Bella Donna, The Wild Heart deluxe editions out Nov 4

STEVIE NICKS TO RELEASE DELUXE EDITONS OF HER FIRST TWO SOLO ALBUMS

Legendary Singer-Songwriter Builds On Her Unparalleled Legacy With Deluxe Editions Of Bella Donna And The Wild Heart. Available From Rhino On November 4.

24 Karat Gold Tour With Pretenders Kicks Off October 25

LOS ANGELES – Stevie Nicks, the legendary singer songwriter whose highly acclaimed 30 year solo career includes seven studio albums, iconic hits, and record sales in the millions, will release deluxe editions with newly remastered audio and never before released live and recorded music from her first two solo albums Bella Donna and The Wild Heart. The end of October dual releases will come out in conjunction with the start of Nicks’ 24 Karat Gold Tour with Pretenders which begins in Phoenix on October 25. Complete tour schedule follows this release.

BELLA DONNA: DELUXE EDITION is a three-CD set for $29.98 and THE WILD HEART: DELUXE EDITION is a two-CD set for $19.98. Both will be available on November 4. On the same day, newly remastered versions of the original albums will also be available on LP ($21.98) and CD ($11.98). The music will be available digitally and through streaming services as well. A complete list of cuts on both deluxe editions follows this release.

“I’ve had so much fun reliving the making of Bella Donna and The Wild Heart while working on the liner notes and listening to all of the alternate versions and demo takes,” says Nicks. “The liner notes are so much more than liner notes. They are like a little novel. I tried to make whoever reads this feel like they were there. I think…I succeeded….”

Nicks joined producer Jimmy Iovine to begin recording songs for her solo debut, Bella Donna following the recording of Fleetwood Mac’s Tusk and subsequent tour. The 1981 album was quickly certified platinum. Today, the album is 4x platinum thanks to Nicks classics like “Edge Of Seventeen,” “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around” (with Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers) and “Leather And Lace” (with Don Henley).

BELLA DONNA: DELUXE EDITION uncovers unreleased versions of “Edge Of Seventeen” and “Leather And Lace,” as well as rarities like “Blue Lamp” from the Heavy Metal Soundtrack and “Sleeping Angel” from the Fast Times At Ridgemont High Soundtrack. This deluxe edition also includes a concert from 1981 that features performances of songs from Bella Donna along with several Fleetwood Mac favorites.

Nicks returned in 1983 with her follow-up, The Wild Heart, which peaked at #5 on the album chart and has been certified double platinum. The album produced hits like “Stand Back,” “Nightbird” and “I Will Run To You,” which features Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. THE WILD HEART: DELUXE EDITION builds on the original album with unreleased versions of “All The Beautiful Worlds” a session version of “Wild Heart” and “Garbo,” the B-side to “Stand Back.”

Stevie Nicks - Bella Donna Deluxe EditionBELLA DONNA: DELUXE EDITION

Track Listing

Disc One: Original Album

  1. “Bella Donna”
  2. “Kind Of Woman”
  3. “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around” – with Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
  4. “Think About It”
  5. “After The Glitter Fades”
  6. “Edge Of Seventeen”
  7. “How Still My Love”
  8. “Leather And Lace”
  9. “Outside The Rain”
  10. “The Highwayman”
Stevie Nicks
(Photo: Herbert W. Worthington, III)

Disc Two: Bonus Tracks

  1. “Edge Of Seventeen” – Early Take *
  2. “Think About It” – Alternate Version *
  3. “How Still My Love” – Alternate Version *
  4. “Leather And Lace” – Alternate Version *
  5. “Bella Donna” – Demo *
  6. “Gold And Braid” – Unreleased Version *
  7. “Sleeping Angel” – Alternate Version *
  8. “If You Were My Love” – Unreleased Version *
  9. “The Dealer” – Unreleased Version *
  10. “Blue Lamp” – From Heavy Metal Soundtrack
  11. “Sleeping Angel” – From Fast Times At Ridgemont High Soundtrack

