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Fleetwood Mac Line-ups: A Complete Guide To Every Band Member
List & Guides

Fleetwood Mac Line-ups: A Complete Guide To Every Band Member

Explaining every Fleetwood Mac line-up in depth, this guide covers every era and band member, and the albums they appeared on.

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Since their beginnings on the UK blues circuit of the late 60s, Fleetwood Mac have survived multiple line-up changes, tumultuous internal relationships and a predilection for decadence to become one of the most successful bands of all time. Their music has evolved with each change of personnel, from early blues-rock outings to the stadium-packing polished pop-rock of the 80s, and yet they have always remained resolutely themselves. However, with Fleetwood Mac’s album covers rarely picturing the bandmates together, keeping track of the talent passing through the group’s ranks can be difficult. Here, then, is our guide to Fleetwood Mac’s line-ups: a complete list of every band member and every era, and the albums they appeared on.

Listen to the best of Fleetwood Mac here, and check out the complete list of Fleetwood Mac line-ups, below.

1967-1970: Peter Green’s Fleetwood Mac

The band members
Peter Green: guitar, harmonica, vocals
Jeremy Spencer: guitar, piano, vocals
Danny Kirwan: guitar, vocals (joined 1968)
Bob Brunning: bass (1967)
John McVie: bass (joined 1967)
Mick Fleetwood: drums, percussion

The studio albums
Fleetwood Mac (1968)
Mr Wonderful (1968)
Then Play On (1969)
Blues Jam At Chess (1969)

The story
Back in 1967, blues-guitar prodigy Peter Green and drummer Mick Fleetwood left John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers to form their own band. Initial attempts to bring Bluesbreakers bassist John McVie with them failed, so the duo enlisted Bob Brunning (formerly of Savoy Brown) to supply the low-end and hired Jeremy Spencer, a slide-guitar specialist then playing with blues trio The Levi Set, to complete the line-up. The group – initially known as Peter Green’s Fleetwood Mac – played their debut live gig at The National Jazz & Blues Festival, in Windsor, on 13 August 1967. In attendance was John McVie, who was impressed enough to reconsider Green and Fleetwood’s offer and, within weeks, had joined the band. Also playing at the festival were Chicken Shack, featuring a certain Christine Perfect on keyboards. Before long, Perfect and McVie had become an item, paving the way for one of the most consequential Fleetwood Mac line-up changes of all.

With McVie on board, the four-piece Fleetwood Mac released two albums in 1968 – their self-titled debut album and its follow-up, Mr Wonderful – establishing themselves as major players on the UK blues scene. For his part, Green was hailed as one of the most gifted guitarists of his generation, capable of playing with melancholic beauty and brooding menace. But he struggled with being the centre of attention and, in 1968, the band recruited 18-year-old guitarist Danny Kirwan to shoulder the musical burden. Still, Green’s writing was blossoming, and a string of smash hit singles followed: the UK No.1 Albatross, the bittersweet ballad Man Of The World and the tumultuous blues-rocker Oh Well.

A third album, Then Play On, followed, its flourishes of psychedelia, folk and proto-hard-rock demonstrating how quickly Fleetwood Mac were developing, while Blues Jam At Chess found the group in Chicago’s hallowed Chess Studios, trading licks with some of the blues legends that had inspired them. But while the band were hugely successful, Green’s experimentation with psychedelic drugs contributed towards his increasingly erratic behaviour and, in 1970, he left Fleetwood Mac, bringing the group’s first era to an end.

Must hear: Oh Well

1970-1972: The post-Green era

The band members
Danny Kirwan: guitar, vocals
Jeremy Spencer: guitar, piano, vocals (left 1971)
Bob Welch: guitar, vocals (joined 1971)
Christine McVie: keyboards, vocals
John McVie: bass
Mick Fleetwood: drums, percussion

The studio albums
Kiln House (1970)
Future Games (1971)
Bare Trees (1972)

The story
Having lost their visionary co-founder, Fleetwood Mac began again – and not for the last time. Moving with their families into a communal house near Alton, in Hampshire, for six months, a new Fleetwood Mac line-up gelled and established a new musical direction.

Christine Perfect had married John McVie in 1969 and, leaving Chicken Shack in order to be closer to her husband, began to contribute towards Fleetwood Mac’s music. Though she wouldn’t receive an official credit on the group’s fourth album, 1970’s Kiln House, she did record vocals and organ parts for that record, and created the illustration used for its cover.

During the immediate post-Green era, songwriting duties were mostly split between Danny Kirwan (progressive blues and rock) and Jeremy Spencer (vintage country and rock’n’roll), though Spencer became increasingly disillusioned with band life and, during Fleetwood Mac’s US tour of February 1971, abruptly left the group in order to join the religious movement The Children Of God.

Peter Green made a temporary return to the Fleetwood Mac line-up, but the group’s former bandleader only played the final week of the tour (along with conga player Nigel Watson). After hearing a tape of songs by struggling US songwriter and guitarist Bob Welch, the band asked him to join them, and Welch moved in to Fleetwood Mac’s latest communal home, Benifold, in Hampshire. The following album, Future Games (released in September 1971) showed Welch making an immediate impact on the group, bringing a pop sensibility to counter Kirwan’s edgier rock tunes – not least on the album’s West Coast harmony-infused title track. Future Games was also notable for carrying Christine McVie’s first songwriting credit for the band, the lilting Show Me A Smile.

