McVie in 1977
|Birth name||Christine Anne Perfect|
|Also known as||Christine Perfect|
12 July 1943 |
Bouth, Lancashire, England
|Genres||Rock, blues, pop rock, soft rock, pop|
|Labels||Blue Horizon, Reprise, E1 (US), Sanctuary|
|Associated acts||Fleetwood Mac, Chicken Shack|
Christine Anne Perfect (born 12 July 1943), professionally known as Christine McVie after her marriage to John McVie of Fleetwood Mac, is a British singer, keyboardist and songwriter. Her greatest fame came as one of the lead vocalists of rock band Fleetwood Mac, which she joined in 1970, while married to bassist John McVie. She has also released three solo albums. McVie is noted for her smoky, low alto vocal performances and, as described by AllMusic critic Steve Leggett, her direct but poignant lyrics about the joys and pitfalls of love. Leggett further describes her as an "Unabashedly easy-on-the-ears singer/songwriter, and the prime mover behind some of Fleetwood Mac's biggest hits." Eight of her songs appeared on Fleetwood Mac's 1988 Greatest Hits album, including "Don't Stop", "Little Lies", "Hold Me", "Everywhere", "As Long as You Follow", "Over My Head", "Say You Love Me" and "You Make Loving Fun".
In 1998, as a member of Fleetwood Mac, McVie was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and received the Brit Award for Outstanding Contribution to Music. She has worked on solo material in her converted barn at her home in Wickhambreaux in Kent. McVie appeared on stage with Fleetwood Mac at London's O2 Arena in September 2013, and rejoined the band in January 2014. Her first full shows since her return came during Fleetwood Mac's On with the Show tour in October 2014. In 2014 she received the British Academy's Ivor Novello Award for Lifetime Achievement.
McVie was born in the small Lake District village of Bouth, England (then in Lancashire, now Cumbria) and grew up in the Bearwood area of Smethwick near Birmingham, where her father, Cyril P.A. Perfect, was a concert violinist and music lecturer at St Peter's College of Education, Saltley, Birmingham and taught violin at St Philip's Grammar School, Birmingham. McVie's mother Beatrice E.M. (called Tee) née Reece, claimed to be a medium, psychic, and faith healer. McVie's grandfather had been an organist at Westminster Abbey.
Although McVie was introduced to the piano at age four, it was not until age 11 that she studied music seriously, when she was re-introduced to piano by Philip Fisher, a local musician and school friend of McVie's older brother, John. Continuing her classical training until age 15, McVie radically shifted her musical focus to rock & roll when John brought home a Fats Domino songbook. Other early influences included The Everly Brothers.
McVie studied sculpture at an art college in Birmingham for five years, with the goal of becoming an art teacher. During that time she met a number of budding musicians in Britain's blues scene. Her first foray into the music field didn't come until she met two friends, Stan Webb and Andy Silvester in a pub one night. At the time, they were playing in a band called "Sounds Of Blue" which had a few dates booked, but no bass guitarist. Knowing that McVie had musical talent, they asked her to join. Also, during that time, she often sang with Spencer Davis. After five years, McVie graduated from art college with a teaching degree, but by that time "Sounds of Blue" had split up.
In 1967 McVie learned that her ex-band mates, Andy Silvester and Stan Webb, were forming a blues band, Chicken Shack, and were looking for a pianist. She wrote to them asking to join, and they invited her to play keyboards/piano and to sing background vocals. Chicken Shack's debut release was "It's Okay With Me Baby", written by and featuring McVie. She stayed with Chicken Shack for two albums, during which her genuine feel for the blues became evident, not only in her Sonny Thompson-style piano playing, but through her authentic "bluesy" voice. Chicken Shack had a hit with "I'd Rather Go Blind", which featured McVie on lead vocals. Perfect received a Melody Maker award for female vocalist in both 1969 and 1970. McVie left Chicken Shack in 1969 after marrying Fleetwood Mac bassist John McVie a year earlier.
McVie was a fan of Fleetwood Mac at the time, and while touring with Chicken Shack, the two bands often would meet. They also were "label mates" at Blue Horizon, and Fleetwood Mac had asked McVie to play piano as a session musician for Peter Green's songs on the band's second album, Mr. Wonderful.
