Happy Birthday to Fleetwood Mac songwriter-keyboardist Christine McVie, who turns 79 today (July 12th)!!! Just released is McVie’s latest solo set, titled Songbird (A Solo Collection), which features guest appearances by Eric Clapton, Lindsey Buckingham, and Steve Winwood.
In 2018 and 2019, Fleetwood Mac — with Heartbreakers guitarist/songwriter/producer Mike Campbell stepping in to cover lead guitar duties and Crowded House frontman Neil Finn supplying rhythm guitar and vocals — played an 88-date tour taking in shows in North America, Europe, and Oceania. As of now, Fleetwood Mac remains on hiatus for the foreseeable future.
Back in 2017, McVie and now-ousted Mac bandmate Lindsey Buckingham released their debut album as a duo, Lindsey Buckingham / Christine McVie, which peaked at Number 17 on the Billboard 200 and formed the basis of their first joint tour together.
In 2014 McVie thrilled the rock world when she returned to the band following a 16-year hiatus. McVie, along with former husband John McVie and Mick Fleetwood, steered the group through a diverse early-’70s period following the absence of the group’s co-founding guitarists Peter Green and Jeremy Spencer. After the eventual departure of key members Danny Kirwan and Bob Welch — and the addition of Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks — McVie suddenly became one of the three hottest songwriters of the 1970’s. In the latter part of the ’70s, she was romantically involved with legendary Beach Boys‘ drummer Dennis Wilson.
McVie’s songs played a crucial role in the band’s blockbusters Fleetwood Mac, Rumours, Tusk, Mirage, and Tango In The Night. Among the standards she wrote for the band were: “Over My Head,” “World Turning (co-written with Buckingham),” “Warm Ways,” “Sugar Daddy,” “Say You Love Me,” “Don’t Stop,” “Songbird,” “Oh Daddy,” “You Make Loving Fun,” “Think About Me,” “Over And Over,” “Hold Me,” “Love In Store,” “Little Lies,” and “Everywhere,” among others.
Christine McVie told us that the members of Fleetwood Mac are connected by a bond that transcends time and distance: “I just think that there’s an inextricable chemistry between the five of us, which will never go away, because that just is what it is, y’know, until we’re 90 it’ll be there. No matter how far we go apart in our different spheres of music, when we get together, it’s just something that, y’know, sparks fly.”
Lindsey Buckingham credits Mick Fleetwood for wooing Christine McVie back into the band: “I am not aware of how much they were writing or talking about it, and I don’t know what agenda Mick may or may not have had our what he felt he was going to be able to accomplish. All I know is that he felt very strongly that Christine had been, perhaps, sequestered away, a little too much over there for a little too long — for reasons that even I’m not even that clear on myself.”
Not too long ago, Buckingham told us that there is no way one can deny the absolute chemistry between the classic ‘70s lineup of Fleetwood Mac: “It’s an intangible thing. It’s a very strong aspect of what I always thought was, kind of, for lack of a better term, the whole being greater than the sum of the parts, which was always the part of theory of this fivesome; and was very apparent when we first started rehearsing before doing that first album in 1975, was that there’s something afoot here.”
In 2003 McVie was credited as an additional musician on Fleetwood Mac’s last full-blown studio set, Say You Will. She contributed keyboards and backing vocals on “Bleed To Love Her” and “Steal Your Heart Away.” In 2004 McVie released her third solo album, In The Meantime, which she collaborated on with her nephew, Dan Perfect.
Christine McVie told us that her leaving Fleetwood Mac and eventually rejoining the band were very carefully thought out decisions and not done without deep and heartfelt consideration: “I told the band when we were doing The Dance tour that that would be my last tour, and they knew it. It was no surprise to anybody. It was not out of any lack of love for these guys, they’re, y’know, they’re my musical family. I think everybody has to do their little journeys and do what they have to do. Y’know, Lindsey (Buckingham) left the band for a while, I just realized that I made a huge mistake, but it took me about 10 years to realize it, that’s all. And I started missing them and playing with them.” (:27 OC: . . . playing with them