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Mirage (1982) Mirage - Deluxe & Expanded Editions (2016)

Fleetwood Mac reissues Mirage, Deluxe Edition

Fleetwood Mac releases deluxe edition of 1982 album Mirage.

Fleetwood Mac’s Mirage brought the on-again, off-again band into the Reagan era, and now the classic 1982 album is getting a deluxe reissue that adds two discs of rare gold.

A disc of demos covers early versions of every song on the album—a highlight is Christine McVie’s initial take of “Hold Me,” which had a traditional piano-rock chorus rather than the smooth, layered experimental totally ’80s vibe the final cut got. (I kinda like the piano-rock version better?)

The third disc is a Mirage tour concert from the LA Forum that’s been circulating for years as a crappy bootleg. Nice to have it all cleaned up.

Chris Kohler / Wired / October 7, 2016

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Article Mirage (1982)

Christine McVie: ‘Without one of us, we’re incomplete’

The singer on the band’s half-finished album, the visitation she had when writing Songbird, and growing up with a psychic mum

Hi, Christine. What was it like growing up with the surname Perfect (1)?

It was difficult. Teachers would say: “I hope you live up to your name, Christine.” So, yes, it was tough. I used to joke that I was perfect until I married John.

Fleetwood Mac’s Mirage is being reissued as a box set for £50 (2). Does that seem like a fair price?

It’s a really nice item! It’s quality, isn’t it? It’s good value for money – you’ve got a lot of outtakes, a lot of previously unheard demo versions of songs, you’ve got the vinyl … a CD, I believe, is in there? I mean it’s a nice package! I haven’t had a good look at it, but the label has given me one to take home. I get a free one!

Have you listened to the demos and outtakes?

No. I’m not a big fan of those things. I know people are interested but for my own personal enjoyment I prefer not to listen to them. My songwriting, when I’m writing, is nothing like it is in its finished form – but you have to start somewhere.

Is the new album finished?

No, it’s half-finished. It’s just seven tracks that we’ve got, and they’re only with guide vocals.

I’m sure I saw a news story about two years ago saying it was half-finished?

Well … Yeah.

Is it the same half?

It is the same half. We’ve been doing a world tour! I’m going back in October to try and finish it. If it’s not finished by Christmas then I’ll go back after and finish it then. We do things in a weird way, I guess.

What’s your favourite of those new songs?

I don’t think we’ve given titles yet.

Would you like to now?

Er, no. I don’t think we’re supposed to. But I like them all, and that’s not a lie. We have a fantastic variety of songs and I’m very, very pleased with what’s happened so far.

Can we talk about Songbird? (3)

Yes, of course.

JESUS CHRIST, WHAT A SONG.

That was a strange little baby, that one. I woke up in the middle of the night and the song just came into my head. I got out of bed, played it on the little piano I have in my room, and sang it with no tape recorder. I sang it from beginning to end: everything. I can’t tell you quite how I felt; it was as if I’d been visited – it was a very spiritual thing. I was frightened to play it again in case I’d forgotten it. I called a producer first thing the next day and said, “I’ve got to put this song down right now.” I played it nervously, but I remembered it. Everyone just sat there and stared at me. I think they were all smoking opium or something in the control room (4). I’ve never had that happen to me since. Just the one visitation. It’s weird.

Have you inherited any of your mother’s psychic abilities?

Well, I believe they were real. She was a healer. I just wanted her to be an ordinary mum, so the less I knew of that side the better, but here’s a story I can tell you. There was an old friend of my dad’s, in Newcastle – this rich old lady who lived in a run-down castle. She had terminal cancer. She sent a pair of her kid gloves to my mother, who wore one during the night, and a couple of weeks later there was a phone call: the doctors were amazed that all the cancer was completely gone.

Did you psychically predict that I would ask you a couple of questions about your reissue before attempting to get information about the new album?

Aha! I did notice you sneaking those in. I was thinking, What’s he talking about? We’re supposed to be talking about – what’s it called? – Mirage.

It’s exciting when a band gets back together, though. Especially when elsewhere in pop you’ve got Abba, whose refusal to get on with it is bordering on trolling.

Why wouldn’t they get back together? I suppose they made all the money in the world – I mean, we’re not doing it for the money either – but I don’t know. Maybe the need for each other is not there. You see, I still think there’s a certain need for each other in our band. In a strange way. We’re umbilically tied together, somehow. Without one of us, we’re incomplete.

What’s your No 1 piece of house renovation advice? (5)

Well, I didn’t do it personally, but I oversaw it. It was a very old house; the beams had to be stripped. It’s subjective. Keep the wood beautiful, I suppose, but there’s so much I could say. That’s the worst question you could possibly ask.

Well, let’s see, shall we? Have you ever been missold PPI?

I just press delete on those texts.

You could have £20,000 sitting around!

I don’t believe any of those things. Anyone I don’t know, in my emails or texts, I just delete. If it’s someone legitimate they’ll send it again.

What are your favourite apps?

[Whips out iPhone in garishly decorated protective case] WhatsApp I adore. I use it all the time with my friends. I’ve got thousands of apps, and most of them I never use. Look at this! [Flicks though terrifying number of apps]

That’s quite an iPhone case, Christine. Did you stick those jewels on yourself?

It’s Dolce & Gabbana, dear!

It’s slightly alarming that you haven’t put any of your apps in folders.

Oh, I don’t do that. You’re talking to a complete phone moron. As long as I can make a phone call and do a WhatsApp, I’m fine. Oh, and I use it to learn a bit of Italian.

Would you like to conclude this interview in Italian?

Ciao, arrivederci. A presto!

Footnotes
(1) When still called Christine Perfect, Christine released an album called Christine Perfect. In 1984, as Christine McVie, she released an album called Christine McVie.

(2) Mirage was Fleetwood Mac’s 13th album. Released in 1982, it was seen as a return to poppier territory after the slightly-all-over-the-place Tusk. The remastered version – in expanded and deluxe editions – is out now on Rhino.

(3) Songbird was originally released as the B-side to Dreams, in 1977. Eva Cassidy had a bash at it a couple of decades later.

(4) Famous opium fans include word enthusiast Samuel Johnson, Piano Concerto No 2 In F Minor hitmaker Frederic Chopin, and US bigwig Thomas Jefferson, who used it to control diarrhoea.

(5) During her 16 years away from Fleetwood Mac, Christine renovated a massive, subsequently flogged Kent property. She now lives in London.

Peter Robinson / The Guardian (UK) / Thursday, October 6, 2016

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Article Mirage (1982)

Christine McVie on Mirage, Fleetwood Mac’s future

Christine McVie on Fleetwood Mac’s ‘peculiar’ Mirage Sessions, new LP — as the singer-songwriter looks back on heady days at Château d’Hérouville, discusses band’s future plans

Christine McVie has a confession to make. The 73-year-old singer, songwriter and keyboardist is on the phone with Rolling Stone to discuss the new deluxe reissue of Fleetwood Mac’s 1982 effort, Mirage; but, she admits, she hasn’t actually listened to it yet. “I just now got my copy of the remastered edition in my hands,” McVie says, calling from her home in the U.K. “But I just moved to a flat where I don’t have my DVD or CD player yet. So I’m unable to play it. And there’s all these outtakes and demos and things in there that I certainly haven’t heard since we made them. So I’m most curious to listen.”

Indeed, the new package is a treasure trove for Mac completists (and, apparently, band members). In addition to presenting the original 12-track album – which spent five weeks at Number One and spawned two of the group’s biggest and enduring hits in McVie’s “Hold Me” and Stevie Nicks’ “Gypsy” – in remastered form, the three-CD and DVD set offers up a disc of B sides, titled “Outtakes and Sessions,” as well as a live collection culled from two nights at the L.A. Forum in October 1982 on the Mirage tour. The whole thing is rounded out by a vinyl copy of the album and a DVD in 5.1 surround sound, as well as a booklet with extensive liner notes and photos from the era.

Fleetwood Mac Mirage 1982
(Photo: Neal Preston)

An impressive package, to be sure, and one that is perhaps necessary for an album that, for all its multi-platinum success, never quite gets its due, having been overshadowed in the band’s canon by the career-defining trio of records that preceded it – 1975’s Fleetwood Mac, 1977’s mega-smash Rumours and 1979’s sonically adventurous double album Tusk. In an earlier interview with Rolling Stone, drummer Mick Fleetwood acknowledged that, in such imposing company, Mirage often gets overlooked – a notion that McVie seems to agree with. “It does, and I don’t know why,” she says. But, she adds, “As it stands today, a lot of people know every track on it. Which is quite unbelievable. So I just take it for what it is.”

McVie spent some time reminiscing about the album with RS, from the “unusual” experience of recording at the Château d’Hérouville outside of Paris, to the “nightmare” of filming the video for her song “Hold Me” in the Mojave Desert outside of Palm Springs. But she wasn’t only looking backward. McVie also discussed Fleetwood Mac’s plans for the future, which may include a new album and another world tour. “We’re just gonna keep on doing what we do best,” she said, then laughed. “Which, I’m not really sure what that is!”

What was the state of Fleetwood Mac going into the making of Mirage?

I suppose we all felt in a way that what we were doing was kind of an homage to Rumours, in the sense that, obviously, after Rumours we went completely the opposite way and made a double album of an entirely different nature with Tusk. And for Tusk we had done this hugely long tour. Two world tours, I believe. Then we all disappeared for a few years. But we have a habit of doing that, Fleetwood Mac. Just kind of taking quite long hiatuses. And as we got together again, I think it was Mick who had this idea that perhaps we should enter another bubble-like situation, which was similar to what we had done for the Rumours album, when we recorded in Sausalito. Just taking us away from familiar things, like our families. There was the idea that maybe something would emerge from there that was completely different. Maybe it would make us more creative. And I think it worked, to an extent. It was definitely an unusual experience.

Rather than Sausalito, for Mirage you went to France. Do you recall anything particular about recording at the Château d’Hérouville?

Well, I don’t think any of us remember a huge amount about it! But I don’t remember there being anything bad about it, how about that [laughs]?

That’s a good thing.

Yes. But, I mean, my recollections in general are of thinking, What a peculiar, odd place to be going. …

How so?

It was extremely odd in the sense that it wasn’t really a studio. It really was a rather beaten-up old castle. We were living in it, and then there was another area that was made to be a studio. And there were wine cellars underneath, which I believe we used as echo chambers. So it was unusual, but it also provided a “come-together” sort of moment. Because we really had no options to do anything else. In Sausalito, at least you were close to restaurants, clubs, whatever. But at the chateau, you were just there. We had the table tennis out, we had some radio-controlled helicopters, we had food cooked for us every night on the premises. … I don’t know, it was like some weird, manic kind of resort or something. But I think we got on really well during the making of the record. The actual recording part of it, there were no particular spats I can think of. And some of the tracks are really good.

One of your tracks, “Hold Me,” became the lead single off Mirage, and it was also a big hit. What do you recall about writing it?

I’d co-written it with a friend of mine, Robbie Patton. And when we first recorded it, it was only semi-finished, really. But everybody liked it so we thought, Well, we’ll lay something down on tape and get the bones of it. What we put down was very basic – there were huge chunks that had nothing in them. And then we just built it up in sections.

In the demo version of the song that appears on the second disc of the Mirage deluxe package, you perform the vocal alone. But the final version of “Hold Me” is more of a duet between you and Lindsey [Buckingham]. How did that change come about?

I think some of these things just happen organically. I don’t think it was a plan. But I do know that when I wrote the song with Robbie, he was also a singer, and he was always singing a lower part. And so at some point it became obvious to me that Lindsey would eventually do it.

Do you have a favorite track on the album?

Yes, well, I think “Gypsy” stands out clearly as the best track on the album. Without a doubt.

Why do you feel that way?

I just think the whole song came together in a very cohesive way. It’s very musical. Very melodic. All the parts are right. It’s just a very beautiful record. And, of course, that video – I know the record company spent a lot of money on it.

Reportedly it had the biggest budget of any music video produced up to that point.

Yeah. And it’s one of my favorite videos of all time. And I don’t mean just of Fleetwood Mac’s.

What do you recall of shooting the video for “Hold Me”?

“Hold Me” was a nightmare! It was the middle of the desert in Palm Springs, in the height of summer. I don’t know what possessed us to do that. But we sometimes do crazy things [laughs].

Did it feel unnatural that you were doing it at all? MTV, and the idea of music video being a promotional tool, was a very new concept at the time.

I’m sure we were a bit uneasy with doing it. To some extent, I’ve always felt that the music should be the thing that creates the emotion in you, rather than a video. There are so many songs that have become massive hits merely because the video is great, while the song is pretty rubbish. From that point of view I think I’ve always preferred to listen to a song rather than look at it. So it was a bit difficult.

The directors of both the “Gypsy” and “Hold Me” videos have stated that they encountered some difficulties trying to navigate the thorny romantic relationships between band members at the time. Do you recall as much?

[Laughs] Well, of course! I’m sure it oozes out over the screen when you watch some of the scenes. Yeah, for sure. And I’d be the first one to admit that none of us were stone-cold sober. There was a fair degree of alcohol and drugs going on. But everyone was doing it, so it was kind of the norm.

“I’d be the first one to admit that none of us were stone-cold sober. There was a fair degree of alcohol and drugs going on.”

In contrast to the long tour behind Tusk, the Mirage tour was relatively brief – just two months in the fall of 1982. Was there a reason for such an abbreviated run?

I don’t know why that was. Maybe Stevie was going off to do a tour. I can’t remember if Lindsey had a tour. But it was short, and then we did another vanishing act for another couple years before we came back and did Tango in the Night.

More recently, you took some time away from Fleetwood Mac, before returning in 2014 for a world tour. What is the future of the band at this point?

Well, we cut seven songs in the studio already for the start of a brand-new studio album. Which we did probably nearer two years ago. We shelved that temporarily and then went on the road and did the tour. And now, actually, I think we’re going back in in October to try to finish it off. Stevie hasn’t participated yet, but hope springs eternal. She’s going on a solo tour at the moment. But Lindsey and I, we have plenty of songs. There are tons more in the bag that we have yet to record. And they’re fantastic. So we’re going to carry on and try to finish the record. And then maybe if Stevie doesn’t want to be part of that then we can go out and just do some smaller concerts.

You would consider doing some shows with just you, Lindsey, Mick and John [McVie]?

As a four-piece, yeah. With a view of doing a huge world tour after that, with Stevie.

And would you expect that we’ll see this new album in 2017?

One would hope so, yeah. That’s the plan. And I can’t wait for it to be finished. It’ll be great. And then we’ll hopefully do this world tour with Stevie. And after that, who knows? But we’re all still alive, how about that? So that’s a start.

Richard Bienstock / Rolling Stone / Monday, September 26, 2016

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Mirage (1982)

REVIEW: Fleetwood Mac – Mirage (Deluxe Edition)

If ever there was a case of the media building up and then knocking down a band, it was the one involving Fleetwood Mac in the late-’70s and early-’80s. The critics cheered when the group—newly energized by the addition of Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks—delivered its chart-topping eponymous album in 1975 and the even better Rumours a year later.

But many of those same critics spoke less kindly of the follow-up to Rumours, 1979’s Tusk. According to them, it eschewed commercialism in favor of self-indulgent experimentation, though major experimentation was in fact largely limited to the excellent title cut. Then, when the group reverted to fully accessible form on its next studio album, 1982’s Mirage, reviewers griped that the band was going backwards; never mind that this radio-friendly LP delivered exactly what the critics claimed was missing in its predecessor.

Well, as I noted last year, Tusk ranks among the most underrated albums of the rock era. But Mirage—which Fleetwood Mac’s members recorded in France after pursuing solo projects—is arguably even more underrated. …

Read the full review at The Morton Report

Jeff Burger / The Morton Report / Monday, September 26, 2016

 

 

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Mirage (1982)

‘The beautiful blur’ that is Mirage

Rolling Stone contributing editor David Wild reflects on Fleetwood Mac’s Mirage and gets the band members to share memories of the classic 1982 recording at a ‘haunted’ French chateau

Fleetwood Mac 1982
(Photo: David Montgomery)

Listen closely now to Mirage — the lovely album Fleetwood Mac first released in the summer of 1982 — and you can still hear the gorgeous sound of one of the greatest bands in all of rock history making the group decision to move forward by willfully and artfully retracing its own steps.

For some, Mirage may have looked like a step in the wrong direction — a big yet graceful move backwards. For others, the album seemed more like Fleetwood Mac’s beautiful return to Rumours form. In truth, Mirage appears to have been the conscious and, in many ways, successful effort of the band to look back to the future after taking the brilliant and brave left turn that was the group’s previous studio effort — 1979’s then-controversial, but now acclaimed Tusk.

Yet by any fair standard the group’s collective decision to change course back in the early Eighties was an understandable and, perhaps, commercially advisable move. And taken on its own slightly more conservative terms Mirage remains an impressive and often stunning piece of work reflecting many of the strengths that we have come to know and love from Fleetwood Mac. Take another listen and look back at Mirage today and you will find that, despite its hazy title, this album was not some grand illusion that eventually disappeared into thin air. Instead, Mirage is a well crafted and, at times, truly-inspired song cycle that only appears to grow more vivid all these years later.

Fleetwood Mac 1982
(Photo: David Montgomery)

As the great scientist, mathematician and very early rock critic Sir Isaac Newton once famously explained; for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. And in the ongoing successful musical experiment known as Fleetwood Mac, the action of creating the more experimental and expansive 1979 album Tusk ultimately led to the equal and opposition reaction of this next studio album, Mirage. On the double album Tusk, Lindsey Buckingham had rather daringly led Fleetwood Mac in a series of intriguing and fresh new directions with some of the album’s twists and turns reflecting the many changes that were then afoot in music work back in the wake of the Punk and New Wave movements. Though now widely considered an influential rock masterpiece, Tusk was in many ways ahead of its time, especially for a much-anticipated album by a group of mainstream Seventies rock superstars. Perhaps as a result, Tusk was — if only in relative terms compared to the historic runaway success of Rumours — considered a significant commercial disappointment.

