Fleetwood Mac ranks #6 on Pollstar Top 20

Fleetwood Mac has ranked No. 6 on Pollstar’s Year End Top 20 Worldwide Tours, with total gross sales of $125.1 million and an average gross of $2 million per show. In 2015, the band took its ON WITH THE SHOW TOUR to U.S., Canada, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand.

Here is how the rest of the Top 20 looked:

Pollstar Top 20 Tours

The Year in Review

2015 was another busy year for Stevie and the members of Fleetwood Mac. The ON WITH THE SHOW TOUR was front and center, but Stevie made headlines of her own throughout the year. Here is a recap of some of the year’s biggest moments for the band.


Following her surprise New Year’s Eve appearance at a Deer Tick concert in Brooklyn a few weeks earlier, Stevie treated fans to another surprise — an unexpected acoustic performance of “Gypsy” and “Blue Water”! Rolling Stone hosted the performance in honor of Stevie appearing solo on the cover of its magazine for the first time since 1981.


Fleetwood Mac kicked off Leg 2 of the ON WITH THE SHOW TOUR, making another round of the U.S. and Canada.


Just a few shows into the second leg of the tour, Mick Fleetwood fell ill after a show in Nebraska. It appeared to be the stomach flu. Fortunately, Mick recovered quickly and the band was back in business.



In February, Rumours turned 38, still aging gracefully with each passing year.



Stevie graced the cover of Rolling Stone Australia. The editors went retro for the cover, opting for a ’70s-era photo by Sam Emerson. The US version of the magazine, released in January (RS1227), featured a newer photo by Peggy Sirota.



As Leg 2 of Fleetwood Mac’s insanely lucrative ON WITH THE SHOW TOUR was ending, Warner Bros. took advantage of the moment by reissuing Stevie’s 2007 release Crystal Visions…The Very Best of Stevie Nicks on clear double vinyl, with a large poster and a handy-dandy vinyl messenger bag.


LIFE featured Fleetwood Mac in a collector’s edition. Despite the great exposure (for already overexposed album!), the feature met with some controversy, namely from Rumours co-producers Ken Caillat and Richard Dashut who questioned the merits of the piece. Most fans know that the album couldn’t have been made without their studio craftsmanship, so don’t sweat it, boys!



Between tour legs, Lindsey Buckingham paid a visit to USC, whose world-renown marching band helped make his Fleetwood Mac’s iconic “Tusk” legendary…and the focal point of every college football game’s half-time show! Linds performed his acoustic classics before aspiring student entrepreneurs and encouraged the kids to make a big splash, creatively speaking.


Age-defying Miss Nicks turned 67 in May. People have longed marveled at the seemingly ageless woman with flawless skin, but Stevie’s night-owl schedule, free of those damaging UV rays, is largely to credit. (La Mer skin care products help out, too.)


Fleetwood Mac kicked off Leg 3 of their ON WITH THE SHOW TOUR in May, a day after Stevie’s 67th birthday. Celebrities such as Adele and Florence Welch (of Florence and the Machine) attended the European opener, later taking to Twitter to gush about meeting Stevie. (She seems to have that effect on people.)




In June, Fleetwood Mac performed at the Isle of Wight, England’s largest and most famous music festival of nearly 60,000 attendees. The barrage of hits caused a drunk sing-along among the sea of fans, which spanned kilometers!


As expected, Fleetwood Mac made Forbes’ coveted list of the World’s Highest-Paid Celebrities, ranking at #24 with a whopping paycheck of $59.5 million. Stevie and Christine were the third highest-paid women in music, behind Katy Perry (#1) and Taylor Swift (#2).




Fleetwood Mac ended Leg 3 of the ON WITH THE SHOW TOUR in Dublin, where the seeds of Christine McVie’s return to Fleetwood Mac were planted in 2013.


Fleetwood Mac’s music continued to reach new audiences with this Watkins Family Hour cover of “Steal Your Heart Away” from Mac’s 2003 album Say You Will. Not bad for a band you’ve probably never heard of.



