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In Your Dreams (2011) Say You Will (2003) Soldier's Angel

Song of the Year: ‘Soldier’s Angel’

Saluting Stevie Nicks’ “Soldier’s Angel”

Years from now, 2011 may be remembered as the year postfeminism produced poster girls for the status quo. Female-fronted hits such as the movie Bridesmaids and the TV show New Girl were hailed as breakthroughs, despite their unremarkable content. (Bridesmaids even showed up on some confused critics’ year-end best lists.)

Ironically, inordinate media attention turned this distaff escapist trend into a genuine threat to women’s cultural advancement. The “women in comedy” hype carries the suggestion that lucrative half-truths are the best female artists can hope to achieve; risking personal expression turns funny chicks into Debbie Downers.

My choice for best pop song of last year, Stevie Nicks’ “Soldier’s Angel,” points the way out of hype. As if responding to Bridesmaids and New Girl, Nicks shows us how 21st-century pop artists can speak truth and navigate politics.

In “Soldier’s Angel,” Nicks tells how her visits with wounded veterans at Walter Reed and Bethesda Naval Hospital unsettled her as a woman, citizen and icon. Lindsey Buckingham’s resonant guitar notes ensure that the song is threaded through with dread in the face of mortality. Against this stirring backdrop, Nicks’ voice—scarred and pitted by time and trouble—expresses a veteran artist’s perseverance for inspiration.

Imagining how the soldiers to whom she ministers must see her, Nicks sings, “I am a soldier’s girlfriend as I look upon their faces/ They make me remember my first love/ Goin’ out to dances.” Buckingham’s presence as guitarist and background vocalist connects her romantic recollection to our collective Fleetwood Mac memories. As “smart” pop critics might say, Nicks “implicates the audience” in her healing mission.

The refrain of “Solder’s Angel” speaks of the “war of words between worlds” within which Nicks’ mission is enmeshed. This must refer to the partisan scapegoating that has infected American political discourse. While Hollywood entertainment like Bridesmaids and New Girl promises escape from political conflict, Nicks elevates the discourse to a philosophical, even spiritual plane.

“Soldier’s Angel” was a 2011 highlight, but it may resonate even more profoundly in this election year. As Nicks warns: “No one walks away from this battle.”

Ben Kessler / City Arts / Tuesday, January 17, 2012

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2003-2004 Say You Will Tour Say You Will (2003)

Rumours Confirmed – Fleetwood Mac Set for Belfast

By Jeff Magill
IC Network
Aug 27 2003

ULSTER will be celebrating the return of the Mac this December when the legendary Fleetwood Mac play Belfast for the first time in almost 20 years.

Hot on the heels of their successful album Say You Will, current members Mick Fleetwood, Stevie Nicks, John McVie and Lindsey Buckingham have announced that they will play a one-off show in the Odyssey Arena, Belfast, on December 8.

The show will be part of the band’s current world tour, the American leg of which has so far received rave reviews.

As well as playing tracks from their new album, the band have been giving fans what they really want — live versions of their greatest hits.

If “rumours” are to be believed, the classic tracks played on the US tour include Dreams, Say Goodbye, Tell Me Lies, Albatross, Go Your Own Way and Gypsy.

Fleetwood Mac formed in 1967 and over the past 26 years have enjoyed multi-million album sales.

The group fell apart in the early-1990s, with Stevie Nicks going on to achieve a successful solo career.

Now back together, minus Peter Green and Jeremy Spencer, the band’s Belfast date is a must for their legion of Ulster fans.

The band were originally due to play just two Dublin dates, on November 19 and 20, but these sold out within minutes.

A similar demand is expected for the Belfast date when tickets go on sale at 9am on Saturday, September 6.

Tickets for the concert cost �, � and �, and will be available from the Odyssey Box Office on 028 9073 9074 or Ticketmaster on 0870 243 4455.

Tickets will also be available online from http://www.ticketmaster.ie

j.magill@newsletter.co.uk

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Say You Will (2003)

Fleetwood Mac: Over 100 million served

By C. Bottomley & Jim Macnie
VH1.com
Thursday, May 29, 2003

The Big Mac is back, and Lindsey Buckingham explains how the pop stalwarts pieced together the very impressive Say You Will.

Never say never. In 1987, Lindsey Buckingham bid farewell to Fleetwood Mac, and it was a big change for the band. With partner Stevie Nicks in tow, the lanky singer/guitarist/songwriter joined the ever-morphing Brit ensemble in 1975; during this 12-year stint he helped transform the group from respected also-rans to the epitome of platinum-selling rock stars. Inspired by Buckingham’s romantic turmoil with Nicks (as well as the disintegration of John and Christine McVie’s marriage), 1977’s Rumours sold 17 million copies. It was full of irresistible soft-rock and passionate hard pop. Ultimately, it even spawned Bill Clinton’s campaign theme, “Don’t Stop.”

He issued a string of gorgeous solo discs, but retirement didn’t agree with Buckingham. Something was missing. Maybe it was Nicks’ witchy mysticism and gentle soul. Perhaps it was Christine McVie’s perky pop-craft and honeyed harmonies, or Mick Fleetwood and John McVie’s rhythmic backbone. Either way, with 1997’s The Dance, Buckingham was back in the fold, and the band began working on a stockpile of his songs.

Younger groups might still look to Rumours as their template, but Say You Will, the Mac’s first album in eight years, beguiles, bewilders, and rewards. Buckingham’s guitar takes center stage, with fertile freak-outs and up-to-the-minute atmospherics that dazzle with their daring. McVie sat this album out, so songs like “Peacekeeper” bristle with Buckingham-Nicks’ethereal harmonies and chug-along pop beats. There’s even the odd diversion into political commentary. The band that made Say You Will is an inclusive and broad-reaching entity. Unlike many groups their age – 36 years if you’re counting – the Mac still have their teeth. Or should that be tusks?

On the eve of their American tour, Buckingham spoke to VH1 about reinventing the Mac, painting in the studio, and which of the band’s songs could get him out of bed.

VH1: Is getting back into action and starting a new tour second nature at this point?

Lindsey Buckingham: The challenge of getting into that mold is more about how you present it. People like The Eagles tour all the time without having an album. For us, it’s how you dignify having made a very fresh album which is basically a reinvention of the name Fleetwood Mac, and present it in a way that is still familiar – not too challenging!

VH1: Say You Will is a very progressive album, though. Some parts border on being experimental.

LB: I would say so, too. I remember when Rumours came out, it got some crappy reviews. But in a year’s time, a lot of people were revising their opinion of it. But yeah, this album is a sort of marriage between the best of Rumours and the best of Tusk. And yet, it is breaking new ground.

VH1: How did the album come about after such a long lay-off?

LB: It was an epic effort. It started off as a solo album of mine. Most of the songs that ended up on Say You Will were cut with Mick before we did the Dance tour. After Mick and I had gone into the studio and John [McVie] came in to play some bass, some people thought, “This is interesting.” There was this intervention happening, where people said we needed to do a live album and tour. When the tour was done, I went back into my garage and finished all those songs pretty much in the state that you hear them on the album. “Peacekeeper” and “What’s the World Coming To” were the only ones that were cut later.

VH1: You like to play with the studio on your solo albums, and Say You Will is pretty thick with audio ideas and treatments.

LB: It was gratifying for me, because during my time away from Fleetwood Mac, I felt like I got better at using the studio as an instrument. I consider the process that I use on my own to be a kind of “painting.” The studio is not only an extension of the guitar; it’s an extension of your imagination.

VH1: How was the recording process this time around as a reformed group?

LB: One of the things that we wanted to do was present something closer to the energy of what we do on stage. Some of that was suggested by the fact that when we played as a three-piece, we all had much more room to maneuver. In a way, we’ve done the best playing I’ve ever heard on a recording. So it was about reeling that out and not worrying about anything other than what we do best.

VH1: How is it now that Christine has left?

LB: Well, when I first joined the band, I had to adapt to fit in, because so much of the [musical] space was already taken. John is a fairly intricate bass player, and Christine’s keyboard sound took up a lot of space as well. Not in a bad way, just in terms of what was left over. We don’t see her absence as any kind of detriment. It’s just different. Stevie and I were able to broaden our own particular landscapes as writers. It was kind of a gift, and very much in the tradition of a band that has re-invented itself many times!

VH1: Mick and John are an unbelievable rhythm section. Describe what it is that they do.

LB: Mick is a diamond in the rough. He does what he does, and after all this time, he still doesn’t know quite how he does it. He doesn’t want to know! There’s a real Zen feel to that: he knows he has a feel. But he’s just the ultimate in “dumb” – in the best sense of the word! He values that: he values the idea of feeling loose and having a groove that sits appropriately behind the beat. John is sort of an enigma. He’s a strange combination of [Charles] Mingus and [Paul] McCartney. He doesn’t talk about it, but he’s extremely smart and extremely melodic with what he does. It’s very easy to underestimate what he does – until you really listen to it. Through all the incarnations of the band, those two guys have been the thread.

VH1: Which of Stevie’s new tunes touches you the most, as a fan of hers?

LB: I like “Illume” a lot. I like “Thrown Down” a lot, too, sort of for my own petty needs because I felt I helped [articulate that tune]. “Say You Will” is real catchy, and will probably be the next single.

