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  #76  
Old 08-24-2013, 09:44 PM
michelej1 michelej1 is offline
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By Michael, August 22, 2013, Just Giblets

http://justgiblets.com/2013/08/22/tusk/

I periodically go on a Fleetwood Mac jag, where I can’t get enough of their albums. And not being a Stevie Nicks sycophant (although I do enjoy a lot of her work) but a Christine McVie fanatic, my Fleetwood Mac listening is not limited to their 1975 white album on, but goes back to the early 70’s, pre-Buckingham Nicks, when the likes of Bob Welch and Danny Kirwan were members. My latest obsession from the last couple of weeks has been Tusk, their 1979 follow-up to the phenomenally successful, life-changing Rumours.

Tusk was a curious album. There was no way the band was going to repeat the magic that emerged out of their personal break-ups and formed Rumours, number 10 on the list of best-selling albums of all time. (You can see that list at http://www.celebritynetworth.com/art...m-of-all-time/). I’m sure the pressure from their label, Warner Bros. was pretty intense to do just that, but the band went in a completely different direction. While it seems that Lindsey Buckingham was the driving force between the pseudo-punk, vaguely country tone of Tusk, certainly throughout all of his, the majority, contributions, his quirky production served Christine and Stevie’s compositions well. Back in 1979, when Tusk was released, it was a rather shocking turn from Fleetwood Mac. When listened to today, it seems even more incomprehensible juxtaposed with Rumours, but it works all the better for it. The double album cost $1M to record, an exorbitant amount at the time, and with it only reaching #4 on the U.S. Billboard charts it is considered a disappointment. Still, it did sell over 2M copies, earning a double platinum certification.

The title track was released as a single in advance of the album, and should have been a good indication that this was not going to be a Fleetwood Mac album like anything we’d expected. From the jungle beat of the drums, the bizarre lyrics mumbled, then half-shrieked, and the overlay of the USC marching band, this was something visceral and different. I was transfixed. I ran around my high school (I was a senior) shouting Tusk! I even included it as one of my quotes in the yearbook.

Now as I listen to Tusk some 34 years later, I am struck by how forward thinking it was, and how I think it might be Fleetwood Mac’s best album. Okay, maybe not their best, but certainly Lindsey Buckingham does his best work ever with the band, or at least, most original. Stevie Nicks turns in some pretty interesting work as well, and while Christine McVie has always been, in my opinion, the most reliable of the Mac songwriters, she doesn’t disappoint on Tusk. While Tusk is arguably Lindsey’s album, it’s the way he pushes Christine and Stevie to the far reaches of what could be their comfort zones that really shines on Tusk. (Although, part of me hopes that they all had fun trying out stuff they’d never usually perform – just take another listen to ‘The Ledge.’)

My current obsession is Christine McVie’s ‘Think About Me.’ It was a third single off the album, and is considered a minor hit for the band, only reaching #20 on the Billboard singles chart. When I first heard ‘Think About Me’ it seemed a typical McVie single, reminiscent of ‘Don’t Stop’ and ‘Say You Love Me.’ Listening to it today, I am struck by the rock ‘n roll and punk influences, and the sparse, powerful mix of the song. Lyrically, McVie injects a little wry sarcasm into the song, something she is not usually known for. ‘Think About Me’ really features the power of McVie’s piano driving the song rhythmically forward, and Buckingham’s chunky guitar blends to create something truly rollicking. Once again, McVie choses to alternate vocals with Buckingham, the former taking the lead on the vocals, the latter leading the bands trademark sublime harmonies on the choruses. The vocal mix is perfect, with each of the unique voices easily picked out when they sing together. Add to that the solid foundation of Fleetwood’s drums and McVie’s surprisingly flashy bass and it thrills me every time I listen to it. McVie’s other contributions include the album opener, ‘Over & Over,’ the haunting ‘Brown Eyes,’ the gorgeously simple and heartfelt ‘Never Make Me Cry,’ the intricate confection ‘Honey Hi,’ and one of the best album closers ever, ‘Never Forget.’

Stevie Nicks’ most memorable song on Tusk for most people is ‘Sara,’ the second single from the album, and the highest charting, climbing to #7 on the Billboard charts. I’ve always found ‘Sara’ to be rather uninspired, overlong and little boring. The fourth single from Tusk was Stevie’s ‘Sisters of the Moon,’ a dark, pseudo-sequel to ‘Rhiannon.’ Nice enough, but pretty standard Stevie-fare. Her other three compositions for Tusk are some of her finest work. ‘Storms’ is a gently rumbling lament, beautifully constructed, and more complex than much of her Fleetwood Mac work. ‘Angel’ is probably my favorite song Nicks wrote for Fleetwood Mac. It’s got a bouncy, bluesy chord progression that makes it sound like a Christine McVie composition sung by Nicks. The hauntingly lovely ‘Beautiful Child’ closes out Nicks’ contributions to Tusk. Powered by McVie’s gentle piano and flush with the vocal interplay Fleetwood Mac is known for ‘Beautiful Child’ is a heartfelt ballad that highlights Stevie’s strength as a songwriter. While Nicks’ songs are possibly the least affected by Tusk’s strangeness, Buckingham keeps the arrangements sparse and raw lending an urgency even to her most gentle numbers.

