It’s not just a rumour: Fleetwood Mac are back

Fiona Sturges hails the legacy of the Mac, a band who have weathered more storms than the Atlantic

Fleetwood Mac may have had their ups and downs but they sure know a thing or two about timing. Last year singer Stevie Nicks told Rolling Stone that 2013 would be “the year of Fleetwood Mac”. And so it has proved. Thirty-six years on from their 40 million-selling album Rumours, a languid, harmony-laden work about heartbreak which now resides in one in six US households, the Mac are back on top.

Since their Seventies heyday the band have been as famous for broken marriages and drug addictions as their music, and only recently has their back catalogue been deemed ripe for reappraisal. Following a series of re-issued LPs, next week their comeback tour rolls into the UK. Meanwhile, a new generation of artists are making known their appreciation. Below some of them explain the band’s appeal and pick their favourite LP from the back catalogue.

Tom McRae, solo artist

Favourite album: Rumours

“I first heard Fleetwood Mac via my older sister’s record collection, at a time when I had no concept of what was cool and what wasn’t. Fleetwood Mac didn’t connect with this country as they did in America.  When I was living in LA I would turn the dial on the radio and they would come on five times.

When [1977’s] Rumours came out it was dismissed as AOR, but I think it was cooler than that. It chimed with the demographic and the technology. Where a lot of their contemporaries were playing rough-around-the-edges folk-rock, Fleetwood Mac came up with this pristine sound coupled with incredible songwriting.

Rumours is the Seventies equivalent of Thriller – every song is a potential single. What was going on privately [between warring couples Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham, and Christine and John McVie] made it that much more potent. Dylan might have got the poetry of Blood on the Tracks out of divorce, but Fleetwood Mac got all the hits.”

Caitlin Rose, solo artist

Favourite album: Mirage

“If you live in the US songs like ‘Go Your Own Way’ and ‘Don’t Stop’ pop up with regularity. But I really got into Fleetwood Mac when I was 18 or 19. There have been so many eras for the band, from the early years with Peter Green steering the ship through to Rumours and then the dark horse that was Tusk. [1982’s] Mirage is my favourite though, because it’s got ‘That’s Alright’ on it, which I cover at my shows. I know Stevie Nicks’s grandfather was a country guy and this is a straight-up country song performed with real passion. What I love about the band is that all the writers are so different – Christine writes these perfect pop songs, Lindsey does this baroque, cerebral pop, and Stevie has this inward, reflective writing style. On Mirage that all came together.”

Fleetwood Mac taking part in a US interview broadcast in 1975 Lee Ranaldo, Sonic Youth guitarist and singer in Lee Ranaldo and the Dust

Favourite album: English Rose

Fleetwood Mac are essentially five bands rolled into one. Their songs are so undeniable. There was the Peter Green period, then the pop years and then the experimental period. [1979’s] Tusk was unpopular at the time but I knew a lot of indie bands who were really into it. That album was a bold move for Fleetwood Mac and they deserved a lot of respect for that.

I only saw them play once. It was during the Rumours era, which was the best incarnation to see live, and the show was in upstate New York. The chemistry between the band members was incredible and everyone knew the songs. It was just hit after hit after hit.

Last year my band covered “Albatross” [from their 1969 compilation English Rose], for a Mac tribute album. We chose it partly to avoid Rumours, which obviously everyone was going to go for, and also because it was from their Peter Green era – long before Buckingham, Nicks and Christine McVie – which seems to have passed a lot of people by, but was an important part of the British blues boom. The music was very challenging to play. It’s incredibly soulful and slow and complex and gave us an amazing appreciation for the talent and musicianship in the band at that early period.”

Jeremy Warmsley, multi-instrumentalist, Summer Camp

Favourite album: Tango In The Night

“When I was younger I went through a phase of buying records in charity shops and I picked up a copy of Mirage and fell in love with both it and them. It was the record after Tusk, which was a bit of a disaster, so the band had a lot to prove. I think they felt like they were washed up but Mirage is every bit as good as Rumours.

I also really love Tango in the Night. “Everywhere” was one of the first Mac songs I ever heard and then a friend played it at our wedding, so it has a real emotional resonance. Christine McVie is my favourite of the songwriters. She has an amazing way with melodies. As with Paul McCartney, there’s a real simplicity to what she does. She shows what can be done with a few simple notes. A lot of people used to think Fleetwood Mac were naff, but perhaps that’s the price you pay for making truly universal pop music. I like the fact that the Mac can be cheesy. It’s a sign of a band with its heart on its sleeve.”

Nina Nesbitt, solo artist

Favourite album: Rumours

“I love the passion in Rumours. Every one of those songs was written about other people in the band, which just makes the music so real. I find it hard enough writing about personal stuff and singing it alone on stage. To be up there singing these hugely emotional songs about partners and ex-partners who are there performing alongside you, that’s just crazy. I recently covered ‘Don’t Stop’ for a John Lewis advert. I was determined not to stray too far from the original. Recording it was nerve-racking. All the time I was thinking: ‘Oh God, this is Fleetwood Mac’.”

