Andre Gardner

NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 09: (L-R) John McVie, Christine McVie, Stevie Nicks, Lindsey Buckingham and Mick Fleetwood of Fleetwood Mac pose on stage on NBC's "Today" at the NBC's TODAY Show on October 9, 2014 in New York, New York. (Photo by Noam Galai/Getty Images)

I am here to make the argument that the Fleetwood Mac album is every bit as good as their highly-regarded masterwork, Rumours.

On this day in 1975, the revamped lineup of Fleetwood Mac released their tenth studio album. It was called, simply, “Fleetwood Mac.” Gone was guitarist and vocalist Bob Welch, and in were Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham. Mick Fleetwood met them, and producer Keith Olsen, at Sound City Studios in Los Angeles. After hearing a track from the duo’s debut album Buckingham Nicks, he offered them, and Olson, a gig.

The Fleetwood Mac album was recorded in a little over a month in January and February, 1975. Songs recorded included several Steve Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham songs the duo were planning to use for their second album. Not long after, the band hit the road for an exhaustive U.S. tour to support the album. The tour kicked off May 15, and the album was released on July 11, which gave the band a chance to preview the songs while on the road. They even performed two Buckingham Nicks songs, and even a song from Christine McVie’s days in the band Chicken Shack.

On the tour’s first leg, from May 15 to June 8, they only took two days off. For the second leg, they did 53 shows in three months, including stops at the Tower Theater on May 29 and The Spectrum on October 11. Stevie Nicks would later say their grueling tour of the U.S. that year helped push sales of the new album.

And she’s not wrong. The album peaked at #1 on the chart, but not until almost 16 months after it first came out. It was a combination of the band hitting so many cities, plus the support from radio, that kept the album alive and gave it its slow climb to the top. Even then, it only stayed at #1 for one week. Since then, Fleetwood Mac has gone on to sell over 7 million copies in the U.S.

Sure, none of those feats equalled their followup, Rumours, but I’m here to tell you I think it’s every bit as good as Rumours. A track-by-track analysis may help prove my point:

  • Monday Morning

    The album begins with Fleetwood Mac letting us know immediately that this is a huge departure in sound for this band. This was one of the songs Buckingham was planing to use for the never-recorded second Buckingham Nicks album. It’s catchy and gets it done in under three minutes. A perfect opening track.

  • Warm Ways

    Released as a single only in the UK, this Christine McVie-penned song is just lovely. Her beautiful lead vocal is the perfect compliment to the smooth-as-silk backing track. I feel like her songwriting was at a peak with this album, one of several during her career.

  • Blue Letter

    This is one of the least Fleetwood Mac-sounding songs on a Mac album, and for good reason. It was not written by a member of the band, but by a songwriting duo of brothers named Richard and Michael Curtis.  They were friends with Buckingham and Nicks, which is why Lindsey is singing the vocal on it.  It’s a fine song.

  • Rhiannon

    Another song originally slated for the second Buckingham Nicks album, this was the second single released from the album, and it soon became one of Fleetwood Mac’s most beloved tracks.  Live versions of this song from the ’75-’77 tours are legendary.

  • Over My Head

    Another fantastic song written and sung by Christine McVie, this was the first single released from the album.  Interestingly, most of the singles that came off of this album were remixed and, in the case of “Over My Head,” the remix was quite radical!
    Here’s the album version:

    And this is the single remix:

  • Crystal

    “Crystal” was originally released on the Buckingham Nicks album, then rearranged and rerecorded for the Fleetwood Mac album.  It’s one of the few songs in the Fleetwood Mac catalog that was written by Stevie, but sung by Lindsey.

  • Say You Love Me

    Yet another catchy, melody-driven song written by Christine McVie, and one of her best. Love those harmonies! It was released as the third single from the album and, once again, was remixed. Here’s the version off of Fleetwood Mac:

    and the single remix, with more guitars:

  • Landslide

    It didn’t take Buckingham and Nicks long to make an impact in Fleetwood Mac, and this song is the best example.  They’re the only two playing and singing on this beautiful track.  Since its release, “Landslide” has remained one of the most beloved songs in the band’s canon.  Personally, I love this one more than any track on Rumours.


  • World Turning

    Partially written as an homage to former bandmate Peter Green, “World Turning” is the lone Buckingham/McVie composition on Fleetwood Mac.  It’s basically a re-write of Green’s song “The World Keep On Turning,” a track on the Mac’s debut album. The jam at the end is SO good!

  • Sugar Daddy

    Long time session player Waddy Wachtel guests on guitar on this Christine McVie song.  Waddy also played on several tracks on the Buckingham Nicks album.  This could easily have been released as a single, like “Landslide.”

  • I'm So Afraid

    The final track on Fleetwood Mac is a Lindsey Buckingham composition that dated back to 1971.  He spent a long time working out the arrangement of the guitars, creating what he termed a “virtual orchestra.”  It’s a haunting rocker, with killer harmonies and excellent production, and is a fine way to wrap up this wonderful album.

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