When Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks joined Fleetwood Mac, the band had been in a state of constant turnover. Originally a blues band, the group was as famous for its revolving door of guitarists and vocalists as it was for its handful of hits. Because of its changing lineup, the band had no signature sound. Fortunately, the addition of Buckingham and Nicks was just what Mick Fleetwood, John McVie, and his then-wife Christine McVie needed to achieve the group’s long-overdue success. The duo gave the band new energy, a unique and recognizable vocal sound, and material that would become part of Fleetwood Mac’s identity, like the song“Landslide.”
A song about the changes and challenges of life, Stevie Nicks wrote “Landslide” in 1974 in Aspen’s snow country when her then-boyfriend, Lindsey Buckingham, was on tour. Nicks has said in interviews that the song is about her romance with Buckingham and their career struggles, as well as her relationship with her business-executive father. Her months in the mountains helped to inspire the song’s title contained in the lines:
And I saw my reflection in the snow-covered hills/‘Til the landslide brought me down.
Another verse contains questions that most of us ask ourselves at one time or another:
Oh, mirror in the sky, what is love?
Can the child within my heart rise above?
Can I sail through the changing ocean tides?
Can I handle the seasons of my life?
While they may sound simple, the introspection of these words resonated with millions of record buyers and helped to make the debut album by this Fleetwood Mac cast one of the best-selling albums of the 1970s.
How great musicians like Lindsey Buckingham create original compositions like this one is beyond my understanding. His guitar accompaniment on this song is a testament to his extraordinary talent.
Here’s my cover of “Landslide.”
Love is the Truth of the Heart