VH1: Is making a record all craft or do your ideas come to you from your subconscious?

LB: Sometimes when you’re in the process of “painting,” you get yourself into some sort of a reverie, where the subconscious comes to the surface a bit. With me, the songs don’t come fully formed before they start being worked on. I tend to think the process of making the record is part of the writing process, in terms of being flexible about what comes in and what changes.

VH1: What message would you want listeners to come away with after listening to “Murrow Turning Over in His Grave”?

LB: Edward R. Murrow was around when there was some standard for reporting on television. When he retired, he gave this speech about how TV was being used to distract and amuse and not particularly educate anyone. He said if the people responsible for what was on TV didn’t strike a balance, “history would take its revenge.” I wrote that song during the OJ Simpson trial. In some ways, that was the beginning of a new low, with Court TV popping up out of the blue and all that stuff which pretends to be objective news reportage, [but] is completely opportunistic.

VH1: In our house we often play “Think About Me” to start the day. If you were to play one Fleetwood Mac song in the morning, what would it be?

LB: I guess you could always fall back on ‘’Don’t Stop.’’ It’s harder to respond to a question like that when it’s you who’s made the music. But that’s one that goes across the board as an uplifting message.

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Say You Will (2003)

Fleetwood Mac revived

By David Bauder
AP (press release)
Friday, May 9, 2003

AP – Seven years ago when guitarist Lindsey Buckingham began working on a solo album, he was confronted by a cold reality: his record company had no interest in a Lindsey Buckingham solo album.

A Fleetwood Mac album, however, was a different story.

The company got its wish. One of rock ‘n’ roll’s brand names – and longest-running soap operas – has been revived this spring with four-fifths of its most famous lineup.

A new album, “Say You Will,” is the first project with all-new material for Buckingham, Stevie Nicks, drummer Mick Fleetwood and bass player John McVie since 1987. Missing is retired keyboard player Christine McVie, making this edition more muscular and guitar-oriented.

“All of us in this band, every time it comes around and happens again, are surprised and delighted, because we never think it is going to happen again,” Nicks says.

The classic lineup – with Christine McVie included – had reunited for a nostalgia tour and live album in the late 1990s. But becoming a creative unit again was another thing entirely.

Even before the tour, Buckingham had invited the band’s old rhythm section to work with him on his solo album. But Buckingham’s solo work has never sold very well and Warner Bros. was disinterested. Realizing it was the only way to get the music out, and after years of work, the three men decided to invite Nicks to join them in the summer of 2001.

She was just about to leave for a long concert tour to support her own solo album. So she sent a disc of 17 songs she had written over several years – but never released – to Buckingham, Fleetwood and John McVie, who were working in a California studio.

Buckingham, the band’s producer, saw Nicks’ gift as a test. And the Fleetwood Mac soap opera began a new installment.

“Her involvement emotionally came in stages,” he says. “She had sent stuff over, but I don’t think she had a lot invested in what she sent over.”

Not so, Nicks says.

“I didn’t feel like I was dipping in my toe,” she says.

“I had to go on this tour because Warner Bros had just released my record. … I gave them the CD and said, ‘I’ll be back as soon as I can.”‘

Buckingham and Nicks with different interpretations of the same event?

There’s a shock. Even cursory fans know their history: The couple’s romantic breakup fueled the mega-selling album “Rumours,” and they’ve danced delicately around each other’s psyches ever since.

“All of that is never going to be behind us,” says Nicks, as she gazes at the ocean from her California home. “Our destinies are so entwined. We fight a lot. We have a lot of arguments. But in the long run, we’ve worked it all out.”

Buckingham is now a married father of two. Nicks is single, and has spoken candidly about how hard it is to mix relationships and her career – the new song “Silver Girl” is a big-sisterly ode to friend Sheryl Crow, who is confronting the same issues.

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Say You Will (2003)

‘Say You Will’ says Fleetwood Mac’s on again

By Edna Gundersen
USA Today
Sunday, April 27, 2003

Pop’s longest-running soap opera has been renewed for another season. Harmonious negotiations, a revised cast and a fusion of two scripts yielded Fleetwood Mac’s long-awaited studio reunion, Say You Will, which enters Billboard at No. 3 after selling 218,000 copies its first week.

Singer/songwriters Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham, former lovers whose Rumours-era split left a bitter wake, each contribute nine songs, some originally destined for their solo albums. Drummer Mick Fleetwood and bassist John McVie, founding members of the storied band, returned to the fold, while keyboardist Christine McVie opted to retire.

Sturdy musical roots and fragile emotional ties make Mac both a reliable and unpredictable commodity in rock. Fans embraced the band’s lucrative comeback in 1997, yet the players retreated into uncertainty. Buckingham resumed work on a solo album, but when a Warner Bros. executive disparaged it, he shelved it in anticipation of a leadership change at the label.

“It was a lame-duck situation, so I played a waiting game,” he says. “I said to Mick, ‘Let’s cut some tracks with Stevie.’ If there was no interest in my solo album from the new regime, I figured it could morph into something else.”

Incoming chief Tom Whalley did fancy Buckingham’s songs, but it was a moot point, since a Mac homecoming was in full swing. Before Nicks left on a solo tour in July 2001, she handed Buckingham a 17-track demo containing songs dating back to 1976. On New Year’s Eve, she listened to the tracks Buckingham had polished while producing the record.

“I realized I needed to add new material,” Nicks says. “I told Lindsey, ‘I know you’ve already been waiting for me for six months, but I need 30 days.’ I told my brother, ‘Fire up the 12-track Akai,’ I got all my journals and went to work.”

She delivered four songs in four weeks. Smooth sailing? Not quite. Sparks flew when Buckingham’s desire for a two-CD set was overruled, despite his willingness to absorb any financial loss entailed in a configuration that yields less profit per track than a single disc.

“Some things conspired to force me to rethink that: politics in the band, certain things that were said,” Buckingham says. “Then we had a confrontational experience in getting a running order everyone was all right with.”

Now he’s fretting over the set list for a tour starting May 7 in Columbus, Ohio, and heading east. The tour swings to the South and Midwest in June and hits the West Coast in July.

“It’s more daunting than ever,” he says. “The new album needs to be dignified, but people with a bottom-line mentality say you can’t do too many new songs. How do you do a show that’s not too much of one thing? I’m losing sleep.”

Nicks says creative tension and her uneasy dance with Buckingham are the least of her worries.

“Mick and John could fire us and start over,” she says.

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Say You Will (2003)

Fleetwood Mac’s Stevie Nicks

Nicks, who calls herself a "nervous nellie" tells US, "Now, instead of Prozac, I watch the Fine Living Network. That calms me down."

By Shirley Halperin
US Magazine
Monday, April 21, 2003

Fleetwood Mac Is Back!

Twenty-six years after the release of their smash album Rumours, Mac delivers Say You Will, their first studio effort since 1995. Though much has changed (the once-hard-partying band is now drug-free), Mac’s wistful sound is still the same-thanks in large part to trendsetting singer Stevie Nicks. The single 54-year-old, who splits her time between Phoenix and Southern California, chats with US.

You’ve toured for the better part of 30 years. Learn anything? That you have to take care of yourself. In the old days, we’d go straight to the bar after a concert. Well, we don’t do that anymore because we can’t!

But you still enjoy some rock-star perks, right? We have a 738 private jet. It’s like our own party!

The peasant look is in. Your style finally caught on! It feels terrific to know I had an effect on style, but I think those designers should send me money!

What kind of guy scores a date with Stevie Nicks? Someone who is not jealous of what I do and who digs my lifestyle. My life is fun, and for the right man, it would be a gas! But I’m never home, and it’s hard for a man to be left behind. So I never look for Mr. Right, but I know he can always walk into my life. I like that.

Is it strange sharing the stage with your ex, Lindsey Buckingham? Sometimes he takes me back to 1971-he’s still thin and pretty gorgeous. Often, I think we live in a parallel universe, where we’re not sure if it is 1973 or 2003.

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Say You Will (2003)

Return of the Mac

By James McNair
Independent Review (UK)
Friday, April 18, 2003

Fleetwood Mac, the zillion-selling adult-rock stars of the Seventies are back. And no, it’s not just for the money. JAMES MCNAIR talks to the band about their soap-opera-like past and hopes for the future

As settings for a Fleetwood Mac interview go, Culver City Studios seems suitably grandiose. Its exterior facade is a white colonial mansion that featured in Gone with the Wind. Orson Welles filmed Citizen Kane here, and in 1933, this is where King Kong fell for Fay Wray. Today, though, Fleetwood Mac are here, just outside Los Angeles, to rehearse for an upcoming US tour in support of their new album, Say You Will. Eleven years after their White House gig in honour of President Clinton’s inauguration, it’s still location, location, location.

