Tuesday, October 9, 2007
No. 183: Fleetwood Mac
Band: Fleetwood Mac
Album: Fleetwood Mac
Why Rolling Stone gets it right: The first post-Peter Green Fleetwood Mac record is also the first Buckingham/Nicks Fleetwood record. Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks brought a pensive edge to the band that took it away from its blues roots. The result is a soft rock classic with radio superhits "Rhiannon" and "Say You Love Me."
Why Rolling Stone gets it wrong: It is soft rock, so it isn't exactly groundbreaking or super important. With that said, this record has several songs you know and a few classic tracks. This is a decent place for the record.
Best song: My favorite on the record is the first track, "Monday Morning." "Over My Head" is great, as well.
Worst song: "I'm So Afraid" isn't very good.
Is it awesome?: It's really good.
I think it'd be overkill to say that Fleetwood Mac is a great band. To overuse the "burn" analogy, Fleetwood Mac burned really brightly for a very short time; This record and "Rumours" are fantastic records, but that's about it.
The first album sans Peter Green, this is also the debut of the Buckingham/Nicks songwriting duo. Instead of Green's blues-based rock -- he wrote "Black Magic Woman" -- the new lineups pop sensibilities helped define a decade. Almost the picture of free love and hedonism, "Fleetwood Mac" features songs about love, loss and fun. "Rhiannon" is based on a novel about witchcraft and possession, while Nicks favorite "Landslide" is more about the introspective passive of life cycles and time. Buckingham, not surprisingly, was less esoteric in is writing, putting forward the crappy "I'm So Afraid" and the fantastic "Monday Morning," a breakup song.
The duo's pop tendencies also peppered other members' writing and arrangements. The album's fist single, "Over My Head," is a Christine McView number that is clearly one of her poppiest. It was the band's first top 40 single in the U.S.
Is it a great album? Probably not. It's got its highlights. Certainly "Monday Morning," "Over My Head" and "Rhiannon" are classics. I'm not a huge "Landslide" fan, but I see why people like it. It's been covered a slew of times and it's certainly interesting, thematically. Overall, it's Fleetwood Mac's second-best album, though it's nowhere close to "Rumours."