Disc Three: Live 1981

  1. “Gold Dust Woman”
  2. “Gold And Braid”
  3. “I Need To Know”
  4. “Outside The Rain”
  5. “Dreams”
  6. “Angel” *
  7. “After The Glitter Fades”
  8. “Leather And Lace” *
  9. “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around”
  10. “Bella Donna” *
  11. “Sara”
  12. “How Still My Love” *
  13. “Edge Of Seventeen”
  14. “Rhiannon”

Stevie Nicks - The Wild Heart Deluxe EditionTHE WILD HEART: DELUXE EDITION

Track Listing

Disc One: Original Album

  1. “Wild Heart”
  2. If Anyone Falls”
  3. “Gate And Garden”
  4. “Enchanted”
  5. “Nightbird”
  6. “Stand Back”
  7. “I Will Run To You” – with Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
  8. “Nothing Ever Changes”
  9. “Sable On Blond”
  10. “Beauty And The Beast”

Disc Two: Bonus Tracks

  1. “Violet And Blue” – from Against All Odds Soundtrack
  2. “I Sing For The Things” – Unreleased Version *
  3. “Sable On Blond” – Alternate Version *
  4. “All The Beautiful Worlds” – Unreleased Version *
  5. “Sorcerer” – Unreleased Version *
  6. “Dial The Number” – Unreleased Version *
  7. “Garbo” – B-side
  8. “Are You Mine” – Demo *
  9. “Wild Heart” – Session *
  • previously unreleased

24 KARAT GOLD TOUR DATES

Source: Official press release


Enter to win the Bella Donna 3CD Deluxe Edition! (5 copies available)

This contest has ended. See winner’s list below. All winner’s have been notified via email.

  • Adrienne U.
  • Brenda W.
  • Dave R.
  • Lisa A.
  • Mark L.

 

Enter to win The Wild Heart 2CD Deluxe Edition! (5 copies available)

This contest has ended. See winner’s list below. All winner’s have been notified via email.

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  • John S.
  • Joy F.
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  • Stephanie M.

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

REVIEW: Mirage (Expanded Reissue)

Fleetwood Mac
Mirage (Expanded Reissue)
(Warner Brothers/Rhino)
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars241

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

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″]

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)

Tusk (Deluxe Edition)

Despite popular narratives, Tusk isn’t all druggy, unabashed excess. Instead, this new sets shows the record as a deeply self-conscious document, the sound of a band that didn’t rebel against success so much as it misunderstood the privilege it brings.

Tusk, Fleetwood Mac’s 1979 double album, is full of backstory. If its mega-successful predecessor Rumours had the Behind the Music-made backstories of deceit and division, Tusk (like the album itself) had several conflicting and chaotic backstories. It was the first record to cost over a million dollars. The affairs and divides of Rumours had, by 1979, grown into wider fissures between band members and, in some ways, full-on breakdown. There’s also the notion that this is the cocaine record, a product of excess and disconnection from sense.

Perhaps connecting all these stories together—or fracturing them further—is the idea that Tusk was Lindsay Buckingham’s brainchild. In the liner notes to this new Deluxe Edition of the album, Jim Irvin lays out Buckingham’s mindset post-Rumours. He didn’t want to lean back on success and make the same record again. He was also, so the essay suggests, influenced by the growing punk movement. That Irvin himself seems disingenuous about punk, referring to the movement as a “grubby breeze” and to the moderate chart success of the Ramones or the Damned as “if they were mould spores ready to discolor the musical wallpaper.” And though he sees punk and new wave as music with a “youthfully abrupt” attitude to the past, he does concede that Elvis Costello and the Clash, among others were “speedily evolving.” His attitude, colored by a clear love of the “plush delights” of Rumours, seems to echo Buckingham’s. He borrows the ethos of punk in claiming that Tusk was a “fuck you” to the business of music.

