Fleetwood Mac

Fleetwood Mac are an EnglishAmerican rock institution established in 1967. The nameplate is derived from the surname’s of its rhythm section, founders Mick Fleetwood (drums) and John McVie (bass), the two constant members throughout numerous changes in personnel during the past half-century.

The band was initially a blues-rock combo with three guitarists: Peter Green, Jeremy Spencer, and Danny Kirwan. The first two departed in 1970, just as keyboardist Christie McVie (ex-Chicken Shack) became a member. Moving stateside, the band employed guitarist/singer Bob Welch for a five-album stint on Reprise. After he left to form Paris, they hired the singing/songwriting duo of Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks, a move that propelled the band to global stardom with the 1975–77 releases Fleetwood Mac and Rumours.

Members: Mick Fleetwood (drums), Peter Green (guitar, vocals, 1967-70), Bob Brunning (bass, 1967), Jeremy Spencer (guitar, vocals, 1967-71), John McVie (bass, 1967-present), Danny Kirwan (guitar, 1968-72), Christine McVie (vocals, piano, keyboards, 1970-95, 1997-98, 2014-present), Bob Welch (guitar, vocals, 1971-74), Bob Weston (guitar, 1972-74), Dave Walker (guitar, vocals, 1973), Lindsey Buckingham (guitar, vocals, 1975-87, 1997-2018), Stevie Nicks (vocals, keyboards, 1975-91, 1997-present)


Fleetwood Mac formed in July 1967 as an offshoot of John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers. Bassist John McVie was part of the four-man Bluesbreakers lineup that recorded their 1966 release Blues Breakers with Eric Clapton. After Clapton departed for Cream, guitarist Peter Green took his place on the Bluesbreakers’ 1967 release A Hard Road.

Green played beforehand with drummer Mick Fleetwood in the R&B/beat group Shotgun Express, which also featured keyboardist Peter Bardens (pre-Camel) and a young Rod Stewart. When that band ceased due to Stewart’s invitation to front the Jeff Beck Group, Green recommended Fleetwood to Mayall as a replacement in the Bluesbreakers for exiting drummer Aynsley Dunbar.

With Mayall’s Bluesbreakers now consisting of Green, McVie, and Fleetwood, Mayall offered them free studio time to cut five songs. One of those numbers was a Green instrumental titled “Fleetwood Mac,” inspired by the surnames of the rhythm section (“Mac” derived from the first syllable in McVie).

Soon thereafter, Green suggested they form their own band. Fleetwood agreed but McVie was hesitant to leave his stable gig with Mayall. To entice him, they named the band Fleetwood Mac. They enlisted Jeremy Spencer as a second guitarist and Bob Brunning as their temporary bassist. The band made its live debut at the Windsor Jazz and Blues Festival on August 13, 1967, where they were billed as Peter Green’s Fleetwood Mac. Within weeks, Brunning cleared way for a now-committed McVie. (Brunning subsequently cut four albums on Saga Records with the Brunning Sunflower Blues Band).


1968


Peter Green’s Fleetwood Mac 

Fleetwood Mac released their debut album, Peter Green’s Fleetwood Mac, on February 24, 1968, on Blue Horizon.


“Black Magic Woman”

On March 28, 1968, Fleetwood Mac released “Black Magic Woman,” backed with “The Sun Is Shining.”


“Need Your Love So Bad”

On July 5, 1968, Fleetwood Mac released “Need Your Love So Bad,” a cover of the 1955 Little Willie John R&B chestnut, backed with “Stop Messin’ Round.”


Mr. Wonderful

Fleetwood Mac released their second album, Mr. Wonderful, on August 23, 1968, on Blue Horizon.


“Albatross”

On November 22, 1968, Fleetwood Mac released “Albatross,” an instrumental backed with “Jigsaw Puzzle Blues.”


1969


The Pious Bird of Good Omen

In August 1969, Blue Horizon issued The Pious Bird of Good Omen, a collection of Fleetwood Mac’s non-album sides.


Then Play On

Fleetwood Mac released their third album, Then Play On, on September 19, 1969, on Reprise.


1970


“The Green Manalishi (With the Two Prong Crown)”

On May 15, 1970, Fleetwood Mac released “The Green Manalishi (With the Two Prong Crown).” 


Kiln House

Fleetwood Mac released their fourth album, Kiln House, on September 18, 1970, on Reprise.


1971


“Dragonfly”

In March 1971, Fleetwood Mac released “Dragonfly,” a Kirwan original backed with “The Purple Dancer.”


Future Games

Fleetwood Mac released their fifth album, Future Games, on September 3, 1971, on Reprise.


1972


Bare Trees

Fleetwood Mac released their sixth album, Bare Trees, in March 1972 on Reprise.


1973


Penguin

Fleetwood Mac released their seventh album, Penguin, in March 1973 on Reprise.


Mystery to Me 

Fleetwood Mac released their eighth album, Mystery to Me, on 15 October 15, 1973, on Reprise.


1974


Heroes Are Hard to Find

Fleetwood Mac released their ninth album, Heroes Are Hard to Find, on September 13, 1974, on Reprise.


1975


Fleetwood Mac 

Fleetwood Mac released their tenth album, Fleetwood Mac, on July 11, 1975, on Reprise.


1976


1977


Rumours 

Fleetwood Mac released their eleventh album, Rumours, on February 4, 1977, on Warner Bros.

“Dreams”


1978–1979


Tusk

Fleetwood Mac released their twelfth album, Tusk, on October 12, 1979, on Warner Bros.


1980–1981

In December 1980, Warner issued Fleetwood Mac Live.


1982–1983


Mirage

Fleetwood Mac released their thirteenth studio album, Mirage, on June 18, 1982, on Warner Bros.


1984–1986


1987


Tango In the Night

Fleetwood Mac released their fourteenth studio album, Tango In the Night, on April 13, 1987, on Warner Bros.


Discography:

  • Peter Green’s Fleetwood Mac (1968)
  • Mr. Wonderful (1968)
  • Then Play On (1969)
  • Kiln House (1970)
  • Future Games (1971)
  • Bare Trees (1972)
  • Penguin (1973)
  • Mystery to Me (1973)
  • Heroes Are Hard to Find (1974)
  • Fleetwood Mac (1975)
  • Rumours (1977)
  • Tusk (1979)
  • Mirage (1982)
  • Tango In the Night (1987)
  • Say You Will (2003)

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