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Watch Fleetwood Mac’s gorgeous live version of Why filmed for The Midnight Special in 1976

Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham bring new beauty to a song Christine McVie wrote before they joined Fleetwood Mac



Earlier this month iconic US TV show The Midnight Special launched a YouTube channel to mark its 50th anniversary, and began drip-feeding videos filmed during the show’s 450-episode run.

Among the clips available at launch were a number of performances from Fleetwood Mac, from episodes broadcast in November 1973, February 1976, and April 1977. And now more footage has emerged, from an episode shown on June 11, 1976. 

It’s an episode that was hosted by singer and actress Helen Reddy, and featured performances from gospel singer Dorothy Moore, former Spooky Tooth man and synthesiser pioneer Gary Wright, and comedian David Brenner.

Fleetwood Mac played three songs: Rhiannon and Over My Head from the previous year’s self-titled album, and a gorgeous version of the Christine McVie-penned Why, which is the latest clip to appear on YouTube. It’s a song that was originally released on the band’s 1973 album Mystery to Me, the last to feature guitarist Bob Welch, who chose not to continue with the band when Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks signed up in late 1974. 

Buckingham’s finger picking guitar and the three-part harmony between McVie, Nicks and Buckingham as the song nears its end clearly show what the new members brought to the band, demonstrating the melodic nous and undeniable chemistry that would soon lift Fleetwood Mac higher than ever before. 

Other artists who appeared on The Midnight Special – whose appearances will presumably become available over the coming months – include Led Zeppelin, Aerosmith, Kiss, Elton John, AC/DC, Badfinger, The Cars, Cheap Trick, Peter Frampton, Genesis, Heart, Little Feat, Prince, Roxy Music, Steely Dan, Thin Lizzy and ELO.