Tuesday, December 4, 2012

IT WILL NOT BE BETTER THAN BEFORE:  If Christine McVie is not involved, does it really count as a Fleetwood Mac reunion tour?


  1. Sorry, Lindsey Buckingham! We ran out of time!

  2. Related, does it count as a Who tour if half of the band is dead or retired?

  3. Heather K11:46 AM

    Poor Christine, not a core of the band per the article.

  4. I will answer "no." My favorite songs of theirs were hers.

  5. My impression, based on what I've seen Buckingham say in interviews, is that he believes himself responsible for all success connected to that band.. That may well be, but once you're through the door it's very hard to stay on top, and songs like "Everywhere" and "You Make Loving Fun" kept their momentum going beyond one or two singles per album. Their longevity is owed to the songwriting strengths of three individual songwriters, not two, and certainly not one. Makes me crazy.

  6. isaac_spaceman12:15 PM

    A proposed ranking of third members of classic rock bands with two other principal popular songwriters:

    1. George Harrison
    2. Mick Taylor
    3. John Paul Jones
    4. Christine McVie
    5. Ron Wood
    6. John Entwistle
    7. John Deacon
    8. (tie) Adam Clayton/Larry Mullen Jr.
    10. Randy Meisner

    You can slot Syd Barrett wherever you want, depending upon personal preference.

  7. I also want to share a bit of trivia: Over My Head was the first Fleetwood Mac single to break the US Top 20. It opened the ears of programmers to Rhiannon.

  8. Syd Barrett is the third member? Really? I furrow my brow at you, sir.

  9. isaac_spaceman1:08 PM

    You may like Syd Barrett more than Waters/Gilmour, but that's not what makes him the third member. I like Harrison better than Lennon/McCartney, but that doesn't mean that the culture at large agrees with me. If you think that Barrett is more significant from a pop-cultural perspective than either Waters or Gilmour, state your case or cease your feigned furrowing.

  10. Challenge Accepted!

    While Pink Floyd tended to think of themselves as a collective of artists, none of them really fancied themselves as songwriters at the outset, thus for the first two albums, they followed the creative whim of the maniacal Syd Barrett. He was eccentric, dynamic, etc., and he was decidedly their leader.... Until he went completely insane.

    I'm not going to disagree with you that Roger Waters wrote the most resonant pieces of Pink Floyd's material, but he was a reluctant shoe-filler in the wake of Barrett's disappearance into himself. Gilmour only wrote a song per side until Waters quit.

    Calling Syd Barrett a "third member" is chronologically inaccurate, but is also much like calling Peter Gabriel the "other" Genesis frontman. The one wouldn't exist without the other in that case, either, as Collins was also a reluctant frontman at first.

  11. The answer, I believe, is no.

  12. isaac_spaceman7:13 PM

    1. Obviously this has nothing to do with chronology.
    2. I want to say that Genesis is a bad example, but I probably can't, since it's probably a good analogy despite my wishes that it weren't, but in any event the conclusion to be drawn is depressingly the opposite of what you want.
    3. You like Barrett; I get that and am not in any way trying to disagree with that choice qualitatively. And Barrett was the key member of PF during its founding period -- again, no disagreement here. But I just don't think that there is any way around the fact that Waters, Gilmour, or both (and not poor Barrett) wrote everything on The Wall, Dark Side, and Wish You Were Here, the three albums that represent maybe 90-95% of popular knowledge of PF, with <5% Final Cut and a nonzero remainder everything else.

  13. isaac_spaceman7:15 PM

    I shouldn't have said "everything," because obviously there was some stuff either written or co-written by other band members, especially Wright. But the point is still that PF's commercial success all came after Barrett left, while Waters/Gilmour were PF's dominant players.

  14. Duvall8:03 PM

    Who do you have as the two principal songwriters for Led Zeppelin ahead of Jones - Howlin' Wolf and Willie Dixon?

  15. isaac_spaceman8:48 PM

    Excellent point. Not going to try to defend them there.

  16. 1+3. I get that, and let me say: I'm not that into Syd Barrett. I just believe that without him you don't get to have later Floyd, because it was with him that they got signed. It wasn't like Barrett stopped what he was doing because Waters got so good -- Waters got so good because Barrett stopped what he was doing. Also true for Phil Collins (deal with it -- I've been relistening objectively to his stuff lately, and with the exception of being kind of squigged by the pure shallowness of "I Can't Dance," it actually turns out he's pretty damn good at what he does). Gilmour's stuff just never stuck with me. He had great riffs (Run Like Hell, so so so good), but I can't tell you one lyric that stuck with me from Division Bell.

    I'm a Waters fan, Floyd and post-Floyd, so my furrow is more that of an amateur pop historian than anything. Barrett was never a sideman — he was The Man when he was around, not a song-a-side guy like Gilmour or Harrison.

    2. The analogy is the same, and yes, the outcome is the same. I've ranted at length about how when Phil Collins and Peter Gabriel were in a band together, you got 26-minute opuses that made no freaking sense, but then they split off and everybody started writing catchy pop songs -- but then I found out that there's a whole rant in the "American Psycho" novel where he totally agrees with me, so I don't talk about that so much anymore.

    (McVie being considered a "third member" just gives me ire, though. "Everywhere." "Little Lies." "Hold Me." "You Make Loving Fun." She was pulling her weight alongside that team (and was just as good at breaking the top ten), and was, if I'm not mistaken, in the band before they merged with Buckingham/Nicks. )