Another tour means a new best-of collection is in order for the Mac, although this one also marks 50 years for the group. And in true band form, it also is being marked with yet another controversy. With Lindsey Buckingham fired and suing the other members, it proves once and for all that there just won't be a happily-ever-after ending for rock's ultimate soap opera.
I'm always amused by the idea of a casual Mac fan getting one of these collections, listening to the first song, and being completely confused by the old blues tune they hear. "This isn't Rhiannon," you can imagine them saying, confronted by the rowdy Shake Your Moneymaker. This three-disc set starts off with a hefty helping of the blues band originally called Peter Green's Fleetwood Mac, at that point major players in the British blues boom. Their first leader was one of the true guitar heroes, plus the author of several fantastic tracks, including Black Magic Woman, Oh Well and The Green Manalishi. The whole first disc is devoted to the pre-Buckingham/Nicks era, and quite rightly. Even with various guitar player departures and revolving lineups, they still managed to put out high-quality albums, with excellent tracks such as Sentimental Lady and Spare Me A Little Of Your Love highlighting players such as Bob Welch and then-newcomer Christine McVie.
Disc two is the glory years of smash hits from the Buckingham-Nicks-McVie trio of writers, from the megasellers Fleetwood Mac, Rumours and Tusk. These are no-brainer choices, as such highly predictable, with no room for anything other than hit after hit: Monday Morning, Over My Head, Rhiannon, Say You Love Me, The Chain, Sara and more. There's no point trying to find a different way to tell that part of the story, and as familiar as these tunes are, they still remain strong and vibrant.