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Posts Tagged ‘Fleetwood Mac’

I was listening to Fleetwood Mac the other day, and something interesting occurred to me while listening to songs by Stevie Nicks and Christine McVie.  Everyone always focused so much attention on Stevie, with her sultry looks and gypsy clothes, in pictures she certainly radiated sex appeal.  Christine always looked like a wallflower, and her pictures often weren’t very flattering.

Fleetwood Mac -- The Songbird and the Witch

When they’d sing, Stevie had the odd but not unpleasant voice, and she’d write weird, witchy lyrics that were often introspective, with heavy use of the pronoun “I”…

So I’m back, to the velvet underground
Back to the floor, that I love
To a room with some lace and paper flowers
Back to the gypsy that I was
To the gypsy… that I was

Christine’s voice was like an angel, and she wrote songs about love– romantic love, lustful love, heartbreak love.  She’d make heavy use of the pronoun “you”…

Don’t, don’t break the spell,
It would be different and you know it will.
You, you make loving fun,
And I don’t have to tell you but you’re the only one.

Have mercy, baby on a poor girl like me,
You know I’m falling, falling, falling at your feet,
I’m tingling right from my head to my toes,
So help me, help me, help me make the feeling go.
‘Cause when the loving starts, and the lights go down,
And there’s not another living soul around,
Then you woo me until the sun comes up,
And you say that you love me.

And some of the duets she’d sing with Lindsey Buckingham were pure sex.

So it occurred to me recently, after going from a Stevie song to a Christine song– I bet Christine McVie was a much better lover than Stevie Nicks.  Based on lyrics alone, I could see Stevie being selfish and critical, not as interested in giving as receiving.  On the other hand Christine I could see getting lots of pleasure just from giving her lover pleasure.  I could see Stevie getting mad and having a “headache” for weeks at a time.  With Christine I could see wiggling your eyebrows and nodding towards the bedroom, and her grin matching your own as she took your hand, even though you’d had a fight an hour before.

I know I’m probably reading too much into things, but still… I know first hand that writing song lyrics often require digging into a lot of deep and emotional spaces, and as such can be pretty revealing.

I can boil this impression I get from Nicks and McVie down to one word:  Compassion.  I suspect Christine McVie is probably a much more compassionate person than Stevie Nicks.

When I look up the word “compassionate” this is typical of the definitions I get:

“A feeling of deep sympathy and sorrow for another who is stricken by misfortune, accompanied by a strong desire to alleviate the suffering. “

I find it odd that the definitions seem to require another person’s misfortune be involved in order to evoke compassion?  For me, I’ve always thought being “compassionate” to mean being genuinely concerned and interested in someone else’s well-being, whether that’s helping them when they’re down or trying to lift them higher when they’re up.

Perhaps I’m getting compassionate conflated with being empathetic?

At any rate, I value compassion and empathy quite high.  I enjoy being around people who think about others, who worry about other people and get pleasure out of helping others or making others feel good, because I’m that kind of person.  When you send out those sort of vibes and you get them back in return, you create a positive feedback loop that makes everyone happier.  But when you feed that compassion into someone who doesn’t send it back in return, it can quickly dry up and leave you feeling as if you were being taken advantage of.

Think About Me
by Fleetwood Mac
Written by Christine McVie
All it took was a special look
And I felt I knew you before
Didn’t mean to love you
Didn’t think it would work out
But I knew we would be together
And I couldn’t wait for more
But what can they say
It’s not against the law

I don’t hold you down
Maybe that’s why you’re around
But if I’m the one you love
Think about me.

I believe that you really want me
But it’s not easy, just to give in
So let yourself go, and let love begin.

I don’t hold you down
Maybe that’s why you’re around
But if I’m the one you love
Think about me.

Next time around I hope to find someone who thinks about me as much as I think about her…

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There are few things that offer up such primal joy as good music, and sharing that music with others is a wonderful bonding experience between acquaintances, friends, family, lovers.  One thing that’s been lacking in my life of late is someone with whom I can soak in music, just bask in the rolling guitars, driving rhythms, angelic voices, romantic lyrics, someone who might even join me in singing along …with the right amount of inhibition-lifting booze if need be!

