Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Tusk (Deluxe Edition)
Genres: Pop, Rock, Classic Rock
If your personal turmoil and professional musical struggles suddenly yielded more success and money than you could ever imagine, what would you do? A lesser '70s rock band recorded Don't Look Back; Fleetwood Mac made Tusk.... more »
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If your personal turmoil and professional musical struggles suddenly yielded more success and money than you could ever imagine, what would you do? A lesser '70s rock band recorded Don't Look Back; Fleetwood Mac made Tusk. Whether it was a firm, middle-finger salute to the weighty commercial expectations foisted upon them in the wake of Rumours' burgeoning successes or a restless creative response to the then-shifting tides of pop music taste, this 1979 20-track double album remains the most consistently adventurous project any incarnation of the veteran band ever attempted. This remastered, double-disc deluxe edition's 21-track bonus disc of demos and outtakes seems to argue for the latter, new wave-fueled influences, bringing together a dizzying range of performances that underscore everything from Lindsey Buckingham's Brian Wilson jones (the warm, inventive harmonies of the band's dreamy outtake of the Beach Boys chestnut "Farmer's Daughter") to Christine McVie's knack for jazz-bluesy heat ("One More Time," which ultimately became "Over and Over") and pop hooks ("Think About Me") and Stevie Nicks's pop-goddess hoodoo (deliciously spare, fragile versions of "Sara," "Storms," and "Sisters of the Moon"). Most of the demos and outtakes here are imbued with a funky, loose-limbed spirit that offer new insight into their creation. But, as on the finished album, it's Buckingham's endlessly inventive creative spirit that dominates, from the chunky-rhythmed "Can't Walk out of Here" and "Out on the Road" (which became "The Ledge" and "That's Enough For Me," respectively) to three separate early recordings that chronicle the evolution of "I Know I'm Not Wrong." Rumours may be ubiquitous; Tusk remains unique. --Jerry McCulley
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R. M. Ettinger | Cleveland Heights, OH USA | 03/30/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I have been waiting years for this album to be remastered and re-released. It's still an album ahead of it's time (at least Lindsey Buckingham's songs). A hint of what was to come peeked out on 'The Very Best of Fleetwood Mac'. The sound quality is great - and I am glad the original album still holds up (the original cd version doesn't). I've been listening to this music since the original 1979 release date and I am sure I can hear things now that I never could before (some backing vocals on "Honey Hi"). Buckingham's music really stands out sonically ("I Know I'm Not Wrong", "Ledge"). But Stevie Nicks and Christine McVie have their moments.The second disk of outtakes, demos and unreleased is nice - but not essential. You get a glimpse into what Buckingham can do production and arrangement-wise. The bass and drum lines on "One More Time (Over & Over) are great and stand out here vs the originally released version. It's nice to see how editing a piece of music not only doesn't compromise the song, but enhances it ("Sara"). At first I thought I wanted to hear "Sisters of the Moon" in its entirety and original arrangement. I was wrong. Buckingham did an incredible job w/Nicks' song. It's also nice to hear the cover of the Beach Boys' "Farmer's Daughter". Almost completely identical to the version on "Fleetwood Mac Live", but still good.It's also nice to see the original album art included w/the cd. It definitely loses something from lp to cd - but whatta gonna do?My original review gave the music 5 stars and the sound quality 3.5. I'm happy to say this is now a solid 5!"
Steven Callaghan | Garden Grove, CA USA | 02/01/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Wow!! This is an awesome, beautiful album. The second disc is worth twice the price. I remember all the criticism about this album when it came out. Everyone compared it Rumors which had been the number one album in the country for 52 weeks. No other album before or since has been number one for as long a time, so can you really compare anything to Rumors? I don't think so.
In my opinion, Tusk was a landmark album, one that only comes about every once in a while. It had the power to change the way we listen to music. Like many people, when it came out, I did not like any of the songs. Well, that's not exactly true since I was one of the members of the USC Trojan Marching Band that recorded Tusk with the band. I even got to play five nights at the Forum in LA on the Tusk Tour. But even though I was that into the album, I still didn't like the music. It was difficult to listen to. It wasn't what I was used to listening to.
On top of all that, it was an expensive album with two twelve inch discs, yes, before CDs. It was competing with the past success of Rumors and with the Eagles Hotel California which was just a single album. Lots of people considered Tusk to be a failure.
Because I was on the album, I played it from beginning to end over and over. It took me about three months before I realized that I was beginning to like the songs, then I started to really love the songs. That's the first time I understood the concept of "ground breaking" music. Fleetwood Mac had not just given us more of the same, which they could have done and we all would have loved it. They had given us something that had never existed before, which is why it was difficult to listen to at first. We'd never heard anything like it before. It was different. We couldn't instantly like it. We had to grow. Our ears had to change. It evolved us, and there was no going back.
If you've never listened to Tusk, I hope you give it a try. If you're a fan of Tusk, I hope you buy this new version and listen to the second disc which contains new versions of the old songs. It's hard to believe that this album is 26 years old. I've definitely crossed over to being an old timer, because it seems like yesterday that I was first listening to these songs. Thank you Fleetwood Mac.
