Fleetwood Mac's 50 Greatest Songs

From British blues to California rock, from smooth sunshine to the most haunting breakup epics ever

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5. "The Chain"

Side Two of Rumours opens with a tortuously pastiched collaboration that remains the only song in the band's history on which all five members of Fleetwood Mac are credited as songwriters. Though the song was built from a handful of disparate musical fragments, at its core is the Christine McVie composition "Keep Me There" (also known as "Butter Cookie"), a tense, keyboard-driven track that remained incomplete during the early album sessions in February 1976. "We decided it needed a bridge, so we cut a bridge and edited it into the rest of the song," Buckingham told Rolling Stone in 1977. They settled on an ominous 10-note bass passage played by John McVie over Fleetwood's ascending drum pattern. "We didn't get a vocal and left it for a long time in a bunch of pieces," Buckingham said. "It almost went off the album. Then we listened back and decided we liked the bridge, but didn't like the rest of the song. So I wrote verses for that bridge, which was originally not in the song, and edited those in."

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