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Old 04-10-2015, 09:54 AM
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Default 25 Years Ago: Fleetwood Mac Release ‘Behind the Mask’ Without Lindsey Buckingham

25 Years Ago: Fleetwood Mac Release ‘Behind the Mask’ Without Lindsey Buckingham
by Jeff Giles April 10, 2015 10:44 AM


By the time they achieved massive mainstream success in the mid-’70s, Fleetwood Mac had already been through more lineup changes than most bands manage in their entire careers, and their best-selling album, Rumours, was partly inspired by a pair of collapsing relationships between bandmates.
They were accustomed to forging on in the face of personal and professional drama, in other words — but even so, the trials they faced before recording their 15th studio album, 1990′s Behind the Mask, proved particularly threatening.

All things considered, it should have been an easy time for Fleetwood Mac, who battled back from some early ’80s doldrums with 1987′s commercially resurgent Tango in the Night. With another multiplatinum hit at their backs and a fresh slew of Top 40 singles marching up the charts, the band might have been able to settle into the sort of groove that had proven difficult in the years after Rumours‘ unwieldy success, if not for one thing: the inconveniently timed exit of guitarist Lindsey Buckingham, whose songwriting and meticulous studio work had increasingly come to define their sound.
Buckingham’s departure was confirmed in the summer of 1988, causing the band to scramble to fill his parts before their tour for Tango. It was just the kind of painful and potentially disastrous conflict that the band had unfortunately become known for, but as drummer Mick Fleetwood later admitted, the split was a long time coming — and exacerbated by moves the other band members had made in the years leading up to it.

Admitting that the group essentially tricked Buckingham into co-producing Tango in the Night by hiring a producer they knew he wouldn’t want to record with, Fleetwood told Q that the guitarist’s long exit from the band ultimately came down to his unwillingness to tour.
He didn’t want to go out on the road, and we knew that, and he kept putting us off,” explained Fleetwood. “We said, ‘You – out of anyone with the amount of work you put into this album – you’re not going out on the road? That’s crazy! You want to piss this down the drain? Don’t you want people to hear this?’ But by saying we were going anyway, we got him off the fence. He said he’d do it.
Buckingham had a list of conditions for the tour, however. “He said he wanted two, maybe three, other guitar players, percussion players, all sorts of interesting things. So now we were over a barrel,” Fleetwood recalled. “‘Whatever you want,’ we said, ‘Just let’s get out there.’ For a while he looked as if he was going to do it – but he changed his mind after we booked the tour. It was not amusing.

As many problems as Buckingham’s sudden change of heart may have caused, Fleetwood professed no hard feelings after the split: “He’d realized he’d been forced into a situation and had cracked. He said that touring would have destroyed him and been hell for everyone else, and that’s not what this is all about. He made the right decision.
I don’t blame them for any tactics they might have used. It was natural,” Buckingham conceded to Q in 1992. “I was trying to be a nice guy, but I really didn’t want to do the tour. I said no, then I said, ‘Oh, okay.’ They said, ‘Good, let’s all go out to dinner and have fun.’ I didn’t even show up at the restaurant — that’s how close I was to not doing it,” he admitted. “I finally said I could not do it. It wasn’t just the touring. I had to jump this bridge and take a little responsibility for my own happiness and creativity, because it’s a little bit overdue. It was tough telling them; not a happy day.