But it’s true, Tusk is really Lindsey Buckingham’s album, and his creativity and originality really show through on his songs. Penning nine of Tusk’s twenty songs, Lindsey’s short, energetic numbers are like exclamatory punctuation marks sprinkled through the narrative. His songs burst with heavy, distorted guitars and raucous vocal shrieks that convey frustration, anxiety and anger. In some cases the bizarre lyrics seem interchangeable (and in fact, listening to the demo tracks included on the 25th anniversary release, snippets of lyrics are used on various songs). The first of Lindsey’s songs you experience is the punk/country hybrid called ‘The Ledge.’ You might think, ‘he’s lost his mind, what the heck is this?’ but it’s a powerful locomotive of a song with the three vocalists harmonizing with wails and whispers the likes of which Fleetwood Mac had never explored before. ‘Not That Funny’ is Buckingham’s punk response to Rumours’ ‘Never Going Back Again.’ It’s a bouncy pop ditty that leaps off the record with a high-pitched acoustic guidtar part that sticks in your head. Along with ‘That’s Enough for Me’ and ‘I Know I’m Not Wrong’ these are three musical outbursts that highlight Lindsey’s new musical direction and his frantic energy. ‘What Makes You Think You’re the One’ is almost traditional anchored by a pounding piano line that McVie once said made here wrists hurt after a day of recording. ‘Save Me a Place’ and ‘That’s All for Everyone’ are lush, dreamy tracks that retain the quirky sensibilities of Lindsey’s current vision, but are less confrontational and again, use the trio’s vocal interplay to maximum affect. Buckingham’s most beautiful number is yearning falsetto-powered ‘Walk a Thin Line.’ It highlights his adept vocals but it once again takes the expected Mac oohs and aahs and pushes them slightly left of center to remind us that we’re not listening to Rumours.

The first time I saw Fleetwood Mac live was during the Tusk tour at the Boston Garden. It was a glorious show, and was the first of three (or maybe four times) that I was able to see them live. I know they have had a bit of a return in the past few years, but without Christine McVie, it’s just not the same for me. There was some sort of magic when those five made music together, and Christine McVie is one of my all time musical heroes. I’m just glad the band has a long history of music to which I can return.
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  #77  
Old 08-24-2013, 09:51 PM
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Originally Posted by michelej1 View Post
Buckingham’s most beautiful number is yearning falsetto-powered ‘Walk a Thin Line.’ It highlights his adept vocals but it once again takes the expected Mac oohs and aahs and pushes them slightly left of center to remind us that we’re not listening to Rumours.
go Michael go!!

of course, i'd get rid of those oohs and aahs.
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  #78  
Old 08-24-2013, 10:09 PM
michelej1 michelej1 is offline
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of course, i'd get rid of those oohs and aahs.
Yeah, but you now see how adept his young voice was too, don't you.

Michele
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  #79  
Old 08-24-2013, 10:15 PM
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Originally Posted by michelej1 View Post
Yeah, but you now see how adept his young voice was too, don't you.

Michele



his fritz, BN, white album and rumours era voice = very adept, but blah sounding. it started being not as bad during Tusk era
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  #80  
Old 08-25-2013, 04:43 AM
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his fritz, BN, white album and rumours era voice = very adept, but blah sounding. it started being not as bad during Tusk era
Just goes to show you're not born a great singer haha

Sadly with Stevie I feel her voice has declined with age. Lindsey's has not improved but his voice has definitely aged better than her's. They are both still great singer judging by YouTube, so live in concert they are probably outstanding.

It is a shame Stevie did not find her voice coach earlier than 1997.
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  #81  
Old 08-30-2013, 01:22 PM
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I think both Stevie and Lindsey sing better in this current tour than the SYW and Unleashed tour, and I prefer Lindsey's deeper voice now than his during their heyday with the falsetto and all. But let's be real, Chris blows both of them out of the water these days. Listen to her Maui stint.
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  #82  
Old 08-30-2013, 07:54 PM
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Originally Posted by applebucked View Post
I think both Stevie and Lindsey sing better in this current tour than the SYW and Unleashed tour, and I prefer Lindsey's deeper voice now than his during their heyday with the falsetto and all. But let's be real, Chris blows both of them out of the water these days. Listen to her Maui stint.
glad you noticed. (completely agree about his deeper voice, of course.)
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  #83  
Old 08-30-2013, 10:04 PM
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There are certain songs of Lindsey's that I couldn't stand hearing because of the voice he uses there (studio version of I'm So Afraid comes to mind). His guitar playing has definitely gotten better over the years, no doubt about that, and he still has that energy.
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  #84  
Old 08-30-2013, 10:47 PM
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I love his voice in all stages. I like the young, clear and high Lindsey, and the rough and mature, fine wine Lindsey.
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  #85  
Old 10-18-2013, 02:39 AM
michelej1 michelej1 is offline
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So So Gay

