“The Chain” is the “signature song” of the once gigantic Fleetwood Mac. For years “The Chain” opened their concerts and, over the course of the years, “The Chain” became the coda, the epitaph, for the group as a group.
As loners, Mac went on and went on but in truth all save Stevie faded into the waters of oblivion. Lindsey? Who knows? Rejoined Mac in 2018 but was sacked pretty quickly. Fleetwood? Still in the band, and the only original member of said band, for the last 54 years. It’s his night job. Christine? Staggered away but then re-upped with the lads (sans Stevie) in 2014 to no particular notice. John McVie? Did a long slow fade but survived and was even plucking away in whatever version of the Mac had not gotten off the stage in the dimming lights of the 2010s.
Stevie? Currently some of the finest ruins to be seen in Golden Age Rock Royalty. Still belting it out and still, even in her early 70s, somebody the whole world still wants.
Here they are after their peak but still taking the groove in their stride.
Ah yes, it all seems very polished and purple and well presented. Perhaps a tad over-produced…. as we can see
. . . but then they reach down and Turn. It. On. and suddenly the overdone Vegas set fades out and
. . . and we get. . . as always. . . . creeping up on you . . . and … soft and lulling and … and pow! an uppercut to right to your amygdala.
RAW SEARING. GROOVE CONNECTED. . . . WITH THRICE THE INTENSITY / WITH THRICE THE MELDING OF VOICES / SEE AND HEAR THEM MELT THE WALLS. THEY ARE NOT singing IT. THEY MEAN IT.
And in the end, the whole world wants Stevie……
In the end, the above version is a great roll in the groove but is still of the second intensity. We want it closer to the breaking of the chain if only to give us a place from which to measure our own broken pain.
So we turn time backward on the magic YouTube music machine to 1982 and see them do “The Chain” back when the applause and the wounds that made it happen were fresh; back when the links of The Chain were fresh forged and white hot.
This is how it went then. And. . . if you listen with fresh ears you get. . .
|||||rolling dobros ||||| swore you’d never break never break neverbreakneverbreak ||||| and then it seems like Mac could melt the ceiling and iceblast the floor with the baseline alone……. and then the whole world loves a crescendo. . . . and the world gets what it wants. . . .
And suddenly the entire world wants Stevie. Again and as usual.
You know you do.