When I first heard Fletwood Mac, they were already way past their prime. Their glory years were long gone but it never showed when Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham took the stage. Nicks’ voice has remained as sultry and phenomenal as ever and Buckingham’s mellow guitar licks have somehow managed to get cleaner over the years.
The British-American rock band was formed way back in 1967. The band has undergone numerous changes over the years, but most fans identify Fleetwood Mac with Mick Fleetwood on the drums, John McVie on bass, Lindsey Buckingham on the guitar and Stevie Nicks on vocals.
There is nothing in the music business that these rock and roll hall of famers have not seen. So, one might think after a 10 year break the band may have finally hung up their boots bringing an end to an illustrious career.
But putting an end to all such speculations, last month, Fleetwood Mac announced Extended Play, a four-song EP of new material — their first since 2003’s Say You Will, which had reached No 6 on the UK album charts, and achieved gold sales.
However, fans must be warned that this album is more a solo project of Lindsey Buckingham than a Fleetwood Mac album, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing as most songs play it safe, adhering to the mid-tempo signature rhythms that best define the band’s music.
The lead track, “Sad Angel,” opens with the familiar jangles of “Go Your Own Way” — a momentary callback before we finally hear this new version of Fleetwood Mac. Like many of the group’s greatest songs, “Sad Angel” reflects on Lindsey and Stevie’s complex relationship. The track is a wonderful beginning to the record as “Sad Angel” is perhaps the most Fleetwood Mac-y on the album. It reminds one of the good stuff that the band belted out on record after record during their prime.
The new version of “Without You” is another welcome rendition. It’s an acoustic duet between Buckingham and Nicks — the only real presence she has on Extended Play. The 40-year-old track was most likely penned while they were madly in love with one another. Times have changed and both musicians have matured a great deal over the years but the song would definitely remind the old-timers of a more innocent time. The song was originally meant for a possible second Buckingham-Nicks album, before being dropped.
The following track, “It Takes Time,” is the only forgettable track on the album, but Fleetwood Mac close strong with the power-pop feel of “Miss Fantasy.”
Extended Play is a short tease, but these tracks aren’t throwaways or an attempt at a quick cash-in. Lindsey Buckingham wouldn’t associate with something like that. A known perfectionist, he co-produced the EP alongside Mitchell Froom, and the attention paid to detail shows. The songs don’t deviate far from Fleetwood Mac’s mellow-rock wheelhouse, and why should they? That’s exactly the kind of stuff that fans want from them.
Modern production techniques, which enhance Buckingham’s clean guitar tones and his vocal harmonies with Nicks, however seem too obvious at times.
Extended Play’s fleeting duration might be something fans would complain about. However, for being an out-of-the-blue release, Fleetwood Mac fans should be more than satisfied.
Abhinav Kaul and Ranaditya Baruah / Financial Chronicle (New Delhi, India) / Thursday, June 6, 2013
Lindsey Buckingham breaks down the hits, rarities, and new tunes they’re playing.
IT’S BEEN EXACTLY A DECADE since Fleetwood Mac released an album, but that hasn’t stopped a new generation of fans from discovering the band. “We’re doing the best business we’ve done in 20 years!” says guitarist Lindsey Buckingham, a few hours before the Tulsa, Oklahoma, stop on the Mac’s latest world tour. “There’s been a lot more young people in the crowd than three years ago. Maybe it’s a generational thing.” Buckingham called from his Tulsa hotel room to explain how they’re choosing the set lists for this tour – mixing up the hits with plenty of deep cuts and tunes from their new EP, Extended Play.
‘Second Hand News’
“Making a set list is like making the running order for an album,” says Buckingham. “This is the opening track from [1977’s] Rumours, and it was an obvious choice for the tour opener. We’re actually opening with three straight songs from Rumours — it gets them out of the way.”
“I wrote this song last year for Stevie [Nicks], who always had to fight for everything. ‘Sad angel, have you come to fight the war?’ We’re all warriors with a sword of one sort or another, and she and I have known each other since high school.”
‘Sisters of the Moon’
“Warner Bros. would have really liked to see us cut Rumours II right after Rumours, but I wanted us to subvert that notion on [1979’s] Tusk. I don’t remember if we’ve ever done this song onstage before. Stevie wanted us to try it, and it really works.”
“When Stevie wrote that, she was probably, oh, all of 25 or 24. She wasn’t exactly ‘getting older.’ Now, that line certainly resonates with a far deeper perspective.”
“This is the only Christine McVie song we do. After we did The Dance tour in 1997, she pretty much burned all her bridges in L.A. — sold her house, ended her relationship, quit the band. I’m not particularly sure why. But this song is still so strong. It’s an anthem. That’s why Bill Clinton latched on to it.”
“We end the show with this song — just me and Stevie onstage. For years, it was difficult to get complete closure with her, like picking a scab off a wound over and over. The song is about how all the illusions have fallen away, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t hope and belief in our future in a different context.”
(Original caption: RETURN OF THE MAC Nicks and Buckingham in Washington, D.C.)
Andy Greene / Rolling Stone / May 23, 2013 (RS1183)
Fleetwood Mac are restless. After dozens of songs, albums, tours, and RIAA certifications, you’d think they would’ve reached a point of satisfied complacency, like when a star athlete hits the twilight of his or her career and admits, “I’ve done it all it’s time to retire.” Maybe Fleetwood Mac did, in fact, reach such a point after 2003’s Say You Will. The band announced an indefinite hiatus — its members diverting their concentration to their personal lives and solo endeavors. The Mac’s future was in question…
But if Michael Jordan wearing a Washington Wizards jersey taught us anything, it’s that you can’t keep The Best at bay while they still have the ability to play … and make lots of money. So in 2009, Fleetwood Mac reunited for a tour (which — just like Jordan on the Wizards — put asses in seats and made tons o’ cash). During the tour, Lindsey Buckingham dropped this nugget: “The time is right to go back to the studio.”
But for three years that promise went unfulfilled as Fleetwood Mac rode the nostalgia train all the way to the bank. Another world tour, TV appearances, and album reissues — no new music.
Via a surprise press release last month, Fleetwood Mac announced Extended Play, a four-song EP of new material — their first since 2003. Expectations were high for these songs, considering Buckingham’s aforementioned statements and the subsequent lack of fresh studio material from the band.
By its own nature, Extended Play can’t meet those expectations. A quick-hitting EP simply cannot contain the songwriting force that is Buckingham/Nicks/McVie. Shit, Rumours could barely contain ‘em (and Tusk overdid it). Instead, we don’t get that team at all. Just Buckingham. Every song on Extended Play is sung and written by him (“Without You” is a re-recording of an old Buckingham/Nicks demo).
This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, though it makes the EP feel more like a Buckingham solo project than a true Fleetwood Mac release. The songs play it safe, adhering to the midtempo rhythms that best suit his voice. Lead track “Sad Angel” opens with the familiar jangles of “Go Your Own Way” — a momentary callback before we finally hear this new, Christine McVie-less iteration of Fleetwood Mac. Buckingham’s fatalism is firmly in place: “My eyes saw the words / With a prayer and a curse / Your pain had to sleep/With a sword that it keeps.” They’re contemplative lyrics for an otherwise simple pop tune. Modern production techniques enhance Buckingham’s clean guitar tones and his vocal harmonies with Nicks. Even the compressed MP3s sound superb — magnifying every nuance, from the patter of Mick Fleetwood’s snare to the slight gravely tic in Stevie Nick’s voice (which proves that she is in fact 64, despite her age-defying looks).
The new version of “Without You” is a welcome rendition. It’s an acoustic duet between Buckingham and Nicks — the only real presence she has on Extended Play. Although it was likely written while they were madly in love with one another, the song emphatically contradicts that idea: “I’m so lonely babe/I can’t live without you.” The following track, “It Takes Time”, is a somewhat forgettable piano ballad, but Fleetwood Mac close strong with the hook-y power-pop of “Miss Fantasy”.
Extended Play is a short tease, but these tracks aren’t throwaways or an attempt at a quick cash-in. Lindsey Buckingham wouldn’t put his name on something like that. A known perfectionist, he co-produced the EP alongside Mitchell Froom, and the attention paid to detail shows. Sure, the songs don’t veer far from Fleetwood Mac’s mellow-rock wheelhouse, but why should they? Extended Play is hampered by its fleeting duration; however, for being an out-of-the-blue release that costs less than $5, Fleetwood Mac fans should be more than satisfied. Just know that you won’t be hearing much from Stevie Nicks or John McVie.
For all intents and purposes, Fleetwood Mac has still got it. They’re currently playing a sold out tour which stopped in Boston back on April 18th. The band also has recently released a 4-song EP, aptly titled Extended Play. Mick Fleetwood joined Karlson & McKenzie this morning to talk about both the EP and the tour.
“It’s pretty amazing. I have to say that the four people walking on that stage — and obviously it’s more pointed for Stevie and Lindsay, these are two people who fell in love with one another when they were 16 years old — it is amazing,” Mick Fleetwood told Karlson & McKenzie this morning. “You’re right, my whole life with all the ups and downs, really an incredible amount of gratitude that I’m still walking around quite frankly. But we’ve managed to sustain this strange work ethic through all of these bits and pieces.”
Mick went on to talk about how he’s often approached with questions on misconceptions about Fleetwood Mac, the biggest being that the band hates each other, a rumor that Mick flatly denies.
“The misconception is that we don’t like each other. We do! We actually love each other. It’s just the co-existing of that from time to time no doubt has been incredibly hard,” Mick admits.
Fleetwood Mac is a band that loves music over money or personal strife, according to Mick. He admitted to Karlson & McKenzie that his relationship with Stevie Nicks was something they had to work through for the good of the band.
“Stevie pretty much remained even though we had a love affair, we managed to get through it. And that’s not often spoken about,” said Mick. “We’re not just a bunch of business men that decide to do this. When we do this, we have to be emotionally equipped to do it, and that is the amazing thing.”
Fleetwood Mac continues its tour, currently working their way through Canada before finishing out May on the West Coast.
