Wednesday, August 04, 2004

C'est McVie

A very welcome voice is poised to return to music. Christine McVie, who sat out Fleetwood Mac's last studio effort, Say You Will, releases her new solo disc, In the Meantime, next month, and I heard its first single, "Friend," on 'XPN Monday. Like much of McVie's work, it's a pleasant, sturdy little tune; if history is any guide, repeated listens will foster the realization that she continues to be capable of writing songs with irresistible hooks and of singing them in a lovely, perfectly inflected, and singular voice.

McVie for years served as Mac's unsung heroine. While Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks garnered all the attention, McVie was quietly writing and singing some of the band best songs. Lacking Buckingham's self-indulgent flash and Nicks's goofy aura of the occult, she simply kept her head down and did her job. In a sense she was Larry to Buckingham and Nicks's Moe and Curly. I mean that as a compliment -- honestly. And though Lindsey and Stevie famously used the band as a cathartic outlet to soothe the pain of their mercurial relationship, Christine managed to divorce bassist John McVie then continue to work alongside him in an arrangement seemingly built on mutual respect and professionalism.

Nobody pays much attention to her, but McVie gave Fleetwood Mac a necessary softening. Maybe I'm just a sucker for sweet pop tunes, but without her presence, it would have been easy to envision Mac drifting into a wearying and pointless stasis of never-ending punches traded by her two more famous bandmates.

9 Comments:

At August 5, 2004 at 7:37 AM, Blogger Wyatt Earp said...

"Maybe I'm just a sucker for sweet pop tunes . . . "

(Read: wuss.)

 
At August 5, 2004 at 8:49 AM, Blogger Chris said...

Shawn -- Hey, some people want to fill the world with silly love songs. And what's wrong with that, I'd like to know?

T-- kudos for one of the most successful strained metaphors I've ever seen. Let me know when you crack the elusive "John Paul Jones is to Led Zeppelin as Dick Smothers is to the Smothers Brothers" formulation.

 
At August 5, 2004 at 1:16 PM, Blogger Matt said...

Seriously, you're talking about Fleetwood Mac and Christine McVie. Who cares?

 
At August 6, 2004 at 6:30 AM, Blogger Wyatt Earp said...

Chris, allow me to reply for Tom about your comment:

"OUCH!"

 
At August 6, 2004 at 9:09 AM, Blogger Chris said...

I actually meant it as a compliment. The Three Stooges thing made me laugh out loud. And Philadelphia's own Larry was, in fact, an underrated genius.

 
At August 6, 2004 at 9:48 AM, Blogger Wyatt Earp said...

Stern once had a bit about Larry speaking at Woodstock:

"Don't eat the brown acid. I'm warning you!"

Funniest thing I have ever heard.

 
At August 6, 2004 at 10:55 AM, Blogger gr said...

the funniest thing i heard stern do was faux-host commentary on an imaginary parade in new york. i can't remember much about it, other than he took shots at every special niche group and i was literally trying not to laugh out loud at work at the time and i nearly had cardiac arrest.

 
At August 6, 2004 at 1:30 PM, Blogger Tom said...

Shawn: I'll try not to let you abuse make do something really wussy, like, I don't know, pulling my blog for a few days because people are too mean. Chris -- thanks. Remember the book in which some pundit said, presumably with a straight face, "The Stooges weren't worth a damn without Larry"? Matt -- you should talk about posting content no one wants to read. Another item on the NHL's collective bargaining agreement, anyone?

 
At August 8, 2004 at 7:23 PM, Blogger Wyatt Earp said...

I hereby withdraw my comment.

Dick.

 

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