Shakespeare once wrote, “If music be the food of love, play on” – and, certainly, making music has gone hand in hand with making love for no shortage of musicians who have found romance within their own ranks. Rock and pop music is littered with fiery tales of passion – and not a few explosive bust-ups – among bands in relationships. But while these meetings of creative minds and instrument-wielding bodies have led to some of the best love songs of all time, they have also resulted in some recriminatory tunes that have soundtracked music history’s very own long-running soap opera.
Not all of these bands in relationships have ended in tears – though the majority have, suggesting that making music together doesn’t always make it any easier to live together. Remembering the good times as well as the bad, we also raise a toast to the few who have gone the distance.
Listen to our Love Songs playlist here, and check out our list of the most notable bands in relationships, below.
Fleetwood Mac: Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks; John and Christine McVie
Married: John and Christine McVie only (1968)
Divorced: Yes (John and Christine McVie, 1976)
Relationship status: Separated (Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks)
Fleetwood Mac almost singlehandedly wrote the book on bands in relationships in the 70s, and their gargantuan 1977 album, Rumours, largely chronicled the breakup between the group’s then driving songwriting forces, Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham.
Nicks and Buckingham were a romantically involved singer-songwriter duo when they boarded Mick Fleetwood’s outfit on New Year’s Eve 1974, with Buckingham agreeing to join only if Nicks were allowed to come with him. Less than two years later, after the career-turnaround success of Fleetwood Mac’s self-titled 1975 album, their personal relationship was foundering – though the pair poured their feelings into what became some of the best Fleetwood Mac songs, among them Dreams and Go Your Own Way, both from Rumours. The pair remained in the group until Buckingham left following the release of 1987’s Tango In The Night album, and have had an on-off working relationship since.
Meanwhile, co-founding bassist John McVie had married Christine Perfect in 1968, and, as Christine McVie, she joined Fleetwood Mac in time for 1971’s Future Games. They, too, split in 1976, at around the same time that Mick Fleetwood was in this middle of his second divorce. As one of the best breakup albums of all time, Rumours also included the song Don’t Stop, which charted Christine’s feelings about the demise of her relationship with John. It was later adopted by Bill Clinton for his 1992 presidential campaign anthem.
Must hear: Go Your Own Way