The Mac are, of course, best known for their zillion-selling 1977 colossus, Rumours. And the story behind that AOR classic is almost as famous as the music itself. Fuelled by most of California’s cocaine – the drummer, Mick Fleetwood, reportedly considered a sleeve-note dedication to his dealer – Rumours featured “Dreams” , “Go Your Own Way” and “Don’t Stop” , songs that commented on Stevie Nicks’ messy break-up with the guitarist, Lindsey Buckingham, and Christine McVie’s split from the bassist, John McVie. Nicks went on to have a brief affair with Fleetwood, whose first marriage was on the rocks, while Christine McVie started seeing the band’s lighting director, Curry Grant. Even an Eastenders scriptwriter, I put it to Fleetwood, might have baulked at such close-knit dating.

“It was all part of the ongoing saga that makes the band unique”, grins the lanky 55 year-old. “Unique even to this day, let me tell you. I went to Hawaii recently with my wife Lynn and our kids, and Stevie rented a house just down the road. My wife is a soulmate, but Stevie is a soulmate, too, and Lynn knows that. There’s so much you can enjoy with that dynamic.”

Say You Will marks the departure of the keyboardist/songwriter, Christine McVie. More important, perhaps, it sees the return of Buckingham for what many consider the first proper Mac studio album since 1987’s Tango in the Night. The new record has garnered some excellent reviews, and with Christine gone, Stevie and Lindsey share the songwriting credits much as they did in their pre-Fleetwood Mac duo, Buckingham-Nicks. Talking to Buckingham, however, one senses Say You Will’s precise, nine songs apiece tally is not mere happenstance.

“There were some problems with the track-listing near the end”, confides the guitarist, now 53. “Stevie was in Hawaii on vacation while I was in Los Angeles trying to master the album, and we got into some over-the-phone conflicts. It’s been hard for Stevie to feel good about what we’ve accomplished, and I really hope she will at some point. She’s yet to say ‘Good work on my songs, Lindsey.’ ”

Managed by the man Buckingham calls “Big, bad Howard” (Kaufman), Nicks clearly holds a strong negotiating hand. Her solo albums – witness 2001’s Trouble in Shangri La – have consistently sold far more than those of Buckingham, and as many of the Lindsey songs on Say You Will were originally slated for solo release, you could argue that the Fleetwood Mac brand is something he’s falling back on – and not for the first time. What’s unquestionable, however, is that Buckingham’s presence has usually served to enliven Fleetwood Mac. Indeed, without his diligent production skills and sussed, sometimes feral-sounding musicality, the post Peter Green Mac have often sounded rather bland.

This time, Buckingham’s edge and grit fire his US media critque, “Murrow Turning Over in His Grave” (named after the noted critic of McCarthyism, Edward J. Murrow), and the deliciously barbed “Come” (Think of me, sweet darlin’/ Every time you don’t come”). Some have alleged that he wrote the latter about Anne Heche, a former lover who went on the have a lesbian relationship with her fellow actress Ellen Degeneres. “That surprised me as much as it did everybody else,” says Buckingham, but as he’s now happily married with two young children, it’s perhaps understandable that he declines to comment further. Asked whether people still tend to assume that his and Nicks’ lyrics are about each other, however, he’s more forthcoming.

“Yeah, they probably do,” he laughs. “And in Stevie’s case, at least some of them may be. Why ‘may be ‘? Because it’s not for me to say if they’re about me. I suspect some of them are, but then Stevie has written songs all through our relationship that I assumed were about me, then discovered that they weren’t, or that they were hybrids. I can be as confused about that as the general listener.”

Stevie Nicks is almost 55 now. Her hair is still pleasingly big and blond. With her Yorkshire terrier Sulamith asleep in her lap, she tells me that she misses Christine McVie and her “crazy English humour” every day. “It used to be like that TV show Charmed, where they go: ‘The power of three!’ ” she says, reminding me that she publishes her songs through Welsh Witch Music. “Chris and I had the power of two.”

Nicks is now single. Her relationship with Buckingham, she said in 1997, “was as close to being married as I ever will be again.” Listening to songs such as “Destiny Rules” and “Thrown Down” – “He fell for her again/She watched it happen,” runs the opening of the latter – it’s hard to decide whether she stills holds a candle for the guitarist or is simply exploiting a highly marketable aspect of rock’s greatest soap opera. She may be doing both.

” ‘Thrown Down’ is about Lindsey,” Nicks admits, “but I wrote that around the time of the Dance tour in 1997. Let’s just say he continues to be a well of inspiration, which is terrific.”

Right. But can she and Lindsey talk about their relationship more openly now? “You want the truth?” , she says. “We don’t talk a lot about our past. We never have. It’s like ‘Do we need to go there?’ And it hasn’t turned out so bad, has it? Each of us has good, balanced lives now, and we’re still able to make music together. So apart from being married and having our own family, what more could Lindsey and I have asked for?”

And her affair with Fleetwood? How does she view that these days? “That was a long, long time ago,” she whispers. “It was like a little dream. What has lived, though, is that Mick and I still have a great love and respect for each other. Our relationship was so short that it didn’t have time to build up animosities and jealousies. Mick will tell you -and I will tell you – that a lot of the reason it didn’t continue was because we knew it would be the end of Fleetwood Mac. So we were very mature about that; we made the right decision.”

One new Nicks song that certainly isn’t about Buckingham – or Fleetwood, for that matter – is “Illume (9/11)”. Nicks was in New York when the twin towers were attacked, and “Illume” documents her feelings at the time. “My Rochester show was canceled because of an act of war,” she says,” and at one point we had a military escort on our wing. That whole period nearly drove me into a mental home.”

“I read Stevie’s poetry for that song before she came in with the music,” says Fleetwood. “She was very unsettled by 9/11, as we all were. The groove for “Illume” is incredibly simple, and she was like : ‘Is this any good? Is it doing enough?’ I said, ‘In my opinion, Stevie, this is all about you; this is your modern-day “Gold Dust Woman.”‘ It has that Edith Piaf element coming through; that thing where the singer’s relationship with the lyric is incredibly personal and powerful.”

Fleetwood, one soon realises, is the Mac’s most fervent flag-waver. He’s done everything in his power to keep this band alive, and his close friendships with Nicks and Buckingham have left him well placed as diplomatic go-between. Toward the end of my chat with him, I can’t resist playing devil’s advocate. What would he say to those who claim the Mac have reconvened for the cash? “Fleetwood Mac has morphed its way back,” he says. “You might say that this album is the result of eight years of people slowly getting to know each other again, so if somebody wants to be cynical and say that this is a money-making exercise, they’d be hard pushed to make a case. I don’t know how we get stuff done sometimes, because we’re a semi-dysfunctional family with four different managers, and it’s a nightmare, really. The truth is that I hope we make a load of cash. But how we’ve come to this point has been in the lap of the Gods.”

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Say You Will (2003)

Buckingham gets back into ‘that thing’ of Fleetwood Mac

By Joel Selvin
San Francisco Chronicle
Tuesday, April 15, 2003

Lindsey Buckingham started working more than six years ago on the new Fleetwood Mac album, “Say You Will,” that hits stores today. He just didn’t know it at the time.

Buckingham originally thought he was making another solo album when he started recording with former band mates Mick Fleetwood on drums and John McVie on bass for the first time since he left the group in 1986.

“At that point, some sort of light bulb went off somewhere,” Buckingham said, “in Mick’s head or Warner Bros.’ Probably everywhere, unbeknownst to me. People started saying ‘We got John, Mick and Lindsey in the studio maybe.’ ”

The band did reunite for a 1997 live greatest-hits album, “The Dance,” and sold-out tour, but Buckingham went back to his solo album. “The live album and the tour that followed was basically the result of a kind of an intervention that we had on me to sort of say ‘You’ve got to put your album down and do this,’ ” said Buckingham, a notorious obsessive who has spent years sealed away recording albums.

When he did finish the solo album, the label wasn’t all that enthusiastic. “When we got off ‘The Dance’ and I got finished with it maybe a year after that, and took it to Warners, they had been bought out by AOL and they were sort of on their way out as a regime. (Warner Chairman) Russ Thyret didn’t like my stuff anyway. It was like, well, geez. And Mick and I decided to start cutting some tracks of Stevie’s and it just sort of morphed into that thing.”

“That thing,” of course, is what the Warner publicity campaign is calling the first new Fleetwood Mac studio album since the 1986 multiplatinum “Tango in the Night,” conveniently omitting two entirely forgettable, far less successful albums released under the franchise name with different lineups in the interim. But Warner is right in spirit — “Say You Will” is the second coming of the ’70s supergroup, even without keyboardist-vocalist Christine McVie, a triumphant return to form for a group that has been all but washed up for the better part of 20 years.

“We rented a house over on the west side (of Los Angeles) and we moved all of my gear over there,” Buckingham said on the phone before a rehearsal for a tour that starts May 7 (July 8 at the HP Pavilion in San Jose). “I started engineering. Probably 95 percent of the time spent in this house was really spent working on Stevie (Nicks) ’cause my stuff was pretty much completed and the other 5 percent was just opening up my tracks, recalling my mixes and getting her voices on them.”

The 76-minute CD — at one point in the session, band members pondered a two-CD set — rekindles the trademark sound with magician’s ease, simultaneously recalling such varied past efforts as “Rumours,” “Tusk” and “Tango in the Night.” “Certainly on the album, you do have things that fall in the category of being very familiar or very Fleetwood Mac,” said Buckingham. “Then you have things like ‘Come’ or ‘Red Rover’ or ‘Murrow Turning Over in His Grave,’ which, in many ways, are more adventuresome than anything we’ve ever done.”