Tim Staskiewicz / 100.7 WZLX (Boston) / Tuesday, May 14, 2013
Lindsey Buckingham on his ‘mythology’ with Stevie Nicks, what is holding up a new album, and the latest on Christine McVie
Fleetwood Mac is having tremendous success on its current sold-out tour. The band is playing its classic hits with verve and enthusiasm, plus, since the recent release of 4-song EP, Extended Play, the quartet has new material to sink its teeth into. Guitarist Lindsey Buckingham spoke to HitFix about the current state of Fleetwood Mac, the delight he takes in his still dynamic connection to Stevie Nicks, the latest on a full album from the band, and if Christine McVie will join her former band mates when they play London in the fall.
I saw the band two weekends ago at Jazz Fest in New Orleans and it seemed like you were on fire. The band was playing in daylight without any of the bells and whistles of an indoor arena show and no one missed them at all.
There’s a lesson there. We’ve all come to feel that we need to rely on the constructions of quite elaborate set design and the backdrop that changes from song to song and, really, this band, because we are a band of musicians and a great singer, we could go up there and with a couple of spotlights prevail probably just as well. It should be about the music first and, of course, with us, it is.
“Extended Play,” a four-song EP with your first new music in 10 years, came out on April 30 and landed in iTunes top 10. How gratifying was it that people were so eager to hear new music?
I haven’t paid too much attention to how things are going with it because, really, Mick [Fleetwood] and John [McVie] and I got together last year and we cut a bunch of tracks and then Stevie came to the table later. Even early on, Mick and John and I felt that the songs that we were doing were some of the best stuff we’d done in quite a while.
I am also happy with what it represents with the subject matter. The dialogues to Stevie that are, miraculously, still going on back and forth between Stevie and myself after all these years, I find that to be quite touching and somewhat surprising— something that neither one of us would have predicted years and years ago that we’d still somehow be driving each other’s motivation from a distance, and so I’m very happy with the way the EP turned out and it’s great to be doing some new things on stage.
You wrote one of the new songs, “Sad Angel,” for Stevie. What was her reaction when she first heard it?
I was not there, but I believe she latched onto it immediately. [When] that song was written, I was trying to reach out to her a little bit… she had a very good experience making her solo album [2011’s “In Your Dreams”] and it took her awhile to kind of sort of ease into the mentality of being in Fleetwood Mac again this time… That was a song to help lure her in a little bit, not that there was an agenda to do that, but it just seemed appropriate to what was going on at the time… “Hello Sad Angel, have you come to fight the war” and “Here we are, we fall to earth together/the crowd calling out for more.” It’s really sort of sweet that all of this is still taking place.
With piano ballad “It Takes Time,” you’re pleading for patience to someone who wants to heal you. What’s that about?
I guess the reflection is that I’m actually looking at some of the actions that I’ve taken over the years and maybe judging them more objectively and maybe getting to a point in one’s life where you can look back and say, “Hmmm, maybe I could have done that differently” and acknowledging that much of the motivation that has driven certain creative actions and certain decisions has come from that dialogue that seems to have unfolded in slow motion over a period of many years. We are still somehow on a road of evolvement.
Is that one about Stevie?
I would think so.
It’s not the only relationship you’ve had, so I wasn’t sure.
But, you know, you can slip into these roles and it’s not that the feelings that you have aren’t… it doesn’t mean they are any less authentic. But at this point, to some degree, what Stevie and I have, we’ve played these characters for so long, you know, and it doesn’t threaten anything having to do with my home life, my wife completely understands the dynamic of it. There’s a certain aspect of professionalism to it.
Do you feel that in some way now it’s part of your role to keep playing into this mythology?
Well, it’s a mixed bag. There is the mythology and there is, you could call it, a role, but you know that doesn’t mean we haven’t lived it. If you backtrack all the way back to Rumours, when all of this mythology rose up, if you look at the appeal of that album, it went beyond the music. It was, whether people could identify it or not, this idea that under less than ideal circumstances, in fact, under quite emotionally challenging and painful circumstances, that we were able to somehow summon up the strength to rise above that and to sort of follow through on what we needed to do fulfill our destiny, if you want to call it that. And so the subtext of Rumours becomes not the soap opera part so much as that it was an act of will and that has continued. Where reality stops and where the role begins, it’s a little fuzzy in there, you know.
So not just for us, but for you two too?
For us too! Yeah, and I think that’s appropriate and I don’t know how it could really be any other way because of how it began, you know.
This is the first tour since 2009. Every time you guys come back together for a tour, you must discover something new about Mick, John and Stevie. What have you discovered about each one of them this time that you didn’t know?
(laughs) Wow… As far as Stevie goes, again, if you go back to that song “It Takes Time” and thinking maybe about times in the past when maybe I could have shown her a little more love or shown her a way to make her process a bit easier. From the first day of rehearsal, I had that in mind to try to do.
I think that difference between Stevie and me right now on this tour: If you go back two tours to 2003, we had just finished doing our last album, Say You Will, and I had produced that. And there was a certain, I wouldn’t call it an animosity, but there was a lot of tension between Stevie and me. Some of that polarity clearly played out on stage and, in a way, it made for a very interesting show. When you cut to 2009, that had been kind of neutralized, but there was nothing so tangible between us. And now, it’s sort of swung the other way where there’s more of a connection. There’s more of a mutual acknowledgement of what we’ve been through, an openness to acknowledge it on stage.
With John and Mick, the only thing I’d say about John and Mick on this tour is that they are both personally in, I think, the best places I’ve seen them in a long time and possibly because of that, I have never heard the two of them play better as a rhythm section and, of course, they are one of the great rhythm sections in rock. Consequently, as a band, we are playing about the best I can ever remember us ever playing.
You brought up that there may be a new album, but given the difficulty of getting these four songs together, should the fans not be holding their breath?
What needs to happen now if we are to do a complete album— because I think my portion of the material is not only written and recorded, but probably mostly finished— Stevie needs to come with some new material… She’s not like me, I work alone a lot when I do my solo stuff. It’s like going down to the studio and painting. I’m kind of self sufficient… With Stevie, she will write lyrics and keep them in a file and a lot of times she doesn’t even come up with melodies until later, until someone says, ‘well, you’ve got to come up with something.”
There are two scenarios that could lead to new material for Stevie, some of it would be her coming up with new songs. I have a lot of very raw stuff that has no lyrics yet…and if she wanted to sort of co-write on that level, I would love to look into [that] because we’ve never really done that. That’s an intriguing possibility. But that’s what it’s going to take: for her to bring, in one way or another, some stuff to the table so we have a balanced representation between the two writers.
I’m not overly worried about what we do. Hey, if we don’t do an album, we could always do another EP. That would be another option, so I don’t really know what’s going to happen.
Extended Play also features “Miss Fantasy,” a new track with very classic Fleetwood Mac harmonies. How did that come about?
That was sort of in a moment when I’d had some interaction with Stevie where I felt like I was tapping into the whole lexicon of memories and of emotional connections going all the way back to before she and I were a couple. She was really much caught up in the world of her solo effort. It was right at the end of that and I felt like it was hard to kind of find her in all of that or that perhaps more accurately, it was harder for her to find me, and the person that she knew and trusted and so you know, “Miss Fantasy,” it may be “you don’t remember me/but I remember you” and that’s really what that’s about.
Any truth to the rumors that Christine McVie, who left after 1997’s “The Dance,” might get on stage with Fleetwood Mac in London?
We did see Christine. She was in LA [on her way back from Maui]. Mick got her to come over to Maui for awhile… When she was living in LA and finally left the band, it was for a number of reasons. I think she really needed to burn as many bridges as she could. She got a divorce, she sold her house, she sold her publishing, she quit the band, she moved back to England. It was a radical set of things that she did all at once. Some of the reasons for that, I don’t exactly grasp, but, you know, what are you going to do?
She is very welcome to come up and do “Don’t Stop,” or whatever she wants to do. We’ll have to wait and see if she’s comfortable. I think it would be wonderful.
When the five of you had dinner in LA recently, how long had it been since you had all been together?
The last couple of times we were on tour and we played in London, she came to the shows, but it was very, very fleeting. Probably [not] since she left the band had we actually sat down for several hours and been able to just kind of interact in a more leisurely way.
What comes next for you after the tour is over later this year?
If it were up to me, what I would do is go into the studio with Fleetwood Mac and actually finish an album and put out a whole album. Maybe look at stringing not a whole year, but a big chunk of time behind that [to tour] and do something that we have not done in years and years, which is string a few experiences together without these long breaks.
My guess is even if we didn’t do that, there are more places in the States that we have not played yet that we’d probably want to get to after the first of the year after we come back from Australia.
Lindsey Buckingham says the group has five more unreleased tracks. “The whole thing is just kind of wide open now, and it really is tantalizing to be able to put together just a few things, three or four songs on an EP”
Lindsey Buckingham says there’s more where Fleetwood Mac’s new Extended Play came from.
Buckingham tells Billboard that he, drummer Mick Fleetwood and bassist John McVie “cut eight songs” with producer Mitchell Froom last year after Fleetwood Mac decided it would be touring this year. Three of those — “Sad Angel,” “It Takes Time” and “Miss Fantasy” — are part of the Extended Play digital release that came out May 6, joined by “Without You,” resurrected by Stevie Nicks from the Buckingham Nicks days before they joined Fleetwood Mac in 1975.
Buckingham says “it may be too early to tell where things are going to go” with the remaining songs, but he adds that “it’s safe to say there is more than these four songs that you’re going to hear from Fleetwood Mac — it’s just a question of how and when, y’know?”
The “when,” of course, is complicated by Fleetwood Mac’s current tour, which crosses North America through July 6 and then heads to Europe in September. But Buckingham acknowledges that Extended Play has certainly given the veteran group a fresh perspective on releasing new music rather than the drama and trauma of making an entire album, as it’s done in the past.