http://sosogay.co.uk/2013/lost-music...wood-mac-tusk/

Lost In Music: Fleetwood Mac – Tusk

Posted by: Jamie Clarke in Music 18 October 2013

Released on 12 October 1979, Tusk, the third album from the Buckingham/Nicks incarnation of Fleetwood Mac, should have been one of the most well-known albums of all time. For some reason though, the album sank without much impact and has come to be later appreciated by fans and critics alike.

The band's previous album, Rumours, had sold 10 million copies worldwide in the two years it had been available prior to Tusk's release. To put those figures into perspective, however, Rumours had sold 40 million copies worldwide by 2009 and is still, 36 years on, the 14th best selling album in UK history - quite an achievement.

To date, Tusk has sold two million copies in the US and 300,000 in the UK. A stark contrast when compared to the success of Rumours. Critics deemed the album a failure and jumped on the album's production costs ($1 million - the most expensive album ever made, at that point in time), deeming the cost an unnecessary extravagance.

The band admitted that the record company just wanted 'Rumours II' from them, but they didn't want to sell out for the cash or fame and wanted to create something they were proud of, a real body of work. So, the 21-track, double-disk album Tusk was conceived.

There are three distinct personalities within this particular line-up of the band, Christine McVie brings the blues background and spritely keyboard compositions to the mix, Stevie Nicks delivers ethereal and left-field musical poetry, and Lindsey Buckingham a more guitar-driven rock sound. The band had made every effort to blend each of their sensibilities on Rumours, but on Tusk, they are fractured. Their songs are their own compositions packaged together on a double-disk collection. Tusk is an album that demonstrates a band all but broken up, merely held together by obligation to their art.

Lindsey Buckingham was the driving force behind the style of Tusk. Not satisfied to create radio-friendly polished pop as they had on Rumours, he was influenced by more alternative developments such as new wave and punk. The band put their faith in his abilities as an accomplished musician, songwriter and producer. They would later admit that following the album's failure, there was open hostility towards him.

Time has been very kind to Tusk. The production techniques employed by Buckingham, such as recording vocals lying down on his tiled bathroom floor and creating drum loops from tapping on his knees, though radical at the time, add a level of depth to the emotion of the songwriting - they're organic, you feel them. The personal struggles the band were facing during recording are still present. The relationships deteriorating and the struggles of still working with your ex are in the subtext of these songs, though not as obviously referenced as on Rumours. Essentially, Tusk is a folk band making a rock & roll album.

Nicks' voice throughout the album is hoarser than ever before, caused by her publicly discussed struggles with cocaine. But the hoarseness of her voice adds to the emotion of the tracks she's singing. It enhances the lyrics that usually concern landscapes affected by the four elements in a very 'gothic fiction' manner. The highlight being 'Sara'.

McVie can be relied upon as the constant. Here she delivers a collection of straightforward and sweet love songs, her album highlight being 'Never Forget'.

It's the Buckingham tracks that will make or break this album for you. They're messy and they often don't make sense. If you give them a chance, however, their experimental nature may come to grow on you. 'I Know I'm Not Wrong' is a highlight, complete with accordion riff.

The album's title track is perhaps its most bizarre. With no clear structure and no real form, it's simply a chant, built around African tribal drums, that builds maniacally to an insane crescendo - complete with USC Trojan Marching Band backing and shouts of 'don't say that you love me', amongst other paranoid and emotional cries.

Mick Fleetwood, the band's drummer and namesake, has said as recently as their 2013 world tour that Tusk is his favourite of the band's albums. He put its commercial failure down to the fact that it was played in full on a US radio station in the run up to its release allowing mass home taping. Also, due to its double-disk status, the list price ($15.98) was double that of a regular album, which deterred some from buying.

Tusk is an album that you should be aware of, though it's not always an easy listen. It's an album you need to make sense of. It commands your attention and you should give it this attention it deserves.

Read more: http://sosogay.co.uk/2013/lost-music...#ixzz2i3bACSUS
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  #86  
Old 10-26-2013, 11:45 AM
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On a more positive note, I would like to share why I think Tusk is a timeless, best album by the Mac. And most importantly, why it is superior to Rumours.

