The Very Best of Fleetwood Mac (2002)

Released on October 22, 2002, The Very Best of Fleetwood Mac is a double-CD retrospective release, consisting of 36 songs from the band’s catalog dating back to 1975. Disc 1 contains enhanced bonus material, which includes a video of the band rehearsing material for Say You Will (2013), two performance clips from the band’s 1982 Los Angeles Forum concert (“The Chain” and “Go Your Own Way), and the music video for the Tango in the Night (1987) single “Seven Wonders.” The release features liner notes written by Rolling Stone contributing writer David Wild, who has frequently written about the band.

Outside the U.S., the compilation was released as a single disc with 21 songs, adding three tracks from the band’s 1960s blues days (“Albatross,” “Black Magic Woman,” and “Man of the World”). In 2009, the double-CD edition was issued for the first time in Europe, Australia, and New Zealand to help promote Fleetwood Mac’s Unleashed World Tour. The bonus, enhanced material did not appear on either of these releases.

In the U.S, The Very Best of Fleetwood Mac debuted at No. 12 on the Billboard Top 200 Albums chart. To date, the compilation has sold more than one million copies in the U.S. and has been certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America® (RIAA).

Editorial Review

The Very Best of Fleetwood Mac (Reprise/Rhino) is a collection that should please fans old and new. The double-CD retrospective, which features the classic Rumours lineup (Lindsey Buckingham, Mick Fleetwood, Christine McVie, John McVie, and Stevie Nicks), includes all the hits, and then some, from the 1975 “white” album through 1997’s reunion album The Dance.

It’s refreshing to find some new elements incorporated into this release, making it more than just your standard best-of. Some of these highlights include single versions for “Rhiannon,” “Over My Head,” “Think About Me,” and “Sisters of the Moon” — all previously unavailable on CD. There’s also a different mix of “Silver Springs,” emphasizing Stevie Nicks’ vocal overdubs at the end of the song. (The original 45 mix of “Silver Springs” has never been released on CD.)

Overall, the sound quality is excellent. Remastered by engineering heavyweights Bill Inglot and Dan Hersch (who handle many of the Rhino remasters), the tracks have never sounded this good, particularly the ones from Rumours and Mirage. Everything is clean and crisp, with bass and high-end levels faithfully restored. Finally, the depth to these recordings has returned, a level of fidelity dreadfully missing from the shoddy CD reissues from the late ’80s and early ’90s.

The liner booklet is very well done, though the selection of photographs could be better. But there are some nice shots, like the one of Christine McVie playing a large bass. There is also a charming Rumours cover outtake featuring Stevie Nicks and Mick Fleetwood in an alternate pose. David Wild, a contributing writer for Rolling Stone, has written liner notes, which are informative and concise. The book also includes selected discography, chart placements, and credits.

The enhanced material (on disc 1) is adequate, though it may a challenge to play on your computer. (QuickTime for the studio stuff and Windows Media Player for everything else seemed to work). The behind-the-scenes footage is probably the only real interest here, as much of the other material has been available previously. The footage takes you through a beautiful Bel Aire mansion (where the band is recording a new album, 2003’s Say You Will), practice sessions, and short interviews about the recording process without Christine McVie, who retired from the music business.

The other material on the CD, like “the vaults” (which has to be accessed through the Internet), is a bit disappointing, particularly the selection of performance clips. Two tracks are culled from the 1982 Mirage concert video (“The Chain,” “Go Your Own Way”) and one from The Dance (“Don’t Stop”). The CD has the music video for “Seven Wonders,” but surprisingly none of the singles from Tango in the Night, like the Top 5 hit “Little Lies.” The rarest material is the classic Rosebud documentary performance of “Rhiannon.” (The Rosebud film was restored for the super deluxe edition of Rumours , which was released on January 29, 2013.)

The international edition condenses the collection to a single disc and adds three Peter Green era tracks. In 2009, the 2-CD set was reissued in the UK without the bonus online material.

North American Edition

Disc 1

  1. Monday Morning
  2. Dreams
  3. You Make Loving Fun
  4. Go Your Own Way
  5. Rhiannon (Single Remix)
  6. Say You Love Me
  7. I’m So Afraid (Live 1997, Edited)
  8. Silver Springs
  9. Over My Head (Single Remix)
  10. Never Going Back Again
  11. Sara
  12. Love in Store
  13. Tusk
  14. Landslide
  15. Songbird
  16. Big Love (Live 1997)
  17. Storms

Disc 2

  1. The Chain
  2. Don’t Stop
  3. What Makes You Think You’re the One
  4. Gypsy
  5. Second Hand News
  6. Little Lies
  7. Think about Me (Single Remix)
  8. Go Insane (Live 1997)
  9. Gold Dust Woman (soft intro)
  10. Hold Me
  11. Seven Wonders
  12. World Turning
  13. Everywhere
  14. Sisters of the Moon (Single Remix)
  15. Family Man
  16. As Long As You Follow
  17. No Questions Asked
  18. Skies the Limit
  19. Paper Doll

International Single-Disc Edition

  1. Go Your Own Way
  2. Don’t Stop
  3. Dreams
  4. Little Lies
  5. Everywhere
  6. Albatross
  7. You Make Loving Fun
  8. Rhiannon
  9. Black Magic Woman
  10. Tusk
  11. Say You Love Me
  12. Man of the World
  13. Seven Wonders
  14. Family Man
  15. Sara
  16. Monday Morning
  17. Gypsy
  18. Over My Head (Single Remix)
  19. Landslide
  20. The Chain
  21. Big Love (Live 1997)