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Fleetwood Mac

Fleetwood Mac is a unique case because in a way they were several bands.  The band was founded by Peter Green, who is featured in the above video of Oh Well from 1969.  He named the band after the rhythm section – “Fleetwood” is drummer Mick Fleetwood and “Mac” is bass player John McVie.  They are the only two members of the band to be there all the way through.  (Keyboardist Christine McVie was on all but a couple of albums.)  Songwriting, singing and lead guitar were handled by several people, and the band changed character depending on who was out front.  They went through a few iterations before Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks joined and they reached their highest popularity.  The band in the above clip had Peter Green, Danny Kirwan and Jeremy Spencer in front of Fleetwood and Mac.

The Peter Green-led band was a blues-rock band, best know for their album Fleetwood Mac in Chicago, where they played with several Chicago blues legends.  Here’s an audio (from around 1970) of one of their staple songs, Rattlesnake Shake, with an extended jam.  I took the audio from a three-part YouTube video (called “Boston Blues”) so there are three audio files:

Rattlesnake Shake Part 1  Part 2  Part 3 

Peter Green, among other things, wrote Black Magic Woman, which was the first big hit for Santana.  Green was invited to play at Carlos Santana’s Rock  Hall of Fame induction in 1998 (he’s on the left in the video).  A classy move by Carlos Santana:

By 1972, when they released Bare Trees, Peter Green was gone and the band’s sound was completely different.  Here’s an audio of the title song:

They released the album Mystery to Me in the summer of 1973, which included one of my favorite Fleetwood Mac songs, Hypnotized:

Here’s a video from the TV show Midnight Special from 1973, with Bob Welch, Christine McVie & Bob Weston out front, doing the songs Miles Away and Believe Me:

The band fell apart during their tour in support of Mystery to Me.  Among other things, the marriage of John and Christine McVie was falling apart, and Bob Weston had an affair with Mick Fleetwood’s wife, which led to Fleetwood firing him from the band.  This led to one of the more bizarre events in the history of rock (and that’s saying something).  The manager claimed he owned the name “Fleetwood Mac”, so he hired all new musicians and sent them out on the road as Fleetwood Mac.  Ultimately, the real band members responded by re-forming and moving to Los Angeles.  After Bob Welch left, Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks joined the band in 1975, and they started their rise to the top of the charts.  The Wikipedia biography is an entertaining read on the history of the band.