Thursday, September 15, 2011

44. Fleetwood Mac, "Warm Ways" (1975)


I knew the Lindsey Buckingham/Stevie Nicks mid-'70s reboot of Fleetwood Mac almost entirely as a top 40 singles act, which I loved. I never felt driven to get the albums. Partly that was because friends were picking them up—when album sales are counted in the millions it's likely you will know a few owners. And sure enough one day I was visiting somewhere and heard this; it pinned me and it's been one of my favorites ever since. It's a Christine McVie song, who remains my favorite Fleetwood Mac as much as I like Buckingham and Nicks—her voice is at once so plain and so ethereal, and though her songs may be light on infectious melody they have a luscious, bruised, ripe quality that is irresistible. They overflow with poignance. They make me feel love—can I say that? This also expresses a certain kind of ideal of twenty-something romance in the '70s that worked on me deeply and without fail. I wanted the scenario and the story that it tells to become true in my life, a story of a single remarkable night that goes on for a lifetime, easy and peaceful. The singer just blissful in her bed: "Sleep easy by my side" and "I can't sleep, with your warm ways" and the real kicker tucked away in the chorus, which I think may not translate well as naked words: "Forever / Forever now, / Together." I even swear it came true for me on one notably historic night of my life, and lasted for nearly a decade. That it didn't survive the '80s only makes me the sadder every time I hear this now. But it's a good kind of sad, though it may have taken me awhile to get here.

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