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Say You Will (album)

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Say You Will
Studio album by
Released15 April 2003
Recorded1995–1997, summer 2001 – fall 2002
  • The Bellagio House
  • Cornerstone, Chatsworth
  • Ocean Way, Hollywood
  • Lindsey Buckingham's home
GenrePop rock[1]
Fleetwood Mac chronology
The Dance
Say You Will
Fleetwood Mac: Live in Boston
Singles from Say You Will
  1. "Peacekeeper"
    Released: 15 April 2003
  2. "Say You Will"
    Released: 24 June 2003
Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Review scores
Chicago Tribune(Mixed)[1]
Entertainment Weekly(Mixed)[4]
Los Angeles Times[5]
Rolling Stone[7]

Say You Will is the seventeenth and final studio album by British-American rock band Fleetwood Mac, released on 15 April 2003. It followed 1995's Time and was their first album since 1970 without vocalist/keyboardist Christine McVie as a full member following her departure in 1998, although she participated in some songs as a guest musician; it would be her last time being involved with the band in a studio capacity before her death in 2022. Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks shared keyboard duties throughout the album.

This was the band's last full album with Buckingham before his dismissal from the group in 2018, although he later participated in their 2013 extended play.

Say You Will was the first studio Fleetwood Mac album to peak in the top three in the US since 1982's Mirage.[8] The album debuted at No. 3 with sales of 218,000, spent two months within the top 40, and was certified Gold by the RIAA in July 2003 for 500,000 copies shipped in the US. In the UK, the album peaked at No. 6 and was certified Gold by the BPI in May 2003 for 100,000 copies shipped.

A limited edition version of the album was issued at the same time, featuring two live tracks ("Peacekeeper" and "Say You Will"), two additional studio tracks (Nicks' "Not Make Believe" and Buckingham's cover of Bob Dylan's "Love Minus Zero/No Limit"), an expanded booklet and poster.



Soon after the release of Time, Billy Burnette and Bekka Bramlett departed to form the country duo Bekka & Billy. Rather than continue without them, Fleetwood Mac chose to disband. By 1997, the Rumours lineup agreed to perform again for an MTV Unplugged special. Following the successful reunion album, The Dance, which included a live performance of "Bleed to Love Her",[9] Christine McVie left the group, citing her fear of flying as the primary reason.[10] "Chris left in 1998 and we didn't start Say You Will until 2002," recalled Stevie Nicks. "It took us that long to figure out what the hell we were going to do without her – or even if we could do without her."[11]

In the early 2000s, Buckingham was finishing up a solo album but was encouraged by the band to set the material aside for a Fleetwood Mac record.[12] With the exception of "What's the World Coming To?" and "Peacekeeper", all of Buckingham's Say You Will songs were considered for his aborted solo record.[13] Buckingham stated that the body of music he created during these solo sessions "tapped into some new areas" and were "the best that I’ve ever done on my own, or with Fleetwood Mac".[14]

To round out Say You Will, Nicks brought in new material, along with leftovers from previous albums.[9] While Nicks was recording her Trouble in Shangri-La album in 2001, she left the band 17 songs to develop in her absence. The band picked five, including "Smile At You" and "Goodbye Baby", which were written in 1975–76.[15] "Smile at You" was also rehearsed for the Tusk album in 1979[16] and the Mirage album in 1982.[17] Another song, "Thrown Down", was originally recorded for Trouble in Shangri-La, but it was left off that album and instead reworked for Say You Will.[18] According to Buckingham, Nicks had previously tried three different mixes of "Thrown Down" with three different people, but none of them worked out. "It was just obvious to me it needed a guitar riff in the chorus. It was a fairly simple thing, for some reason. There seems to be an understanding between us as to what to do."[19]

By the time Nicks returned from her Trouble in Shangri-La tour, the band had made considerable progress on her material. Nicks was pleased with what she heard, but felt obligated to write four additional compositions at her Phoenix home in December 2001. Two of those – "Silver Girl" and the title track – feature Sheryl Crow.[15] "Illume (9–11)" was written after the September 11 attacks. Nicks wrote two additional songs about 9/11, namely "Get Back on the Plane," and "The Towers Touched the Sky", but neither were included on the album.[20] Her fourth new contribution was titled "Destiny Rules".[21]

Christine McVie was in contact with Fleetwood throughout portions of the recording sessions and expressed interest in writing for the band. "She could have come on board in the early stages of the recording," Fleetwood observed, "but, as time went on, that became more impractical." Nonetheless, the band retained McVie's contributions recorded before her departure, including on "Bleed to Love Her", where she sang and played organ.[21]

