Fleetwood Mac kicks off their 2014 tour this week, and while the band has been on the road semi-frequently over the past decade, this tour marks the return of keyboardist/singer/songwriter Christine McVie, who retired from the band after their incredibly successful 1997-1998 reunion tour. Often overshadowed by her American bandmates Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks, McVie was nevertheless responsible for some of the band’s biggest hits, including “Over My Head,” “Say You Love Me,” “Songbird,” “You Make Loving Fun,” “Think About Me,” “Hold Me” and “Little Lies,” not to mention the band’s biggest hit, “Don’t Stop.”
In fact, even after Christine left, Fleetwood Mac never stopped playing “Don’t Stop” in concert, and when she joined them late last year at the O2 Dome in England for that song, the crowd, predictably went wild. And, it would seem, her appetite to be in the Mac returned. Soon after, she announced her return to the group.
So here, respectfully, are some suggestions (some obvious, many less so) that we’d love to hear her take the mic on during this tour. And no, we’re not skipping “Don’t Stop.” We know they’re gonna do that one.
Chicken Shack – “When My Train Comes Back” (1968)
Before she joined Fleetwood Mac — back when all three of their singer/songwriters were male guitar heroes — Christine McVie was known as Christine Perfect, (“Perfect” is actually her maiden name), and she was the singer/keyboardist in a British blues band called Chicken Shack. Most of their songs were written by singer/guitarist Stan Webb, but this was one of Christine’s contributions to their debut, 40 Blue Fingers, Freshly Packed and Ready to Serve. “When My Train Comes Back” was a blues song about infidelity, pre-dating her years in Fleetwood Mac, where (as you may have read) infidelity would occur. There’s often rumors that Lindsey and Stevie will break out one of their pre-Mac Buckingham/Nicks songs in concert, so it’s fair to wonder if Christine will bring one of her own pre-Mac nuggets.
Christine Perfect – “And That’s Saying A Lot” (1970)
After leaving Chicken Shack but before the Mac (and before she married Fleetwood Mac bassist John McVie and took his name), she released her self-titled solo debut. Much of the album was self-penned, but there were a lot of R&B and soul covers, including this Chuck Jackson song. Decades later – improbably – Mos Def would sample the drum break on this song on his “Speed Law.”