Buckingham and Fleetwood Mac apparently need each other in important ways.

Not only has the group failed to produce any memorable records since Buckingham left, but Buckingham has spent countless thousands of hours crafting brilliant solo albums that are appreciated by no more than a slender handful of big Mac’s audience. After the current project changed from a Buckingham solo album to a new Fleetwood Mac record, he noticed a different attitude at the label.

“I was always seen as the troublemaker,” he said, “as someone who would shake up the status quo of what was a good thing. I was really trying to be honest to what I thought was important, which was to do your work, look into things that help you to grow. To think long term and to do it for yourself. And not run one thing into the ground because that’s what sells. There’s always been a kind of wariness between myself and the record company and vice versa and none of that helps in terms of getting the machine behind you.”

Without Christine McVie, the songwriting and vocals come down to Buckingham and Nicks, who recorded an album as Buckingham Nicks before joining Fleetwood Mac. They first met when Buckingham attended Menlo Atherton High School and they began working together seriously when they were at College of San Mateo. At this point, almost 40 years later, they blend like the seasoned collaborators they are.

“It’s that inexplicable thing that we’ve always had,” he said.

“There’s a song on there called ‘Thrown Down’ that I think she tried about three different times with three different producers and never made it anywhere. It was supposed to go on a solo album. It was just obvious to me it needed a guitar riff in the chorus. It was a fairly simple thing, for some reason. There seems to be an understanding between us as to what to do.”

Buckingham talked about “reconciling” the styles of recordings he used with “Rumours,” the band’s 1977 release that still ranks among the best-selling albums of all time, and “Tusk,” a 1979 double-record set that was a stark departure from the band’s sunny trademark sound.

“If you go back to ‘Tusk,’ ” he said, “that was an album where I was trying a certain approach, you might call more of a painting approach, where I was sort of working on my own in a studio with a machine and kind of allowing things to happen. It was kind of a subconscious approach, one-on-one with the canvas, as opposed to working with the group, which is more verbal and political, more like moviemaking, probably. I had to lobby to get that album made the way it was made. Everyone was quite happy with how it turned out. In fact, Mick would tell you now it’s his favorite album, as it is mine. But at the same time, when it did not sell 16 million albums, a dictum kind of came down from the group that we’re not going to do that anymore.” Buckingham, 55, is recently married, raising a son, 4, and daughter, 2.

For someone who once groused that he would rather belong to the Clash, Buckingham has more than made his peace with Fleetwood Mac at this point.

“The subtext of all of this is really that we are here,” Buckingham said, “and, in many ways, are better than ever, maybe breaking the mold a little bit.

I know there certainly are enough ’80s Boomer acts still making music. But the fact is that we are here and still caring so much about it and, in many ways, doing the best work we’ve ever done at a point in our lives where, you know, the cliche of rock ‘n’ roll being: By the time you’re 40, you’re either burned out or tapped out. It feels very fresh and very new, and still solid. The history, it’s deep. And we’re just thrilled to be here.”

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Say You Will (2003)

Mac drama continues in new CD

By Howard Cohen
Miami Herald
Tuesday, April 15, 2003

Decades since Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks turned their rocky romance into the aural soap opera classic, Rumours, the Fleetwood Mac pair still find new ways to get on each others’ nerves.

Case exhibit: the recording of Say You Will, in stores Tuesday and the duo’s first album of original material with the band in 16 years.

”We had a few little bumps near the end of the project when she came in off the road after her tour,” Buckingham says. “We had made quite a start on her stuff and I think she was glad to have the collective arms around her because her tour was quite a burden on her. But, in some ways, she was looking at me, [thinking], `What’s he going to do to my songs?’ ”

Nicks, a rock star in her own right, hadn’t had to answer to her old boyfriend in quite some time. But, among other roles, Buckingham produced the edgy Say You Will and it originated from his aborted solo album.

”There was plenty of drama, plenty of arguments, things we really had to hash out,” Nicks says. “But that’s what makes a great record. If everything went blissfully smooth it would be a blissfully boring record.”

Song sequencing and selection were the primary issues.

”In the beginning it was a double record with 23 songs,” Nicks says. “But in January we decided to make it a single record. With the way the country is going and the economy, maybe we don’t want to put out a double record right now.”

Say You Will, like the risky 1979 Tusk, reveals the differences in approach taken by these songwriters.

Buckingham, 55, aims not only to push the envelope, but to light it afire with scorching guitar leads and quirky arrangements that, on songs like Murrow Turning Over in His Grave and Come, border on industrial metal. Nicks, 54, prefers a more conventional pop-rock style.

TOUGHER SOUND

Say You Will represents the first time since 1970 that Fleetwood Mac has recorded an album without vocalist-keyboardist Christine McVie, 59, who opted out of the band following the 1997 reunion tour and live CD, The Dance. Her backing vocals remain on two tracks Buckingham reworked from his solo project.

Minus McVie’s buoyant love songs, Say You Will ends up a heavier, fresher, guitar-oriented opus — an antidote to the comparatively tepid pop of ’80s albums Mirage and Tango in the Night, records that led to Buckingham’s departure.

”I had left the band in order to keep growing and to make sure that I allowed myself to remain in a creatively nurturing environment which Fleetwood Mac had become the antithesis of in 1987,” he says. “When we went into this project I was able to take on more responsibilities.”

Now the primary voices, Buckingham and Nicks were also able to return to the confessional hallmarks of Rumours.

But yesterday’s gone. Buckingham is now married to photographer Kristen Messner and the couple have a son and daughter. ”I have nothing but good memories of growing up in an upper middle class family in northern California. I always thought I would have kids,” he says. “I never found the right person but I wasn’t the right person at the time, either. I happened to meet someone that I get along with very well.”

Nicks, still single, contributed to the new CD Smile at You, reputedly from an old ’70s demo. Guess the target. What you did not need was a woman / Who was stronger / You needed someone to depend on you / I could not be her.

Such politics-of-the-heart tunes also rub against topical songs with a broader world view. Buckingham offers a caustic media commentary, Murrow. Nicks delivers her melancholic poem, Illume (9-11).

In hindsight, then, Say You Will is the balanced album that probably would have been a better followup to Rumours than the eccentric Tusk. It’s also, with the possible exception of Rumours, the first studio work to approximate this band’s energy on stage. (The tour hits the Office Depot Center June 7.)

”That’s no accident,” Buckingham says. “Approaching things without Christine gave us some opportunities to play differently. With everyone having that much more room to maneuver as a musician it allowed it to be more masculine.”

POP LANDSLIDE

The timing for a new CD couldn’t be better. The Dixie Chicks’ recent cover of Nicks’ 1975 composition Landslide became a big crossover hit.

‘They took Landslide to a whole other genre of people — a k a much younger people! They opened up dialogues from kids: `Hey, I love this Landslide song, so let’s go see what else Fleetwood Mac wrote.’ For that, we are forever in debt,” says Nicks.

So spirits are high. ”We get along very well now,” Nicks says. “I think all of us are realizing how lucky we are. . . . Who wouldn’t want to be in Fleetwood Mac? That’s what I keep telling myself any time I have a problem.”

Then she laughs. The recording hassles all but forgotten. Until it’s time to write for the next CD.

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Say You Will (2003)

‘Will’ power

Billboard
Monday, April 14, 2003

On “Say You Will,” due this week from Reprise, Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks have collaborated together on their first Fleetwood Mac studio album since 1987’s “Tango in the Night.” Drummer Mick Fleetwood and bassist John McVie are both on board as well, but Christine McVie appears on just one of the set’s 18 tunes and will not be touring with Fleetwood Mac this summer.

Luckily, Nicks penned the set’s sunny title track, which is catchy and destined to be a radio hit. Buckingham’s meaty, bass-heavy stomper “Murrow Turning Over in His Grave” is another highlight, while the driving rocker “Running Through the Garden” showcase’s Nicks’ passionate vocals. The single “Peacekeeper” is No. 15 on Billboard’s Adult Contemporary chart this week.

“The whole energy in Fleetwood Mac right now is incredible,” Fleetwood says. “Our story is a really happy one at the moment. We’ve pushed some envelopes with this new album. We’ve made an album that we love, and we’re not frightened or insecure about who we are.”

The group’s first tour since 1997 will kick off May 7 in Columbus, Ohio.

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Say You Will (2003)

Rock’s longest-running soap opera returns

The Mac is back. Fleetwood Mac records first new studio album in 16 years — without Christine McVie

By Jim Farber
New York Daily News
Sunday, April 6, 2003

Twenty-eight years after Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham joined Fleetwood Mac, they still don’t view the group the same way. The making of “Say You Will,” their first album of new material recorded with the band in 16 years, proves it.

“If I had my way, I would have started the album with the material most likely to offend as many people as possible,” Buckingham says with a giggle. “Stevie would bury all that stuff at the end.”

“I am not what you’d call an envelope-pusher,” Nicks says. “Lindsey is there to make sure our band isn’t too safe. I’m there to make sure it isn’t too nuts. It’s all about that balance between us.”