Stevie Nicks ranked No. 53 on Rolling Stone‘s list of 100 Greatest Songwriters of All Time. Some fans felt the prolific songwriter should have been ranked higher on the list, but considering the magazine once described her second solo album The Wild Heart as an “outright catastrophe” and her singing as “inchoate ramblings,” it’s a sheer miracle she’s on the list at all! By the way, that disparaging assessment of this two-million seller that produced the monster hit “Stand Back,” is curiously omitted from Rolling Stones‘ online album review archive. Editor’s remorse? Karma? Who knows? But you can read the full critical takedown here.



Thirty-four years after they released “Leather and Lace,” Don Henley and Stevie Nicks reunited for a tender new ballad called “It Don’t Matter to the Sun.” Even if the two are no longer “lovers forever,” they still know how to tug at those heart strings.


Lady Antebellum’s Charles Kelley made headlines in 2015 by announcing his plans to record a solo album. Leaving a supergroup to do your own thing? Having done it herself, Stevie might have a few things to say about this subject, like “Let me sing on your record!” (Stevie will be providing harmony vocals on Kelley’s cover of Tom Petty’s “Southern Accents.”)


If showing up unexpectedly at a Los Angeles Foo Fighters’ concert to perform two of your own songs wasn’t shocking enough, what Stevie did toward the end of “Gold Dust Woman” will have you in jaw-dropping disbelief. The impromptu moment showed that even Stevie, who rarely strays far from her stage routine, could be spontaneous.



In October, Fleetwood Mac finally made its way to Australia after cancelling a planned tour in 2013 due to bassist John McVie’s cancer scare. Fortunately, McVie recovered and the band was ready to rock fans Down Under. The opening shows in Sydney were blockbusters, catapulting the band into the top spot on Billboard Boxscore, with gross sales exceeding $5.4 million.




After a staggering 150 shows, most of which were sold out, Fleetwood Mac ended the ON WITH THE SHOW TOUR in the beautiful city of Auckland. For most Australasian fans, it was the wind…the rain…the water! that they had to contend with in order to see their heroes in action. Despite the elements, which often made for a soggy concert experience, most fans would probably say it was all worth it. #BucketList Fleetwood Mac closed out the year at No. 6 on Pollstar’s Year End Top 20 Worldwide Tours, with total gross sales of $125.1 million.


Rock a Little was kind of Stevie’s Tusk…big, brash, and a bit all over the place. It also represented everything The Big ’80s could serve up…drum machines, synthesizers, and power ballads. So how does it stand 30 years later?



On December 4, Fleetwood Mac’s most unusual album Tusk got the deluxe treatment, augmented with elaborately reissued editions. Getting the DVD-Audio mix of the album, the track-by-track analysis, and The Alternate Tusk impressed even the most jaded Fleetwood Mac fans.


Never ones to stay at home for long, Stevie and Mick attended the star-studded Broadway premiere of School of Rock in New York. The two megastars schmoozed with the likes of Sting, Andrew Lloyd Webber, and Helen Mirren. Mick’s uber-cute twin daughters Ruby and Tess were there too!


Both Mick and Lindsey have been fanning the flames of a possible new Fleetwood Mac album for the past two years. It was clear that Stevie was the lone hold-out, or so it seemed. But now she appears to be on board, if what she told an interviewer at the School of Rock Broadway premiere is accurate.


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Though it was an awkward pairing, The Voice judge Gwen Stefani and contestant Jeffery Austin did their best to cover Stevie and Don Henley’s classic duet “Leather and Lace” for the live finale. By the end, you didn’t quite get the sense that Gwen and Jeffery were “lovers forever,” but maybe “pals for a while.”


Happy New Year from STEVIE NICKS INFO! Wishing you all the best in 2016!

Tusk expands

New box set expands, reveals Fleetwood Mac’s enigmatic opus

When the five members of Fleetwood Mac reconvened in the studio in 1978 to record the follow-up to their massively successful/decade-defining/inescapable disc Rumours, it would have been painfully easy to simply spit out Rumours II.

Instead, they took 13 months and spent a then-unprecedented $1 million-plus to birth Tusk, a double album of 20 songs spanning 72 minutes. The effort defied expectations, confounded some fans, sold “only” 4 million units, and produced only two singles resembling hits: the tribal-sounding title track (recorded with the 112-piece University of Southern California Trojan Marching Band), and Stevie Nicks’ ethereal “Sara.”

