There’s no denying that Fleetwood Mac is one of the most iconic bands of all time. With their unique blend of rock, pop, and blues, they’ve managed to capture the hearts of millions of fans around the world for nearly 50 years. From their early days as a British blues band to their later years as a pop powerhouse, Fleetwood Mac has consistently delivered some of the most legendary music in the industry. And there are so many great Fleetwood Mac tunes that it’s hard to pick just a few. When it comes to the best Fleetwood Mac songs, however, some stand out above the rest.
“Dreams” is perhaps the most well-known, with its catchy melody and Stevie Nicks’ haunting vocals. As the writer of many of the Fleetwood Mac songs, Nicks is the first woman to be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame twice, once for Fleetwood Mac and once for her solo career. She is also considered one of the best female rock singers of all time! In this article, Music Grotto goes on to say she is “considered one of the most influential female rock artists of the 20th century. Her songs have been covered by many artists over the years, and she has won Grammy Awards.” During her time with Fleetwood Mac, she helped create some of the most iconic songs.
“Go Your Own Way” is another iconic Fleetwood Mac song, with its driving rhythm and memorable chorus. In fact, a survey lists this song as one of the best songs to listen to after a break up. The study reveals that music can actually help us deal with grief. “Going through a breakup brings out all sorts of emotions all at once, which can be overwhelming. Other times we might go on autopilot and block out difficult feelings. Listening to music can help unlock them and allow us to grieve our losses properly,” says a study researcher. And if you’ve ever listened to Fleetwood Mac’s “The Chain,” with its iconic guitar riff and powerful lyrics, you understand!
Similarly, music can help stimulate focus, drive inspiration, and even make you happy! “Sometimes there are days when you get in the car and you just feel flat and uninspired. In these instances, the mood-boosting benefits of belting out some pop lyrics and dancing in your seat can’t be beaten,” says psychologist Lee Chambers in another study. And if you’re looking for a great song to bring out those good vibes, try Fleetwood Mac’s upbeat hit “Don’t Stop,” which made the top 50 list of happiest songs.
So, with so many killer Fleetwood Mac tunes, which ones are considered the greats? As a genuine fan, it’s difficult to reduce their lengthy list of hits to only five. However, we did some work to narrow it down for you! StudyFinds consulted 10 expert music sites and created this list of the top five best Fleetwood Mac songs. If your favorite song did not make this list, put it in the comments below!
The List: Best Fleetwood Mac Songs of All-Time, According to Experts
1. “Go Your Own Way” (1976)
Part of the vast catalog of incredible Fleetwood Mac is “Go Your Own Way” which holds just as much emotional weight as musical brilliance. This ballad was written after lead guitarist Lindsey Buckingham and lead singer Stevie Nicks ended their relationship. The two started dating in high school — talk about a break up song!
Rolling Stone writes, “Many of Stevie’s relationship songs are gentle and sad, but this one is loud and furious. ‘Packing up/ Shacking up’s all you wanna do!’ he yells to his ex-lover. Stevie joins him on that famous line though, to this day, she says she resents it, claiming she never ‘shacked up’ with anybody. The song is also a sensational showcase for Lindsey’s guitar playing. He’s always been drastically underappreciated as a pure player, and this song demonstrates why he’s one of the greats.”
NME adds: “The first single from Rumours, ‘Go Your Own Way’ was a sign of things to come. Two months later, Rumours went to number one. The track itself is defiant – a metaphor for all the heartbreak and struggle in the group. But within the anger, there’s catharsis, and a promise that next time won’t be the same.”
“The song’s intensity was piqued by the tension generated in the studio because of the fact that all five of the band members were going through broken relationships and divorce at the time,” adds Blues Rock Review. “The song reinforces the belief that great art comes through suffering and pain.”
“If you weren’t 100 percent certain Rumours is a breakup album, the first single from Fleetwood Mac’s gazillion-selling LP drives a sharp, pointed stake straight into the heart of the subject and holds up the bloody mess for all to see,” says UCR.
2. “Landslide” (1975)
Before her time with Fleetwood Mac, Nicks wrote “Landslide”, which became a hit soon after Nicks joined the band. She was only 25 when she wrote this song, but somehow managed to give the ballad an air of maturity and sadness that belied her young age.
“One reason Fleetwood Mac exploded in the mid-70s was that their new songs chimed with fellow boomers, whose hippy optimism and youthful zeal had been eroded by other concerns: marriage, divorce, parenthood,” writes The Guardian. “‘Can I handle the seasons of my life?’ ponders Nicks’ stunning ballad Landslide. ‘Even children get older, and I’m getting older, too.'”
“Nicks wrote this soulful reflection a few months before joining Fleetwood Mac; she and Buckingham were in Aspen, their album had not done as well as they’d hoped, and she was tired of struggling,” adds Gold Derby. “She was feeling the weight of the decisions they needed to make about their careers, and found inspiration when she saw her ‘reflection in the snow-covered hills.'”
