Dec 05, 2022
By Matthew Berlyant
On November 30th, 2022, Christine McVie passed away at the age of 79. Though she was the oldest member of Fleetwood Mac, she didn’t join the band officially until the early ’70s and had a thriving career for years before that, first with the UK blues group Chicken Shack, then followed by a 1970 solo record under her own name (Christine Perfect, her actual given maiden name before marrying Mac bassist John McVie). A talented visual artist as well, she designed the back cover of their 1970 album Kiln House. Once she joined Fleetwood Mac as an official member, however, her melodic gifts were immediately felt, contributing “Morning Rain” and “Show Me a Smile” to 1971’s beautiful Future Games. From that point forward, she became a key member of the band and crucially, one of its main songwriters alongside Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham.
What really brought her to prominence, however, was the ascent of Fleetwood Mac as one of the biggest rock bands of the mid-’70s starting with the self-titled 1975 album (their 10th overall), to which she contributed the classics “Say You Love Me” and “Over My Head.” On 1977’s all-timer Rumours, she contributed the utter classics “You Make Loving Fun,” “Oh Daddy,” and the beautiful piano ballad “Songbird” to close out side one. Other great McVie songs include “Think About Me” from 1979’s Tusk, “Wish You Were Here” from 1982’s underrated Mirage, “Everywhere” and “Little Lies” from 1987’s Tango in the Night and many more.
She left Fleetwood Mac in 1999 following the successful reunion album The Dance from 1997 and essentially retired from the music business, but rejoined in 2014 and remained a member until the end of her life. She also collaborated with Buckingham on a 2017 album that showed that she had never lost her gifts.
As Jake Brennan said in the Fleetwood Mac episode of his popular Disgraceland podcast, “In Fleetwood Mac, Stevie Nicks’ voice may have been the siren call that pulled you into bed, but Christine McVie’s voice was the one that kept you there all weekend. Her maiden name was Perfect.” She was the glue that held the long-feuding group together, a necessity in a group with such big personalities and talents, appearing in one form or another on every Fleetwood Mac album (even on 2003’s Say You Will when she was officially out of the band) except for their very first album with original guitarist Peter Green, her fandom for whom led her to eventually join the band.
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