As Long As You Follow (as made famous by Fleetwood Mac)

“As Long as You Follow” is a song by the British-American rock band Fleetwood Mac. Written and sung by band member Christine McVie, and her then-husband Eddy Quintela, the song was one of two new tracks on the band’s 1988 greatest hits album.

Released as a single on 28 November 1988, the song reached number 66 on the UK Singles Chart late in the year.[1] It narrowly missed the Top 40 in the United States, peaking at number 43 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in the early part of 1989; however, the song did spend one week at number 1 on the Billboard adult contemporary chart in January 1989.[2]

The B-side to “As Long as You Follow”‘s individually sold cassette tape single is a live version of the band’s 1969 song, “Oh Well”, which peaked at number 2 in the UK when originally released. This live version was recorded at a 1987 Fleetwood Mac concert at the Cow Palace in San Francisco, California (filmed as the Tango In The Night concert video), and featured lead vocals by new band member Billy Burnette. The 12-inch and CD single formats further included the original 1977 studio version of the Stevie Nicks track “Gold Dust Woman”, as featured on the 1977 album Rumours. The cover sleeve is identical to its parent album, Greatest Hits.

Christine McVie – lead vocals, keyboards, synthesizer
Mick Fleetwood – drums, percussion
John McVie – bass guitar
Stevie Nicks – backing vocals
Rick Vito – lead guitar, backing vocals
Billy Burnette – rhythm guitar, backing vocals

Hold Me (as made famous by Fleetwood Mac)

“Hold Me” is a single by British-American rock group Fleetwood Mac. The song was the first track to be released from the 1982 album Mirage, the fourth album by the band with Lindsey Buckingham acting as main producer with Richard Dashut and Ken Caillat.

“Hold Me” was written by Christine McVie and Robbie Patton and sung by McVie and Lindsey Buckingham. Released in June 1982 in advance of the album itself, the song became one of Fleetwood Mac’s biggest hits in the United States, peaking at #4 for a then-record seven consecutive weeks from July 24, 1982 to September 4, 1982. (Potential higher chart placement was prevented by songs such as “Eye of the Tiger” by Survivor and “Abracadabra” by the Steve Miller Band.)[1] “Hold Me” ranked at #31 on the Billboard Year-End Hot 100 singles of 1982.

In the UK, “Hold Me” was not a successful single. It was first released there in July 1982 and failed to chart. It was eventually re-issued in February 1989 to promote the group’s 1988 Greatest Hits package with “No Questions Asked” as the B-side. It only reached #94.[2]

The song is also included on the 2002 US version, and 2009 UK re-issue of the album The Very Best of Fleetwood Mac.

The music video for “Hold Me” features the band in a surreal scenario set in a desert based on several René Magritte paintings. In the video, Christine McVie is in a room surrounded by paintings, using a telescope to search for Lindsey Buckingham in the desert. Buckingham discovers Stevie Nicks lying on a chaise longue and paints her, while in other scenes John McVie and Mick Fleetwood are archaeologists. They find the desert littered with broken mirrors, which serve as a motif in the video, along with partially buried pianos, electric guitars, and other instruments.

Due to the band members’ strained relationships at the time, the video shoot in the Mojave Desert was a “nightmare,” according to producer Simon Fields. “[They] were, um, not easy to work with,” agrees Steve Barron, who directed the clip. “It was so hot, and we weren’t getting along,” recalls Stevie Nicks. Lindsey Buckingham was still not over their breakup six years earlier, nor her subsequent affair with Mick Fleetwood. Further, she elaborates, the rest of the band was angry with Fleetwood because he had then begun an affair with Nicks’s best friend, who left her husband as a result, causing serious issues for Nicks.[3]

“Four of them, I can’t recall which four, couldn’t be together in the same room for very long. They didn’t want to be there,” says Barron. “Christine McVie was about ten hours out of the makeup trailer. By which time it was getting dark.” According to Fields, “John McVie was drunk and tried to punch me. Stevie Nicks didn’t want to walk on the sand with her platforms. Christine McVie was fed up with all of them. Mick thought she was being a bitch, he wouldn’t talk to her.”[3]

Lindsey Buckingham – twelve-string acoustic guitar, electric guitar, lead (in unison with C. McVie) and backing vocals
Christine McVie – piano, Yamaha CP30 electric piano, lead (in unison with Buckingham) and backing vocals
John McVie – bass guitar
Mick Fleetwood – drums, tambourine, congas

Gypsy (as made famous by Fleetwood Mac)

“Gypsy” is a song by the rock group Fleetwood Mac. Stevie Nicks wrote the song originally c. 1979, and the earliest demo recordings were recorded in early 1980 with Tom Moncrieff for possible inclusion on her solo debut Bella Donna. However, when Nicks’ friend Robin Anderson died of leukemia, the song took on a new significance and Nicks held it over for Fleetwood Mac. “Gypsy” was the second single release and second biggest hit from the Mirage album, following “Hold Me”, reaching a peak of number 12 on the Billboard Hot 100 for three weeks.

