Like the Beatles, Eagles, and CSNY, Fleetwood Mac benefited greatly by having multiple singer/songwriters – one of which was Stevie Nicks. Fingerstyle ace Lindsey Buckingham and the meticulous rhythm section of John McVie and Mick Fleetwood were icing on the cake. The platinum-era Mac could further bring it live, proven on this expanded three-CD reissue.
The bulk of material comes from 1977 through ’82, but there’s one ’75 cut – the stomper “Don’t Let Me Down Again.” Witness Buckingham’s singular style, a fierce fingerpicking attack that underpins so many Mac tracks. On “Dreams,” he adds effective volume swells while singing backup. Lindsey delivers the signature FM riff to “Rhiannon,” as well as a blistering solo on a Rick Turner Model 1-C-Deluxe axe. The song’s extended jam only confirms how formidable this lineup was.
Another positive note about Live is that it actually sounds like a concert, unlike countless studio-enhanced efforts. There’s an echoey, raw ambiance that puts us inside the typical concrete sports arenas of the era.
Cool footnote: During Buckingham’s true guitar-hero moment on “Go Your Own Way” (from a 1980 Cleveland gig), you’ll hear a rhythm guitarist. That’s guitar tech Ray Lindsey, who joined Fleetwood Mac onstage each night.
This article originally appeared in VG’s June 2021 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.