The Fleetwood Mac song used to mock Stevie Nicks

Stevie Nicks

At the best of times, the personal dynamic within Fleetwood Mac was always on eggshells. They became the living soap operas that we know and love today. But the band’s willingness to drop members like a bad habit became a foundational part of their sound. It was with founder Peter Green leaving in the 1970s and Bob Welch vacating the lead guitar spot before Lindsey Buckingham entered the fray.

Rumors contained the majority of the band’s emotions. But one of their most incisive songs came from a later album.

Looking to build on the enormous success of their previous album, Tusk, the band went into the studio. They went there with producers Richard Dashut and Ken Caillat to top themselves. Everyone had fantastic material. But it would be anything but smooth sailing once everyone presented their new songs.

Because they couldn’t decide which direction to take with the material. Each band member seemed to treat their songs as individual solo tracks. They effectively used the rest of the band as a glorified backing band when working on their material. Even with the fractured studio environment, it did result in some of the band’s strongest singles. It was from Buckingham’s angry tone on the title track to Stevie Nicks lamenting the loss of her unborn child on ‘Sara’.

Even though Buckingham and Nicks had been separated for some time, the aggressions had not subsided. Buckingham would write songs aimed at Stevie Nicks. But the expectation was still on him to assist her in getting her songs in good enough shape. It would become a chore for him as the years passed.

Buckingham got his revenge when he wrote the song ‘What Makes You Think You’re The One,’ despite having to roll over and assist Nicks. The song has one of the more pop-friendly melodies on the album. But Buckingham used the final track to mock Nicks’s approach to songwriting.

Buckingham was still enraged by the song, as Caillat explained in her book Get Tusked. She recalled, “‘What Makes You Think You’re The One’ was rooted in the lyrics. And a performance that revisited Lindsey’s feelings toward Stevie and their past as a couple, a breakup that was only two years old at this point.” Lindsey did his best to imitate Stevie’s distinctive vibrato, giving it a bleating, goatlike quality, and her rudimentary piano playing. He knew it made her self-conscious.”

Even if Nicks had felt insecure working alongside Buckingham, she didn’t have to rely on him for much longer.  As the band made their way into the 1980s, Nicks would find a way to balance her time with The Mac with her solo career. She earned massive hits with ‘The Edge of Seventeen’ and worked with Tom Petty to create ‘Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around’.

Those lingering resentments, however, never went away. It led to a physical altercation that ended their creative relationship for decades. Buckingham may have tried to pick his battles. But ‘What Makes You Think You’re The One’ was one of his most unfiltered jabs at his writing partner.

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