Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The #57 Album of All-Time in the Rock Era: "Fleetwood Mac" by Fleetwood Mac

Fleetwood Mac had been a solid British band since it began, but when they picked up Americans Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks, the group took off.  The Mac have the #57 Album of the Rock Era* with their self-titled release.

Fleetwood Mac was the tenth album from the group, and the first to reach #1.  Even more impressively, this incredible album spent 37 weeks in the Top 10 and 148 (nearly 3 years) on the chart.  More interestingly, the album was in the Top 10 a total of 2 weeks and dropped out initially.  Then, in February of 1976, the album climbed back in the Top 10, got as high as #3 in March and fell back out again.  But the incredible album would not be denied.  It rose back up again and entered the Top 10 again in April  and this time, overtook the great Frampton Comes Alive! album to reach #1.  To date, it has sold 5 million copies and has a very good Track Rating* of 9.04.

The interesting thing about this album (and one of its strong points) is that it did not land at #1 until a year after its release, setting an all-time record for the Rock Era until Paula Abdul's Forever Your Girl took 64 weeks to reach #1 in 1989.  Three huge hits--"Over My Head", "Rhiannon" and "Say You Love Me" helped launch the album, but the album's overall strength earns it a spot in the Top 100 Albums*Fleetwood Mac was the album that essentially elevated the group to superstar status.  "Monday Morning" from Buckingham easily could have been a hit--it remains as one of the group's strongest songs, and "Landslide" became a hit for Fleetwood Mac years after on the live album The Dance (as well as a remake for the Dixie Chicks). 

There isn't a bad song on the album and only "Crystal" and "Sugar Daddy" might be judged "average".  "Blue Letter" and "Warm Ways" (which was released as a single in the U.K.) are other excellent tracks on the #57 Album.

Fleetwood Mac:
Side one
1.    "Monday Morning" (Lindsey Buckingham) --2:48
2.    "Warm Ways" (Christine McVie) -3:54
3.    "Blue Letter" (Rick Curtis, Mike Curtis) --2:41
4.    "Rhiannon (Will You Ever Win)" (Stevie Nicks) --4:11
5.    "Crystal" (Nicks) --5:14

Side two
6.    "Say You Love Me" (C. McVie) --4:11
7.    "Landslide" (Nicks) --3:19
8.   "World Turning" (Buckingham, C. McVie) --4:25
9.    "Sugar Daddy" (C. McVie) --4:10
10.  "I'm So Afraid" (Buckingham) --4:22

Waddy Wachtel played rhythm guitar on "Sugar Daddy"--other than that, it's all Fleetwood Mac.  Leader Mick Fleetwood played drums and percussion, John McVie was the bass guitarist, Christine McVie played keyboards, synthesizer and lead and backing vocals, Stevie Nicks contributed lead and backing vocals and Lindsey Buckingham was on guitar and vocals.

You will note certain trends by looking closely at the albums that make up the Top 100.  Yesterday, we revealed the name of the #63 album--Crimes of Passion by Pat Benatar, which was produced by Keith Olsen.  Today, you find out that Keith Olsen also produced the #62 album, along with Fleetwood Mac.  Olsen also had a hand in engineering the album together with David Devore.  Fleetwood Mac was recorded in February of 1975 at Sound City in Van Nuys, California and released July 11, 1975  in Reprise Records, a division of Warner Brothers.

Fleetwood Mac is the #57 album of the Rock Era*, from Fleetwood Mac.

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