On this day in music history: October 12, 1979 – “Tusk”, the twelfth album by Fleetwood Mac is released. Produced by Fleetwood Mac, Ken Caillat and Richard Dashut, it is recorded at The Village Recorder and Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, CA from Mid 1978 – Mid 1979. Issued as the highly anticipated follow up to the multi-million selling “Rumours”, the sprawling twenty track double LP set costs over $1 million to record with the band spending more than a year in the studio. With Lindsey Buckingham’s musical interests turning toward punk rock and new wave, he has a strong influence over the work in progress. It receives largely mixed reviews from critics and fans bewildered by the largely experimental nature of the record, and put off by the high retail list price ($15.98) affect album sales. Sales of the album are also hurt by large numbers of people recording it off the air when the RKO radio network previews the album in its entirety prior to its release. It ends up selling about one fifth of the ten million copies that “Rumours” had sold to that date. In later years, “Tusk” is re-evaluated and receives greater appreciation for its musical invention, and willingness to push boundaries. It spins off three singles including “Sara” (#7 Pop) and the title track (#8 Pop). Fleetwood Mac tours the world extensively in support of the album, spending eighteen months on the road, and releasing a double live album (“Fleetwood Mac Live”) taken from the tour in December of 1980. When “Tusk” is originally released on CD in the mid 80’s, it features the edited single version of “Sara” instead of the full 6:22 LP version. This is done since the album runs over the original seventy four minute time limit set for a single CD. The full version makes its CD debut in 1988 on “Fleetwood Mac’s Greatest Hits” (the 2002 “Very Best Of Fleetwood Mac” set), and is restored to the original album when it is remastered in 2004. The 2004 reissue also includes a bonus CD featuring demos, alternate takes and previously unreleased tracks. The original twenty track album is reissued on vinyl by Warner Bros’ Rhino Records reissue division in 2012. It is also reissued as a sprawling Super Deluxe box set in 2015. The set includes five CD’s with remastered versions of the original album, outtakes, live tracks, single mixes and edits, and DVD-A disc with new 5.1 surround mixes and high definition audio of the stereo mix. Also included is the remastered double vinyl LP. An another version of the album featuring the alternate outtakes, from the 2015 five CD deluxe edition is released as a limited double vinyl album titled “The Alternate Tusk” for Record Store Day in April of 2016. “Tusk” peaks at number four on the Billboard Top 200, and is certified 2x Platinum in the US by the RIAA.
On this day in music history: September 4, 1976 – “Fleetwood Mac” by Fleetwood Mac hits #1 on the Billboard Top 200 for 1 week. Produced by Fleetwood Mac and Keith Olsen, it is recorded at Sound City Studios in Van Nuys, CA in February 1975. Released in July 1975, the album is the first to feature new members Lindsey Buckingham (guitar, vocals) and Stevie Nicks (vocals), replacing guitarist Bob Welch when he departs for a solo career. The album marks the beginning of the band moving from having a solid cult following the the US to becoming one of the biggest bands in the world. Though it gets off to a modest start, steadily building momentum as the band tours tirelessly in support of it. It eventually spins off three singles including “Rhiannon” (#11 Pop), “Say You Love Me” (#11 Pop) and “Over My Head” (#20 Pop). “Fleetwood Mac” sets a new precedent for the slowest climb to number one, taking a then record fifty eight weeks from the time it first enters the Top 200 chart in late July of 1975. The record stands until 1989 when Paula Abdul’s “Forever Your Girl” hits #1 in its sixty fourth week on the Top 200. “Fleetwood Mac” breaks into the Top 10 on September 27, 1975, climbing to #9 a week later before slipping out of the Top 10. It does not return until February 21, 1976 in its thirtieth week. Bolstered by the singles “Rhiannon”, “Say You Love Me” and airplay favorite “Landside”, the album remains in the Top 10 until October 30, 1976. “Fleetwood Mac” is certified 5x Platinum in the US by the RIAA.