“When I was growing up, EPs were all over the place,” Buckingham notes. “When I was growing up, albums were not really an art form; the single was the thing, and in some ways it has gotten back to that a little bit. The whole thing is just kind of wide open now, and it really is tantalizing to be able to put together just a few things, three or four songs on an EP. There is something quite effective about that, for sure. I have no preconceptions one way or the other in terms of what Fleetwood Mac will do or even what Fleetwood Mac should do. You just do what you can do and what makes sense logically — and politically.”
Fleetwood Mac has been playing “Sad Angel” and “Without You” regularly in its shows, and has dug into its catalog for “Sisters of the Moon” — part of a four-song blast from 1979’s Tusk that Buckingham says he’s happy to have in the set.
“After all this time it’s very sweet we’re able to sort of tap into that, just on more of an overview level,” Buckingham reports. “I think we’re playing better, or as well, as we’ve ever played. It’s kind of a lovefest between Stevie and me out there, which is great. And this time there seems to be an enhanced appreciation of the body of work. There seem to be a lot of young people at the shows — not that there haven’t been before, but there seem to be more this time. So I’m having a great time out there. We’re just killing it out there as far as I’m concerned.”
Fans, meanwhile, are hoping that the tour — which coincides with the 45th anniversary of the release of the very first Fleetwood Mac album — will catch up to one of the group’s most celebrated alumni later this year. Mick Fleetwood rather publicly reached out to Christine McVie, who quit the band in 1998, which resulted in her visiting him in Maui as well as a Mac reunion dinner in Los Angeles. Buckingham calls the gesture “just reaching out to her as a longtime friend” and definitively says that “Christine is never going to rejoin the band.”
Being together again, however, was a hoot.
“That was great fun. It was very interesting to see what that extra piece of the puzzle does to the overall equation,” Buckingham recalls. “It was a trip, because she was the same old person I’d always known, and she was cracking me up. We’d always had just a great chemistry, the two of us, and we just kind of hit the ground running as soon as I saw her, which was kind of amazing. If she wants to come up and do ‘Don’t Stop’ with us when we’re in England, I’d love to see that. But beyond that I think there’s not too much you can make out of it — although I’m sure people will try.”
Fleetwood Mac, Extended Play (EP) (No. 48): After a 10 year wait, Fleetwood Mac has returned to the Billboard 200 chart with a new studio album. The legendary band’s Extended Play (EP) bows at No. 48, selling 9,000 copies in its first week.
The self-released set, issued on the LMJS imprint (an acronym for the first names of the four members of the band), is exclusive to iTunes. The four-song effort is the group’s first release outside of the Warner Music family of labels since 1971.
The band’s last full-length album, Say You Will, released on Reprise/Warner Bros., arrived on the chart almost exactly 10 years ago this week. The set debuted and peaked at No. 3 on the chart dated May 3, 2003. To date, it has sold 864,000 copies in the United States.
Keith Caulfield / Billboard / Friday, May 10, 2013
New four-track EP debuts at #48 on Billboard 200 Albums chart, three other Fleetwood Mac titles also chart
Fleetwood Mac’s independent release Extended Play (EP) has debuted at No. 48 on the Billboard 200 Albums chart. The release of the EP has also generated renewed interest in Fleetwood Mac’s back catalog with Greatest Hits (1988) ranking at No. 172, and Rumours (1977) and The Very Best of Fleetwood Mac (2002) reentering the chart at No. 149 and number No. 194, respectively.
Over on the Independent Albums chart, Extended Play makes an impressive debut in the Top 10 at No. 9. On Digital Albums, the EP comes in at No. 14. The EP debuts at No. 13 on Rock Albums and on the iTunes chart, it has peaked at No. 5.
Despite little fanfare and promotion, the first week numbers of the EP, quietly released on April 30, appear to have exceeded sale expectations, showing that there is still considerable demand for Fleetwood Mac to issue new material. The band has mentioned that it may release a full album in the future.
Last week, Fleetwood Mac released their first new recordings in almost a decade — a four-song digital EP titled Extended Play. The collection features three new tunes written by singer/guitarist Lindsey Buckingham — “It Takes Time,” “Miss Fantasy” and “Sad Angel” — as well as a Stevie Nicks-penned track called “Without You” that dates back to her and Buckingham’s pre-Fleetwood Mac days, when they performed as a duo.
Nicks recently chatted with ABC News Radio about the new songs, and revealed why the band decided to release just a few songs rather than a full-length album.
“In this day and age, nobody really wants an album anyway, [and] we didn’t have time to do a record anyway, because we were all working all last year,” she explains. “And…when you do a record, especially a Fleetwood Mac record, that means you rent a house and you’re working for almost a year. We didn’t have that year. So, this way, we have new songs.”
Nicks also told ABC News Radio that Buckingham’s new tunes were written in early 2012, and he initially recorded them with just drummer Mick Fleetwood and bassist John McVie.
“I didn’t go because my mom had just passed away, and I really just couldn’t go into the studio,” she points out. “So they went in basically without me, and that was fine.”
Stevie adds that, although she didn’t participate in the early sessions, Lindsey made an effort to come up with material that was well-suited for her. “Lindsey just tried really hard to see through my eyes,” she notes. “He certainly knows me well enough to do that.”
Nicks finally got the chance to add her voice to the new tracks late last year when she visited Buckingham at his home studio. “He and I picked…two songs out of the several songs that they did that I like very much, otherwise I wouldn’t have wanted to sing on them,” explains Stevie. “We did them, and we finished all the vocals and they came out great.”
Nicks also brought in her old song “Without You,” which she reportedly had rediscovered after coming across an old demo that had been posted on YouTube.
“We can’t figure out for the life of us why it didn’t go on the Buckingham Nicks album,” says Stevie, referring to the 1973 album she and Lindsey recorded as a duo. “But it didn’t and it’s just this amazing song…So we rerecorded it and it came out great.”
Extended Play is available now at iTunes for $3.96. Fleetwood Mac has regularly been playing two songs from the EP, “Sad Angel” and “Without You” during their current North American tour, which is mapped out through a July 6 show in Sacramento, California. The band also has a European trek planned for the fall.
It’s been exactly a decade since Fleetwood Mac released a full album, but that hasn’t stopped a new generation of fans from discovering the band. “We’re doing the best business we’ve done in 20 years,” guitarist Lindsey Buckingham tells Rolling Stone a few hours before the Tulsa, Oklahoma stop on the band’s latest tour. “There seems to be a cyclical re-igniting of interests, and there’s certainly a lot more young people out there than three years ago.”
Months before they started tour rehearsal, the band cut a four-song EP titled Extended Play with producer Mitchell Froom. “When we finally decided this was going to be the year we were going to tour again, I thought it would be great to cut some new stuff,” says Buckingham. “I knew we wouldn’t have time to cut a new album. Stevie [Nicks] was still caught up in her solo thing, but I got John [McVie] and Mick [Fleetwood] over from Hawaii. They played their asses off. It was a great experience.”
Stevie Nicks arrived at the sessions towards the end, and Buckingham presented her with “Sad Angel.” “I wrote that song for Stevie,” he says. “She always had to fight for everything. She was coming off a solo album and was in the process of reintegrating herself mentally in the band, and we’re all warriors with a sword in one sort or another. She and I have known each other since high school. So I just wrote, ‘Sad Angel have you come to fight the war/We fall to earth together, the crowd calling out for more.’”
Like many of the group’s greatest songs, “Sad Angel” reflects on Lindsey and Stevie’s complex relationship. “All these years later, we are still writing songs that are dialogues for each other,” he says. “That was part of the appeal of Rumours, and of the group in general . . . Of all the things we cut, ‘Sad Angel’ was, for lack of a better term, the most Fleetwood Mac-y. It was really kind of the best stuff that we have done in a while.”
They also recorded “Without You,” a song that’s roughly 40 years old. “Stevie and I had a little disagreement over when it was written,” Buckingham says. “It definitely predates our involvement in Fleetwood Mac. I believe it was written when we were in the process of culling material for a possible second Buckingham-Nicks album, before we were dropped by Polydor. She claims it was written earlier, but I’m not so sure. But it’s a very sweet song that really harkens back to a time when we were far more innocent. She’s writing to me and it’s about our relationship, when we’d only been together for a very short time.”
Stevie Nicks says that she rediscovered the song on YouTube. “I’m not really sure how it resurfaced,” says Buckingham. “She brought it in one day and she brought it by my house. John and Mick didn’t really work on that. There’s kind of an appropriateness in doing something that predates Fleetwood Mac, because at this stage in time Stevie and I have more of a connection than we’ve had for a while. That’s a nice thing.”
Stevie and I have probably more of a connection now than we have in years.
“Sad Angel” and “Without You” are performed every night on Fleetwood Mac’s ongoing world tour, but the vast majority of the set is devoted to songs from the group’s deep catalog. “Creating a set list is like making a running order for an album,” says Buckingham. “Certain things get pitted against one another that make more sense. One song sets another one off, or it might diminish it. You’re just constantly looking for the next thing that’s gonna make sense in a particular place.”
The show begins with “Second Hand News,” the kick-off track to band’s 1976 landmark album Rumours. “It seemed like the obvious choice as the opener,” says Buckingham. “There are certain touchstones that you always do. When you’ve been around for a while, you realize there’s a body of work you’re going to rely on every time. You’re not going to reinvent the wheel every time you go out, because that would disappoint the audience.”
After “Second Hand News,” the group keeps the Rumours theme going with “The Chain” and “Dreams.” “You get that out of the way,” says Buckingham. “Then we do ‘Sad Angel’ and then we’re segueing into various twists and turns from there.”
A frenetic “Rhiannon” segues into four straight Tusk songs: “Not That Funny,” “Tusk,” “Sisters of the Moon” and “Tusk.” “After the success of Rumours, we were in this zone with this certain scale of success,” Buckingham says. “By that point the success detaches from the music, and the success becomes about the success. The phenomenon becomes about the phenomenon. Warner Bros. would have very much liked to have seen a Rumours II. There was a need on my part — and the band as well, but I was certainly the instigator — to kind of subvert that notion.”
