Fleetwood Mac was formed in London and focused primarily on blues but after a transition to pop rock they became one of the best-selling groups in the US. A storied career fraught with personal problems and lineup changes led to over 120 million worldwide record sales and the band becoming a household name. In this article, we’ll go over 35 of Fleetwood Mac’s best songs.
It makes sense to place Fleetwood Mac’s only number-one single on the US Billboard Hot 100 in the number one spot, but Dreams was more than just that. Ranked at number nine on Rolling Stone’s 2021 list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time, Dreams came about during a time of massive emotional turmoil for the band. S
tevie Nicks is quoted as saying the song took her a total of 10 minutes to write, but the legacy of Dreams has endured from its inception in 1977, becoming one of the most played songs on TikTok and re-entering the charts in 2020, over 40 years after its initial release.
2. Go Your Own Way
While Dreams was Nick’s perspective of the end of her relationship with Lindsey Buckingham, Go Your Own Way was from his. The lyrics are essentially Buckingham telling Nicks to go do whatever she wants, effectively ending their relationship. Maybe it was the raw emotion and anger of the song that made it so great.
In the end, Go Your Own Way ended up being the band’s first Top 10 hit single and made it onto Rolling Stone’s list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time, ranking at number 120 in 2010. Like every other song on the band’s Rumours album, all the instrumentation was recorded separately and combined with overdubs, mostly due to the ridiculous tension between the band members.
Rhiannon was the song that caused all the rumors about Stevie Nicks being involved in real-world witchcraft, turning the story of an old Welsh woman who thought she was possessed into the tale of a mystical Welsh woman. It became Fleetwood Mac’s first hit song after Nicks and Lindsey joined the group, featuring some of Nick’s most powerful and haunting vocals ever laid down in live concerts. The song made it to number 11 on the US singles charts and was a sign of more success for the band.
Christine McVie’s Everywhere ended up being Fleetwood Mac’s last single to break into the US Top 20. Of course, tension arose when an early version left of harmonies by Stevie Nicks, but they were eventually added and the track became one of the band’s best songs to release from their 14th studio album, Tango in the Night.
5. The Chain
On the incredible Rumours album, The Chain is the only song that the band wrote as a group. It may have never been released as a single, but it still sees radio play today, thanks to how stunning the song ended up being. The Chain was born out of a band jam session, with Stevie Nicks writing some lyrics for a few sections she thought were good from the jam, and then Lindsey arranged all the bits together. Fleetwood Mac recorded it, and it found its way onto the Rumours album.
6. Silver Springs
Silver Springs is still one of the most beautiful songs Nicks has ever written, but that didn’t stop it from causing drama. The song ran for nearly 10 minutes, causing it to be cut from the band’s Rumours album without Nicks’s consultation, and their refusal to give it to her for a solo album made it all the more contentious. While pretty, it also was meant to strike a nerve. The song was about how you never truly get away from a former lover, which was ironic as Nicks sang about how “You’ll never get away from the sound of the woman that loved you” next to her former lover, Lindsey.
Landslide has been covered by numerous artists, from the Dixie Chicks to the Smashing Pumpkins. Nicks actually wrote the song before joining Fleetwood Mac. Her troubled relationship and questions about whether she could quit music caused her to wish an avalanche would come down the mountain and swallow up the Aspen home she was sitting in. It wasn’t released as an album single, but a live single was produced and released from the band’s 1997 reunion tour.
8. Gold Dust Woman
Gold Dust Woman is the epitome of Fleetwood Mac at the time they recorded Rumours. Full of pain, emotional instability, and unsure how to stop any habits and problems they’ve been sucked into.
In the end, it’s a song referencing the band’s drug use and talking about how much of a toll everything has taken on them; a bit of a downer to end off an amazing album with, but one that resonated with fans and one of their best songs.
9. Don’t Stop
Don’t Stop made it to the Top three on the Billboard charts but served as McVie’s way of telling her husband she loved him but wasn’t in love with him anymore. It was meant to be a kind of optimistic advice to him but ended up adding more tension to an already tumultuous group. In the end, it’s still a pretty song with some optimism hidden behind the pain.
After the Rumours album, it seemed the band could do nothing to top their previous success despite intense pressure to try. Despite the personal problems they were still dealing with, they eventually produced Tusk, which ended up being a collection of solo songs rather than a cohesive album and, coincidentally, one of Fleetwood Mac’s best albums.
Sara was the most commercially successful song on the album and the one that was written as a universally-relatable one, reaching number seven on the US Billboard Hot 100 and cementing the album as one of the greats.
While other bands began to fail after the 70s, Fleetwood Mac started the 80s with a bang. Their 1982 album, Mirage, landed three hits in the Top 40, with Gypsy being the best. In the end, it’s a nostalgic track about how great things had been for Nicks when she lived like a gypsy and hadn’t joined the band yet.
12. The Ledge
The Ledge was the second track on the band’s Tusk album and was the first indication that the album was a collection of solo singles instead of having an overall sound. The harmonies get nearly drowned out in echo, and off-key guitars accompany the speed of the melody to produce a unique tune.
The title track from a frankly weird album, Tusk, is certainly weird. The single included the sounds of a marching band, shrieks, whispers, and oddly a soundbite of a leg of lamb being hit with a spatula. It’s unexpected, strange, and everything wonderful about Fleetwood Mac and their creativity on the album.
