Fleetwood Mac Is Back

1970s band puts aside legendary differences for new CD, tour, MTV special

By Joal Ryan Aug 13, 1997 12:35 AMTags
Get ready for a big Mac attack of the musical order.

Stevie Nicks, Lindsey Buckingham, Christine McVie, John McVie and Mick Fleetwood are putting aside decades of bickering and going their own ways to launch a full-on, Fleetwood Mac assault on the American consumer (with a particular nod to the nostalgic baby boomers): by TV, by record store, by concert venue.

The fivesome, who represent the most popular line-up of the oft-morphed, Grammy-winning band, can be seen united tonight in Fleetwood Mac: The Dance, a 90-minute, greatest-hits concert special for MTV. The show, airing at 10 p.m. ET/PT, was taped in May. It's a virtual walk-through (or, rather, sing-through) of the Mac's riding-high years, 1974-82--an era that produced FM-radio staples, including "Rhiannon," "Landslide" and "Go Your Own Way."

The concert--sort of an unofficial marking of the 20th anniversary of the band's high-water mark, 1977's Rumours album--has been conveniently preserved on a CD, also titled, The Dance. The 17-track collection, featuring four new Mac songs ("Temporary One," "Sweet Girl," "Bleed to Love Her" and "My Little Demon"), is due in stores next Tuesday.

Audio Clip: Fleetwood Mac, "Sweet Girl"
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And maybe because good things (allegedly) come in threes, the middle-aged rockers (average age: 50.6) will cap off the comeback hat trick with a 26-city arena tour, kicking off September 17 in Hartford, Connecticut.

The end result of this harmonic convergence of Fleetwood Mac projects: Lots and lots and lots of money.

"It's been a pretty fabulous opportunity," Nicks, 49, told USA Today. "Who would we rather be than us right now?"

Credit them for honesty: The Mac-ers aren't exactly denying that cash wasn't a factor in encouraging them to quit sniping and start playing, like reunited 1970s supergroups, The Eagles and Kiss, before them. Nicks says drummer Mick Fleetwood and guitarist John McVie, who didn't write the hits that made the whole world sing, and thus, don't share in the royalties, rely on income from touring to maintain their rock-star lifestyles.

Still, the members assert that they also simply wanted to revisit, and celebrate, their past. And incredibly The Dance seems to have been pulled off (so far) without reopening old wounds. (And there are lots of those--the McVies are ex-spouses; Nicks and Buckingham ex-lovers.)

Fleetwood Mac was founded in 1967, by Fleetwood, John McVie and a few other answers to Trivial Pursuit questions. The group recorded six albums (including a live one) with the Buckingham, Nicks and Christine McVie contingent on hand. Their last joint effort was 1982's Mirage. In 1992, the five reunited (briefly) to play their hit, "Don't Stop," at President Clinton's inaugural gala.