It was ultimately on the Tango in the Night tour that Fleetwood Mac tested out Buckingham’s successors. Drafting rhythm guitarist Billy Burnette from Fleetwood’s side project the Zoo and adding Bob Seger sideman Rick Vito on lead guitar, the new lineup solidified its chemistry in front of thousands of fans before heading into the studio for Behind the Mask. “It was almost predetermined that they would join after Lindsey left,” Fleetwood told the Pioneer Press. “They turned what could have been a catastrophic event into a smooth transition.
Billy and I really play well off one another. He’s not some frustrated lead guitarist, but, rather, he’s extremely inventive on rhythm guitar. He’ll craft parts that are uniquely his own, as well as being complementary to what I’m doing,” Vito told the New Jersey Record. “We got to know each other musically by playing together and exciting the people. It was a real confidence booster that carried over when we headed into the studio.
And while fans may have been disappointed by Buckingham’s absence, the band ultimately saw it as restoring a spark that had been increasingly absent during the past few years of his tenure. “We had been sitting around for years not doing too much, and Fleetwood Mac had started to drift apart,” mused Fleetwood after Behind the Mask‘s arrival. “But his departure brought about a real commitment by the rest of us to what we’re doing.

I like the fact that we really did pull it off,” singer and keyboardist Christine McVie told Rolling Stone. “The record was well arranged and well thought out, despite the fact that Lindsey wasn’t there.
Christine really took the bull by the horns this time,” Fleetwood explained during a conversation with the Boston Globe. “And with Lindsey gone, the older members of the band enjoyed getting back to how we used to make albums. It was very much a team effort … No offense to Lindsey, but he was becoming obsessive in the studio and we were beginning to take a backseat.
The newly collaborative spirit Fleetwood felt was reflected in the Behind the Mask songwriting credits, which were spread fairly evenly between an expanded roster of writers that now included Burnette and Vito as well as McVie and singer Stevie Nicks, as well as their attendant collaborators. But if the atmosphere was more relaxed in the studio — Buckingham even showed up for a cameo, contributing acoustic guitar to the title track — that didn’t necessarily add up to music that captivated fans the way previous albums had.

In fact, while it would be unfair to call Behind the Mask a flop, it didn’t come anywhere near the level of sales success the band enjoyed with Tango in the Night, topping out at No. 18 during a relatively brief stay on the chart and sending only one song, “Save Me,” into the lower reaches of the Top 40. Although “Save Me” was a sizable adult contemporary hit, as was “Skies the Limit,” the album couldn’t help but feel like a comedown.
Fleetwood Mac were also far from settled on the lineup front. The band’s 1990 tour would prove to be the only one mounted by the six-piece roster responsible for Behind the Mask; by the end of the year, both McVie and Nicks were out, along with Vito, and although McVie returned for the group’s next outing, 1995′s little-heard Time, most of the next decade was spent with the band in varying degrees of flux.
But as fans know, that classic Rumours-era lineup realigned for 1997′s wildly successful live album The Dance and subsequent tour, and while McVie left again after that, she’s currently back in the fold for yet another tour and new album — a cycle that Vito unwittingly predicted when he weighed in on the risks of joining a band with so many stormy chapters in its past.
Who knows what will happen? But I think the turbulence that seems to surround this band is part of its allure,” laughed Vito in 1990. “They always seem to be flirting at the edge of the precipice. But they always seem to endure.


Read More: 25 Years Ago: Fleetwood Mac Release 'Behind the Mask' Without Lindsey Buckingham | http://ultimateclassicrock.com/fleet...ckback=tsmclip

Last edited by SisterNightroad : 04-10-2015 at 02:03 PM.
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Old 04-10-2015, 10:41 AM
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'Admitting that the group essentially tricked Buckingham into co-producing Tango in the Night by hiring a producer they knew he wouldn’t want to record with...'

that's a new one on me. Mick's a schemer.
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Old 04-10-2015, 11:30 AM
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The memories of waiting for Behind the Mask to be released. I remember I bought the cassette tape the first or second day it was out at a Record store at the mall (gosh remember the record stores at the mall)?
I was 20 and so excited. BTM is a mixed album. There are pure treasures on the album which get over looked by the lack of album sales. I did admire the back to the rock roots a bit. No programmed grunts or drums like on Tango. In the Back of My Mind was an early favorite because it really showed a creative side.
You really have to hand it to Christine during this era. Lindsey left and Stevie was in a thick fog. And it now is learned that Mick still was a major substance abuser at this time. A lot of the continuation of the Mac fell to her shoulders.
Lindsey was a real problem to agree to a tour and then pull out at the last minute. The Big Love intro Lindsey does on stage has him saying that his life needed a big change and leaving the band was a starting of that process.
We never hear Lindsey talk of any personal demons like substance abuse. We heard him bash Stevie and Mick for not wanting to go on the road with them and their issues. I wonder what changes he needed to make in his life that he would act like this? He is a tease and beats around the bush with explaining this.