In 2017, Nicks re-recorded an acoustic version to serve as the theme song for the Netflix drama series Gypsy. [1]

There are two points of inspiration behind “Gypsy”, as stated by Stevie Nicks. The first of which is a point of nostalgia for Nicks: her life before Fleetwood Mac. Before joining the iconic band, Nicks lived with Lindsey Buckingham, who would also join Fleetwood Mac. Nicks and Buckingham were partners in both the musical and romantic sense; however, only their musical partnership has survived. Nicks met Buckingham at a high school party, where he was singing “California Dreaming” by the Mamas and the Papas. Nicks joined in with perfect harmony, then they introduced themselves. They didn’t see each other again until college, where they started a relationship, and started a duo called Buckingham Nicks. They barely got by with the income from Nicks’ work as a waitress and cleaning lady.[2] They couldn’t afford a bed frame, so they slept on a single mattress, directly on the floor. Nicks says the mattress was decorated in lace, with a vase and a flower at its side. Whenever she feels her famous life getting to her, she goes “back to her roots,” and takes her mattress off the frame and puts it “back to the floor” and decorates it with “some lace, and paper flowers.” [3] It takes her back to the days when she had no wealth—back to herself as a poor gypsy. Some speculate the rest of this song is directed at Buckingham, assuming the lyrics depict her leaving him. On March 31, 2009, Nicks gave an interview to Entertainment Weekly discussing the inspiration for the song:

“Oh boy, I’ve never really spoken about this, so I get verklempt, and then I’ve got the story and I start to screw it up. Okay: In the old days, before Fleetwood Mac, Lindsey [Buckingham] and I had no money, so we had a king-size mattress, but we just had it on the floor. I had old vintage coverlets on it, and even though we had no money it was still really pretty… Just that and a lamp on the floor, and that was it—there was a certain calmness about it. To this day, when I’m feeling cluttered, I will take my mattress off of my beautiful bed, wherever that may be, and put it outside my bedroom, with a table and a little lamp.”

On March 25, 2009 during a show in Montreal on Fleetwood Mac’s Unleashed Tour, Stevie Nicks gave a short history of the inspiration behind Gypsy. She explained it was written sometime in 1978-79, when the band had become “very famous, very fast,” and it was a song that brought her back to an earlier time, to an apartment in San Francisco where she had taken the mattress off her bed and put it on the floor. To contextualize, she voiced the lyrics: “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.” Those are the words: ‘So I’m back to the velvet underground’—which is a clothing store in downtown San Francisco, where Janis Joplin got her clothes, and Grace Slick from Jefferson Airplane. It was this little hole in the wall, amazing, beautiful stuff—’back to the floor that I love, to a room with some lace and paper flowers, back to the gypsy that I was.'”

The second, and most emotional, subject of this song is the message as a tribute to someone’s passing. On October 5, 1982, Robin Snyder Anderson, Stevie’s best friend, died of leukemia.

Nicks met and befriended Robin Snyder at Arcadia High School in Los Angeles, CA when they were either 14 or 15. Snyder, who had theatrical interests, became Nicks’ speech therapist.[4] Videos of the two preparing for concerts are easily accessible over the internet, for instance, one video in particular where Snyder helps Nicks prepare for a concert during the “Rumours” tour.[5] Not only did she help her with her singing, but she was also her confidante, and the person who knew her best. According to Carol Ann Harris’ book, “Storms”, Snyder could calm her down within just a fraction of a second.[6] The night before her “Bella Donna” was released, Nicks received a terrifying call from Snyder saying she had leukemia, and the doctors thought she could only last three months. Even more horrifying to Nicks was the news that Snyder had gotten pregnant, as to leave her husband, Kim Anderson, with something after she left. If she aborted the child, she could’ve possibly lived for another year. However, the baby was born (three months-premature), and Snyder died three days later. Nicks was on tour [7] The only person Nicks felt could understand her grief was Kim Anderson. He felt the same way, and out of grief, as well as the duty to give the baby (named Matthew) a good home, the two married. Three months later, Nicks filed for divorce, after she “received a sign” from Snyder telling her to get out of there. Nicks has stated that she has put Matthew through college and told him about what had happened many times. As Snyder was dying, Nicks dedicated “Gypsy” to her. Nicks found it extremely difficult to sing the song in concert.[8]

The video for this song, directed by Russell Mulcahy, was the highest-budget music video ever produced at the time. It used several locations including a highly detailed portrayal of a forest, and required many costumes and dancers. It was the very first “World Premiere Video” on MTV in 1982.

Interpersonal difficulties among the band members complicated the shoot, much as they had with the earlier video for “Hold Me.” When he was pairing them during blocking, Mulcahy recalls, “people were pulling me aside saying ‘No no. Those two were fucking and then they split up and now he’s sleeping with her’. I got very confused, who was sleeping with whom.”[9]

Stevie Nicks especially remembers the experience as unpleasant. Two weeks beforehand, she had gone into rehabilitation to attempt to end her cocaine addiction. However, the video shoot could not be rescheduled, and she had to take a break for it. Near the end of the first of three days, she was exhausted and said she wanted some cocaine. A small bottle that was discreetly brought to her was later thrown out before she could use any. “I think we would probably have gone on to make many more great videos like ‘Gypsy’ had we not been so into drugs.”[9]

Those issues were further strained by having to work closely with her former boyfriend, Lindsey Buckingham. “We weren’t getting along well then. I didn’t want to be anywhere near him; I certainly didn’t want to be in his arms,” she says of the scene where the two are dancing. “If you watch the video, you’ll see I wasn’t happy. And he wasn’t a very good dancer.”[9]

The b-side of the “Gypsy” single [45 RPM] was “Cool Water,” an acoustic performance featuring Buckingham and John McVie on lead vocals, a rare occurrence where McVie contributed his vocals to a Fleetwood Mac recording. The song was originally written in 1936 by Bob Nolan and has been covered by a large number of artists and musicians over the years. The Fleetwood Mac version appears on the compilation album Revenge of the Killer B’s, Volume 2,[10] and has been released on the Deluxe Edition of the band’s “Mirage” cd.

Stevie Nicks – vocals
Lindsey Buckingham – guitar, vocals
Christine McVie – piano, backing vocals, organ
John McVie – bass guitar
Mick Fleetwood – drums, percussion