The Chain - Fleetwood Mac 1979 Live on the Tusk Tour
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Uploaded on Feb 16, 2008
Footage from the famous tusk documentary.
With lyrics from Stevie Nicks and music from the rest of the band, The Chain has become the anthem of Fleetwood Mac. The Chain is the never ending tie that bound the band together in the past and binds them together now and, hopefully, well into the future. Undoubtedly this song speaks volumes about bitter feelings, a wavering relationship, and the need to keep the links in the chain together. What is in doubt, however, is the focus of these lyrics. Did Stevie write The Chain as a way to vent her frustration and anger over her shattered relationship with Lindsey Buckingham, or is it a statement about the fragile links between the five members of Fleetwood Mac and their need to stay together for each other and for the sake of the band - or some of both?
The Chain can easily be interpreted as the written expression of love, anger, hate and frustration toward Stevie and Lindsey's torn relationship and their inability to communicate and interact with each other on a daily basis. This can be found in the lyrics "listen to the wind blow, watch the sun rise" and "...down comes the night". " And if you don't love me now/ you will never love me again" could be a warning to Lindsey to be sure that breaking up is what he wants because he will never get another chance to love her, or simply that she knows their time is running out and she knew it was time to decide to stay together or go their separate ways. She might have given a clue to her desire to be away from him and the rest of the band when she writes " run in the shadows" and "damn you love/ damn you lies" . She loves him and he loves her, yet they can't get along and she feels betrayed because he is the one who is leaving the relationship. They need to "break the silence" and start communicating, but instead he lies and finally "breaks the chain" between them. Her total rage toward him over leaving climaxes in the lyrics "I can still hear you saying/You would never break the Chain".
The lyrics also ring true when including all the members Fleetwood Mac as the focus of "The Chain". The discord between Stevie and Lindsey, Christine and John, and the endless fighting within the group took a terrible toll on the band. The energy and passion shown in their music was being consumed by disagreements, finally resulting in Lindsey's departure. "Listen to the wind blow" could refer to the turmoil the band was in day in and day out. Everyone fighting, everyone wanting nothing more that to get away from everyone else. Everyone wanting to get away - to "run in the shadows". Their need to be together was tearing them all apart, and the glue holding them together was weakening day after day - "Listen to the wind blow/ down comes the night". The only way to resolve their problems would be to start communicating - to " break the silence" and strengthen the chain again. Stevie's overwhelming personal anger toward Lindsey comes through with "damn you love/ damn your lies" and "... if you don't love me now/ you will never love me again". The song comes to a climax with the resounding pain and anger of " I can still hear you saying/ you would never break the chain".
Fortunately for all of us, the strength of the five links in the chain have been restored. Their wounds have healed and they have grown together again. Whether or not these lyric interpretations are valid or not are almost irrelevant. What IS relevant is that they came back together - not just for all of us, but for themselves. They have finally healed and "broken the silence". Maybe now they will finally stay together and "...never break the chain".
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