With their surplus of material, the band considered making Say You Will a double album,[22] but opted to condense it into a single disc of 18 songs. "Not Make Believe", "Gift of Screws, "Down on Rodeo", "Someone's Gotta Change Your Mind", and a Rolling Stones cover of "I Am Waiting" were all rehearsed and considered for the track list.[23][24] "Not Make Believe" was included on the limited edition of Say You Will,[25] "I Am Waiting", "Down on Rodeo", and "Someone's Gotta Change Your Mind" were selected for Buckingham's Under the Skin album in 2006, and "Gift of Screws" appeared on Buckingham's 2008 album of the same name.[13][24]

Critical reception and analysis


According to the review aggregator Metacritic, Say You Will received "generally favorable reviews" based on a weighted average score of 66 out of 100 from 8 critic scores.[2] Many reviewers noted the absence of Christine McVie and the album's length. The Chicago Tribune said that McVie's "dusky voice and deft songwriting touch are missed, particularly on an 18-song disc without enough quality tunes to justify its length". They were more complimentary of Buckingham's arrangements, compositions, and production.[1] Entertainment Weekly wrote that "while the album's highlights shine brightly, the absence of the group's least heralded songwriter [Christine McVie] ultimately proves a significant obstacle". Stephen Thomas Erlewine of AllMusic believed that the album sounded like "Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks' albums bouncing around on shuffle play, but also [has] occasionally flashing moments that are purely, satisfyingly Fleetwood Mac."[3] Buckingham's six-minute hard rock song "Come" was described by Ultimate Classic Rock as a "guitar-meltdown tune".[26]

Track listing

Say You Will track listing
1."What's the World Coming To?"Lindsey Buckingham, Julian Raymond3:48
2."Murrow Turning Over in His Grave"Buckingham4:12
3."Illume (9–11)"Stevie Nicks4:51
4."Thrown Down"Nicks4:02
6."Red Rover"Buckingham3:58
7."Say You Will"Nicks3:49
9."Come"Buckingham, Neale Heywood5:59
10."Smile at You"Nicks4:33
11."Running Through the Garden"Nicks, Ray Kennedy, Gary Nicholson4:34
12."Silver Girl"Nicks3:59
13."Steal Your Heart Away"Buckingham3:33
14."Bleed to Love Her"Buckingham4:06
15."Everybody Finds Out"Nicks, Rick Nowels4:29
16."Destiny Rules"Nicks4:26
17."Say Goodbye"Buckingham3:26
18."Goodbye Baby"Nicks3:52
Deluxe edition bonus disc
1."Love Minus Zero/No Limit"Bob Dylan4:11
2."Not Make Believe"Nicks4:28
3."Peacekeeper" (Live from Sessions@AOL)Buckingham4:16
4."Say You Will" (Live from Sessions@AOL)Nicks3:50


  • "Bleed to Love Her" was previously available on The Dance as a live version.



Fleetwood Mac

Additional musicians

Technical personnel

  • Lindsey Buckingham – producer, engineer
  • Rob Cavallo – producer (5, 6, 9, 13, 14), A&R
  • John Shanks – producer (1, 8)
  • Ken Allardyce – engineer
  • Ken Koroshetz – engineer
  • Ray Lindsey – engineer, band technician
  • Mark Needham – engineer, mixing (1-15, 17, 18)
  • Chris Lord-Alge – mixing (16)
  • Bernie Grundman – mastering
  • Joe Bozzi – mastering assistant
  • Mike Fasano – band technician
  • Bruce Jaccoby – band technician
  • Garner Knutsen – band technician
  • Mike Zablow – band technician
  • Stephen Walker – art direction
  • Keith Carter – "Hands 1991" photography
  • Karen Johnston – photography
  • Neal Preston – photography
  • Herbert W. Worthington – photography


  • Recorded at The Bellagio House; Ocean Way Recording (Hollywood, California); Lindsey's garage (Los Angeles, California); Cornerstone Studios (Chatsworth, California).
  • Mixed at Cornerstone Studios; Conway Studios (Hollywood, California); Image Recording Studios (Los Angeles, California).
  • Mastered at Bernie Grundman Mastering (Hollywood, California).




Certifications for Say You Will
Region Certification Certified units/sales
Canada (Music Canada)[48] Gold 50,000^
New Zealand (RMNZ)[49] Gold 7,500^
United Kingdom (BPI)[50] Gold 100,000^
United States (RIAA)[51] Gold 500,000^

^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.

Music promo videos


Music videos were shot for "Peacekeeper" and "Say You Will", both of these videos were stage performances of both songs. Neither of these videos were commercially available until 2019, when Fleetwood Mac published these videos on their official YouTube channel.


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