On this day in music history: June 23, 1982 – “Mirage”, the thirteenth studio album by Fleetwood Mac is released. Produced by Lindsey Buckingham, Ken Caillat, Richard Dashut and Fleetwood Mac, it is recorded at the Château d’Hérouville in Hérouville, France, Larrabee Studios and The Record Plant in Los Angeles, CA circa 1981 – 1982. After the lukewarm reception received by the experimental and eccentric “Tusk” album in 1979, Fleetwood Mac members Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks both record solo projects before returning to the fold in late 1981. Their first album of new studio material in nearly three years, it marks the bands return to their more accessible and radio-friendly pop/rock sound. The albums release is led by the Christine McVie penned “Hold Me” (#4 Pop, holding for seven weeks in that position), which is supported by a visually striking and innovative music video shot in the Mojave Desert directed by Steve Barron (“Billie Jean”, “(Keep Feeling) Fascination”, “Take On Me”), it is inspired by the work of Belgian surrealist artist René Magritte. The intense heat out in the desert combined with strained relations between the band members make the video shoot difficult and tense. It spins off three hit singles including “Gypsy” (#12 Pop, #4 Mainstream Rock) and “Love In Store” (#22 Pop). The album is reissued as a remastered three CD + DVD and vinyl LP deluxe edition on September 23, 2016. The first disc feature the original twelve song album, with disc two includes nineteen bonus tracks including outtakes, alternate versions and early versions of several songs. Disc three includes thirteen live tracks recorded during the Mirage Tour. The DVD features the original album newly remixed into 5.1 surround. The original album is also reissued as a 180 gram vinyl LP on May 26, 2017. Prior to its release and further commemorate the thirty fifth anniversary of “Mirage”, a limited edition 180 gram vinyl LP titled “Alternate Mirage”, featuring alternate versions and outtakes from the deluxe box set, is issued for Record Store Day on April 22, 2017. “Mirage” spends five weeks at number one on the Billboard Top 200, and is certified 2x Platinum in the US by the RIAA.
On this day in music history: June 18, 1977 – “Dreams” by Fleetwood Mac hits #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for 1 week. Written by Stevie Nicks, it is lone chart topper for the Anglo/American rock band led by drummer Mick Fleetwood. During the sessions for “Rumours” album, Stevie Nicks finds herself with time on her hands while her band mates are recording overdubs in one of the other rooms. She takes an electric piano with her into the room built for musician Sly Stone at The Record Plant in Sausalito, CA, and begins playing around with some chords. Nicks writes “Dreams” in about ten minutes, later showing it to Lindsey Buckingham who assists her in arranging the song’s final structure. The band record it the following day, with the basic track being cut while Nicks sings her vocal live. Though only the lead vocal and drum are all that are used from that initial session on the finished record. The other instruments are re-recorded and additional vocals are overdubbed in Los Angeles at later sessions. Released as the follow up to “Go Your Own Way” (#10 Pop) on March 24, 1977, “Dreams” quickly becomes a smash. Entering the Hot 100 at #77 on April 16, 1977, it climbs to the top of the chart nine weeks later. It is later covered by The Corrs in 1998 for the Fleetwood Mac tribute album “Legacy: A Tribute to Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours”, to commemorate the twentieth anniversary of the original albums’ release. In 2005, Stevie Nicks sings on a cover version of “Dreams” recorded by the electronica dance duo Deep Dish. “Dreams” is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA.