Mirage remains an impressive and often stunning piece of work reflecting many of the strengths that we have come to know and love from Fleetwood Mac.

And so it came to pass that after the band’s worldwide tour in support of Tusk concluded on September 1, 1980 at the Hollywood Bowl and some of the group members took some time off to start their solo careers, Fleetwood Mac ultimately reconvened outside Paris to record its next studio effort at Chateau d’Heroville, an estate and recording facility perhaps made most famous by Elton John, who famously dubbed the 1972 album he recorded there Honky Chateau. By the time the band began to gather at the Chateau in late 1981, the prime directive had become clear. In an effort to recapture a little of the magic of Rumours, founding member Mick Fleetwood in his managerial capacity strongly suggested the band get away from all distractions in Los Angeles — something the group had done back when they had recorded Rumours in Sausalito in an effort to create more of a group effort that played to some of the group’s more obvious strengths.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the group’s resident studio genius Lindsey Buckingham felt considerable ambivalence about being asked to take a step in what felt like the wrong — or at least more predictable — direction. Revealingly, Buckingham’s first composition on the album — and the second track following Christine’s McVie’s lovely and buoyant “Love in Store” — would be a haunting little gem entitled “Can’t Go Back,” in which Buckingham seems to express some of his decidedly mixed emotions.

Fleetwood Mac Can't Go Back single“Standin’ in the shadows,” Buckingham sings at the beginning of the song. “The man I used to be. I want to go back” before being answered by a multi-tracked chorus of male and females voices declaring, “Can’t go back.”

Yet in a way going back to the formula that had made Fleetwood Mac such a tremendous success story was the mission statement for Mirage — which perhaps helps explain the many references to both going and looking back spread throughout the album, including in Stevie Nicks’ song called “Straight Back” as well as her characteristically poetic references to going “back to the Velvet Underground” and “back to the Gypsy” in the towering Fleetwood Mac song on Mirage, “Gypsy.”

Even Christine McVie’s big first hit single from the album “Hold Me” includes the memorable lines, “there’s no one in the future / So why don’t you let me hand you my love?” It was as if by looking back and holding on close to each other in close quarters might be the only way for Fleetwood Mac to keep their famous chain together as they continued to figure out their place in the “Eyes of the World,” to borrow another phrase from the Buckingham song that closed the album. (Editor’s note: “Wish You Were Here” actually closes the album.)

Looking back today Lindsey Buckingham recalls, “It was hard to know where to go at that moment when you had just gone somewhere in one direction that felt right — then to have to sort of reel it back in a more forced way felt difficult. But I understood that I was the only one member of the group so what was I going to do? And back then Mick used to have these broad-strokes ideas and I think that going to France was an attempt to recreate an environment that was exotic and away from home as we had with Rumours in Sausalito. I think Mick’s idea was to get us out of our particular ruts we might have been in to create something people might like. The attempt to create that kind of spontaneity, to me, spoke of the fact that he was trying to create a moment in time that had come and gone, but I tried to do what I could.”

Looking back now, Mick Fleetwood says that he understands more deeply Buckingham’s concerns. ” I think Mirage was more preconceived as a kind of band record organically representing where we left off with Rumours,” Fleetwood explains. “So in retrospect, it wasn’t as daring an album as Tusk which understandably would leave Lindsey with some trepidation. Tusk has become a much more iconic album as the years trickle by and that is a testament to where Lindsey led us. But Tusk also became a sort of cross to bear. It sort of confused some listeners which in a way was exactly what Lindsey was intending to do.”

“But Mirage has its own merits artistically. And in truth, part of the notion of doing Mirage in France came from the band helping me out by being there. I sort of managed to convince everyone, and in my mind, it was about the fact that when we made Rumours the sessions had the feeling of the band getting together away from home. I am sure I was trying to get that same sort of drama and sense of theater that had worked for us before. To me, it was a way to get the band away from the distractions of Los Angeles and have us make music with some sense of community because — whether we liked it or not — we were all in the same place again. That was how we made Rumours in Sausalito and I figured that had worked out pretty well.”

For Stevie Nicks, her memories of recording Mirage in France are mostly pleasant and picturesque ones. “When I think of Mirage now I think of living in a castle and visiting Paris,” Nicks says. “I think of white fishnet stockings, red high heels, and going to get my hair done and having five different hair dressers working on me. It’s like, who does that? Well, the French do thankfully. I also remember living in the Chateau, which was romantic, though I remember for some reason there was no ice. And they thought it might be haunted because there were strange sounds in there. So to me, the Mirage sessions were beautiful and insane. The place felt like the setting for an old-movie murder mystery and I do seem to remember there was one day when Jimmy Iovine — who I had been dating and came to visit me — did want to kill Lindsey, but somehow we all survived and the music lives on very nicely.”

Mick Fleetwood too arrived at the Chateau from work far, far away. “I came back from having made my first solo album The Visitor in Ghana, Africa, then spending some time working with the London Philharmonic to complete it. So me and our co-producer, Richard Dashut, turned up the night before recording Mirage high on that whole adventure. I remember the first thing I did was play Lindsey our version of “Walk a Thin Line” — which he had written and recorded for Tusk that I loved and re-recorded in Africa. Lindsey had made his own solo album Law and Order then and I remember sitting Lindsey down and playing him that song and that he was really moved hearing our crazy band from Africa doing one of his tracks.”

Fleetwood confesses that for him at least the craziness was not over. “I’m a nutcase so I love the drama, the theater, the sense of being in a place of such beauty and history. There was supposedly a ghost and I was of course a sucker for the company. And because I was a supernut in those days, I had my own automobile shipped out there and I would drive into Paris on the weekends and disappear and rave on so that no one had to witness my misbehavior.”

Fleetwood Mac
(Photo: Neal Preston)

Thankfully, there were some stabilizing influences at the Chateau including the calming presence of Christine McVie. Nicks notes, “When Christine is around, the atmosphere is much better. Lindsey likes her a lot and recognizes her talent and doesn’t have any baggage with her. She’s sort of the Earth Mother who can speak truth to anybody. That’s always been her role. She’s not just a great voice — she’s the great voice of reason. She is able to make everyone come to their senses and get back to work. And she’s the kind of person who will say, ‘We’re not getting anywhere, I’m going to go home and cook.’ She doesn’t put up with much — and never has. She’s no nonsense — and we always have a lot of nonsense going on. But looking back it’s a beautiful piece of work with some songs I love. I do notice Lindsey has five songs, Christine has four and I have three. For me, “Gypsy” was my standout. Chris’s songs are always so great — she’s always been our true hitmaker as “Hold Me” proved again. I remember “Oh Diane” was a huge hit in Europe too — though we never do it [in concert]. On the other hand, “Eyes of the World” is a really choice song, and it’s one we have done onstage, like, every other tour.”

Fleetwood Mac Gypsy 1982Buckingham agrees that “Gypsy” is a high water mark for his longstanding, if sometimes tense, collaboration with Stevie Nicks. “In spite of any reservations I might have about that time in our recording, “Gypsy” is and always has been one of my favorite things ever from Stevie. And for me, it is also the best thing I ever did for Stevie all in all in terms of helping her create the right musical landscape to frame a song. That song really speaks to her strengths — and to my strengths in terms of showcasing her strengths. And to me, like a lot of the best work of the band, the result is something greater than the sum of our parts.”

Exactly how much of the work on Mirage was ultimately done in France — and how much was recorded once the band returned to Los Angeles — remains a bit of a mystery to me, even after taking with the band at some length. “I don’t remember the lionshare of the work going on in France, but I’m not quite sure. So there’s the funny irony there. As a manager, Mick was worried about the economics of the business, yet he was willing to be extravagant. The man has style. But the truth is I’m not sure how much was impacted by us being there at the Chateau particularly. But the mood was cordial enough. You have to remember, so much other stuff had gone down within the band by then. I mean, the Fleetwood Mac album and Rumours were both done under a certain amount of duress just because of what was going on personally within the band, especially the two couples who were, shall we say, in transit. At least all of that had been resolved by the time of Mirage. For me, the only frustration was the sense that in some way feeling like I had been slightly put in the artistic penalty box.”

As Mick Fleetwood sees it now, “It’s fair to say that the push from me was getting more of a representation of the whole band — and perhaps more of what people who loved the band wanted. And I think we got that with Mirage and the album’s success suggests that too. But that said, Tusk is a my favorite Fleetwood Mac album along with Then Play On. Coming off Tusk, Mirage was a somewhat more conscious effort to return to that place we left after making Rumours. And in the end, however, we got there and wherever we did it, we got to a very good place with Mirage.”

Finally, Stevie Nicks wonders, “Did Lindsey remember how much we did when we left France and went back to L.A. because I sure don’t. My memory is that in L.A. we were in every single studio trying to get Mirage done. I can just tell you about our time in that castle and I was even a little late getting there. But I will never forget walking amid all the ghosts of all the famous people who had been there before us, and I remember there were no ice cubes — because it was hot and I needed ice. Other than that, it’s all a bit of a blur — a big beautiful blur.

In other words, a Mirage, one that has never really gone away.

David Wild / September 2016

Where to Buy Mirage (Deluxe Edition)

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Mirage (1982)

LISTEN: Mirage Deluxe Edition

Here are selected outtakes and live tracks from Fleetwood Mac’s Mirage (Deluxe Edition), released on Friday, September 23.

Where to buy Mirage (Deluxe Edition):

Live at The Forum, Los Angeles

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Christine McVie Mirage (1982)

10 Questions for Christine McVie of Fleetwood Mac

The peacemaker of Fleetwood Mac on Mirage, Maui, and missing the buzz

theartsdesk meets Christine McVie on a sunny Friday afternoon in September; the Warner Brothers boardroom (with generous hospitality spread) is suitably palatial. We’re the first media interview of the day, so she’s bright and attentive. McVie was always the member of Fleetwood Mac who you’d want to adopt: the most approachably human member of a band constantly at war with itself. Readily admitting that she’s the “peacekeeper” in the band, the singer/songwriter behind such Mac classics as “Everywhere” and “You Make Loving Fun” is as sweet and serene as you’d hope she would be.

She’s here to promote the new deluxe remaster of 1982 album Mirage – the follow-up three years on to the somewhat deranged Tusk, which was recorded and released as Christine and John McVie, the band’s bassist, were divorcing. She quit the band in 1998 after the hugely successful live album The Dance, after which she started a fairly solitary life of her own in the English countryside for the best part of 16 years. The first four of those, she says, were simply spent working on the house. It was only therapy and the canny, persuasive hand of Mick Fleetwood that coaxed her into returning after a trip to Maui, Hawaii, where Mick lives close to John McVie, his lifelong partner-in-crime.

The former Christine Perfect had a severe fear of flying that she’s now completely beaten, and as we speak, it’s clear that she’s fairly perplexed about having left the fray for so long in the first place. So what was she doing in all that time exactly? “A lot of people ask me that question!” With a brand new album (their first since 2001’s Say You Will) and a new world tour in the planning stages, it’s clear that the Fleetwood Mac story still has several enthralling chapters ahead. Somewhere near Fleetwood’s on Front Street – Mick’s fancy restaurant in Maui – the drummer must be feeling pretty smug that the ragged band of brothers and sisters he founded are finally back together.

RALPH MOORE: What was the mood of the band post-Tusk?

CHRISTINE McVIE: I remember we did two huge world tours after Tusk. We drove ourselves into the ground physically, and obviously there was a lot of drinking and a lot of drugs, and that just about killed us all, so we took a lot of time off. There was a long time between Tusk and Mirage. Mick went to Ghana to make an album called The Visitor and Stevie [Nicks] made Bella Donna, which was a huge hit for her.

Fleetwood MacBut I think maybe we were under contract so had to make a record at that time, so Mick tried to recreate a similar bubble to Rumours where we were away from our homes, and that’s how that started. The mood? I was quite looking forward to it. We recorded at Honky Château [the infamous Chateau d’Herouville, located 20 miles north of Paris in the Val d’Oise]. There was a big piano there that Elton John had left there, so that was great. I seem to remember we did a lot of mucking around, playing table tennis. The guys from the French Open came down to visit us and John McEnroe also came down – I think I actually beat him at table tennis one night! It was a funny time. I don’t remember any particular animosity. I’m sure we were under contract to do another record so that was the basis of it. And from that, from little acorns the oak tree grew and it turned into a much nicer experience with some really good songs on it.

You returned to the band in 2014: had the dynamic changed?

Well, I just couldn’t believe that 16 years had actually passed. I mean, quite literally, from the moment I stepped on stage in Dublin to rehearse “Don’t Stop” I knew: the eye contact with all the band members, it was like going home. Truthfully. And they felt the same about me. The circle was complete. Had anything changed? Only technically. Vibe wise, I had Mick looking at me through his cymbals, but there was always that gap there on the stage when I left – they hadn’t filled it up with anyone else. That gap when they were touring without me was there every night. It was such a great feeling.

Is it fair to say that you’re the peacekeeper in the band?

I know Stevie always calls me Mother Earth, so possibly! How do I put this…. I have always been the most sane one of the lot, more down to earth, but I think John’s probably even more down to earth now. Peacekeeper? Yeah, I like that title. I do tend to meander around in the cracks! And do I have to be a peacekeeper now? Only occasionally. You always get moments with Stevie and Lindsey [Buckingham], that’s part of their make-up – they are each other’s muses and they have not been together for years, but they have this love/hate thing that they’ll always have and someone has to gently insinuate in the middle.

But Stevie and I are really good friends, in fact I think we’re better friends now than we were 16 years ago. And it’s a fact, when it’s the Buckingham/Nicks show backed by John and Mick, that’s going to cause a lot of tension and stress. But with me in there, it gave Stevie the chance to get her breath back and not have this constant thing going on with Lindsey: her sister was back.

Is it fair to say that Fleetwood Mac is a democracy, but driven for the most part by Mick?

Yes, but you’ve got to have a degree of flexibility. We’re very democratic. If one person is outvoted, you go with it. Mick always says, I’m a drummer, I can’t just sit in a room and play drums, I need a band. So in Maui, he has his own little band and when Fleetwood Mac’s not touring, he plays with them. It keeps him busy.

(Photo: Danny Clinch)
(Photo: Danny Clinch)

In the 16 years interim, what were you doing and did you see the band much?

I didn’t see them very much. First of all, I never flew anywhere. I saw them at Earl’s Court a few years back and sat at the sound board and that was a weird feeling. But I had no sense at that time of wanting to rejoin and at that time it was a relief – but I didn’t realise what pleasure I was missing until more recent days when I made the phone call to Mick and asked, “What would be it be like if I came back?” Fortunately Stevie was dying for me to come back, as were the rest of the band. Lindsey didn’t believe it would ever happen, but when I walked back onstage he did and they were delirious.

But when I first left, I was married at that point and spent four years restoring the house, a big rambling place with gardens – it was quite a project. But I didn’t write very much and the marriage didn’t work out, and I started to find I was twiddling my thumbs in this huge place, bouncing off the walls. So I thought that I’d do a little solo project. I got together with my nephew who’s a good musician and quite handy with ProTools and I thought, I’ll do a little record because I can’t fly, and I don’t want to tour, so we did that in my garage. And that took a couple of years, because we didn’t have a pressing need to finish it.

And then I sunk into isolation and got in a bit of trouble and sought help, and that was when I called Mick. It was healing and cathartic going back into the band. I missed all that buzz. I was also deluded about some idea of being the country lady with dogs, a Range Rover and Hunter boots, going for long walks, all that. Baking cakes in my Aga. It was not what I wanted in the end.

How did you overcome the fear of flying?

I was starting to realise that I was trapped in England unless I went by train or boat – and that I will never be able to see the world. So I went to a therapist and said, “I have to be able to get on a plane.” And he said, “Where would you most like to go?” And I said, “Maui!” And he said, “Buy a first-class ticket. Don’t get on – you have the ticket, that’s the starting point.” And as serendipity would have it Mick said, “I am coming to London” and I said, “I have a ticket to Maui!” So he said “Stay there! And we’ll go back together.”

So I went back with Mick to Maui and didn’t even feel the plane taking off, that’s how unafraid I was. I had some pretty good therapy, and I love flying now! And I did some songs with his little band there, and that was the start of it all. It’s the best thing we could have ever done. In many ways, I think we sound better and the audience reaction is better than even it was before. It’s unprecedented in rock ‘n’ roll that someone should leave and rejoin 16 years on and all five of us are still alive and healthy – touch wood and whistle.

Lindsey Buckingham Christine McVie
Lindsey Buckingham and Christine McVie work on new songs in the studio.

Let’s talk about the new album.

I love every single track we’ve done, bar none. This’s something to me that is really special. Stevie hasn’t come in on it yet because she’s been busy doing something else. Last year, I was in there with Mick and Lindsey and John – John’s healing very nicely now – and nearly completed seven tracks and they’re magic. Seriously, no padding! I’m going to go over again in October to work on it. Stevie’s on tour but we’ve got until next year to finish it because we’re planning a world tour again, for the summer of ’17. I don’t know if I’m privy to give song titles yet, but Lindsey and I have practically co-written everything. Getting the band all together is like herding sheep: to get all five of us in a room is nigh-on impossible. And then somebody will wander out. But it does happen.

Mirage is still a pretty eccentric record when you listen to it. And what’s great is Fleetwood Mac is now a genuine, cross-generational experience.

The generation gap is phenomenal! Kids are going, “We’d better see them before one of them dies!” The songs endure. I have lots of friends with growing children, even 12- and 11-year-olds and some of them are avid listeners, they carry Rumours on their iPods! Tango is a favourite and Tusk is a favourite of some the weird 14-year-old boys. The demographic is remarkable.

