The Chain (2:54)

Cover of Rumours

From Rumours and 17 other releases

The Chain is a song from Fleetwood Mac’s best-selling album Rumours. “The Chain” is unique in being the only song credited to all five members of the Rumours-era Fleetwood Mac lineup: Lindsey Buckingham, Mick Fleetwood, Christine McVie, John McVie, Stevie Nicks; this is partly due to the fact that John McVie and Mick Fleetwood are generally not songwriters. The band has used the song as a signature, citing the lyric, “Never break the chain.”

According to interviews on the writing of Rumours, the final section of “The Chain” — beginning with a bass progression — was created by John McVie and Mick Fleetwood. It seemed like an ending, not a beginning. Stevie Nicks had written the lyrics separately and thought they would be a good match; she and Christine McVie did some reworking to create the first section of the tune. To complete the song, Lindsey Buckingham recycled the intro from an earlier Buckingham/Nicks song - “Lola My Love”, originally released on their eponymous 1973 album. Thanks to its use as a TV theme (for the BBC’s Formula One coverage), the ending bass line is one of the most recognizable in the world, and although not released as a single, it does get air play.

The song itself has a basic rock structure, although it has two distinct portions: the main verse and chorus, and the outro. The song would be classified as rock, but shows the influence of hard rock, folk, and country.


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