Never more so than now. “Say You Will” — in stores on Tuesday — represents the first time that songwriters Buckingham and Nicks have recorded a Fleetwood Mac album without the band’s third writer and harmonizer, piano player Christine McVie (who joined the band in 1970, five years before Nicks and Buckingham).

The result changes the Fleetwood dynamic crucially. Lacking the light touch of McVie’s sentimental pop songs, as well as her jaunty keyboard, “Say You Will” ends up a heavier, stranger and riskier work than Fleetwood Mac has made before. It’s as big a leap ahead as they made with 1979’s “Tusk,” their eccentric and unlikely followup to one of the most popular albums of all time, 1977’s “Rumors,” which sold 14 million copies.

The perception of “Say You Will” as a quirky work pleases Buckingham to no end. He says he wishes the band had kept getting weirder after “Tusk,” instead of putting out such pop-oriented ’80s albums as “Mirage” and “Tango in the Night.”

“The politics in the band at the time put the lid on that,” the 55-year-old guitarist says. “I felt like I was treading water.”

One reason for the more adventurous approach on “Say You Will” has to do with its convoluted origins as a Buckingham solo project. Back in the mid-’90s, Buckingham was making a solo album when he invited the band’s old rhythm section — drummer Mick Fleetwood and bassist John McVie — to play along. They all got on so well, it led to the 1997 album “The Dance,” the first full Mac reunion since 1987.

Halfway through the roadshow to support that album, however, Christine McVie told the other members she didn’t want to tour or even be in the band.

“We spent the next eight weeks trying to change her mind,” Nicks says.

According to Buckingham, the pianist was having problems with her marriage, and longed to return to England. She wound up divorcing and moving to the outskirts of London.

The group says there are no hard feelings; Buckingham stresses that he relates to her need to flee, given his own escape from the band in the ’80s. But the band members have rarely spoken with McVie since. (The pianist wouldn’t comment.)

While Buckingham then wanted to complete the solo album he’d started before the reunion, he says the band’s record label, Warner Bros., had no interest in it. So the material he had begun recording became the basis of “Say You Will.” Nicks, who was committed to her own solo tour at the time, handed over 17 demos of her songs to the band to let them hammer them into shape.

Without McVie’s piano playing, Buckingham says, “the remaining musicians had 33-1/3 percent more room to maneuver. We were able to flex our muscles and explore a more masculine sound. It’s closer to what we’re like live.”

According to Buckingham, the absence of McVie’s songs also allowed “Stevie and I to squarely face each other and create the kind of dynamic we had before we joined the band.” In that respect, “Say You Will” recalls the solo album released by the duo before they joined Mac — 1974’s “Buckingham Nicks.”

In the lyrics to the new album, the pair make eager use of their complicated personal histo ry. Several of Nicks’ songs refer to her busted romance with Buckingham, which ended more than 25 years ago. The album closes with farewell numbers to each other. Nicks, 54, wrote hers in the ’70s. Buckingham composed his around the time of “The Dance.”

Of course, the group has been airing its dirty laundry (with hugely profitable results) ever since the “Rumors” album, which chronicled two simultaneous breakups within the band (the second being the McVies’).

Buckingham marvels that “after all this time, Stevie and I still have something to give each other.” (He has been married to Kristen Messner since 2000.) Nicks says of her relationship with Buckingham, “We can never replace each other.”

They say they understand each other far better now than they have in decades. But Nicks emphasizes that they still argue every day. “That will never change. We are very different people. Stick us in a house together for a year and trauma will come out of that. But the result is, we don’t make a blah record.”

They also don’t make a short one. “Say You Will” features 18 songs. As Nicks jokes, “You need two days to listen to this record.”

But it’s time well spent. The set features some of the fastest and most intricate guitar work to date from Buckingham, and some of the most honest lyrics from Nicks. The group wants to bring as much of that excitement as possible to its upcoming tour, which will feature several old Christine McVie songs.

But the band faces a dilemma in capturing what Buckingham calls “the spirit of the band now.”

“There are forces that would be happy just to present this as a nostalgia act,” he says. “But we want to walk a line — to be fresh and dignified and yet not alienate too much of the audience.”

No doubt, the members will argue about how to accomplish that, not just for this tour, but for as long as they continue to play.

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Say You Will (2003)

Another Mac attack

By David Giammarco
The Globe and Mail (Canada)
Sunday, March 30, 2003

The Santa Ana winds are blowing in from the desert, and from Stage 9 at Culver City Studios, the mystically melodic strains of Dreams drifts onto the warm afternoon breeze. “Now here I go again, I see the crystal visions,” swirls the unmistakable raspy vocals of rock’s gypsy priestess, Stevie Nicks. And for a moment it sounds … it feels … like summer, 1977.

That year, Fleetwood Mac’s album Rumours seized the airwaves, volleying a stream of superbly crafted hits to the top of the charts and unspooling an irresistible — inescapable — soundtrack for many people’s lives.

But alas, this is not a dream. It’s spring, 2003, and the famed members of Fleetwood Mac — the reigning dysfunctional family of 1970s rock royalty — are hunkered down in this cavernous sound stage, rehearsing classic tunes and rehashing classic tensions that originally tore the supergroup apart amidst epic indulgences during their hedonistic heyday. Stevie Nicks, guitarist Lindsey Buckingham, bassist John McVie, and percussionist Mick Fleetwood have reunited for a much-anticipated concert tour — only the second such occurrence in 21 years — all in support of an equally remarkable feat: the “classic” Mac’s first studio album in 16 years.

Say You Will — due for release April 15 — is 18 tracks of exuberant melodies and alluring lyrics, brazenly fused with an instrumental aggression recalling the sprawling innovation of the band’s 1979 double-album Tusk.

But while the sound is vintage Fleetwood Mac, the substances fuelling it are not.

In the 1970s and 1980s, copious amounts of cocaine and cognac stoked their frequently stormy sessions. These days, Mick Fleetwood still carries around a plastic baggie, but it’s full of trail mix.

These last crucial weeks of preparation before the tour launch finds Nicks fretting — needlessly, it seems — over the road-readiness of the band.

“We just literally finished this record, and now we’re trying to quickly flip over from recording mode into touring mode in a very compressed period of time,” sighs Nicks, explaining that even some of the most renowned Fleetwood Mac tunes need to be relearned for the tour. “Not for me, because I never stopped doing a song like Dreams over the last 2,500 years,” she grins, “but Fleetwood Mac hasn’t done Dreams since 1997, and that was only briefly for three months on “The Dance” tour.

“Most of these songs I’ve done on every single one of my tours since I started my solo career in 1982. I’ve never stopped touring, whereas Lindsey and everyone else haven’t played in front of audiences since 1997 … I think they’re much more nervous about the old stuff than I am.”

Buckingham, however, doesn’t seem to be sweating it. Rather, the consummate musician is still ruminating the “epic effort” of birthing a new Fleetwood Mac album, something no one — least of all himself — imagined happening after his acrimonious departure following 1987’s Tango in the Night. “After leaving the band, I was really able to push the envelope on my own … so that this coming together really started to make sense in terms of what I could give back,” reflects Buckingham, 53, who also engineered and produced Say You Will. But somehow this wouldn’t be a true Fleetwood Mac reunion without some expected unease between Buckingham and ex-paramour Nicks.

“I think Stevie is seeing part of this record through some dark colours right now,” hints Buckingham later in the afternoon, “only because towards the end we had some conflicts about running order and some other things, and she hasn’t quite been able to come out the other end and say, ‘Wow, this is really something!’

“I think it’s hard for her to feel the catharsis that I’m feeling, and that Mick is feeling … it’s been hard for her to turn and say, ‘Gee, nice job, Lindsey — thanks for working on my songs for an entire year.’ But having said that, which really only speaks of maybe how difficult it got near the end, the whole thing was pretty great.”

A perplexed smile then spreads across Buckingham’s face. “I must admit,” he says, shaking his head, “there did seem to be a weird sense of destiny to all of this.”

To fully understand rock n’ roll’s sudsiest, longest-running soap opera, you must rewind through Fleetwood Mac’s private — but mostly musically documented — record of inner-group marriages, divorces, affairs, animosities, band defections, drug abuse and alcoholism, back to 1967. That’s when Fleetwood and McVie first formed — alongside guitarists Peter Green and Jeremy Spencer — what was originally a British blues band that gained fame for their hits such as Albatross and Black Magic Woman (which would be re-recorded in 1971 by Carlos Santana to greater success in the U.S.).

By then, however, the first of many odd occurrences began afflicting Fleetwood Mac: In 1970, Green descended into madness after a bad acid trip and left to become a roving religious zealot, while shortly thereafter, Spencer mysteriously disappeared into the Children of God cult. Keyboardist Christine Perfect then joined the band, becoming McVie’s wife and infusing their sound with a more pop sensibility. A string of temporary musicians would come and go (including one fired after an affair with Mick Fleetwood’s wife) until Fleetwood, having transplanted the band to Los Angeles in 1974, stumbled upon a record by little-known California folk-rock duo Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks. He soon invited the romantically linked pair to join the band, andthen everything coalesced for Fleetwood Mac.