However, a funny thing happened with Tusk in the ensuing 35 years. Its standing among both Mac fans and musicians has skyrocketed, as has respect for the wildly diverse songs and experimentation. Now, Rhino/Warner Brothers has released Tusk: The Deluxe Edition. The 5-CD/2-LP/1-DVD set includes the original album remastered, a bevy of outtakes and alternate takes, and plenty of live material from the ensuing tour.

In the booklet of liner notes and rare photos, Jim Irvin celebrates the potpourri grab bag of music, spearheaded by Lindsey Buckingham’s newfound infatuation with the sounds of punk and New Wave music, and a desire to not repeat the same old formula. He would even adopt an entirely new look for the photos shoots and tour of closely cropped hair, suits, and…uh…heavy makeup.

“Listening to Tusk is like walking around a ridiculously eclectic art gallery curated by someone who’s keeping their aesthetic a secret,” Irvin offers. “And old master next to an abstract, a kinetic sculpture next to a watercolour. It makes no sense at first.”

Though, contrary to the established Rock History Narrative of him fighting for the change alone, both Nicks and Mick Fleetwood and not just Buckingham were also eager to shake things up, according to their own comments today.

And what of the effect as a whole? Buckingham certainly brings an un-Mac-like tension, nervous energy, and biting sarcasm to efforts like the deranged square-dance sound of “The Ledge,” the punkish “What Makes You Think You’re the One,” the biting “Not That Funny,” and the “rockabilly on acid” of “That’s Enough For Me.”

Stevie Nicks, always given something of a short shrift in terms of songwriting since she doesn’t play an instrument (not counting the tambourine), offers some of her finest work in the longing “Storms,” an upbeat “Angel,” elegiac “Beautiful Child,” and mysterious “Sisters of the Moon,” which surprisingly resurfaced on the set list for the Mac’s recent reunion tours.

Only Christine McVie’s contributions seem slight and listless — both lyrically and musically — save for some soft-and-gentle work on her usual romantic balladry in “Over and Over” and “Brown Eyes.”

Tusk‘s recording period saw Christine’s involvement with both Grant Curry (the band’s lighting director) and Beach Boy Dennis Wilson, while Buckingham fell into an intense involvement with record-company exec/former model Carol Ann Harris (who later wrote a not-that-flattering book about the relationship, Storms).

The shocker, fans later found out, was the news of Nicks and Fleetwood’s brief-but-intense involvement. It led to Fleetwood’s divorce from Jenny Boyd…who had previously had an affair with previous lineup guitarist Bob Weston…and was the sister of Rock’s Greatest Muse, Pattie Boyd, who sent both George Harrison and Eric Clapton into romantic bliss and yearning, poured out on vinyl.

And when Nicks and Fleetwood’s involvement ended, Nicks’ best friend, Sara Recor (partial inspiration for the song), took up with Fleetwood without either bothering to tell Nicks about it, which crushed her (are you following all of this?).

Thus, Nicks admits today that a number of her songs are about Fleetwood, and it’s not hard to interpret many of hers and Buckingham’s lyrics as continued musical snipes and judgments on their relationship.

Of the demos and alternate versions, there’s some very interesting development chronicled in the songs “I Know I’m Not Wrong” and “Tusk” as Buckingham — like he did with much of the material — tinkered with them in his own studio extensively before bringing them to the band. It was a way of songwriting that gave him more control, but which the band agreed to abandon after Tusk.

And on the live discs, listeners will find a band surprisingly willing to take risks with tempos and delivery onstage with material recorded in studio. And that includes tunes from their previous two records, Fleetwood Mac and Rumours.

So, while the hefty Deluxe Edition of Tusk may be for Mac Addicts only (and those with record players), less expensive options included a 3-CD Expanded Edition and a 1-CD Remastered effort.

In either case, for what attention and sometimes derision it received on release, Tusk is the one effort in the band’s discography whose standing has improved with time. Oh, and the meaning the title? It was Fleetwood’s slang term for a penis. You’re welcome for that.

