It was something few were expecting to experience but everyone was excited for: in the summer of 1997, Fleetwood Mac's "classic" five-person line-up reunited after nearly a decade apart for The Dance, a concert special that spun off a world tour.
Before The Dance, when last we'd heard of the long-running British band, their time seemed to have run its course. Their last album, 1995's Time, featured mainstays Mick Fleetwood, John McVie and Christine McVie alongside guitarist Billy Burnette (one of Lindsey Buckingham's replacements in 1987), singer Bekka Bramlett (daughter of Delaney & Bonnie) and Dave Mason, co-founder of another legendary British group, Traffic. The album failed to chart at all in America, and Burnette and Bramlett soon left to work on their own material.
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While the senior three members were plotting their next move, Stevie Nicks and Buckingham spontaneously decided to reunite in the recording studio, cutting a track for the soundtrack to the film Twister in 1996. Naturally, one thing led to another, and within a year, the lineup that produced a streak of hits between 1975's Fleetwood Mac and 1987's Tango in the Night was in Warner Bros. Studios in Burbank, recording a hits-packed set for a TV special.
While it featured just about all the singles fans would expect, The Dance also introduced some new material (Christine McVie's "Temporary One," Buckingham's "Bleed to Love Her," Nicks' "Sweet Girl") and, more importantly, reintroduced some others. A particularly moving rendition of "Landslide," dedicated by Nicks to her father, earned significant airplay on American radio. And a powerful version of "Tusk" reunited the group with a new generation of the USC Trojans marching band, who played on the original studio version.
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The Dance wowed critics and audiences, debuting atop the Billboard 200 and selling more than five million copies. The revitalized band toured after its release, getting inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame a year later; while Christine McVie departed from the touring grind that same year, Fleetwood Mac released one more studio album, 2003's Say You Will, and continued to tour. McVie returned in 2014, only for Buckingham to depart in 2018 - the latest chapter in the band's complicated story.
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