“Energy is contagious – either you affect people or you infect people.” -Anonymous
I can’t think of a better quote to describe the success of the band, Fleetwood Mac. Although they had many lineup changes, there’s only one that mattered – Bob Welch is replaced by Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks. In fact their career should be broken down like this: BBN (before Buckingham Nicks) and ABN (after Buckingham Nicks).
The addition of those two musicians didn’t just change the dynamics and direction of the band. It didn’t just help create one of the biggest selling albums in the world to date. It did something even better to create their legacy. It kept Fleetwood Mac as a Top 40 radio presence for a decade and a half.
Factoring out FM radio in the 70s and classic rock radio from the 80s and beyond, Fleetwood Mac and specifically Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks had their voices on pop radio for a 15 year span. Stevie’s addition to the band sparked even more creative energy from Christine McVie who wrote some of her best songs during this period. It’s no wonder when Bill Clinton had the band ‘reunite’ to play his inauguration ball in 1993, the sparks flew again, culminating in the #1 1997 live album, The Dance.
Take a look at this run* to see how they never left our ears from 1975-1990:
1975: Fleetwood Mac-Over My Head
1976: Fleetwood Mac-Rhiannon, Say You Love Me
1977: Fleetwood Mac-Go Your Own Way, Dreams, Don’t Stop, You Make Loving Fun
1978: Kenny Loggins-Whenever I Call You Friend (uncredited duet with Stevie), Walter Egan-Magnet & Steel (backing vocals by Stevie & Lindsey), Bob Welch-Sentimental Lady (backing vocals by Lindsey & Christine McVie)
1979: Fleetwood Mac-Tusk, John Stewart-Gold & Midnight Wind (backing vocals by Stevie, guitar by Lindsey)
1980: Fleetwood Mac-Sara & Think About Me
1981: Stevie Nicks w/ Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers-Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around, Robbie Patton-Don’t Give It Up (Backing vocals by Christine McVie)
1981/1982: Lindsey Buckingham-Trouble, Stevie Nicks & Don Henley-Leather & Lace
1982: Stevie Nicks-Edge Of Seventeen & After The Glitter Fades, Fleetwood Mac-Hold Me & Gypsy
1983: Fleetwood Mac-Love In Store, Stevie Nicks-Stand Back & If Anyone Falls
1984: Stevie Nicks-Nightbird, Lindsey Buckingham-Go Insane
1985: Stevie Nicks-Talk To Me
1986: Stevie Nicks-I Can’t Wait, Needles & Pins (w/Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers)
1987: Fleetwood Mac-Big Love, Seven Wonders & Little Lies
1988: Fleetwood Mac-Everywhere
1989: Stevie Nicks-Rooms On Fire
1990: Fleetwood Mac-Save Me
*all songs were Top 40 hits