The group Fleetwood Mac started in London, England, in 1967. Over their career, they have sold over 100 million records, making them one of the world’s best-selling rock bands. VH1 lists them as one of the 100 Greatest Artists of Rock and Roll, and their 1977 album Rumors stands at #16 on the 100 Greatest Albums. The group was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1998 and received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame since they recorded at 6608 Hollywood Boulevard. Throughout their career, they have produced many memorable songs. These are the 10 best Fleetwood Mac songs of all-time.
10. Don’t Stop
Christine McVie and John McVie were another couple inside Fleetwood Mac. Christine wrote this song while going through a divorce with John after being married eight years. Even though she, like other members of the band were experiencing disillusionment because of a breakup, she tried to write this song from a hopeful standpoint and focus on how her future might look if she made the painful decision to leave.
Guitarist Peter Green drew inspiration for the song from The Rhyme of The Ancient Mariner by Samuel Coleridge. Additionally, he wanted to expand on John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers cover of “The Last Meal” by Jimmy Rodgers. Green’s idea went on to be the greatest rock instrumental of all time in the United Kingdom. Later, when the Beatles wrote “Sun King” on their 1969 Abbey Road album, they drew inspiration from Green’s composition.
Originally, Nicks wanted to include this song on her 1980 solo album, “Bella Donna.” However, there was already too much material, so she kept it for the Fleetwood Mac’s album “Mirage.” Her friend Robin Anderson contracted Leukemia and died during the time, so the song became a tribute to her. The song was one of Mick Fleetwood’s favorites in the group’s catalogs. He thought the lyrics and overall sound were a solid representation of where the group was during the 80s. In 2017, Nicks recorded a new version of the song for the Netflix series Gypsy starring Naomi Watts.
7. Never Going Back Again
Lindsey Buckingham wrote this song while breaking up with Stevie Nicks. During this time, he also had a brief fling with someone else. The lyrics of this song are about trying to stay positive and making sure never to repeat the same mistakes. According to Purple Clover, even though there was a lot of turmoil in the band, they never let the group’s overall sound fail. While recording this song, Buckingham restrung his guitar every twenty minutes to achieve high-quality sound.
6. Little Lies
Keyboardist Christine McVie co-wrote this song with her second husband, Eddy Quintela. Many people wonder if this song was about her divorce from McVie or her relationship with Dennis Wilson from the Beach Boys. McVie’s take is the lyrics are about looking at things and how you might do them differently but moving forward in life. Additionally, it’s about trusting someone blindly. “Little Lies” was on the album “Tango in the Night,” the first group release in four years.
5. The Chain
According to Story of a Song, this song stands out since it’s the only one on “Rumors” written by the band members. Additionally, it features soundbites from various objects like razor blades. The group sat down for a jam session and ended up writing the “The Chain.” During the writing, many group members were splitting and having affairs with other group members. John McVie divorced Christine McVie after learning she had an affair with the lighting technician. Mick Fleetwood divorced his wife, Jenny, after learning she slept with former band member Bob Weston. Lastly, Stevie Nicks and Lindsay Buckingham broke up since he knew Nicks had affairs with Fleetwood and Weston.
The practice of Bibliomancy holds that if you open a book to a random page, you’ll see a sentence that will give you an epiphany. According to Louder Sound, Nicks experienced this with a pulp novel called Triad by Mary Leader about a girl who became possessed by a spirit named Rhianon. Nicks immediately knew she needed to write a song about the character. The result was this song which incorporated many magical elements, including birds. As Nicks said, “I come to find out after I’ve written the song, that in fact, Rhiannon was the goddess of steeds, maker of birds. Her three birds sang music, and when something was happening, you would see Rhiannon come riding on a horse.”
3. Go Your Own Way
Much like Nick’s song “Dreams,” Buckingham wrote”Go Your Own Way” to deal with his emotions after the pair split up. However, his song was more overt and acerbic. Some of the lines in the song include “packing up, shacking up is all you want to do.” Even though both singers had a song on the album which played to the emotions going on within the group, Buckingham’s song was the first single from the group’s Rumours album.
The band was experiencing a lot of upheavals when Nicks wrote this song. While completing their eleventh studio album Rumors, frontwoman Stevie Nicks was separating from guitarist Lindsay Buckingham. Nicks wrote this song to separate herself from Buckingham. It took her about ten minutes to complete once she found a drumbeat she liked on an electric keyboard.
Nicks wrote this song while deciding if she wanted to continue playing music with Lindsey Buckingham or return to school. At the time, they were the duo Buckingham Nicks, recently dropped from their label. During the time, the two couldn’t afford many necessities, which started destroying their relationship. Nicks didn’t want to work as a waitress just to make ends meet and thought if she went back to school, the time away would help get them on better footing. The lyrics in Landslide are about the decision she couldn’t make and consider the outcome of each thing she might do. Less than a year after she wrote this song, Fleetwood Mac began.