The drama at times threatened to overshadow the music, but Fleetwood Mac overcame marital strife and rampant substance abuse to make some of the most enduring pop-rock recordings of the1970s. Originally, however, Fleetwood Mac started out as practitioners of the blues during the British blues boom of the late ‘60s, as founder Peter Green named the group after two former band mates from John Mayall’s Bluebreakers, drummer Mick Fleetwood and bassist John McVie. Under Green’s stewardship, Fleetwood Mac had a U.K. No.1 hit with “Albatross.” Though successful during this period, Fleetwood Mac would undergo a transformation, as Green’s mental state deteriorated. His last hit with the band turned out to be “The Green Manalishi (with the Two-Pronged Crown),” later covered by Judas Priest, and in 1970, Green left the band. So began the years of transition between 1970 and1975, which saw many lineup changes, including the arrival of Bob Welch. Keyboardist Christine McVie, wife of John McVie, gained membership in 1970, having also provided the artwork for the album Kiln House. Fleetwood Mac’s popularity exploded between 1975 and 1987, with Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks rounding out the lineup. Following their eponymous debut, which sold five million copies, Fleetwood Mac released Rumours, one of the biggest albums of the ‘70s, in 1977. Generating four Top 10 hits, including Nicks’ No. 1 smash “Dreams,” Rumours had remarkable staying power, remaining at No. 1 on the U.S. album charts for an astonishing 31 weeks. Overall, it has sold more than 40 million copies worldwide. Relationship problems threatened to sink Rumours before its release, as the McVie marriage dissolved and the romance between Buckingham and Nicks died. Even Fleetwood was going through a divorce at the time, as the painful emotions all of them were experiencing fueled the writing for Rumours. By the time work on Tusk began, Fleetwood Mac decided on a more experimental approach. The result was sagging record sales, and Mac returned to a more commercial sound for 1982’s Mirage. In the aftermath, Nicks’ solo career took flight, while Buckingham and Christine McVie also pursued solo projects. They recorded one more album together, Tango in the Night, in 1987, before reuniting in 1997. Concert handbills, programs, posters and postcards from the late ‘60s and early ‘70s versions of the band are prized by collectors and worth hundreds and, occasionally, even thousands of dollars – concert tickets are a less expensive option. Fine art print photos of Fleetwood Mac from the Rumours era are also highly valued, as are pieces of memorabilia featuring band members’ autographs.
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