Categories
Fleetwood Mac Tango in the Night - Deluxe & Expanded Editions (2017)

Listen to unreleased Tango track ‘Where We Belong’

Another preview track has been released from the forthcoming Fleetwood Mac Tango in the Night reissue, a Christine McVie and Lindsey Buckingham collaboration called “Where We Belong.”

The Tango in the Night reissue is due out Friday, March 31.

Categories
Fleetwood Mac Tango in the Night (1987)

Looking out for big, big reissue!

A preview of Rhino Records’ latest reissue project, Fleetwood Mac’s glossy 1987 album Tango in the Night

Later this year, Rhino Records will be reissuing Fleetwood Mac’s 14th studio album Tango in the Night, the latest release in a series of deluxe packages focused on the band’s back catalog (Rumours, Tusk, Mirage). Although details of the reissue are still forthcoming, it is expected to contain the remastered original album; bonus discs of session material and outtakes; new liner notes; and rare period photographs.

On December 8, 2016, Rolling Stone contributing writer David Wild confirmed in a Twitter post that he had written the new liner notes for the reissue project. It remains to be seen which route Wild took in reflecting on the tumultuous Tango in the Night sessions, which were first laid bare in drummer Mick Fleetwood’s revealing 1990 autobiography Fleetwood: My Life and Adventures in Fleetwood Mac. Those circumstances ultimately led to the departure of key member Lindsey Buckingham and the addition of his replacements, guitarists Billy Burnette and Rick Vito, to support the album’s ensuing world tour. As a band practically defined by its personal dramas, it would almost seem careless to omit or downplay such a critical juncture in the band’s history.

Packed with the radio-friendly singles “Big Love,” “Seven Wonders, “Little Lies,” and “Everywhere,” Tango in the Night attracted a whole new generation of fans and contributed to the Fleetwood Mac’s legacy as one of the most enduring and resilient recording acts in rock history. At the time, MTV networks saturated music-video play with the album’s singles (a grand total of six was released!), which propelled the album to become an international smash. To date, the album has sold more than five million copies in North America and two million overseas.

In 2014, Mike Duquette, founder of the catalog music blog The Second Disc, featured Tango in the Night as a proposed reissue in his column Reissue Theory. In anticipation of the Tango in the Night reissue, we look back on his thoughtful post (including a hypothetical track list) and celebrate the album that marked the return of Fleetwood Mac to the forefront of the vibrant 1987 pop music scene.

Excerpt from ‘Reissue Theory: Fleetwood Mac, Tango in the Night’

Welcome to another installment of Reissue Theory, where we focus on great albums and the reissues they could someday see. As we welcome one of our favorite ladies in rock back to her famous band, we remember their last album altogether and the pop success it enjoyed.

One of the best pieces of classic rock news to come out of this nascent year is easily the announcement of singer/keyboardist Christine McVie returning to Fleetwood Mac. McVie retired from the band (and touring in general) after the band’s incredibly successful The Dance tour in the late 1990s, leaving singer Stevie Nicks, singer/guitarist Lindsay Buckingham, bassist (and ex-husband) John McVie and drummer Mick Fleetwood to continue as a quartet, but made two surprise appearances with the band in England last year, later expressing her desire to rejoin the band.

While no official plans have been firmed up (beyond the possibility of a full tour), it certainly provokes one to think of the phenomenal albums the quintet have created – in particular, their final set as a quintet, 1987’s Tango in the Night

—Read the full post here and be sure to scroll down to the comments section for fan discussion and commentary.

Categories
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″]

Categories
Tusk (1979) Tusk - Deluxe & Expanded Editions (2016)

REVIEW: Fleetwood Mac Tusk

Fleetwood Mac’s beautiful and terrifically strange 1979 LP Tusk poses the question: What happens when love dissipates, and you have to find a new thing to believe in? What if that thing is work?

Rating: 9.2/10

The autumn of 1979 was, by any reasonable accounting, a challenging time to be alive. The world felt tenuous, transitional: panicked families were fleeing East Germany via hot air balloon, China was restricting couples to one child each, fifty-two Americans were barred inside the U.S. Embassy in Tehran, pending release of the Shah. It was also the year of Tusk, the album in which Fleetwood Mac, a soft-rock band second only to the Eaglesin their embodiment of easy 1970s gloss, completely lost their minds. It was the band’s twelfth album, though only its third with the now-iconic lineup of guitarist Lindsey Buckingham, drummer Mick Fleetwood, bassist John McVie, keyboardist Christine McVie, and singer Stevie Nicks, and it reflected a personal tumult so claustrophobic and intense it felt global in scale—an after-the-fall re-telling of catastrophic heartache and its endless reverberations.

