April 24, 2024

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I Fall For Art

The Best Fleetwood Mac Songs You Probably Never Heard About

‘Tis my habit, I’m afraid. My favorite songs by artists or bands are usually not the ones for which they become well-known. Take the songs of Fleetwood Mac, for example. We all know the ones they’re famous for. But in their storied career they delivered a few nuggets of genuine gold that radios stations overlooked. Don’t get me started about why they do this but commercial radio has had a narrow format for eons. But it needn’t be our loss. Check out these pearls that you won’t hear on radio playlists:

1. I’m So Afraid: The eponymously titled 1975 album that launched their success generated three enormously popular top 40 hits. This wasn’t one of them. Tucked in the back of the album at the very end this haunting rock melody was backed by a mournful organ that gave the arrangement an almost funereal feel. The song is about raw fear, depression and the chance that death itself might ensue (Sample Lyric: “Days when the rain and the sun are gone. Black as night, agony’s torn at my heart too long”).

2. Brown Eyes: Everyone remembers the “Tusk” album for the title song and Stevie Nicks’ “Sara”. It’s too bad this moody song didn’t get the attention it deserves. Christine McVie’s soulful plea to a brown-eyed lover gets an exquisitely crafted, soft, almost jazzy arrangement and some of the best background vocals the band ever did. (Sample Lyric: What do you want to say? And are you just another liar? Will you take me all the way?)

3. Mystified: Side one of the “Tango” album (Remember when albums had sides? You know, before there were CDs?) closes with this brief McVie ballad whose arrangement matches the song title extremely well. Her lover has captured her and the reason is as much a mystery to her as it is to the listener. Fleetwood Mac had a talent for producing songs that had a kind of cult feel to them. Mystified is definitely one of them but with a gentler feel to it, accompanied by Lindsey Buckingham’s deft instrumental lead guitar (Sample Lyric: “There’s a magic surrounds you. Tell me where your secret lies.)

4. You And I, Part II: This wistful tune closes out the other side of “Tango”. Almost sounds like a kind of Christmas melody, doesn’t it? Don’t let that put you off because the lighthearted tempo and upbeat message are just the kind of song you’d want to stick with you after the music stops. (Sample Lyric: Keep your heart open and your eyes shut tight. But don’t forget about me.)