No matter what style of music a band plays, it always comes down to how the drummer and bass player work together. The name Fleetwood Mac is literally the drummer’s & bassist’s names and they were the glue that held the group together through a turnstile of band members and various low points. You Make Loving Fun, the fourth Top 10 single off the 1977 Rumours LP, is my favorite for many reasons, but mostly for the interplay between Mick & John. I love the way they chug along together during the verses and then the bass drops out during the chorus, coming in only sparingly adding a sense of air to Christine McVie’s floating vocals, making you feel the rushes of love that she so deftly expresses.
While many contend, and have a point, that the eventual success of Fleetwood Mac in the late 70s was due to the mere presence of Lindsey Buckingham & Stevie Nicks, I always argue that the key player was Christine McVie. She was starting to feel more comfortable singing vocals and her piano (and electric piano) was evoking more emotion and funkiness by the time Fleetwood Mac’s self-titled 1975 LP was recorded. It just so happened that it coincided with the band going towards a pop sound. Stevie was a gypsy. Lindsey was an angry young man. But Christine kept everyone grounded or at least, centered.
Can you imagine what Rumours would have sounded like if this song wasn’t on it? I can’t believe it was recorded in the middle of such acrimony. Everyone’s relationship wasn’t just falling apart. It was a battle zone. Two of those couples, 4 out of 5 bandmate, still had to figure out how to work together. And in the middle of their new-found success they still hadn’t figured out what just happened between them.
And then here is this beautiful giddy pop song about feeling a first love, this fresh breath of Spring air. It turns out was the lighting director for the band that Christine had started an affair with after her divorce from John. Or at least that’s the rumour.