One of the greatest albums of the rock era
Robert Johnson | Richmond, KY USA | 10/24/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"An ambitious and often misunderstood recording, TUSK is possibly the Mac's most rewarding effort - even if it's not as accessible as the band's other records. The critics hated it and after selling 18 million records and spending over 30 weeks at #1 with RUMOURS, TUSK's sales of 4 million copies and "only" hitting #4 on the Hot 100 was considered a big disappointment. Originally released as a mammoth, seventy minute-plus double record set, Tusk is anything but commercial. I will always argue, however, that this usual experiment is the best work that the members of any lineup of Fleetwood Mac were ever involved with. Heck, I will even go as far to argue that TUSK is one of the greatest recordings of the rock era, period.
Stevie Nicks turns in five of her very best compositions to the album, and, for the most part, she seems to have been in a highly introspective mood. She penned the set's biggest hit single, the nearly seven-minute mini-opus "Sara" (#7 Pop), which explores some very personal subject matter in a poetic and ambiguous manner - all while seducing the listener with an irresistibly hypnotic groove. Nicks also plays up her mystic persona on the intoxicating "Sisters of the Moon," which can send chills down the listener's spine like an unexpected gush of wind. Stevie even flirts with moderately hard rock on the intense "Angel," which works it's driving melody to the fullest extent in addition to laying down an instantly memorable refrain.
The best of Nicks' material, however, are the gorgeous, refreshingly unsentimental ballads "Storms" and "Beautiful Child." Stevie has commonly been described by fans and critics as a the perpetual woman/child, always just one the verge of reaching full maturity - she is destined to reach for the sky, yet is doomed to walk the earth. This unusual predicament has left Nicks with tremendous gift for crafting songs with universal themes that still manage to carry a unique edge. This is exactly what allows the very best of Nicks' to stand out from the compositions that other writers have been churning out for centuries. "Storms" and "Beautiful Child" are perfect examples of this, and both songs arguably remain her finest song-writing achievements.
Perhaps the stereotypical woes of sudden stardom are to blame, but, as with Stevie Nicks, TUSK also finds Christine McVie in a somber, soul-searching mood. Fortunately, this suits the longtime Mac muse well, and her dark husky voice has seldom sounded more beautifully pained. In fact, the McVie-penned opening number, the mournful "Over and Over," is actually what sets the pace for the entire double record set. The song, which is an extremely rare exception of a cry of desperation that never sounds pathetic or self-pitying, is an absolute tour de force for McVie, and lets listeners know that the band had no intention of simply recreating RUMOURS. It with some irony then that McVie also contributes the most RUMOURS-esque cut on the album. The blaring mid-tempo rocker "Think About Me" (#20 Pop) is the closest thing tusk has to bright AOR of RUMOURS, but even it has slightly dark edge that separates it from the polished pop of the previous record.
After those first two compositions, the bulk of the tracks penned by McVie are featured on the last half of the album. In addition to "Over and Over" and "Think About Me" (which are both sequenced near the very beginning of the record), Christine also delivers the intense ballad "Brown Eyes," the elegant folk of "Honey Hi" and "Never Forget," which plays like an homage to the very best pop of the Brill Building era. While all of Christine's material is remarkably solid (as is the rest of the disc's material), my absolute favorite McVie-penned track on the album (along with the aforementioned "Over and Over") is the heartbreaking piano ballad "Never Make Me Cry." The tender simplicity in the arrangement, melody, and lyrics combine seamlessly with the gorgeous melancholy in McVie's voice to create a haunting hymn to neglected love that resonates in the mind long after the track has ended.
Lindsey Buckingham really took control over the recording, with his name even signaled out from the rest of the band members as a "special thanks" on the production credit. In addition to creating amazing sonic landscapes for the material by Stevie Nicks and Christine McVie, Buckingham also delivers nine original compositions that are nervy, frantic, and fantastic. The lean, fist-thumping rock numbers "The Ledge," "What Makes You Think You're the One," and "Not That Funny" each have a primal energy that seems to radiate through the speakers. Each of these tracks have a stripped-down, blistering urgency that leaves the band sounding more like tried-and-true rockers rather than pampered MOR superstars who are recording the followup to a massive success.
TUSK also allows Buckingham to pay homage to many of his own early influences and musical heros. He seems to channel Buddy Holly on the rootsy rockers "That's Enough for Me" and "I Know I'm Not Wrong," while the lush, tight harmonies of "Save Me a Place" and "Walk a Thin Line" both rival even the very best of the Beach Boys. Impressive variety is present in all of Buckingham's tracks, which are all arranged and performed with a wide assortment of surprises and unexpected turns. On one end of the spectrum is the soft tones of the somewhat distressful "That's All for Everyone," while the thunderous stampede of the avant garde title track (#8 Pop) is on the clear opposite end.
Though commonly thought of as a failure, or at least a commercial disappointment, TUSK represents Fleetwood Mac taking a huge commercial and artistic chances and emerging with one of the greatest achievements of the rock era."