Fleetwood Mac - Tusk

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by unfastened belts, Apr 24, 2011.

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  1. Only my second thread on here... not sure yet how it's handled on this forum, whether starting a new thread is more appreciated than bumping a one-year-old thread. The last post in a Tusk thread was in October, and that was a thread about which CD version sounded the best.

    So, out of all Fleetwood Mac albums I've heard so far*, Tusk is definitely my favourite I think. After Rumours (roughly age 6), Tusk was the second FM album I heard (age 7). I know I hated it at first, three or so listens later I liked only Stevie's and Christine's songs, by now I wholeheartedly adore the entire thing with Lindsey's songs maybe sticking out even more. Rumours is of course a fantastic album but maybe just a bit too much on the poppy side for my taste, especially Don't Stop and Go Your Own Way (although the outro on that one rocks).

    Tusk has such an enormous range of styles which is always something I love about albums. My favourite tracks (not in order of favourites because I just couldn't ever get myself to do that, but in order of appearance) are "Over and Over", "The Ledge", "That's All For Everyone" and "Walk a Thin Line", but most of the album is fantastic for me. There's only a few couple I could care less for ("Think About Me", although I love the highly unusual structuring of it considering how poppy it sounds otherwise, and "Never Forget", although it's nice as a closer).

    Now not only do I love the music, but also the sound! The album came out in '79 and thus was one of the first albums to have a CD release if I'm not mistaken, and, funny enough, I think to me it's probably the best sounding CD I own. It hasn't really gotten better since then... (although Bloodsugarsexmagik sounds great in its own way, but that's a completely different type of music).
    (Now I understand that there are different masters of this album...? So maybe I should add which one I have, it says "made in Germany", the barcode number is 7599-27395-2 and it has the edited version of "Sara". Have never heard the remaster but can't imagine how this one could ever be improved upon except for slightly upping the bass!)

    I've read people say it sounds too bright, and although that is often something I complain about I can't really understand it related to this album. It is relatively bass-shy (but for me, 100th Window and Gorillaz really are the only albums that aren't :D) but apart from that it just sounds fantastic! Probably the best show-off for that is the first track, "Over and Over". From start to end there's such incredible details everywhere. The quiet acoustic guitar, the beautiful vocals, the incredible drums. That one crash cymbal hit just sounds phenomenal. "That's All For Everyone" as well. Those soft guitars in the background contrast so well with the energy of Lindsey's vocals and the drums, and the vibraphone (?) sounds great as well.

    The drums sound on the whole album is just one of the coolest I've ever heard, lifelike or not. And this is definitely one of Mick's most creative drumming as well (though Rumours is great in that aspect as well, especially "Dreams", "Oh Daddy" and "Gold Dust Woman"). John is great as well ("Save Me a Place" especially inspires me... I'm a bassist myself) although as I said before, he's the only band member sounding a bit thin (however, the bass on "The Ledge" and "Not That Funny" sounds really great, but I think that might have been Lindsey as well as the drums on those tracks?).

    Well since we're going through the band members at the moment :)D) ..., Christine is admirable too. So very often her keys surprise me. "Gold Dust Woman", "Sisters of the Moon", "Brown Eyes" etc. have fantastic keys but they're so dark and sinister unlike many of the songs she writes herself. (But then I often tend to forget she wrote "Oh Daddy" and "Brown Eyes"!) Stevie of course is "only" a singer but that's something that I, unlike others, think she's great at. :) I've grown a bit tired of "Angel" but on the rest of her own songs as well as in terms of her harmony vocals, she's flawless (although often I'm not sure whether those are Lindsey... for example on "Walk a Thin Line"?) (EDITed to add that of course she never reached the level of "Dreams" and "Gold Dust Woman" anymore which are possibly my favourite vocal performances by anyone, ever). And Lindsey really shines on this album, more so than any other Mac album I've heard. Everything he does on "Over and Over" is just immaculate, as is everything on his own songs.

    In terms of composition, as I said, as a child I enjoyed the girls' tracks more but that's changed. They're still great though. Stevie is so wonderfully dark on this album. "Sara", "Storms" and especially "Beautiful Child" still bring tears to my eyes, "Sisters of the Moon" rocks and only "Angel" has sort of worn itself out for me (although I love how for about the last half of the song the tonic chord is never played anymore! that's also the best part about "Dreams", that the tonic is almost never played).