The following year’s Bare Trees album marked Danny Kirwan’s artistic coming of age, the guitarist contributing the majority of the material, including the tough boogie of the title track and the voodoo blues of Danny’s Chant. Meanwhile, Christine McVie’s Spare Me A Little Of Your Love was a laidback, radio-friendly gem that hinted at Fleetwood Mac’s future glories. Bare Trees was, however, a false dawn: Kirwan’s increasingly excessive and temperamental on-the-road exploits alienated him from the group, and he was fired in August 1972, in the middle of a US tour.

Must hear: Bare Trees

1973-1974: ‘Penguin’ to ‘Heroes Are Hard To Find’

The band members
Bob Welch: guitar, vocals
Bob Weston: guitar, vocals
Christine McVie: keyboards, vocals
Dave Walker: harmonica, vocals
John McVie: bass
Mick Fleetwood: drums, percussion

The studio albums
Penguin (1973)
Mystery To Me (1973)
Heroes Are Hard To Find (1974)

The story
With Fleetwood Mac again lacking a creative lynchpin, John McVie and Mick Fleetwood turned to Bob Weston, a guitarist they’d encountered on the UK live circuit back in their Bluesbreakers days, and vocalist Dave Walker (Savoy Brown; The Idle Race). The new members were bedded in as the group completed their US touring obligations in late 1972, and, in January 1973, sessions for the next Fleetwood Mac album, Penguin, began at Benifold, the band renting The Rolling Stones’ mobile recording unit for the occasion. Though Walker only featured on two of the album’s songs and left the bad just six months later, Weston made his presence felt with his elegant slide guitar. Still, Penguin is most notable for Christine McVie’s emergence as this Fleetwood Mac line-up’s strongest songwriting voice, with Remember Me and Dissatisfied pointing towards the polished melodic rock that would see the band become megastars just a handful of years later.

Also released in 1973, Mystery To Me showed further signs of the commercial successes the best Fleetwood Mac songs would enjoy, with the Bob Welch-penned Hypnotized remaining the hit that should have been. Trouble was, however, just around the corner: while touring the US in support of the album, Mick Fleetwood discovered that Bob Weston was having an affair with his then wife, Jenny Boyd. The fallout led to Weston’s dismissal from the group, and the remaining 26 tour dates were cancelled, leading to suggestions that Fleetwood Mac had split for good.

In a bid to recoup funds, manager Clifford Davis assembled “The New Fleetwood Mac” – a collective of musicians with no prior association with the group – to tour the US in early 1974. Hostile audiences and disgruntled promoters led to a lawsuit over who owned the band’s name, putting the original Fleetwood Mac out of action for a year.

They returned in September 1974 with their ninth album, Heroes Are Hard To Find. Despite the troubles of the previous 12 months, the record became Fleetwood Mac’s highest-charting US release to date, peaking at No.34 on the Billboard 200. However, still searching for a replacement for Bob Weston, the group lacked a strong direction…

Must hear: Remember Me

1975-1987: The Buckingham-Nicks Years

The band members
Lindsey Buckingham: guitar, keyboards, vocals
Stevie Nicks: vocals, tambourine
Christine McVie: keyboards, vocals
John McVie: bass
Mick Fleetwood: drums, percussion

The studio albums
Fleetwood Mac (1975)
Rumours (1977)
Tusk (1979)
Mirage (1980)
Tango In The Night (1987)

The story
One of the greatest gambles in rock’n’roll history followed. Impressed by a track he’d heard by a new duo called Buckingham Nicks, played to him by recording engineer Keith Olsen during a visit to Sound City Studios, in Los Angeles, Mick Fleetwood asked the duo’s guitarist, Lindsey Buckingham, to join Fleetwood Mac. Buckingham agreed on the proviso that his partner, Stevie Nicks, also be given a role in the group.

This new adjustment to the Fleetwood Mac line-up paid off spectacularly for all concerned, ushering in over a decade of unprecedented success. A string of albums – Fleetwood Mac’s second self-titled album (1975), Rumours (1977), Tusk (1979), Mirage (1982) and Tango In The Night (1987) – saw the group become one of the biggest bands in rock history. Between them, Buckingham and Nicks brought a pop sensibility to Fleetwood Mac’s music, fashioning gleaming radio-ready soft-rock that also chronicled their own romantic partnership. Rumours became the fastest-selling album of all time, shifting 800,000 copies a week at its peak. Its polished perfection was followed by the sprawling, experimental and brilliant double album Tusk, a burnt-out and heartsick collection that reflected the excess and drama going on behind the scenes of what had by now become one of the most famous bands in relationships.