Tusk was a huge bestseller, but the songs were less commercial, failing to live up to the enormous sales of Rumours. “We didn’t want to be painted into a corner,” Buckingham says. “If you want to be an artist in the long run, it isn’t necessarily a good axiom to repeat formulas over and over until they’re used up.”
The rest of the show focuses on enormous hits like “Gypsy,” “Go Your Own Way” and “Gold Dust Woman,” but “Don’t Stop” is the sole number written by former Mac keyboardist/vocalist Christine McVie. “On the last tour we did ‘Don’t Stop’ and ‘Say You Love Me,’” says Buckingham. “But it’s hard to sustain her presence. There’s no real reason to do it. She had some great songs, but it becomes a little schizoid to go out there and try to recreate her thing.”
Christine McVie did participate in Fleetwood Mac’s 1997 comeback album The Dance, but she left after the tour. “She was just in need of a radical life change,” says Buckingham. “She pretty much burned all her bridges in Los Angeles. She sold her house, ended her relationship, quit the band and moved back to England. It was a fairly sweeping set of changes, and something she needed to do for her reasons, though I’m not particularly clear on what those were.”
The group took a break after McVie quit, but regrouped in 2002 to begin work on Say You Will. “We all miss her, and we miss the equation that fivesome made,” Buckingham says. “It’s a different equation with the four. But for me, it actually opened up an opportunity to be a little more myself onstage. When you divide the material more or less down the middle, it gives me more of a chance to be the guy, and to be the kind of presence and energy I am onstage.”
The adjustment has been more difficult for Stevie Nicks. “She misses the female camaraderie,” says Buckingham. “So it’s been a double-edged sword for her. But as the band evolved as a four-piece, it became less relevant to put songs of hers in there. We haven’t felt a need to do that, even though she had some hits. It’s just . . . it is what it is. The band is a different band now. On the other hand, ‘Don’t Stop’ is just one of those anthems with a strong message. That’s why Bill Clinton latched onto it. It’s a very effective encore song for us.”
The show wraps with “Say Goodbye,” the only song of the night drawn from the group’s 2003 LP Say You Will. “As I said, Stevie and I have probably more of a connection now than we have in years,” says Buckingham. “You can feel it. It’s tangible on stage. In many ways, that song is the embodiment of that. When you look at ‘Without You,’ it’s Stevie writing a song about me when everything was before us and all those illusions were intact. ‘Say Goodbye’ was written 10 years ago, when most of our experience together was behind us. Part of those illusions had fallen away.”
Much of their story may be behind them, but Lindsey and Stevie are still taking the stage together night after night and collaborating on new material. “It was difficult for years to get complete closure,” Buckingham says. “There was never any time to not be together. It was kind of like picking the scab off an open wound again and again. That’s part of the legacy of the band. But ‘Say Goodbye’ is a very sweet song, and it’s about her: ‘Once you said goodbye to me/Now I say goodbye to you.’ It took a long time. All those illusions have fallen away, but that doesn’t mean that there isn’t resolve and hope and belief in the future in a different context. That’s really what the song is about, and we end the set with just the two of us singing that song.”
Fleetwood Mac: Extended Play (Self-released) Rolling Stone rating: *** (3 stars out of 5)
“We fall to Earth together/The crowd calling out for more,” goes a couplet on this four-track EP by the remaining Macs (Christine McVie sits out). Note to band: That doesn’t mean y’all have to answer. But if their first release of new music in a decade isn’t replacing any classics, the voices of Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks can still bring chills. The gem is “Without You,” a breezy Nicks-written folk rocker from the couple’s pre-Mac project Buckingham Nicks: Largely acoustic, with twined harmonies, its chords twist and resolve like a sun-dappled mobile on a breezy day. And we confess: Hearing the ex-lovers put words in each other’s mouths remains as fascinating as ever.
Fleetwood Mac’s announcement that it was making an EP was surprising: The group hadn’t released new music since 2003’s underrated Say You Will, and its current arena tour seemed more like another back-catalog cash-grab than a chance to road-test new material. Likewise, the band hasn’t done much publicity behind the new music, keeping the release date secret and only playing two of the new songs live. But there’s no reason for Lindsey Buckingham and company to be coy: Extended Play’s opener, “Sad Angel,” is everything a fan could want from latter-day Mac. With frenetic guitar from Buckingham, expert harmony from Stevie Nicks, and a chorus that’s catchy as hell, the song is a great reminder of how well these folks can craft pop music. Buckingham has been making quality albums on his own for this past decade, but he’s livelier than ever on “Sad Angel,” drawing parallels between the bombast of war and rock music. Even Mick Fleetwood’s drumming is more energetic than it’s been since the ’80s. If Fleetwood Mac has more tracks like this in them, here’s hoping another album surfaces soon.
Noah Cruickshank / A.V. Club / Monday, May 6, 2013
In the decade since Fleetwood Mac released 2003’s Say You Will, a new surge of interest in the group’s distinctive pop style has taken hold in the modern pop, alternative and country communities. Recent music by artists as diverse as Cut Copy, Lady Antebellum, Vampire Weekend, Haim, Daft Punk, John Mayer and Little Big Town was inspired by the warmth and harmonic richness of Fleetwood Mac’s Lindsey Buckingham/Stevie Nicks era, and last year’s tribute album, Just Tell Me That You Want Me, offered persuasive testimony to the band’s enduring influence.
But for all the enthusiasm those acts show for Fleetwood Mac’s pop shimmer, most would balk at walking a mile in their shoes, and continued tension within the band is a key reason why they only mustered four tracks for Extended Play, Fleetwood Mac’s first new material since 2003. But this concise burst of fresh songs, mostly co-produced by Buckingham and Mitchell Froom (Crowded House), says more about what it really means to be part of Fleetwood Mac than anything since Rumours and Tusk. Buckingham takes it on directly with “Sad Angel,” which addresses the challenge of getting Nicks on board with new Mac material while the fans are “calling out for more.” Even the inclusion of “Without You,” an unreleased Buckingham Nicks song, underlines the continued tension — putting the song on Extended Play was a compromise after Nicks and Buckingham could not agree on how to handle the 40th anniversary of the Buckingham Nicks album.
Fleetwood Mac, Extended Play (LMJS Productions) * * * 1/2
Fleetwood Mac’s first new music since 2003’s Say You Will is short on Stevie Nicks, who resisted recording a full album with the group. The resulting four-track EP, released to iTunes as a digital download, makes you wish for more on the strength of Lindsey Buckingham’s three new songs.
Nicks contributes the folksy “Without You,” a reject from the 1973 sessions for the Buckingham Nicks LP. The pair harmonize over Buckingham’s tinny acoustic strumming. Meh.
Much better: Buckingham’s fresh songs in which he returns to writing crisp, accessible, engaging California pop/rock, like the infectiously melodic and rhythmically driving “Sad Angel” and the breezy “Miss Fantasy,” a piquant taste of Mirage-era Mac that makes great use of the famed rhythm section of Mick Fleetwood and John McVie.
His stark solo piano ballad, “It Takes Time” — imagine Christine McVie’s “Songbird” as its closest cousin — intrigues the most because it’s unlike anything the guitarist has released.
The four songs on the new Fleetwood Mac EP — which the legendary pop-rock outfit put up for sale on iTunes on Tuesday morning with little advance warning — arrive steeped in echoes of the past, in at least one case quite literally: “Without You,” a strummy acoustic number overlaid with harmony vocals by Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks, reportedly dates back to sessions for the two singers’ 1973 album as a long-haired vocal duo deeply opposed to shirts.
But the other tunes on Extended Play, newly composed by Buckingham and co-produced by him and L.A. studio pro Mitchell Froom, feel no less rooted in earlier iterations of this on-again/off-again institution.
“Miss Fantasy” has some of the folky back-porch guitar action of “Never Going Back Again,” while the stripped-down “It Takes Time” could be Buckingham’s version of Christine McVie’s big piano ballad, “Songbird.” And opener “Sad Angel,” which you can hear below, shimmers with the glossy textures of 1987’s Tango in the Night. (Incidentally, if you want to get a sense of Fleetwood Mac’s enduring influence on synthed-up young rock acts like Phoenix, go straight to Tango — it looms larger these days than the vaunted Rumours does.)
Nothing about this self-reference surprises, of course, especially given that Fleetwood Mac is in the midst of a giant arena tour that will bring the band to the Hollywood Bowl on May 25 and Anaheim’s Honda Center on May 28. Old hits are what the members are playing onstage — “Don’t Stop,” “Dreams,” “Go Your Own Way,” “Silver Springs” — so old hits are what the members are hearing in their heads.
And yet Extended Play — Fleetwood Mac’s first studio output since Say You Will in 2003 — doesn’t sound stale or overworked; indeed, the songs have an impressive crispness (after only a handful of spins, anyway) that makes their familiarity seem less like evidence of a tapped creative supply than like proof that this is simply the kind of music Fleetwood Mac writes.
“I remember you,” Buckingham sings over and over again near the end of “Miss Fantasy,” and he might be addressing his own melody. But it’s a good one. You’ll remember it too.
Mick Fleetwood clearly gets the question all the time.
And he completely gets the question.
How can the majority of Fleetwood Mac’s most famous lineup — drummer Fleetwood, bassist John McVie, singer/songwriter/guitarist Lindsey Buckingham and singer/songwriter Stevie Nicks — still be making music together after all these famously tumultuous years?
Well, he said with a laugh, it’s still a bit of a shock for him, too.
“I think you have to concede that. … You know, (it) used to be years and years and years ago still quite painful, in many ways, and all the well-worn stories of survival — emotional survival — through all of that, I won’t say they’re boring because even to us, we look at that and go like ‘How the *** DID we get through all that?’” Fleetwood said in a phone interview from Los Angeles before the April 4 launch of the band’s North American tour.
“You just have to really attribute it to a form of perverse devotion for sure to the music and what we were able to do. We were really lucky to be able to be doing it. I think we all realized that.”
The Rock and Roll Hall of Famers are bringing their “Fleetwood Mac Live 2013” trek to the BOK Center on Wednesday night. The legendary band previously played the Tulsa venue the last time it hit the road together, on 2009’s sold-out “Unleashed Tour.”
