The Dark Side Of Stevie Nicks’ Reign In Fleetwood Mac

Lead vocalists often get the most attention in a band. They become the voice and face of the act, answer the press’ questions and have an essential role in the decision-making process. Especially if the band rises to huge success after their addition, the lead singers usually take the biggest share. For instance, James Hetfield, Mick Jagger, Robert Plant, Freddie Mercury, and Kurt Cobain are the first names that come to our minds whenever we talk about their respective bands.

In Fleetwood Mac, Stevie Nicks has been the most visible member. After she joined them in 1975, Fleetwood Mac became one of the best-selling music acts, with over 120 million records sold around the world. Although Stevie joined the band when Lindsey Buckingham insisted on bringing her with him, her contributions became essential in Fleetwood Mac’s career. ‘Fleetwood Mac,’ her first album with the band, and her performance of ‘Rhiannon’ quickly brought Stevie into the spotlight.

Following the success of ‘Rhiannon,’ Stevie Nicks noticed her image as a performer was important and created a unique onstage look with her bohemian style. The follow-up to ‘Fleetwood Mac’ was ‘Rumours,’ and the album’s most successful single ‘Dreams’ was written by Nicks. In the following years, Fleetwood Mac’s rise to success continued. However, there was a downside to being at the forefront for Stevie Nicks.

Speaking to Microsoft Music Central in 1997, Nicks explained whether there were negative aspects of being Fleetwood Mac’s face. She said the upside of this was that she helped the band become successful without spoiling what they had already achieved. Nicks then revealed that she embarked on a solo career because the songs she wrote piled up. According to the singer, Fleetwood Mac didn’t often release a new album, and they already had three songwriters, so she needed to release some of her songs as a solo artist.

Stevie Nicks then made it clear that she didn’t pursue a solo career to prove herself or get away from the band. As she said, the vocalist didn’t want to be more famous than the rest of the band. Hence, being the most visible band member was one of the downsides of being a part of Fleetwood Mac, as it made her bandmates feel bad. As a result, she didn’t really enjoy the success of being the frontwomen of one of the most successful rock acts.

Here is what Stevie Nicks said about being Fleetwood Mac’s most visible member:

“It would have been a worse downside if I had been a big flop, so the upside of it was that it was successful. The only reason I had a solo career was so I could do more songs. You can’t do many in Fleetwood Mac, doing an album every few years with three writers, so you get maybe three, four, or five songs at the most. I write all the time, and my songs get backlogged so much that I start to feel crummy if I can’t record them.

I didn’t have a solo career to get away from Fleetwood Mac or to prove anything to anybody. I just wanted to be able to be more of a writer. I never wanted to be more famous than anybody else. The downside is that it didn’t make everybody else feel that good. So sometimes I didn’t get to really enjoy my success very much. I felt that it made other people feel bad, and I hated that.”

So, Stevie Nicks thought that being at the forefront as the frontwoman of Fleetwood Mac was sometimes a disadvantage because she felt her bandmates felt bad for remaining in the background. For that reason, she didn’t enjoy her popularity really much. However, Nicks is glad that her addition brought Fleetwood Mac success.