14. You Make Loving Fun
Fleetwood Mac was drowning in their interpersonal relationships and while this song is amazing, it certainly didn’t help those. McVie wrote the song after she began dating the band’s lighting director Curry Grant and the song was directly related to their new relationship. McVie tried to say the song was about a dog, but absolutely nobody believed that little lie.
15. Oh Well
Oh Well was one of Fleetwood Mac’s earliest songs and sounds much different than their later, more famous works, which included the lineup of Nicks and Lindsey. It’s a blues rock song that’s been covered by every garage band in history and big names like Tom Petty. A standard-setting piece, it stayed in their concert repertoire years after Peter Green was no longer with the group, fitting in with the sound of hard rock bands like Led Zeppelin.
16. Never Going Back Again
Never Going Back Again was one of the prettiest songs to come off the band’s Rumours album, a work that was an acoustic ballad from Lindsey. It mainly referred to him having broken up with Nicks and meeting someone else but featured on the B side of the album.
17. Say You Love Me
Say You Love Me ended up being one of the best tracks on the band’s self-titled 1975 album and helped it sell over eight million copies. It sat at number 11 on the Billboard Hot 100 for three straight weeks and became the first song from the album to make it onto the UK Top 40 charts.
18. Seven Wonders
Seven Wonders was one of the very few Fleetwood Mac songs that wasn’t written by any of the band members. Instead, Nicks collaborated with Sandy Stewart to compose the track. Sort of. Nicks’s only contribution was one line that she had misheard, but she liked using the name “Emmeline” so much that she kept it and ended up getting a small credit for it.
The post-Green/pre-Nicks era of Fleetwood Mac was full of transition. They kept the blues sound they started with but began smoothing out the edges of their music, and the origin of the harmonies became an identifying trait of the band’s music.
20. Big Love
Big Love might sound like a sexual grunt contest between Nicks and Lindsey, but the part you think is her was actually Lindsey’s voice sped up. It was a fun, mid-tempo song that was the first release from Tango in the Night.
21. Over My Head
The first single from their self-titled 1975 album, Over My Head was written about Buckingham, with band members often writing songs about each other. It really showed how great McVie was with mid-tempo songs and placed the band in their best element.
22. Little Lies
Little Lies is a classic McVie song that relies on an emotional longing and the blues genre elements that run through all of her best songs. It ended up being Fleetwood Mac’s last song to break into the Top 10 on the US charts and was written by McVie and her new husband, Eddy Quintela.
McVie took a whole 30 minutes to write Songbird. It’s a wonderfully beautiful piano ballad that sounds like it’s being played to an empty house and it tends to bring goose pimples up on your arms.
When you think of old-school psychedelic music sessions, there’s always a song that works well for the comedown when it’s over. Albatross is a dreamy song, the perfect mood setter for those in a haze who need a calming track to listen to while coming out of it slowly. It was a number-one hit in the UK, the only number-one on those charts for Fleetwood Mac, and surged back onto the charts in 1973 after being included on a chillout soundtrack.
25. Man Of The World
Man of the World is incredibly sad, with the writer (Peter Green) even stating he wished he’d never been born. It’s one of those songs that just leans on the audience for a shoulder to cry on, and it’s full of emotion.
26. Future Games
Future Games has all the hippie stoner vibes you expect from early Fleetwood Mac, but it is one of their less-known tracks. It describes the arrival of Welch to the band and how it shook everything up.
27. Black Magic Woman
Fleetwood Mac might have done it first, but Carlos Santana did it just as well. Their version was darker and rawer, but it excels just the same.
28. Keep On Going
Keep On Going is a unique song, even for Fleetwood Mac. McVie sings against soul-infused instrumentals that feature strings and dance floor drums, creating a song that sounds nothing like anything else the band ever produced.
29. Not That Funny
Not That Funny is the rougher version of I Know I’m Not Wrong. It was born from Buckingham’s experimental basement recordings and found its way onto the weird Tusk album.
30. Hold Me
Hold Me is a great song, but it was another that caused problems. While it was the first Fleetwood Mac song to have a music video shot for it, the experience was awful, with all of the band members at odds and not keen on doing it in the desert.
31. Jewel Eyed Judy
This is another of the great songs from Fleetwood Mac’s transitionary years, showcasing Danny Kirwan’s songwriting abilities and producing a Beatles-like ballad.
32. Sad Angel
Sad Angel was released in 2013 and was the band’s best song in years. It wrapped up their personal issues in a tight package and described coming to terms with all of the past issues and differences.
33. Sisters of the Moon
Sisters of the Moon was another Tusk song that came from a band jam session, and the band themselves claim it’s one of the greatest moments of their career as a group. It was perfect on the Tusk record because it was about a feeling rather than any person or thing.
Storms was a rough song that dealt with Nicks’s short affair with Fleetwood. A sore spot for the band, but a song that resonates well with audiences.
35. I Don’t Want To Know
I Don’t Want To Know ended up being the song added onto Rumours when Silver Springs was dropped for being too long. It was one of Nicks’s songs she wrote before joining the group, likely added on to assuage her after her song had been removed.
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