Fleetwood Mac: “Landslide”

I’ve saved my favorite song for the last day of Fleetwood Mac week: “Landslide“. First appearing on the 1975 album named for the group, it was of course written by Stevie Nicks. This song, and Rhiannon, were Nicks’s first original songs for the band when she and Lindsey Buckingham joined—and what a pair of songs!

I’ll never forget the first time I heard this song: someone was playing the “Fleetwood Mac” album for me (the LP of course), and when this song ended I asked that the needle be moved back to the start of the track. It’s a gorgeous and mesmerizing song, but one that reached only #51 in the US top 100. Wikipedia gives a bit about its genesis comes from Wikipedia:

Nicks has said that she wrote this song while she was contemplating going back to school or continuing on professionally with guitarist Lindsey Buckingham. Their album Buckingham Nicks had been dropped by Polydor Records and she and Buckingham were not getting along. She wrote the song while visiting Aspen, Colorado, sitting in someone’s living room “looking out at the Rocky Mountains pondering the avalanche of everything that had come crashing down on us … at that moment, my life truly felt like a landslide in many ways”.

You can read Nicks’s full account of the song’s genesis here.

It always amazes me that someone can just come out with a song like this, even when inspired by the Rockies. It’s been covered many times, with the most famous covers by the Dixie Chicks and The Smashing Pumpkins, but nothing comes close to Fleetwood Mac’s version. I can’t find a video featuring the original 1975 recording (it’s been blocked), but I love Nicks’s live duets with Buckingham on the acoustic guitar, and there are several on YouTube. I have no idea when or where this was filmed, but I’d guess some time around 2005.

Buckingham’s solo at is especially poignant as Nicks, his former lover, walks behind him and embraces him, making him close his eyes. They’d broken up years before, but the chemistry is still palpable. I can only imagine how intense their relationship had been.

14 Comments

  1. Dominic
    Posted March 9, 2017 at 7:22 am | Permalink

    Nice.
    I do wish crowds would not start shouting & clapping in the middle of a song though…!

    • Dominic
      Posted March 9, 2017 at 7:23 am | Permalink

      This seems to be the album version – works for me…

      • Kevin
        Posted March 9, 2017 at 8:07 am | Permalink

        I like studio version better, but the live ‘ballad’ above is really nice to watch.

        So much space in that song.

  2. josh
    Posted March 9, 2017 at 7:24 am | Permalink

    Without a doubt, Landslide was my favorite song of theirs.

    • Marta
      Posted March 9, 2017 at 7:46 am | Permalink

      +1

      • Claudia Baker
        Posted March 9, 2017 at 10:09 am | Permalink

        +2

        • Mark R.
          Posted March 9, 2017 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

          +3

          My favorite cover is by Smashing Pumpkins, but the original can’t be beat…it’s Nicks’ voice that kills it.

  3. darrelle
    Posted March 9, 2017 at 7:45 am | Permalink

    There is a live duet performance of Landslide by Stevie & Lindsey from an appearance on the David Letterman show from sometime in the ’90s that I really like. I have it in my video music collection on my home PC. I’m sure it is available on youtube.

  4. Posted March 9, 2017 at 8:42 am | Permalink

    +1

    Buckingham’s face is a picture during this!

  5. Posted March 9, 2017 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

    Okay, in all honesty, I’ve never been a big fan of Fleetwood Mac, but this is undeniably a very good song.

  6. aljones909
    Posted March 9, 2017 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

    Undeniably a great song.

  7. frednotfaith2
    Posted March 9, 2017 at 9:32 pm | Permalink

    Yep, very beautiful song. Nicks’ best songs had a very haunting, yearning quality about them. Funny that from what I’ve read, when John McVie and Mick Fleetwood approached Lindsey to replace the recently departed Bob Welch in 1974, they were initially reluctant to add Stevie as well but Lindsey told them that he & Stevie were a package deal and he wouldn’t join them unless they took in Stevie as well. Before any final agreements were made they decided to have a dinner party where Stevie and Christine could meet and they could determine if the chemistry seemed right for what would become yet another variation of the band. Needless to say, it did and while many FM fans prefer the original Peter Green version, the addition of Buckingham & Nicks made for their greatest commercial breakthrough and certainly both the the self-titled album and the follow-up, Rumours, were artistic triumphs as well.


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