Digging into this new 5CD/DVD/2LP version of Tusk, with all its bonus tracks and liner notes and photos, suggests that Buckingham’s view of the record and its making veers us away from the notion of coke bloat. The album isn’t truly about unabashed excess. Instead, this new edition helps us to re-see the record as a deeply self-conscious document, wherein Buckingham’s turn to the Talking Heads and the Clash (influences largely absent on the actual music of Tusk) seem to suggest an any-port-in-the-storm approach to making new music. The truth, though, is that the success of Rumours was hardly a problem. Tusk suggests that Fleetwood Mac was for a moment—due to inexperience, drugs, personal rifts, whatever—unsure not of how to follow up Rumours, but of how to make any other record. The “idiocy of fame” Irvin suggests as a target for Fleetwood Mac rings as naïve even now. Buckingham’s genre-hopping was little more than diving into of-the-moment trends. Mick Fleetwood, according to liner notes, wanted to make an African record, calling it a “native record with chants and amazing percussion.” These starting points for Tusk suggest not a rejection of success, but rather a fundamental misunderstanding of the privilege it brings.

That misunderstanding bleeds into the confused album itself. But this misunderstanding, and all the other confusions that went into the record, is what makes it so fascinating to listen to. For one, Buckingham’s conceits of ambition distract from some of the album’s purest pop moments. “Sara” shimmers” on clean, crisp pianos and beautiful vocals (Stevie Nicks and Christine McVie are actually the voices that keep this record together, though their influence is undersold in the liner notes in favor of the Buckingham defiant-burdened-male-genius narrative). “Over & Over” is bittersweet, dusty country-rock. “Storms” feels both spare and dreamy, leaning on vocal harmonies and tumbling guitar phrasings. “Angel” is stripped down and lean, letting the rhythm section take over rather than Buckingham’s layering. “What Makes You Think You’re the One” is catchy, straight-on power-pop, even with the high-in-the-mix snares and Buckingham’s unruly, edged vocals (which appear plenty on the record).

There is new territory here that works, namely the shift to a focus on drums in “Tusk.” Some of the skronky and brittle guitar tones feel fresh, though they sometimes land (“I Know I’m Not Wrong”) and sometimes fail (“Ledge”). But Tusk is at its best when it merely twists the band’s sensibility into something a bit more edgy and challenging than Rumours. The out-and-out experiments—like the hazy layers of “That’s All For Everyone” and the oddball chug of “Not That Funny”—feel awkward and pretentious, as if Buckingham didn’t quite understand the trends he was immersed in. Meanwhile, other places like “Honey Hi” just pile on the too-polished layers to saccharin effect.

Hearing Tusk now, all the ambition and hand-wringing around its creation feels largely unnecessary, with Buckingham’s ambitions for the album more relevant as ways to square with success that gave far more than it took away. But absent of all that outside story, it plays like a fascinating, uneven record. It is, like so many double albums, too long, but it also pushes the band places it hadn’t gone before. That those places are still firmly rooted in their pre-existing pop aesthetic, the very thing they claim to be turning away from, adds an interesting wrinkle.

The extras here further drive home the self-conscious nature of Tusk, suggesting even more that its excesses were more tantrum than rebellion. The “Alternate Tusk” included with largely unreleased takes is a compelling listen. It definitely doubles down on the album’s eccentricities. Buckingham’s vocals are as edged and shrill as ever. An extended take of “Sara” feels more spacious and haunted than the album take. “Storms” is spare and acoustic, with layers peeled back to reveal the song’s broken-hearted center. It plays like a long shadow to “Landslide.” “Tusk” gives the synths more space than the horns, but all the notes feel 8-bit next to the drums in the mix. Overall, this version is more disjointed and odd than the album version, and certainly worth a listen. But assembled here for a massive reissue, there’s a constructed feel to it that seems canned and, like so many other things around Tusk, overwrought. Like the original version, it is fascinating both when it struts with confidence and when it trips over its own self-aggrandizing ambitions.

The singles and outtakes drive home the defensive nature of Tusk, as well as the obsessive tinkering that happened as a result. Single versions of several songs skew any discoveries back to the middle. “Think About Me” is mixed to be all vocals and drums. “Sara” gets cut to a truncated, claustrophobic four-ish minutes. Even “Not That Funny”, a bad single candidate, sounds tame when those bleating guitars get sanded down. There are some interesting versions here, especially early takes on “Storms” and “Never Make Me Cry”, but while the evolution inherent in six versions of “I Know I’m Not Wrong” seems compelling on paper, in practice none of the takes stand out.