“Emotional and raw, ‘Landslide’ is one of those ballads best played late at night when you want to get in your feels,” adds Live 365. “‘Landslide’ tells an epic tale of love and life artfully woven behind the metaphor of a snowy mountain avalanche, [and] it is considered one of the most known and cherished songs of the band’s repertoire.”
3. “Dreams” (1977)
Another hit written by Nicks, this classic was the only number one single for the group. The opening riffs of the slide guitar create a lonely, but relaxing feel that only Fleetwood Mac could pull off so easily. And according to Live 365, “there’s no other way to put it: ‘Dreams’ is one of the greatest songs in music history.”
Rolling Stone explains the song’s origin saying, “Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham were going through a very painful and very public end to their eight-year relationship when they began writing the songs on Rumours. They had clung together over many years of struggle, but enormous success proved harder to endure. Stevie doesn’t mask any of her feelings in the lyrics to ‘Dreams,’ in which she sings, ‘Listen carefully to the sound/ Of our loneliness/ Like a heartbeat, drives you mad/ In the stillness of remembering/ What you had and what you lost.'”
“An underrated gem, this song blew up on TikTok after it became a trend in 2020,” says The Mary Sue. “Mick Fleetwood sent a letter to the originator of the trend as thanks for helping bring attention to this song, leading to a cute on-air meetup.”
“The crowning glory of Fleetwood Mac’s oeuvre and the apotheosis of a certain super-smooth 70s LA studio sound; supposedly rendered terminally unhip by punk, it has been endlessly imitated over the past 20 years,” adds The Guardian. “Of course, the melody is irresistible, but a chunk of Dreams’ lasting power comes from the way the lyrics, essentially Go Your Own Way told from a different angle, are at odds with everything else in the track – Nicks’ drowsy delivery, the laid-back rhythm, the hazy combination of acoustic strumming, spare lead guitar and electric piano – transforming their anger into a dismissive screw-you shrug, turning rancour and bitterness into something exquisite.”
4. “The Chain” (1977)
When it comes to Fleetwood Mac, one track that stands out to me is “The Chain.” This song is not only a fan favorite, but it also holds a special place in the band’s history. It was the only song on the album “Rumours” that was credited to all five members, and it was created from a combination of different pieces of music that each member had written. This collaborative effort resulted in a powerful and unforgettable track that has stood the test of time.
Rolling Stone describes the collaboration from an interview with Mick Fleetwood himself: “‘The Chain’ is the only song on Rumours that the band actually wrote as a group. ‘It basically came out of a jam,’ said Mick Fleetwood. ‘Originally, we had no words to it. And it really only became a song when Stevie wrote some. She walked in one day and said, ‘I’ve written some words that might be good for that thing you were doing in the studio the other day.’ So it was put together. Lindsey arranged and made a song out of all the bits and pieces that we were putting down onto tape.’ They should have joined forces more often, since the end result is absolutely stunning. It was never a single, though radio has embraced it and it’s proven to be one of their most enduring works.”
“Pieces of different studio takes were spliced together to form the track, with the bass line being written independently by John McVie,” says Smooth Radio. “The famous instrumental section has been used as the theme tune for the BBC and Channel 4’s television coverage of Formula One.”
“The fact that this song was about the band itself and the feeling that they were only connected to each other through music is tragic, but also feels true of many complicated friendships / relationships,” adds The Mary Sue. “They infamously fought during this song at their 1982 LA concert, but the fact that they played through the rest of the show is a testament to their ability as musicians and performers. The show must go on.”
5. “Rhiannon” (1975)
Lastly, when it comes to the best Fleetwood Mac songs, “Rhiannon” is a standout track that simply cannot be ignored. This song is a true masterpiece that showcases the band’s incredible musicianship and Stevie Nicks’ stunning vocals.
“Rhiannon” is a mystical and enchanting song that showcases Stevie Nicks’ unique voice and storytelling abilities,” writes Singer’s Room. “The song tells the tale of a Welsh witch named Rhiannon, who is pursued by a man. The haunting melody and driving beat make it a favorite among fans and one of the band’s most iconic songs.”
“Rhiannon” is considered Fleetwood Mac’s singer Stevie Nicks’ signature song. It really only works with Stevie’s signature vibrato,” exclaims Live 365.
“Stevie wrote the song months after reading the novel Triad by Mary Leader,” adds Rolling Stone. “Her vocal performance on the song is a tour-de-force, and it only grew more powerful as the years went by. She has sung the song at pretty much every concert she’s done over the past four decades, but still manages to make it sound fresh each time.”
You might also be interested in:
- Best Rock Bands of All Time
- Best Songs from the 1980s
- Best Rolling Stones Albums of All Time
- Best Beatles Songs of All Time
- Rolling Stone
- Blues Rock Review
- Singer’s Room
- Smooth Radio
- The Mary Sue
- The Guardian
- Gold Derby
- Live 365
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