Sunday, June 24, 2018

A Melodic Communicator

Song 413: This week on the playlist you can hear Songbird by Fleetwood Mac, written by Christine McVie, and you can find a YouTube video of it by clicking on the title. When the duo of Buckingham and Nicks replaced Bob Welch as the front performers for Fleetwood Mac, they helped to take the band to a new level, both artistically and in terms of commercial success, in the summer of 1975. A little over a year-and-a-half later, Rumours came along, and I heartily agreed with the critics who asserted that it sounded even better than its predecessor. I always believed that the title slyly referenced the whispers of romantic dalliances between band members. The McVies had divorced, while the Buckingham and Nicks romance flickered on and off, and at the time I suspected both Buckingham and Nicks of a McVie hookup, though I don't now recall what fueled that speculation. I pictured the stirring ballad that concludes the LP's side one as a statement of renewed dedication, though in real life, maybe it didn't work out that way. About a year-and-a-half after the release of Rumours, I relished my first visit to the city where FM had recorded the album, and having just moved to the Bay Area, Sausalito seemed like a truly inspiring place. During the 7 years I lived in Berkeley, though, I don't think I ever realized that Songbird had been recorded at U.C. Berkeley's Zellerbach Auditorium, though I always appreciated the cut's concert hall ambience. To this day, I savor hearing a certain Songbird singing about how she loves her lover Like never before.

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