The new lineup’s eponymous 1975 album featured a rejuvenated direction into a winsome rock, pop and blues blend that yielded Top 20 singles Over My Head, Say You Love Me, Landslide and, what would become Nicks’s signature song, the bewitching Rhiannon. The album soared to No. 1 and sold over five million copies, but that unexpected triumph would be dwarfed by the monster lurking just around the corner.

In 1976, Mick Fleetwood marshalled the troops up the California coast to Sausalito, where over the course of a year-long stint at the Record Plant, the blood and guts of their romantic meltdowns spilled into the recording studio. John and Christine McVie divorced, Buckingham and Nicks split and Fleetwood separated from his wife.

“Usually when you have a bad breakup, you aren’t still locked up together all day,” says Nicks, dressed in her trademark Dickensian attire of wispy lace and flowing chiffon. “It was so intense every day, so heavy … it was like being in the army. I was never as exhausted in my whole life as when we were doing that album.” That album was, of course, Rumours, named by McVie as a nod to the scandals surrounding the band, which arrived like a hurricane in February, 1977, to spend 31 weeks at No. 1.

To date, Rumours has sold over 30 million copies worldwide, making it the second biggest-selling album of all time. Ironically, that made the path between then and now an even rockier road for Fleetwood Mac, faced with having to match that mammoth success. The band was next spurred on largely by Buckingham in 1979 to record a complete about face: the wildly experimental double album Tusk. But despite selling millions of copies, Tusk was deemed a commercial failure.

Virtually imprisoned by near-mythic expectations and vastly deteriorating relations, the band still soldiered on throughout the decade to record two more albums: 1982’s Mirage and 1987’s Tango in the Night. By then, however, both Nicks and Buckingham had branched out into successful solo careers, and the band slowly eroded despite Fleetwood’s best efforts to keep everyone together. “Sometimes I wish I played another instrument, but I’m a drummer, so I inherently need to have a band to play with and I’m relatively useless without that,” explains Fleetwood with a shrug. ” I was always playing the mediator and trying to make things work and keep everyone happy — at a great cost to my private life, my marriage, my time with my children.”

Neatly attired in a crisp white shirt, jeans and with now short gray hair, Fleetwood looks far more distinguished than in his “eccentric Keith Moon days” and he partially blames himself for the disintegration of his beloved band. “During the ‘crazy’ times towards the end of the eighties, my life was so involved in alcohol and drugs and just having a good time, that my managerial skills were completely blunted out,” he admits.

“Stevie and Lindsey both know that I’m not a maniac any more,” adds Fleetwood with a laugh. “That feels good.”

The undeniable propellant of Fleetwood Mac has always been the potent chemistry between Buckingham and Nicks — often taking the form of vicious lyrical battles — as when Buckingham jabs in Go Your Own Way: “Packing up, shacking up is all you want to do.” Though they each have indeed gone their own way personally (Buckingham is recently married with two young children), it’s apparent there still exists some unresolved heartache for the pair, who have known each other since high school. “It’s a curse,” Nicks admits quite candidly. “And if I really was a witch, you know that’s the first thing that I would make stop. But there’s been nothing I could ever do to fix that.”

“Yeah, I’m sure Stevie and I still have a few conversations to have,” concedes Buckingham, who also figures those old demons probably helped spark the vitality heard on Say You Will. “There was certainly a period of time during the making of this album where it felt like we were really going at it through the music. You can really feel the energy between us … I don’t think that’s ever going to go away.”

How such tensions could produce such exquisite harmonies remains one of the most enduring — and endearing — enigmas surrounding Fleetwood Mac. “People say that to me all the time,” admits Nicks with a smile. “They’ll say stuff like, ‘I’m sorry that you guys had to be so miserable and suffer so much, but we’re really glad that you did because otherwise, we wouldn’t have these songs.’ So it’s all been a real Catch-22 situation.”

Though Buckingham feels Say You Will represents the “healing” of Fleetwood Mac, there is one valuable link missing: Christine McVie. The elegant songbird opted out of the rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle after briefly tasting it again on “The Dance” tour in 1997, and the band decided that she couldn’t do the record if not prepared to tour. In hindsight, Buckingham feels it was maybe for the best.

“One of the things that made this album as strong as it is, oddly enough, is the fact that Christine was absent,” he says. “Because on a musical level, you have more room for Mick, John and myself to manoeuvre. And on an emotional level, the absence of Christine gave John an opportunity to be a little more down in himself, a little grittier, and not so on his guard. Because the occasional button might have gotten pushed being around Christine.”

What originally started off as Buckingham’s fourth solo album, Say You Will evolved into a Mac reunion when a regime change at Warner Brothers forced Buckingham to reconsider releasing his project amidst the corporate uncertainties. While waiting for the dust to settle, Buckingham invited Fleetwood and McVie to help lay down some tracks, and from there, “the gravity of Fleetwood Mac just sucked me in,” he smiles. “It was just like old times.”

Once Nicks became involved, Buckingham had already rented a house in Bel Air to record, which he says further helped to provide a revived communal spirit for the band. And according to Fleetwood, the experience helped erase some of their painful past. “It was very different,” he laughs. “I mean, there was no drug abuse, no alcohol abuse, no romances falling apart, no midnight creeping from door-to-door and sleeping with each other … we’re all very different people now.”

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Say You Will (2003)

Fleetwood Mac asks America Online members to ‘Say You Will’

Be the First to Hear Their New Music

Businesswire
Tuesday, March 4, 2003

NEW YORK – AOL Music Names Fleetwood Mac March Artist of the Month and Features the Exclusive Global Debut of “Peacekeeper,” the First Single from Band’s Highly Anticipated New Album, Say You Will, to be Released on Reprise Records, April 15. Song to Be Offered Through New MusicNet on AOL Music Subscription Service.

America Online, Inc. the world’s leading interactive services company, and Reprise Records, today announced that legendary rock band Fleetwood Mac has secured the highly coveted spot as AOL’s March Artist of the Month. As part of this distinction, AOL Music will feature a host of exclusive opportunities to experience new music from the band including an AOL Music First Listen of “Peacekeeper,” the first single from Say You Will (their first studio album since 1986, set for release on Reprise Records, April 15, 2003), an intimate Sessions@AOL performance and a pre-release CD Listening party where fans can hear the new album in its entirety before it is in stores.

“Fleetwood Mac created a sound that has proven to stand the test of time. Their contribution to rock music cannot be understated,” said Evan Harrison, Executive Director of AOL Music. “The chance to debut their new work, plus offer fans an original reunion performance is undeniable proof that AOL Music is the place to go for the most eagerly anticipated music.”

Fleetwood Mac made history in the mid-Seventies with the release of such era-defining albums as Fleetwood Mac, Rumours and Tusk. Their catalog of smash hits – from “Don’t Stop” to “Rhiannon” to “Go Your Own Way” to “Landslide” (currently a Top 20 hit for the Dixie Chicks) and beyond – constitutes a soundtrack for our times. As fresh and original today as when they first defined the rock & roll idiom, it is that same creative chemistry that continues with Say You Will.

Highlights of this extensive promotion include:

— Starting at 12:01 AM EST, Tuesday, March 4, the band’s new song “Peacekeeper” will be available exclusively to AOL members worldwide at AOL Keyword: First Listen. For 24 hours, AOL will be the only place fans can listen to this new song. Starting Wednesday, March 5, the song will also be made available to Web music fans at aolmusic.com.

— Starting March 5, “Peacekeeper” will be available on MusicNet on AOL, which is currently available with a free-trial subscription. The song will be available to stream, download and — for subscribers at the Premium tier — burn on MusicNet on AOL before it is for sale in stores.

— The band recorded an exclusive Sessions@AOL performance and interview. They performed new songs, revisited classic hits, updated fans on the latest news from the band and answered questions from AOL members around the world. The Fleetwood Mac Sessions@AOL will be available exclusively to AOL Members in mid-March at AOL Keyword: Sessions@AOL or AOL Keyword: Fleetwood Mac.

Additional highlights of the Fleetwood Mac Artist of the Month campaign include a CD Listening Party where members will have the exclusive chance to hear the full album, Say You Will, in its entirety one day before it is available in stores. AOL Music will also feature a Fleetwood Mac photo gallery, a celebrity DJ station on Radio@AOL that showcases Fleetwood Mac’s favorite tunes and exclusive behind the scenes footage from the making of the album. What’s more, on March 6, AOL Broadband subscribers will enjoy footage from “The Dance,” Fleetwood Mac’s acclaimed DVD concert, on AOL’s weekly series Broadband Rocks.

About AOL Music

AOL Music, a division of America Online, Inc., reaches the largest audience of online music fans in the world through a rich array of programming, products and services that make it easy to discover, experience, listen to and buy music online. AOL Music’s offerings are available at the number one Internet music destination, the AOL Music Channel, and throughout the AOL service, AOL Broadband Services and AOL’s family of Web brands including Netscape, CompuServe, AIM, ICQ, Spinner, Winamp and SHOUTcast. America Online, Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of AOL Time Warner Inc. (NYSE:AOL). Based in Dulles, Virginia, America Online is the world’s leader in interactive services, Web brands, Internet technologies and e-commerce services.

CONTACT:

America Online, Inc.
AOL Music
Rachel Lizerbram, 212/484-7784

or

Fleetwood Mac
Todd Brodginski, 818/380-0400

SOURCE: America Online, Inc.