The longtime bandmates have reunited on the road to mark the 35th anniversary reissue of their most iconic album, Rumours, but they’re also celebrating the release of new music. On Tuesday, the band dropped on iTunes a four-track EP appropriately titled Extended Play.
It’s practically impossible to think of Rumours without thinking of the interpersonal havoc that birthed it: McVie and his wife, Christine McVie, the band’s now-retired singer/songwriter/pianist, filed for divorce, while Buckingham and Nicks broke off their long-term romance. Fleetwood and his wife divorced, too, and he and Nicks had an affair.
Despite the turmoil, Fleetwood said the band concentrated on making the album a “complete piece of work” rather than just a collection of random tracks. Because the turmoil informed the songwriting, Rumours became one of the most popular and acclaimed records in rock history, winning the Grammy for Album of the Year and selling more than 40 million copies worldwide since its 1977 debut.
“I think the songs, the vocal delivery on the album and the approach with the harmonies and stuff was something for sure fresh and maybe somewhat ‘wow, not (another) band sounds like that.’ So we were blessed with all that stuff. And then I think the songs were great, and they were pop-driven songs, but they weren’t stupid and they weren’t corny. But they were really accessible,” Fleetwood said.
“Then you had this bunch … that started telling their own story literally through those songs and then as that unfolded, it became part and parcel outside of the music, this mythological story of this impossible situation these people had found themselves in. I think the whole putting together of all those components became something that people identified with and in many ways were attracted to it, probably because they felt similar themselves very often, that they were just a bit of an emotional mess,” he added.
“We’re all in our 60s now, and people still talk about this human condition calling card which was ‘Rumours.’”
With the bustling solo careers Nicks and Buckingham have carved out, the native Englishman said creating new Fleetwood Mac music has been a challenge. Plus, the drummer, 65, who now lives on Maui, opened Fleetwood’s On Front Street restaurant last year and continues to make music with his Mick Fleetwood Blues Band, which recently played a special show featuring Christine McVie and Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler on the island he calls home.
Tuesday’s EP release marked the band’s first new music debut in a decade. Fleetwood, John McVie and Buckingham assembled several months ago in L.A. and recorded about nine “really fresh and vibrant” songs they hoped would be the starting point for a new album from the group. Nicks was busy with her own tour and then her mother’s death, but before the quartet hit the road, she added her vocals to a few tracks and recorded “Without You,” a previously unreleased song from her pre-Fleetwood Mac days with Buckingham Nicks.
Along with “Without You,” the digital EP features the poppy tracks “Sad Angel” and “Miss Fantasy” and the wistful piano ballad “It Takes Time.” Hopefully, the EP will herald the coming of a full-length follow-up to 2003’s Say You Will, Fleetwood said.
“We’re musicians at work, and now we have the grace just to say ‘When this is right, we’ll do it.’ Stevie’s ready to do it and wants to do it, and off we go. And we’ll be wrapped around each other for the better part of probably 18 months, you know, working all over the world.”
Despite the band’s turbulent history, Fleetwood said the quartet was instantly in harmony when they came together for rehearsals.
“It’s just like it could have been like three days ago, and it’s actually maybe four years ago that we all were on the road,” he said.
“It’s like opening up a time capsule that is very familiar, and then we literally just plug in and ‘let’s go’ and it’s all intact.”
Brandy McDonnell / News OK / Wednesday, May 1, 2013
Mick Fleetwood on Fleetwood Mac: ‘It Would Make A Great Play’
Not long ago, the idea of Fleetwood Mac ever touring again seemed far-fetched at best. But as of this spring, not only is the band back on the road — according to drummer and founder Mick Fleetwood, they’re having an easier time filling seats than in the past.
“We seem to have a band of angels up there organizing what we do down here. … I don’t know; maybe people think we’re never gonna do this again, or we’re all gonna drop dead or something,” Fleetwood says. “But on a positive note, I think it’s indicative of Fleetwood Mac’s extremely interesting story — that just when you think it’s sort of going into a ditch, it comes out the other side.”
This week, Fleetwood Mac unveiled another surprise: a four-song EP of brand-new music, released digitally via iTunes and simply called Extended Play. Mick Fleetwood spoke with NPR’s David Greene about the band’s uncommon staying power. Hear the radio version on Morning Edition tomorrow (the audio will then be archived at the link on this page).
There have been drugs; there have been relationship ups and downs in the band. Does that mean you almost have to come to the edge, and then kind of come back from the edge to keep doing what you’re doing? Is that necessary?
God knows I don’t know whether it’s necessary, but the fact is it happened. And without getting artsy-fartsy or therapeutic, the reality is you have to take responsibility — not only as a person within the group of people, but then you look at it as a collective, which is the band known as Fleetwood Mac. And we have.
A lot of your fans, I think, see you still out there — after all the roller-coaster and the soap opera — and a lot of fans are like, “Wow. Fleetwood Mac, through all the changes, all the years, different faces — they’re still here.” Are you surprised that you’re still here as well?
[Laughing] Hmm … no. I’m not. I think what I have to confess to is that I had nothing else to do apart from keep this band going. So I’m sort of not surprised.
It sounds like you’re almost a prisoner to the band and the idea.
Well, that’s an interesting phrase. And in truth, just as of late — the last few years, really — I’ve had to work at just not being this creature that almost gets obsessed: “It’s gotta continue,” and “What if … ?” And I’ve truly done pretty good at letting go. And it’s truly appropriate: We’ve done way too much, all of us, to be herded into my world of, “At all costs, Fleetwood Mac.”
So now, what you see is really pretty much a version of a bunch of people that happen to want to do something. And they haven’t been coerced or crafted, or sold their soul to the company store. … All of that stuff is gone. Which makes this, again, a really, really clear vision of what we’re doing. And I can’t think of any other band that I know that has gone through the arc of all of these [changes], even before Stevie and Lindsey. It would make a great play, and I hope one day that we somehow do that.
And of course, you’ve played a role in the play. You’ve had the struggles that we all know about with drug addiction; there was a relationship with you and Stevie Nicks that a lot of people read about. Is there a song from Fleetwood Mac that you feel like kind of captures your role in the whole play?
I’d say “The Chain.” [That song’s message should] be written on my grave: “That’s what he did. He half-killed himself keeping this bunch together.”
Are you playing that song out on the tour right now?
Yeah. It’s one of the songs, I think, that if we didn’t play, we’d be lined up and shot.
You told my colleague Scott Simon, about four years ago, that you actually realized that the audience wanted the old ones. You were actually happy to report that you had no new songs to play, because you wanted to spare your audience — let them enjoy the oldies.
Well, that’s true. People love to hear things that they tell their own stories to. Creative stuff that comes from the artist very quickly becomes the property, as it should, [of the audience] — to be reinterpreted and create a backdrop for parts of their lives.
Have you seen a change in the audience over the years?
Absolutely. There’s retrospection involved, I’m sure. … The lovely thing is, we truly are blessed with huge amounts of young people that are totally getting what we’re doing. And that’s why these new songs are hugely important. Lindsey would be the main flag-waver as to being really excited about the thought that we’re not treading water, and that we are creative.
He’s pushing for new material.
Yeah, and I think that’s his epitaph, or would be. Stevie’s is a bit of everything, including the blessing of truly and naturally being just so … well, talented for sure; we know that. But she has a magic mantle that is very profound, and it comes only once in a while to certain performers, and she is one of them for sure.
That’s her epitaph. Yours is, “Let’s keep the band together,” and Lindsey’s is, “Let’s continue being creative.”
We’ve all had functions in Fleetwood Mac. And because of that, I think, it’s not a stretch to [say] that’s probably why we’ve survived all this.
One of the songs on the new EP, “Miss Fantasy,” strikes me as something that could have been on Rumours in 1977; it’s very much your sound from the ’70s.
Whatever that is [laughs]. I think it’s fair to say that that album has become tonally timeless.
It feels like you’re not trying to break into some new sound in this new day. You’re carrying on a tradition that you feel good about.
It’s the band. The Stones did their Beatle thing, and they go, “Eh, we’re The Rolling Stones. Let’s just leave this alone.” That’s who they are, so whatever they do, you know it’s them — and they’re comfortable with it, and they’re really good at it. … So I take that as a huge compliment, what you’re saying.
Stevie Nicks has said that she hasn’t spent much time on the Internet, doesn’t have a laptop. She’s sort of said, “I guess we need to put songs out on this thing called iTunes.” You don’t seem like a band that’s embracing all sorts of new technologies. You seem like you’re kind of doing it the old way.
We know that this is really something we’ve never done — put out something on iTunes. And we’re going, “Well, we don’t have a completed album.” And maybe we’ll find out that people really, actually, seriously want us to do that. And if not, then this has been fun.
You said that you thought a lot of people might be coming out to your concerts right now because they’re worried this might be the end; they want to say goodbye. Is that a possibility?
No, I think it’s incredibly vibrant, the lifeblood of Fleetwood Mac. So you can pull that one out of your psyche.
This is not a farewell tour. Not even close.
No. We’re just bowled over that something is showing itself in this funny, mysterious way — hence me talking about this bunch of angels up there, organizing what we do. I’m thinking they’re very busy planning something into the future for Fleetwood Mac.
Listen to the interview on Morning Edition from NPR
Official Ultimate Classic Rock rating: 7 out of 10
Earlier today (April 30), Fleetwood Mac released a four-song EP, Extended Play, their first new studio material since 2003′s Say You Will. While the EP is available for purchase exclusively at iTunes, you can stream the lead track and first single, “Sad Angel,” below.
Written by Lindsey Buckingham, “Sad Angel” opens with some typically kinetic, percussive Buckingham rhythm guitar before his vocals come in, and joined later by the whole band. The rhythm section of John McVie and Mick Fleetwood chug along in typical no-nonsense, muscular fashion, with some keyboards and a few layers of guitars to fill it out.