The hits kept coming in the 80s and, with solo albums such as Bella Donna and The Wild Heart, Stevie Nicks became a star in her own right, adding tensions to an already fragile group dynamic. On the cusp of a US tour, booked in support of the hugely successful Tango In The Night, Lindsey Buckingham quit the band to concentrate on his solo career. Not for the first time, another Fleetwood Mac line-up needed to be assembled fast, in order to ensure the group’s survival.

Must hear: Go Your Own Way

1987-1996: The post-Buckingham years

The band members
Stevie Nicks: vocals, tambourine (left 1990)
Billy Burnette: guitar, vocals
Rick Vito: guitar, vocals (1987-1991)
Dave Mason: guitar, vocals (joined 1993)
Bekka Bramlett: vocals (joined 1993)
Christine McVie: keyboards, vocals
John McVie: bass
Mick Fleetwood: drums, percussion

The studio albums
Behind The Mask (1990)
Time (1995)

The story
Guitarists Billy Burnette and Rick Vito were called upon to plug the Buckingham-shaped gap and complete a new Fleetwood Mac line-up. Burnette had played with Mick Fleetwood, Christine McVie and Stevie Nicks on separate occasions, while Vito’s stint in John Mayall’s band in the mid-70s had brought him to Fleetwood Mac’s attention. Taking in the UK, the US and Europe, the Shake The Cage Tour of 1987 to 1988 was successful enough for this latest Fleetwood Mac line-up to record a studio album, 1990’s Behind The Mask. As it had done in the early 70s, Christine McVie’s material stood out during a time of crisis, particularly the song Save Me, the band’s last Top 40 hit in the US.

As a live draw, Fleetwood Mac were still filling the world’s biggest venues, and they embarked upon a tour that included two nights at London’s Wembley Stadium. But any harmony was short-lived: Nicks left the band in 1991, after a disagreement with Mick Fleetwood about the inclusion of her song Silver Springs on Fleetwood Mac’s retrospective box set 25 Years: The Chain (she wanted to include it on a solo best-of), and Rick Vito departed with her.

In 1993, the Buckingham-Nicks line-up put their differences aside in order to briefly reunite for US President Bill Clinton’s Inaugural Ball (the classic Rumours track Don’t Stop had been his campaign song), but it was a Fleetwood Mac line-up of Mick Fleetwood, Christine and John McVie, and Billy Burnette that began working on new music together. When Burnette left the following year, to focus on his own projects and pursue an acting career, the band recruited Dave Mason (formerly of Traffic) and country singer Bekka Bramlett, the daughter of musical duo Delaney & Bonnie, and formerly of Mick Fleetwood’s early-90s side project, Mick Fleetwood’s Zoo. In 1995, this Fleetwood Mac line-up released the album Time, which would prove to be Christine McVie’s final studio outing with the band. Following its release, Mick Fleetwood called time on the group.

Must hear: Save Me

1997-2018: The Buckingham-Nicks reunion years

The band members
Lindsey Buckingham: guitar, keyboards, vocals
Stevie Nicks: vocals, tambourine
Christine McVie: keyboards, vocals
John McVie: bass
Mick Fleetwood: drums, percussion

The studio albums
Say You Will (2003)

The story
The split didn’t last long. Within weeks, Mick Fleetwood was working with Lindsey Buckingham on sessions that, in March 1997, prompted a reunion of the full Rumours-era Fleetwood Mac line-up. A pair of concerts followed in May 1997, which were recorded and released as the triumphant live album and film The Dance. Buoyed by their biggest success in a decade, the group headed out on tour for much of the rest of the year. Capping off their victory lap, Fleetwood Mac won the Outstanding Contribution To Music award at the 1998 BRITs and were inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame, after which Christine McVie left the band.

Fleetwood Mac’s 17th album, Say You Will, was released in 2003. Dominated by material penned by Lindsay Buckingham and Stevie Nicks, it went gold in the US and was followed by a high-grossing arena tour, after which the band again went on hiatus. They emerged for a further two blockbusting tours in 2009 and 2013, the latter run coinciding with the release of their first collection of material in ten years, the four-track Extended Play. Christine McVie returned for another huge world tour, which took place from 2014 through to 2015, but no more new material was forthcoming.

Must hear: What’s The World Coming To?

2018- present: The touring years

The band members
Stevie Nicks: vocals, tambourine
Mike Campbell: guitar, vocals
Neil Finn: guitar, vocals
Christine McVie: keyboards, vocals (died 2022)
John McVie: bass
Mick Fleetwood: drums, percussion

The story
In 2018, Lindsey Buckingham was reportedly fired from Fleetwood Mac; Mike Campbell, of Tom Petty’s Heartbreakers, and Crowded House frontman Neil Finn replaced him for the An Evening With Fleetwood Mac world tour, which ran from October 2018 to November 2019.

On 30 November 2022, Christine McVie died at the age of 79, a tragic loss that appears to have brought the curtain down on Fleetwood Mac for good. “I truly think the line in the sand has been drawn with the loss of Chris,” drummer Mick Fleetwood said in an interview following McVie’s death. But even he acknowledged that you can never bet against another Fleetwood Mac line-up leading the group into a new era: “I’d say we’re done, but then we’ve all said that before.”

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