Weekly Volcano Blogs: Walkie Talkie Blog

November 12, 2014 at 3:11pm

Fleetwood Mac Tacoma Attack: Back from going their own way

Fleetwood Mac is better when it includes the rich tonality of balladeer and multi-instrumentalist Christine McVie, as will be the case in Tacoma Nov. 20.

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It shouldn't be necessary for us to tell you why Fleetwood Mac is one of the greatest bands of the rock era, but we love our young readers so here goes: if the only album Fleetwood Mac ever released was 1977's Rumours, it would still have been plenty. Like Michael Jackson's Thriller or Adele's 21, Rumours in its day was an album that pretty much half the U.S. population owned. At least seven of its tunes were, and in some cases still are, radio fixtures around the English-speaking world. Even Glee dedicated an entire episode to ruining such otherwise unimpeachable singles as "Go Your Own Way" and "You Make Loving Fun." Fun fact: singer Christine McVie composed the latter song for the guy with whom she was cheating on bandmate John McVie, then told John she wrote it about their dog. As the social media put it, it's complicated.

Funny thing is, Fleetwood Mac would still be a household name even if Rumours had never existed. They'd already released 10 albums, including the megahit self-titled effort that gave us such perennials as "Landslide" and "Rhiannon." Lindsey Buckingham joined for that album, on the condition that his girlfriend be allowed to come aboard as well. Her name? Stephanie Nicks - though the world knows her better as "Stevie." After Fleetwood Mac and Rumours, the hits kept on coming; but behind the scenes, things were dicey. It's hard to sustain a band when both its key couples are going through acrimonious breakups. Even the lyrics on Rumours are essentially beautiful F-U's; yet the follow-up album, Tusk, was an idiosyncratic masterpiece. Fleetwood Mac remained a hit factory even after Buckingham went solo in 1987. It seemed at times the band could hardly stand to be in the same room, and Christine McVie went her own way in 1998, ostensibly for good, saying she'd had it with touring.

There were rumours for a while that Sheryl Crow, a Nicks disciple, would join the band in place of Christine McVie, but those never panned out. Instead the band launched a world tour with neither performer in 2009. But guess what? That damn Glee episode worked. It brought FM back into the public eye, reinstalling Rumours on the Billboard chart three years ago. From then on it was only a matter of time till Christine McVie came back into the fold, writing or co-writing over half the tracks for an upcoming, as-yet-untitled album. That gives you the chance to do something few have been able to do in over a generation: catch the reunited Fleetwood Mac, live and harmonious. We guess it's true what they say: "Don't stop thinkin' about tomorrow."

FLEETWOOD MAC: ON WITH THE SHOW, 8 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 20, Tacoma Dome, 2727 E. D St., Tacoma, $60 and up ... way up, 253.272.3663

Filed under: Concerts, Music, Tacoma,
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