Fleetwood Mac debuted its first new music in a decade today, dropping an EP appropriately titled “Extended Play” on iTunes. Click here to download and listen.
The EP includes four songs: the poppy tracks “Sad Angel” and “Miss Fantasy,” the wistful piano ballad “It Takes Time” and “Without You” and a previously unreleased track that singer/songwriter Stevie Nicks penned about singer/songwriter/guitarist Lindsey Buckingham back in their pre-Fleetwood Mac Buckingham Nicks duo days.
The majority of Fleetwood Mac’s most famous lineup — drummer Mick Fleetwood, bassist John McVie, Buckingham and Nicks — is touring North American to mark the 35th anniversary reissue of their most iconic album, “Rumours,” as well as celebrating the release of new music.
The Rock and Roll Hall of Famers are bringing their “Fleetwood Mac Live 2013” trek to the BOK Center on Wednesday night. The legendary band previously played the Tulsa venue the last time it hit the road together, on 2009′s sold-out “Unleashed Tour.”
Fleetwood spoke enthusiastically about the planned EP in a phone interview prior to the tour’s April 4 launch in Ohio. Hopefully, the EP will herald the coming of a full-length follow-up to 2003′s “Say You Will,” he said.
“You know, we work when we feel good. And now we work when everyone has been able to — especially Stevie. She has a hugely successful solo career and she loves that world that is her world. And Lindsey also does great stuff, as do I. You know, I have my fun, not on such a profound level,” said Fleetwood, who plays with The Mick Fleetwood Blues Band Featuring Rick Vito.
“But we’re musicians at work, and now we have the grace just to say ‘When this is right, we’ll do it.’ And Stevie’s ready to do it and wants to do it, and off we go. And we’ll be wrapped around each other for the better part of probably 18 months, you know, working all over the world.”
The drummer said he, John McVie and Buckingham assembled several months ago in Los Angeles and recorded about nine “really fresh and vibrant” songs they hoped would be the starting point for a new album from the group. Nicks was busy with her own tour and then her mother’s death, but before the quartet hit the road, she added her vocals to a few tracks and recorded “Without You.”“(The EP) will be, I hope, the beginning of maybe something that could transform in some of the free time we have in between sections of this now very long tour. I would love to think that we could do three or four things with Stevie, and in truth, you would then have a Fleetwood Mac album. Yes. I hope,” Fleetwood said.
He added, “We’re just taking it step by step and not doing things that don’t feel naturally comfortable. But if you’re asking me, I would love to see it happen, and Lindsey would be ahead of the game — and I know that he’d be incredibly excited to think that we could do that.
Despite the band’s stormy history, which was well-documented on the wildly popular and critically acclaimed “Rumours” album, Fleetwood said it was all very familiar and comfortable when he and his cohorts assembled in L.A. for tour rehearsals.
“If you wrote a script as to what happened to this bunch, you’d say ‘It’s fascinating but it’s completely untrue ‘cause you can’t have that happen.’ But it did. And I think now we look back on it with a sense of kindness. You know, I really do. I see Stevie and Lindsey in an extraordinarily good place and in good humor; they just know what not to do,” he said.
“You know, it’s like in rehearsals, it’s fascinating, I sit there back on my drums, and they get on that microphone and they’re talking about how we’re reaching out into maybe some of the things that they did in Buckingham Nicks when they were just Stevie and Lindsey. And that’s the two people I asked to join Fleetwood Mac. That’s the music that I heard. Stevie’s recorded (‘Without You,’) a really beautiful song that she wrote about Lindsey 40 years ago in Buckingham Nicks that never came out, and I think we’re pretty much gathering that we’re gonna do it onstage. And it’s mind-blowing and it’s just so sweet. And it’s a love song, and you know, she’s saying, ‘Yep, I guess I was really in love with you.’ (laughs) It’s a trip. It is a trip, not all of which has been pretty. But we’re here, and we’re real people, and as Lindsey would say, we’re still working at it. … But looking back, I don’t think any of us have any regrets ‘cause you go like, ‘You know, it’s how we felt.”
“You know, I think that’s part of the story when we walk on the stage is people do feel connected to us, and thus, us to them. And that’s an extra texture that’s really very powerful for us. We have a real relationship that’s felt outside of the music. And we’re not Neil Young or Bob Dylan who had a whole connect with the stuff they wrote about, political thoughts and philosophical thoughts and stuff. We’re a bunch of people that wrote some good music that was pop-oriented stuff that had a dark side to it and went out and weren’t thinking about telling anyone anything really,” he added with a laugh. “And suddenly got a huge connect with an audience. Yes, I think we made and continue to make some lovely music that we’re all really proud of. But truly, I think people just connected with us and our story, that ‘they’re actually real people.’”
Read more of my interview with Mick Fleetwood Wednesday!