03/04/2003 11:02 EASTERN

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Say You Will (2003)

Fleetwood Mac’s ‘Peacekeeper’ to premiere on NBC’s ‘Third Watch’

Billboard
Thursday, February 20, 2003

Veteran rock band Fleetwood Mac will preview a new song, “Peacekeeper,” Monday (Feb. 24) on the NBC series “Third Watch.” The song, which premieres at the end of the episode, is from the group’s new album, “Say You Will,” due in April on Warner Bros. The set is Fleetwood Mac’s first all-new studio album with founding members Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks since the 1987 set “Tango in the Night.”

Drummer Mick Fleetwood recently told Billboard, “The whole energy in Fleetwood Mac right now is incredible. Our story is a really happy one at the moment. We’ve pushed some envelopes with this new album. We’ve made an album that we love, and we’re not frightened or insecure about who we are.”

The band is expected to launch a tour by this summer. Sources say that the first leg of the tour will include about 40 U.S. cities. “We’re going to have fun with it,” Fleetwood says of the tour. “And I’m pretty sure we’ll come out intact.”

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2003-2004 Say You Will Tour Fleetwood Mac Say You Will (2003)

Fleetwood Mac say new album

Say You Will due in April, world tour in May

Fleetwood Mac will release their new album, Say You Will, on April 15th. The album is their first full collection of new material with Lindsey Buckingham onboard since 1987’s Tango in the Night. However, Say You Will, the group’s first release since the half-new/half-unplugged The Dance five years ago, doesn’t feature keyboardist/singer Christine McVie, who had been with the band since 1970.

Some of Buckingham’s contributions to Say You Will are as many as nine years old, as he initially considered using some for a solo release. “[Christine’s departure] kind of freed the Fleetwood Mac situation to be looked at in a fresh light and in some ways in the dynamic that Stevie and I had going before we joined the band,” Buckingham told Rolling Stone. “But this music is the best that I’ve ever done on my own, or with Fleetwood Mac, tapping into some new areas. And after all of this time, Stevie and I have managed to get to a point where we’re comfortable. There’s nothing we can’t talk about. I talked to Don Henley one time about the Eagles, and it seemed like there was so little love or idealism left in that group of people and perhaps that’s more the norm for people our age. But we seem to be slightly more arrested, and I think there’s some potential for some good stuff because of that.”

Drummer Mick Fleetwood says that Buckingham’s input on the record reminds him of the band’s segue from 1977’s Rumours to the more sprawling 1979 release, Tusk. “His whole life is so involved in doing what he does,” Fleetwood said. “Quite frankly, I’m not sure how he stays focused all those years on pieces of music, but he does. It has a lot of the sensibilities [of Tusk] and Lindsey’s definitely pushed some envelopes that are exciting. I don’t think people will accuse us of standing still.”

Nicks’ contributions came from a similar flood of material. The singer gave Buckingham, Fleetwood and bassist John McVie eighteen songs to work with, before she went out to tour behind her 2001 release, Trouble in Shangri-La. “So it was the power trio,” Fleetwood said. “And that was great, because we did a lot of reconnecting.” Nicks’ friendship with Sheryl Crow also resulted in a guest appearance by Crow, who added harmony vocals and keyboards to Say You Will.

Fleetwood Mac are planning a world tour, to launch in May.

Rolling Stone / Friday, February 7, 2003

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Say You Will (2003)

Fleetwood Mac are back

Pollstar
Thursday, February 6, 2003

Fleetwood Mac are back in a big way this year. The band has both a new album – Say You Will, to be released April 15 – and a big, 40-city arena tour on the docket.

So, what makes this such big news? Well, it’s Fleetwood Mac’s first studio album in 15 years, for a start. And, it’s the band’s first tour since 1997 when they single-handedly sold out arenas around the States.

No dates or venues have been announced yet, although the tour will hit major U.S. markets including Washington, D.C., Pittsburgh, Cleveland, New York, Atlanta, Ft. Lauderdale, Detroit, and others. The tour is expected to launch May 7 in Columbus, Ohio, with tickets going on sale in March. According to Mick Fleetwood’s official Web site, a world tour is expected to follow.

Noticeably absent from the album and tour is Christine McVie. However, mainstays Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham, and founding members Mick Fleetwood and Jon McVie are all onboard.

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Say You Will (2003)

Fleetwood Mac back on track

By Edna Gundersen
USA Today
Tuesday, February 4, 2003

Rumours confirmed Fleetwood Mac’s place in rock history. The question now is whether the storied ’70s band has currency in 2003.

Four of the five original members of Fleetwood Mac reunited for the recording of Say You Will, to be released on April 15.

A new Mac attack starts April 15 with Say You Will, the band’s first studio album boasting a quorum of core members since 1987’s Tango in the Night.

Singer/guitarist Lindsey Buckingham, who left after Tango and returned for Mac’s lucrative 1997 reunion, produced the album, which also features singer Stevie Nicks, bassist John McVie and drummer Mick Fleetwood. Singer/keyboardist Christine McVie retired.

The album, recorded in Los Angeles over the past 18 months, contains new songs written by Buckingham and Nicks. It also has a studio version of Bleed to Love Her, which had been included on 1997’s live reunion disc, The Dance.

Snippets of Say You Will can be heard in Fox promos for That ’70s Show.

That decade found Fleetwood Mac in peak form. Rumours, the top-selling album of 1977 and third-best in 1978, spawned hits Go Your Own Way, Dreams, Don’t Stop and You Make Loving Fun, and for a time it reigned as the biggest seller in history. It has sold18 million copies and ranks ninth among U.S. best sellers. The band sustained success in the ’80s when Nicks’ solo career also flowered, but splintered lineups in the ’90s led to decreased sales and airplay.

Although fans rallied for the 1997 reunion tour and chart-topping album, pop’s current climate tends to relegate veteran acts to the oldies circuit.

“It’s difficult to think of Fleetwood Mac making a bad album, but I’m not sure how much difference that would make,” says Anthony DeCurtis, Rolling Stone contributing editor. “The new music is entirely secondary. The best parallel would be Paul McCartney, who made a pretty good record (Driving Rain) in 2001. He had a huge successful tour, but the record didn’t do much.

“That’s the problem Fleetwood Mac faces. Obviously, they’ll do big business on the road. The larger issue is: Will radio play this record? It’s amazing to think that the band that helped invent FM radio may go begging to get airplay. Fleetwood Mac is imprisoned by its own gilded cage.”

Considering the success of tours by the Rolling Stones (three original members) and The Who (two), Christine McVie’s absence shouldn’t impede ticket sales, he says. “The version of Fleetwood Mac that most people know is 80% intact,” says DeCurtis, who predicts a box office gold mine. But in record stores, “these bands almost exist in a vacuum.”

DeCurtis says he doubts that the Dixie Chicks’ current hit cover of Nicks’ Landslide will fuel Mac interest. But Billboard director of charts Geoff Mayfield says, “I put that in the ‘it can’t hurt’ category.”

Recent sales patterns reveal increased interest in vintage rockers, he says. He notes that roughly 30 acts that appeal largely to older audiences, including McCartney, Bruce Springsteen and James Taylor, last year enjoyed their best sales weeks in the 12 years SoundScan has been tabulating data.

“People with gray hair are buying records,” he says. And unlike their younger counterparts, “they’re not burning CDs or file-swapping as much.”

Say You Will may not reach the sales of Rumours, but it could thrive even without much radio support.

“It’s not fair to expect another Rumours,” Mayfield says. “Considering the reunion album was their first No. 1 debut in a long while, the new record has a pretty good chance for a handsome start.”

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Say You Will (2003)

Women in Rock: Stevie Nicks

At 54, the Fleetwood Mac singer is still the coolest chick in the room

STEVIE NICKS IS ALWAYS FUN to talk to — she’s candid (that tantalizing history!), warm and surprisingly funny. The hip big sister to musicians such as Sheryl Crow is still making vital, viable music in her fifties. She has been holed up with Fleetwood Mac for the last couple of months, working on an album, which will be in your hands by spring, followed by a major tour. (There’s also a new Fleetwood Mac greatest-hits collection out this month.) Nicks phones from her Los Angeles home before she heads off to the studio at her usual time of 2:30 P.M. — her idea of an early morn. Because Christine McVie is sitting it out this time, Nicks is the only woman in the band, so she has certain concerns that the fellas do not. “There is a tub of red licorice in the studio, fifteen boxes of Wheat Thins, Doritos and Fritos — my favorite thing,” she says. “It’s a boys’ kitchen, full of great stuff. And I just say to myself, ‘You can never eat this, or you will weigh 170 pounds at the end of this project.’ I walk in like I’ve got tank armor on.”

How goes it in the studio? Your relationship with the band has outlasted most marriages.

A lot of times it’s just me and Lindsey [Buckingham]. You know, we have a lot of the same problems that we’ve always had, which is our egos. And we’ve had a lot of fights. But we spend hours talking — we’re like a bunch of girls sometimes. We’ll be putting a guitar part on, and all of a sudden we’ll be talking about something that happened on the Tusk tour, and two hours later we’re still talking about it. And we’re filming a documentary at the studio, so there’s a crew with us at all times. There were a couple of times where I’ve gotten just furious and walked out of the room, yelling, and I’ve nearly run over the sound guy. It’s like the TV show Big Brother. If we could vote each other out, we’d all be fine! My vote would come up “Lindsey.” Lindsey’s would say “Stevie” [laughs].