And you still have the potential to play Glastonbury again.

Yes. I think we have been asked but for whatever reason it hasn’t happened, I don’t know for what reason. Would I love to do it? Love’s a strong word! I wouldn’t mind – so long as we could helicopter in and helicopter out!

Fleetwood Mac Mirage (1982)Let’s end by returning to Mirage – where does it sit in the Mac canon for you?

If I have to be really truthful, it’s not catalogued as my favourite but on it are some great songs and some really good memories and it harkens in a vague sense not to the soul of Rumours but to more commercial roots after Tusk, which was the antithesis of commercial. On Mirage we made an effort to have a few more catchy songs. But it’s still a pretty eccentric record when you listen to it. It’s nuts!

The deluxe edition of Mirage is out on September 23rd on Warner Brothers.

Ralph Moore / theartsdesk (UK) / Tuesday, September 20, 2016

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Article Mirage (1982) Mirage - Deluxe & Expanded Editions (2016)

Mick Fleetwood reflects on overlooked Mirage

1982-mirage-album-cover

Mick Fleetwood talks to Rolling Stone about the band’s ‘overlooked’ smash Mirage

Ahead of new reissue, drummer Mick Fleetwood talks “wild and romantic” France sessions, opulent video shoots, and more

“I don’t think it would be wrong to say it sort of got overlooked,” says Fleetwood Mac drummer Mick Fleetwood, reminiscing about his band’s 1982 album, Mirage, which will be reissued in a deluxe package via Warner Bros. on September 23rd. It’s something of an odd statement to make about a record that charted at Number One on the Billboard 200, spawned multiple hit singles and went on to sell more than three million copies. Of course, when you’re in Fleetwood Mac, the definition of what constitutes success is relative.

The album, the band’s 13th studio effort overall and fourth to feature singer Stevie Nicks and singer/guitarist Lindsey Buckingham alongside longtime members Fleetwood, bassist John McVie and singer/keyboardist Christine McVie, came on the heels of one of the more impressive runs in rock: the lineup’s smash 1975 “debut,” Fleetwood Mac; the now-more-than-40-million-selling follow-up, Rumours; and the sprawling and sonically adventurous Buckingham-helmed double–LP Tusk (a commercial “failure” that still managed to move several million copies). By the time the band reconvened for Mirage in May 1981, they had been off the road for close to a year, during which time three members had recorded – but not yet released – solo albums (Buckingham’s Law and Order, Fleetwood’s The Visitor and Nicks’ eventual chart-topping, multi-platinum Bella Donna). That time apart, combined with the tensions that had been brought on by the experimental nature of the Tusk album, left them ready to recapture a bit of the old Rumours magic, so to speak.

[jwplayer mediaid=”373865″]

“There’s no doubt that having come off Tusk there was a conscious effort to make Mirage into more of a band album,” Fleetwood says. “Because Tusk had been very much Lindsey’s vision. And it was a great one – along with [1969’s] Then Play On, it’s probably my favorite Fleetwood Mac album. So it was a highly successful creative moment. But at the time we took some blows for it, and Lindsey in particular, because the album wasn’t as successful as Rumours. How could it be, anyhow? But that being beside the point, I think Lindsey sort of handed back the mantle on Mirage. It was, ‘Let’s just do this as a band.’ That was the vibe going into it.”
The result was an album that, if judged by its two hit singles – Christine McVie’s buoyant “Hold Me” and Stevie Nicks’ somewhat autobiographical “Gypsy” – seemed to represent something of a step back to the concise, sharp-focus pop-rock that had characterized Rumours and Fleetwood Mac. Indeed, says Fleetwood, “If you were a sort of super-intellectual critic, which is maybe not a great place to come from, it would be fair game to say the album kind of went backwards.” But, he adds, “Having said that, the amazing thing is that, looking back on it now, in the present day, so many of those songs are at a very high level in the continuing story of Fleetwood Mac.”

All the more reason, then, to revisit Mirage now. The new three-CD-plus-DVD deluxe package presents the original 12-track album in remastered form, along with one disc of B sides, outtakes and rarities, and another that collects 13 songs from two nights at the Forum in Los Angeles during the band’s 1982 Mirage U.S. tour. Also included is a vinyl copy of the album and a DVD of the original collection in 5.1 surround sound (additionally, there are two-CD, single-disc and digital download versions available). “The fact that we’re talking about it again is actually really cool,” Fleetwood says of Mirage. “Because we ended up making a far better album than we gave ourselves credit for for many years.”

They also made an album that is more varied and quirky than it gets credit for. In addition to the two hit singles, there’s plenty more of the sort of expertly crafted soft rock the band had become known for by that point, such as Christine McVie–penned tracks like “Only Over You” and the propulsive opener (and minor hit) “Love in Store.” But there’s also the brittle electro-pop of Buckingham’s “Empire State” and lilting country-folk of Nicks’ “That’s Alright,” the latter a holdover from the Buckingham Nicks days a decade earlier. Furthermore, unlike the lineup’s three previous efforts, which were recorded mostly in and around California, Fleetwood Mac, along with Ken Caillat and Richard Dashut (who co-produced with Buckingham and the band), tracked Mirage largely in France, at the famed Château d’Hérouville, outside of Paris. Explains Fleetwood of the change of scenery, “My recollect was I asked the band if I could record overseas to help me out with some tax issues. And very kindly they did that. But in truth, knowing me, I think the main purpose of it was to get them the hell out of L.A. so that we could make an album without imploding.”

“I personally had probably too much fun. I used to go into Paris every weekend and misbehave.”

The band’s new environs offered up a different sort of vibe than the Southern California studios they were used to calling home. “We were at the Château, which was an historic place,” Fleetwood recalls. “If you look it up, you’ll see that some incredible shit was done there – [Elton John’s] Honky Chateau and all that. A whole load of people had recorded there. So it was an amazing place. It was wild and romantic. It’s a mansion in the French countryside, with cooks and food and wine, you know?” He laughs. “I personally had probably too much fun. I used to go into Paris every weekend and misbehave and come back for work on Monday morning. But it accomplished what we needed, and, all joking aside, the fact that we were in France and we were in the middle of nowhere, truly I think it had great value.”

The band’s choice of location for recording their music wasn’t the only aspect of Mirage that showed Fleetwood Mac breaking with their past. They also explored new avenues in terms of how they offered up that music for public consumption. Mirage was released in June of 1982, less than a year after the launch of MTV. As a legacy band that had often proved surprisingly adaptable to current trends, Fleetwood Mac embraced the music-video age to great success. So much so, that, rather than merely mimic playing their songs in the clips, as most artists did in the network’s earliest days, Fleetwood Mac opted to take on acting roles. The first single from Mirage, “Hold Me,” came complete with a storyline that showed the band frolicking in the Mojave Desert, with Fleetwood and John McVie playing archeologists who excitedly stumble upon a cache of buried guitars and other musical instruments. The elaborate clip for “Gypsy,” meanwhile, had the distinction of being the most expensive music video ever produced at the time. “I’m really glad we made it,” Fleetwood says, “even though it cost a fortune for us.”

[jwplayer mediaid=”15602″]

As for the shoots themselves, the directors of the videos for both “Hold Me” and “Gypsy” have since discussed the fact that the band’s well-publicized and mythologized romantic entanglements led to some uncomfortable moments on the sets. Fleetwood, however, says he doesn’t recall as much. “I don’t have huge memory of any gossipy things happening,” he says. “But the amount of pain we were used to going through, maybe it was noticeable. Although we had an uncanny ability to suck it up. But ‘Gypsy’ especially, it’s interesting because they’re featuring Lindsey and Stevie dancing in it and you’re going, ‘This is quite profound. …’ It was like, ‘Wow, that’s a scene!'”

He continues: “In general, though, we were really professional, and I believe from memory we were all hugely cooperative and into [doing the videos], really. There was no ‘I don’t wanna fucking do that,’ one-shot-and-we’re-out-of-there type stuff. And the directors, they were young filmmakers with big budgets, and they seemed quite conversant with handling lunacy. So they were fun days.” Fleetwood laughs. “I mean, to me everything was fun because I was having a party 24/7. So it didn’t really fucking matter! But I think we were good candidates for that sort of thing.”

It would seem that Fleetwood Mac were in fact very good candidates for that sort of thing, as both “Hold Me” and “Gypsy” became staples on MTV, helping the band to achieve two of the biggest hits of their career. In fact, Fleetwood now acknowledges that “those songs became more memorable than the album as a whole. And that’s sort of an unusual slant.

Mirage is part of our history,” he continues, “and as the band heads no doubt to a wind-down of some description in the next few years ahead, I think these types of cataloging events are important. Because it’s certainly not an album to be discarded. And now this little project is representing it, and giving it measured and investigated amounts of kudos. That’s a good thing.”

Richard Bienstock / Rolling Stone / Tuesday, September 20, 2016

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Album Reviews Article Mirage (1982) Mirage - Deluxe & Expanded Editions (2016)

REVIEW: Mirage (Expanded Reissue)

Fleetwood Mac
Mirage (Expanded Reissue)
(Warner Brothers/Rhino)
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Often considered the belated follow-up to 1977’s mega platinum Rumours, 1982’s Mirage was a clear retreat from the somewhat abrasive, occasionally commercial avant-pop of the controversial Tusk. While that album has, over the decades, come to be respected as Lindsey Buckingham’s creative zenith, it appears Warner Brothers was less enthusiastic about their star act’s detour into the artsy abyss. Perhaps Mac were tired of it themselves, because the slick, glossily produced Mirage seems a capitulation to an audience who might have found the dense, inconsistent, but bold Tusk a musical and drug-fueled bridge too far.

While Mirage was no Rumours, its dozen sophisticated pop songs include such near-classics as “Love in Store,” “Gypsy,” and “Hold Me,” the latter two appearing on most subsequent Mac hits packages. But there are other, often unappreciated gems here too. Selections such as Buckingham’s folksy “Can’t Go Back,” Stevie Nicks’ surprisingly effective foray into country “That’s Alright,” the frisky pop/rock and sumptuous harmonies of “The Eyes of the World” and the closing “Wish You Were Here,” one of the always dependable Christine McVie’s more affecting and least appreciated pieces, are well worth reexamining.

It’s not a great album but it’s a good one, especially for Mac’s avid pop fans, and ripe for rediscovery on this newly remastered and expanded edition. A second disc with 20 previously unreleased rarities includes early, stripped down demos, alternate arrangements and outtakes of nearly every tune, plus some that didn’t make the final cut, and is well worth the price of admission. The no-frills versions are a welcome contrast to the finished product’s often over-produced slickness, and such oddities as a four minute in-studio jam on drummer Sandy Nelson’s 1959 instrumental “Teen Beat” with Buckingham at his most frazzled and unhinged is a major find.

But the real excitement is relegated to the pricey “deluxe” package that includes not only a 5.1 surround audio-only DVD of the album and a remastered vinyl reproduction, but a live show from the ‘82 Mirage tour. This 74-minute concert catches the band on a particularly inspired and improvisation filled night in LA as Mirage was ensconced atop the Billboard charts. It kicks off with a propulsive seven-minute “The Chain” that smokes the studio take into oblivion and features extended performances of two Tusk tracks with a nearly 10-minute “Not That Funny” along with another 8 minutes of “Sisters of the Moon,” closing with an unplugged emotional “Songbird” all in front of a clearly engaged audience.

Whether that’s worth dropping nearly $90 is up to you, but this is an invigorating presentation. It captures these five musicians (before they added an unnecessary backline to bolster the live sound) bouncing energy off each other and feeding from the crowd with exhilarating results.

Hal Horowitz / American Songwriter / Tuesday, September 20, 2016

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Mirage (1982)

VIDEO: Take a closer look at Mirage Deluxe

Fleetwood Mac has released a new preview video for Mirage Deluxe. The 40-second clip shows the 4 CDs, vinyl album, liner notes, and photographs included in the expanded set. Mirage will be reissued on Friday, September 23.

[jwplayer mediaid=”374631″]

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Mirage (1982)

REVIEW: Fleetwood Mac revisits Mirage, inside the studio and out

After Rumours became the biggest pop album of the 1970s, Fleetwood Mac followed it up with 1979’s shockingly different Tusk — a critical success, but a relative commercial flop. Where to go from there? 1982’s Mirage, which leans closer to the Rumours sound while maintaining a distinct identity. The band will Mirage in September with a new deluxe package that showcases the remastered original album, a full disc worth of alternate takes and B-sides, and a third disc of live tracks.

Read the full review at SILive.com

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Mirage (1982)

Mirage reissue bumped to September 23

Amazon is reporting that the release date for Fleetwood Mac’s Mirage reissue has been changed to September 23. No other details were given.

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Mirage (1982)

LISTEN: Fleetwood Mac’s ‘Gypsy’ (Early Version)

Warner Bros. Records is ready to reissue a remastered and reloaded Fleetwood Mac Mirage on July 29

Warner Bros. Records is releasing a remastered deluxe edition of Fleetwood Mac’s classic album, Mirage, and ahead of the debut they’ve provided us with a sample of “Gypsy” that is stunningly crisp and clear. It’s like hearing the song again for the first time.

The early version of “Gypsy” sounds like it could have been released last week, rather than in 1982, and the deluxe reissue will feature a 3-CD set with remastered sound, and rare, unreleased recordings. A 2-CD edition, and digital edition will also be available on July 29.

Listen to the early sample below, and scroll down for more details on the re-issue. Check out FleetwoodMac.com for more.

The re-mastered edition of Mirage features the iconic songs “Hold Me,” “Love In Store,” plus “Gypsy”.

Both the deluxe and expanded editions of the album include a bonus disc with 19 tracks that are either rare or outtakes, including “Empire State” and “Book Of Love”. The third disc on the deluxe release of Mirage include 12 live performances from the band’s 1982 U.S. tour.

Gypsy – Early Version (for US listeners)

Gypsy – Early Version (for Canadian listeners)

Read the full article at The Gate.

W. Andrew Powell / The Gate (Canada) / Thursday, June 16, 2016

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Hear Fleetwood Mac’s Early Version of ‘Gypsy’

Fleetwood Mac’s hit 1982 album, Mirage, is set for reissue on July 29th in an expanded package that contains live tracks, early versions of familiar songs, outtakes and previously unheard studio jams. It will be available as a bare-bones remastered album, a two-CD expanded edition and a deluxe-edition box set that contains three CDs, a DVD and a vinyl LP. Preview the set below with an early version of the Stevie Nicks-sung single “Gypsy.”

Mirage came just three years after Fleetwood Mac released their experimental double LP Tusk, but in that time both Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham launched solo careers and MTV drastically changed the pop-music landscape. Unlike many Seventies rock bands that struggled in this new era, Fleetwood Mac thrived. Mirage singles “Hold Me” and “Oh Diane” became big hits on radio and MTV, and the band supported the LP with an extremely successful American arena tour.

Fleetwood Mac’s next album, 1987’s Tango in the Night, was their final release with the classic Rumors-era lineup, though the band did reunite for a tour in 1997. In 2014, keyboardist Christine McVie returned to the band after a long absence for a rapturously received reunion tour. There’s been talk of a new studio album, but there’s no clear sign they’ve actually begun work on it.

Here is the track listing to the new deluxe edition of Mirage:

Disc One: Original Album – 2016 Remaster

  1. “Love in Store”
  2. “Can’t Go Back”
  3. “That’s Alright”
  4. “Book of Love”
  5. “Gypsy”
  6. “Only Over You”
  7. “Empire State”
  8. “Straight Back”
  9. “Hold Me”
  10. “Oh Diane”
  11. “Eyes of the World”
  12. “Wish You Were Here

Disc Two: B-Sides, Outtakes, Sessions

  1. “Love in Store” (Early Version)*
  2. “Suma’s Walk” a.k.a. “Can’t Go Back” (Outtake)*
  3. “That’s Alright” (Alternate Take)*
  4. “Book of Love” (Early Version)*
  5. “Gypsy” (Early Version)*
  6. “Only Over You” (Alternate Version)*
  7. “Empire State” (Early Version)*
  8. “If You Were My Love” (Outtake)*
  9. “Hold Me” (Early Version)*
  10. “Oh Diane” (Early Version)*
  11. “Smile at You” (Outtake)*
  12. “Goodbye Angel” (Original Outtake)*
  13. “Eyes of the World” (Alternate Early Version)*
  14. “Straight Back” (Original Vinyl Version)
  15. “Wish You Were Here” (Alternate Version)*
  16. “Cool Water”
  17. “Gypsy” (Video Version)
  18. “Put a Candle in the Window” (Run-Through)*
  19. “Teen Beat” (Outtake)*
  20. “Blue Monday” (Jam)*

*Previously Unissued

Disc Three: Mirage Live 1982

  1. “The Chain”
  2. “Gypsy”
  3. “Love in Store”
  4. “Not That Funny”
  5. “You Make Loving Fun”
  6. “I’m So Afraid”
  7. “Blue Letter”
  8. “Rhiannon”
  9. “Tusk”
  10. “Eyes of the World”
  11. “Go Your Own Way”
  12. “Sisters of the Moon”
  13. “Songbird”

Disc Four: 5.1 Surround Mix & 24/96 Stereo Audio of Original Album (DVD)

Mirage (Vinyl)

Side One

  1. “Love in Store”
  2. “Can’t Go Back”
  3. “That’s Alright”
  4. “Book of Love”
  5. “Gypsy”
  6. “Only Over You”

Side Two

  1. “Empire State”
  2. “Straight Back”
  3. “Hold Me”
  4. “Oh Diane”
  5. “Eyes of the World”
  6. “Wish You Were Here”

Andy Greene / Rolling Stone / Thursday, June 9, 2016

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LISTEN: Hold Me (Early Version)

An early version of Fleetwood Mac’s 1982 hit song “Hold Me” is available for purchase on Amazon. The track is the first release from the deluxe edition of Mirage, due out on July 29 (UPDATE: The release has been bumped to September 23.).