Even though she sings in tandem with Buckingham for all but the opening 15 seconds, Stevie Nicks is largely invisible. She takes her lines well and the two still blend together very well, but there’s little of her trademark personality on display. Maybe that’s a little harsh, but for a band that has traded so frequently on the duo’s history together, “Sad Angel” doesn’t offer much in the way of tension between its two lead singers.
Not that that’s a bad thing, of course. Throughout the run-up to the release of ‘Extended Play,’ we’ve heard about how those past issues are behind them — note how they’re posed in the press photo above — so what better way to prove it than with a nice, poppy song that is, lyrically, light years removed from their famously autobiographical work.
Or is it? The ambiguous lyrics could be Buckingham acknowledging that he and Nicks need each other, and are never better than when they’re together. “We fall to Earth together / The crowd calling out for more / Hello, hello sad angel / Have you come to fight the war?” they sing in the chorus. It’s hard to tell, because we usually associate Nicks with gypsies or witches, not angels.
If “Sad Angel” is about her, then it’s a nice peace offering as the two of them prepare to write the newest chapter in their incredibly long history together. If not, then it’s still a welcome return to form for one of rock’s most enduring bands.
Fleetwood Mac, which put out a new EP today, was one of the few music choices my parents and I could agree on. I would scream along with the rocking chorus of “The Chain” on the way to school and dance around the house to “Little Lies.” Since then, my appreciation for the band—from Lindsey Buckingham’s virtuosic guitar playing to the group’s layered harmonies—has grown more sophisticated, but the songs still pack the simple, emotional wallop they did for me 15 years ago.
Alternately credited with and cursed for creating “adult contemporary,” the members of Fleetwood Mac are almost as famous for their personal drama as for their classic songs. Originally, though, Fleetwood Mac was a simple British blues band, formed in 1967 by guitarist Peter Green and named after drummer Mick Fleetwood and bassist John McVie. This lineup, with a few additions, put out three albums, which did well in the U.K., but received little attention stateside. (One of the singles from that era, “Black Magic Woman,” became a major hit for Santana.) In 1970, Green left the band after suffering from a mental breakdown (he was later diagnosed as schizophrenic). A year later Christine McVie, John’s new wife, officially joined. A keyboardist who wrote her own music, Christine increasingly came to shape the band’s sound. Mick and the McVies stuck together through the early ’70s and more personnel changes—one of their guitarists joined the Children of God and another had an affair with Fleetwood’s wife—as they tried to replicate their British success in the U.S.
They didn’t have much luck until 1974, when Mick recruited the American folk duo Buckingham Nicks. For their first album together, this new version of Fleetwood Mac combined Christine’s songs with some that Lindsey and Stevie had already written. The eponymous result finally brought the band the American popularity they’d been looking for, selling five million copies and reaching No. 1 on the charts. It had four hit singles, including McVie’s poppy “Say You Love Me” and Nicks’ haunting “Rhiannon,” which highlighted her wild performance style.
Success also brought trouble, as it does. The band’s two couples began to unravel—as did Mick Fleetwood’s marriage to model Jenny Boyd—just as they returned to the studio. And so the musical legend of Rumours was born: The album is made up of songs that Christine, Lindsey, and Stevie wrote about their dissolving relationships. The most famous of these are Buckingham and Nicks’ dueling takes on their doomed love, her ethereal “Dreams” and his aggressive “Go Your Own Way.” But at the heart of the album is the only song all five of the band members ever collaborated on, “The Chain,” which emphasizes their commitment to carrying on as a group despite their personal disagreements.
After the massive sales of Rumours, the studio invested heavily in the band’s follow-up. But Buckingham was determined not to repeat himself and began experimenting with different recording techniques (including, for instance, laying on a tile floor as he sang into the microphone). Meanwhile, Stevie had embarked on a secret affair with Mick—which ended, much to her chagrin, when he left her for her best friend. Eighteen months and the largest recording budget of all time produced the messy Tusk. The album sold about a quarter of the copies its predecessor did, but the unnerving title track, which features the USC marching band, balances Buckingham’s desire for punky weirdness and the rest of the band’s gift for grandeur.
The band put out two albums in the ’80s: 1982’s Mirage—which was largely overshadowed by Nicks’ solo release Belladonna—and 1987’s Tango in the Night. Tango was troubled; the band’s lifestyle remained extravagant and Nicks had abandoned coke for Klonopin, which made her spacey and unreliable. Buckingham and McVie, who had a hit with my old favorite, “Little Lies,” took over most of the songwriting duties, but Nicks, with the help of Sandy Stewart, still managed to contribute one great song, the cheerful “Seven Wonders.”
After another blow-up with Nicks, Buckingham left the band right before the Tango in the Night tour. The split wasn’t permanent, but the band never really recovered; in 1997, Christine McVie permanently retired from Fleetwood Mac. The remaining foursome has toured sporadically since then. Their 2003 album, Say You Will, was fairly successful, but failed to live up to their earlier work.
The new EP is the band’s first new material since then. The best of its tracks, “Sad Angel,” hearkens back to the catchy pop-rock of Rumours, rather than the smoothed-out sound of their more recent stuff. Perhaps they’ve rediscovered the knack they used to have for transmuting a troubled dynamic into powerful songs, though it’s hard to tell on the basis of just three new songs, all by Buckingham. (The fourth track, “Without You,” is an old Buckingham Nicks tune.) However it turns out, I’ll always have “The Chain.” And if you’ve never given the band much thought, you’ll find 10 tracks to get you started below, both as a Spotify playlist and on YouTube and Amazon. Enjoy.
“Rhiannon” from Fleetwood Mac (1975)
“The Chain” from Rumours (1977)
“Black Magic Woman” from The Pious Bird of Good Omen (1969)
“Seven Wonders” from Tango in the Night (1987)
“Tusk” from Tusk (1979)
“Dreams” from Rumours (1977)
“Second Hand News” from Rumours (1977)
“Say You Love Me” from Fleetwood Mac (1975)
“Little Lies” from Tango in the Night (1987)
“Go Your Own Way” from Rumours (1977)
Alex Heimbach / The Slate / Tuesday, April 30, 2013
Fleetwood Mac have released their first collection of new music in a decade. As promised, the legendary band tabled a full album in favor of an EP, titled Extended Play and available exclusively on iTunes.
The foursome — Lindsey Buckingham, Stevie Nicks, Mick Fleetwood and John McVie — announced the release on the band’s website on Tuesday.
The record kicks off with the bouncy “Sad Angel,” in which Buckingham and Nicks harmonize over looping guitar and Mick Fleetwood’s driving beat. “Hello, hello sad angel, have you come to fight the war?” they ask.
The rest of the EP includes the classic-sounding “Without You,” which started as a track for Buckingham Nicks, the duo’s pre-Mac group. There’s also a piano ballad by Buckingham called “It Takes Time” and the album closer “Miss Fantasy.”
It’s their first new music since 2003’s Say You Will, which debuted and peaked at No. 3 on the Billboard 200.
The band told Billboard in February that, “Big, long albums don’t seem to be what everybody wants these days.” Whether a full-length album emerges from this current reunion is entirely up to fans, Nicks said.
“[Let’s] see if the world does want more music from us,” Nicks said. “If we get that feeling, that they do want another 10 songs, we can reassess.”
Fleetwood Mac have returned with their first batch of new music in 10 years. Extended Play, available now exclusively on iTunes, contains the new tracks “Sad Angel,” “It Takes Time” and “Miss Fantasy,” penned by Lindsey Buckingham. It also includes “Without You,” a rediscovered and revamped track originally written by Stevie Nicks from the pair’s Buckingham Nicks project.
Extended Play is Fleetwood Mac’s first studio release since the 2003 LP Say You Will. Buckingham promised the EP was on the way earlier this month during a concert in Philadelphia. In January, he talked to Rolling Stone about how his relationship with Stevie Nicks has developed over the years.
“It’s still evolving, and that’s the beauty of it too. I’ve known Stevie since high school. We were a couple for many, many years, and we’ve been a musical couple forever,” Buckingham said. “After all this time you would think there was nothing left to discover, nothing left to work out, no new chapters to be written. But that is not the case – there are new chapters to be written.”
Fleetwood Mac are currently on a North American tour. Their next show is tonight at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Missouri. For full tour dates, visit the band’s website.
By Brandy McDonnell News OK
Tuesday, April 30, 2013
Fleetwood Mac debuted its first new music in a decade today, dropping an EP appropriately titled Extended Play on iTunes. Click here to download and listen.
The EP includes four songs: the poppy tracks “Sad Angel” and “Miss Fantasy,” the wistful piano ballad “It Takes Time” and “Without You” and a previously unreleased track that singer/songwriter Stevie Nicks penned about singer/songwriter/guitarist Lindsey Buckingham back in their pre-Fleetwood Mac Buckingham Nicks duo days.
The majority of Fleetwood Mac’s most famous lineup — drummer Mick Fleetwood, bassist John McVie, Buckingham and Nicks — is touring North American to mark the 35th anniversary reissue of their most iconic album, Rumours, as well as celebrating the release of new music.
The Rock and Roll Hall of Famers are bringing their “Fleetwood Mac Live 2013” trek to the BOK Center on Wednesday night. The legendary band previously played the Tulsa venue the last time it hit the road together, on 2009′s sold-out “Unleashed Tour.”
Fleetwood spoke enthusiastically about the planned EP in a phone interview prior to the tour’s April 4 launch in Ohio. Hopefully, the EP will herald the coming of a full-length follow-up to 2003′s “Say You Will,” he said.
“You know, we work when we feel good. And now we work when everyone has been able to — especially Stevie. She has a hugely successful solo career and she loves that world that is her world. And Lindsey also does great stuff, as do I. You know, I have my fun, not on such a profound level,” said Fleetwood, who plays with The Mick Fleetwood Blues Band Featuring Rick Vito.
“But we’re musicians at work, and now we have the grace just to say ‘When this is right, we’ll do it.’ And Stevie’s ready to do it and wants to do it, and off we go. And we’ll be wrapped around each other for the better part of probably 18 months, you know, working all over the world.”
