Detroit Free Press, May 6, 1984


By Gary Graff, Free Press Music Writer

Christine McVie didn't expect anything that's happening now.

Oh, she's hardly surprised by success; she is, after all, one of the rock group Fleetwood Mac's three composers, a writer of hits and a rider of limousines, holder of million-selling records and the personal riches they bring.

But about 18 months ago, McVie would have laughed at the notion of recording a solo album. And touring to support the album she never expected to make seemed even funnier.

"It didn't really ever occur to me before," said McVie, 40, who's now holding a top-selling solo album, "Christine McVie," and a top 10 single, "Got a Hold on Me," which also hit No. 1 on the adult contemporary charts.

"FLEETWOOD MAC was always so busy, I never had time to contemplate something like this," she explained. "After the last tour (fall of 1982), I was shattered, being on the road so long. I wanted to spend time at home, fixing up my house, getting to know my dogs again.

"Of course," she admitted, "you can only do so much of that before getting bored."

It was ripe time for a solo project, too. Since the band's last tour, fellow Mac members Stevie Nicks and Mick Fleetwood have recorded albums and toured. Lindsey Buckingham is currently putting the last touches on his second solo album, and Nicks is preparing to release her third and may even tour again before the band re-convenes in August.

"Christine McVie" wasn't McVie's first solo outing. Recorded under her maiden name, 1970's "Legendary Christine Perfect Album" brought her out of a British blues band called Chicken Shack -- where she was Melody Maker magazine's Top Female Vocalist of 1969 -- and bridged the gap until she joined husband John McVie (now her ex-mate) in Fleetwood Mac.

"I'm not keen on that album," she said. "I thought there wasn't much substance there, especially in my songwriting."

McVie's talents have obviously matured since then. Even a partial list of her Fleetwood Mac titles read like a list of the band's greatest hits -- "Say You Love Me," "You Make Lovin' Fun," "Over My Head," "Don't Stop" and "Hold Me."

SO SHE'S referring to this as her first real solo effort, and she wrote songs much the same way she has for Fleetwood Mac, going through a vast store of ideas and moving from there.

"I just have a backlog of ideas rather than songs," she explained. "With me, it's like, 'Why buy a loaf of bread six months before you eat it?' I have reams and reams of words, tapes with ideas, which I refer to as the time comes. I go back and see if there's anything I like."

After that, it was relatively easy to record the album. McVie took her four backing musicians and producer to Montreux, Switzerland, at the suggestion of Queen's manager, and from there she orchestrated a series of guest musicians.

Steve Winwood happened to call her to chat, so McVie asked him to co-write and sing on a song. Eric Clapton heard about McVie's album from Winwood, and he called to offer his guitar virtuosity. Buckingham was working on his album in London, and even though McVie invited him to Montreux for a vacation, "It's difficult to keep him out of a studio once he gets there."

IT WASN'T difficult for McVie to get on the road to promote her album, but it wasn't the original intent, either. If it weren't for Buckingham and Nicks planning their projects for the summer, McVie would be at home with the dogs right now instead of on the road with the boys in the band -- including her current boyfriend, Eddy Quintela, on keyboards.

"It's very different from when Fleetwood Mac tours," she explained. "It's a lot smaller scale. We're not doing the limousine treatment this time. This is something I haven't done in a while, playing the small places.

"This is a bit like the old days, actually," added McVie, who plans to record another solo album after Fleetwood Mac's next tour. "It's quite fun to do. However, it's nothing I would take on as a career."

Thanks to Les for posting this to the Ledge and to Anusha for formatting and sending it to us.