Hear the full outtake below:

[jwplayer mediaid=”373865″]

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Fleetwood Mac reissuing 1982 album Mirage

Warner Bros. Records gives the 1982 album the deluxe treatment on July 29

After previously reissuing its classic albums Rumours and Tusk as expanded, deluxe box sets, Fleetwood Mac will do the same with its 1982 studio effort, Mirage.

The remastered version of Mirage will be released July 29 in a number of configurations, including a deluxe five-disc edition featuring three-CDs, an audio DVD and a vinyl LP.

Mirage originally hit stores in June of ’82 and went on to top the Billboard 200 for five consecutive weeks. The album yielded three top-40 hits, “Hold Me,” “Gypsy” and “Love in Store,” which peaked at #4, #12 and #22, respectively, on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart.

The deluxe edition of Mirage features a remastered version of the original album; a CD of outtakes, rarities and alternate takes; a CD of live performances recorded in Los Angeles during Fleetwood Mac’s 1982 tour; a remastered vinyl edition of the record; and a DVD-Audio disc that includes 5.1 surround sound and high-fidelity stereo mixes of Mirage.

The outtakes disc features 19 tracks, including early versions of several songs on the album, a couple of tunes from the sessions that don’t appear on Mirage, an extended mix of “Gypsy” used for the song’s video, and a cover of Fats Domino’s “Blue Monday.”

The live CD boasts performances of a few Mirage tunes, including “Gypsy,” as well as such well-known Fleetwood Mac songs as “The Chain,” “You Make Loving Fun,” “Rhiannon,” “Tusk” and “Go Your Own Way.”

The Mirage reissue also will be available as a two-CD Expanded Edition featuring the remastered original album remastered and the disc of outtakes and rarities, a single CD featuring just the remastered original disc, and a digital version of the record.

Here is the full track list of the deluxe reissue of Mirage:

Disc One: Original Album — 2016 Remaster
“Love in Store”
“Can’t Go Back”
“That’s Alright”
“Book of Love”
“Gypsy”
“Only Over You”
“Empire State”
“Straight Back”
“Hold Me”
“Oh Diane”
“Eyes of the World”
“Wish You Were Here”

Disc Two: B-Sides, Outtakes, Sessions
“Love in Store” (Early Version)*
“Suma’s Walk” a.k.a. “Can’t Go Back” (Outtake)*
“That’s Alright” (Alternate Take)*
“Book of Love” (Early Version)*
“Gypsy” (Early Version)*
“Only Over You” (Alternate Version)*
“Empire State” (Early Version)*
“If You Were My Love” (Outtake)*
“Hold Me” (Early Version)*
“Oh Diane” (Early Version)*
“Smile at You” (Outtake)*
“Goodbye Angel” (Original Outtake)*
“Eyes of the World” (Alternate Early Version)*
“Wish You Were Here” (Alternate Version)*
“Cool Water”
“Gypsy” (Video Version)
“Put a Candle in the Window” (Run-Through)*
“Teen Beat” (Outtake)*
“Blue Monday” (Jam)*

Disc Three: Mirage Live 1982
“The Chain”
“Gypsy”
“Love in Store”
“Not That Funny”
“You Make Loving Fun”
“I’m So Afraid”
“Blue Letter”
“Rhiannon”
“Tusk”
“Eyes of the World”
“Go Your Own Way”
“Sisters of the Moon”
“Songbird”

Disc Four: 5.1 Surround Mix & 24/96 Stereo Audio of Original Album (DVD)

Disc Five: Original Album — 2016 Remaster (Vinyl)

  • = previously unissued.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Mirage (1982)

LISTEN NOW: ‘Hold Me’ (Early Version)

Hold Me single coverSample an unreleased version of “Hold Me” (Early Version) from the forthcoming deluxe edition of Fleetwood Mac’s Mirage (July 29). The outtake features a completely different chorus and harmony vocals from Stevie Nicks.

The lead single from Mirage, “Hold Me” reached No. 4 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the summer of 1982.

Listen to 90 seconds of “Hold Me” (Early Version) on iTunes or sample 30 seconds of the track below.

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Mirage (1982)

Deluxe Mirage out July 29

UPDATE: The Mirage reissue has been bumped to September 23.

Fleetwood Mac
David Montgomery / Getty Images

Fleetwood Mac’s 1982 album Mirage gets the deluxe treatment on July 29. Warner Bros. Records has planned an elaborate release for the multiple-platinum album — which includes the DVD-Audio mix, studio outtakes, Fleetwood Mac’s October 1982 Los Angeles Forum show, and the fully remastered Mirage album on CD and vinyl.

Mirage (Deluxe) (3CD/1LP/DVD): http://amzn.to/1shgBCa
Mirage (Expanded) (2CD): http://amzn.to/1R0dt1r
Mirage (Remastered) (CD): http://amzn.to/1T8FDd7

1982-fmFLEETWOOD MAC – Mirage (Deluxe Edition) (3 CD, 1 DVD, 1 LP)

LABEL: Rhino
RELEASE: July 29, 2016

Fleetwood Mac’s streak of five consecutive multi-platinum albums began in the 70’s and continued in 1982 with Mirage. During the summer of 1982, MIRAGE topped the album chart and added to the band s already impressive canon of hits.

Available on July 29, this new deluxe edition expands on the original album with newly remastered sound, a second disc that has 19 tracks dedicated entirely to outtakes and rarities, as well as the stories and pictures behind the album.

Fleetwood Mac Stevie Nicks screen capAmong the unreleased gems are early versions of several album tracks along with outtakes for songs that didn t make it to the album. There is also an unreleased cover of the Fats Domino classic Blue Monday, as well as the rare, extended mix for Gypsy that was used in the music video.

Exclusive to the deluxe edition of MIRAGE is a third disc that has more than a dozen live performances recorded in Los Angeles during Fleetwood Mac’s 1982 U.S. tour.

The DVD-Audio disc contains both the 5.1 Surround and 24/96 Stereo Audio mixes of the original album. The set also includes a vinyl copy of MIRAGE. Set includes 3 CDs, 1 DVD, 1 LP: Original album remastered, b-sides and rarities; live performances; a 5.1 mix on DVD; and the original album on LP.

1982-gypsy-video-screen-capAbout Mirage

Fleetwood Mac’s 13th studio album Mirage was released on June 29, 1982. On August 7, the album reached No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 200 Albums chart, remaining in the top position for five weeks through the week of September 4. The album’s lead single “Hold Me” was the band’s first Top 10 single since “Sara” (No. 7) from Tusk (1979), reaching No. 4 during the summer of 1982. The album’s momentum continued with the release of the next two singles “Gypsy” (No. 12) and “Love in Store” (No. 22). Heavy MTV rotation of the music videos for “Hold Me” and “Gypsy” contributed to the album’s popularity.

In 1983, Fleetwood Mac received two American Music Awards nominations for Best Pop/Rock Group and Best Pop/Rock Album. In 1984, the RIAA certified Mirage double platinum for the shipment of two million units to retailers.

Fleetwood Mac Hold Me single coverCD 1:
1. Love In Store (2016 Remastered)
2. Can’t Go Back (2016 Remastered)
3. That’s Alright (2016 Remastered)
4. Book of Love (2016 Remastered)
5. Gypsy (2016 Remastered)
6. Only Over You (2016 Remastered)
7. Empire State (2016 Remastered)
8. Straight Back (2016 Remastered)
9. Hold Me (2016 Remastered)
10. Oh Diane (2016 Remastered)
11. Eyes of the World (2016 Remastered)
12. Wish You Were Here (2016 Remastered)

1982-gypsy-screen-cap2-0=605x450CD 2:
1. Love In Store (Early Version)
2. Suma’s Walk aka Can’t Go Back (Outtake)
3. That’s Alright (Alternate Take)
4. Book of Love (Early Version)
5. Gypsy (Early Version)
6. Only Over You (Alternate Version)
7. Empire State (Early Version)
8. If You Were My Love (Outtake)
9. Hold Me (Early Version)
10. Oh Diane (Early Version)
11. Smile At You (Outtake)
12. Goodbye Angel (Original Outtake)
13. Eyes of the World (Alternate Early Version)
14. Straight Back (Original Vinyl Version)
15. Wish You Were Here (Alternate Version)
16. Cool Water (2016 Remastered)
17. Gypsy (Video Version) [2016 Remastered]
18. Put a Candle In the Window (Run-Through)
19. Teen Beat (Outtake) [2016 Remastered]
20. Blue Monday (Jam)

1982-sisters-of-the-moonCD 3:
1. The Chain (Live at The Forum, Los Angeles, CA October 21-22, 1982)
2. Gypsy (Live at The Forum, Los Angeles, CA October 21-22, 1982)
3. Love In Store (Live at The Forum, Los Angeles, CA October 21-22, 1982
4. Not That Funny (Live at The Forum, Los Angeles, CA October 21-22, 1982)
5. You Make Loving Fun (Live at The Forum, Los Angeles, CA October 21-22, 1982)
6. I’m So Afraid (Live at The Forum, Los Angeles, CA October 21-22, 1982)
7. Blue Letter (Live at The Forum, Los Angeles, CA October 21-22, 1982)
8. Rhiannon (Live at The Forum, Los Angeles, CA October 21-22, 1982)
9. Tusk (Live at The Forum, Los Angeles, CA October 21-22, 1982)
10. Eyes of the World (Live at The Forum, Los Angeles, CA October 21-22, 1982)
11. Go Your Own Way (Live at The Forum, Los Angeles, CA October 21-22, 1982)
12. Sisters of the Moon (Live at The Forum, Los Angeles, CA October 21-22, 1982)
13. Songbird (Live at The Forum, Los Angeles, CA October 21-22, 1982)

Oh Diane single coverDVD:
5.1 Surround:

  1. Love In Store (2016 Remastered)
  2. Can’t Go Back (2016 Remastered)
  3. That’s Alright (2016 Remastered)
  4. Book of Love (2016 Remastered)
  5. Gypsy (2016 Remastered)
  6. Only Over You (2016 Remastered)
  7. Empire State (2016 Remastered)
  8. Straight Back (2016 Remastered)
  9. Hold Me (2016 Remastered)
  10. Oh Diane (2016 Remastered)
  11. Eyes of the World (2016 Remastered)
  12. Wish You Were Here (2016 Remastered)

Hold Me single cover24/96 Stereo:
13. Love In Store (2016 Remastered)
14. Can’t Go Back (2016 Remastered)
15. That’s Alright (2016 Remastered)
16. Book of Love (2016 Remastered)
17. Gypsy (2016 Remastered)
18. Only Over You (2016 Remastered)
19. Empire State (2016 Remastered)
20. Straight Back (2016 Remastered)

LP:
1. Love In Store (2016 Remastered)
2. Can’t Go Back (2016 Remastered)
3. That’s Alright (2016 Remastered)
4. Book of Love (2016 Remastered)
5. Gypsy (2016 Remastered)
6. Only Over You (2016 Remastered)
7. Empire State (2016 Remastered)
8. Straight Back (2016 Remastered)
9. Hold Me (2016 Remastered)
10. Oh Diane (2016 Remastered)
11. Eyes of the World (2016 Remastered)
12. Wish You Were Here (2016 Remastered)

Categories
Album Reviews Article Mirage (1982)

It’s not just a ‘Mirage’

On the heels of last year’s deluxe box set of Fleetwood Mac’s Tusk, Warner Bros. Records has just announced the legendary band’s Mirage will be next to get the lavish treatment. On July 29, the label will unveil the 1982 chart-topping smash in a variety of physical formats:

  1. Deluxe Edition (3 CD/1 DVD/1 LP): Original album remastered, plus B-sides and rarities; the original album on vinyl; a disc of live performances; and a 5.1 mix on DVD
  2. Expanded Edition (2 CD): Original album remastered, plus a disc of B-sides and rarities
  3. Remastered Edition (1 CD): Original album, remastered
    Digital downloads will also be available.

Mirage was the band’s third U.S. No. 1 album following Fleetwood Mac and Rumours, and spun off classic hits including “Gypsy” (No. 12 U.S.) and “Hold Me” (No. 4 U.S.) as well as “Oh Diane” (No. 9 U.K.) and “Straight Back” (No. 36 U.S. Rock). The original album has been newly-remastered for all formats.

Read the full article at The Second Disc:
It’s Not Just A “Mirage”: Fleetwood Mac Classic Gets Expanded To Box Set, More

Categories
Mirage (1982)

UPDATE: Mirage 5.1 surround mix slated for June release

UPDATE: The Mirage reissue has been delayed to September 23.

UPDATE: The 5.1. surround sound mix of Fleetwood Mac’s 1982 album Mirage is slated for June release, according to a new report. No other details were given.

Original post from April 4, 2016

Ken Caillat hints at possible Mirage reissue

On Saturday, Fleetwood Mac producer Ken Caillat (Rumours, Tusk, Mirage) raised fan hopes of a possible Mirage reissue when he posted on his Facebook page about the 5.1 surround sound mix of Mirage “sounding so fantastic” (see his Facebook post below). Despite piquing fan curiosity, Ken didn’t elaborate on whether the 5.1 mix would be released in the near future or if an expanded edition of Mirage was even in the works. But his post certainly generated social media buzz among diehard fans.

Fleetwood Mac’s 13th studio album Mirage was released on June 29, 1982. On August 7, the album reached No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 200 Albums chart, remaining in the top position for five weeks through the week of September 4. The album’s lead single “Hold Me” was the band’s first Top 10 single since “Sara” (No. 7) from Tusk (1979), reaching No. 4 during the summer of 1982. The album’s momentum continued with the release of the next two singles “Gypsy” (No. 12) and “Love in Store” (No. 22). Heavy MTV rotation of the music videos for “Hold Me” and “Gypsy” contributed to the album’s popularity.

In 1983, Fleetwood Mac received two American Music Awards nominations for Best Pop/Rock Group and Best Pop/Rock Album. In 1984, the RIAA certified Mirage double platinum for the shipment of two million units to retailers.

Facebook post

 

Fleetwood Mac
David Montgomery / Getty Images

1982-fm

1982-gypsy-video-screen-cap

Categories
Mirage (1982)

Sleigh Bells’ Derek Miller digs Fleetwood Mac’s ‘Gypsy’

2013-1018-ew-sleigh-bells-gypsy-cropped

Brooklyn-based noise-pop duo Sleigh Bells (Alexis Krauss and Derek Miller) briefly mentioned Fleetwood Mac in the “Soundtrack of Our Lives” section of the October 18th issue of Entertainment Weekly.

My favorite jukebox jam
Miller: Fleetwood Mac, “Gypsy.” For me, this is going home and hanging out in Florida bars all night: playing lots of pool, drinking lots of whiskey, doing a lot of everything.

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BLOG: For What It's Worth... Fleetwood Mac Mirage (1982) Original Features Sisters of the Moon Vintage Video

VINTAGE VIDEO: ‘Sisters of the Moon’

“Sisters of the Moon” from Fleetwood Mac’s 1982 concert at the Los Angeles Forum is an essential performance by most longtime fans’ standards. “Intense silence” as she walks onto the stage, Stevie channels the spookier elements of “Rhiannon” and “Gold Dust Woman.” With her blond locks teased forward and black chiffon pulled over her head, she transforms from fragile gypsy beggar to high-octane rock and roll ballerina. It’s always sheer excitement to see Stevie so engaged and impassioned in tour-de-force rock mode, but the rest of the band seem to be having a great time, as well. With Lindsey rocking a verse, Christine head-banging at her keyboards, bug-eyed Mick fixated on Stevie’s curious movements, and even the normally-stoic John swinging his bass around a few times, “Sisters of the Moon” remains an unforgettable band moment in the Fleetwood Mac live catalog. It’s been more than 30 years since Fleetwood Mac performed the song in concert, but the anticipation has been building ever Stevie revealed on Thursday at SXSW that a resurrection is approaching on April 4…just in time for Easter. Perfect!

Categories
American Music Awards Mirage (1982)

Fleetwood Mac, Stevie Nicks get AMA nominations

Willie Nelson’s hit record Always on My Mind crossed over to capture top album nominations in both the rock ‘n’ roll and country categories in this year’s American Music Awards.

Fifteen awards will be given in three categories — rock, country and soul — during the 10th annual American Music Awards ceremonies broadcast live in a two-hour presentation Jan. 17 on ABC.

Winners are selected by the public, with 30,000 ballots sent to a national sampling of record buyers. Names of the nominees were compiled from the year-end record industry sales charts.

Although Nelson crossed into the rock category for the favorite album nominations, Aretha Franklin led all contenders with three nominations in the soul category — best album, best single and favorite vocalist.

Stevie Wonder received nominations for favorite male vocalist and favorite album for his Original Musicquarium I LP in the soul category. Wonder and Paul McCartney shared a nomination for favorite rock single with Ebony and Ivory.

Nominees for favorite male rock vocalist were McCartney, John Cougar and Rick Springfield, while best female rock vocalist hopefuls include Olivia Newton-John, Stevie Nicks and Diana Ross.

Favorite rock group nominees included Fleetwood Mac, the J. Geils Band, and Hall and Oates.

McCartney and Wonder’s Ebony and Ivory joined Survivor’s Eye of the Tiger and Lionel Richie’s Truly in contention for top rock single.

Journey’s Escape LP and Fleetwood Mac’s Mirage are up against Nelson’s Always on My Mind in the favorite rock album category.

Nominations for favorite male country vocalist were Charley Pride, Kenny Rogers and Conway Twitty, while Emmylou Harris, Barbara Mandrell and Sylvia were picked for top female country vocalist consideration.

Favorite country group nominations went to Alabama, the Oak Ridge Boys and the Statler Brothers.

Best country single nominees were Bobbie Sue by the Oak Ridge Boys, Love Will Turn You Around by Rogers and Nobody by Sylvia.

Joining Nelson in the top country album nominations were the Oak Ridge Boys’ Fancy Free and Alabama’s Mountain Music.

Rick James was nominated with Richie and Wonder in the favorite male soul vocalist, while Evelyn King and Diana Ross joined Franklin in the top female soul vocalist category.

The top soul group nominees were the Gap Band, Kool & the Gang and The Time.

Franklin’s Jump to It, King’s Love Come Down and Marvin Gaye’s Sexual Healing were nominated as best soul single, with James’ Throwin’ Down joining Jump to It and Original Musicquarium I in the favorite soul album category.

In addition, a special Award of Merit will be presented to a member of the musical community for “outstanding contributions over a long period of time to the musical entertainment of the American public.”

Previous winners include Bing Crosby, Berry Gordy Jr., Johnny Cash, Ella Fitzgerald, Benny Goodman, Chuck Berry and Stevie Wonder.

United Press International / January 4, 1983

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Mirage (1982)

Fleetwood Mac: Mirage

ROCK/POP

Fleetwood Mac: Mirage. 23607-1. The pleasures of this album are in its smooth, understated style and its fresh, uncomplicated melodies. It’s a distinctive flavor that’s been the group’s signature since the mid-70s, when Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks joined on. Although easily recognized, Fleetwood Mac is always welcome just the same, like the familiar tartness of an early fall apple. The group took a brief sojourn in the land of Tusk three years ago, in an album that surprised and confused some Fleetwood Mac fans. Nonetheless, the different-sounding title song, played with the University of Southern California Marching Band, washed refreshingly over a music scene dominated by soggy pop, hard rockers, and disco. Mirage, on the other hand, is more in style with their Fleetwood Mac and Rumours albums, and includes the hit song “Hold Me,” written by Christine McVie and Robbie Patton. It charms as only Fleetwood Mac can. The group is at their best on a tune like “That’s Alright,” written by Stevie Nicks, where the music flows casually yet smoothly, and the feeling is that the group got together only because they felt like making some music.

David Hugh Smith / Christian Science Monitor / December 9, 1982

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Mirage (1982)

Lucky Fleetwood Mac fan jet sets

For Randy Lane, an out-of-work laborer in Toledo, Ohio, one day had passed much like another since he was laid off last February. But all that changed a few weeks back when a sleek black limo pulled into the blue-collar neighborhood where Lane, 24, lives with his parents. Accompanied by his fiancée, Debbie Canning, and two friends, Lane piled into the limo and embarked on a whirlwind junket that would have left even the most jaded of groupies gasping.

It all started when Lane entered the “One Night Stand” with Fleetwood Mac contest sponsored by MTV, a nationwide cable channel that airs video rock music 24 hours a day. Lane’s winning entry was one of more than 200,000 received. With MTV picking up the tab, Lane and his three friends (two of whom had never flown before) were whisked by Learjet from Toledo to Phoenix. There another limo transported the star-struck quartet to the Compton Terrace Amphitheatre, where they dined at fresco with the band and made very small talk. (“Did you have a good trip?” “I really love your music”) Most notably, Randy and John McVie discussed sailing while Lane’s buddy, beer lover D.J. Cousino, swapped suds talk with Mick Fleetwood, who introduced a delighted D.J. to the pleasures of Foster’s Lager.

Lane and his pals were then treated to two hours of vintage Mac, the high point coming when Lindsey Buckingham dedicated “Hold Me” to “our good friends, Randy and Debbie.” After some quick postconcert farewells, it was back to the Learjet—and almost four hours later, Toledo. Nineteen hours after it began, the magical mystery tour was over.

After getting some sleep, Lane stopped in at his favorite hangout, Jim Dandy’s, and, between games of foosball, reflected on his good fortune. “That,” he said of the postage stamp on his winning entry, “was the best 20 cents ever spent.”

PHOTO (COLOR):Randy Lane had planned to propose to girlfriend Debbie Canning on the Learjet (left), but he jumped the gun. So Debbie—who accepted—settled for a re-enactment. Backstage in Phoenix, Lane enjoyed a preconcert chat with mighty Mac’s members: (from left) Lindsey Buckingham, Stevie Nicks, Christine McVie, John McVie and Mick Fleetwood.
PHOTO (COLOR):[See caption above.]
PHOTO (COLOR):While Randy and Debbie lived it up, pal D.J. Cousino (left) affected the detached look of a longtime limo rider.

People (Vol. 18 Issue 16, p32. 1p.) / October 18, 1982

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Mick Fleetwood Mirage (1982)

Mick Fleetwood affected by Malibu fire

Hundreds displaced, as firefighters continue to battle SoCal brush fire

Desert winds that fanned voracious brush fires through three Southern California counties died down today, helping firefighters control separate blazes that cut a $22 million swath of destruction.

Gov. Edmund G. Brown Jr. declared Los Angeles, Ventura and Orange counties disaster areas Sunday after the fiery weekend left at least 80 homeowners with only an armful of possessions.

Authorities said both the 17,000-acre Gypsum Canyon blaze in Orange County and the 54,000-acre Dayton Canyon fire in Los Angeles and Ventura counties would be contained by tonight.

‘We’re still holding full containment and should have control by 6 p.m.,’ county fire spokesman John Cummings said.

He said winds, which gusted up to 65 mph Saturday, had moderated to 15 to 30 mph.

‘We’d like it to be zero, but it’s better than what it was,’ he said. ‘We’ll have 300 men on the line and if we can complete our containment line, we’ll be in good shape.’

In Orange County, a fire dispatcher said ‘the winds have died down, but it still is pretty warm and dry.’

He predicted the blaze, 90 percent contained and 60 percent controlled, would be fully controlled by noon.

No deaths were reported, but 150 people, including more than 20 firefighters, were injured, most from smoke inhalation. Carcasses of small animals, some of them household pets and others the jackrabbits that abound in the scenic hillside areas, could be seen everywhere.

‘A lot of birds were falling right out of the sky,’ said Malibu ranch foreman Erich Garland.

At the height of the fires that began early Saturday with an apparent arson blaze in the rocky hills west of the San Fernando Valley and spread quickly through tinder-dry brush, horses jammed narrow canyon routes of escape, searching for a haven from the hot, orange glow from the north.

Residents dumped silver and precious antique lamps into swimming pools, then filled automobiles with valuables before abandoning multimillion dollar oceanview homes to flames licking at doorsteps.

In Orange County, officials said the fire destroyed 16 homes and damaged numerous farm structures about 35 miles southeast of Los Angeles. Damage was estimated at $16 million.

About 60 miles northwest of that blaze, the season’s feared Santa Ana winds — ‘devil winds’ — had arrived with a vengeance and blowtorched flames over 54,000 acres on a 20-mile rampage to the sea.

At least 20 homes were destroyed in Latigo Canyon, where burned-out automobiles were parked in driveways, the hillsides were denuded and smoldering, and flames still licked at tree stumps.

Forty-two mobile homes were incinerated in picturesque Paradise Cove. Officials placed the loss at $6 million, although they conceded the dollar loss could go much higher.

Investigators said a fire in Dayton Canyon was deliberately set, and one official noted the area had been plagued with arson during the past several months.

‘One month ago,’ said Batallion Chief Donald Grant, ‘there was a flurry of activity for a week and there was a fire every night.’

In Paradise Cove, dazed residents looked over what was left of the mobile home village familiar to fans of television sleuth Jim Rockford, who lived in a rusty trailer in the cove during the ‘Rockford Files’ days.

‘It looks so strange to see that metal like that,’ said Barbara Copeland, surveying the twisted wreckage that was once her mobile home. ‘The refrigerator melted.’

Rock star Mick Fleetwood of Fleetwood Mac was among hundreds of residents above Malibu who were forced to flee.

Fleetwood packed a number of paintings in the back of his car and carefully placed two $20,000 Tiffany lamps at the bottom of his swimming pool before abandoning his $4 million Ramirez Canyon home. Firefighters said it was believed that flames bypassed the home.

Chris Chrystal / UPI News / October 11, 1982

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Mirage (1982)

Stevie Nicks recovering from the flu

Stevie Nicks, vocalist with Fleetwood Mac and one of rock music’s top sex symbols, is recuperating from a bout with the flu at her parent’s home in Phoenix, a spokesman said Thursday.

Miss Nicks’ illness earlier forced the band, whose current hit album Mirage led the pop charts for several weeks and is now ranked No. 2, to postpone concerts in Los Angeles and Oakland, Calif.

“Stevie’s got a slight case of the flu,” Larry Solters, the singer’s spokesman at Frontline Management, said. “She is currently recuperating at her parent’s home. It is not a serious illness.”

“The band hopes to go back to work very soon,” Bob Gibson, a spokesman for the group, said, “but of course it depends on her health.”

He said the singer was expected to perform with the band in Memphis, Tenn., next Tuesday. The group’s Oakland concert has been rescheduled for Oct. 20, he said, and the Los Angeles dates for Oct. 21-22.

Miss Nicks got her start in rock music in the early 1970s, when she performed with the band Fritz in the San Francisco Bay Area. She then formed a duet with singer-guitarist Lindsey Buckingham, and they both joined Fleetwood Mac in 1975.

The group’s most recent concert tour included the top billing on the final day of the Labor Day weekend US Festival near San Bernardino, Calif.

UPI News / October 7, 1982

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Mirage (1982)

Fleetwood Mac whips troubles, working chemistry aids band

Mick Fleetwood was in a hurry.

He was at the tail-end of a full afternoon of phone interviews with the press, one more rehearsal was scheduled and there were the usual business matters to be completed — all in preparation for Fleetwood Mac’s 1982 American tour.

The group performs in the Myriad at 8 p.m. Sunday.

“I’ve got a doctor’s appointment in a few minutes,” came the drummer’s remarkably unhurried, British-accented apology over the crackling phone line.

“I’ve got hypoglycemia. Gotta get the old sugar count checked out before we go on the road.”

The tour was set to begin in two days at the time of our brief chat, and Fleetwood Mac’s new album, Mirage, was already sitting at No. 1 on the national charts.

“It’s doin’ great,” Fleetwood said happily. “We’re very happy with this album because it feels, we think, a lot more integrated, more of a band effort, than the last one did.”

The group’s previous LP, Tusk, was an ambitious double-record package which, Fleetwood admitted, had a more “segregated” feel to it. The album seemed to be a collection of solo performances by the group’s three songwriters — Stevie Nicks, Christine McVie and especially Lindsey Buckingham.

“There was a lot of experimental stuff done on that album,” Fleetwood reflected. “But had it been a single album I don’t think people would’ve been half as overly-aware of that particular aspect of it.

“We suffered a little because of that. People felt we were doing things differently.

“When you’ve got a double album, obviously the styles of all the individual songwriters — which are very different as I’m sure you’re aware — are more apparent.

“You became much more aware of which songs were Stevie’s, which ones were Christine’s. And Lindsey, well, he had the bulk of the songs. I think eight or nine.”

On several of Buckingham’s Tusk contributions, the lead guitarist played all of the instruments on the tracks.

“None of that went on on this album (Mirage),” Fleetwood said.

“We have a working chemistry in this band. We became aware of just using that.”

Fleetwood formed the first incarnation of Fleetwood Mac in 1967 in England with fellow John Mayall alumni John McVie (bass) and Peter Green (guitar/vocals). They also had support of guitarist/vocalist Jeremy Spencer.

Through the years, the band has gone through numerous reincarnations, and the lengthy list of former members includes Green, Spencer, Danny Kirwan, Dave Walker, Bob Weston and Bob Welch.

Beginning as a band heavily steeped in American blues, the ever-changing Fleetwood Mac began to move more into contemporary and progressive styles of rock ‘n’ roll.

But while they garnered a devoted cult following, the group never attained more than modest commercial success.

Through a long process of trial and error, Fleetwood finally developed a winning formula, first with the addition of John’s wife, Christine, on vocals and keyboards and finally with a little-known songwriting and performing duo, Americans Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks.

In 1975, Fleetwood Mac, the first album with this new lineup, went platinum and yielded three hits, “Over My Head,” “Rhiannon” and “Say You Love Me.”

Buckingham’s distinctive and unusual acoustic and electric guitar stylizations, coupled with the perfect blend of the three singers’ voices and imaginative songwriting talents, created a brand new Fleetwood Mac sound.

But just when things were finally beginning to look rosy came the much publicized break-up of John and Christine and the long-standing relationship of Stevie and Lindsey.

It was a traumatic time for the band and for Fleetwood in particular, who was charged with holding together a band made up of ex-lovers and ex-spouses.

“None of the old battle scars still exists,” he recalls now. “That’s long since gone. That was all able to be coped with, which wasn’t easy.”

Someone in the background reminded Fleetwood of his doctor’s appointment just when he was beginning to warm to the subject of his own work, but he allowed one last question: What kind of show can the fans expect this time around?

“Well, we don’t believe in flash-pots, y’know,” he chuckled. “Just basically, we’ll get up and do a two and a half hour show, some old stuff and then a chunk of the new album — just going for it.”

Gene Triplett / The Daily Oklahoman / September 23, 1982

Categories
1982 Mirage Tour Fleetwood Mac Mirage (1982)

REVIEW: The Mac is back

Fleetwood Mac hits overdrive for 13,500 fans at Centrum; Fleetwood Mac at Worcester Centrum, Wednesday

Fleetwood Mac was on the spot. Even loyal partisans wondered if they could put aside their famed ego conflicts and pull together in concert. All year there have been rumors of a breakup, piled on top of rumors the band was losing steam and purpose.

But to all worry-warts and doubters came this emphatic news Wednesday: The Mac is Back.

Pledging a new stance of unity, the Mac roared through an exhilarating 160-minute show, leaving a full house of 13,500 fans in a blissful stupor.

“A lot of people thought Fleetwood Mac was no more, but we’re here to show you we’re still doing it!” singer Lindsey Buckingham shouted in a moment of bravado, setting the all-out, committed tone of the night.

Where the band’s new album, Mirage, was short on energy — helping fuel some of the negative rumors — their concert was a high-powered coup. Four songs from Mirage were played (Buckingham’s cascading “Eyes of the World,” Stevie’ Nick’s gracefully haunting “Gypsy,” Christine McVie’s breezy “Love in Store” and the band’s whimsical hit “Hold Me”), but each had an intensity, exemplified by Buckingham’s rejuvenated guitar, that far outshone the studio versions.

A big factor was drummer Mick Fleetwood, who drove the band as in the days of old. Raising his sticks in the air with his aircraft-carrier arms, he constantly pushed the band to smoking crescendos. Add to this John McVie’s reaffirmed bass work (a complete change from his languid jamming on John Mayall’s recent Bluesbreakers Reunion tour), and it was clear the Mac still had the rhythm section of rhythm sections.

After a nifty warmup set from Men at Work, who literally worked hard with an active stage show on top of creative, sophisticated rock, Fleetwood romped through their hits (heavy doses from their Rumours LP), sliced with judicious cuts from their experimental Tusk LP (Buckingham’s “Not That Funny” included a spectacular, African-tinged drum solo by tireless drummer Fleetwood) and a remembrance of Mac founder Peter Green in a cover of his blues-rock anthem “Oh Well.”

Stevie Nicks and Christine McVie were equally keyed up. Nicks staggered at first (she was off-key on “Rhiannon”), but shed her nervousness and joined the festive spirit, kissing the other members in a very intimate, unplanned gesture. McVie, the Mac’s earthy anchor, sang beautifully all evening, pouring out tete-a-tete romantic dialogues.

No songs were done from any members’ solo albums. This was a strictly Fleetwood Mac night, suffused by a camaraderie and unselfishness that laid all worries to rest.

Steve Morse / Boston Globe / September 17, 1982

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1982 Mirage Tour Fleetwood Mac Mirage (1982)

REVIEW: Fleetwood Mac on Mirage tour

FLEETWOOD MAC’S records have always been better than its live shows. On records, the band has achieved a lovable blend of lyrical effervescence and studio polish. In concert, subtleties have been coarsened and Stevie Nicks in particular has undercut her impact with raw singing and loopy stage behavior.

But the band’s only New York area show on its current Mirage tour, Tuesday night at the Brendan Byrne Arena in East Rutherford, N.J., was the best Fleetwood Mac show in this writer’s experience. Miss Nicks has found a persuasive way of capitalizing on her assets, and the band as a whole performed with tightness and intensity.

”Pleasing” is the operative word, however. Even with as tight and powerful a rhythm section as rock can offer, in Mick Fleetwood and John McVie, Fleetwood “hit” Mac is not a band to build to overwhelming concert climaxes. Quirky, buoyant pop, soulful lyricism and mysterious witcheries are more its game. The set meandered over its two-hour length, bursting out at the beginning with some of the group’s most impassioned songs but then settling down to more commonplace ups and downs.

Miss Nicks provided several of the ups. She has lost the reedy fragility of her mid-1970’s voice. But she compensates with a hoarser, rougher rock contralto, and her stage demeanor blends glamour and a kind of dangerous charm. Lindsey Buckingham still has an underlying streak of bizarreness that seems more unsettling than stimulating, and his rave-up guitar solo — as well as Mr. Fleetwood’s drum solo — lacked the communicative artistry that such solos can entail; it was mostly note-ridden bedazzlement, and as such elicited the predictable ovation. But Mr. Buckingham is also responsible for some of the group’s best songs, and his clear, effortlessly produced tenor is now the highest voice in the band.

