Lindsey is a major talent as far as song-crafting and production, but Stevie has written a ton of great songs. She's frankly a far better songwriter than anyone else in the classic Fleetwood Mac lineup.
Check out her recent album of rarities (24 Karat Gold) as well - there are many outstanding songs there.
FM was such a good band because each person played their part so well. Stevie with the songwriting and the mystery. Lindsey with the production and the guitars. Mick with the drums. John with the bass. Christine with the keys and the harmonies and also some great songwriting.
For the sake of clarity, it’s important to point out that, while Nicks is recognized by the general public as the band’s lead vocalist, she is not actually its most successful songwriter. I know that's not quite the same thing as "best" or "great," but sometimes those things can mean similar things.
Christine McVie wrote 10 of the band’s top 40 hits, which is double the number written by Nicks (who wrote 5) and more than triple the number written by Buckingham (3).
True, Nicks wrote the band’s only number 1 hit (“Dreams”), but McVie is without a doubt the band’s most successful singer-songwriter, based on the facts (Source: Billboard.com, US charts hot 100). Here are the songs that reached the top 40 sorted by writer, including the highest chart position:
Dreams - 1
Sara - 7
Rhiannon - 11
Gypsy - 12
Seven Wonders - 19
Don’t Stop - 3
Little Lies - 4
Hold Me - 4
You Make Loving Fun - 9
Say You Love Me - 11
Everywhere - 14
Over My Head - 20
Think About Me - 20
Love in Store - 22
Save Me - 33
Big Love - 5
Tusk - 8
Go Your Own Way - 10
I’m a Buckingham fan first, but there are a few Nicks songs I count among their best (“Landslide” is actually my very favorite FM tune, and I think her best songs on their last full album, SAY YOU WILL, were actually better than most of his tunes on that record).
But when McVie left the band, I quickly realized that she was the glue that held FM together. She's probably the closest thing they have to someone being the soul or the heart of the band.
It will not be the same without Buckingham, but now he’s free to release solo music, which seemed to be his short-term goal.
The band, meanwhile, goes on, just as it always has. I’m eager to see how Neil and Mike fit into the group. Make no mistake, Nicks is running the band now, which means neither of the new fellows will step in her spotlight. But I think they’re both smart enough and talented enough to make the situation work and have fun doing it.
Really interesting post. I agree that Christine has been the glue that keeps things together amidst some truly dysfunctional dynamics. And I completely agree that Christine has written a large number of the band's hits over the years. The band has been so fortunate to have three elite songwriters. Most bands are lucky to have one great songwriter and FM has had three!
Music, like all art, is subjective. For me, my Fleetwood Mac compilations are heavily slanted towards Stevie songs as I resonate most with her songs and find much greater depth of meaning in her songs especially Storms, Sisters of The Moon, Planets of The Universe, Hard Advice, Goodbye Baby, Italian Summer, Lady, She Still Loves Him, Kind of Woman, Beautiful Child, Mabel Normand, and Beauty & The Beast. Like Neil Finn's songs, Stevie's songs (for me) take on greater and greater emotional weight over time - the sign of truly exceptional songwriting.
Many of the songs I mentioned above are more obscure Stevie songs and weren't "hits", but they are some of my favorite songs of all-time. While I like Christine's and Lindsey's songs, I don't find the same long-lasting power in most of their compositions.