The two discs of live performances from the Tusk tour are—surprise, surprise—both fulfilling and frustrating. For one, they put songs from Tusk alongside songs from the band’s catalog, and the fit once again suggests the fleeting nature of the ambition of this double record. But the performances themselves are often ragged, sometimes exhausted. Nicks labors through a version of “Landslide” as if she’d prefer never to sing it again. Meanwhile, for a band not interested in repeating early success, they really stretch out a bombastic performance of “Go Your Own Way.” Between exhaustion and wanking, the band does sometimes nail it, though, especially a version of “Sara” here, a solid take on “Tusk”, and a charged, scuffed-up take on “Dreams”.

Tusk is an album that is excellent—and these uneven extras add interest to it—because it seems to come from such a flawed perspective. Buckingham and company spent over a million bucks on an album supposedly influenced by punk. The band was railing against a system that paid for that record. And, in the end, those pretenses of rebellion give way to simple artistic uncertainty. Even now, this set seems unsure of which way to present the album. We get a remastered version, an alternate version, a surround-sound DVD version, and a new pressing of the record on two LPs. This edition is an expansive, if expensive, gift to fans, and worthwhile in that regard, but its presentation also reminds us that Tusk isn’t the product of a burst of creativity or a major shift in artistic vision. Rather, it’s the sound of a band that didn’t know where to go, so it went everywhere at once. If that sounds dismissive, it’s not. Beneath all the conceits and mythologies that surround this record, it’s the basic fact that it’s always reaching that makes it the strange, great record it is.

Matthew Fiander / Pop Matters / Friday, February 12, 2016

ALBUM REVIEW: Tusk Deluxe

Tusk Deluxe EditionHad Fleetwood Mac played it safe after Rumours, they probably could have made another gajillion-selling album. Instead, they handed the reins to singer and guitarist Lindsey Buckingham and allowed him to steer the follow-up to one of the 20th century’s biggest LPs to wherever he wanted (with a few detours along the way).

The result was 1979’s double-LP Tusk, a much-delayed, over-budget and sprawling masterwork that often played out like Fleetwood Mac’s version of the Beatles’ White Album: three distinct singer-songwriters hashing out their solo compositions while the rest of the group played backing band. And it was, if you believed what you read at the time, a total bomb.

But 36 years later, Tusk stands as one of rock’s most underrated and rewarding albums, a complex and layer-revealing work that offers new perspectives and treasures with each listen. A new five-disc Deluxe Edition doesn’t so much give fresh insight to the record as it provides a behind-the-scenes peek at its formation and development, as well as the occasional struggles the band endured during its long and difficult birth.

The original two-LP set is expanded with discs of single remixes, outtakes, session leftovers, live cuts from the 1979-80 tour in support of the album and the entire record made up of mostly previously unreleased versions of the 20 songs. It’s as often fascinating as it is repetitive: Even for an album built on textures and detailed studio assembling, multiple takes on the title track and “I Know I’m Not Wrong” begin to get tedious after the fourth pass.

Still, alternate versions of “Over & Over” (the ambiance-soaked Christine McVie ballad that opens the album), “The Ledge,” “That’s All for Everyone” and “Brown Eyes” (with early member Peter Green prominently sitting in) show just how meticulous the recordings were … and just how much the band was slowly unraveling. Buckingham is clearly in control here, injecting flashes of weirdness and brilliance into the project. Stevie Nicks‘ contributions tend to be the least affected by his mad-scientist tinkering, but even they go deeper than Rumours‘ most intricate tracks.

Tusk: Deluxe Edition doesn’t show us much in the way of how skeletal demos evolved into multi-layered art pieces, though — it’s not that kind of box. If anything, it leads us to believe that most of these songs were fully structured by the time Fleetwood Mac began recording. And radio mixes of “Think About Me” and “Not That Funny” prove that even after the LP’s release, some cuts took on even newer forms.

It’s a lot to get through — more than 80 songs in all — and parts of it seem like padding (the live tracks, mostly from 1975’s self-titled album, Rumours and Tusk, sound diluted without their studio adornments). But the original album is worth diving into again, if only to revisit one of the era’s most undervalued works, a bold record made by a superstar band willing to risk its place at the top for its art.

Michael Gallucci / Ultimate Classic Rock / Thursday, December 3, 2015