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  #31  
Old 05-14-2018, 01:05 PM
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Netter75 Netter75 is offline
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Originally Posted by Macfan4life View Post
Skies the Limit is pure pop greatness from Christine. While no longer cranking out to 40 hits since the music industry was changing, the song still proved she still had the formula. She can make simple phrases like You make loving fun into gooey love songs. Skies the limit uses the same formula. I particularly love the keyboard beginning because its classic Christine the way she plays. All 4 singers harmonizing sounds pretty good too. The video was excellent too. If my memory is correct it was filmed in Red Rocks, Colorado. I had to look this up but the song peaked at #10 on adult contemporary charts. Always loved the crack of the drum right before the vocals start. Save me barely cracked the top 40 but had a great video. Fleetwood Mac's first album with no Stevie Nicks single or hit. Times were a changing
Funny how different someone's opinions can be! Skies the Limit took me FOREVER to get into because of that damn keyboard intro. It's sooooo cheesy and over-the-top bright and happy. After many (MANY) listens of the song I've started to appreciate it more. It's quite catchy and the blend of voices on it is excellent. Imo it serves it's purpose as a forgettable opener that showcases each singer.

Behind the Mask is similar in an opposite sort of way. The intro to that song is fantastic and totally draws me in, the build up is alright but it amounts to nothing . The blend of harmonies on the chorus sound awful to me ears, like an indistinguishable blob of bored, breathy vocals that reappear on bits of "Freedom", "Affairs of the Heart", "Stand on the Rock", and "Love is Dangerous". That cool intro never really builds to anything musically either.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bwboy
I've read posts where people said the album BTM sounded muddled or wasn't produced well. I would love to know what they mean, specifically. I know little about how music is produced, I guess, and so it can be hard for me to understand those kind of comments. For example, how can one tell if the fault is in the production or in the performance itself? If the sound is 'muddled,' isn't that more an engineering issue? I'd really love feedback about this sort of technical question.
Save Me and Freedom are great songs that would have been greater if done differently. These two suffer hard from the muddled production bwboy was inquiring about. I don't know what the term "muddled" means to other people, but I can explain my take on it. The actual mixing of these songs leaves much to be desires. The instruments don't sound like they have any life, there doesn't seem to be a lot of space in the mix to hear what they're doing. It all sort of blends together into this uninteresting mass, which is a shame because many of the songs are good at their core. There are also random guitar licks and keyboard stamps that are thrown in with little rhythm, further distracting from the vocals and actually decent main instrumentation. Affairs of the Heart is similar, making an already mediocre song forgettable because none of the music on it is at all distinct.

I have no idea if I'm explaining this correctly, but for a concrete example listen to Rick Vito's solo version of "Love is Dangerous" and compare it to the BTM version. The instrumentation isn't necessarily better but those instruments and vocals are far more distinct sounding. There also aren't layers of nonsense licks and flourishes to distract from the riff. I guarantee you that if you separated Stevie's vocals from the BTM version they would sound much more passionate and arresting simply by separating them from that production style. For further comparison listen to any of good songs from SYW and decide which ones have more memorable instrumentation. That album may not be a masterpiece but you can't say it's boring to listen to, unlike a good portion of this album (unfortunately).

When the Sun Goes Down is actually a good song and doesn't suffer nearly as much from these production issues but it's sooooo out of place on this album. Next to songs like When It Comes to Love and Skies the Limit it feels like it was spliced from an entirely different album. It does have some nice guitar work and harmonies though.

Stand on the Rock, The Second Time, When It Comes to Love, and Hard Feelings are all garbage from the ground-up as far as I'm concerned. Got No Home, Intuition, any of the three new songs from "The Chain" boxset, Game of Love, and maybe a reworked It Ain't Over (Billy-Christine duet from a solo album) or "Are You Mine" (unreleased Billy-Stevie Duet) would have improved the album greatly. Also if the Mac worked on Desiree it would have absolutely kicked "Love is Dangerous"'s ass and added a true rocker to the album.

That turned into kind of a long rant didn't it hope that gave some kind of a perspective on the issues people have with the production of the album bwboy! Can't speak for everyone but those are definitely my raw opinions of it.
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"I am just one small part of forever" -Think About It (The song that got me into Stevie Nicks)

"The face of a pretty girl x1,000,000" -Isn't It Midnight (The song that got me into Christine McVie)

"The sun is bright, but not too bright to see. When the darkness comes you've got to fly into the light." -Doing What I Can (The song that got me into Lindsey Buckingham)

"I can still hear you saying you would never break the chain" -The Chain (The song that got me into Fleetwood Mac)
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  #32  
Old 05-14-2018, 06:34 PM
bwboy bwboy is offline
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Originally Posted by Netter75 View Post
Save Me and Freedom are great songs that would have been greater if done differently. These two suffer hard from the muddled production bwboy was inquiring about. I don't know what the term "muddled" means to other people, but I can explain my take on it. The actual mixing of these songs leaves much to be desires. The instruments don't sound like they have any life, there doesn't seem to be a lot of space in the mix to hear what they're doing. It all sort of blends together into this uninteresting mass, which is a shame because many of the songs are good at their core. There are also random guitar licks and keyboard stamps that are thrown in with little rhythm, further distracting from the vocals and actually decent main instrumentation. Affairs of the Heart is similar, making an already mediocre song forgettable because none of the music on it is at all distinct.