Christine McVie, the keyboard player and third singer — there was also an anonymous guitarist on stage for some songs — was disappointing. Or, more properly, the uses to which she was put were disappointing. Her songs have always served as calm, cool contrast to the rest, but Tuesday they were slighted or arranged in an overly forceful manner.

The set as a whole proved valuable beyond its function as tightly crafted entertainment. Never before has the band’s post-Buckingham Nicks material seemed so much of a piece. The Fleetwood Mac album established this configuration, with Rumours as a venturesome yet commercially potent follow-up. Tusk is generally considered a deviation, however, and Mirage a calculated return to form.

But Tuesday’s performance stressed the disquieting oddities of the supposedly “safe” material and the accessibility of much of Tusk. It’s all one band, a perilous but potent mixture of unstable ingredients. And while it may not aspire to the heights of rock passion, it still makes honorable, even moving music lower down on the slopes.

John Rockwell / New York Times / September 16, 1982

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Mirage (1982)

Fleetwood Mac: Where’s Stevie?

1982-mirage-album-coverFANTASY ISLAND, Ca. – On the kitchen table in Mick Fleetwood’s Malibu mansion sits a model of the stage design for Fleetwood Mac’s upcoming American tour.

In between the tiny amplifiers, drums and pianos stand cardboard cutouts representing the five members of then band. There’s a Lindsey Buckingham doll, a John McVie doll, etceteras. Why does the Stevie Nicks doll have a cigarette burn where her heart is supposed to be? And why is a hand crumpling the flat, white expressionless thing into a little ball and tossing it into a trash can?

MALIBU, Ca. – This scenario is entirely fictitious. It is a product of a demented writer’s imagination, fuelled by observations of Stevie Nick’s apparent hostility towards the rest of Fleetwood Mac, encouraged by sadistic editor, and starved by the brain-damaged illegals who run the hotel where I ordered a room-service burger that never came and attempted to write about what really happened at Mick Fleetwood’s house that afternoon.

Certainly Mick Fleetwood, Lindsey Buckingham and Christine McVie, who were all present for the interview, did nothing to suggest the above fantasy; but all three did speak somewhat wearily of the constant speculation on the part of the press and public about the future of the band. They also acknowledged that here is more grist for the rumor mill than ever before: The roaring success of Nick’s solo album, Bella Donna, and her absence from recording sessions, interviews (at least those concerning Fleetwood Mac) and tour preparations seem ample evidence to support the notion that the singer has reached the point of self-sufficiency.

Whether the topic was songwriting, recording or personalities, the conversation kept drifting back to the subject of Stevie Nicks, while the equally-absent John McVie was discussed only briefly and in the most benign of terms. The bassist, a road animal and an acknowledged studiophone, was sailing in the Virgin Islands at the time of the interview and was due to join the band a few days later to rehearse. Nicks, on the other hand, was scheduled to show up only for the last ten days of work prior to the start of the tour.

“She phones her part in,” says McVie without a trace of irony. “She asks what songs we plan on doing and what songs we want her to do. The rest of it will be decided between Mick, Lindsey and me.”

“I’m not that excited about touring myself,” admits Buckingham, who frequently expresses his preference for working in the recording studio. “But it’s something we should do, so I’m definitely going to do it. If you do an album, you might as well complete the cycle — otherwise, why do the album?” Fleetwood notes that “for the better part of six years, we all had a huge commitment to Fleetwood Mac. All we did was tour. I think that if after this much time there isn’t some sort of base that can withstand a certain amount of pounding from the people who helped create it, then it’s pretty useless.

“People have been waiting for us to break up for years, and the subject’s coming up again. The most likely one to disappear is Stevie, but there’s absolutely no way of telling whether she wants to go off and not be a part of the band, and at other times it’s the opposite.”

But there’s more to it than that. In arranging this interview, it was apparent at nearly every turn that Stevie Nicks has set herself apart from the rest of Fleetwood Mac in a way which is not exactly in the spirit of commitment. She has a record company virtually all to herself – Modern Records has released no product other than Bella Donna — and she alone among the Mac is represented by the industry’s most grudgingly-respecting hardballer. Irving Azoff, it should be noted, owns no piece of Fleetwood Mac’s action; and though his interest in this matter is solely Stevie Nicks, there’s no evidence to indicate that he’s responsible for pushing her away from the band.

No one in the Fleetwood Mac organization seems to know for sure what Nicks’ intentions are with respect to the band, and when asked if she would respond to specific issues raised in the interview with the others, a representative of Azoff’s company said, “She just wants to work on her record.”

It’s not hard to understand why Nicks might be reluctant to return to the enforced democracy of a five piece band after having established herself as a triple-platinum act with her own material and musicians — both in the studio and on the road — whose defined role is to play her music her way. But would Fleetwood Mac survive her departure?

“Why not?” asks Fleetwood from the vantage point of one who’s seen some key personnel losses in his time: Fleetwood Mac numbers among its alumni Peter Green, Jeremy Spencer, Danny Kirwan and Bob Welch, all of whom were seen (by outsiders as least) as vital components of the Mac’s music. “I don’t think there’ll be a reason to madly look for someone else. If someone disappears, then that’s what happens. Who knows? The whole thing might blow up.”

“I might leave,” McVie chimes in. “How about that?”

Fleetwood then offers the ultimate scenario: “When it’s all totally finished I’ll probably still be standing there, totally deluded and thinking that everyone was still around me, waiting to go on stage.”

Touché

Fleetwood seems less concerned with the prospect of another personnel change that with maintaining an emphasis on musical growth. “I respect the fact that we’re still being creative and enjoying ourselves. The reason why we’re still here is that there is an underlying commitment to respecting the band, no matter how many times you might get fed up with it.”

1982 Fleetwood Mac Mirage“There is definitely a chemistry that transcends everything else that might happen before or after we’re on stage,” McVie elaborates. “We play well together and sing well together. That side of Fleetwood Mac I really enjoy. And I feel very comfortable working with Lindsey. Dare I say this with him present?” She casts an affectionate wink his way. “I have a lot of respect for this man; I don’t really imagine anybody else being able to do what he does with my songs.

“There have been many rough times,” she continues, “but we’ve always ended up on some high note, standing around and jamming, or whatever, just really getting a charge out of playing together. It’s a joyous situation, and that takes over the bad points.”

“That may have something to do with why Stevie is the way she is now,” Buckingham suggests. “Because she is not a musician, she doesn’t share in that thing with us. She can feel totally out of her depth – which she is, on some levels – and you can understand why she doesn’t want to come down to the studio or be involved in certain things.”

In spite of the overwhelming commercial success of her solo album, there is a certain, well, amateurish quality to Nicks’ songs. The way she lays a lyric across a melody sometimes makes for awkward phrasing and contributes to the spaciness of her musical persona, as does her rather childish lyrical point of view regarding life and love.

Buckingham, Nicks’s former lover and bandmate of hers since the late ‘60s, when both were members of a Bay Area group called Fritz, admits to having always considered her songs “a little flaky.” But, “there’s obviously something about her material that people relate to. She’s always been a little bit hard for me to take seriously, because I really appreciate a beat, having been weaned on Elvis and Little Richard and Chuck Berry.

“There’s something emotional that gets through, through,” he says, “and her voice’s so recognizable. I’ve been listening to Stevie sing for years and years, and when you’re that close to it, it’s easy to overlook certain aspects of anything.”

“Stevie’s very prolific,” McVie notes. “She writes constantly, and all her songs are like babies to her, even though some of them are rubbish. When I write, I sit down and work on an idea until it’s finished, but Stevie cranks out songs all the time.”

Between her songs and the way she appears to be conducting her life, Stevie Nicks comes off as a modern-day equivalent to the movie queens of the ‘30s, reaching inside herself for some ill-defined personal misery to fuel her creative machinery. Buckingham says that in all the time he’s known her, “Stevie has never been very happy, and I don’t think the success of her album has made her any happier. In fact it may have made her less happy.

“She’s flexing come kind of emotional muscles that she feels she can flex now that she’s in a more powerful position. There’s a certain amount of leeway in how you can interpret Stevie’s behavior, I’d say, but at the same time there’s no denying that her success is making her feel that she can pull things that she wouldn’t have felt comfortable pulling before. And most of them aren’t particularly worthwhile, but she’s venting something — loneliness, unhappiness or something.”

When a band member chooses not to participate fully in the process of making an album, it puts a certain kind of pressure on the people who do the work. Given the unique approach that Buckingham takes to record-making, it’s easy to see how an artist as moody as Stevie Nicks could second-guess what he does to her material.

It’s in discussing the musicians’ studio relationship that he most complete picture of Fleetwood Mac emerges. Here, egos collide and coalesce for months on end; the pop magic that results has, ultimately, little to do with technology or technique, and everything to do with talented artists following the late sportswriter Red Smith’s dictum on how to do your best work: “Open a vein and bleed.”

“There’s an exquisite sense of checks and balances in Fleetwood Mac, and that’s one of the things that makes the band work,” Buckingham observes. “Everybody’s always checking each other out to a certain degree, not only in choosing the material but on every level of our creativity. Maybe that contributes to the albums taking as long as they do. It’s not the most efficient way to do things, but it does seem effective in the end.”

While it’s not unusual for a band member to walk into the studio, criticize the music and then walk out again, Buckingham is philosophical about it. “It’s just something you expect to happen from time to time,” he says. “It just goes with the territory.”

Fleetwood agrees. “We definitely have a problem sometimes with Stevie and John, but if they hate being in the studio then they certainly have less right to complain about what’s done. That’s just a matter of fairness — and that’s why I hate being away from the studio. There are usually two or three poignant moments during the making of an album where there are hurt feelings walking around — ‘What have you done to my songs,’ or that sort of thing. But there’s also a lot of stuff which is appreciated by others.”

“Having a producer’s kind of mind, I might take something too far,” concedes Buckingham, “but it’s better to have too much on a track and prune it back than to not have enough.”

“Lindsey’s never that adamant about keeping a track a certain way,” comments McVie. “If everyone says that they think it’s caca, then obviously he’s not going to feel happy about it being on there anyway.”

1982 Fleetwood Mac Schlitz BeerBuckingham has been referring to Mirage as “a reconciliation of opposites” from the time of the first sessions. “There are some aspects of Tusk and some aspects of Rumours,” he explains, “but Mirage is a much more of a band album than Tusk was. After Rumours sold 16 or 17 million copies, we had the freedom — and the courage — to try some other things.

“I got a lot of support from the band during the making of Tusk, but when it became apparent that it wasn’t going to sell 15 million albums, the attitudes started to change. That was sad for me in a way, because it makes me wonder where everyone’s priorities are. To me, the point of making records is to shake people’s preconceptions about pop.”

Fleetwood says that making Tusk was crucial from a strategic standpoint. “It was no big master plan, really, but Tusk may be the most important album this band will ever do — strategically, apart from the music.

“If we hadn’t done Tusk, Lindsey would have a problem expressing himself within Fleetwood Mac,” he continues, pointing out also that Buckingham extended his Tusk experimentation on his solo album, Law and Order, and brought the fruits of his labors to bear more subtly on Mirage.

“One of the reasons Tusk happened the way it did was because I wasn’t doing any solo work,” Buckingham says. “On Tusk I was doing a lot of things at my house, playing a lot of instruments myself, just like I did on Law and Order. That’s a valid approach to making records. But this time I wanted all my songs to be band songs, and result of that is an album that is a little less bizarre. Tusk had things that were good artistically, but it wasn’t good for the whole band, and I thought that I should limit that to my solo albums. If I want to be in a band, we should play as a band — and maybe the result of that is that Mirage is a little more traditional in some senses.”

Traditional in every respect, one might say, except that 14 months passed between the first sessions (at Le Chateau in Herouville, France, later switching to Larabie Sound and the Record Plant in L.A.) and the album’s release. Buckingham quips that “Fleetwood Mac albums take about five years off your life,” but is stumped when asked to explain why.

McVie jumps in. “Well, this particular one wouldn’t have taken quite so long had it not been for all the other albums (meaning Lindsey’s, Stevie’s and Mick’s solo LP’s) that were being made as well.”

It’s fitting that McVie came to Buckingham’s aid when he was at a loss of words: although it’s not generally recognized, the two share a mutual respect for each other as musicians that pulls the band together in a special way. “I’m not really a writer. That’s not my strong point, lyrical or melody wise. “Trouble” (on Law and Order) is a good melody, “Go Your Own Way.” I’ve had my moments, but I don’t consider that to be my strong point at all. It’s the style involved.”

Says McVie: “I don’t tell Lindsey, for example, ‘I want you to play such-and-such kind of guitar, that lick,’ That’s why Lindsey has got the additional production credit on the album — he’s been largely responsible for helping to bring across on the record the atmosphere that I want to come over on a song that I write.”

“She and I have a real valid kind of rapport between us,” Buckingham continues, “something that was there before we even met. It’s like she can play the piano and I can play the guitar just wonderfully along with her. It’s almost like parallel lines during our formative years of music until we met, and it gave us a lot of common ground.”

For McVie, the bottom line is that “we play well together,” referring to the entire band. “A lot of parts of Fleetwood Mac are really fun and rewarding. Of course, there are other people that we all play with and work with that are just as much fun, but not quite in the same way, I dare say, just because of the amount of years we’ve had together.”

“When you play with other people, of course, it’s a lot of fun,” Fleetwood states, “but I would say it’s very unlikely — certainly for myself — that this situation will ever happen again in the reference of a musical combination. That commitment’s really the reason why the band is still here.”

With the mention of the word “commitment,” the talk again turns to Stevie Nicks. The disinterested observer can’t help but question her contribution as this point, but the musicians who work with her are a bit more charitable in their analyses and deductions.

“There’ve been many times when she might come out in the studio and try and sing along, and we’d tend to say, “Don’t do that right now, let us work this out first,” says McVie. “Now she’d just go to the studio and go, “There’s no need for me to be here.” She does feel left out.”

Fleetwood’s take on the whole situation is that the process Fleetwood Mac goes through form day one in the studio through to the finished product is a highly-disciplined one, and that “Stevie doesn’t have the appreciation. She just emotes and goes into something, which is exactly her forte. But she does that all the time rather than being able to control and place where she does it — which is not a fault, it’s just the way it is.”

But the key to understanding Fleetwood Mac in 1982 is not in wondering so much about the future without Stevie Nicks, but in understanding that the point was and always has been to make good music, and have fun doing it. Maybe that’s why Fleetwood himself can seem so unconcerned when discussing Nicks — the band plays on, regardless. “That notion is the most important thing: appreciating in a non-belabored way that the key element with all the people is to make the mistake of being very boring, and realizing all too late that they are fucking boring. Then the magic’s gone; whatever’s there has long since passed you by.

“I consider myself very lucky to have been involved in a situation which had a lot of groundwork what led you to being able to make very objective, humorous analogies to what you’re doing, and having no puffed-up illusions about how important you are.”

And at that point, the question of whether or not Mirage is the end of Fleetwood Mac as we now know it is moot. In fact, McVie says “it definitely isn’t.

“This band has lived from day-to-day for seven years or so,” she points out, “and there’s always been some kind of turmoil from within — that’s common knowledge. I’m quite sure we’ll go on for another seven years doing the same thing.”

© David Gans / The Record / September 1982

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Fleetwood Mac Mirage (1982)

Pop music’s heyday said to be waning amid falling sales

Pop music’s worst business summer in recent years is drawing to a close, and some insiders in the music industry are saying that an era appears to be ending.

Summer concert revenues are down drastically from previous years, pop record sales are a fraction of what they were in the 1970’s, and music industry executives are increasingly concerned that young people are taping albums rather than buying them and spending their money on video games rather than on records and concert tickets.

CBS Records announced yesterday that it was discharging 300 employees — 15 percent of its professional staff -including several vice presidents, and reducing its regional branch offices from 20 to 10.

Robert Altschuler, the company’s vice president of press and public affairs, attributed the dismissals and branch reorganization to “current and projected market conditions.”

‘Real Bottoming-Out’

Another insider in the record business said that there had been “an almost complete lack of business, a real bottoming-out.” The CBS action is the latest and most severe cutback in a wave that has swept the industry and is expected to continue at other companies.

Ironically, many of rock’s top artists and most rock critics feel that artistically the music is stronger and fresher than it has been in a long time. A number of established artists have just made their best albums in years, and the big-city rock-club circuit has been launching a succession of new bands. But these bands have been spectacularly unsuccessful in attracting audiences.

Ever since the beginning of the 1970’s, when pop music surpassed motion pictures as America’s biggest-grossing entertainment medium, summer has meant big outdoor concerts, big cross-country tours by rock’s most popular bands and a full schedule at such rock concert halls as the Asbury Park (N.J.) Convention Hall and the Palladium in New York.

The biggest groups used to time their album releases to the beginning of summer vacation, hoping to come up with one of those magical summer hits that blasts from every radio and sells like hotcakes from June through September. As soon as those summer albums hit the stores, the groups would hit the road, where the immense seating capacity of outdoor stadiums and summer rock festivals virtually guaranteed that they would “clean up.”

But those days are over. “Of 14 shows at the Asbury Park Convention Hall this summer, only four made money,” John Scher, New Jersey’s major rock-concert promoter, said. “Five years ago we would have called it a bad summer if we’d had three or four unprofitable shows. We also used to put on two or three big outdoor shows every year in Giants Stadium; now we’re doing one or two of those shows every one or two years.

“The only groups that can fill a Giants Stadium now are a small handful of very, very big acts — the Rolling Stones, the Who and Bruce Springsteen.”

Dropoff in Sales

“It’s the 1980’s, and the cream is definitely off the top of the business,” said Irving Azoff, manager of some of the biggest rock stars. Back in the 70’s, five of Mr. Azoff’s clients, the Eagles, sold 15 million copies of their “Hotel California” album and broke attendance records across the country. He also manages members of Fleetwood Mac, whose Rumours album almost matched the Eagles’ sales.

