3 On 3: The best songs of Fleetwood Mac and Christine McVie vs. Stevie Nicks
Last night, Fleetwood Mac kicked off their reunion tour.
No, not last year's reunion. Or those other ones. This stint actually features Christine McVie for the first time since 1998, the singer/keyboardist being the last piece of the puzzle that brings together one of the most iconic lineups in Fleetwood Mac history, circa "Rumours."
The band is apparently planning on recording another album together, though it can't be expected until next year at the earliest.
But this makes us think through almost two dozen studio albums, starting with 1968's (first) self-titled set through 2003's "Say You Will." (Many of those are pre-Lindsey Buckingham/Stevie Nicks, but give that first album, "English Rose," and "Then Play On" a spin, if you only know "Rumours" or haven't given the rest a fair shake.)
Three HitFix teamers share our thoughts on the Mac Attack, including the ultimate showdown: McVie or Nicks? And how much of Buckingham's hair can actually fit in a frame?
And, no, you won't find "Landslide" below.
What is the best Fleetwood Mac song?
Dave Lewis: "Secondhand News." Obviously there aren't really any bad songs on "Rumours," but this little Lindsey Buckingham ditty -- with its jaunty rhythms, soaring vocals and "byowm byowm" refrain which anticipates Hanson's "MMMBop" -- stands out from the album's non-singles.
Louis Virtel: "You Make Loving Fun." If "Rumours" is about all the resentments, hurt, and strife that one band can handle, "You Make Loving Fun" details why it's worth it. The sunny jam reminds us that romantic passion is worth exalting and epitomizes the breezy beauty of Southern California rock. Though Christine McVie wrote the song about an affair with the band's lighting director, "You Make Loving Fun" is the most exuberant track on "Rumours" and a testament to the righteous euphoria that keeps Fleetwood Mac together and vital.
Katie Hasty: "Never Looking Back Again" is one of the most perfect recordings of all time. But the best song? Pre-Nicks/Buckingham, The Peter Green-led cover of "Need Your Love So Bad" is the correct answer. I don't know where any of my clothes are after this song is over. With those two players? "Over My Head," pristine Christine, or "Tusk," bless his heart.
Christine McVie or Stevie Nicks?
DL: Truth be told, my favorite songsmith of the group is Lindsey Buckingham, but Nicks always seemed to be too overpowering for my taste. McVie was more of a chameleon, effortlessly bouncing from the elastic funk-folk of "You Make Loving Fun" to the sexy, post-new wave pop of the late era "Little Lies."
LV: McVie all the way. Stevie has her untouchable moments like "Gypsy" and "Sara," but McVie is the more consummate and dependable talent. From "Say You Love Me" and "Warm Ways" to "Songbird" and "Over My Head," McVie is a slyly versatile songwriter whose lyrics are direct and aching -- not to mention more cogent and accessible than Stevie's, which McVie herself once described as "downright cryptic." You know Carole King envies every single Christine McVie song. She's that good.
KH: Christine has the most lasting, sexiest voice. But when McVie quit the Mac Attack, she tried selling all her keyboards and pianos then Stevie Nicks bought them all, for safe keeping. Because Stevie Nicks is a saint: patron saint of wardrobes, the holy saint of soundbites, the eternal saint of Gold Dust Women.
Give us your best Fleetwood Mac .gif or picture:
DL: Without ever really consciously hearing much of their music, I hated Fleetwood Mac in high school. It was mostly due to their overwhelming popularity (nobody that popular could possibly worth my time, right?) and because of photos like this, where they look less like a rock band and more like a bad improv comedy troupe. But I was an idiot in high school. Now I love this photo.
LV: The best Fleetwood Mac albums feel like a roll in the sheets between five different people fighting for recognition, love, and peace. Their pulsing energy has an unerring sultriness to it, and this photo is emblematic of how close the band's bond is.
KH: Look, look, look at That Buckingham Hair.