I have no idea if I'm explaining this correctly, but for a concrete example listen to Rick Vito's solo version of "Love is Dangerous" and compare it to the BTM version. The instrumentation isn't necessarily better but those instruments and vocals are far more distinct sounding. There also aren't layers of nonsense licks and flourishes to distract from the riff. I guarantee you that if you separated Stevie's vocals from the BTM version they would sound much more passionate and arresting simply by separating them from that production style. For further comparison listen to any of good songs from SYW and decide which ones have more memorable instrumentation. That album may not be a masterpiece but you can't say it's boring to listen to, unlike a good portion of this album (unfortunately).
Netter, thanks so much for taking the time to explain those concepts to me, I definitely have a better understanding now. I'm curious- do you think some of the issues on BTM you referred to would be fixed, or sound better, if the album were on a dvd audio, like most of the Deluxe Editions were? Or would the dvd audio just amplify the poor sound quality? Also, where would you say the fault lies- with the production by Greg Ladanyi? Again, thanks for taking the time, and I'd love to hear what others think of the sound quality of BTM.
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  #33  
Old 05-14-2018, 06:42 PM
bwboy bwboy is offline
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Originally Posted by Macfan4life View Post
Skies the Limit is pure pop greatness from Christine. All 4 singers harmonizing sounds pretty good too. The video was excellent too. If my memory is correct it was filmed in Red Rocks, Colorado. I had to look this up but the song peaked at #10 on adult contemporary charts. Always loved the crack of the drum right before the vocals start. Save me barely cracked the top 40 but had a great video. Fleetwood Mac's first album with no Stevie Nicks single or hit. Times were a changing
When you mentioned "the crack of the drum right before the vocals start," that totally hit home for me because that is something I've always loved about the song, too. The video WAS shot at Red Rocks, and someone, I can't remember who, posted they were at that concert and that they filmed the video after the concert was over. I've always hoped that the entire concert might have been filmed and would love to see it released on audio or video, but that ain't gonna happen

As far as Stevie's songs, I remember hearing no Questions Asked exactly one time on the radio, and that was it. I really like that song, actually, but no way was it going to be a hit... EVER. Same thing with Paper Doll, which was actually supposed to be on the Greatest Hits album with As Long As You Follow, but Mick replaced it with No Questions Asked.
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  #34  
Old 05-15-2018, 02:22 AM
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Netter75 Netter75 is offline
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Originally Posted by bwboy View Post
Netter, thanks so much for taking the time to explain those concepts to me, I definitely have a better understanding now. I'm curious- do you think some of the issues on BTM you referred to would be fixed, or sound better, if the album were on a dvd audio, like most of the Deluxe Editions were? Or would the dvd audio just amplify the poor sound quality? Also, where would you say the fault lies- with the production by Greg Ladanyi? Again, thanks for taking the time, and I'd love to hear what others think of the sound quality of BTM.
Glad I could be of some service with that long winded post .. Unfortunately I don't know much about the process of remixing an album to DVDA or what could be done. Obviously they can't remove the layers of Ladanyi production over the album without defying the intent of the original album. As far as the mixing goes.... Maybe? Separating the instruments and vocals and giving them some room to breathe may help. Bring some of the vocals to the front, push those little flourishes to the back... It might work? Hearing Christine and Billy sing "Freedommmm" in separate channels may eliminate the "blob" complaint I levied. Mike Campbell's guitar riff is actually not bad on this song either, even though you don't take note of it as you should under all the mess unless you really pay attention imo. A remix may help make that more distinct and the song more memorable and effective.

If BTM was ever released in deluxe format I'd buy it in a second just to see what they could do with it. I'm all for any opportunity to enjoy these songs more, though I'd be more in for any live tracks. This lineup absolutely killed songs like Save Me, When the Sun Goes Down, and In the Back of My Mind live, let alone material like Isn't it Midnight and Oh Well. Wish a live copy of LID would surface! Someone in the FM camp said they record either audio or video from each tour so they've got something somewhere.
__________________
"I am just one small part of forever" -Think About It (The song that got me into Stevie Nicks)

"The face of a pretty girl x1,000,000" -Isn't It Midnight (The song that got me into Christine McVie)

"The sun is bright, but not too bright to see. When the darkness comes you've got to fly into the light." -Doing What I Can (The song that got me into Lindsey Buckingham)

"I can still hear you saying you would never break the chain" -The Chain (The song that got me into Fleetwood Mac)

Last edited by Netter75 : 05-15-2018 at 02:32 AM.
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  #35  
Old 05-31-2018, 03:46 AM
TheWILDheart TheWILDheart is offline
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Originally Posted by bwboy View Post
None of her BTM songs are as good as Seven Wonders, but they're all much much better than Welcome to the Room or When I See You Again.
She didn't even write Seven Wonders

I really love BTM and always have. All of Christine & Stevie's songs I play regularly. I know Stevie's voice wasn't in the greatest shape and she was klonopin'd up to her eyeballs, but at least she was very present and contributing to the band on this record, unlike Tango where she literally waltzed in, sang her songs and left. BTM always feels like much more of a team effort, which is something I really love about Fleetwood Mac.
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  #36  
Old 05-31-2018, 05:07 AM
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Originally Posted by TheWILDheart View Post
She didn't even write Seven Wonders

I really love BTM and always have. All of Christine & Stevie's songs I play regularly. I know Stevie's voice wasn't in the greatest shape and she was klonopin'd up to her eyeballs, but at least she was very present and contributing to the band on this record, unlike Tango where she literally waltzed in, sang her songs and left. BTM always feels like much more of a team effort, which is something I really love about Fleetwood Mac.
Exactly
Even the small parts Stevie sings like during When the sun goes down you know its really Stevie singing instead of being "layered in" like on Tango
BTM really holds up.
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  #37  
Old 06-05-2018, 08:47 PM
BellaSoprano71 BellaSoprano71 is offline
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Heck yeah I remember that mall and that store...my future sister in law worked for the one in Laurel Mall in Connellsville, where I graduated from in 1990. I also loved that album. I have been listening to "The Second Time" a lot lately just having lost my jr high sweetheart to suicide, we started dating in 1986. We used to go to Westmoreland Mall at Kaufman's and wait all night in the parking lot for Ticketmaster to put tickets on sale at 10 the next morning. You made friends then everyone was so cool. We'd take turns going to Eat N Park lol....man I miss those days....




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Originally Posted by Macfan4life View Post
Earlier this month BTM turned 28. Does anyone feel old yet? Today is Earth Day and that's when it hit me today. I bought BTM on Earth Day in 1990. The album was released in early April 1990.
I may be in the minority but I actually like most of the album. 8 songs are good to very good. Its a very cohesive group effort. I think Rolling Stone said it was the Mac's best "group" effort since Rumours. Tusk and Tango were hardly major group efforts. I actually like this album better than Tango (go figure). I love hearing Christine play keyboards again (something that I missed on Tango). No drum machines and no computer stuff either. Its straight forward rock. Half the album is not worth listening to but just over half of it is pretty good IMHO.
I bought it at Record Mart, Greengate Mall, Greensburg, PA. Gosh remember malls and record stores???? I bought the cassette and I really liked "In the back of my mind" from the first moment I heard it. It was a bit unconventional and it was so amazing how they encompassed all 3 vocalists at different times during the song.
There is an entire thread devoted to the cover. I am a fan of it too. You can analyze it all day and still discover more things. I think it portrays the band very good in a subtle way.
Flashback 1990. Ironically there was a major book by Dave Pallone that came out exactly the same time as the Mac's Behind The Mask. Pallone's book was also called Behind the Mask. His book was coming out as major league's baseballs first openly gay (retired) umpire. There was major promotion for the book and everytime I heard something on TV or radio about Behind the Mask, I thought it was going to be about the Mac and it was about Pallone.
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  #38  
Old 06-06-2018, 04:11 PM
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I loved Behind The Mask. I really got behind the Rick and Billy years. I wasn't to angry or sad that Lindsey had left. Not like now. I love Do you know and Hard Feelings. And I thought Stevie's songs were really good except for The second Time. I love lindsey and I hate that he was let go from Fleetwood Mac, but I'm not crazy about his producing style. I'm not crazy about Mirage or Tango in the Night. Behind the Mask is more straight forward rock n roll. It's a shame that incarnation of the Mac didn't last too long.
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  #39  
Old 06-06-2018, 05:14 PM
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I loved Behind The Mask. I really got behind the Rick and Billy years. I wasn't to angry or sad that Lindsey had left. Not like now. I love Do you know and Hard Feelings. And I thought Stevie's songs were really good except for The second Time. I love lindsey and I hate that he was let go from Fleetwood Mac, but I'm not crazy about his producing style. I'm not crazy about Mirage or Tango in the Night. Behind the Mask is more straight forward rock n roll. It's a shame that incarnation of the Mac didn't last too long.
I agree with most everything you said. The reason this incarnation of the Mac did not last too long is because BTM was a major dud. One song barely cracked the top 40. No Stevie singles either. A Fleetwood Mac album without hits was just too strange. IMHO I am glad they did not embrace the pop vibe like on Tango or Mirage. But commercially there was nothing to stick around for. Christine really was a front person for the band at this time. Stevie was zonked out and the new guys weren't as well known. Chris wrote some great songs and loved her playing on the album.
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