Coloured by Stevie Nicks’ dusky vocals and Lindsey Buckingham’s guitar work, Fleetwood Mac documents a band transitioning from a blues powerhouse to rock aristocrats. Even at its inception, this juggernaut was fuelling its musical alchemy and drugged-out ambition with the tensions of an ever-shifting continuum of fractured relationships. Love convalesces in all its shades as McVie, Nicks and Buckingham pull the listener under the spell of their three distinctively magnetic personas.
The album builds around the axis of chartbusting singles ‘Say You Love Me’. ‘Rhiannon’ and ‘Over My Head’ as well as the less commercially successful but arguably more influential ‘Landslide’. This re-issue collects some rawer and more formative takes sure to please completionists, band obsessives and lo-fi fanatics. Stripped bare of production floss it’s here that the listener can aurally chart the group’s shift towards elaborate yet understated arrangements and intricate pop harmony.
Preceding Rumours and Tusk, this re-issue of the '75 original exemplifies everything which the band would come to embody. It recasts Fleetwood Mac’ as a radical and ambitious force at the centre of popular music. The Mac's self-titled debut launches this iconically excessive and tortuous iteration of the group on a decades-long trajectory. It elevated Fleetwood onto the vanguard of rock’s greatest commercial peaks.
Words by Riley Fitzgerald