Fleetwood Mac’s ‘Rumours’ album crystallised the sunny and silky Californian rock sound on its release 35-years-ago this week. We’ve already examined how an album with such a complicated genesis (drugs, in-fighting, heartbreak, more drugs) came to sound so good (read all about it here). But since it’s reissued by Rhino this week (with some mouth-watering demos and outtakes), we thought we’d pay tribute to the Mac pack by picking five modern bands that still march to the beat of Fleetwood, and five of our favourite Mac cover versions.
Tipped for great things in 2013, this trio of young Californian sisters sound as though they were played Stevie Nicks solo albums in their communal crib instead of nursery rhymes.
Like Haim, The Pierces are also a family affair – comprising sisters Allison and Catherine Pierce. They may be New Yorkers, but they’re well versed in the sounds of the West Coast, with a mix of acoustic strum-craft and classic rock song writing worthy of the Mac pack.
Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds
Ever since Noel shifted his focus away from the fraternal fracas of Oasis and started this avian alternative, he’s been giving off some rather hefty Mac vibes. Noel admitted that the name was inspired by the band’s original title, Peter Green’s Fleetwood Mac, while tunes like ‘The Death of Me and You’ bear more than a hint of Californian sun.
Two producers and remixers inspired by the Mac’s glossy ’80s period, circa ‘Tango In The Night’, Psychemagic have succeeded in updating the sound of the Mac twice for dancefloors – once with a makeover of ‘Dreams’, and once with this dreamy dub version of ‘Everywhere’.
An upcoming LA five-piece who owe the Mac a debt for signposting them through the Laurel Canyon, Milo Greene also pay respect to the band’s British side with their name – a fictitious English character in a monocle and a three-piece suit who acts as the band’s imaginary manager.
Five unusual cover versions
Chaka Khan gives ‘Everywhere’ an unlikely neo-soul reworking:
Canadian producer CFCF recasts 1987’s ‘Big Love’ in a disco mould:
Best Coast add a touch of perkiness to the witchy wonder of ‘Rhiannon’
Latino guitar legend Carlos Santana makes Peter Green’s ‘Black Magic Woman’ his own:
Aussie psych-revivalists Tame Impala do a fine job of reinventing ‘That’s All For Everyone’ from 1979’s ‘Tusk’ LP: