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  #16  
Old 12-06-2018, 02:53 PM
cbBen cbBen is online now
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Just listened to the whole album. Scratch what I said about production above. This narrative that the band sacrificed record sales to do something experimental now makes sense to me.

There is nothing even close to a "Go Your Own Way" "Dreams" or "You Make Loving Fun" among these songs. "Over & Over" is too slow to have been a hit. I'm amazed the album produced as many top-20 singles as it did.

"Not That Funny" may be the worst song on the album. Making a single of that song baffles me. As for the others, "Angel" sounds like the best choice to me.

But however it was produced, this album was not going to be a bigger success with this set of songs. It did as well as any album of theirs was going to do under the circumstances. Lindsey's experimentation cost them nothing.

"That's All For Everyone" is a masterpiece.

Last edited by cbBen : 12-06-2018 at 03:02 PM.
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  #17  
Old 12-06-2018, 03:09 PM
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"Not That Funny" may be the worst song on the album. Making a single of that song baffles me. As for the others, "Angel" sounds like the best choice to me.
Lindsey has always had a hard on for this song. It's a turd! When I was in high school, forcing my friends to watch Mirage, over and over, the one concession that I made was that we always skip NTF. They HATED it!
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  #18  
Old 12-06-2018, 04:02 PM
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Originally Posted by On Ice View Post
The Ledge also sounds good and should have been a concert staple but did not come to pass.
Really? I thought it sounded really horrible here! They were stumbling all over the place with the fast, stuttering lyrics, when to sing and when not to sing... yes, that could have been fixed with time, but then there's how repetitive it is, and worst of all the clumsy attempt to translate Lindsey's echoing "someone outta" ending by having Christine and Stevie chant the words really fast.... no. It wasn't working.

I appreciate this video and seeing them do "The Ledge" for its novelty factor, but making that train wreck a staple of the set? No way!
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Last edited by sodascouts : 12-06-2018 at 04:07 PM.
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  #19  
Old 12-06-2018, 04:50 PM
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Originally Posted by cbBen View Post
Just listened to the whole album. Scratch what I said about production above. This narrative that the band sacrificed record sales to do something experimental now makes sense to me.

There is nothing even close to a "Go Your Own Way" "Dreams" or "You Make Loving Fun" among these songs. "Over & Over" is too slow to have been a hit.
Isn't that kind of the point of the album? When the band said it wanted to confound expectations among the public and radio programmers, it wasn't just spewing empty words. That's exactly what was meant—we don't want to create another batch of ultra-accessible, radio-ready singles. We don't want to be forever regarded as a singles band. Like Tusk or hate it (or be indifferent to it), it isn't supposed to be a collection of independent singles for media owners and executives to use as measuring sticks for Christmas sales or hit parade charts. The tracks don't follow "rules." The drums and bass don't sound the way drums and bass are "supposed" to sound on the radio, and neither do the vocals or the guitars. Nothing fits the formula: nothing sounds like Rumours or the white album, nothing lasts the "correct" amount of time (Tusk tracks are either too short or too long), hooks don't grab you the way they're "supposed" to, and even the track list jumps all over the place without the formulaic narrative rise and fall of the late seventies concept albums. Tusk is designed to jar you. The intent is to make you very, very aware of its differences from the swamp of music on the radio in 1979: No More Tears by Streisand, Babe by Styx, Escape by Rupert Holmes, Heartache Tonight by the Eagles, Rise by Herp Albert, Sad Eyes by Robert John, Love You Inside Out by the Bee Gees, Reunited by Peaches & Herb, and so on.

There isn't a single song on Tusk that isn't more playful, more inventive, more suffused with a sly and ironic sophisticated musicality than that batch of garbage on the radio. If Warner Brothers and the radio programmers tell you to deliver another batch of Rumours classics every few years until you disband, you tell them to Tusk themselves.

Attitudinally, this was Fleetwood Mac's best moment since the band's 1968 debut album.

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"Not That Funny" may be the worst song on the album. Making a single of that song baffles me.
I appreciated just how snotty it was on vinyl, and then I really turned on to the band's extended jamming at the tail end of the Tusk tour. Their most inventive and tightest live playing was on Not That Funny in August and September 1980. They were doing things that no other pop-rock band had the cajones or the skill to do, especially Lindsey, Mick, and John.

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But however it was produced, this album was not going to be a bigger success with this set of songs.
The band was trying to teach us that there are different kinds of success. Commercial success is just one kind. There's also the supremely refreshing success of teaching listeners that they don't really need to hear the Say You Love Me redux (dressed up slightly differently) for the next thirty years. That way, if all goes well, when the band does the album after Tusk, nobody knows what to expect at all—you've turned everyone into a tabula rasa.

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"That's All For Everyone" is a masterpiece.
It's like what they said about the Pray for Guidance segment of DW Suite: It's the best thing Brian Wilson never wrote. It's haunting, absolutely gorgeous. Did you ever hear the live rehearsal run-through of it?
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Old 12-06-2018, 04:51 PM
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  #20  
Old 12-06-2018, 05:08 PM
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Did you ever hear the live rehearsal run-through of it?
No, I haven't.

I take your point. It didn't occur to me that they intended a lack of commerciality during the songwriting process. I just assumed they wrote songs as usual and then chose not to produce them commercially.
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  #21  
Old 12-06-2018, 06:17 PM
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I'm going to be blasphemous.

I came into this late, as I've said elsewhere. I didn't hear Tusk until 1999. At the time, the only Fleetwood Mac albums I'd heard were The Dance, the Greatest Hits, the White Album, and Rumours. I loved almost every song on those albums. Especially with the latter two, which weren't collections - I was really impressed with what a consistently awesome band this was. Every song wonderfully crafted... I bought Tusk with excitement, eager to hear more from this fantastic band.

I'm just an average person. When listening to a song for the first time, I don't think in terms of its commercial viability. I don't debate whether or not its attributes should be in ironic quotation marks. I just want to enjoy it.

And I thought most of Lindsey's songs on Tusk were crap. I thought, "It sounds like he didn't even finish some of these."

To me, saying "The Ledge" is artistically superior to "The Chain" is like the postmodern artist who tells you that his piece of wood with orange paint splashed on it entitled "Emotional Distress" is artistically superior to Michelangelo's "David."

Over time, I have come to appreciate them more after that initial reaction of "Woah, this is crap. What the freak happened?!" But I'll never consider them his best work. Not even close.
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  #22  
Old 12-06-2018, 06:32 PM
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No, I haven't.
Some 1979 rehearsal audio of unusual songs:

That's All for Everyone
Brown Eyes
Think About Me
Honey Hi
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  #23  
Old 12-06-2018, 08:36 PM
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Originally Posted by sodascouts View Post
To me, saying "The Ledge" is artistically superior to "The Chain" is like the postmodern artist who tells you that his piece of wood with orange paint splashed on it entitled "Emotional Distress" is artistically superior to Michelangelo's "David."



Yeah IMO the deliberately wacky instrumentation and acoustics of "The Ledge" detract somewhat from what I think are terrific vocals and lyrics.

I think that tracks like this were Lindsey's first attempt at a "solo album" before it became acceptable for them to be doing solo albums. And after listening to that interview on Song Exploder where he tells of the struggles he had trying to get Mick and John to play what he wanted them to play on Go Your Own Way, I can see why he was keen to branch out on his own this time with some of the tracks.
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  #24  
Old 12-07-2018, 03:42 PM
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Yeah IMO the deliberately wacky instrumentation and acoustics of "The Ledge" detract somewhat from what I think are terrific vocals and lyrics.

I think that tracks like this were Lindsey's first attempt at a "solo album" before it became acceptable for them to be doing solo albums. And after listening to that interview on Song Exploder where he tells of the struggles he had trying to get Mick and John to play what he wanted them to play on Go Your Own Way, I can see why he was keen to branch out on his own this time with some of the tracks.
One thing I will grant "The Ledge" - I find the title intriguing, so I appreciate what you say about the lyrics, brief as they are. I can't really appreciate the vocals because there's too much stuff being screwed with.

Also, to be fair, I do like some of Lindsey's stuff on Tusk. For instance, I like "That's Enough for Me." I have come to appreciate "I Know I'm Not Wrong." I just don't find it nearly as sonicly satisfying as his prior work.
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