By this time, Fleetwood Mac was widely beloved for its melodic, harmonized jams, which evoked Laurel Canyon, curtains of strung beads, turquoise jewelry, pricey incense, scarves flung over floor lamps, and brandy poured into a nice glass. Despite their smooth, murmuring sound, few of the band’s records pull punches emotionally, but even compared to a cry of pain like “The Chain,” Tusk is singular. It is pocked with heartbreak, resignation, lust, hope, and deep hurt. It poses unanswerable questions. It reckons with the past, and what that past means for a future. It invariably makes some people want to lock their door, excavate half a joint from the recesses of their couch cushions, and spend the next fourteen hours contemplating the Buckingham-Nicks union as one of the great failed loves of the twentieth century.

Just two years earlier, the band had released Rumours, a collection of pert and amiable love songs that sold over ten million copies and spent thirty-one weeks at the top of the Billboard 200 chart. Rumours is presently among the top ten best-selling albums in American history, and, as of 2009, has shipped more than forty million units worldwide. It was—it remains—an album owned by people who have only ever owned eleven albums.

Commercial success on that scale is, of course, a complicated thing to navigate; for Fleetwood Mac, it was presaged and then aggravated by outrageous amounts of cocaine and an awful lot of intra-band copulation. I don’t mean to be reductive about the group’s emotional dynamic, but I can’t think of another assemblage of five able-minded adults who created and survived such a preposterous tangle of romantic investments and divestments (to wit: Nicks and Buckingham, McVie and McVie, Nicks and Fleetwood, Fleetwood’s wife and former member Bob Weston, McVie and the lighting designer, and Fleetwood and Nicks’ then-married best friend—to cite just the handful of permutations known to the public).

By the time *Tusk *was released, the two primary relationships sustaining the band (Christine and John’s marriage, and Lindsey and Stevie’s long-standing romance) had fully dissolved, which seemed to qualify Fleetwood Mac, in some perverse way, to go on to become one of our best and bravest chroniclers of love’s horrifying tumult. Being tasked with singing backing vocals for a song written by your ex-lover, about you, months (and eventually years) after the relationship ruptured? Hold that in mind—just how excruciating that must’ve been. Then find a video of Buckingham and Nicks performing “Silver Springs” (a song written by Nicks about Buckingham, withheld from Rumours, and later released, either cruelly or keenly, as the B-side to the single “Go Your Own Way,” a song written by Buckingham about Nicks) and try not to lose your mind completely when, as if to narrate the precise mechanics of their break-up, Nicks announces: “I’ll begin not to love you… Tell myself you never loved me.”

It’s “Silver Springs,” more than any other track in the band’s pre-Tusk discography, that tells the story of how Buckingham and Nicks lost each other, and, ergo, the story of Tusk; performing the song live, they frequently end up locked in a kind of tense combat stance. When Nicks’ cool, steady voice begins to dissolve into something feral and nearly deranged (“Was I just a fool?” she finally hollers) she’ll often take steps toward him. He always meets her gaze, calmly, and with determination. Maybe they’re putting us all on, but there’s something in those moments that makes True Love—the preposterous, fairy-tale kind, the sort that never resolves itself, that can’t be outrun or eschewed, not ever, not after decades, not after a lifetime—seem entirely possible, even to the most hard-boiled cynics. I bring this up because it’s the only explanation I can think of as to how the band kept going, despite what must’ve seemed, to anyone watching, like a cataclysmic implosion. True Love doesn’t care if your relationship ends; it remains, it buoys you.

If Rumours was the band’s break-up record, Tusk covers arguably even more complicated ground: how to transform a romantic partnership into a purely creative one, while remaining mindful of all the perilous ways in which love nurtures art, and vice-versa. That the band did this at all, much less successfully, much less good-naturedly—in promotional photos for Tusk, Nicks is pictured resting her left hand disconcertingly close to a bulge in Buckingham’s blue jeans—is dumbfounding.

The result is a beautiful and terrifically strange album. From the outset, Buckingham was insistent that the band not churn out a sequel to Rumours. His was a defensive, contrarian pose: Let’s deliberately not recreate that colossal commercial and critical success; let’s instead do something different, artier, less bulletproof, more experimental, more explicitly influenced by punk and new-wave, and less indebted to pop. Tusk contains twenty songs and is seventy-two minutes long. It retailed for $15.98 (or $52.88, in 2016 dollars). Its terrifically unattractive cover features a grainy, off-center photograph of a disembodied foot getting chomped on by a dog. The title is a euphemism for cock. Its sequencing is plainly insane, seesawing between two equally manic moods: “Everything is totally going to be fine!!!” and “This plane is going down and we’re all going to die!!!”