Bob Ruggiero / Houston Press / Monday, December 28, 2015

VINTAGE VIDEO: ‘Silent Night’

In this vintage video, Stevie talks about her favorite Christmas memory: waking up on Christmas Eve to find her dad unexpectedly building a baby buggy for her because “Santa was very, very busy tonight.” The interview is followed by Stevie’s live Top of the Pops performance of “Silent Night,” which she recorded for A Very Special Christmas in 1987. She is joined by Robbie Nevil, best known for his Top 10 1986 hit “C’est La Vie.”

ALBUM REVIEW: Tusk, Deluxe & Expanded editions

Fleetwood Mac reissues Tusk with unreleased alternate takes and live renditions.

(Editor’s note: The article was edited for grammar. The original published article can be accessed by clicking on the link at the bottom of the page.)

Tusk, Fleetwood Mac’s 1979 opus was a daring experiment, one that defied commercial possibilities while expanding the band’s musical parameters into areas that were otherwise unimaginable. It was especially daring considering the fact that the band had just come off two LPs that had broken them wide open in the States, Fleetwood Mac and Rumours, albums that would go one to become among the best-selling albums in all of music history.

Helmed by the most successful line-up in their lengthy history — that being the front line axis of Lindsey Buckingham, Stevie Nicks and Christine McVie — the band continued to venture even further from their blues based roots, having been hailed as the champions of soft-rock radio in all its endearing essence. In truth, Mick Fleetwood and John McVie, the band’s namesakes and longtime standard bearers, had become token players in their own outfit, having ceded control to the trio responsible for their hits. Nevertheless, Fleetwood Mac was more potent and impressive commercially than at any time in their storied history, flush with widespread acclaim and ready to take on the world.

While the album was successful by most standards — it reached the Top 5 in the U.S., spent over five months in the Top 40, and was certified double platinum by virtue of selling two million copies — it didn’t come close to matching the levels achieved by its two immediate predecessors. Warner Bros. blamed RKO radio for playing the album in its entirety prior to release, encouraging volumes of home taping. The album cost over $1 million to make, the most expensive record in pop music history up until that time, and with consumers forced to shell out an extra $2 to cover the price of the resulting double album, economics discouraged those on a budget from making a ready purchase. It did produce a pair of hits in “Sara” and the title track, but given the fact it bore 20 tracks in all, expectations were never fully realized.

Tusk can now be seen as the bold effort it is, and it’s possible to appreciate all it has to offer.

Nevertheless, in retrospect, it is a fascinating album, a brilliant combination of excess, eccentricity, and studio savvy. Consequently, any reason for reexamination is well worth the time and effort. To be sure, this 2015 version isn’t its first reissue; an extensive re-release was launched a decade ago, but it pales in comparison to the expansive treatment the album is accorded this time around. Offered now as a six-disc set in its most elaborate configuration, it features an entire side of outtakes, rarities, works in progress and demos, as well as two discs culled from live recordings extracted from the Tusk tour, an alternate version of the album as it was first intended, and a DVD containing a surround sound mix of the original recordings.

Tusk deluxe is housed in an elaborate box that also boasts heretofore unseen photos and an extensive essay by journalist Jim Irvin, who, in turn, offers insights about the circumstances surrounding the album’s recording while reflecting on the general bewilderment it cast on an unsuspecting record label, music critics and the public in general, most of whom were either too confused or too overwhelmed to give it the time and attention the album deserved. As Irvin points out, many second generation copies were obtained from used record stores, discarded by the original owners simply because they had no patience for digesting it all.

More than 35 years later, Tusk can now be seen as the bold effort it is, and in listening to the various rehearsals and formative versions of its staple songs, it’s possible to appreciate all it has to offer. (Buckingham’s multiple takes on “I Know I’m Not Wrong” and his slow construction of “Tusk” offer fascinating insights into the way the genesis of the record was fashioned, one layer at a time.) No, it’s hardly a perfect record, but in terms of sheer brashness and bravado, it sets an exceptionally high bar.

Lee Zimmerman / Glide / Wednesday, December 23, 2015

REVIEW: Tusk (Deluxe Edition)

Tusk (Deluxe Edition) Fleetwood Mac Rhino

**** 1/2 (four-and-a-1/2 stars out of five)

The Mac’s wild, punk-y follow-up to Rumours hits just as hard 36 years later, especially on this extras-packed reissue.

