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.