Fleetwood Mac

Fleetwood Mac, Rumours, and Tusk (Reprise)


Fleetwood Mac


Fleetwood Mac

Rumours (Reprise)

Fleetwood Mac

Tusk (Reprise)

When Mick Fleetwood, John McVie, and the former Christine Perfect, survivors of the Sixties UK folk and blues crusades, were hipped to Buckingham Nicks upon relocation to L.A. in the mid-Seventies, they recognized the entirety of Fleetwood Mac's evolutionary arc. Shrouded in "Stevi" Nicks' witchy folk, cured with Lindsey Buckingham's twitching guitar mastery, the pair's permanently out-of-print debut rustles the same rootsy muse that previous helmsmen Peter Green, Jeremy Spencer, and Bob Welch conjured. Camps joined, 1975's wiry Fleetwood Mac went No. 1 on Nicks' "Rhiannon," Christine McVie's "Say You Love Me," and Buckingham's "Monday Morning." Success helped splinter the group's two romantic alliances, resulting in Rumours ('77), the best-selling album of all time until Michael Jackson's Thriller. How good is Rumours a quarter-century later? Enough to neutralize Let It Be revisionism – sequencing B-side "Silver Springs" between LP sides (the demo's better) – and overcome Clinton's use of "Don't Stop." The his/hers opening exchange, Buckingham's "Second Hand News" ("one thing I think you should know, I ain't gonna miss you when you go"), and Nicks' "Dreams" ("listen carefully to the sound of your loneliness"), give way to "Go Your Own Way" and 17 million LPs sold. Like the Clash's Sandinista! in relation to its predecessor London Calling, or Exile on Main Street to Sticky Fingers, Tusk followed Rumours in 1979 with a sprawling wallop half as focused, but twice as ambitious. "Sara" and Buckingham's acerbic "Not That Funny" remain Mac set staples, and many more should've: There's not a bad track on Tusk. Both Tusk and Rumours come with an additional disc: alternate, (not so) demo versions of each album that are probably welcome to those who wore out their original LPs, but no doubt superfluous to Fleetwood Mac neophytes. If such animals still exist.

(Fleetwood Mac) ***.5

(Rumours) ****.5

(Tusk) ****

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