On this day in music history: April 13, 1987 – “Tango In The Night”, the fourteenth studio album by Fleetwood Mac is released. Produced by Lindsey Buckingham and Richard Dashut, it is recorded at The Slope in Los Angeles, CA and Rumbo Recorders in Canoga Park, CA from November 1985 – March 1987. With the members of Fleetwood Mac wanting to work on solo projects, and focus on other creative activities, the band wind up taking an extended hiatus. In late 1985, guitarist Lindsey Buckingham begins working on what is to be the follow up to his second solo album “Go Insane”. When Buckingham invites band mates Mick Fleetwood and John McVie into the studio, it soon morphs into the first new Fleetwood Mac album in five years, when Stevie Nicks and Christine McVie join in on the proceedings. Nicks is absent for a majority of the eighteen months the sessions run, having been on the road promoting her third solo album “Rock A Little” and spending a stint in rehab. She spends a total of only two weeks in the studio. Though the sessions yield a solid album, unresolved past issues between band members, with some still struggling with substance abuse, all come to a head. Burned out from shouldering most of the burden production wise, Buckingham refuses to tour, and quits shortly afterward. He is replaced by guitarists Rick Vito and Billy Burnette, and doesn’t return for a decade. “Tango” is released to solidly positive reviews and becomes the bands second largest studio set behind “Rumours”. It spins off four singles including “Big Love” (#5 Pop), “Little Lies” (#4 Pop), “Seven Wonders” (#19 Pop) and “Everywhere” (#14 Pop). The albums cover art work inspired by French artist Henri Rousseau, is painted Australian artist Brett-Livingstone Strong, which Buckingham has hanging in his Southern CA home. To commemorate the thirtieth anniversary of the albums’ release, “Tango” is reissued and remastered on CD and vinyl. Released on March 31, 2017, it is issued as a two CD deluxe edition with the first disc featuring the original twelve song album. The second disc featuring thirteen bonus tracks including demos, B-sides and alternate takes. It is also released as a three CD, DVD + vinyl LP Super Deluxe box set. It features the aforementioned contents plus a third CD featuring fourteen bonus tracks including the original 12" extended mixes edits and dub versions previously on vinyl only. The DVD includes the music videos four all five singles, plus a new high resolution 5.1 surround remix. The set also includes a 180 gram vinyl LP with the newly remastered audio and a 12" x 12" booklet with photos and annotation. A limited vinyl release of alternate takes titled “Alternate Tango In The Night” is scheduled for release for Record Store Day on April 21, 2018. “Tango In The Night” peaks at number seven on the Billboard Top 200, and is certified 3x Platinum in the US by the RIAA.
On this day in music history: April 2, 1977 – “Rumours”, the eleventh studio album by Fleetwood Mac hits #1 on the Billboard Top 200 for 31 weeks (non-consecutive). Produced by Fleetwood Mac, Ken Caillat and Richard Dashut, it is recorded at Criteria Studios in Miami, FL, The Record Plant, Wally Heider in Los Angeles, CA, Davlen Recorders in North Hollywood, CA, The Record Plant in Sausalito, CA and Zellerbach Auditorium in Berkeley, CA from Early – Late 1976. Issued as the follow up to their break through self-titled album, the band make a concentrated effort to capitalize on their success with the follow up. Break ups, hedonistic behavior and interpersonal strife aside, the sessions produce the most critically acclaimed and commercially successful album of their career. During its run on the charts it spins off four top 10 singles including “Go Your Own Way” (#10 Pop), “Dreams” (#1 Pop), “Don’t Stop” (#3 Pop), and “You Make Loving Fun” (#9 Pop). “Rumours” also wins the Grammy Award for Album Of The Year in 1978, and is certified 20x Platinum in the US by the RIAA, earning a Double Diamond Certification.
