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Old 04-13-2021, 11:32 AM
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David David is offline
Addicted Ledgie
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: California
Posts: 14,380

I listened to some of the first disc and the third disc at low volume (my dog was sleeping) last night on Spotify. The labeling on all three discs is all screwed up. That’s disappointing and yet a little comical at this stage of the game. I’ll listen again at higher volume because I’m curious to see whether intros and outros contain a little more data, with the remastering.

The Santa Monica Civic Auditorium cuts are dated Sept. 4. New one on me. If it’s correct, it means that these things didn’t come from a band rehearsal in July for the final leg — my working hypothesis. Why would the band gather to play for anything three days after the tour ended? I can only conclude that they intended to play new things for the live album they already had planned, and maybe to record some bits and pieces of things for patching. In fact, maybe Stevie’s wondrously bronchial singing on “Sara” was recorded here and then laid on the instrumental tracks from St. Louis almost a year earlier.

I love the third disc. I love “What Makes You Think,” but I knew I would anyway. (If “So Afraid” was a bulldog onstage, this was a kangaroo on a sugar high — imagine Bobby Van on a pogo stick.) The August 1980 performances mark the band’s live apogee in my brain. There’s nothing before or since in this incarnation’s live cycles that capture the preternatural communication among the musicians and that end-of-tour enervation, bundled with such individuality and such personal voice (no other band in the world sounded like Fleetwood Mac in August 1980). To my ears and eyes, it’s like the sexually desperate, sophisticated waning of a great culture before implosion — it’s Fleetwood Mac’s Weimar period.

“Angel” is supposed to be from Richfield Coliseum, the same show used for the 20/20 TV show. Has anyone checked the two for confirmation? “Angel” is splendid here, but I don’t know whether it’s actually Cleveland as advertised. We were also supposed to get “The Chain” from Cleveland on this album, but we know we got LA 1982. I had really hoped we’d get at least something from the Bowl 1980 because, after all, it was supposed to be the original Live album. Maybe when they reissue this three-disc package a few years from now, they’ll suddenly “find” some Bowl cuts and add them?

Stevie’s harmony singing on “Second Hand News” is powerfully spot on. She matches Lindsey’s drive yelp for yelp. Neither one of them is going to let the other outpace. That kind of competition is so much more thrilling than the staged melodrama on “Silver Springs” in 1997. Give me this genuine musical athleticism any day. I think I was at that LA show, too, but hearing it now doesn’t spark any specific memories other than what was filmed.

And we’ve all complained, even the reviewers: I wish they could have added a fourth disc instead of all the vinyl crap and repro tour collectibles. Who needs that garbage, especially when it displaces another disc of old concert audio?

My grade: A–
It’s about as great as the white, Rumours, and Tusk deluxe sets, and better than the Mirage and Tango sets. I look forward to reading the Wild article and seeing the pictures.

Last edited by David; 04-13-2021 at 11:37 AM..
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