The drummer said he, John McVie and Buckingham assembled several months ago in Los Angeles and recorded about nine “really fresh and vibrant” songs they hoped would be the starting point for a new album from the group. Nicks was busy with her own tour and then her mother’s death, but before the quartet hit the road, she added her vocals to a few tracks and recorded “Without You.”
“(The EP) will be, I hope, the beginning of maybe something that could transform in some of the free time we have in between sections of this now very long tour. I would love to think that we could do three or four things with Stevie, and in truth, you would then have a Fleetwood Mac album. Yes. I hope,” Fleetwood said.
He added, “We’re just taking it step by step and not doing things that don’t feel naturally comfortable. But if you’re asking me, I would love to see it happen, and Lindsey would be ahead of the game — and I know that he’d be incredibly excited to think that we could do that.
Despite the band’s stormy history, which was well-documented on the wildly popular and critically acclaimed Rumours album, Fleetwood said it was all very familiar and comfortable when he and his cohorts assembled in L.A. for tour rehearsals.
“If you wrote a script as to what happened to this bunch, you’d say ‘It’s fascinating but it’s completely untrue ‘cause you can’t have that happen.’ But it did. And I think now we look back on it with a sense of kindness. You know, I really do. I see Stevie and Lindsey in an extraordinarily good place and in good humor; they just know what not to do,” he said.
“You know, it’s like in rehearsals, it’s fascinating, I sit there back on my drums, and they get on that microphone and they’re talking about how we’re reaching out into maybe some of the things that they did in Buckingham Nicks when they were just Stevie and Lindsey. And that’s the two people I asked to join Fleetwood Mac. That’s the music that I heard. Stevie’s recorded (‘Without You,’) a really beautiful song that she wrote about Lindsey 40 years ago in Buckingham Nicks that never came out, and I think we’re pretty much gathering that we’re gonna do it onstage. And it’s mind-blowing and it’s just so sweet. And it’s a love song, and you know, she’s saying, ‘Yep, I guess I was really in love with you.’ (laughs) It’s a trip. It is a trip, not all of which has been pretty. But we’re here, and we’re real people, and as Lindsey would say, we’re still working at it. … But looking back, I don’t think any of us have any regrets ‘cause you go like, ‘You know, it’s how we felt.”
“You know, I think that’s part of the story when we walk on the stage is people do feel connected to us, and thus, us to them. And that’s an extra texture that’s really very powerful for us. We have a real relationship that’s felt outside of the music. And we’re not Neil Young or Bob Dylan who had a whole connect with the stuff they wrote about, political thoughts and philosophical thoughts and stuff. We’re a bunch of people that wrote some good music that was pop-oriented stuff that had a dark side to it and went out and weren’t thinking about telling anyone anything really,” he added with a laugh. “And suddenly got a huge connect with an audience. Yes, I think we made and continue to make some lovely music that we’re all really proud of. But truly, I think people just connected with us and our story, that ‘they’re actually real people.’”
How did a group of sexagenarians sneak up on us like this?
Though they’ve been promising this release for weeks, Fleetwood Mac finally unleashed their Extended Play EP on iTunes this morning. The band, which is currently on tour (they’ll be rocking the Sprint Center in Kansas City tonight), has been playing new tunes on stage since they kicked off, and frontman Lindsey Buckingham has been promising the release of Extended Play for several weeks.
The four songs on Extended Play represent the first newly recorded Fleetwood Mac tracks since their 2003 album Say You Will, which went gold. The highlight is “Without You,” which features a confidently strummed folk-rock stomp and some top-shelf vocal interplay between Buckingham and Nicks. If it sounds like classic Mac, that’s because it is: “Without You” was originally written by Nicks over 40 years ago and was intended as a contribution to their pre-Fleetwood combo Buckingham Nicks.
Buckingham and Nicks co-produced “Without You,” while the rest of the EP was produced by Mitchell Froom, who has previously worked with Sheryl Crow, Elvis Costello, Los Lobos, and Paul McCartney.
The rest of the EP features the piano ballad “It Takes Time,” the propulsive “Sad Angel,” and the easy-grooving Miss Fantasy.
Fleetwood Mac has independently released an EP with four new songs. The songs, released late Monday under the moniker LMJS (Lindsey, Mick, John, Stevie) Productions, LLC, are available exclusively through iTunes. A CD with the new songs may be released later in the year.
The new songs are:
It Takes Time
My eyes were consumed
By the silence in the room
Your dreams would not wake
From the words that we break
Hello, hello, sad angel
Have you come to fight the war
The drums, a fire, a calling
My soul marches out the door
We fall to earth together
The crowd calling out for more
Hello, hello, sad angel
Have you come to fight the war
My eyes saw the words
With a prayer and a curse
Your pain had to sleep
With a sword that it keeps
Hello, hello, sad angel
Have you come to fight the war
The drums, a fire, a calling
My soul marches out the door
We fall to earth together
The crowd calling out for more
Hello, hello, sad angel
Have you come to fight the war
Hello, hello, sad angel
Have you come to fight the war
The drums, a fire, a calling
My soul marches out the door
We fall to earth together
The crowd calling out for more
Hello hello, sad angel
Have you come to fight the war
Come to fight the war
Come to fight the war
The last time Fleetwood Mac made an album together, they were minus Christine McVie and enough good songs to fill its 75-minute running length. They’re still without McVie on their new four-song EP, but they fixed Say You Will’s biggest problem by keeping Extended Play at an economical 17 minutes. And if it sounds more like a Lindsey Buckingham record than an actual band one at times, at least Extended Play is the best thing released under the Fleetwood Mac moniker since 1987’s Tango in the Night.
In fact, Extended Play, which is available exclusively on iTunes, sounds a lot like Buckingham’s recent solo albums, but with a punchier rhythm section and Stevie Nicks’ backing vocals. All of which give the music way more life than if Buckingham – whose insular approach to his solo records often make them sound thin and narrow – would have recorded them himself.
The opening “Sad Angel,” propelled by acoustic guitar and a killer hook, crackles with more energy than anything the band or Buckingham, who wrote and sings lead on all but one of the EP’s four tracks, has done in years. It doesn’t hurt that Nicks and Buckingham still make a great singing team, chiming in on the choruses like it’s 1977 again. The song is the highlight of Extended Play and its only real uptempo track.
But the remaining three songs are almost as good, especially the closing “Miss Fantasy,” a shuffling pop number featuring a whispered vocal by Buckingham, with Nicks pushing along the choruses. The hushed piano ballad “It Takes Time” is mostly Buckingham until the final minute, when strings swell around the spare melody. And Nicks and Buckingham share lead vocals on “Without You,” a leftover cut from the pair’s pre-Fleetwood Mac duo days written by Nicks.
Fleetwood Mac have been performing a couple of the songs on their current tour, so in a way, Extended Play doubles as a show souvenir for fans wanting new material from the band. It’s not essential Mac by any means, but after all these years, and all these years apart, it’s nice to know that they’re still capable of making some sweet music together.
LOS ANGELES, April 30, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — Fleetwood Mac, currently on a hugely successful 48 city concert tour of North America, have confirmed that they are releasing an EP of new material today titled “Extended Play” exclusively for purchase on iTunes at http://smarturl.it/FleetwoodMacEP.
“Extended Play” includes three new songs “Sad Angel,” “It Takes Time” and “Miss Fantasy” written by Lindsey Buckingham and produced by Lindsey Buckingham and Mitchell Froom. A fourth cut, “Without You” was written by Stevie Nicks and co-produced by Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham. “Without You” was a lost song from the Buckingham/Nicks days which had been missing and happily rediscovered when someone posted an early demo of it on YouTube. The first single, “Sad Angel” is also being released to radio today. “Extended Play” is the first recording of new Mac music since the release of “Say You Will” over a decade ago.
“We all felt that it would be great to go into the studio and record new material before embarking on this tour and the result has been remarkable — our best group of songs in a long time. It’s a work in progress but we’re so enthused by what we’ve done that we thought we’d share some of it with our fans in the form of an EP now… We’re performing two cuts, ‘Sad Angel’ and ‘Without You’ in the show and the response has been terrific,” commented Buckingham.
Fleetwood Mac are multi-Grammy winning Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductees. Their classic Rumours album released in 1977 is one of the most successful albums in recorded history with sales exceeding 40 million. It planted itself at the top of the pop charts for over 31 weeks and had four top ten singles. A special edition of Rumours celebrating its release 35 years ago was recently released on Warner Bros. Records.
For further information and tour schedule: fleetwoodmac.com
Mick Fleetwood told the Boston Herald that a new EP of songs, previously reported to contain “Miss Fantasy,” “Sad Angel,” and “Without You,” will be available to download on iTunes any day now. Lindsey Buckingham revealed similar news at last Thursday’s tour opener in Columbus, Ohio, but the new songs have yet to surface. Fleetwood Mac has been performing two of the new songs in concert, the uptempo “Sad Angel” and Buckingham Nicks-era “Without You.”
“We just made the decision to put a few of these songs on iTunes. It’s important to us that we’re not just treading water creatively. My dream is to finish these hugely gorgeous songs from Lindsey, get three songs from Stevie, and we’ll have a whole Fleetwood Mac album,” Fleetwood said.
The band will keep working on new tracks, Stevie Nicks says, ‘If the world does want more music from us’
Fleetwood Mac has some new songs to share — and the band will make more, if fans demand it.
With the classic rockers set to hit the road this spring for their first tour since 2009, the band will play some fresh material, but they’re not ready to bow a new album.
‘Big, long albums don’t seem to be what everybody wants these days,’ Stevie Nicks tells Billboard, noting the extensive promotion she did for 2011 solo set In Your Dreams. ‘So we thought, well, let’s go the other route, because Lindsey [Buckingham] was adamant that we have some new product.’
The group is looking to fit three new songs into the set list, following successful recording sessions at Buckingham’s home, with a digital release for the tracks also planned.
‘Two of them are ones that we cut with John [McVie] and Mick [Fleetwood], and when Stevie got off the road, she came over to my house and sang on those,’ Buckingham says. ‘We had the best time we’d had in years, doing that.’
