10 Interesting Facts Surrounding Fleetwood Mac’s Self-Entitled Album
SAN BERNARDINO, CA - MAY 1983: Singer Stevie Nicks and guitarist Lindsey Buckingham of the rock group "Fleetwood Mac" perform onstage at the US Festival in May 1983 in San Bernardino, California. (Photo by Richard McCaffrey/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)
Often called The White Album, this is Fleetwood Mac’s second eponymous LP and their first with then-new members Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks. From the get-go, it’s clear that having the pair onboard was the best decision Mick Fleetwood ever made. Not only were they talented musicians but amazing songwriters too. In this record alone, Nicks wrote what would become two of the band’s best known and most enduring songs – Rhiannon and Landslide.
Let’s check out interesting facts about it.
1. Buckingham and Nicks were a package deal.
Fleetwood was only looking to hire a guitarist, and he offered the job to Buckingham. But Buckingham had other ideas, he wanted Nicks to join too. After all, they’ve been performing together.
“I had to explain we came as a duo,” Buckingham recalled. “Stupid me, eh?”
2. Their dynamics changed.
As with every introduction of new members, Fleetwood Mac wasn’t immune to the shift of power. Buckingham knew what he could bring to the table, and perhaps because of this, he came on rather strong. And John McVie wasn’t having it.
“The band you’re in is Fleetwood Mac,” he told Buckingham. “I’m the Mac. And I play the bass.”
Buckingham admitted that “John and I used to butt heads quite a bit. It took me a long time to appreciate his approach.”
3. The LP was produced by Keith Olsen.
It was Olsen who played the album Buckingham Nicks. And it was there that Fleetwood first heard of Buckingham’s guitar work. He then decided to hire Olsen and Buckingham. As the LP topped the charts, Olsen rose to prominence as a producer and built quite a reputation in the ’70s and ’80s as he worked with Grateful Dead, Emerson, Lake & Palmer, Pat Benatar, Heart, and many more.
4. Unlike their previous albums, this one gravitated towards pop rock.
Fleetwood Mac was rooted in blues, mostly because of founding member Peter Green. Now with the addition of Buckingham and Nicks, they decided to spice things up a bit but without abandoning their rock image. The album opened with the Buckingham composition, Monday Morning. Bassist John McVie was hesitant at first to play anything but blues rock. Olsen helped convince him by saying, “It’s a much faster way to the bank.”
5. Green’s influenced lingered.
World Turning by Buckingham and Christine McVie, was a reworked version of Green’s The World Keeps on Turning.
6. Over My Head was a surprise hit.
Written by Christine McVie, it was released as the lead single by Reprise Records. This decision surprised the band members because they thought it was the “least likely track on Fleetwood Mac to be released as a single.” But the biggest surprise was when it peaked at #20 on the US Billboard Hot 100 – the first song that charted since 1969’s Oh Well.
“‘Over My Head’ was a very unpredictable hit, as far as I’m concerned,” Christine McVie said in an interview. “The fact that it was bigger than ‘Say You Love Me’ [from the same album] surprised everyone.”
7. Blue Letter was the only one not written by any band member.
It was penned by brothers Richard and Michael Curtis. They previously met Buckingham and Nicks, and the four became friends. Blue Letter was originally intended for a second Buckingham Nicks album. According to Fleetwood, this was a last-minute addition to the LP.
8. All the singles released were penned by women.
Both Nicks and Christine McVie are prolific songwriters but in this album, they bested the men because the four singles – Over My Head, Rhiannon, Say You Love Me, Warm Ways – were written by them.
9. It’s called the White Album for a reason.
It’s not just to differentiate it from Fleetwood Mac’s first self-titled album. It’s also because of the album cover that features Fleetwood and John McVie.
10. It wasn’t an instant success.
It took over a year after its release for the album to land on the top spot of the US Billboard 200.
“We just played everywhere and we sold that record,” Nicks explained to Uncut. “We kicked that album in the ass.”