Having left Fleetwood Mac in acrimonious circumstances in 1987, few were as surprised as guitarist Lindsey Buckingham when he rejoined the group a decade later. “I certainly never thought I’d be back in Fleetwood Mac again,” Buckingham told Guitar magazine. “But, here we are, and, well, it feels pretty good.” Though this re-formed “classic” line-up would be short-lived, it would be memorialised in The Dance, a fiery live album which brought Buckingham, Stevie Nicks, Mick Fleetwood, and John and Christine McVie together on record for the first time since 1987’s Tango In The Night.
Listen to ‘The Dance’ here.
“The chemistry was very present”
Both band and fans alike may have been surprised that the line-up responsible for Fleetwood Mac’s spectacular mid-70s to late-80s success would agree to perform together again, but, given the group’s turbulent history since original guitarist Peter Green assembled its first line-up, in 1967, perhaps it wasn’t so unthinkable after all.
Wisely, the reformation was recorded for posterity. Released on 19 August 1997, The Dance was a live album and companion film culled from two reunion shows the band had performed earlier that year in front of a specially invited audience at Warner Brothers Studios at Burbank, California, on 22 and 23 May. It also served as a trailer for a huge-grossing 44-date US tour that ran from September to November that year.
The record itself was a success on a par with Fleetwood Mac’s previous achievements, selling over a million copies in just eight weeks in the US, where it would also become the fifth biggest-selling live album of all time. It would go on to sell more than six million copies worldwide. But the experience didn’t herald a new dawn for the band; other than a few promotional appearances, Fleetwood Mac wouldn’t play live again until 2003, and The Dance remains Christine McVie’s last album to date with the group.