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Updated by Love It Loud on Jul 03, 2013
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Top Ten Fleetwood Mac Albums




Despite the internal conflicts between members, as their relationships with one another began to fall apart, Rumours is a surprisingly upbeat and energetic record, as was evident with the opening number, Second Hand News. As with its predecessor, the new album featured both writing and lead vocal contributions from each member of the group, although Buckingham and Nicks remained the guiding force. Rumours would also feature many of their most famous songs, from the Nicks-fronted Dreams and Gold Dust Woman to Buckingham’s Go Your Own Way and Christine McVie’s Don’t Stop.


While lacking the pop sensibility of their mid-1970s heyday, the band’s 1968 eponymous debut (now referred to as Peter Green’s Fleetwood Mac to avoid confusion with their second self-titled album) was a collection of stripped-down blues songs that felt raw and authentic. One of the band’s most overlooked tracks is The World Keep on Turning, an acoustic blues number that was a far cry from their later output.


Fleetwood Mac’s eponymous 1975 album marked a significant turning point for the band. Due to an ever-changing line-up the founder, Peter Green, had parted ways a few years earlier, while the group’s two most influential members, Buckingham and Nicks, had joined following the relative disappointment of 1974′s Heroes Are Hard to Find. Fleetwood Mac was a turnaround for the band in many ways, most significantly with their sound, replacing the earlier draw blues with a polished pop-country feel.




Arriving two years after the phenomenal success of Rumours, the band’s twelvth album, Tusk, saw them at their most experimental, avoiding taking the more obvious commercial route of building on the sound of their last two albums and instead once again taking their sound in a new, unexpected direction. While the only single from the album to enter the top ten would be the title track, Tusk was well received by critics and remains their last true classic.


By the start of the 1970s, Green had left the band to pursue other projects, leaving Jeremy Spencer and Danny Kirwan to handle the vocals and the bulk of the songwriting. The result was an album that owed more of a debt to ’50s rock ‘n’ roll than the blues they had made their name with on their earlier records. Among the highlights were opening track This is the Rock and the ballad Jewel Eyed Judy.


The years between the departure of Peter Green and the arrival of Buckingham and Nicks saw Fleetwood Mac undergoing something of an identity crisis, unsure of what kind of band they were or what direction they were taking. This would result in several uneven albums and offered moments of genius among a collection of mediocre songs. Bare Trees, was the second of five albums to feature the guitar talents of Bob Welch, who tragically took his own life in June 2012 at the age of just sixty-six.Marking a clear transition between their earlier blues and later pop sound, the album would feature a few gems like Child of Mine and the melodic Dust.


While it would be easy to dismiss 1987′s Tango in the Night as an ill-advised attempt to embrace the modern pop scene, the album still features some strong songwriting form from the band, most notably Buckingham and McVie. Perhaps a little too focused on synthesisers, Tango in the Night would be certified multi-Platinum around the world, thanks in part to the success of the singles that were released from the album, particularly Big Love, Everywhere and the major hit Little Lies.


Arguably Fleetwood Mac at their most psychedelic and tranquil, 1971′s Future Games opened with the sublime Woman of 1000 Years, which had a similar feel to some of Pink Floyd’s ’70s acoustic ballads, such as Green is the Colour or Grantchester Meadows. Other highlights from the album include Show Me a Smile and the eight-minute title track.




Although the band looked set to fall apart during the making of Rumours a few years earlier, Fleetwood Mac released Mirage in the summer of 1982 to mixed opinions from critics and fans. Much like Heart would do a few years later, the album saw the group embracing the radio friendly rock-pop style that was beginning to dominate the industry, leaving many to feel that they had watered-down their sound. There were still a few strong moments but overall the album struggled to find an identity.


Following the minor disappointment of the band’s second album, Mr. Wonderful, they returned in late 1969 with a third offering entitled Then Play On. With Green still the driving force behind the band, the sound was prominently blues-orientated, yet there was a distinct ’60s psychedelic feel to some of the music, most notably the drumming and guitaring during the opening track, Coming Your Way. While only devoted fans still celebrate the group’s earlier work, the mainstream often overlooks their albums from before the mid-1970s, yet there is plenty worth rediscovering.