While the music scenes of England, New York City and scattered bohemian enclaves the world over embraced punk’s do-it-yourself radicalization in the late Seventies, nearly every superstar of sunny southern California kept on making smooth and glossy soft rock as if Joey Ramone and Johnny Rotten had never happened. This didn’t comfort Lindsey Buckingham. The pressure to follow Fleetwood Mac’s astronomically successful 1977 LP, Rumours, with a follow-up just like it drove the singer-guitarist to turn to Talking Heads, Elvis Costello and other upstarts for inspiration and liberation.

And so he began what became 1979’s famously experimental and eclectic double-disc, Tusk, at home with the deliberate goal of shaking things up. While Buckingham crafted his unconventional solo recordings, the Mac had Studio D at L.A.’s Village Recorder built to their specifications, where they added to his songs and recorded their own with results that veered from demo-quality rockabilly to exacting balladry. Both capitalized on the freedom that came with their success: Because drummer Mick Fleetwood himself managed the band, absolutely no one but the musicians and their near-exclusive producer-engineers Richard Dashut and Ken Caillat had any input. Tusk may have been the first album to cost a million dollars, but much of it was in spirit and practice nearly as DIY as the era’s New Wave.

Sequenced for maximum disruptive effect, Tusk alternately reassures and startles: Christine McVie’s placid lullaby “One More Time (Over & Over)” opens the album with a soothing dose of musical morphine, but gets followed by the wake-up call of Buckingham’s anxious “The Ledge,” the album’s most punk-influenced track. As confirmed in the interviews that accompany this deluxe five-CD/two-LP/one-DVD box set edition, much of Tusk – like its predecessor – is a Rashomon-esque account of life within the band as seen through the sharply contrasting viewpoints of their three songwriters. One of Stevie Nicks’s most delicate and downhearted songs, “Storms,” wallows in the guilt over her affair with then-married Fleetwood, and the subsequent karmic payback she endured when her best friend secretly moved into his house. Buckingham’s confrontational “Not That Funny” addresses Nicks, by then his ex, whom he saw as getting caught up in celebrity culture. It’s this candid quality that makes Tusk so contemporary even decades later.

Tusk’s one-of-a-kind combo of punky verisimilitude and surreal opulence drives one point home harder than ever: No other band could’ve recorded this album.

That forthrightness gets magnified exponentially by the deluxe edition’s supplemental discs. One of them, “The Alternate Tusk,” presents the entire album via divergent versions of every song, including an early, piano-led rendition of Nicks’s “Sara” that lingers for nearly nine minutes; and Buckingham’s languid “That’s All for Everyone,” here featuring entirely different lyrics. Another disc, “Singles, Outtakes, Sessions,” demonstrates through multiple editions of some tracks like Buckingham’s “I Know I’m Not Wrong” – the first song recorded for the album, but the last one to be definitively completed – how the album evolved during Tusk’s year-long creation. The version of “Save Me a Place” on this disc lacks the weeping bluegrass harmonies that define the released take, but Buckingham’s vocal here is even more pained. Two discs of “Tusk Tour Live” serve as a considerably longer and looser alternate edition of the band’s 1980 live album, which chronicled that same world trek. And the set’s audio DVD provides a new 5.1 surround sound mix by Caillat that maximizes the album’s one-of-a-kind combo of punky verisimilitude and surreal opulence, and drives one point home harder than ever: No other band could’ve recorded Tusk.

Barry Walters / Rolling Stone / Tuesday, December 22, 2015

School of Rock’s Sierra Boggess (excerpt)

When we met Sierra Boggess on a rainy New York City morning, within five minutes it became clear that she’s a woman who has given a lot of thought about who she is and how she wants to be in the world (she even managed to do this during the now standard, “It’s nice that it’s not freezing out, but also it’s kind of creepy,” small talk). Sierra is currently starring as Rosalie Mullins, the principal in School of Rock. Last season she appeared in It Shoulda Been You. Other Broadway credits include Master Class, Les Misérables, Phantom of the Opera, and she made her Broadway debut as Ariel in The Little Mermaid. She’s also crossed the pond and starred in the West End production of Love Never Dies. We talked to Sierra about her evolution throughout these productions, how she’s balanced her personal development while also working in the theatre, and how all of this has now taken root in her current role in School of Rock. Her astute exploration of her relation to her profession and her roles (both on and off stage) is just the sort of conversation that we think is important to have.

