Fleetwood Mac’s Secret Weapon Strikes Again on “You Make Loving Fun”

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One of the well-documented wonders of Fleetwood Mac’s seminal album Rumours is how all the members of the band managed to devote themselves to making the best music they possibly could whilst simultaneously ripping each other apart emotionally.

Some of the songs on the album understandably have bitter, heartbroken, or regret-laden lyrical content. But one member of the band seemed to consistently cut through the heartache and make young lovers everywhere feel excited to be alive.

That person, Fleetwood Mac’s secret weapon, is Christine McVie.

Time and again throughout the band’s history, McVie has managed to write catchy pop songs that crystallize the feeling of being swept up by the wonder of love. The lyrics to many of these songs present that feeling with honesty, earthiness, and an optimistic outlook that still feels individual today. Their longevity must surely, in part, be due to this optimism.

The fourth and final single to be released from Rumours is “You Make Loving Fun.” It’s as breezy and optimistic as any of their songs.

It appears on the second half of the album and could easily seem eclipsed by the heavy-hitters – “Dreams” or “Go Your Own Way” – but its arrangement and chord structure open it like a flower. When it arrives eight tracks in, it creates a brief oasis of musical happiness that seems fleeting when compared to the rest of the album.

Indeed the McVies could seem eclipsed by the towering personalities of the other couple in the band (as well as Mick Fleetwood’s towering stature), but the power of this track showcases their prowess. It somehow manages to be ambiguous in its musical mood. McVie’s Rhodes and clavinet start the song moodily, but then it starts to gain pace. There’s urgency, and a subtle hint of Lyndsey Buckingham’s guitar in the background.

The chorus lifts with a major chord, a sweet choir, and some tinkling percussion behind McVie singing:

I never did believe in miracles

But musically the optimism fades once she gets to the end of it:

But I’m beginning to wonder why

The song then gives way to Buckingham’s guitar, which has been bubbling under the chorus, but now breaks out for a full-on solo in the next verse (an unusual place for a guitar solo, but a thoughtful choice executed to perfection).

A final verse drops back into the moody, driving beginning of the song before the sun finally bursts through the clouds with a full-on chant of the song’s title. The song closes with a feeling of celebration and happiness that dances into the distance.

It’s the perfect ending to a song that’s so free and void of cynicism:

Sweet wonderful you
You make me happy with the things you do
Oh, can it be so?
This feeling follows me wherever I go

It’s like a poem from a seventeen-year-old who has discovered love for the first time.

This being “Rumours,” it’s actually a love song to someone Christine McVie was having an affair with. But let’s ignore that backstory. “You Make Loving Fun” is an infectious, rhythmic pop classic, and a very integral part of why its parent album has sold over 40 million copies.

The post Fleetwood Mac’s Secret Weapon Strikes Again on “You Make Loving Fun” appeared first on Two Story Melody.

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