As I've already stated ad nauseam, my musical background was more in singer-songwriters like Mr. Dylan, Industrial like Ministry, and NIN, Brian Eno Talking Heads stuff, REM, etc. It wasnt till getting into albums like Pet Sounds, Forever Changes, Revolver, #1 Record/Radio City, Notorious Byrd Brothers that I started appreciating the Buckingham-Nicks lineup's first couple of albums.

Anyway getting back to my original point, Tusk was the first gateway drug into me liking BuckingHam Nicks. I used to think they were just corporate rock. Then a friend recommended Tusk to me and I thought he was out of his mind. With the first Christine song it sounded par the usual course, although I did like it.

But hearing the Ledge, I was like WTH? But in a good way. This was something completely different to what I ever heard from them. I understood Tusk turned off a huge amount of white album/ Rumour fans wanting more of the same.

But it appealed to me because it wasnt like that. Plus it helped that I listened to a ton of new wave stuff. So the musical direction did not bother me. Anyway here's my reasons -

1. Songs from the album with the exception of Sara or Think About Me hasnt been beaten to death by mainstream or classic rock radio. Every single song off Rumours has.

2. The songs have a quality about them where like Sara even if you heard the thing 20 times, it is not a bother. Whereas Rumours you cringe everytime Dont Stop comes on. They just dont hold up to repeated listening like Tusk.

3. The album have more of a jagged live edge. The production makes the songs sound timeless. Whereas Rumours places them in a certain period of time.

4. Christine, Lindsey and Stevie has their best work songwriting-wise on the album. Especially Christine who honestly I did dismiss at first. But on this album her songs have some teeth to them. As does Stevie's. Sister of The Moon beats Gold Dust Woman for me any day of the week. Lindsey's is just sheer genius. His non-specific surreal, subject matter adds to over-all quality of songs.

5. There's so many songs. You can listen to this album forever and not get tired of it based on that fact alone. You learn new layers about the songs each time hearing them. Especially those who have the DVD audio, I envy you intensely.

6. The music was groundbreaking. They were doing some new stuff arrangement-wise that even some new wave bands weren't doing at the time.

7. It proves to doubters/hipsters that FM did have artistic value to them. And were wrongfully labeled as corporate rock.

That is all I can think of at the moment. For the record I do like the White Album and Rumours. Just burnt out hearing most of the songs from them. But to be fair I'm also burnt out from hearing The Beatles and AC/DC as well. Those are bands I love.
Thabk you for this especially #7, you are so right on with this, Tusk has to be one of the biggest musical masterpieces, one of my ultimate favorite albums!
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  #87  
Old 11-17-2013, 02:23 PM
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Drowned in Sound by Ben S Travis November 17th, 2013
http://drownedinsound.com/in_depth/4...long-for-an-lp

[excerpt from article discussing double albums]

Although often seen as a poisoned chalice, double albums can bring out the best or worst in an artist often at once - after all, one man’s magnum opus may be another’s overcooked mess. Painting on a larger canvas offers opportunities for further exploration and experimentation, more individual components creating a cohesive whole. Fleetwood Mac fans rightly laud 1979’s Tusk as one of their greatest works, one that accentuates all of the band’s writing styles - the Stevie Nicks tracks are more Steve Nicks than ever, and Lindsey Buckingham’s are twitchier and more coke-addled than on Rumours, singling out Christine McVie’s outwardly pop sensibilities even further. As an album it perfectly captures the essence and range of who Fleetwood Mac are. The double album format allows for such risks, any unusual excursions cushioned by more conventional material.
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Old 11-29-2013, 04:37 AM
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When I discovered Stevie at 14, it was a thrill that there were a couple of albums before Rock A Little I could buy. Then, Fleetwood Mac and my pocket money gone for months so I could get their back catalogue. I liked Tusk the least, at first but over time it became my all time favourite album.

I love it as is but have a Mac fantasy in which Stevie and Chris went in for some Lindsey style experimentation... Imagine!

I love the strangeness of Lindsey's songs, the raggedness of Chris's (compared to the usual polish) and the range (in music and vocals) of Stevie's. I still find parts in the arrangements of the Tusk songs that I've never noticed before.
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Old 11-29-2013, 09:19 AM
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I love it as is but have a Mac fantasy in which Stevie and Chris went in for some Lindsey style experimentation... Imagine!
If that were the case we might get this for a cover:
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Old 06-26-2014, 04:13 PM
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Default The Tusk Thread....

It seemed like forever waiting for Tusk to be released as the follow up to Rumours. I got sucked in early 1977 , saw them in 78 and The MAC was the number one band senior year in High School. Fleetwood Mac and Rumours were played to death and I couldn't wait for new tunes. I will say when I heard Tusk for the first time time I was blown a way. I knew I was a true fan when I thought at the time of its release that this was a MASTERPIECE! This was the best follow up to Rumours.
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