The band did continue on and for such a rush with new members Billy and Rick did a pretty good job. They did not have the time to do anything clever.
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Old 04-10-2015, 11:57 AM
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“Christine really took the bull by the horns this time,” Fleetwood explained during a conversation with the Boston Globe. “And with Lindsey gone, the older members of the band enjoyed getting back to how we used to make albums. It was very much a team effort … No offense to Lindsey, but he was becoming obsessive in the studio and we were beginning to take a backseat.”

and the only hits they had during this time were Chris's as well.
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Old 04-10-2015, 12:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Macfan4life View Post
We never hear Lindsey talk of any personal demons like substance abuse. We heard him bash Stevie and Mick for not wanting to go on the road with them and their issues. I wonder what changes he needed to make in his life that he would act like this?
Lindsey didn't bash them in the press, as his excuse for leaving. He talked about his girlfriend not liking them working on his property in the Winnebago, but mostly he simply said the band was crazy doing Tango and that things would just be 10 times crazier on the road than on the studio. In 1997, he also said that Stevie was no longer the person he'd known and he had his own issues about her that he couldn't get over until he was out of the band and away from her. Mick and Stevie are the ones who offered more details about why he left. Mick said that Lindsey was afraid that he'd be drawn back into drugs, if he hung around Mick and Stevie said that he was fearful for her. Lindsey then commented on their remarks about why he left when they were doing the Unleashed tour. But he never said he left because they were so awful.

Michele
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Old 04-10-2015, 12:42 PM
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with the exception of the second time , I love this CD and the Line up
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Old 04-10-2015, 01:55 PM
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Lindsey didn't bash them in the press, as his excuse for leaving. He talked about his girlfriend not liking them working on his property in the Winnebago, but mostly he simply said the band was crazy doing Tango and that things would just be 10 times crazier on the road than on the studio. In 1997, he also said that Stevie was no longer the person he'd known and he had his own issues about her that he couldn't get over until he was out of the band and away from her. Mick and Stevie are the ones who offered more details about why he left. Mick said that Lindsey was afraid that he'd be drawn back into drugs, if he hung around Mick and Stevie said that he was fearful for her. Lindsey then commented on their remarks about why he left when they were doing the Unleashed tour. But he never said he left because they were so awful.

Michele
You have your opinion to what negative comments in the press come to the level of bashing. Yes I have heard the quote you use coming from Lindsey but I have also heard much stronger language alleging to not wanting to be around crazy people on the road. Lindsey even made his next studio album video about Mick.
I stand by my words and think the negative comments "bashing" are appropriate. He could have said nothing or said he is moving on to better things. But to talk about people's personal vices to the press is bashing IMHO
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Old 04-10-2015, 02:43 PM
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To be completely honest, I think this album stinks. I take:

- Love Is Dangerous
- Skies The Limit
- Behind The Mask

and run. Overall, I think is really stale. Tango had pushed the production boundaries and even though it's 80's through and through, it has a fresh and identifiable production. This album just limps along.

I think the songs are pretty questionable as well. Even the four mentioned above aren't that great. Stevie was in the middle of her klonopin addiction and let's be frank, her songs on this record are crap.

Even though it said Christine "took the horns", I think this album has her worst set of songs ever. Skies The Limit is limp and barely passable, Behind The Mask is good, the rest are pretty rubbish. Especially Do You Know, which is a truly terrible number. Sorry Christine, I'm usually a huge fan of your work but the songs here are not up to scratch.