Now the Eagles have disbanded, and the band’s members are pursuing solo careers, with varying degrees of success. Fleetwood Mac has another No. 1 album, Mirage, but sales are in such a slump that it is unlikely to achieve more than a fraction of the sales of Rumours. While the group is going on the road this month, it will not be raking in the money at stadium concerts and outdoor festivals.

Fleetwood Mac only had offers to do two outdoor shows in the whole country,” according to Mr. Azoff. “One was in a town that doesn’t have a large indoor arena; the other was the Us Festival, which is scheduled to take place Labor Day weekend in San Bernardino County in California and is going to be the summer’s only really big festival. There’s a very good reason why groups like Fleetwood Mac aren’t doing more stadium shows — the kids aren’t buying tickets.”

Charts Are Not a Guarantee

The kids are not buying records, either. As recently as the mid-70’s, the record industry was still enjoying the phenomenal spiraling growth that had carried it through the previous 15 years, when record sales doubled six times. Income from sales last year came to $3.6 billion, but the handwriting was on the wall; the industry shipped 55 million fewer albums and singles than in 1980.

Performance on the best-seller charts no longer means huge sales. CBS undertook its cutback in spite of the fact that 24 of its albums are in the top 100.

“Most of the executive-level record-company employees I know are being optimistic in public,” a CBS employee said recently, “talking about weathering a temporary downswing and learning to live with more modest expectations. But in private they’re talking Doomsday.”

The popular-music industry has singled out several villains to blame for its present ills. The record industry’s No. 1 villain is home-taping – the youngster with the cassette recorder who tapes a friend’s album or tapes the album’s best songs off the radio rather than buy the album.

Lobbying for Royalties

Stan Gortikov, president of the Recording Industry Association of America, charges that “last year our industry sold the equivalent of about 475 million albums.” “But at the same time,” he added, “about 455 million albums were home-taped.”

His figures, he said, were based on an elaborate survey financed and conducted by Warner Bros. Records in 1980. Record-industry leaders are lobbying for national legislation that would require manufacturers and importers of blank cassettes and cassette recorders to pay royalties to the record companies and artists who are ostensibly losing income because of taping. If the legislation were enacted, the cassette manufacturers and importers could probably be expected to pass their increased costs on to consumers.

Another likely villain is the sweeping popularity of video games. “I go down to the Asbury Park boardwalk now and see all these kids putting $5 or $10 worth of quarters into a video game,” Mr. Scher said. “There are hundreds and hundreds of those games along the boardwalk now, and there’s no doubt in my mind that an awful lot of kids who would have spent that money on records or concert tickets a couple of years ago are now spending it in the game arcades.

“Add to that the unprecedented number of popular youth-oriented movies that are showing this summer, and it adds up to a lot of competition for pop music.”

Lack of Promotion

No clear-cut connection can be proved, but most youngsters have limited allowances, and as revenues from video games continue to soar, revenues from record and concert sales plummet.

Then there is radio. CBS, Warner’s and the other major record companies have not been falling over one another to record and promote fresh young performers who might capture the imagination of record buyers and help reverse the slump. The new groups that do manage to win recording contracts get very little air play. Album-oriented rock stations, called AOR, have become entrenched and conservative, resistant to new sounds and new faces.

“Half the groups you hear on AOR these days are dead,” said Rick Carroll, program director at Los Angeles’s KROQ, one of the few successful FM rock stations that consistently play new bands and new music.

“Radio stinks,” Mr. Azoff said. “The stations are making a lot of money, but they just aren’t taking chances.” The song that gets the most air play and the most requests at FM rock stations nowadays is “Stairway to Heaven,” a track from a 1971 album by the defunct Led Zeppelin.

Rampant Standardization

In recent months, some of the leading AOR stations — WMET-FM in Chicago, WCOZ-FM in Boston and WLLZ-FM in Detroit — have seen their audience-popularity ratings tumble by as much as two-thirds. These and most other AOR stations maintain strict and very limited lists of what records disk jockeys are allowed to play, and in many cases the contents of the playlists are determined by successful programming consultants.

Even Lee Abrams, the most successful consultant — his Superstars format is heard on 80 AOR stations — concedes that the standardization has gotten out of hand. “Consultants have taken away the spontaneity and magic of AOR,” he added.

The ratings success in Los Angeles of KROQ, which is rapidly closing in on the city’s entrenched AOR heavyweights, KMET-FM and KLOS-FM, has given supporters of new rock some cause for optimism. Most new-wavers are convinced that their music would inject enough freshness and sparkle into radio to reverse the listener desertions that are plaguing more and more of the conservative, rigidly formatted AOR giants.

New-Wave Arena Fare

The way things are going in the rock-concert business suggests that this could be true. The promoters of an Aug. 21 concert at the John F. Kennedy Stadium in Philadelphia, one of the summer’s handful of big outdoor shows, beefed up a bill topped by the venerable British progressive band Genesis with two new-wave favorites, Elvis Costello and Blondie, rather than with standard arena-rock fare.

The country’s leading rock promoter, Bill Graham, is leaning heavily toward new-wave groups in booking for the Us Festival, which is scheduled to include an elaborate computer and video fair and is the only really ambitious outdoor festival of the season.

Groups that have agreed to perform include the Police, the Talking Heads, the English Beat and the B-52’s as well as the more established and conservative Fleetwood Mac, Santana and Jackson Browne.

Many insiders feel that the record industry’s ills boil down to a simple lack of consumer interest and that most of the music that CBS, Warner’s and the other big labels have been recording and releasing in recent years has not been engaging.

Problem of Boredom

Rock critics tend to agree; albums made by young groups with strong local followings and released by small independent labels have placed at or near the top of most critics’ annual 10-best-albums lists. Some of the small labels that have been releasing consistently vital music are Sugarhill of Englewood, N.J., which has popularized rap records, a black, inner-city phenomenon, and the punk-oriented Slash label, which built the popular Los Angeles club bands X and the Blasters into nationally known acts.

The critics feel that many of the rock fans who seem bored with the latest superstar product would take to the music of the younger performers if the fans were exposed to it. But AOR stations do not play the new material, and only record stores that sell imports and independent releases to a relatively small and discriminating audience stock it.

Some established artists whose records do get played on radio and sold in the major chain stores feel threatened by the new wave of youngsters. But a surprising number of stars agree with the newwavers and critics that AOR radio is boring and that the major record companies are not signing enough younger performers.

In recent conversations, Rod Stewart, Mick Jagger of the Rolling Stones and Peter Wolf of the J. Geils Band criticized radio and the major labels for playing it safe and praised a number of younger bands and independent record companies for taking chances.

‘Hard to Keep Up With Them’

“Anybody who thinks this is a lousy period for music just isn’t listening,” Mr. Wolf said. “Every city has good bands playing original songs and clubs where they can play, which is something you didn’t see back in the early and middle 1970’s. There are so many new bands coming up with fresh ideas and playing with the kind of fire that rock-and-roll is supposed to have that it’s hard to keep up with them.

“We all listen to all the new music we can get our hands on, and we pay particularly close attention to college radio stations, which are the only stations consistently playing the new, adventurous stuff. Fortunately, we live in Boston, where there’s great college radio. People out there in Middle America don’t get a chance to hear much new stuff, if any. No wonder they’re not listening to the radio or going to as many concerts or buying as many records as they used to.”

If so many insiders agree on the causes and dimensions of the crisis, why is not more being done to combat it? “Our business just isn’t reacting,” Mr. Azoff said. “Actually, the big companies have reacted by cutting back, trimming their staffs and their budgets. I think there’s going to be more of that.

“And, of course, that means it will take even longer for the industry to get healthy again, because what’s going to be cut first? Who’s going to suffer?

“The new acts, the future of the industry.”

Robert Palmer / New York Times / August 14, 1982

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Fleetwood Mac Mirage (1982)

THE POP LIFE: Fleetwood Mac – Mirage

Fleetwood Mac Mirage cover 1982FLEETWOOD MAC’S Mirage (Warner Bros.) has already climbed to the top of the album best-seller charts, just a few weeks after its release. It sounds as if it could repeat the phenomenal commercial success of Rumours, which made the present Fleetwood Mac lineup into a supergroup several years ago and went on to become one of the best-selling pop-rock albums of all time.

It also sounds a lot like a tinkly, trebly musical wind-up toy. The group’s experienced rhythm section and founders, Mick Fleetwood (drums) and John McVie (bass), lock into step so perfectly that they seem to go puttering along on their own momentum. And the dabs of glockenspiel, vibraphone and chiming guitars and stacks of sighing vocal harmonies float so ethereally that one has to remind oneself that there originally was a human agency behind them.

Yet human agencies are precisely what separates Fleetwood Mac from its competition. Lindsey Buckingham, one of the group’s three singer-songwriters and the album’s chief producer, has always had a quirky voice (high-pitched, like so much of the rest of Mirage), and a quirkier knack for worshiping and subverting pop conventions at the same time. Stevie Nicks, whose voice is so trebly it can sound positively adenoidal, has a penchant for soft-focus, quasi-mystical hippie-airhead imagery that’s certainly individual, if not very deep, and Christine McVie, the most mature and consistently satisfying of the band’s frontpersons, brings a simple, bluesy elegance to everything she writes and sings.

That puttering rhythm section has personality, too; closer listening reveals its tick-tock patterns to be the fruits of a seasoned, tersely eloquent ensemble style that recalls, if only distantly, Fleetwood Mac’s roots in the British blues revival of the 1960’s.

Couple of Former Couples

The ostensible subject of most Fleetwood Mac songs is the romantic entanglements and disentanglements of the group’s five members. The bassist John and singer-keyboard player Christine McVie used to be married but aren’t anymore, and Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks were a couple whose romance hit the skids after they joined Fleetwood Mac and hit the big-time. Most of the 12 new songs on Mirage relate to these romantic ups and downs in one way or another, but increasingly the band’s real subject seems to be pop music itself, and particularly the way pop music sounds.

Mr. Buckingham’s corny lyrics for his “Book of Love” take a back seat to his ravishing vocal harmonies, which constitute an overt homage to the Beach Boys’ Brian Wilson. There are so many Stevie Nicks vocals overdubbed on her “That’s Alright” that the somewhat unfocused words seem to evaporate like smoke; the song’s feeling of loss is communicated more by the singer’s inflections than by anything she says. Only in Christine McVie’s “Love in Store” and “Hold Me” do the simple emotions expressed in the words and the artful arching simplicity of the melodies and arrangements successfully complement each other.

But these are quibbles. The wind-up-toy sound of Mirage clearly has seduced the nation’s pop listeners. Like this summer’s most successful movies, the album is pure escapist entertainment. But the music has been so cleverly crafted, and polished to such a mesmerizing high-gloss sheen, that by the time one notices that nothing much is being said, it’s too late.

Robert Palmer / New York Times (Late Edition) / August 11, 1982

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Mirage (1982)

Fleetwood Mac: Mirage

1982-mirage-album-coverFORMULA, BEATS-per-minute, ahhh. Fleetwood Mac really do have a lot of honour for folks with such a pile of cash. Coming after this line-up’s eponymous breakthrough platter and the sullen beauty of Rumours, the double Tusk was a brave but shrewd sidestep; people who milk and milk and milk one day find that their tits have fallen off. So not FM (thost apt initials!), the general usefulness of their extravagances forgiving, perhaps, the economically appropriate live double sloggo.

Now, Mirage may bear superficial resemblance to Rumours, but in actuality it’s far more UP, the lightweight feel locking with the title; it’s Parallel Lines (of what?) for Beverly Hills.

The cover photo, by George Hurrell, seems set to portray Lindsey Buckingham as sex-object supreme with Stevie and Christine fawning over him, while like a good Cheap Trick album the two dodgy geezers are consigned to the back. Like ABC, the Mac are still concerned with love: lost, tossed, reborn…Love in all its aspects. That many of the tunes cannot be called to mind after several plays is, for once, not a minus. It’s the ringing, flighty nature of the creatures, all harmonies and gossamer backing, that maketh the magic.

As always, Christine McVie is still perfect (geddit?), offering two of the best in the miraculous, meticulous cirrus hymn to a Beach Boy “Only Over You” and side two’s ecstatic, catchy rave-up of slinky repetition, “Hold Me.” And yes, Stevie Nicks is still in fairyland and it’s still fine by me, especially when on “Gypsy” she comes up with the amazing line “So I’m back, to the velvet underground”.

Of course, too, all would not be right in the garden if weird Lindsey Buckingham wasn’t still putting broken glass in the pate sandwiches: “Empire State” is tetchy, odd-rock about lusting after NYC instead of LA, the guitar as idiosyncratic as ever, as it is on his frantically compelling flare-up “Eyes Of The World.” Just to prove he’s a nice guy he also contributes “Book Of Love” and “Oh Diane,” the latter being positively, perversely Bobby Vintonesque in its unashamed schoolboy schlockiness.

Fleetwood and McVie the male are perhaps consigned to the valley of the back cover for a reason: They contribute nothing to Mirage (except, of course, their not inconsiderable performing talents). Still, they look mighty pissed-off over there. “Wish You Were Here” sings Christine at the end of the record. Mirage is sooo good…

Let’s start a Rumour.

Sandy Robertson / Sounds / July 17, 1982

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Fleetwood Mac Mirage (1982)

Inside the Sleeve: Fleetwood Mac – Mirage

Fleetwood Mac Mirage cover 1982This long-awaited studio follow-up to Tusk doesn’t harken back to that somewhat disappointing 1979 album, nor does it bear much semblance to the band’s earlier, more successful releases, such as Fleetwood Mac and Rumours. It is unique — pleasant enough — but hardly destined for the multi-platinum status of its predecessors.

The over-all feel is one of understatement. Nothing stands out in particular, and the group seems more interested in creating a pleasant little summertime groove than in grabbing listeners by the shoulders and shaking them up. It is an album of fair-to-mediocre songs that somehow add up to more than the sum of their parts.

The writing credits are divided fairly equally among Christine McVie, Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham, whose five numbers are all fairly banal. He writes silly, lightweight pop songs in the Paul McCartney vein, and none of the band’s remaining four members seem very interested in adding anything inspiring. As a result, “Empire State” and “Book of Love” have that same thin, unexciting feel as the numbers on Buckingham’s recent solo release, Law and Order.

However, the material by McVie and Nicks is strong enough to save the album. McVie’s songs are unassuming, but pleasant. “Only Over You” is dedicated to Beach Boy Dennis Wilson, and utilizes some nice little Beach Boys harmonies. As for Nicks, although her “Gypsy” is a song in search of a melody, “Straight Back” is the best thing on the album. Nicks’ vocals soar over a simple and pervasive backbeat, raising the song almost to the status enjoyed by such Fleetwood classics as “Rhiannon.”

Over all, though, Mirage seems a touch uninspired. In the rhythm section, drummer Mick Fleetwood and bassist John McVie appear to be going through the motions, straining themselves as little as possible. In fact, there’s more meat to one side of Nicks’ recent solo effort, “Dreams,” than Mirage can boast in total.

  • Pop
  • Mirage Fleetwood Mac
  • Saturday, July 17, 1982
  • Warner Brothers 92 36071

Alan Niester / Globe and Mail (Canada) / July 17, 1982

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Fleetwood Mac Mirage (1982) Music Videos

Fleetwood Mac – Gypsy (1982)

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Christine McVie Mirage (1982)

Fleetwood Mac: Mac attack

Sandy Robertson finds out what’s eating Christine McVie of Fleetwood Mac

1982-mirage-album-cover

CREDIBILITY IS a weird thing, that’s for sure. Impossible to explain how it is attained, difficult to define once it has arrived. But one thing is assured: whatever it is, Fleetwood Mac have it.

From a blues band to a broken unit with deranged members exiting left and right to an unknown outfit in American exile to a megabuck mélange of wild divorcees, credibility has (surprisingly) never been far behind the Mac. Even at their hugest with Fleetwood Mac and Rumours, they were the West Coast kids you were still allowed to like. Cripes, they could still release a double LP (Tusk) at enormous recording expense and be lauded for it: when they played Wembley the Mac got good reviews. Charmed lives, or a mirage?

Mirage is the title of the brand new Fleetwood Mac LP and Christine McVie, as one of the English part of the band has been dispatched straight to London with a rough cassette of the work to play for sundry hacks. And I, being the first of the day, am (gasp!) told that I am the first scribbler in the world to hear the new Fleetwood Mac album!!!

If I’m not wowed by the mystery, I’m jazzed by the trax: Mirage could almost be an album by another band, were it not for the assured harmonies and confident playing, the mood is so optimistic and up. Titles, hitpicks? “Oh Diane,” “Love In Store,” “Book Of Love” (no not…), and “Hold Me,” to mention but a handful. Every cut I heard had that Mac magic.

Ms. McVie looks only slightly the worse for her Transatlantic wrestle with a failing Concord schedule, blonde hair offset by worldweary wrinkles as she sits in her plush suite. Extravagance? One had heard that the new Mac opus would represent a scaling down of the operations that led to Tusk costing as much as buying a whole studio. So was Mirage cheap?

“No, it took a year to make, but then in the meantime there was Lindsey, Mick and Stevie’s solo stuff, so in fact we had four albums in a year, which is pretty good if you look at it that way.

“But the money isn’t as fluid as it used to be, though Fleetwood Mac have never been known to do things in a cheap way, we definitely like to do things in style! We don’t have crates of Dom Perignon delivered to the studio every night, in the past it’s been outrageous. We don’t cut short on the music, just personal needs.”

Was it really all caviar and decadence?

“Caviar is an exaggeration, but our riders were ridiculous! One time Dennis Wilson came down and said ‘The food and booze you guys have here costs more per week than it’d cost me to hire a studio!’ It was kind of getting ludicrous,” she avows with a certain nostalgia in her voice.

