11:44 AM GMT 21/05/2013
"There are no second acts in American lives," opined F. Scott Fitzgerald. Lucky for Mick Fleetwood that he was born in Redruth in the far south-west of England, for few careers can have had more false finales than that of the beanpole drummer. Given fat chance when deserting mentor John Mayall's Bluesbreakers with bassist pal John McVie, but forging gold-star late-'60s blues-rock status as Fleetwood Mac, featuring the incredible Peter Green's spectral Les Paul; washed up when Green tripped out and shipped out in 1970 but soldiering nobly on with the help of canny hires Christine Perfect (later, McVie) and Bob Welch until the providential arrival of West Coast singer-songwriters Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks changed the game again. Fleetwood Mac's unlikely revival, peaking with the mega success of 1977's astonishing Rumours album, is explored in this month's MOJO magazine, as the group look back on a period of hope and heartbreak, music and madness, as love-lives were torn asunder in the pursuit of the muse. Audio-visual companion by Clive Prior...
1. The Fleetwood Mac Story
One of the greatest rock documentaries ever, from the underrated, mid-'90s Rock Family Trees strand that also delivered amazing Deep Purple and post-punk Liverpool scene docs. Just revel in the rock-ephemera-tastic opening sequence.
2. Oh Well, 1969
Fat riffs from the killer early line-up of Mick Fleetwood, John McVie, Peter Green, Jeremy Spencer and Danny Kirwan. How would they ever top this?
3. Chicken Shack - Tears In The Wind, 1969
Christine Perfect (later, McVie) cuts her teeth in perhaps the most consistently underrated of the British Blues Boomers.
6. Fritz - Louisa Joy, 1970
...Meanwhile, in California, one Lindsey Buckingham and on-off love interest Stevie Nicks are embarking on a music career. No live footage, but fulsome proof of their promise.
4. Miles Away, 1973
Having lost Peter Green to acid-blasted psychosis, Fleetwood Mac flounder, recruit Christine Perfect, American songwriter Bob Welch and - more temporarily - lead guitarist Bob Weston. Cue this groovy, West Coast jazz-rock interregnum.
5. The Green Manalishi, 1974
...And yet, the Mac remain fundamentally in the shadow of Peter Green.
6. Buckingham Nicks - Lola (MY Love), 1974
Salvation stirs, but only in Alabama. On their hometown West Coast, the newly Fritz-free Lindsey and Stevie can't get arrested.
7. Why / Over My Head, 1976
The Dream Team is assembled. With the infusion of Nicks and Buckingham, Christine's poppier Mac material (Why is from 1973's Mystery To Me) makes perfect (ha!) sense, as proven by this smooth shift into the breakthrough Fleetwood Mac album's creamy Over My Head.
8. Rhiannon, 1976
The vanguard that softened up the opposition for Rumours. Epic rocking by Nicks on her song about a Welsh witch.
9. Dreams, 1976
Rumours arrives! Not least with this appealingly opiated version of Dreams, with mucho volume-pedal virtuosity from Buckingham.
10. "Rosebud" Documentary, 1977
Imperial Mac. Performances and interviews with a slightly detached, perhaps unsurprisingly cocaine-y sheen. Mind you, Part 2 stars a thunderous versh of the Fleetwood Mac album's I'm So Afraid, from Santa Barbara, CA, May 1976.. (Lindsey Buckingham tells MOJO this month that he actually prefers this record to Rumours.)
11. Go Your Own Way, 1977
Rumours' showstopper-amongst-showstoppers. Bitter kiss-off becomes non-specific anthem of defiance.
12. Backstage antics, 1977-'78
Having survived the making of Rumours while their relationships were being torn apart (Christine left John; Stevie and Lindsey split), Fleetwood Mac had to go on tour to fuel their megahit. Through the forced hi-jinks there's a note of sadness: John McVie looks broken, Christine squiffy. "You bunch of pricks," shouts Mick, probably in jest.
13. The making of Tusk
And if Rumours was bad for the nerves, try Tusk, as "whacked out" Lindsey goes noo-wave-art-rock mental. "It was really horrible," says Nicks. More of that excellent 2009 version of their history here. Or, for more of that Tusk footage, try this.
14. Tusk - behind the scenes of the video
Still, there was time for larking about in a football stadium and Stevie Nicks twirling a baton. After this, there was more touring, then Mirage and Tango In The Night, as for Lindsey Buckingham, everything went a bit Derek Zoolander.
15. Don't Stop - Clinton inauguration, 1993
The Mac are co-opted by Bill and Hil, and Don't Stop revives its booster role for that thing with feathers. The group, long estranged, look almost surprised to be appreciated. The power of Rumours reaches across the years.
Posted by Ross_Bennett at 9:45 AM GMT 26/11/2012