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"Say You Love Me"
Single by Fleetwood Mac
from the album Fleetwood Mac
B-side"Monday Morning"
ReleasedJune 1976 (US)
September 1976 (UK) [1]
RecordedFebruary 1975
Genre Soft rock
Length
  • 4:11 (album version)
  • 4:01 (single version)
Label Reprise
Songwriter(s) Christine McVie
Producer(s) Fleetwood Mac, Keith Olsen
Fleetwood Mac singles chronology
" Rhiannon"
(1976)
"Say You Love Me"
(1976)
" Go Your Own Way"
(1976)
Audio sample
"Say You Love Me"

"Say You Love Me" is a song written by English singer-songwriter Christine McVie for Fleetwood Mac's 1975 self-titled album. The song peaked at No. 11 on the Billboard Hot 100 for three weeks, and remains one of the band's most recognizable songs. Its success helped the group's eponymous 1975 album sell over eight million copies worldwide.

In the UK, "Say You Love Me" was the fourth single from the Fleetwood Mac album, but the first to chart, peaking at No. 40 on the UK Singles Chart in November 1976. In Canada, Shirley Eikhard covered "Say You Love Me" and released it as a single several weeks in advance of Fleetwood Mac in early June 1976. Eikhard's version became a Canadian top 40, peaking at No. 34; Fleetwood Mac's version, released only a few weeks later, peaked at No. 29 in September.

Background

McVie wrote "Say You Love Me" after her fifth year in the band while she was married to the group's bassist, John McVie. "Say You Love Me" was the first song the band rehearsed during the making of their self-titled 1975 album. McVie recalled that Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks impressed her with their vocal harmonies during the run-through of the first chorus. "I started singing the chorus and those two came in from nowhere with the most amazing harmonies. It was one of those moments you remember forever." [2] The version used on the single release has overdubbed additional guitar work and a faster fade-out. [3]

"Say You Love Me" has been performed on seven of Fleetwood Mac's tours since its release. During the band's Rock and Roll Hall of Fame performance of the song and on The Dance tour, Mick Fleetwood and Lindsey Buckingham played a cocktail drum kit and banjo respectively. [4] Originally, Buckingham had suggested that the band perform "Say You Love Me" a cappella, but they instead gave the song a folk rearrangement. [5] John McVie also sang a vocalized bass line over his bass guitar for these performances at the request of Christine McVie. [6] Previously, John McVie's only other vocal contribution was on a cover of " Cool Water", the B-side to " Gypsy". Following Christine McVie's departure from the band, the song was performed on Fleetwood Mac's Unleashed Tour with Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham sharing lead vocals. [7]

In addition to its appearance on Fleetwood Mac's self-titled 1975 album, "Say You Love Me" appears on four of the group's compilation albums: Greatest Hits, The Very Best of Fleetwood Mac, 25 Years - The Chain and 50 Years – Don't Stop (with the single version featuring on the latter two).

Reception

Billboard praised McVie's singing, noting the "easy" guitar playing, and the "good, catchy bridge." [8] Cash Box said that "it’s an intelligent and commercial single...the music seems to flow, in mid-tempo rock rhythm; the song has a fat sound" and that "the vocals are distinctive." [9] Record World said that "Christine McVie takes the lead this time and belts out a gutty vocal which is underpinned by chiming guitars and a banjo." [10]

Personnel

Charts

Certifications

Region Certification Certified units/sales
United Kingdom ( BPI) [20] Silver 200,000

Sales+streaming figures based on certification alone.

Cover versions

Shirley Eikhard covered the song in 1976. It became a hit in Canada, spending two weeks at number 34 on the pop singles chart [21] and number four on the Adult Contemporary chart. [22]

In the late half of the 1970s, the song proved to be a popular song to cover in country music. Singer Lynda K. Lance spent five weeks in the fall of 1976 on the American country singles chart with her version, peaking at No. 93. In the fall of 1979, singer Stephanie Winslow scored the only Top 10 country hit of her career, with her cover reaching number 10 on the country charts.

Shirley Eikhard cover
Chart (1976) Peak
position
Canada RPM Top Singles [21] 34
Canada RPM Adult Contemporary [22] 4

References

  1. ^ Strong, Martin Charles (March 20, 1995). Great Rock Discography. Canongate Press. p. 296. ISBN  978-0-86241-541-9.
  2. ^ RCD Magazine (March 1, 1993). "If I Knew Then..." The Blue Letter Archives. Archived from the original on January 1, 2016. Retrieved May 23, 2023.
  3. ^ Everett, Walter (May 2010). "'If you're gonna have a hit': intratextual mixes and edits of pop recordings". Popular Music. 29 (2): 239. doi: 10.1017/S026114301000005X. JSTOR  40926920. S2CID  162240986.
  4. ^ Greene, Andy (October 9, 2018). "Flashback: Fleetwood Mac Enter the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1998". Rolling Stone. Retrieved May 30, 2019.
  5. ^ Westbrook, Bruce (August 11, 1997). "Houston Chronicle Dance Interview". The Blue Letter Archives. Archived from the original on December 30, 2015. Retrieved May 23, 2023.
  6. ^ "John McVie, Q&A Session, September 27 - October 10, 2004". The Penguin. Archived from the original on March 19, 2019. Retrieved September 19, 2015.
  7. ^ "2009 Unleashed". Fleetwood-mac.info. Retrieved May 30, 2019.
  8. ^ "Top Single Picks" (PDF). Billboard. June 19, 1976. p. 72. Retrieved July 13, 2020.
  9. ^ "CashBox Singles Reviews" (PDF). Cash Box. June 19, 1976. p. 18. Retrieved December 11, 2021.
  10. ^ "Hits of the Week" (PDF). Record World. June 26, 1976. p. 1. Retrieved March 4, 2023.
  11. ^ "Australian Chart Books". Australianchartbooks.com.au. Retrieved June 2, 2021.
  12. ^ "RPM Top Singles" (PDF). RPM. September 11, 1976. Retrieved April 12, 2020.
  13. ^ "RPM MOR Playlist". Library and Archives Canada. October 2, 1976. Retrieved April 12, 2020.
  14. ^ "Fleetwood Mac". Officialcharts.com. Official UK Charts Company. Retrieved January 1, 2018.
  15. ^ [Joel Whitburn's Top Pop Singles 1955-2002]
  16. ^ Whitburn, Joel (1993). Top Adult Contemporary: 1961–1993. Record Research. p. 88.
  17. ^ "Cash Box Top 100 9/11/76". January 20, 2008. Archived from the original on January 20, 2008. Retrieved June 2, 2021.
  18. ^ "Top Singles – Volume 26, No. 14 & 15, January 08 1977". RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Archived from the original on June 10, 2016. Retrieved March 13, 2016.
  19. ^ "Top 100 Hits of 1976/Top 100 Songs of 1976". Musicoutfitters.com. Retrieved April 18, 2019.
  20. ^ "British single certifications – Fleetwood Mac – Say You Love Me". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved November 17, 2023.
  21. ^ a b "RPM Top Singles". Collectionscanada.gc.ca. October 7, 1976. Retrieved April 12, 2020.
  22. ^ a b "RPM MOR Playlist". Collectionscanada.gc.ca. July 24, 1976. Retrieved June 11, 2018.
  • The Great Rock Discography, 6th Edition. Martin C.Strong. Page 378.