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"Peacekeeper"
Single by Fleetwood Mac
from the album Say You Will
Written2000
ReleasedMarch 10, 2003 (2003-03-10) [1]
Length
  • 4:11 (album version)
  • 4:08 (alternate version)
Label Reprise
Songwriter(s) Lindsey Buckingham
Producer(s)
Fleetwood Mac singles chronology
" Landslide" (live)
(1998)
"Peacekeeper"
(2003)
" Say You Will"
(2003)

"Peacekeeper" is a song by Fleetwood Mac, written by guitarist and vocalist Lindsey Buckingham, from their 17th studio album, Say You Will (2003). It was the first and most commercially successful single released from the album. Buckingham shares vocals with bandmate Stevie Nicks. As of 2024, "Peacekeeper" was the band's most recent song to debut on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart, where it peaked at number 80. [2]

Background

"Peacekeeper" was written in 2000, three years before the release of Say You Will in a house Buckingham was renting with his wife. Warner Bros selected the song as Say You Will's first single, describing the song as "walking a line between something quite modern and something quite familiar". [3]

During the recording process, Buckingham ran some of his vocals through an amplifier with distortion and applied EQ to cut off some of the high end and accentuate the mid range frequencies. [4] Buckingham and Mark Needham mixed the song on a 128-track Pro Tools HD system; with the exception of "What's the World Coming To?", it was the only song on Say You Will that required this device. Needham took sections from Buckingham's "Peacekeeper" demo and combined it with a new version that the band recorded. [5]

Some radio stations in Los Angeles played "Peacekeeper" before and after news updates on the Iraq War. Buckingham noted that the song was written several years before the Iraq War, but acknowledged the song's salience and recognized that "anything that aspires to be artistic has to have an element of ambiguity to it. There can't be only one interpretation." [6] Prior to its release as a single, "Peacekeeper" also beat out entries by John Mellencamp, the Beastie Boys, and George Michael for Drudge Report's radio poll of the Top New Anti-War Songs. [7]

"Peacekeeper" entered the US Billboard Hot 100 at number 93 on March 29. Seven weeks later, the song reached its peak position of number 80. By the time "Peacekeeper" exited the chart, it had tallied 11 consecutive weeks on the Hot 100. [8] In New Zealand, the single proved to be more successful, reaching number 31 on the RIANZ Singles Chart. [9]

Lyrics

The radio edit differs slightly from the album version. The radio edit replaces the line "only kill" with "break their will." [3] The latter lyrics are used during live performances. When asked about the lyrics for "Peacekeeper", Buckingham explained that the song had little to do with global issues or war, but rather aimed to close in on US propaganda while also exploring the idea of working towards peace on a continual basis. [3] In an interview with Miami Herald, Buckingham characterized "Peacekeeper" as a peace song that spoke of people who are unaffected and unmoved by turmoil and disasters around the world. "...It's about how we are becoming increasingly desensitized to things around the world that are brutal and not standing up for human value..." [7]

Critical reception

People magazine described "Peacekeeper" as a "country-tinged antiwar track" that was "eerily prescient". [10] The Los Angeles Times compared the "wheezily rollicking single" to " Dreams" and " Go Your Own Way". [11] Rolling Stone wrote that songs like "Peacekeeper" "prove that Mac's singular vibe – a sunny, countrified lope against which urgent breakup lyrics blaze - has always been [Buckingham's] doing". [12]

Other appearances

"Peacekeeper" appeared on both setlists for the Say You Will Tour. [13] The song was also included on their live album Live in Boston. A different live recording of "Peacekeeper" was included on the limited deluxe edition of Say You Will, which included a total of four bonus tracks. "Peacekeeper" would later make it onto all editions of 50 Years – Don't Stop in 2018. [14] "Peacekeeper" was one of the songs performed on Sound Stage Presents – Lindsey Buckingham with Special Guest Stevie Nicks. The concert aired in 2005 on PBS. [15]

Track listing

Reprise CD single PR03903 (Warner) [9]

  1. "Peacekeeper" (single remix) – 4:11
  2. "Peacekeeper" (single edit) – 3:42

Personnel

Charts

See also

References

  1. ^ "Going for Adds". Radio & Records. No. 1494. March 7, 2003. p. 50.
  2. ^ "CHART BEAT BONUS". Billboard. Retrieved May 12, 2015.
  3. ^ a b c "Peacekeeper". Retrieved June 11, 2013.
  4. ^ "Lindsey Buckingham - Radio Interview - Live on Mix 102.9 in Dallas, TX". Fleetwood Mac UK. May 2003. Archived from the original on August 17, 2016. Retrieved October 28, 2023.
  5. ^ Jackson, Blair. "Fleetwood Mac Is Back! - Lindsey Buckingham Question & Answer Session". Fleetwood Mac UK. Archived from the original on August 17, 2016. Retrieved October 28, 2023.
  6. ^ Graff, Gary (April 18, 2003). "Forgetful Yorn puts focus on new direction, second CD". The Plain Dealer. Archived from the original on April 29, 2003. Retrieved October 28, 2023.
  7. ^ a b Cohen, Howard (March 24, 2003). "Number One With A Bullet?". Miami Herald. Archived from the original on February 2, 2004. Retrieved May 7, 2023.
  8. ^ a b "Fleetwood Mac Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved 20 December 2023.
  9. ^ a b c " Fleetwood Mac – Peacekeeper". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved 20 December 2023.
  10. ^ "Picks and Pans Review: Say You Will". People. April 21, 2003. Archived from the original on March 3, 2016. Retrieved December 19, 2023.
  11. ^ Nichols, Natalie (April 9, 2003). "That '70s sound: It's back". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on August 14, 2023. Retrieved December 19, 2023.
  12. ^ Berger, Arion (May 1, 2003). "Fleetwood Mac - Say You Will". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on January 7, 2004. Retrieved December 19, 2023.
  13. ^ "The Say You Will Tour". Archived from the original on March 21, 2007. Retrieved January 20, 2007.
  14. ^ "Fleetwood Mac 50 Years – Don't Stop CD & LP Collections Available November 16". Rhino. Rhino Entertainment. Retrieved October 29, 2018.
  15. ^ "Soundstage Lindsey Buckingham". PBS. Archived from the original on March 11, 2015. Retrieved August 17, 2023.
  16. ^ " Fleetwood Mac – Peacekeeper" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved 20 December 2023.
  17. ^ "Fleetwood Mac Chart History (Adult Alternative Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved 20 December 2023.
  18. ^ "Fleetwood Mac Chart History (Adult Contemporary)". Billboard. Retrieved 20 December 2023.
  19. ^ "Fleetwood Mac Chart History (Adult Pop Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved 20 December 2023.
  20. ^ "Fleetwood Mac Chart History: Heritage Rock". Billboard. Retrieved December 20, 2023.
  21. ^ "The Year in Charts 2003: Most-Played AC Songs". Airplay Monitor. Vol. 11, no. 51. December 19, 2003. p. 25.
  22. ^ "The Year in Charts 2003: Most-Played Adult Top 40 Songs". Airplay Monitor. Vol. 11, no. 51. December 19, 2003. p. 22.
  23. ^ "The Year in Charts 2003: Most-Played Triple-A Songs". Airplay Monitor. Vol. 11, no. 51. December 19, 2003. p. 47.