Tusk took thirteen months to make, and was the first record to amass production costs of over a million dollars. It was called self-indulgent, and it is. Legends abound regarding the details of its composition and recording. Nicks described their space in Studio D as having been adorned with “shrunken heads and leis and Polaroids and velvet pillows and saris and sitars and all kinds of wild and crazy instruments, and the tusks on the console, like living in an African burial ground.” Everyone agrees Buckingham was losing it a little—that he was chasing something (artistic greatness? avant-garde credibility?) and pursuing it wildly, haphazardly, like a crazed housecat stalking a black fly about the living room. Did he really have a drum set installed in his bathroom so he could play while on his toilet? (More reasonable minds have suggested he merely liked the acoustics in there.)

One solid argument against Tusk—though it could also be levied against Rumours—is that it lacks narrative coherence, in part because it features three songwriters (Nicks, Buckingham, and McVie), each working in their own distinct style. Still, while Nicks and McVie contributed some truly lovely tracks—“Sara,” “Beautiful Child,” “Think About Me”—the record clearly belongs to Buckingham, who wrote nearly half its songs, insisted upon its scope, and is its unquestionable spiritual center, the hamster on its wheel. The engineer Ken Caillat described Buckingham as “a maniac” during the sessions. He said it without equivocation. “The first day, I set the studio up as usual. Then he said, ‘Turn every knob 180 degrees from where it is now and see what happens.’ He’d tape microphones to the studio floor and get into a sort of push-up position to sing. Early on, he came in and he’d freaked out in the shower and cut off all his hair with nail scissors. He was stressed.”

At one point, Buckingham insisted that the band rent out Dodgers Stadium, and arranged to have the 112-piece U.S.C. Marching Band back them on the title track (his bandmates went along with this; none of the group’s foundational romantic relationships were intact, but Tusk still couldn’t have been made by people who didn’t trust one another implicitly). “Why don’t you tell me what’s going on? Why don’t you tell me who’s on the phone?” Buckingham and Nicks chant, their voices paranoid. Buried somewhere in there is a riff that could have sold a zillion cassingles, had this been 1977. But it wasn’t.

Though Tusk’s most memorable tracks are also its strangest (like “The Ledge,” a manic, pitter-pattering kiss-off in which the band’s signature harmonies are overridden by a guitar that’s been tuned down and turned up), there are a handful of songs that harken back to Rumours’ rich palatability. “Save Me A Place” plays like an extension, at least lyrically, of “Go Your Own Way,” in which Buckingham begrudges his lover’s unwillingness to grab what he’s half-offering her.  A lot of Buckingham’s lyrics from the late ‘70s seem to simultaneously admit trepidation and cast him as the aggrieved party; he seems, in an endearing way, oblivious to his own caveats, or how they might dissuade another person. “Guess I want to be alone, and I guess I need to be amazed/Save me a place, I’ll come running if you love me today,” he sings on “Save Me A Place.” He later described the song as vulnerable. “None of us had the luxury of distance to get closure… It’s about a feeling that’s been laid off to one side and maybe not been fully dealt with, sadness and a sense of loss.” It captures the wildness of recovery: what happens when love dissipates, and you have to find a new thing to believe in? What if that thing is work?

Buckingham funneled all of his disorientation into these songs. Tusk is, more than anything else, a document of that feeling and that process—of bewilderment turning into ambition writ large. What happens when a complicated, wounded person grows exhausted and unimpressed by the commercial medium he took to naturally, maybe even instinctively, but no longer believes is important or curative? It’s not hard to imagine the voice of Buckingham’s internal foil during these sessions, whispering seedily, naysaying each new melody, pushing for more: “This is fine, but it’s not Art.” I don’t know anyone who cares about making things who hasn’t at some point lobbed the exact same challenge at themselves: Can’t you do better? Hasn’t someone done this before? Haven’t you done this before? You get the sense of a broken-down person trying to rebuild himself. He is diligent about getting the architecture right.

All of which makes “I Know I’m Not Wrong”—the first song the band started recording for Tusk, and the last one to be finished – even more poignant. When Tusk was reissued, in 2015, the expanded release included six (!) different “I Know I’m Not Wrong” demos, all recorded by Buckingham in his home studio. The chorus is a declaration of intention, of confidence: “Don’t blame me/Please be strong/I know I’m not wrong.” It’s not a thing a person gets to say very often. But Tusk isn’t a record that gets made more than once.