On this day in music history: February 4, 1977 – “Rumours”, the eleventh studio album by Fleetwood Mac is released. Produced by Fleetwood Mac, Ken Caillat and Richard Dashut, it is recorded at Criteria Studios in Miami, FL, The Record Plant in Sausalito, CA and Los Angeles, CA, Zellerbach Auditorium in Berkeley, CA, Wally Heider Studios in Los Angeles, CA, Sound City Studios in Van Nuys, CA, and Davlen Studios in North Hollywood, CA from Early – Late 1976. Following the bands’ marathon tour in support of their breakthrough album “Fleetwood Mac”, all of the members are affected by personal conflicts, including John and Christine McVie getting divorced, drummer Mick Fleetwood splitting from his wife Jenny Boyd, and Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham also ending their long term relationship. In spite of the obvious tension, it will also see the band at its creative peak, with Buckingham, Nicks and Christine McVie all writing songs about the breakdown of their relationships. Proceeded by the single “Go Your Own Way” (#10 Pop) in December of 1976, it is an immediate critical and commercial hit upon its release, spinning of four top 10 singles including “Dreams” (#1 Pop), “Don’t Stop” (#3 Pop) and “You Make Loving Fun” (#9 Pop). Later pressings of “Rumours” feature an alternate mix of “Gold Dust Woman” which features glass shattering (glass panes broken by Mick Fleetwood) and howling low in the mix (by Lindsey Buckingham) at the songs’ climax. The mix released on the initial pressing is without the shattering glass, and with the howling prominently featured in the mix. Original vinyl copies of “Rumours” feature a textured LP sleeve, with a lyric sheet booklet featuring photos of the band on the outer front and back. Later LP pressings feature a non-textured cover. Originally released on CD in 1985, and then is remixed into 5.1 surround sound by original recording engineer and co-producer Ken Calliat, and released as a DVD-A disc in 2001. A two CD deluxe edition including the original stereo mix is remastered (by Bill Inglot and Dan Hersch in 2004 and 2013) and reissued on CD in 2004. It is remastered and reissued as a 180 gram vinyl LP in both standard 33 1/3 RPM and 45 RPM double vinyl pressings in 2011. A triple disc edition is released in 2013, with the first disc featuring the original album adding the B-side “Silver Springs” (also on the 2004 reissue). The second disc includes live performance material from the “Rumours Tour” in 1977. The third disc features song demos and outtakes from the sessions. The set is also issued as a Super Deluxe box set expanded to four CD’s, including a DVD featuring a documentary and the vinyl LP. “Rumours” spends thirty one weeks (non-consecutive) at number one on the Billboard Top 200, winning the Grammy Award for Album Of The Year in 1978, and is certified 20x Platinum in the US by the RIAA, earning a Double Diamond Certification.
On this day in music history: December 20, 1976 – “Go Your Own Way” by Fleetwood Mac is released. Written by Lindsey Buckingham, it is the first single from the landmark “Rumours” album. In spite of having scored a major artistic and commercial triumph with their self-titled tenth album, all is not well with the members of Fleetwood Mac. By the time they’re due to begin work on the follow up, John and Christine McVie have divorced, drummer Mick Fleetwood has split with his then wife Jenny Boyd, and Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks’ romantic relationship has also come to an end. Drugs and alcohol also add to the tension between the five band members. But instead of letting it tear them apart, it actually fuels the creative process while writing and recording material for their next album. “Go Your Own Way” is written by Lindsey Buckingham while the band are taking a vacation in Florida, having rented a house to live in while they rest and begin working up new material. The inspiration for the song comes from the break up of Buckingham and Nicks’ relationship. Still anguished over the split, the songs’ narrative expresses that feeling while directing telling the other person defiantly to go ahead and leave. Recording a rough demo of the track, Buckingham plays it for the other members of the band when they begin recording at The Record Plant in Sausalito, CA in early 1976. While working on an arrangement for the song, Lindsey plays the rhythm he wants Mick Fleetwood to play on the drums by drumming his hands and fingers on Kleenex boxes to emulate the sound of tom toms. Initially unsure of the unusual rhythmic structure on Buckingham’s demo, Fleetwood plays it in a different way, instinctively playing behind the beat in sections instead of in front of it. Eventually, it all falls into place and the track is completed. Upon hearing the song, Stevie Nicks takes offense to the lyric “packing up, shacking up is all you wanna do”, knowing that it is directed at her, but Lindsey refuses. Stevie responds by writing “Silver Springs” which is also inspired by their break up. Both “Go Your Own Way” and “Silver Springs” are issued at the A and B-sides of Fleetwood Mac’s first first single from “Rumours”, six weeks ahead of the albums’ February 1977 release date. Both songs receive significant airplay right out of the box, though “Silver Springs” is left off of “Rumours” due to the time limitations of vinyl, though it is later added to CD pressings of the album. “Go Your Own Way” becomes one of Fleetwood Mac’s most popular and performed songs. Entering the Hot 100 at #71 on January 8, 1977, it peaks at #10 on March 12, 1977. “Go” is later featured in the Oscar winning film “Forrest Gump” in 1994, and has been covered numerous times by various artists including The Cranberries, Wilson Phillips, NOFX, The Lumineers, Carrie Underwood and Colbie Caillat.