Christine McVie

Christine McVie
Christine McVie
Birth name Christine Anne Perfect
Born 12 July 1943 (1943-07-12) (age 68)
Bouth, Lancashire, England
Genres Blues, pop rock, soft rock, pop
Instruments Vocals, keyboards, piano, accordion, harmonica
Years active 1967–2004
Labels Blue Horizon (1968–1970)
Reprise Records (1970–1977)
Sire Records (1977–1997)
E1 Music (US) (2004)
Sanctuary Records (2004)
Associated acts Fleetwood Mac (1970–1998), Chicken Shack (1968–1969)

Christine McVie (born Christine Anne Perfect, 12 July 1943, in Bouth, near Ulverston, Lancashire, England)[1] is an English rock singer, keyboardist, and songwriter. Her primary fame came as a member of the British/American rock band Fleetwood Mac, though she has also released three solo albums. As a member of Fleetwood Mac, she was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1998.


Early life

Christine was born in the small village of Bouth in the Lake District of England 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. Christine's mother Beatrice E.M.(called Tee) née Reece, was a medium, psychic, and faith healer. Her grandfather had been an organist at Westminster Abbey.[2] Although Christine was introduced to the piano at the age of four, it was not until age eleven that she studied music seriously, when she was re-introduced to the instrument by Philip Fisher, a local musician and school friend of her older brother John.[citation needed] Continuing her classical training until the age of fifteen, her musical focus made a radical shift to rock & roll when John brought home a Fats Domino songbook.[3] Other early influences included The Everly Brothers.

Early music

Christine 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.[citation needed] 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 Christine had musical talent, they asked her to join.[4] Also during that time she would often sing with Spencer Davis. After five years, Christine graduated from art college with a teaching degree, but by that time "Sounds of Blue" had split up.

Fresh out of art college, Christine found that she did not have enough money to launch herself into the art world, so she moved to London, where she worked briefly as a department store window dresser.[4]

Chicken Shack

In 1968, a friend told her that her ex-band mates Andy Silvester and Stan Webb were forming a blues band and were looking for a pianist, so she wrote to them asking to join them. A few days later they replied, inviting her to play keyboards/piano and sing background vocals in their band Chicken Shack.[4] Christine stayed with Chicken Shack for two albums. It was in that combo that her genuine feel for the blues became evident, not only in her Sonny Thompson-style piano playing, but in her soft, low alto which rendered the songs and standards she did sing authentic.[5] In fact, Chicken Shack scored the British hit "I'd Rather Go Blind" with Christine on lead vocals.[6] She was given a Melody Maker award for female vocalist for both 1969 and 1970 respectively, and she was lauded for having one of the "top 10 pairs of legs in all of Britain". Christine left Chicken Shack in 1969 after meeting Fleetwood Mac bassist John McVie.

Fleetwood Mac

Christine was a fan of Fleetwood Mac at the time, and while touring with Chicken Shack the two bands would often run into each other. They were also stablemates at Blue Horizon, and Fleetwood Mac had asked Christine to play piano as a session musician for Peter Green's songs on the band's second album, Mr. Wonderful.[7]

Encouraged to continue her career, she 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 bass guitarist John McVie, she joined the band 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. Christine 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.[8] Christine McVie quickly became an essential member of the group and the author of some of its finest songs, over the course of nearly 25 years.[citation needed]

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 scoring any successes.[citation needed] Furthermore, a group impersonating Fleetwood Mac was touring the United States without their permission.[citation needed]

In 1974, Christine reluctantly agreed to move with the rest of the band to the US 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 Christine'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.[9]

In 1976, Christine began an on-the-road affair with the band's lighting director,[10] 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 #3. The Rumours tour also included Christine's "Songbird", a ballad played as the encore of many Fleetwood Mac concerts.

By the end of the Rumours tour, the McVies had divorced. The 1979 double album Tusk produced three more US top-20 hits ("Tusk", which is also the band's first "conceptual" music video,[citation needed] "Sara", and Christine's "Think About Me"), but it came nowhere near to matching the success of the Rumours album.[11] The Tusk tour continued into 1980, after which, the band took time apart. They reunited in 1981 to record the album Mirage at a château 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 Christine. Christine's inspiration for the song was her tortured relationship with Beach Boys member Dennis Wilson.[12] Her song, "Love in Store", became the third single from the album peaking at #22 in early 1983.[citation needed]

In 1984, Christine decided to record 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). Christine 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."[13]

She also met keyboardist Eddy Quintela (12 years her junior), whom she married on October 18, 1986. Quintela would go on to co-write many songs with her that would be featured on subsequent Fleetwood Mac albums. The couple divorced in the mid-1990s.

After covering the Elvis Presley standard "Can't Help Falling in Love" for the Ted Danson / Howie Mandel film A Fine Mess, she rejoined Fleetwood Mac to record the Tango in the Night album, which went on to become the band's biggest success since Rumours ten years earlier. The biggest hit from the album which was top 5 in both the UK and US, was Christine'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 US).[14]

In 1990, the band (now without Lindsey Buckingham) recorded Behind the Mask, but the sales were considerably lower than previous albums and the singles were only marginally successful.[citation needed] The album did however, enter the UK album chart at #1, but there were no UK hits from the album and only Christine's song "Save Me" made the US Top 40. The second US single release from the album, Christine's "Skies the Limit", was a flop, never even making the Hot 100. Christine had always been reluctant to go on concert tours, preferring to stay close to home with friends and family.[citation needed] Upon the death of her father, Cyril Perfect, while she was touring for Behind the Mask, Christine made the decision to retire from touring altogether.[citation needed] Despite the departure of Stevie Nicks, Christine remained loyal to Mick Fleetwood and her former husband, recording five songs for the band's 1995 effort 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 Lindsey Buckingham's solo projects. Christine McVie was soon asked to sing and play on some of the tracks. Once 4/5 of the Rumours-era band was reunited, the members decided a reunion was possible. Stevie Nicks was called out of premature retirement and the resulting live album, 1997's The Dance, went to #1 in the US album charts. Despite her reservations,[citation needed] Christine 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. Thereafter, she retired from Fleetwood Mac altogether.