Fleetwood Mac’s UK and Ireland tour begins on 24 September at the O2, London. Nina Nesbitt’s cover of “Don’t Stop” is released on 30 September. Lee Ranaldo and The Dust’s LP ‘Last Night on Earth’ is released on 8 October. Summer Camp’s self-titled album is out now.

Arts and Entertainment
Blackman: Landscape of children’s literature does not reflect the cultural diversity of young people
booksMalorie Blackman appeals for a better ethnic mix of authors and characters and the illustrator Quentin Blake comes to the rescue
Arts and Entertainment
'Eminem's recovery from substance abuse has made him a more potent performer, with physical charisma and energy he never had before'
musicReview: Wembley Stadium ***
Arts and Entertainment
‘Dawn of Planet of the Apes’ also looks set for success in the Chinese market

film
News
Arts and Entertainment
The successful ITV drama Broadchurch starring David Tenant and Olivia Coleman came to an end tonight

tv
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Chocolat author Joanne Harris has spoken about the financial struggles most authors face

books
Arts and Entertainment
A scene from How To Train Your Dragon 2

Review: Imaginative storytelling returns with vigour

film
Arts and Entertainment
Josh Hutcherson, Donald Sutherland and Jena Malone in Mockinjay: Part 1

film
Arts and Entertainment

film
Arts and Entertainment
Characters in the new series are based on real people, say its creators, unlike Arya and Clegane the Dog in ‘Game of Thrones’
tv
Arts and Entertainment
A waxwork of Jane Austen has been unveiled at The Jane Austen Centre in Bath

books
Arts and Entertainment
Britney Spears has been caught singing without Auto-Tune

music
Arts and Entertainment
Unless films such as Guardians of the Galaxy, pictured, can buck the trend, this summer could be the first in 13 years that not a single Hollywood blockbuster takes $300m

tv
Arts and Entertainment
Miley Cyrus has her magic LSD brain stolen in this crazy video produced with The Flaming Lips

music
Arts and Entertainment
Gay icons: Sesame Street's Bert (right) and Ernie

tv
Arts and Entertainment
Singer Robin Thicke and actress Paula Patton

music
Arts and Entertainment
The new film will be shot in the same studios as the Harry Potter films

books
Arts and Entertainment
Duncan Bannatyne left school at 15 and was still penniless at 29

Bannatyne leaves Dragon's Den

TV
Arts and Entertainment
The French economist Thomas Piketty wrote that global inequality has worsened

books
Arts and Entertainment
David Tennant and Benedict Cumberbatch

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Ben Affleck plays a despondent Nick Dunne in David Fincher's 'Gone Girl'

film
Arts and Entertainment
Pete Doherty (L) and Carl Barât look at the scene as people begin to be crushed

music
Arts and Entertainment

tv
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Iraq crisis: How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over the north of the country

    How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over northern Iraq

    A speech by an ex-MI6 boss hints at a plan going back over a decade. In some areas, being Shia is akin to being a Jew in Nazi Germany, says Patrick Cockburn
    The evolution of Andy Serkis: First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

    The evolution of Andy Serkis

    First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
    You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial: Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried

    You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial...

    Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried
    Refugee children from Central America let down by Washington's high ideals

    Refugee children let down by Washington's high ideals

    Democrats and Republicans refuse to set aside their differences to cope with the influx of desperate Central Americas, says Rupert Cornwell
    Children's books are too white, says Laureate

    Children's books are too white, says Laureate

    Malorie Blackman appeals for a better ethnic mix of authors and characters and the illustrator Quentin Blake comes to the rescue
    Blackest is the new black: Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...

    Blackest is the new black

    Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...
    Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

    Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

    The US Ambassador to London holds 'jeans and beer' gigs at his official residence – it's all part of the job, he tells Chris Green
    Meet the Quantified Selfers: From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor

    Meet the 'Quantified Selfers'

    From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor
    Madani Younis: Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

    Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

    Madani Younis wants the neighbourhood to follow his work as closely as his audiences do
    Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

    Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

    When it comes to national stereotyping, the Irish – among others – know it can pay to play up to outsiders' expectations, says DJ Taylor
    Gavin Maxwell's bitter legacy: Was the otter man the wildlife champion he appeared to be?

    Otter man Gavin Maxwell's bitter legacy

    The aristocrat's eccentric devotion to his pets inspired a generation. But our greatest living nature writer believes his legacy has been quite toxic
    Joanna Rowsell: The World Champion cyclist on breaking her collarbone, shattering her teeth - and dealing with alopecia

    Joanna Rowsell: 'I wear my wig to look normal'

    The World Champion cyclist on breaking her collarbone, shattering her teeth - and dealing with alopecia
    Bill Granger recipes: Our chef gives raw ingredients a lift with his quick marinades

    Bill Granger's quick and delicious marinades

    Our chef's marinades are great for weekend barbecuing, but are also a delicious way of injecting flavour into, and breaking the monotony of, weekday meals
    Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014 preview: Why Brazilians don't love their neighbours Argentina any more

    Anyone but Argentina – why Brazilians don’t love their neighbours any more

    The hosts will be supporting Germany in today's World Cup final, reports Alex Bellos
    The Open 2014: Time again to ask that major question - can Lee Westwood win at last?

    The Open 2014

    Time again to ask that major question - can Lee Westwood win at last?