"It was most difficult for Lindsey because Stevie was the one who pulled away emotionally," says Fleetwood. "He would say, 'I'm doing this for her and making her music, but I can't have closure.' " Buckingham, who admits he tried to maintain his distance as the madness took hold, can only agree. "It was very difficult all through the making of Rumours, with such a unique situation - you know, with two different couples comprising four-fifths of the band going through the process of breaking up while the album was being made. Only later did it become common knowledge. Back then, we had to go through this elaborate exercise of denial, keeping our personal feelings in one corner of the room while trying to be professional in the other."
It was, he says, especially tough for him to work so closely with Nicks. "That's not a healthy thing. Normally people who break up separate themselves geographically."
If anything, Say You Will has the torrid power that was missing from much of Fleetwood Mac's post-Rumours output. The music is searing and intense. "I have to say," declares Buckingham, "that my guitar playing is the best I've ever committed to record, and I think Mick would say the same about his drumming. It's more aggressive, more emotional." Has the pain not yet dissipated? "I don't think it ever will," he says. "In some ways, that makes it more bittersweet."
Fleetwood believes Say You Will has provided a final opportunity for the band's two remaining songwriters to exorcise old spectres. "Some of it is retrospective catharsis," he says. "There's stuff being addressed here and it's like, 'Oh my God, it took that long!' There were one or two stones left unturned. But it's pretty much done now."