‘[Let’s] see if the world does want more music from us,’ Nicks adds. ‘If we get that back, if we get that feeling, that they do want another 10 songs, we can reassess.’
But with the band’s iconic Rumours celebrating its 35th birthday with a reissue earlier this year, fans can expect the group to devote plenty of attention on the road to its many hits.
‘We play a body of songs that people have to hear,’ Fleetwood says.
David Greenwald / Billboard / Thursday, February 14, 2013
Fleetwood Mac to go their own way performing new songs on tour — and fans outraged at ‘tickets that cost more than my rent’
Fans might clamour for the hits from Rumours but Fleetwood Mac will perform new material on their forthcoming tour.
Speaking to BBC 6 Music drummer Mick Fleetwood said the band had written three new songs, which they plan to play on stage later this year.
The 65-year-old hinted the recordings could be part of a “long term plan” to release a new studio album.
But fans hit back today at the price of tickets for the Fleetwood Mac tour, due to play in London, Birmingham, Manchester, Glasgow and Dublin. Tickets are priced between £50 and £125, but with a £12.50 booking fee can reach up to £137.50 each.
One fan tweeted: “Sorry Fleetwood Mac but your tickets cost more than my rent” while another said: “£135 each for Fleetwood Mac tickets…are they having a giraffe? Top price Beyonce tickets look set to be £95 too. Robbing bastards.”
The Rolling Stones were also criticised by fans last year for the cost of their tour, with tickets selling for as much as £1,300.
After frequent changes to the line-up since the band formed in London in 1967, the 2013 tour will feature Stevie Nicks, guitarist Lindsey Buckingham, and founding members Mick Fleetwood on drums and John McVie on bass.
Fleetwood revealed this morning that he had written some songs with guitarist Lindsey Buckingham six months ago as “a calling card” for singer Nicks.
“We wanted her to know we wanted to make some new music and we had some great songs,” he said.
“But her mother died not too long after and it wasn’t the time for her to do any singing, so we dropped it.
”Then recently she’s sung on three of them and recorded one original song of hers, so we’re going to mix these songs down and there’ll be something that we will play hopefully on stage.“
Nicks vowed last year that the tour would not be the band’s last, who have had more than four decades of making music.
“It’s never going to be a final tour until we drop dead. There’s no reason for this to end as long as everyone is in good shape and takes care of themselves,” she said.
Fans knew a Fleetwood Mac tour was imminent, but what they didn’t know was that new music was in the works. Two new songs, “Sad Angel” and “Miss Fantasy,” will come out before the tour kicks off in April. But longtime fans of Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks might be even more thrilled with this development: They’re seriously considering reviving their pre-Fleetwood Mac career as Buckingham Nicks – and recently recorded a song that was originally intended for the follow-up that never came to their one self-titled album. Buckingham sat down to talk exclusively to MSN about the new (and old) recordings.
MSN: When we spoke last year about your solo album Seeds We Sow you said a Fleetwood Mac reunion would happen.
Lindsey Buckingham: “Did I say it was going to happen in 2012?”
Yes, but you said you wanted to do an album first. Stevie told me she wanted to do an album but people aren’t interested in them anymore, so you have just the two songs for now.
“Oh no, that’s not true. I don’t know what she’s talking about. She just didn’t come with any songs. She didn’t want to do an album. I said ‘Stevie, what do you think?’ and she said ‘No, I don’t want to do that.’ So I didn’t push it. I’ve got all this stuff sitting around. I’ll get John (McVie) and Mick (Fleetwood) over here from Hawaii and do a low-key, under-the-radar situation, producer-wise, just see what happens. We cut like seven, eight tracks with Mitchell Froom and the stuff turned out great. We did it all in the proper keys for Stevie’s range, and for her to drop in her parts. My hope she would hear some of this stuff and love it and get drawn in. She wasn’t really prepared to love it, so she didn’t. She’s starting to love it more now, now that she’s on a couple. She felt sort of put-upon and that’s fair enough I guess. She had her idea of not wanting to do it and here I was getting John and Mick over, doing this rah-rah thing. Come on guys!”
I have a feeling this interview is going to get the tour canceled before it begins…
“No, no, no, not at all. But I think probably she felt put-upon in the sense she didn’t have a lot of material sitting around to bring. Maybe there was a sense of pressure on her part. I was talking to Mick yesterday. At some point we’re going to be very glad we did this material. Something’s gonna happen with this. What that is remains to be seen. If we only use a couple of these for now, that’s fine. Stevie still needs to come with something. Who’s to say? I’m not pushing for an album. Down the line, maybe. I think it would be great. Stevie’s gotta be happy, she’s gotta be comfortable and that’s really the bottom line.”
How did you hook up with Mitchell Froom?
“I had never met Mitchell but spoke with him on the phone. I like the guy. I like some of his reference points that I was aware of. I also knew he was a very skillful string-arranger in case we wanted anything more outside the box like that. And to top it off he lives about five minutes from me. We did this whole thing in a very handcrafted way. I’d go into his house and gave him all my rough demos first, some of which were fleshed out, others just snippets of things hummed into my phone….we sort of agreed on what songs we’d do, worked on arrangements. We had the whole thing worked out before John and Mick showed up. Then it was pretty organic. It was interesting for him – the peculiarity of how we do things… for three weeks we came up with all that’s stuff. It’s all very pop. It hearkens back to the Fleetwood Mac classic feel. And John and Mick were just playing their asses off.”
With all your recent touring and solo albums and new songs are you in a particularly prolific phase?
“I’m not sure. It’s maybe the fruition, or something like that, of the choices I’ve been able to make and implement. You can take it way back if you wanna get really philosophical and go back to Tusk. Since 2005, we got off the road from doing the Say You Will tour. I was working on a certain level of frustration at having several attempts of solo projects being co-opted and turned into Fleetwood Mac projects. It happened several times. I asked for three years off in order to do two back-to-back albums, which I did, just trying to get it all out of my system … I did Under the Skin and Gift of Screws … I began to get a much stronger sense of myself by putting some chronological things together …confidence enters into it, I guess, but just focus and momentum.”
Let’s talk about the new music coming out. There’s another deluxe Rumours package coming out with more unreleased stuff. After the DVD-A and the previous deluxe release what’s left in the vaults for that?
“You’re asking the wrong guy (laughs). I probably shouldn’t be saying this, but it’s a marketing thing. I don’t have much invested in that. What my function is when these things come out – someone else finds this stuff, finds stuff that hasn’t come out before. Then it’s my job to make sure it’s OK, that it’s something I’m comfortable with… that the whole thing makes sense or even relates to the Rumours album. Having said that I’m not a fan of repackaging things over and over again. I wouldn’t lose any sleep if this package didn’t come out, let’s leave it at that.”
It’s frustrating to fans to get that again while the surround-sound mix of Tusk is still sitting in the vaults.
“We did it! Getting Warner Brothers to put it out is another matter. And getting the band to want to put it out. That was my baby and there’s a certain subtext of it being the undermining factor of the brand. Maybe there’s a certain sublime level of suppression going on – not that anyone’s sitting around saying that, it’s just not on anybody’s A-list of things to do (laughs).”
Tell me about the new songs “Sad Angel” and “Miss Fantasy.”
“I was writing a lot of stuff. I was thinking about Stevie when I was putting these together. Many of the songs I came up with were directed at Stevie. They were a dialog to her. Both those are very much that. ‘Sad Angel’ – I think of her in all her traumatic splendor as having quite a bit of sadness that she still deals with. At the moment that it was being written I really was thinking about the fact that she and I were not agreeing on the idea of an album. The chorus is ‘Hello, sad angel, have you come to fight the war?’ It goes on to talk about ‘the crowd’s calling out for more.’ It’s sort of a cyclical look at our lives, the competitiveness of it yet the underlying unity of it. Each of our journeys has never been not a little about the other. ‘Miss Fantasy’ is more of the same thing. It’s a look back on….it’s talking about having a dream, recalling certain events that occurred years and years ago. The chorus is talking about ‘Miss Fantasy, it may be that you don’t remember me, but I remember you.’ That’s addressing all that’s happened over the course of time. You remember the person you were and the person I was back then? Is there any way to find any of that? Do we want to? Is it important to? Those are songs about Stevie and me.”
Doing the song “Stephanie” on your solo tour from the out-of-print 1973 Buckingham Nicks album raised fans’ hopes that it’ll come out on CD someday. You also made a comment on the BBC about working with Stevie again. I assume that meant this tour but it was interpreted by some as you saying you might want to re-form Buckingham Nicks.
“That’s not a misinterpretation. I would love to go out and do Buckingham Nicks. It’s sort of ironic because when Stevie came over here and started working we just had a great time, the best time we have had in years. She did bring in one song that was supposed to be her contribution to the Fleetwood Mac thing. After we were done with it she decided she wanted to put it on the Buckingham Nicks album (laughs). So that’s fine too. I don’t care. It’s an old song from pre-Fleetwood Mac. It was written sometime after Buckingham Nicks came out but before we joined Fleetwood Mac. We were working on a second possible Buckingham/Nicks album that never happened. So yes. The issue with all of that is once again a logistics issue. I have no problem with dropping a bonus track or one from her and one from me and putting out Buckingham Nicks finally on CD. …she said ‘We could do some dates between legs of the Fleetwood Mac tour.’ I’m thinking ‘No, I don’t think so. I don’t think it’s logistically possible.’ We’ve got a little less than 40 dates on the books, we’ll probably add a few more…we’ll do Europe and probably go down and do the summer in Australia and New Zealand. When the hell are we going to get together and rehearse a Buckingham Nicks show? So in my mind if she’s really serious what would be good to do is wait to put the (old) album out, or put it out and then do a new Buckingham Nicks album. The tour would have to wait till after that. Whether or not that will happen….she’s very heartfelt about what she’s saying, but it isn’t always clear. I don’t know what to say about that. But yes, to be very direct in response to your question if it were up to me… I would love to go out and do that again. That would be so cyclical and so karmically appropriate. If you see Stevie just tell her I said that.”