When you hear a song, do you immediately have an emotional response to it?
For sure. Even when it’s on the radio. Even when it’s mundane or “it’s just a pop song,” I think we as humans respond. It’s actually very scientific that we’re responding to the beat or the high notes. But I really respond to when I can hear, going back to this theme of perfection — I mean I’m obsessed with this whole thing and how much it’s in our lives — as the music industry has grown and people have tried to get this one way to look and one way to sound, it’s stripped away all of this rawness. As everyone by now knows, I’m the biggest Barbra Streisand fan. I discovered Barbra Streisand when I was a kid through my mother, and she had a record player and she would play her records, and the sound of her and the rawness… It’s so funny how Barbra has this reputation of being difficult to work with, and I guarantee you it’s because she’s a woman who speaks up for herself. I guarantee it. Because she knows what she wants. I’ve heard stories of her going back into the listening room and they’ll have mixed up something that she’s just recorded and she’ll be like, “Where are my breaths. You can’t hear my breaths.” Because they tried to strip it out and make it sound perfect and like you’re not a human singing—but she already doesn’t sound like a human singing because she’s freaking extraordinary—but she’s asking for the realness to be put back in. Obviously I don’t know her, I’m talking purely from an admirer standpoint, but that’s what I responded to as a kid: this raw sound, this real sound. It’s imperfectly perfect.

And Barbra’s so germane to what we’ve been talking about, not only in terms of her voice, but what she’s done for women in the industry.
Completely. And she still does. She’s so relevant to me. I use her so much within my show. On my wall, I have her [photo] because she’s my role model, and then I have Stevie Nicks too for Ms. Mullins. I have these two super powerful women in their respective industries. And what the show means to Stevie NicksStevie has come to our show twice and she’s going to come back again. She loves the musical and she loves the movie. She said when she first saw the movie she was watching TV and it was on and she was watching and then her song came on and then she was like, “I must have signed off on this at some point” — that’s when you know you’ve made it, when you’re like, “I guess I signed off on this.” But she said she’s been struck by being the only female rocker represented within the entire show, School of Rock. We’re celebrating rock and he [Dewey] references all of these different people within the show that are his inspirations, and Stevie Nicks is the only female represented in the rock world. It makes me want to cry just thinking about it. So, no wonder [it had an impact on her]. And she’s so relevant in that today. And I love that Rosalie gets to be the one to bring her to life and that she’s her inspiration.

And since for so long that singularity went sort of unnoticed and uncelebrated. Or not even being able to have the discussion of what it’s like to be the only one in a boy’s club.
Right. Can you imagine? I’ve thought about her so much, and at that time wanting to become a rocker and what that stigma was, it’s fascinating to me. I would love to talk to her about it.

Yeah, and that thing of how you do that without having anyone to look at and go, “Oh, okay, that’s how you do that.”
And I think that’s, subconsciously, what Rosalie Mullins is relating to is this woman who has paved the way. Going back to the character, I love her so much, and what I keep learning about her, to be a woman of the age she is — I’m in my early thirties — and she’s the head of one of the most established, prestigious schools and all of the other teachers are older than she is. And as a woman to be holding this up and the responsibilities and the pressures that she’s under to show up a certain way, that informed how I walk and how I talk. That goes back to the [idea of] coming from a place of truth. All of the expectations that there are on her, as a young woman, to be running a school of that caliber, it’s a lot.