Encouraged to continue her career, McVie recorded a solo album, Christine Perfect; following her success as a member of Fleetwood Mac, the album was reissued under the name The Legendary Christine Perfect Album. After marrying Fleetwood Mac bassist John McVie, McVie joined Fleetwood Mac in 1970. She had already contributed backup vocals and painted the cover for Kiln House. The band had just lost founding member Peter Green, and its members were nervous about touring without him. McVie had been a huge fan of the Peter Green-era Fleetwood Mac; and since she knew all the lyrics to their songs, she went along.
McVie went on to become an integral member, another lead vocalist and keyboardist of the group and the first album with her as a full-fledged band member was Future Games, recorded at London's Advision Studios and also the first with American-born member Bob Welch in place of founding member Jeremy Spencer. Danny Kirwan was still in the band at this point, but he was fired in 1972 after an incident on tour where he smashed his guitar prior to a gig after a row with Welch.
The early 1970s was a rocky time for the band, with a revolving door of musicians; and only the albums Bare Trees and Mystery to Me, scored any successes. Furthermore, a group impersonating Fleetwood Mac (which later became Stretch) was touring the United States with encouragement from the band's manager, Clifford Davis. The tour collapsed, but it led to a protracted lawsuit between Davis and Fleetwood Mac (or Stretch?).
In 1974 McVie reluctantly agreed to move with the rest of Fleetwood Mac to the U.S. and make a fresh start. Within a year Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham of Buckingham Nicks joined the band, giving it an added dimension. Their first album together, 1975's Fleetwood Mac, had several hit songs, with McVie's "Over My Head" and "Say You Love Me", both reaching Billboard's top-20 singles chart. It was "Over My Head" which first put Fleetwood Mac on American radio and into the national Top 20.
In 1976 McVie began an on-the-road affair with the band's lighting director, which inspired her to write "You Make Loving Fun", a top-10 hit on the landmark smash Rumours, one of the best-selling albums of all-time. Her biggest hit was "Don't Stop", which climbed all the way to number three. The Rumours tour also included McVie's "Songbird", a ballad played as the encore of many Fleetwood Mac concerts.
By the end of the Rumours tour, the McVies were divorced. The 1979 double album Tusk produced three more US top-20 hits ("Tusk", which is also the band's first "conceptual" music video, "Sara", and Christine's "Think About Me"), but it came nowhere near to matching the success of the Rumours album. The Tusk tour continued into 1980 after which the band took time apart. They reunited in 1981 to record the album Mirage at the Château d'Hérouville's studio in France. The album, released in 1982, returned the band to the top of the US charts and also contained the top-5 hit "Hold Me", co-written by McVie. McVie's inspiration for the song was her tortured relationship with Beach Boys drummer Dennis Wilson. Her song, "Love in Store", became the third single from the album peaking at #22 in early 1983.
In 1984 McVie recorded another solo album. She created hits with the songs "Got a Hold on Me" (Top 10 pop and #1 adult contemporary) and "Love Will Show Us How" (#30). A Third single, "I'm The One", was released but did not chart. McVie is quoted in The Billboard Book of Number One Adult Contemporary Hits as saying of her solo album, "Maybe it isn't the most adventurous album in the world, but I wanted to be honest and please my own ears with it."
McVie also met keyboardist Eddy Quintela (12 years her junior), whom she married on 18 October 1986. Quintela went on to co-write many songs with her that were featured on subsequent Fleetwood Mac albums. The couple divorced in the mid-1990s. She rejoined Fleetwood Mac to record the Tango in the Night album, which went on to become the band's biggest success since Rumours 10 years earlier. The biggest hit from the album, which was top 5 in both the UK and U.S., was McVie's "Little Lies", co-written with her husband Quintela. Another McVie single from the album, "Everywhere", reached #4 in the UK, which would be the band's third highest ever chart peak there and their final top 40 UK hit to date (the single peaked at #14 in the U.S.).
In 1990 the band (now without Lindsey Buckingham) recorded Behind the Mask, but the album only reached Gold status in the U.S., and only McVie's song "Save Me" made the U.S. Top 40. The album did, however, enter the UK album chart at #1 and reached Platinum status there. The second US single release from the album, McVie's "Skies the Limit" did not make the top 100, but did chart the A/C at number 10. McVie had always been reluctant to go on concert tours, preferring to stay close to home with friends and family. Upon the death of her father, Cyril Perfect, while she was touring for Behind the Mask, McVie made the decision to retire from touring altogether. Despite the departure of Stevie Nicks, McVie remained loyal to Mick Fleetwood and her former husband John McVie, writing and recording a new track ("Love Shines") for the 1992 boxed set 25 Years - The Chain, and five songs for the band's 1995 album Time.
