This Day in 1970: Christine McVie Joins Fleetwood Mac
47 years ago today, Fleetwood Mac added a new member, one whose musical, vocal, and songwriting contributions to their recordings over the subsequent years has occasionally made it hard for many to remember that there was ever a time when she wasn’t in the band.
Similarly, something else that many people forget – or, as is more likely the case for younger listeners, that they never knew in the first place – is that Christine McVie was already the talk of the UK music scene before she became a part of Fleetwood Mac.
Of course, she wasn’t Christine McVie yet. She was Perfect.
As Christine Perfect – and, yes, that really was her maiden name – the future Mrs. McVie found her first significant fame whilst singing and playing keyboards and piano for the band Chicken Shack. She wrote the band’s first single, “It’s Okay With Me Baby,” and sang on it, and she was the lead singer of their hit single, “I’d Rather Go Blind.” As a result of her work in the band, she received a Melody Maker award for female vocalist in both 1969 and 1970, but by the time she tasted victory a second time, she had already left Chicken Shack behind.
Ms. Perfect was a fan of Fleetwood Mac, and at some point when Chicken Shack and Fleetwood Mac met up on the road, which would prove fortuitous both personally and professionally. On the latter front, Christine was invited to play piano on Peter Green’s songs on Fleetwood Mac’s second album, 1968’s MR. WONDERFUL, which led to her playing on their next album, THEN PLAY ON, released in 1969…and somewhere between those two albums, by the way, is when she officially became Christine McVie. Finally, in 1970, after not only playing and singing on the band’s KILN HOUSE LP but also drawing the artwork that graced the album’s front cover, McVie officially became a member of Fleetwood Mac.
Yes, it took a little while for McVie to secure proper membership within the group, but once she was in the door, she absolutely made the most of it, and Fleetwood Mac reaped the benefits.
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