Right, we usually think of women, if they’re in roles of authority, as being older or super tall and British.
Exactly. And there are clues within it. She says that no one has asked her to go out in six years. So six years ago she was twenty-eight years old, she went out to the teachers convention, had one beer, got drunk, and started coming alive singing Stevie Nicks. All of the teachers remembered it and will keep remembering it, but it’s the last time she did it and allowed herself to be free and vulnerable. And my acting teacher and I, when we were analyzing the scene in the bar and when Dewey gets her to go on a date with him, my acting teacher said, “This is a boundary she’s maintained for six fucking years.” And now this guy is coming in and asking her to come out of her comfort zone and the only time she relaxes is when she hears Stevie Nicks playing — her kindred spirit. It’s psychologically fascinating to me. Again, as a woman, can you imagine if any of them knew that she went out with this substitute and all of this stuff? I could go on.

Well, it so relates to women in our culture in general. Like how women get, “Oh, are you the assistant to the principal?”
Or, “Let me talk to who’s in charge.” “No, I am.

Read the full article here.

Victoria Myers / theINTERVAL / Monday, December 21, 2015

CD REVIEW: Fleetwood Mac Tusk

Fleetwood Mac Tusk (1979)With the ‘Mac hangover still hanging thick in the southern air, it’s time for the lush reissue of 1979 epic Tusk.

Once the most expensive album ever made, this was their indulgent response to Rumours, the album which cemented the quintet’s status as titans of melodic West Coast rock.

While selling only fractionally as well, and marked by Lindsay Buckingham’s obsessive and sometimes inspired attention to sonic detail, this two-disc deluxe edition features five versions of the immaculate title track, tracking the evolution of one of their most intriguing pieces.

Fleetwood Mac. Tusk: Deluxe Edition. Warner Music.

Three and a half stars (out of five)

Single download: Tusk (April 6, 1979 USC Version)
For those who like: ’70s excess

John Hayden / Otago Times / Monday, December 21, 2015

VIDEO: Hilary Duff covers ‘Little Lies’

Hilary Duff has covered Fleetwood Mac’s 1987 Top 10 hit “Little Lies” for her TV Land show Younger. In the interview posted below, Duff mentions that “Fleetwood Mac is seriously one of [her] favorite bands of all time.” Duff’s rendition transforms the song into dance pop and will be featured in the upcoming TV promos for the show.

Co-written by keyboardist Christine McVie, “Little Lies,” from Fleetwood Mac’s glossy pop album Tango in the Night, reached No. 4 on the Billboard Hot 100 back in August 1987. Fleetwood Mac revived the lost track onstage during its On With the Show Tour, with McVie’s return to the band.

The second season of Younger kicks off on January 13.

Little Lies covered by Hilary Duff

Behind the Scenes

The Return of Tusk

Fleetwood Mac’s exotic classic expands

When Fleetwood Mac’s Tusk finally was unveiled to the masses back in 1979, it critically dropped like a white elephant. After releasing two of the best, almost flawless pop albums of the seventies — Rumours and Fleetwood Mac — folks expected the band’s formula of non-stop, potential singles to remain intact. Instead, Tusk had spread its sonic experimentation across two albums, its creative overlord, Lindsey Buckingham, having utilized virtually every studio toy at his disposal. Add to that USC’s marching band drumline-ing across the focus single/title track with servings of un-Mac-like musical performances and song lengths, and you get Buckingham’s musical vision/version of what a late-seventies album was supposed to be. Fleetwood Mad had arrived and considering the relationship breakdowns and band’s highly-publicized drug culture, it’s a miracle this previously-considered overthought, overwrought product made it to vinyl at all.

Fleetwood Mac’s shifting business and leadership dynamics and partner trade-ups shouldn’t have been surprising considering the musical institution’s member roster evolved following every few albums (remember Peter Green and Bob Welch?) and the inevitable shake-up cyclicly was due. All of this very public Mac stress delighted journalists who gleefully spread the word. Regardless, devoted fans still were hooked on the band that strutted siren Stevie Nicks and the sophisticated Christine McVie, and they would spend their last dollar for this sweet fix. So the album sold well though it did shock Macsters, and the returns (when stores want a refund for unsold product) were large since product shipments allegedly were as bloated as Tusk‘s track count and excesses. Then again, at the time, returns were a given and built into the business plan for virtually every album release.

Tusk is Fleetwood Mac’s middle child that demanded more attention and, until now, was very misunderstood.