Love Is Dangerous is probably the best song on here, and the only one I'd put on a Greatest Hits. It says it was co-written with Stevie but I suspect a "Seven Wonders" situation where Stevie changed a word and got a credit. It's a good song, if a bit hillbillyish. But it's the best one on here.

The CD cover is actually atrocious as well! The picture is really weird, not sure how it "represents" the band, it makes them seem like some hillbilly country ranch band playing at the local hall for 10 dollars per night. And the frame is horrible as well, it reminds me of my grandmother's wallpaper.

So yeah overall I'm not a fan of this era at all. The band should have called it quits after release of Greatest Hits, the two new songs on that were quite good actually. By 1990 though, the band seems tired. After a promising start, I don't think the two boys ever fitted in properly. Their songs on this record aren't great either. When The Sun Goes Down further reinforces this country music which I don't like.

(And as a final note, I think The Second Time is the worst Stevie song ever. Poor Stevie sounds lifeless, droning over that horrid guitar. I remember reading that it was compared to "Landslide" at the time! HA!)
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Old 04-10-2015, 05:14 PM
michelej1 michelej1 is offline
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But to talk about people's personal vices to the press is bashing IMHO
He didn't talk about Mick or Stevie's personal vices, though. They, Stevie and Mick, talked about their personal vices, years later. He didn't talk about their vices to the press when he left the band.

All Lindsey talked about was band craziness and he included himself in that. He said:

Quote:
"We had a Winnebago parked in front because we didn't want the whole house to be used for a lounge, so to speak. I had a girlfriend then who was very threatened by the whole situation, and that didn't really work very well, either. But the snapshot would be us trying to get things done in an atmosphere where there was just a lot of crazy stuff going on and not a lot of focus, and not a lot of unity and certainty. And no sense of us wanting to do this for . . . for the reasons we originally got into it for. That's my last snapshot of 1987. And then a little 10-year vacation."
Then, later on Mick said that he now realizes that Lindsey was afraid that he might get pulled back into drugs if he hung around Mick. Lindsey never said that. Stevie said that Lindsey left because he was afraid for her. Lindsey never said that to the press -- not until Stevie said it about herself and the press asked him to respond, when they were doing those Unleashed interviews. Mick said that when they were all being interviewed in 2012, Lindsey told MICK and Stevie that he left because he was afraid of what was happening to them and that all 3 of them started crying. But Lindsey never said anything about Stevie or Mick's "personal vices" when he left the band. He talked about the craziness in the recording studio, in general, and he talked about everyone having separate managers, which made it hard to get things done.


Michele

Last edited by michelej1 : 04-10-2015 at 05:34 PM.
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Old 04-10-2015, 02:34 PM
FuzzyPlum FuzzyPlum is offline
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Save Me sounds a lot better than I remember.
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Old 09-13-2017, 05:19 AM
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The Day Stevie Nicks and Christine McVie Left Fleetwood Mac

After more than a decade of relative stability and huge commercial success, Fleetwood Mac entered a period of constant flux during the late ’80s. Guitarist Lindsey Buckingham left the band in 1987, and while he was quickly replaced by Rick Vito and Billy Burnette, his departure was only the first of several to take place over the next few years.

Even though the reconstituted post-Buckingham lineup made it through the recording of Fleetwood Mac’s next album, 1990’s Behind the Mask, largely without incident, change loomed large on the horizon. Drummer Mick Fleetwood and bassist John McVie remained as stalwart as ever, and Vito and Burnette brought new energy to the sessions, but after the record was finished, keyboard player Christine McVie and singer Stevie Nicks both announced that the Behind the Mask tour would be their last with the band.

While Fleetwood Mac’s publicist at the time insisted it was an amicable split that took place after a “series of very heartfelt conversations,” and both McVie and Nicks seemed willing to contribute to the group’s next album, it still marked a major — and, for fans, somewhat startling — change in a sound that had dominated FM airwaves since the mid-’70s.

