Uncut recounted the tale of Fleetwood Mac’s improbable reunion at length in May last year (Take 72). Now come two DVD releases commemorating the resumption of rock’n’roll’s longest-running soap opera. Live In Boston is a straightforward concert film shot in September 2003 on their first tour in five years. The band clearly miss Christine McVie, the only member of the classic mid-’70s line-up not to participate, and on one level, they offer up stadium rock of the blandest kind. Yet the residue of their own infamous internal psychodrama remains intense, and there’s an undeniable chemistry to these two-dozen performances, spread across two discs. “Rhiannon” proves that even in her fifties, Stevie Nicks can still beguile in her trademark black lace and chiffon. But it’s the way she and former lover Lindsey Buckingham interact during the songs they wrote for each other?”Landslide”, “Second Hand News”, “Dreams”, “Never Going Back Again”, “Go Your Own Way”?that creates a compelling emotional melodrama that reaches its height on “Silver Springs”, as Nicks chants: “Time casts a spell on you, but you won’t forget me”.
Documentary Destiny Rules ostensibly tells the story of the recording of the band’s 18-track reunion album, Say You Will, and rehearsals for the tour over a prolonged 18-month period in 2002-3. One says ‘ostensibly’, for everything Fleetwood Mac do remains haunted by the ghosts of their ’70s past, so the fascination of seeing them back together lies almost totally in the fact that, although time may have healed old wounds, visible and livid scars remain. They’re liable to reopen at any minute, too, for even while rehearsing and recording new songs, the band seem unable to help raking over the past. “It’s pretty amazing that all this time later those subjects are still being dealt with in a really deep manner,” Buckingham says with incredulity. Shortly after, there’s a huge fight between him and Nicks involving contracts and lawyers and accusations of duplicity. It’s all a bit like rubber-necking a motorway car crash. You ought to be repelled, but you can’t help being drawn to the grisly spectacle.