Thursday, March 27, 2014

Christine McVie is back: Five reasons Fleetwood Mac is better with her

Edmonton fans can check out old favourites next November

By Tom Murray
Edmonton Journal

EDMONTON - It’s official: Christine McVie is back with Fleetwood Mac and they’re heading out on tour, including a stop in Edmonton.

After a 16-year absence, McVie will rejoin Fleetwood Mac on their On With The Show Tour, which will stop at Rexall Place Saturday, Nov. 15.

So what does this mean for Fleetwood Mac fans? The band was just here last May, so is it worth paying big bucks to see them again?

In a word, yes.

If there was ever one band that simply couldn’t work as well without the original component members, it’s Fleetwood Mac.

By original, that means the version that came together in 1976, when the rhythm section of Mick Fleetwood and John and Christine McVie were joined by guitarist Lindsey Buckingham and singer Stevie Nicks. The 10 years previous had seen the band defined by blues and hard rock guitarist figureheads, but the new Fleetwood Mac moved from strength to strength, and each member was as important as the other.

When Nicks and Buckingham moved the focus to a more California pop sound, Christine McVie began bringing in songs that were equally impressive. They had three talented, distinctive singers and songwriters, and a seemingly unending supply of perfect pop miracle songs. For just over a decade, they were able to parlay that into huge commercial success, until internal pressures caused the first ruptures, and eventual breakup.

Christine McVie’s departure from the band in 1998 brought into focus just how special that lineup really was.
While their reunion tours have been fun affairs, the band really does miss those smoky vocals and it’s impossible to ignore the gap left by the absence of many of McVie’s songs.

Now that Fleetwood Mac has announced her return, we’ll finally get to hear some of Christine McVie’s songs again, live in concert.

(Tickets go on sale Monday, April 7 through Ticketmaster and Prices range from $69.50 to $199.50.)

Here are five songs that we can hopefully look forward to hearing at their show at Rexall:

Say You Love Me: 
When Christine McVie brought Say You Love Me (from the SelfTitled album) to the newly reconstituted version of the band (after Buckingham and Nicks joined), she was commenting on her relationship with husband and band bassist John McVie. It took on deeper meaning as that relationship disintegrated. When Buckingham and Nicks took it over after Christine McVie’s initial retirement, it made just as much sense, considering their own up and down battles.

You Make Loving Fun (Rumours): 
This song had to have been a nasty musical thorn under John McVie’s skin, since it was a straightforward recounting of his soon-tobe-ex-wife’s affair with the band’s lighting director. If ever there were proof that turmoil makes for the best music, this was it.

Little Lies: 
The Tango in the Night album was a hit-and miss affair in the late ’80s, but Little Lies stuck out as a piece of perfect songwriting, and was their last significant chart moment. The band might not have been at each other’s throats anymore, but Christine McVie could still summon the same heartbreak spell when needed.

Don’t Stop:
This song, off Rumours, came from the same well as many of McVie’s other songs from that period, reflecting as much on her time with John as with her decision to put the past behind her. It worked so well that the song was picked up as an anthem by many people, not just at the time, but years later when U.S. President Bill Clinton made it part of his political campaigns. This was one song that the Fleetwood Mac couldn’t completely shove aside when McVie retired; Nicks felt compelled to sing it at a 65th birthday celebration for Clinton a few years back.

Think About Me: 
The people at the Warner label were likely appalled when they were handed the album Tusk by the band in 1979. After Rumours, with all of its Top 10 singles, the double album was too weird, too abstract, and far too uncommercial. The singles Sara and the title track got respectable radio play, and McVie’s Think About Me even made it into the higher reaches of the charts. Fleetwood Mac tends to gloss over most of the album when on tour, but this is one song that deserves to be brought back for the reunion with McVie.

Full article at The Edmonton Journal


  1. This version came together in '74. The white self named album debuting stevie and lindsay was released in '75

  2. The author of this article should have checked his Fleetwood Mac history before writing it. Christine McVie was not an original member. "Fleetwood Mac" came out in 75. And, most importantly, Fleetwood Mac were never "Hard Rock" except maybe in a few Peter Green songs! Dude, if you're gonna write an article about the greatest band ever, at least be acurate!

  3. Over My Head, Songbird, Oh Daddy, Over and Over, Brown Eyes, Hold Me, Wish You Were Here, Isn't It Midnight, Everywhere, As Long As You Follow, Save Me ... so many reasons Fleetwood Mac works better with Christine McVie in the mix. I realize it's highly unlikely, but since Stevie and Lindsey often throw a couple solo hits into the Mac set (in the last decade probably more so because Christine has been absent), I'd like to hear them tackle "Got A Hold On Me."