The members of the band seemed to have gone their separate ways until Mick Fleetwood, John McVie, and Lindsey Buckingham got together again for one of Buckingham's solo projects. Christine was soon asked to sing and play on some of the tracks. The four of them decided a full reunion was possible and Stevie Nicks was called back into the fold and the resulting live album, 1997's The Dance, went to #1 on the U.S. album charts. Despite her reservations, McVie complied with the band's touring schedule, and then performed for the group's 1998 induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, as well as the Grammy Awards show, and the BRIT Awards in the UK. McVie later revealed (in a 2014 "Rolling Stone" interview) that she had developed a phobia about flying, which was later treated with psychotherapy. This phobia was the reason she decided not to continue with Fleetwood Mac after 1998.
Hiatus from Fleetwood Mac (1998-2014)
After The Dance, McVie returned to England to be near her family and stepped out of public view until 2000 when she appeared in public to receive an Honorary Doctorate in music from the University of Greenwich. Sometime after leaving Fleetwood Mac, she and Quintela divorced.
In a 2004 interview, McVie admitted to not listening much to pop music anymore and stated instead a preference for Classic FM. In December 2003, McVie went to see Fleetwood Mac's last UK performance on the Say You Will tour in London, but did not join her former bandmates on the stage. Mid-2004 saw the release of McVie's new solo album, In the Meantime, her third in a career spanning five decades. Recording in her converted barn in Kent, she worked on the project with her nephew, Dan Perfect, who contributed guitar-playing, backing vocals, and songwriting. No tour was organized to promote this album; instead McVie conducted several press interviews in both Britain and America.
In 2006, McVie was awarded the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors' Gold Badge of Merit at a ceremony held in London's Savoy Hotel. In November 2009, McVie went to see Fleetwood Mac's last UK performance on their Unleashed tour in London, but did not join her former band mates on the stage. During the announcement of Fleetwood Mac's 2012 world tour, Stevie Nicks downplayed the likelihood of McVie ever rejoining the group: "She went to England and she has never been back since 1998 [...] as much as we would all like to think that she'll just change her mind one day, I don't think it'll happen [...] We love her, so we had to let her go."
It was announced in October 2013 that McVie was in the process of recording a solo album for the first time in nine years. The album is yet to be released.
Return to Fleetwood Mac (2014–present)
In 2013, McVie appeared on stage in Maui, Hawaii performing with the Mick Fleetwood Blues Band which included Mick Fleetwood and ex-Fleetwood Mac guitarist Rick Vito. This was her first appearance on stage in 15 years. Later in September, Christine McVie joined Fleetwood Mac on stage for the first time in 15 years to play 'Don't Stop' at The O2 Arena, London. She played on two dates and her appearance on stage was received with rapturous applause.
On 11 January 2014, Mick Fleetwood announced during a concert he performed in Maui that McVie would be rejoining the band, and it was officially announced two days later that she had rejoined. The band's most popular lineup (Lindsey Buckingham, Mick Fleetwood, Christine McVie, John McVie and Stevie Nicks) performed together for the first time since 1998 in its On with the Show tour beginning in Minneapolis at Target Center on 30 September 2014.
McVie was married to bass guitarist John McVie in 1968 with Peter Green as best man and they honeymooned in Birmingham before going off with their own separate bands. The couple divorced in 1976 and from 1979 to 1982 she dated and was engaged to Dennis Wilson of the Beach Boys; they broke up before his death. McVie married keyboardist Eddy Quintela on October 18, 1986. They divorced in the mid 1990s. McVie has no children.
McVie sang with Dennis Wilson on his song "Love Surrounds Me" for The Beach Boys' 1979 album L.A. (Light Album). She also sang with Christopher Cross on the song "Never Stop Believing" on his 1988 album Back of My Mind, as well as with Bob Welch on his solo version of "Sentimental Lady".