Amanda Petrusich / Pitchfork / July 17, 2016

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
Tusk (1979)

Bold, brash, excessive

Like 1979 original, Fleetwood Mac’s Tusk reissue is bold, brash and excessive

Fleetwood Mac’s deluxe reissue of Tusk is as brash and elaborate as the 1979 original, offering extended insights into the development of 20 eclectic songs.

In its original form, Tusk was a 2-LP set that followed the mega-success of Rumours, which had delivered enduring pop classics “Don’t Stop,” “Dreams,” “You Make Loving Fun” and “Go Your Own Way.”

Flush with fame and cash, and fueled by cocaine use, according to band co-founder Mick Fleetwood, the band was intent on not making Rumours II. Instead, they released a 20-song set that mostly (not entirely) eschewed the sunny California harmony pop sound of Rumours. Songs haltingly methodical and slow crash into breakneck-paced punk-rock romps. On the first listen, it can be unsettling. After that, it works wonderfully.

A few hits emerged from between the heart-racing highs and the faint-pulse lows, including the title track, featuring the USC marching band, and the ethereal top-5 smash “Sara.” Most of the rest was not radio-friendly. Tusk was a critical smash but a commercial flop when stacked up against Rumours-sized expectations.

The passage of time has solidified the legacy of Tusk as a masterpiece. The anniversary set captures the album’s essence with an in-depth exploration of how it unfolded. Here’s why fans will wallow in its abundance of material:

It’s excessive, just like the original. The deluxe version delivers 84 tracks, spread across five CDs (the digital version is organized along the same lines.) Those tracks include inside-out looks at the evolution of the album, including the aforementioned title track (eight versions, including one live performance) and “I Know I’m Not Wrong” (eight versions.) Both have aged well. To be sure, half as many versions of each would be plenty, while leaving room for more outtakes and alternate takes.

The hidden gems shine. Stevie Nicks’ “Sisters of the Moon” starts softly and builds for five minutes, her distinctive raspy vocals taking center stage. An alternate take of “Storms” haunts with the backing of Lindsey Buckingham on acoustic guitar. Buckingham’s “The Ledge,” “That’s Enough For Me” and “I Know I’m Not Wrong” fuse rockabilly and punk; they sound like they could have been written on the same wild night, and that’s a good thing. On each of these three tracks (average length about 2:20), by the time you ask yourself, “Wait, this is Fleetwood Mac?” the tune is already over — and it’s time to jam on the brakes for a track like Christine McVie’s “Brown Eyes” or “Never Make Me Cry.” Those tracks may not rank among McVie’s career’s best, but they showcase a moody, silky voice that keeps you from skipping ahead. The alternate takes of these songs give a sense of what it was like in the recording studio, one that was famously, and very expensively, custom built for the band.

22 vintage live tracks. We don’t get a single concert, but rather selected tracks from the band’s 1979-80 tour in support of Tusk. Many were taken during a June 1980 run at Wembley Stadium. The tracks present a time capsule of a band still riding the crest of its popularity yet testing the waters with the new material. “Sara” is gorgeous in its simple arrangement and Nicks’ passionate vocals during a 1980 Tuscon, Ariz. show. Buckingham practically barks at a St. Louis crowd during a November 1979 performance of “Not That Funny.” He gets the point across. During that same show, McVie plaintively belts out “Over and Over,” the mournful leadoff track on Tusk. Tracks from the band’s 1975 eponymous album and Rumours round out the live offerings.

The band’s cohesiveness is on constant display. Watching and hearing Fleetwood Mac’s disparate units combine talents is the real pleasure in following the band. “The magic of a band, any band, is in the combination,” Fleetwood once said. Although they don’t write songs, Fleetwood and fellow original band member John McVie provide the band’s backbone, something that’s evident during the live performances of “Not That Funny” and “Tusk.” Ultimately, Buckingham’s orchestration of these songs works so well because it’s those guys who form the orchestra. Each of main album’s tracks takes on the distinctive personality of the songwriter — Buckingham (nine tracks), McVie (six) or Nicks (five).

The set, issued by Rhino Records, is available in multiple physical and digital configurations. Among them is a gift set that contains 5 CDs, a DVD, 2 LPs and a booklet, and retails for about $100. All the music can be purchased digitally for $39.99 on music services. The biggest fans will enjoy this encyclopedic approach to an album that holds up to an in-depth re-inspection. The set minus the 22 live tracks sells for $10 less. You can save another $10 by dropping all the outtakes and alternative tracks, but that’s where the real fun stuff lives.

Ken Paulsen / silive.com / Friday, February 12, 2016