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Ahead of their five-show tour of New Zealand this September, we take a look at the best cover versions of iconic Fleetwood Mac songs.
It’s a true testament to the strength of a band’s songbook when another artist goes out of their way to cover one of their songs. And there aren’t many bands who have had their songbook dived into as much as Fleetwood Mac have.
From covers that pay true homage to the original studio versions, all the way to complete redesigns – here are our favourite ever Fleetwood Mac covers.
Harry Styles – The Chain
It’s no doubt that Harry Styles’ solo music takes a lot of inspiration from the sound of artists like Fleetwood Mac, but his faithful cover of their hit song ‘The Chain’ really proved that he is more than the “just another guy from a boyband” label that so many stuck on him. Don’t take our word for the glory of this cover though – Stevie Nicks and Mick Fleetwood themselves said Styles’ take on ‘The Chain’ is the best cover they’ve ever heard. Styles has joined the band many times onstage to perform the song, in turn, Nicks has joined Styles at his shows for this cover and other FM classics. And when Stevie Nicks became the first ever woman to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice, it was Styles who inducted her.
Dixie Chicks – Landslide
While most of these Fleetwood Mac covers have been solely kept to the live arena, other artists have reimagined the band’s songbook into singles of their own. Take American country group Dixie Chicks and their 2002 cover of ‘Landslide’ – a track that, when it was released as the second single from their own album Home, went on to reach the Top 10 on the Billboard Hot 100 and become the band’s only top 10 single in Australia. The Dixie Chicks’ single has been certified Gold in both Australia and the United States.
Miley Cyrus – Landslide
Miley Cyrus has performed her twanged-up version of ‘Landslide’ a number of different times throughout her career, and while the most recent version – performed at the 2018 MusiCares Person of the Year concert gala honouring Fleetwood Mac’s induction into the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame – has disappeared from existence, this version from her Bangerz tour run showcases just how perfectly suited her vocal is to taking on Stevie Nicks’ pipes.
Lykke Li – Silver Springs
Back in 2012, a whole host of contemporary performers got together to release the Just Tell Me That You Want Me: A Tribute to Fleetwood Mac album and a few covers on this list are taken from it. One of our ultimate favourites is Lykke Li’s take on ‘Silver Springs’. Originally dropping as a b-side during the Rumours-era, it has become a Stevie Nicks signature tune. Reportedly inspired by her breakup with bandmate Lindsey Buckingham, the track is a slow-burner bursting with vulnerability and heartache. Li’s take is rather straightforward – filled with hollow reverb, her vocal is strong, and the overall arrangement is beautiful.
Tame Impala – That’s All For Everyone
Another from that same tribute album is Tame Impala’s woozy, psychedelic take on ‘That’s All For Everyone’. Written by Lindsey Buckingham, the roots of the track are already pretty psych-leaning, but Tame Impala – in their signature way – ramp things up ten-fold. They swap out acoustic guitar for brain-melting synths and send Buckingham’s tune through a world of effects. With that being said, this cover is still pretty faithful to the original and we definitely like Tame Impala’s take here.
Florence + The Machine – The Chain
Florence Welch has been likened to Stevie Nicks many times across her career, and one watch of Florence and The Machine’s cover of ‘The Chain’ and it isn’t hard to see why. Taking to the Glastonbury stage back in 201o, Welch and co left their mark on the track – transforming ‘The Chain’ into a quintessential Florence and The Machine tune. Like a love letter to Fleetwood Mac, Florence well and truly did the power of this track justice while simultaneously showcasing just how world-class their own artistry is. This is the way a cover should be done.
Elton John – Don’t Stop
Back in 1998, to celebrate two decades of Rumours, Mick Fleetwood pulled together an all-star cast of musical acts and shared the album’s 11 tracks between them. One of the most outrageous – and least recognisable– is Elton John’s take on ‘Don’t Stop’. Taking the strikingly memorable melody of the track and putting it through the Elton-filter. the cover somehow remains completely faithful to its original while also somehow sounding like it belongs entirely in John’s back catalogue. We guess this is what happens when a master covers a master.
Lissie – Dreams
Get ready for a serious case of goosebumps. Dropping this cover only a couple of months ago, American singer-songwriter Lissie perfectly captures the haunting emotional qualities of Stevie Nicks in what is one of Fleetwood Mac’s most well-known and loved tracks. On her version of ‘Dreams’, Lissie strips back the full band instrumentation, instead leading with little more than a piano and her delicate vocal. If you are a fan of Lissie and her Stevie-Nicks-esque vocal quality make sure you check out her first Fleetwood Mac cover – her version of ‘Go Your Own Way’ has generated over 19 million Spotify streams.
HAIM – Hold Me
Finally, we get to HAIM and their take on ‘Hold Me’ – a track from Fleetwood Mac’s 1982 album Mirage. Their version is, as you’d expect from the trio, a little off-kilter, heavy on the vocal harmonies (how beautiful do these three sound together?) and is sure to get you moving. They’ve replaced the track’s piano with a deep bass groove, updated the guitar melodies (but kept the solo in, thank goodness, they’ve just beefed it up with some feedback) and layered blissed-out harmonies with a rough-around-the-edges take on the tune. Could we end this list in any other way?
Now that we’ve heard everyone else’s take, it’s time to dive right into the originals. Fleetwood Mac are heading to New Zealand this September. They’ll play four shows at Spark Arena, Auckland on Thursday 12 September, Saturday 14 September (*NEW SHOW*), Monday 16 September, and Thursday 19 September. They’ll also perform at Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin on Saturday 21 September. Tickets are on sale via Ticketmaster.co.nz.