50 Years: Don't Stop

by: Fleetwood Mac

Over the years, there have been a surplus of Fleetwood Mac compilations but prior to 2018's 50 Years: Don't Stop, very few have attempted to tell the band's story from beginning to end. There was only one, actually: 25 Years-The Chain, released two years into the Mac's uncertain post-Lindsey Buckingham era. Buckingham rejoined the band in 1997 but he was kicked out prior to the November '18 release of 50 Years: Don't Stop, his departure coloring the perception of the triple-disc compilation in the sense that Fleetwood Mac's story doesn't belong to him. 50 Years proves this through its chronological sequencing, which underscores the group's evolution from blues-rockers to album rock titans and, finally, to pop superstars (its accompanying single disc of highlights, in contrast, is deliberately front-loaded with hits, so it's not as instructive). Along the way, every one of the band's signatures is heard-from "Black Magic Woman," "Albatross," "Oh Well," "The Green Manalishi (With The Two Prong Crown" and "Sentimental Lady" to "Monday Morning," "Rhiannon," "Landslide," "Go Your Own Way" and "You Make Loving Fun"-and every era, including the uncelebrated 1995 album Time, is touched upon. The only phase not featured on 50 Years: Don't Stop is the post-Buckingham incarnation featuring Neil Finn and Mike Campbell-the lineup that took 50 Years out on tour, proving that the Fleetwood Mac story will continue to take unexpected detours until Mick Fleetwood and John McVie decide they're done with the band. That means it's the best Mac compilation assembled to date: it has all the hits, it tells the story and it takes listeners on a journey. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine

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