But the group yearned to stretch creatively. The result was the less commercial sound of the double-album follow-up, “Tusk,” released in 1979. Though not a success on anything near the scale of “Rumours,” it sold more than two million copies and produced three hits, including Ms. McVie’s “Think About Me.”
Into the ’80s
The group moved smoothly into the new decade with the 1982 release “Mirage,” which hit No. 1 aided by Ms. McVie’s “Hold Me,” a Top Five hit that was inspired by her tumultuous relationship with the Beach Boys’ Dennis Wilson. Two years later, Ms. McVie issued a solo album that made the Top 30, while its strongest single, “Got a Hold on Me,” broke the Top 10.
In 1987, the reconvened Fleetwood Mac issued “Tango in the Night,” which featured two hits written by Ms. McVie, “Everywhere” and “Little Lies.” (“Little Lies” was written with the Portuguese musician and songwriter Eddie Quintela, whom she had wed the year before. They would divorce in 2003.) Mr. Buckingham left the group shortly afterward, shaking the dynamic that had made their recordings stellar. The 1990 album “Behind the Mask” barely went gold, producing just one Top 40 single (“Save Me,” written by Ms. McVie), while “Time,” issued five years later, was the band’s first unsuccessful album in two decades .
Ms. McVie didn’t tour with the band to support “Time.” But the early 1990s brought broad new attention to her hit “Don’t Stop” when it became the theme song for Bill Clinton’s successful presidential campaign. In 1993, Mr. Clinton persuaded the five musicians who played on that hit to reunite to perform it at an Inaugural ball.
They came together again in 1997 for a tour, which produced the live album “The Dance,” one of the top-selling concert recordings of all time. Yet by the next year a growing fear of flying, and a desire to return to England from the band’s adopted home of Los Angeles, inspired Ms. McVie to retire to the English countryside.
Five years later, she agreed to add some keyboard parts and backing vocals to a largely ignored Fleetwood Mac album, “Say You Will,” and in 2006 she produced a little-heard solo album, “In the Meantime,” which she recorded and wrote with her guitarist nephew Dan Perfect.