In 1974, a relatively unknown British blues band named Fleetwood Mac was in dire straits: they constantly had issues in retaining a guitarist. Original guitarist and founding member Peter Green suffered a mental breakdown. His replacements either had an affair with drummer and co-founder Mick Fleetwood‘s 1st wife, joined a cult, or simply got sick of the drama that plagued the band. Also, their move to the US from the UK didn’t make matters better because they were still without hits. The Mac was in trouble.
But this all changed one day when Mick was in the studio and heard a track called Frozen Love by a duo called Buckingham Nicks, which consisted of guitarist Lindsey Buckingham and his then-girlfriend Stevie Nicks. Mick was very impressed with Buckingham’s guitar-playing and asked him to join the band. Buckingham accepted, but with one stipulation: his girlfriend Stevie could also join. They were a “package deal.” Mick accepted the proposal and on July 11, 1975, Fleetwood Mac, along with Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham, released their 2nd self-titled album.
The addition of Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks is like a breath of fresh air for the band in both their songwriting and overall sound. This is shown from the beginning with the upbeat Monday Morning by Lindsey Buckingham, where he declares “Monday Morning you look so fine/ Friday I’ve got travelin’ on my mind/ First you love me then you fade away” – which is a possible foreshadowing of tension and ultimate breakup that would arise during the recording of their next album between he and then-girlfriend Stevie Nicks.
However, things really heat up with the classic Stevie Nicks-penned Rhiannon – a mystical song about a beautiful welsh witch. Unfortunately this is a track that is better when Nicks performs it live because the actual recording doesn’t do justice to how she performs it live.
Longtime Fleetwood Mac keyboardist Christine McVie makes a rather excellent contribution in the form of World Turning. McVie and her teamup with Buckingham is amazing. It proves that, even though she is the balladeer of the bunch, she’s an excellent rocker as well.
Fleetwood Mac’s 1975 self-titled album was a step in the right direction with the addition of the two newcomers. At the same time, it is only a preview of what is to come with Fleetwood Mac. Though it’s not Rumours, this album is highly recommended.