Rumour has it that Fleetwood Mac is in the early stages of building a new album. And with Fleetwood Mac, rumours are a good thing.
Speaking by phone to the Wall Street Journal, singer/guitarist Lindsey Buckingham revealed that material is being gathered from within the band for what could be the next Fleetwood Mac album, their first with a now fully-reunited “classic lineup” since 1987’s Tango in the Night.
The first pieces are coming in from newly-rejoined singer/keyboardist Christine McVie, who brought in what Buckingham refers to as “piano and voice demos”.
“I took massive liberties with them,” Buckingham said, with McVie’s permission, of course.
So far, only Buckingham and McVie have been involved in any material gathering. Stevie Nicks, in addition to touring with the band on their current “On With the Show” concerts, is preparing for exhibits of her photography in Los Angeles and New York.
“Christine and I were able to concentrate on each other. We were exploring some new turf. That became enlightening to me.”
But Stevie is absolutely going to join in once her schedule frees up a bit.
"We never envisioned finishing the album in the short term. We set it aside. Stevie will come in and participate. I have material I had been working on. There’s no danger that it will slip between the tracks. It’s too profound to.”
Buckingham spoke about Christine re-joining the band after a 16-year absence.
“It’s a very interesting thing when someone who helped to define the interaction leaves for that amount of time. You don’t know how it’s going to play out. But this something that feels really good. It feels really circular.”
For right now, Fleetwood Mac is focusing on the current tour, which mainly consists of fan-pleasing “classic lineup” material from the Fleetwood Mac through Tango in the Night albums. If the sessions with the principal songwriters and Fleetwood/McVie rhythm section go well, there could be a new album to tour behind.
“Once we finish it,” Buckingham said, “we can think about going out and trying something new.”
When things are clicking with the band members, they have the ability to churn out amazing songs. One of their most prolific albums, 1977’s Rumours, contained 11 songs, almost every one of which is still frequently played on “classic rock” radio, nine of them solidly, as well as a studio out-take track ("Silver Springs") that has found a life of its own since then. That album’s recording sessions happened in the midst of divorce, breakup, infidelity, and loads of tension among the band members. Still it was brilliant and hugely successful.
A setlist from last night’s show in Philadelphia includes:
You Make Loving Fun
Second Hand News
I Know I'm Not Wrong
Sisters of the Moon
Say You Love Me
Never Going Back Again
Over My Head
Gold Dust Woman
I'm So Afraid
Go Your Own Way
These songs are all from Fleetwood Mac albums in the “classic lineup” era. The individual members of the core songwriting trio of Christine McVie, Lindsey Buckingham, and Stevie Nicks have all had success as solo artists and collaborators with other artists outside of Fleetwood Mac. It is a real testament to the power of the trio as a unit that they can fill a good concert without touching any of that outside material, or even the eight year’s worth of pre-Buckingham/Nicks albums that Fleetwood Mac did with guitarists Peter Green or Bob Welch.
Here’s hoping they get a new album out soon.