I didn’t ask about the rumour of Coke bottle lids filled with their powdered namesake backstage at Wembley. Myth, myth…

She seems unperturbed by the vagaries of the Press and blissfully unsurprised by the good reviews.

“You get good Press, you get bad Press, if we get any Press it’s good! Just as long as they’re still writing about you. The thing is when you don’t get any at all you start worrying. We set the fashions, we don’t follow them”. I express surprise at how, er, raunchy they were live at Wembley.

“The albums are a lot cleaner in general, they’re well thought out. I figure there’s definitely two sides to Fleetwood Mac, the live side is a lot more rock ‘n’ roll than people think we are, we’re not so clean-cut.”

I bring up the view of Mac oft perpetrated that says a writer/performer as talented as Christine McVie must find it galling to be upstaged by a young Stevie Nicks running around and changing frocks all the time.

“Yeah, well she certainly does that! Believe me, I would hate to run around onstage changing clothes every five minutes and playing tambourines and things,” here her voice hints ever so slightly at claws extending in a feline manner. “I would hate to be in her shoes. I’m very happy, thank you, standing behind the keyboards. I’m a musician, y’know? I’m more a musician band member than a frontline…”, and her voice trails off for a second, the short silence making its own point.

“There’s no competition, In fact, she’s jealous of me because I can play keyboards better than her.”

Rock royalty of today suffer as much from intrusion into privacy as the Hollywood stars of old, but in the recent past Fleetwood Mac appeared to be revelling in the garish spotlight of who-is-doing-what-to-whom-with-what, an intergroup ménage-a-band scenario that wrecked relationships but sold records. In retrospect, do they resent all that?

“We joke about that now, it’s a source of amusement to us. Now the pain is no longer there we’re all really good friends. In fact, we create things just for fun. In fact, she deadpans before a guffaw, “I’m going out with Mick at the moment!”

Mirage reflects the upbeat current at work in Mac now, even on a ballad like McVie’s haunting “Only Over You.” Sadly, to these ears, there is nothing as willfully experimental as the title track of “Tusk” with its marching band pseudo-Charles Ives flavors.

“No, there’s nothing weird on it at all, there’s no little hidden goblins anywhere, it’s all straightforward simple rock ‘n’ roll songs. Tusk sold nine million copies so it can’t be too shabby can it? But a lot of people gave us flak about that album. It’s very different, very different, very Lindsey Buckingham. I’ll have to say that. He was going through some musical experiments at the time.

McVie swigs some wine, looking less like a rock star than an accountant’s wife from Maidenhead and compares Mirage to Rumours, noting the lyrical differences.

“These songs are an awful lot happier. Rumours was kind of the message of doom, the songs were up but the words were all about each other’s jaded love lives”.

Our photographer notes the resilience it must have taken to keep the band together while they all loathed each other.

“We just go from day to day,” she says, like an advice column, “We have done for seven years and I’m sure we will for another seven. Right now we’re fine. We’re better friends now than ever”.

It’s indeed a random alchemy that breeds success: “The band as it is now is by far the most popular series of people. Now and again someone’ll come up and say ‘What happened to Peter Green, Danny Kirwan, Jeremy Spencer?’ and we just go ‘Who?’“

Do they ever see any of those groaning oldies, I wonder?

“Not any more. Peter came over to the States and stayed with Mick for a while, Jeremy came over for a while, Danny Kirwan? I haven’t seen him since the day he left the band!”

The Fleetwood Mac LP was the one that started the ball rolling in earnest.

“Yeah, that Penguin album was our worst, even though there were a couple of my songs on it that I like and would like to re-do, but we knew that Fleetwood Mac record was good. And we knew we had a chemistry onstage even though we were playing to half-filled halls of people going ‘Oh no! They haven’t got another line-up have they?’ But the people who did come went crazy, without smoke bombs or weird make-up. I mean, we’re too old to be punky, we’re all knockin’ on now!

“I’m being educated at the moment, but I’m not too familiar with all these new up-and-coming bands here, I’m ashamed to say”.

I venture to tell her about the merits of the wonderful ABC, the pulsing talent of Martin Fry and his merrymen. “ABC, is that a band?”

That is California stardom!

© Sandy Robertson / Sounds / May 6, 1982

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Fleetwood Mac Lindsey Buckingham Mirage (1982)

Lindsey Buckingham: A Pop Renegade

AS THE NEXT Fleetwood Mac album nears completion, Lindsey Buckingham is faced with divided interests. Much of the responsibility for the success or failure of the album will rest on Buckingham, whose experiments on Tusk earned critical acclaim – and also earned him the blame when Tusk failed to match the wild success of Rumours.

Complicating matters is the critical and commercial success he has had with his first solo album, Law And Order, which could be said to have vindicated his highly individualistic approach to making records. In this interview, Buckingham discusses his current situation and his feelings about the future of Fleetwood Mac, as well as his solo plans.

What differentiates the material on your solo album from anything you would have done with Fleetwood Mac?

Nothing in particular, other than the fact that I was trying to save more accessible material for the band, I suppose. ‘Trouble’ certainly isn’t an example of that (laughter). One thing that differentiates it is the fact that I had a year to get into what I was doing, and all the songs (on Law And Order) were written more or less during that period of time.

Much of Law and Order seems to be on a pure beam, getting from the inspiration to the tape very quickly.

One way to do that is to do it by yourself. If you want to make comparisons, working by yourself is very much akin to painting. You’ve got the canvas, and the emotion travels through (motions from his head down to his arm) to the canvas. Working in the studio with a bunch of other people and trying to get those ideas expressed verbally first and then onto tape is more like making a movie.

Looking at the lyrics to ‘Satisfied Mind’, it could say a lot about your experiences going from obscurity to multi-platinum in relatively short order.

One of the themes running through the album is basically trying to keep a sense of order about your life, living by certain rules that you make for yourself.

Most of rock has basically an escapist theme to it, promoting the idea of living by no rules at all. It’s about living for the moment and not really having any self-discipline, or any commitment to anything. The idea of many of the songs (on Law And Order) is to commit to something, whether or not it causes you pain, and to accept pain and happiness as parts of the whole. ‘It Was I’, as an adolescent view of that, speaks about someone’s first experience with pain in a relationship. The conclusion is to keep going and to get through it; the optimism remains about seeking future happiness rather than having a disposable relationship.

‘September Song’ is sort of the inverse of that. It’s about someone who’s been with someone for his whole life and is reaching his final years, and his perspective on having been through the pain and the happiness. He can still derive the most meaning from sharing his last days with his partner.

‘Satisfied Mind’ is about choosing between the pursuit of materialism and the pursuit of affection and respect and love. Obviously, the choice is clear.

It’s easy to know how obvious the choice is once the materialism part is taken care of.

Yeah, but you’ve still got to have a commitment to work and to relationships. I may not always be right, but at least my intention is a pure one.

What’s your repertoire of instruments? Are you getting capable on other instruments besides the guitar?

It depends on what’s there. I don’t sit around and practice an instrument, but if I have an idea for something on an album I can usually figure out how to play it. I couldn’t do that with something like a violin or saxophone, but any plectrum-type instrument, such as a banjo, I’m okay.

It’s the same way I approach drums or keyboards. I’m not really a drummer or a keyboardist in the real sense, but if you understand how production works and you can hear how it needs to be, then you can usually get what you need one way or another.

Your approach to the guitar seems to be more oriented toward orchestration of the song than dependent on technique. I know that you don’t use a pick, and that you’ve never worked with another guitar player.

I’m not a technical guitarist. It’s not the most proficient style in the world, but hopefully it’s something that has a certain feeling to it. There are tons of guitarists who can play circles around me in terms of speed, but I grew up not really wanting that. I always played rhythm, always in support of songs.

I always played by myself (when I was younger), learning how to make a few chords work with a melody. I didn’t really play lead until I was about 21, either. I played rhythm and fingerpicking styles, and orchestral style, which remains to a certain extent. My lead playing is somewhat of an extension of that.

I played bass in a band for four or five years, for the simple reason that I couldn’t play lead at the time. It all grows out of an orchestral style; I’d much rather play like Chet Atkins than Jimi Hendrix. Hendrix was a great guitarist, but parts that you don’t even notice on the records sometimes are the parts that I find the most sublime.

People respond to (subtleties) even if they don’t know what they’re responding to. If they’re not finely-tuned enough to really take the song apart, they’re still responding to the overall effect. I think it’s harder to do that well – to do pop music well – than it is to do rock ‘n’ roll, or at least the kind of rock ‘n’ roll you hear today. I don’t think it’s particularly well-crafted music, or even well-crafted playing. It’s certainly not subtle or underplayed.

Given a choice between being blatant and being subtle, I’d much rather be subtle. I’d much rather be subtle. In my case, maybe that’s the only way I can be. I can’t play like Eddie Van Halen, so I have to go for the subtle.

What effect has your solo career had on the Fleetwood Mac album?

That’s a slower process, and it’s kind of hard to adjust to the politics involved with five people. When all five of us are in there at once, it can get crazy. So from an efficiency standpoint, sometimes the recording can suffer.

Since Tusk was largely your personal project, is that the same tone we can look forward to on the next Mac album?

No. It’s sort of a reconciliation of opposites. There are some aspects from Tusk and some aspects from Rumours. I wouldn’t say it’s a reactionary move; we haven’t gone back to Rumours, although when Tusk came out I was under some pressure from the band to sort of regress, if you will.

I got a lot of support from the band during the making of Tusk; everyone was really excited about it. Then, when it became apparent that it wasn’t going to sell 15 million albums, the attitude started to change – which was sad for me in a way, because it makes me wonder where everyone’s priorities are. They changed their attitude about the music after they realized it wasn’t going to sell as many copies. That’s not really the point of doing it. The point is to shake people’s preconceptions about pop.

Didn’t Fleetwood Mac Live buy the band any more freedom?

I didn’t want to do the live album, even though it turned out well. I’m not a big fan of live albums.

But Fleetwood Mac is one of the bands that actually does something substantially different live.

It was a valid album, but in terms of making a full statement… Rumours was a very definite statement; Tusk was a very succinct statement within itself as far as studio albums go. The live album may have been, too, because there is more of a contrast between what we do in the studio and live than there is with other bands. But I didn’t see it as a particularly strong statement, and I don’t think the public did either. “Oh, Fleetwood Mac’s come out with a live album, too.”

What are we going to hear on the new album?

We’ve got some really well-crafted songs of Christine’s; Stevie hasn’t really been in the studio that much – I’d have to go back and listen to her tunes a little bit; I’m not really sure what’s there.

There’s about four or five of my songs on the album. One of them sounds really commercial to me, sort of a cross between Phil Spector and the Beach Boys. A couple of them are really rocky.

There’s a lot of production on a few of the things, more so than on Tusk and in some cases even more than Rumours. But it isn’t your average production, either – it still has an experimental sort of tinge to it. In many cases I would say it’s a little more elaborate than anything you’ve heard before (sinister laugh), reaching Wagneresque proportions.

Can you verbalize your pop vision at this point?

I’m trying to be original from a production standpoint, trying to retain the values of rock in the ’50s – the innocence. Law And Order has a certain ’40s element, too, that I picked up from the 78s that I got from my father. I want to retain a certain urgency and freshness in the music, and an individuality which you just don’t hear too much these days.

Take this record by Quarterflash (‘Harden My Heart’). It’s got the formula: it sounds like Pat Benatar, and it sounds like early Fleetwood Mac. It’s got all the elements that are acceptable to the broadest number of people, and therefore it’s doing well. I don’t think that’s a healthy thing.

I’m in a position where I don’t have to do things strictly to feed myself. I want to have that freedom and still have a certain vision of individuality and wanting to challenge people’s preconceptions of what music should be. In a way, it’s like being a painter: you explore a line of thought – a path – and maybe eventually it leads you back to the beginnings. Then you redefine that and go on from there. It’s a process – hopefully a lifelong one – of learning, following intuition and trying to keep fresh.

How far are you willing to take it? If you get enough flak from the people around you, it’s going to have an effect.

I haven’t gotten flak from people in general. The band just seems to be more money-oriented – that’s all I can say – and that’s their prerogative.

How far are they willing to go?

Fleetwood Mac is not going to stay together forever. I would hope to move gracefully from one set of circumstances to another and continue to retain individuality and not get sucked into a group situation more than need be – without being totally self-serving as well. It’s tough doing what we’re doing. There are lots of avenues.

Will Fleetwood Mac hit the road right away?

Actually, Fleetwood Mac is probably not going to do much road work. I think we’ll do some touring, but Stevie apparently doesn’t want to go on the road. We’ll do some touring and probably do a Home Box Office thing.

I wouldn’t mind if we didn’t go on the road at all, myself. I enjoy playing, but it’s not nearly as much of a learning thing, or a growth thing, as staying home and working on new tunes, with the challenge of something new all the time. That’s really what keeps me going.

David Gans / Record / April 1982

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Lindsey Buckingham Mirage (1982)

Lindsey Buckingham takes a breather

The Fleetwood Mac of all trades, Lindsey Buckingham takes a breather with his own one-man band.

Solo albums marked the beginning of the end for the Beatles. So when Fleetwood Mac’s Stevie Nicks recorded her album Bella Donna and Mick Fleetwood himself made The Visitor, the music world buzzed with speculation. Was the Big Mac disintegrating into a bunch of McNuggets? Rumors heated up again last fall when the band’s artistic well-spring, Lindsey Buckingham, 32, released his own first LP, Law and Order. Many wondered if the title of his Top 10 single meant what it suggested—Trouble.

The answer seems to be: Not yet. Fleetwood Mac has long been rock’s turbulent version of The Young and the Restless, and Buckingham swears it’s all just a harmless way of blowing off a little creative steam. “With the band,” he explains, “there are five distinct personalities, lots of second-guessing, and it’s tough to get from point A to point B.” (Neither of the other two band members, John McVie and his ex-wife, Christine, has gone solo since joining Fleetwood Mac.)

Buckingham is generally credited with transforming the blues-rock band into a commercial powerhouse. If praised for the 16 million sale of 1977’s Rumours, though, he also shouldered much of the blame for Tusk, a double-disc white elephant that was critically acclaimed but peaked at “only” four million in 1980. After a 76-city world tour, the band decided it needed time off. “John went on a cruise,” recounts Lindsey. “Christine just layout in the sun. But three weeks off and I go nuts. Working makes me happy.”

He began his solo project in a studio in his garage. It was a singular undertaking indeed. Buckingham sang, played drums, guitar and keyboards, and supervised the recording. “It was like a painter working on a canvas,” he says. “When I work with Fleetwood Mac it’s more like making a movie.” Artistic independence does have its price, though. “Doing all the production and playing nearly all the instruments,” he says, “you begin to lose your objectivity as to what’s good.” (Lindsey eventually called in Fleetwood Mac engineer Richard Bashut to co-produce in the studio.) Of the album’s title, he says, “Rock is usually about escapism, lack of discipline and promiscuity. Law and Order is about the sense of personal order in your life. If there are songs about a special, stable relationship, it’s because that’s what I have.”

He means his five-year romance with Oklahoma-born Carol Harris, 28, a part-time fashion model. They met in a Los Angeles recording studio in 1976 where Carol was a receptionist, and they moved in together the following year.

Buckingham’s previous paramour, of course, was Nicks. Their celebrated breakup took place in the mid-’70s at the same time the McVies were divorcing. Having gotten through “years of pain,” Lindsey says he and Stevie are able to maintain a stable working relationship. After the Tusk session, though, Nicks complained that it was “like being a hostage in Iran and, to an extent, Lindsey was the Ayatollah.” Says Buckingham with a smile, “I did have definite ideas.” On their relationship outside the studio, he reflects, “I don’t think we’ll ever be good friends. There was a lot of passion, but not a lot of camaraderie.” Is he bothered by the fact that Stevie’s solo album has sold two million copies? “It’s easy to feel envious of someone who gets as much fan mail and sells as many records as Stevie,” he confesses. “Obviously my stuff is a little more off the wall, but I like my album better than hers.”

One of three sons of a coffee company executive father, Lindsey grew up in the San Francisco suburb of Atherton. “I was one of the tons of guys who ran out and got a guitar when Elvis came along,” he recalls. As a junior in high school he met Nicks, who was a senior. A year later they started playing in a band called Fritz, became lovers and soon split off to make one album as a duo, Buckingham Nicks.

Though the LP died in the market, it caught the ear of Fleetwood, who had founded Mac in 1967. Looking for someone to replace the just-departed Bob Welch, he invited both Nicks and Buckingham to join in 1975. “I guess it was a good thing,” understates Lindsey. His tunes, such as Monday Morning and Go Your Own Way, helped Mac become one of the best-selling groups of all time.

Today Lindsey and Carol live in a three-bedroom house in L.A.’s starry Bel Air. They’re obviously taking their time about setting a wedding date; Lindsey says only, “We’ve discussed it.” As he finishes mixing the next all-Mac album, scheduled for release this spring, Lindsey is planning a brief solo tour of small clubs and will then join Mac for a national tour. He is optimistic. “Now that we have these other outlets, it’s easier to do things as a group,” he says. “I wouldn’t be surprised if we stay together a long while.”

PHOTO (COLOR):In the studio Buckingham triples on guitar, drums and electric piano. Rehearsing in L.A. (inset) with Mac mates Mick Fleetwood, Christine McVie and Stevie Nicks, he sticks to lead guitar.
PHOTO (COLOR):[See caption above.]
PHOTO (COLOR):”Having a relationship and a recording career is a full-time job,” says Lindsey, working at it with housemate Carol Harris.
PHOTO (COLOR):”We write about what is happening to us,” muses Buckingham, noodling here in the solarium of his Bel Air home.

David Sheff / People (Vol. 17 Issue 7, p63. 2p) / February 22, 1982