Fleetwood Mac Tusk cropped album cover

ALBUM REVIEW: Tusk

More than any other Fleetwood Mac album, Tusk is born of a particular time and place — it could only have been created in the aftermath of Rumours, which shattered sales records, which in turn gave the group a blank check for its next album. But if they were falling apart during the making of Rumours, they were officially broken and shattered during the making of Tusk, and that disconnect between bandmembers resulted in a sprawling, incoherent, and utterly brilliant 20-track double album.

At the time of its release, it was a flop, never reaching the top of the charts and never spawning a true hit single, despite two well-received Top Ten hits. Coming after the monumental Rumours, this was a huge disappointment, but the truth of the matter is that Fleetwood Mac couldn’t top that success no matter how hard they tried, so it was better for them to indulge themselves and come up with something as unique as Tusk.

Lindsey Buckingham directed both Fleetwood Mac and Rumours, but he dominates here, composing nearly half the album, and giving Christine McVie’s and Stevie Nicks’ songs an ethereal, floating quality that turns them into welcome respites from the seriously twisted immersions into Buckingham’s id.

This is the ultimate cocaine album — it’s mellow for long stretches, and then bursts wide open in manic, frantic explosions, such as the mounting tension on “The Ledge” or the rampaging “That’s Enough for Me,” or the marching band-driven paranoia of the title track, all of which are relieved by smooth, reflective work from all three songwriters. While McVie and Nicks contribute some excellent songs, Buckingham owns this record with his nervous energy and obsessive production, winding up with a fussily detailed yet wildly messy record unlike any other.

This is mainstream madness, crazier than Buckingham’s idol Brian Wilson and weirder than any number of cult classics. Of course, that’s why it bombed upon its original release, but Tusk is a bracing, weirdly affecting work that may not be as universal or immediate as Rumours, but is every bit as classic. As a piece of pop art, it’s peerless.

Stephen Thomas Erlewine / AllMusic

Add comment

Reply

New Release

Stevie Nicks, Stand Back 1981-2017, compilation

Follow

RSS Fleetwood Mac

  • Fleetwood Mac: Wembley Stadium, London, June 18, 2019 Tuesday, June 18, 2019
    The Chain & Little Lies Dreams & Second Hand News Say You Love Me Black Magic Woman Everywhere & Rhiannon World Turning Band Introductions & Gypsy   Oh Well & Don’t Dream It’s Over Landslide Hold Me Gold Dust Woman You Make Loving Fun   Go Your Own Way Free Fallin’ & Don’t Stop All […]
  • GAK YEARS: Mick Fleetwood confirms ‘tale’ of his seven-mile line of cocaine Sunday, June 16, 2019
    As the backbone of rock legends Fleetwood Mac for more than 50 years, Mick Fleetwood has enjoyed more debauchery, hard living than just about anyone else. Now 71, he became renowned as one of the wildest men in music, and in an exclusive interview during Fleetwood Mac’s world tour he even confirms a long-standing tale […]
  • Fleetwood Mac: Wembley Stadium, London, June 16, 2019 Sunday, June 16, 2019
    The Chain Little Lies Dreams Second Hand News Say You Love Me Black Magic Woman Everywhere Rhiannon World Turning Gypsy Don’t Dream It’s Over Landslide Hold Me Monday Morning You Make Loving Fun Gold Dust Woman Go Your Own Way Free Fallin’ Don’t Stop (video not available) All videos courtesy of and Kathy Fricker, raina […]

Translate This Site

News Archive

RSS Fleetwood Mac

  • Fleetwood Mac: Wembley Stadium, London, June 18, 2019 Tuesday, June 18, 2019
    The Chain & Little Lies Dreams & Second Hand News Say You Love Me Black Magic Woman Everywhere & Rhiannon World Turning Band Introductions & Gypsy   Oh Well & Don’t Dream It’s Over Landslide Hold Me Gold Dust Woman You Make Loving Fun   Go Your Own Way Free Fallin’ & Don’t Stop All […]
  • GAK YEARS: Mick Fleetwood confirms ‘tale’ of his seven-mile line of cocaine Sunday, June 16, 2019
    As the backbone of rock legends Fleetwood Mac for more than 50 years, Mick Fleetwood has enjoyed more debauchery, hard living than just about anyone else. Now 71, he became renowned as one of the wildest men in music, and in an exclusive interview during Fleetwood Mac’s world tour he even confirms a long-standing tale […]
  • Fleetwood Mac: Wembley Stadium, London, June 16, 2019 Sunday, June 16, 2019
    The Chain Little Lies Dreams Second Hand News Say You Love Me Black Magic Woman Everywhere Rhiannon World Turning Gypsy Don’t Dream It’s Over Landslide Hold Me Monday Morning You Make Loving Fun Gold Dust Woman Go Your Own Way Free Fallin’ Don’t Stop (video not available) All videos courtesy of and Kathy Fricker, raina […]
  • Fleetwood Mac: RDS Arena, Dublin, Ireland, June 13, 2019 Thursday, June 13, 2019
    The Chain Black Magic Woman Oh Well World Turning Gypsy Hold Me Don’t Stop Free Fallin’ Videos courtesy of Bryan Michael, Paul Dickson, Derv, James Maguire ~ go raibh maith agat!
  • Fleetwood Mac: Pinkpop Festival, Landgraaf, The Netherlands, June 10, 2019 Monday, June 10, 2019
    The Chain / Little Lies / Dreams / Everywhere / Don’t Dream It’s Over / Landslide / Go Your Own Way / Don’t Stop (compilation) Little Lies Rhiannon Go Your Own Way Free Fallin’ Videos courtesy of Eveline Beelen, Ils goes around, _josdecross, tosalover, World Gaijin Travelers ~ dank je!
%d bloggers like this: