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NOD TO THE GODS: Fleetwood Mac, ‘The Chain’
April 14, 2013
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It's been thirty-six years since its release, and we're spinning Fleetwood Mac's 'The Chain'. The band has a world tour and a new EP in the offing, and 'The Chain' is a nice reminder of the resilience and the strength of the band.

That's where we start things off tonight on The Strombo Show, with a Nod to the Gods and a tip of the hat to this show piece from their eleventh album, 'Rumours'.

When the record came out in 1977, the band was going through some serious relationship drama - Stevie was breaking up with Lindsey, Christine and John were getting divorced, and Mick had separated from his first wife, Jenny Boyd.

All the pain and confusion of those personal relationships went right into the music, and it resulted in a Grammy Award-winning record that went on to become one of the highest selling albums of all time.

'The Chain' is the only tune that is credited to all five of the members of the band at the time - Lindsey Buckingham, Mick Fleetwood, Christine McVie, John McVie and Stevie Nicks.

And how's this for intense writing and recording conditions: Stevie Nicks wrote the lyrics about her dissolving relationship with Buckingham - and they share lead vocals on the track.

Like the rest of the album, different studio takes were spliced together for the track. The final recording is made up of early drafts from all members.

Those opening plucks were recycled from an intro that Buckingham had used with Nicks on 'Lola (My Love)' off their self-titled LP from 1973. Christine McVie's song 'Butter Cookie (Keep Me There)' had an ending that didn't work with the rest of the track and John McVie's bass breakdown was for another song. It was all thrown together, and 'The Chain' itself became the intangible thread that the lyrics represent.

Other than Fleetwood, the song was used by BBC's Formula One from 1978 to 1997 and it's been covered by the likes of Mumford & Sons, Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeroes, Florence + The Machine and Three Days Grace.

Though nobody does it quite like the original, below is some footage of the backstage shenanigans during their 'Rumours' tour.

Fleetwood Mac are playing a bunch of shows across Canada over the next little while. Here are the dates:

Toronto, Canada 4/16/2013
Ottawa, Canada 4/23/2013
Winnipeg, Canada 5/12/2013
Saskatoon, Canada 5/14/2013
Edmonton, Canada 5/15/2013
Calgary, Canada 5/17/2013
Vancouver, Canada 5/19/2013
Montreal, Canada 6/18/2013

And Stevie Nicks will be at the TIFF Bell Lightbox in Toronto tonight for a screening of 'In Your Dreams'.

For further musical musings, new and old, join the collective for The Strombo Show on CBC Radio 2, every Sunday night at 8PM. And if you'd like to catch up or re-listen, all of the episodes are archived on our Radio page.


NOD TO THE GODS: Iron Maiden, 'Run To The Hills'

NOD TO THE GODS: Thin Lizzy, 'Whiskey In The Jar'

NOD TO THE GODS: Bob Dylan & Johnny Cash 'Girl From The North Country'


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