In 1974, the British band Fleetwood Mac moved to California after their Heroes Are Hard to Find album. For the first time, Fleetwood Mac was a foursome: drummer Mick Fleetwood, bassist John McVie, keyboardist Christine McVie and guitarist Bob Welch. Welch left the group shortly after the move.
While auditioning audio engineers for their next recording, Fleetwood and John McVie heard the 1973 Buckingham Nicks album by Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham. They loved the songwriting, the vocal harmonies and the instrumentation, especially Buckingham’s guitar work.
On Dec. 31, 1974, Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham were invited to join Fleetwood Mac. It was the band’s tenth change to its lineup in seven years.
Although the band’s roots were steeped in strict British blues, with 1972’s Bare Trees LP, the music was heading into commercial territory—shorter songs with pop hooks and memorable melodies.
Buckingham and Nicks brought a new collaborative energy to the band. In seven months, the new incarnation would release an eponymous album (something the original members had done for their debut in 1968). Fleetwood Mac was the group’s tenth album and their first #1 LP in the US (but it would not reach the top position for more than a year after its release).
The album generated three Top 20 singles in the US: Christine McVie’s “Over My Head” and “Say You Love Me” and Nicks’ “Rhiannon.”
A fourth single, Christine McVie’s “Warm Ways,” was also released as a single in the UK. It’s one of my all-time favorites.