In 2006, Paste magazine named McVie, together with bandmates Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks, as the 83rd greatest living songwriter or songwriting team.[15]

Life after Fleetwood Mac

In the years after The Dance, Christine returned to England to be near her family and stepped out of public view almost completely, although in 2000 she appeared in public to receive an Honorary Doctorate in Music from the University of Greenwich, England.[16] Sometime after leaving Fleetwood Mac, she and Quintela divorced. In a 2004 interview, she admitted to not listening much to pop music anymore and instead prefers Classic FM.[17][18]

In December 2003, she 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.[19]

Mid-2004 saw the release of Christine's new solo album, In the Meantime, her third in a career spanning five decades. Recorded in her converted barn in Kent, Christine worked on the project with her nephew, Dan Perfect, who contributed guitar-playing, backing vocals, and songwriting. There was no tour to accompany this album, though Christine consented to a limited number of press interviews in the UK and the US. In 2006, Christine was awarded the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors' Gold Badge of Merit at a ceremony held in London's Savoy Hotel.[20]

Once again, in November 2009, Christine went to see Fleetwood Mac's last UK performance on their Unleashed tour in London, but did not join her former bandmates on the stage.[citation needed]


With Fleetwood Mac

Year Album U.S. Billboard 200 UK Albums Chart[21] 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 signatures tune, "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 but failed to chart.
1997 The Dance 1 15 Christine McVie participated in her final tour with Fleetwood Mac and retired from the group thereafter. "Temporary One" was released as a single but failed to chart.
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".

Solo albums

Year Album U.S. Billboard 200 UK Albums Chart[22] Additional information
1970 Christine Perfect - - Featured a cover version of Fleetwood Mac's "When You Say"
1984 Christine
26 58 Featured Christine McVie's biggest charting single outside Fleetwood Mac—"Got A Hold On Me" coming in at #10 on the US charts
2004 In the Meantime - 133 Christine McVie co-produced this album with her nephew Dan Perfect. "Friend" reached #29 on the Adult Contemporary Chart.

With Chicken Shack

Year Album U.S. Billboard 200 UK Albums Chart[23] Additional information
1968 40 Blue Fingers, Freshly Packed and Ready to Serve - 12 -
1969 O.K. Ken? - 9 -


Year Song U.S. Hot 100 U.S. A/C Album
1969 "When You Say"
Christine Perfect
1984 "Got a Hold on Me"
Christine McVie
1984 "Love Will Show Us How"
Christine McVie
2004 "Friend"
In the Meantime


  1. ^ "Marriages and Births England and Wales 1837–2006". Retrieved 2011-01-03. 
  2. ^ Doerschuk, Bob (October 1980). "Christine McVie". Contemporary Keyboard. 
  3. ^ "Christine McVie: Life After Fleetwood Mac". Sunday Express. 27 June 2004. 
  4. ^ a b c Disc Magazine (11/08–15/1969), Who's Perfect?
  5. ^ Fleetwood Mac, by Steve Clarke, Proteus Books, 1984, p. 47
  6. ^ Fleetwood Mac, by Steve Clarke, Proteus Books, 1984, p. 48
  7. ^ Mike Vernon's CD Booklet, Fleetwood Mac: The Complete Blue Horizon Sessions 1967-1969, Chapter 2
  8. ^ "Goldmine Magazine 1992 interview". 
  9. ^ Fleetwood Mac, by Steve Clarke, Proteus Books, 1984, p. 92
  10. ^ "Five Go Mad". Uncut Magazine. May 2003. 
  11. ^ "Mac's McVie: Rumours Fly About Fleetwood Mac's Christine McVie--And That's No Mirage". US Magazine. September 25, 1982. 
  12. ^ Fleetwood, Mick & Stephen Davis. My Life and Adventures in Fleetwood Mac. Avon Books, 1991.
  13. ^ Connelly, Christopher. "From British Blues with Chicken Shack to Soft Rock with Fleetwood Mac: Christine McVie Keeps a Level Head after Two Decades in the Fast Lane." Rolling Stone, June 7, 1984, @
  14. ^ Fleetwood Mac UK singles positions at Chart Stats
  15. ^ "Paste's 100 Best Living Songwriters: The List" June 8, 2006, Paste Magazine
  16. ^ [1] "FLEETWOOD MAC STAR, CHRISTINE McVIE, AWARDED HONORARY DEGREE AT ROCHESTER CATHEDRAL", July 20, 2000, University of Greenwich press release
  17. ^ Hodgkinson, Will (2004-06-18). "Surviving the Fleetwoods". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 2010-04-30. 
  18. ^ Christine McVie (2004). In The Meantime interview, part 4/6. with Amy Scott. All Star Jams. Retrieved 2010-10-07. 
  19. ^ Christine McVie (2004). In The Meantime interview, part 3/6. with Amy Scott. All Star Jams. Retrieved 2010-10-07. 
  20. ^ Christine McVie Honored With Gold Badge Award October 30, 2006
  21. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 205. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 
  22. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 341. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 
  23. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 104. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 

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