Even without Buckingham’s trademark guitar and vocals in the mix, having McVie and Nicks in the group meant still being able to rely on the voices (and songwriting talents) behind hits like “Rhiannon,” “Landslide,” “Don’t Stop” and “Songbird.” Nicks had been a member since 1975, and McVie preceded her by four years; their restlessness signaled the end of an era.

I would have to say this is our biggest challenge, in no uncertain terms,” Fleetwood said in an interview near the tour’s end. “But without sounding at all blase about the subject, it’s a decision that’s come in a pleasant way, and it’s understandable. Each, for their own reasons, basically wants more time to herself. And, God knows, both of them have given so much to Fleetwood Mac through the years.

McVie, who’d always been more of the retiring type, was certainly looking for a little more peace and quiet. In the same interview, she related her difficulties dealing with the recent death of her father, which prompted a change in her approach to her career. “In the last few years, it’s been more of a band than it’s ever been,” she said. “I think we spent more time laughing in the last few years than in prior years. That’s one thing that’s held us together. But when the time comes for change, you know it, you feel it. Things can’t go on the same as always. You go around in circles.

At the time, some believed that Nicks’ and McVie’s departures were hastened by bad blood in the wake of Fleetwood’s memoir, 'Fleetwood: My Life and Adventures in Fleetwood Mac'. As the Philadelphia Inquirer alleged during the tour, the book’s “sordid revelations” — which included portraying McVie as “a glutton for punishment” and Nicks as “insecure, self- destructive as a singer, a graduate of the Betty Ford Clinic’s alcohol rehab program and a sometime romantic partner with Fleetwood while he was still married” — angered both women, particularly Nicks. But according to Fleetwood, that was all idle speculation.

That is nothing but tommyrot,” he later retorted. “At the time that Stevie decided to quit, she hadn’t read it. I think she and Christine just decided that it was time for them to leave. Stevie has a very successful career of her own, and she wanted to devote more time to it … Christine recently bought a farmhouse in England, and she wants to settle down and pursue her music and painting. As far as what I wrote about me and Stevie, I don’t think she had a problem. We were very much in love. I think she wished that I had written more.

For her part, Nicks seemed unwilling to close the door completely, even as the tour drew to a close. “We are all individuals and have our opinions, and until three years go by and I see the whole thing with no chance of getting back together, I’ll never believe it’s over,” she admitted. “I really believe everything is destined, and if we’re supposed to be together, we will be.

As it turned out, destiny — or something like it — kept the band going throughout the ’90s. McVie appeared on Fleetwood Mac’s next album, 1995’s Time, which featured a vastly overhauled lineup that included Dave Mason and Bekka Bramlett. Following its commercial failure, the group went through a couple of inactive years before reuniting with McVie, Nicks and Buckingham for the wildly successful live album The Dance and subsequent tour. McVie departed again shortly thereafter, but returned again in 2014.



Read More: The Day Stevie Nicks and Christine McVie Left Fleetwood Mac | http://ultimateclassicrock.com/stevi...ckback=tsmclip
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Old 09-13-2017, 07:25 AM
jbrownsjr jbrownsjr is offline
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The Day Stevie Nicks and Christine McVie Left Fleetwood Mac

After more than a decade of relative stability and huge commercial success, Fleetwood Mac entered a period of constant flux during the late ’80s. Guitarist Lindsey Buckingham left the band in 1987, and while he was quickly replaced by Rick Vito and Billy Burnette, his departure was only the first of several to take place over the next few years.

Even though the reconstituted post-Buckingham lineup made it through the recording of Fleetwood Mac’s next album, 1990’s Behind the Mask, largely without incident, change loomed large on the horizon. Drummer Mick Fleetwood and bassist John McVie remained as stalwart as ever, and Vito and Burnette brought new energy to the sessions, but after the record was finished, keyboard player Christine McVie and singer Stevie Nicks both announced that the Behind the Mask tour would be their last with the band.