I can remember in the “good ol’ days” with nights spent spinning vinyl albums, tapes, and CDs.  Of course, times are much different now in the era of the iPod and mp3 players… and man, I just love my iPod!  It is stuffed to the gills with great music, so many favorites.  Looking through the list of songs I can divide my life by certain songs and artists that moved me, becoming markers in the soundtrack of my life.  I often fantasize about finding a woman who would find my iPod and fall in love with my music– finding that we shared a lot of the same tastes, discovering new favorites, talking about my experiences around the songs …and hopefully providing me with new tracks I can add to the mix and wrap new memories around.

I thought it might be fun to sample the eras here, music that made deep enough marks as to find a home on my iPod…

THE EARLY YEARS

When I was a kid most of my musical exposure came from my parents music collection.  They had albums from the 60s and 70s– rock n roll, r&b, easy listening, disco.  They would hold parties sometimes, and I’d love laying in bed upstairs and listening to the records spinning music amongst the talking and the laughter.  As I got older, I started listening to Top 40 radio, which didn’t exactly broaden my horizons but it was fun to listen to.  Here are a few songs from that era that I still keep around.

Three Dog Night, Out in the Country

When I hear this song, I find myself filled with nostalgia so strong it brings me to tears.  I don’t have any specific memory tied to it– just being young and innocent I suppose.

Get Together, The Youngbloods

This song resonates quite deep with me… the ideals and hope expressed in the lyrics call for us to strive for a better world.  I know the young adults who crafted this song would have been pretty shocked at life in 2011 and how far short we’ve fallen from coming anywhere close to the ideal they sang about.

Rolling Stones, Emotional Rescue

While I like the Rolling Stones (and even went to see them in D.C. during their Steel Wheels tour — with the awesome Living Color opening for them), I wouldn’t say I was a die-hard fan… but something about this song just really pushes all my happy-buttons.  Mick’s falsetto voice, the funky groove, the “knight in shining armor…” soliloquy… that really subtle sound that I would swear is someone hitting a bong in the background… the whole is so much more than the sum of its awesome parts.  Oo-oo-oo-oo-oo-o-o-o!

Fleetwood Mac, Say That You Love Me

When I first started partying with my friends, one of the bands I brought to the mix was Fleetwood Mac, which most of my buds had never really listened to.  My parents had all their early albums and I inherited them and happily spun the tunes when the party was winding down.  Christine McVie has an angelic voice and a love-struck perspective that totally appeals to my romantic nature.

Antmusic, Adam and the Ants

I was around when MTV first arrived on the scene, and like most teenagers of my age I wanted to spend as much time as possible watching the videos and listening to the music.  You would think that the new-age posh Adam and the Ants wouldn’t weather the passing of the years like most of his peers, but there’s something about this and a couple other songs from that era that still makes me happy when I hear it.  I think it might be the awesome percussion section, the drumming gives it a nice hook that I can’t get enough of.

Van Halen, Unchained

In high school Van Halen was god, cutting across all the social cliques and appealing to everyone.  I pretty much overdosed on their 1984 album and don’t have any urge to put any of those songs on my iPod, but some of their older classics still rock my world, like this one.

REO Speedwagon, Riding the Storm Out

When I was 16 I started going to go see concerts, and was able to catch a lot of the biggest acts of the day.  One thing that was surprising was just how awful a lot of the big names were when giving a live performance.  For instance, I went to see The Cars with Wang Chung opening for them.  Wang Chung’s “Dance Hall Days” was all over the radio and MTV, a slick and polished pop piece… but their live show was raw, rough, and didn’t sound anything like the song we’d hear on the airwaves.  And they rocked!  The Cars however… they hit the stage and performed their music just like they sounded on the radio and MTV… but they had horrible stage presence, with very minimal interaction with the audience, not much more than just playing their records over the PA. 

I was a little concerned about REO Speedwagon when I went to see them, but I shouldn’t have worried.  Despite their slick radio-friendly ballads, their performance proved them a road-tested rock and roll band, and the encore performance of Riding the Storm Out blew me away.  Having that song on my iPod carries me back every time.

Since this is getting pretty long I’m going to break it up into a couple of parts.  Coming up next, a musical “Awakening” during my college years…

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