With Chicken Shack
|Year||Album||U.S. Billboard 200||UK Albums Chart||Additional information|
|1968||40 Blue Fingers, Freshly Packed and Ready to Serve||-||12||-|
With Fleetwood Mac
|Year||Album||U.S. Billboard 200||UK Albums Chart||Additional information|
|1968||Mr. Wonderful||-||10||First Fleetwood Mac album to feature Christine McVie as a session musician. According to Mike Vernon, Producer, Christine played piano on all of Peter Green's songs, whereas Jeremy Spencer played piano on his own.|
|1969||Then Play On||192||6||Christine McVie featured as a session musician on this album. Although piano appears on a few of the tracks it is not clear if it was played by Christine or Jeremy. Christine has said she contributed background vocals to the album.|
|1970||Kiln House||69||39||Christine McVie created the album art and duetted vocals with Danny Kirwan on "Station Man" (uncredited but audible). While Jeremy Spencer is credited with all keyboard parts on the album, Christine may have played the electric keyboard on "Tell Me All the Things You Do".|
|1971||Future Games||91||-||First album with Christine McVie as a full member of Fleetwood Mac. She contributed and sang two songs.|
|1972||Bare Trees||70||-||Included McVie's "Spare Me A Little Of Your Love" and "Homeward Bound".|
|1973||Penguin||49||-||McVie's "Remember Me" and "Did You Ever Love Me" were selected as singles but neither charted.|
|1973||Mystery to Me||68||-||- Contains four McVie songs, on which she sings lead vocals, and a lead vocal on one of Welch's. Her voice is also featured prominently in the mix on Welch's tunes "Somebody," "Miles Away," "Emerald Eyes" and "Hypnotized".|
|1974||Heroes Are Hard to Find||34||-||McVie's title track was selected as the album's only single. It did not chart. She contributed and sang four songs.|
|1975||Fleetwood Mac||1||23||First album with Stevie Nicks & Lindsey Buckingham. Christine McVie's own "Over My Head" became Fleetwood Mac's first radio hit in the US, peaking at #20 on the Billboard Hot 100. Her "Say You Love Me" was also a Top 20 record. "Warm Ways" was selected as the album's first single but did not chart. The uptempo blues, "Sugar Daddy" has never been performed live.|
|1977||Rumours||1||1||Featured Christine's biggest charting single with Fleetwood Mac—"Don't Stop" — coming in at #3 on the US Charts. It also included her "You Make Lovin' Fun", which made the US Top Ten. Christine's signature tunes, "Oh Daddy" and "Songbird", are also included.|
|1979||Tusk||4||1||Featured her "Think About Me", which hit #20 on Billboard in 1980. Peter Green added some guitar to McVie's "Brown Eyes"|
|1980||Live||14||31||Featured a new Christine McVie song—"One More Night"|
|1982||Mirage||1||5||Featured Christine McVie's "Hold Me" (US#4) and "Love in Store" (US#22).|
|1987||Tango in the Night||7||1||Included Christine McVie standards "Little Lies" (UK#5, US#4), "Everywhere" (UK#4, US#14), and "Isn't It Midnight" (UK#60).|
|1988||Greatest Hits||14||3||Featured two new songs including Christine McVie's "As Long as You Follow" which peaked at #43 on Billboard's Hot 100, #15 on its Rock chart, and #1 on Adult Contemporary|
|1990||Behind the Mask||18||1||Christine McVie's "Save Me" reached the US Top 40 in 1990. McVie stopped touring with Fleetwood Mac after the Behind The Mask tour was complete|
|1995||Time||-||47||The last studio release with Christine McVie as a full-time member. "I Do" was released as a single and reached #62 in Canada.|
|1997||The Dance||1||15||McVie's "Temporary One" was released as a single and reached #99 in Germany .|
|2003||Say You Will||3||6||Christine McVie was credited as an additional musician. She played keyboards and provided background vocals on "Bleed to Love Her" and "Steal Your Heart Away".|
|Year||Album||U.S. Billboard 200||U.S. Independent Albums||UK Albums Chart||Additional information|
|1970||Christine Perfect||-||-||-||McVie's Cover of "I'd Rather Go Blind" reached #14 on the U.K. Charts|
|26||-||58||Featured two U.S. Top 40 songs; Love Will Show Us How (U.S. #30) an Got a Hold on Me (U.S. #10)|
|2004||In the Meantime||-||32||133||Christine McVie co-produced this album with her nephew Dan Perfect. "Friend" reached #29 on the Adult Contemporary Chart.|
|Year||Song||U.S. Hot 100||U.S. AC||Album|
|1969||"When You Say"||
|1970||"I'm Too Far Gone (To Turn Around)"||
|1984||"Got a Hold on Me"||
|"Love Will Show Us How"||
||In the Meantime|
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