In wonderful news, Stevie Nicks recently revealed that her close friend and co-lead songstress Christine McVie would be rejoining Fleetwood Mac for one song at two of their shows on the European leg of the band’s reunion tour. McVie left in 1998, and for Fleetwood fans, the news is not only surprising but more than welcome as the band is even better when it includes the rich tonality of balladeer and multi-instrumentalist McVie. The singer left in large part owing to a fear of flying that inhibited her ability to travel on tour; Fleetwood Mac has reunited several times since despite missing the unique, dynamic third vocalist.
In honor of this news, let’s celebrate the wonderful and often hit-making talent of Christine McVie and take a look at 10 of her greatest contributions to one of the biggest rock bands in history.
“Say You Love Me”
Featured on Fleetwood Mac’s second self-titled album — the first to feature Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham, and tenth overall — “Say You Love Me” was the first cut on the 1975 release to chart for the band. And it’s no wonder it did: The track’s infectiously sunny sound and smooth vocals from McVie are a match made in pop heaven.
“You Make Loving Fun”
“You Make Loving Fun” is one of the only tracks on Rumours (1977) that’s not about a bandmate. Instead, McVie sings about an affair with the band’s lighting director — and brings a lighter moment to the classic album that was so famously inspired by the band members’ intra-love-related turmoil.
While fellow lead singer Stevie Nicks took a more mythical and metaphoric approach to the songs she wrote about her affairs and heartbreaks, McVie crafted simple, straightforward pop tracks that often came in the form of ballads. “Songbird,” another Rumours cut, is one of the most beautiful examples.
Though Buckingham and Nicks are often noted for their on-stage chemistry (and tumultuous relationship off-stage), McVie and Buckingham have repeatedly exhibited some perfect vocal chemistry of their own. “Hold Me,” from Mirage (1982), showcases exactly that and helped transition the band into the ’80s with ease.
Track five on 1987’s Tango in the Night, “Little Lies” is one of McVie’s sassier and more sultry numbers, about as late-’80s pop as a song can sound, all sleek production and whispering background vocals.
“Over My Head”
Much like its album-mate “Say You Love Me,” “Over My Head” is as summery as a ’70s power pop song can get and was an easy chart success for the band early on. “It sure feels nice” may be a line from McVie’s chorus, but it’s also a perfect way of describing the experience of listening to the song.
No Christine McVie list would be complete without the massive Rumours hit and most closely anthemic single “Don’t Stop.” Sung with Lindsey Buckingham, McVie’s tune remains a staple at Fleetwood concerts in spite of her absence.
Much like “Little Lies,” which is on the same album, “Everywhere” shimmers. Its Caribbean-pop beat would later inspire Vampire Weekend — and go on to be covered by that band, too.
“Think About Me”
Off Tusk, the ambitious and often contentious 1979 followup to Rumours, “Think About Me” is a little bit of a rougher sound from McVie, thanks to Buckingham’s harmonies. Yet, like every other McVie song, there’s a distinct pop quality here that makes it hard to let go.
“Love in Store”
Mirage‘s opener is melodious, a little old school, and features some fantastic harmonies from Nicks that help make McVie’s song even larger than life.