Some women we’ve talked to have said it’s nearly impossible to have a family and a musical career. You made a choice, and it was your career.

If I had gotten married to someone in my twenties, I’d have grandchildren now. And I’d be rocking in a fabulous chair on my fabulous porch somewhere. So it is so different, my life. All these younger women who are singers — I sometimes think they see their future in me, and it’s not such a good thing. I made a choice to not be married and not have children, because I wanted to be a big-time rock & roll star. And people can get mad at me for saying this, but I did not feel that I could do both. I would have been, I think, a great mom, and I would not have put my career first once I had a baby. Sheryl Crow is a dear friend, and I know she looks at me and goes, “Do I have that baby now? Or do I want to be Stevie when I’m fifty-five? And if I do, that means I can never stop working.” Even in my really bad, drugged-out days, I didn’t go away. I still toured, still did interviews. I never gave up the fight. That’s why I’m who I am today, because I didn’t leave. And I think I made the right choice.

Which female musicians do you admire?

I love Sheryl Crow. She called me this morning already. She calls me from the road, and I cheer her up. And I love Gwen Stefani. I think she maybe is the reincarnated Mae West.

How has music changed for women in your lifetime?

People always ask me, “What do you think of Britney Spears? What do you think of this group, or that one?” I always say, “Well, they’re great.” But now … I think they all went too far. Their jeans got too low, their tops got too see-through. Personally, I think that sexy is keeping yourself mysterious. I’m really an old-fashioned girl, and I think I’m totally sexy.

Right on!

And I wouldn’t have any problem saying to any of these girls, “You know what? If you want to be around in twenty years, you’d better get your act together. And get back to your music.” What Britney should do is go back into the studio and get some great songs, and make a great record. And change her fashion style a little bit. Bring back her mysterious persona again. Otherwise it’s like, if you see somebody running down the street naked every single day, you stop looking up.

Defining Moment: Her feathered haircut, gypsy cowl and flowing scarves on the cover of Rumours was the definitive rock & roll fashion statement of the 1970s.

Jancee Dunn / Rolling Stone / October 31, 2002

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Fleetwood Mac Say You Will (2003) The Very Best of Fleetwood Mac (2002)

Fleetwood Mac plans tour behind new album

Fleetwood Mac will embark on a 40- to 60-date North American tour of arenas and amphitheaters in April 2003, Billboard.com has learned. The group’s most popular lineup of Mick Fleetwood, Stevie Nicks, Lindsey Buckingham, John McVie, and Christine McVie last toured in 1997 with an arena run that grossed $36.2 million in 44 shows; the upcoming tour will include everyone but Christine McVie. The same lineup’s first new studio album since 1987’s Tango in the Night will arrive next spring via Reprise.

A greatest hits package, The Very Best of Fleetwood Mac, is due Oct. 15 on Reprise. The 36-track, double disc album spans 1975-1997, omitting material recorded by the more blues-oriented edition of the group prior to Buckingham and Nicks’ arrival. Nine top-10 hits are included, including “Dreams” (No. 1), “Don’t Stop” (No. 3), “Little Lies,” and “Hold Me” (both of which reached No. 4).

Three tracks are culled from the group’s 1997 reunion album The Dance: “Go Insane,” “I’m So Afraid,” and “Big Love” (the original version of which hit No. 5 in 1987). Other tracks include “As Long As You Follow” and “No Questions Asked” from the band’s 1988 Greatest Hits album.

The Very Best of Fleetwood Mac will also feature footage of the band recording the new album, as well as rare live performances, interviews, and music videos.

In related news, Buckingham sings on the cut “The Man Who Loved Women” on Tom Petty’s new album, The Last DJ, due Oct. 8 from Warner Bros.

Here is The Very Best of Fleetwood Mac tracklist:

Disc one:
“Go Your Own Way”
“Dreams”
“You Make Loving Fun”
“Rhiannon”
“Monday Morning”
“Silver Springs”
“Say You Love Me”
“Second Hand News”
“Over My Head”
“Sara”
“Never Going Back Again”
“Love in Store”
“Landslide”
“Songbird”
“What Makes You Think You’re the One”
“Storms”
“Go Insane” (live, 1995)
“Tusk”

Disc two:
“Don’t Stop”
“The Chain”
“Little Lies”
“Gypsy”
“Think About Me”
“Gold Dust Woman”
“World Turning”
“Hold Me”
“Seven Wonders”
“Everywhere”
“Family Man”
“Sisters of the Moon”
“As Long As You Follow”
“No Questions Asked”
“Skies the Limit”
“Paper Doll”
“I’m So Afraid” (live, 1995)
“Big Love” (live, 1995)

Jonathan Cohen / Billboard / September 4, 2002

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Say You Will (2003)

Fleetwood Mac’s new chapter-minus key member

Reuters
By Dean Goodman
Sunday, November 11, 2001

LOS ANGELES, Nov 11 (Reuters) — Fleetwood Mac, the Anglo-American pop group that shrugged off bitter internal rivalries to emerge as one of music’s great survival stories, is back in the studio recording its first album since a successful 1997 reunion.

The band hopes to tour late next summer “with any luck,” co-founder Mick Fleetwood told Reuters, alluding to its wildly unpredictable 34-year progression from British blues combo to California rock institution.

But it would not be a Fleetwood Mac project without some drama. In this case, singer/keyboardist Christine McVie, one of three key songwriters, has retired from rock ‘n’ roll. Tired of the travel, she lives in an English castle and indulges her passion for cooking.

That leaves drummer Fleetwood, bass player John McVie, Christine’s ex-husband, and songwriters Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks, the American half who are former lovers.

Fleetwood denied recent reports that rocker Sheryl Crow, who collaborated on Nicks’ recent solo album, will help out.

“We’re happily a four-piece and are creatively, artistically handling to some degree a new chapter of Fleetwood Mac without Christine, and it’s going extremely well,” Fleetwood, 54, said in a telephone interview on Friday.

NEW DOUBLE ALBUM?

Fleetwood Mac has endured many changes over the years, but the best known lineup came together in 1975 when Buckingham and Nicks joined Fleetwood and the McVies. They powered the band to mega-success with the 1977 album “Rumours,” which sold more than 25 million copies worldwide.

“Rumours” documents the chaos enveloping the band at the time: the McVies were breaking up, as were Buckingham and Nicks. Fleetwood’s wife was sleeping with his best friend. Drug abuse was rampant.

Recording of the new album, under way in a Los Angeles house the band leased for a year, appears to be going more smoothly. In fact, Fleetwood said the band has too many songs, and has considered issuing a double album, something it has not done since 1979’s “Tusk.” Fleetwood hopes to complete the album in six to eight months.

Fleetwood Mac last released an album in 1997, when Buckingham and Nicks rejoined the band. “The Dance,” a live album culled from three intimate performances on a Los Angeles soundstage, sold more than 4 million copies in the United States and paved the way for a successful U.S. tour.

The last studio album featuring Buckingham and Nicks was 1987’s “Tango in the Night,” but Nicks’ involvement was limited and Buckingham declined to go out on tour. Fleetwood and the McVies subsequently kept the band half-alive with hired hands, releasing albums in 1990 and 1995.

BUCKINGHAM IS BOSS

Guitarist/vocalist Buckingham, 52, is firmly at the musical helm of the re-energized band, “and we all put our penny worth in,” Fleetwood said. Buckingham, author of such hits as “Go Your Own Way” and “Tusk,” is producing and engineering the album, which will likely use some songs from his unreleased fourth solo release. His contributions are already in the can, and the band is now working on tunes by Nicks, 53.

Fleetwood said the absence of Christine McVie, 58, who wrote such tunes as “Don’t Stop” and “You Make Loving Fun,” has inevitably affected the band’s chemistry. Instead of bouncing ideas off her, Buckingham has worked more closely with Fleetwood and John McVie, 56, resulting in a harder sound.

“You’ll smell an element of the … power trio, where we like to grind it out a bit,” Fleetwood said. “But equally there’s some blissfully, very cool harmonic, melodic stuff that just sounds modern. But it’s us.”

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Say You Will (2003)

Mick Fleetwood talks about next Fleetwood Mac album

CDNow
Thursday, October 18, 2001

Fleetwood Mac is about halfway through recording its latest album, which is due next year. The release will feature all the regular crew members except Christine McVie.

Mick Fleetwood tells allstar that he heard from McVie earlier this week, though, and she said she would like to record with the group, but not tour.

As a result, Fleetwood says he’s a bit perplexed. “If she writes and records with us, and does not tour,” he explains, “then it’s hard to play those songs in concert. Lindsey [Buckingham] and Stevie [Nicks] have already done most of their work.” Fleetwood is not sure if he will take her up on her offer at this time.

Fleetwood Mac will probably tour the states late next summer or early fall. Fleetwood favors indoor arenas rather than outdoor amphitheaters. “We can get better sound and lights indoors,” he says.