As a single, the title track “Tusk” wasn’t a flop but it also wasn’t embraced like the usual, undeniable Mac release, possibly due to its cryptic poetry (“Why don’t you ask him what’s going on? Why don’t you ask him who’s the latest on his throne?”). The reality was that no matter how ambitious and applaudable the 45 was, it didn’t change music as we knew it; luckily Stevie Nicks’ “Sara” became the album Tusk‘s biggest hit and its saving grace. Unfortunately, “Think About Me” and “Sisters Of The Moon, the followup singles,” came off like second stringers, like Rumour‘s lightweight “I Don’t Want To Know.” Add to that Lindsey Buckingham’s creepy-ish “Not That Funny” and “The Ledge” and it was like the Fleetwood Mac we knew and loved had been euthanized.

With the release of the super-deluxe Tusk and its abundant, additional content — including a vinyl pressing — this head-scratcher of an album both gets its due and a thorough examination. Naturally, the remastered album sounds fuller than its original CD release and closer to the vinyl sonics, and the 5.1 surround mixes utilize instruments, vocals, and arrangement groupings previously denied this project. The crazy amount of work that went into Tusk‘s undertaking is uncovered further with a rarity disc that contains demos, outtakes, and remixes. There are also two live discs that put the emotionally and physically exhausted Fleetwood Mac’s fatigue front and center. What’s presented here may not be fantastic but it’s engaging, with performances of newbie compositions like “Sara” and older hits like the always dazzling “Landslide.” And the alternate Tusk disc comprised of alternate takes, is interesting, but Mac and the gang’s first go-round is definitive, even though this “what if?” is smartly assembled.

After this deluxe, historical analysis of Tusk and with so many decades following its initial release, it can be rationalized that it possibly was a commercial misstep but it also served a bigger purpose. Lindsey Buckingham’s genius has been outed through the years, project after project, and Tusk, obviously, was this mad scientist’s first true laboratory, so he should get a break for an experiment or two that went haywire. Stevie Nicks and Christine McVie’s lead vocals delighted on practically all of their songs, no problem there. Even former Mac-er Peter Green paid a visit to “Brown Eyes,” and to this day, everyone loves those USC marching band rascals, though not necessarily on a pop record heard every ten minutes on the radio. A big nod goes to the sound, expertly constructed by the project’s talented co-producers Richard Dashut and Ken Caillat (father of Colbie).

Not much more can be said about Tusk except that its opening song “Over And Over” got it right. Its message of sanity prevailing through adversity applied to this incarnation of the group…at least until they changed doctors a few years later (Doctor Who reference…anyone?). This version of the band–Lindsey Buckingham, Stevie Nicks, Christine McVie, John McVie and Mick Fleetwood — survived long enough to record the Mirage and Tango In The Night albums, whose creative heights may not have been achievable without Tusk. Put in another context, Tusk could be considered Fleetwood Mac’s middle child that demanded more attention and pretty much was, possibly until now, very misunderstood.

Mike Ragogna / Huffington Post / Friday, December 18, 2015

Fleetwood Mac’s Tusk gets a deluxe reissue

In its most popular incarnation — from the mid-1970s through the 1980s when Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks were in the group — Fleetwood Mac released five studio albums. The middle title from that sequence, the 1979 double album Tusk, was the least popular, and still gets the least amount of airplay.

After the blockbuster success of 1977’s Rumours, one of the biggest-selling albums in history, Buckingham decided the band’s next record could afford to take more chances. Tusk includes unusual song structures, jagged rhythms, and on the lead single and title track — which prominently features the USC Trojan marching band — the group is practically unrecognizable.

While not as commercially accessible as the pairs that came before and after it, Tusk is nonetheless one of the most rewarding items in Fleetwood Mac’s catalog. Fans who have come to appreciate it should be intrigued by the new deluxe edition of the album released this month. The set contains five CDs with the original remastered album, dozens of demos and alternate takes that show how its twenty songs developed, and live performances from the band’s 1979-80 tour.

Completing the package is the album in two additional formats, vinyl and a 5.1 mix DVD. A less expensive alternative is the 3-CD version, which includes only the remastered Tusk and related studio outtakes.

Joshua Palmes / Stamford Music Examiner / Saturday, December 26, 2015