All-Time Albums: #24



Over & Over 4:35
2 The Ledge 2:02
3 Think About Me 2:44 (UK single, did not chart)
4 Save Me A Place 2:40
Sara 6:30 (UK single, #37)
6 What Makes You Think You’re The One 3:28
Storms 5:28
8 That’s All For Everyone 3:04
9 Not That Funny 3:19
10 Sisters Of The Moon 4:36 (UK single, did not chart)
11 Angel 4:53
12 That’s Enough For Me 1:48
13 Brown Eyes 4:27
14 Never Make Me Cry 2:14
15 I Know I’m Not Wrong 2:59
16 Honey Hi 2:43
17 Beautiful Child 5:19
18 Walk A Thin Line 3:44
19 Tusk 3:36 (UK single, #6)
20 Never Forget 3:40

The phrase “sounds like a million dollars” could be quite literally applied to Fleetwood Mac’s double album from late 1979, at the time the most expensive record ever made.

It answered the question, “how do you follow up Rumours?” with the perhaps unsurprising answer “go a bit bonkers and succumb to self-indulgence”. Tusk reached #1 but sold poorly in comparison to Rumours (the higher price of a double set compounding the problem), although its reputation grows with every passing year.

Lindsey Buckingham’s maverick genius dominates the album, taking the Mac sound into more experimental and even lo-fi territory. Sometimes he hits, and sometimes he misses; the title cut was a huge (almost novelty) smash in Britain and America, but not everything here works.

The album does nonetheless bring out the best in both Stevie Nicks and Christine McVie; the latter’s Brown Eyes and Over & Over are mesmerising slices of sublime soft-rock, while the trio of Stevie ballads (Sara, Beautiful Child, Storms) must rank as her most ethereal and gorgeous. Sara is easily the highlight of Tusk, if not her entire career, a stunning, hypnotic and melancholy ode based on the loveliest of piano figures and underpinned by John McVie and Mick Fleetwood’s warmly sympathetic rhythm section.

Think About Me is the closest to evoking Rumours, along with the virtual Gold Dust Woman sequel Sisters Of The Moon. Warners opted for those as the third and fourth singles, without much success it has to be said, the public probably scared off after being confronted with one too many Buckingham wig-outs.

Tusk has become the critics’ second-favourite Mac record in recent times, judging by the reception afforded the 2CD reissue in 2004 and then a Super Deluxe edition in 2015. How highly does it rank for me within the Fleetwood Mac catalogue?

We shall find out!

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