She wrote many of Fleetwood Mac‘s 70s and 80s hits. Stevie Nicks, the Mac’s other female singer and songwriter, wrote on Twitter yesterday: “See you on the other side, my love. Don’t forget me. A few hours ago I was told that my best friend in the whole world since the first day of 1975, had passed away. I didn’t even know she was ill…until late Saturday night.” Christine McVie was 79. The New York Times wrote: “As a singer, songwriter and keyboardist, she was a prolific force behind one of the most popular rock bands of the last 50 years.”
She was a member of Fleetwood Mac from 1970 to the present, wrote timeless songs for the group, and had a sensational voice. On “Tusk” (1979), one of their groundbreaking albums and one of my all-time favorite LPs, she was responsible for “Over & Over”, the album’s slow, magic, vulnerable, and simply beautiful opener, as well as “Brown Eyes”, an equally haunting piece with background vocals to die for. I remember when the album came out that it was one of my favorite tunes on the album. But there were so many. Speaking of backing vocals, her “Honey Hi” is pure bliss. She could write outstanding ballads like “Never Make Me Cry”, and also strong and urgent, bouncing and soulful pieces like “Think About Me”. Her singing always had this unique, far-reaching, often dreamy quality, and she could convey a directness and sincerity on tracks like “Never Forget”, the fantastic album closer.
On “Rumours”, their incredibly successful LP from 1977 (selling over 20 millions copies), she wrote “Don’t Stop”, “Oh Daddy”, “You Make Loving Fun”, and the sweet sweet ballad “Songbird”. She took the vocal track of the song and added an orchestral arrangement by Vince Mendoza for her “Songbird. A Solo Collection” LP which came out earlier this year. In the liner notes for the album, she says: “Vince Mendoza, a brilliant string arranger, has given it the most unbelievable string arrangement I’ve ever heard in my life. It’s beautiful”.
And on “Fleetwood Mac” from 1975, she wrote heartbreaking ballads like “Warm Ways” and irresistibly percussive numbers like “Over My Head”, featuring her penchant for bittersweet antagonism. On later albums, she would write top hits like “Hold Me” and “Little Lies”.
Prior to the solo albums “Christine McVie” (1984), “In The Meantime” (2004), and her duo project with Fleetwood Mac member Lindsey Buckingham (2017), she released “Christine Perfect”, which was her maiden name, in 1970, to be released six years later as “The Legendary Christine Perfect Album”. She was married to bandmate John McVie from 1968 to 1976 and to Eddie Quintela from 1986 to 2003.
A family statement was issued saying that “she passed away peacefully at hospital this morning, Wednesday, November 30th 2022, following a short illness”.