Rumours" and "Tusk" were recently rereleased, with the latter two each featuring a bonus CD of previously unreleased demos and outtakes.
This spring, the group will release a concert DVD filmed last year during a two-show stand in Boston.
"It's just us where we are now," Fleetwood said. "It certainly, as a document, is to me is a really important one, as they (live recordings) all are. This is the first one without Christine. So in many ways, it's very different in the dynamic in terms of what's happening between the four of us up there on stage, and it turned out real good."
Thanks to Johnny Stew for posting this to the Ledge.
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