While Fleetwood Mac’s publicist at the time insisted it was an amicable split that took place after a “series of very heartfelt conversations,” and both McVie and Nicks seemed willing to contribute to the group’s next album, it still marked a major — and, for fans, somewhat startling — change in a sound that had dominated FM airwaves since the mid-’70s.

Even without Buckingham’s trademark guitar and vocals in the mix, having McVie and Nicks in the group meant still being able to rely on the voices (and songwriting talents) behind hits like “Rhiannon,” “Landslide,” “Don’t Stop” and “Songbird.” Nicks had been a member since 1975, and McVie preceded her by four years; their restlessness signaled the end of an era.

I would have to say this is our biggest challenge, in no uncertain terms,” Fleetwood said in an interview near the tour’s end. “But without sounding at all blase about the subject, it’s a decision that’s come in a pleasant way, and it’s understandable. Each, for their own reasons, basically wants more time to herself. And, God knows, both of them have given so much to Fleetwood Mac through the years.

McVie, who’d always been more of the retiring type, was certainly looking for a little more peace and quiet. In the same interview, she related her difficulties dealing with the recent death of her father, which prompted a change in her approach to her career. “In the last few years, it’s been more of a band than it’s ever been,” she said. “I think we spent more time laughing in the last few years than in prior years. That’s one thing that’s held us together. But when the time comes for change, you know it, you feel it. Things can’t go on the same as always. You go around in circles.

At the time, some believed that Nicks’ and McVie’s departures were hastened by bad blood in the wake of Fleetwood’s memoir, 'Fleetwood: My Life and Adventures in Fleetwood Mac'. As the Philadelphia Inquirer alleged during the tour, the book’s “sordid revelations” — which included portraying McVie as “a glutton for punishment” and Nicks as “insecure, self- destructive as a singer, a graduate of the Betty Ford Clinic’s alcohol rehab program and a sometime romantic partner with Fleetwood while he was still married” — angered both women, particularly Nicks. But according to Fleetwood, that was all idle speculation.

That is nothing but tommyrot,” he later retorted. “At the time that Stevie decided to quit, she hadn’t read it. I think she and Christine just decided that it was time for them to leave. Stevie has a very successful career of her own, and she wanted to devote more time to it … Christine recently bought a farmhouse in England, and she wants to settle down and pursue her music and painting. As far as what I wrote about me and Stevie, I don’t think she had a problem. We were very much in love. I think she wished that I had written more.

For her part, Nicks seemed unwilling to close the door completely, even as the tour drew to a close. “We are all individuals and have our opinions, and until three years go by and I see the whole thing with no chance of getting back together, I’ll never believe it’s over,” she admitted. “I really believe everything is destined, and if we’re supposed to be together, we will be.

As it turned out, destiny — or something like it — kept the band going throughout the ’90s. McVie appeared on Fleetwood Mac’s next album, 1995’s Time, which featured a vastly overhauled lineup that included Dave Mason and Bekka Bramlett. Following its commercial failure, the group went through a couple of inactive years before reuniting with McVie, Nicks and Buckingham for the wildly successful live album The Dance and subsequent tour. McVie departed again shortly thereafter, but returned again in 2014.



Read More: The Day Stevie Nicks and Christine McVie Left Fleetwood Mac | http://ultimateclassicrock.com/stevi...ckback=tsmclip
Everything goes in a weird and organic reconvening of cycles that has very a profound chemistry to it.
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Old 09-13-2017, 07:58 AM
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Everything goes in a weird and organic reconvening of cycles that has very a profound chemistry to it.
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Old 09-13-2017, 08:43 AM
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Old 09-13-2017, 05:44 PM
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The album did pretty well commercially. Obviously nothing near Tango in the Night but it did especially well in Germany - #4 and sold over 250,000 and in the U.K. where it got to #1 and sold around 500,000 copies.

The album was a relative flop when compared to its predecessor but to sell, in my estimation, around 3 million copies worldwide is pretty good. Especially for Billy and Rick who had not experienced success like this as part of a band.
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