It's not a stretch to suggest Christine McVie was born Perfect - it's literally her maiden name - and anyone who's heard her work in and out of Fleetwood Mac would be quick to agree. In any band, her clear voice as a singer/songwriter and her dexterity behind the keyboards would be an obvious asset; in an ensemble like the Mac, surrounded by the larger-than-life presences of artists like Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks, she seems almost like a secret weapon (not unlike her onetime husband, founding bassist John McVie).
These 10 songs represent her enduring power and magic as a musician - a killer addition to any musical line-up and a crucial one to Fleetwood Mac for nearly a half century.
"Spare Me a Little of Your Love" (from Bare Trees, 1972): this wasn't Christine's first contribution to Fleetwood Mac - she'd participated in the sessions to 1970's Kiln House and was a full-time member on follow-up Future Games - but "Spare Me a Little of Your Love" was McVie's first single for the group, which is a fine place to start here. A live staple of the band's pre-Rumours sets, Christine's voice is a little more reserved than the more popular radio hits that followed, but makes for a nice counterpoint to the dual guitar work of Bob Welch and Danny Kirwan.
"Say You Love Me" (from Fleetwood Mac, 1975): with the addition of Buckingham and Nicks into the ranks of Fleetwood Mac, the band's newfound listeners got to enjoy the kinetic guitar and impassioned vocals of one and the low, haunting, appropriately witchy vocals of the other. But Christine's unadorned alto wasn't going anywhere - and while "Rihannon" caught the ears of those new fans, it was the easygoing rocker "Say You Love Me" that reeled them in further.
"You Make Loving Fun" / "Songbird" (from Rumours, 1977): the unbelievable personal turmoil that surrounded the members of Fleetwood Mac at this time did not leave McVie unscathed - she and McVie divorced just before recording Rumours - but it's her emotional contributions that help make it one of the most beloved albums of all time. "You Make Loving Fun," the album's fourth Top 10 hit, is a fiery ode to romance that Christine penned about an affair she was having with the band's lighting director (she told her ex it was about her dog!), while the side one closer "Songbird" has an aching, yearning quality to offset the album's many meditative kiss-offs.
"Think About Me" (from Tusk, 1979): Amid the larger-than-life, nervous breakdown energy of Tusk, Fleetwood Mac tucked in this Christine McVie gem, which took her signature songwriting bounce and dialed up some rock snarl. Her melodies are pristine as ever, and the grit from Lindsey and Stevie's backing vocals makes it even more of a sure thing.
READ MORE: October 1979: Fleetwood Mac Release 'Tusk'
"Hold Me" (from Mirage, 1982): Having batted clean-up for Rumours and Tusk, Mac's first studio album of the '80s kicked off with one of Chrstine's singles. "Hold Me" features layers of her and Buckingham's vocals washing over the listener like waves on the shoreline, giving the band their seventh of nine Top 10 hits in America.
"Got a Hold on Me" (from Christine McVie, 1984): Unlike either Buckingham or Nicks, Christine McVie only pursued one solo project during Fleetwood Mac's imperial era. But that self-titled album did feature one delicious pop track in "Got a Hold on Me," featuring subtle guitar work by Buckingham, layers of synths courtesy of Steve Winwood, and a delectable two-pronged chorus that radio fell for hard - all the way to No. 10 on the Billboard Hot 100.
"Little Lies" / "Everywhere" (from Tango in the Night, 1987): the last Fleetwood Mac studio album to feature the "classic" five piece line-up marked an intriguing balance of power. With Buckingham eyeing the exits as a solo artist and Nicks working to kick drug addictions, it was McVie's material that emerged as some of Tango in the Night's most consistent. "Little Lies" and "Everywhere" were not only two of the album's biggest hits stateside, but also revived the group's popularity in England - no borders were safe from McVie's vocal power and irresistible melodies.
"Feel About You" (from Lindsey Buckingham Christine McVie, 2017): Christine McVie bade Fleetwood Mac farewell after unexpected classic-era reunion The Dance, only to make an unlikely return to touring from 2014 onward. Before Buckingham and the band parted ways once more in 2018, Christine and Lindsey (and all the other members of Mac sans Stevie Nicks) joined forces for an album as a duo. "Feel About You," the album's second track, is pure McVie magic, with a bouncy melody, romantic lyrics and, as a cherry on top, the duo's hazy, dreamy background vocals, as powerful as ever.