    Christine is at her darkest as well and except for the aforementioned "Think About Me" and "Never Forget", I love all her songs here. Lindsey of course is on a high as well though his stuff isn't really comparable to his Rumours stuff which is awesome, of course. I love all the little things and details he does on tusk, he just never seems to run out of fantasy. The way the stereo is set up on "The Ledge" and "Not That Funny". The way that "Not That Funny" and "I Know I'm Not Wrong" are connected. The childlike pain of "Save Me a Place". The angry vocals/lyrics over hard-hammered major chords on "What Makes You Think You're The One". The haunting and soul-consuming vocals of "That's All For Everyone". The bluegrass of "That's Enough For Me". "Walk a Thin Line" is just a masterpiece start-to-end, track-for-track. "Tusk" is awesome as well although it sounds to me like it's more a Buckingham/Fleetwood/McVie composition (not that that's a bad thing :D).

    Okay, tl;dr I love this album. :D Have anything left to say yourself? :p

    *FM albums I have heard (the ones I own in bold):
    The Pious Bird of Good Omen (although that's been forever ago)
    Then Play On (have heard both the versions with "Oh Well" and the original German pressing with "One Sunny Day" etc.; I prefer and own the latter)
    Rumours (my father owns this, but Steve's version will hopefully arrive here one day...)
    Tango in the Night

    Greatest Hits (Warner Bros.)
    Say You Will (have only heard it once and frankly I thought it was horrible! The only song by any bandmember that comes even close to interesting is "Murrow Turning Over in His Grave"... and to hear Fleetwood Mac objected to the loudness war is just a soul-crushing experience, as well)
  2. Holy Diver

    Holy Diver Member Of The Midnight Society

    Greater St. Louis
    Great album. I also like Mirage.
  3. Gentle Giant

    Gentle Giant Active Member

    Boston, MA
    As with many 2-LP studio sets, it loses its way after a while, but I give Lindsey and the crew credit for trying to do something more ambitious than Rumours II.
  4. pinkrudy

    pinkrudy Forum Resident

    i love angel..
    my fav track is probably brown eyes..

    the live 2LP they released has the my favorite version of sara...better than tusk.
    oh and tusk ismy fav fleetood mac album.
  5. apple-richard

    apple-richard Overnight Sensation

    The only Buckingham Nicks Fleetwood Mac I own. Saw them on the Tusk tour in Mobile Alabama. Lindsey absolutely smoked on guitar that night. Stevie must have changed her clothes 6 or 7 times. She was a hot toddy back in those days :love:. Sara is my favorite song but really like the whole LP.
  6. Wasatch

    Wasatch Music Lover!

    Nice album, but not my favorite. I really like Future Games.
  7. DrAftershave

    DrAftershave A Wizard, A True Star

    Los Angeles, CA
    My favorite album of theirs and easily their best.
    mooseman likes this.
  8. Todd W.

    Todd W. A Beautiful woman continued.........

    It is Stevie Nicks best album........Sara, Sisters of the Moon, Storms, Angel and Beautiful Child. I remember when it came out that my friends and I weren't thrilled with it. All these years later, I think it is one of their best.
    Maurice and mooseman like this.
  9. In terms of Stevie's best album, for me it has to be Rumours with "Dreams", "I Don't Want to Know" and "Gold Dust Woman". I've only heard one of her solo albums (On the Other Side of the Mirror) and I find it extensively boring compared to her FM stuff although it's still a nice album by its own. :D
  10. dadmav

    dadmav Member

    grand haven ,mi
    It's a shame we never got to hear the DVD- Audio version that was done and never released.
  11. Well personally the album even the way it is at the moment has me thinking that I'll never need anything more in terms of audio quality than 16/44.1 if the mixing/mastering is done right.
  12. Beagle

    Beagle Forum Resident

    Tusk is probably my fave B/N era FM album. Like Gentle Giant mentioned, it was ambition that powered it and the determination not to do Rumours II.

    I'd love to see Tusk get the SH/KG treatment, in the form of a 20 disc vinyl set mastered at 78 RPM. Imagine the sonics of that!
  13. brimuchmuze

    brimuchmuze Forum Resident

    Tusk is my favorite Fleetwood Mac. I love the more experimental/adventurous Lindsey Buckingham tracks on this one, and Stevie's stuff is great as well.
  14. Torontotom

    Torontotom Forum Resident

    I bought the 2004 remasters last year, and love them all, but I think "Tusk" is the most interesting. I think "Sara" is one of Stevie Nicks' best songs. Would love to see "Mirage" and "Tango in the Night" get deluxe editions.
    johnaltman likes this.
  15. Gentle Giant

    Gentle Giant Active Member

    Boston, MA
    This reminds me of the rumor I need to post in the Stupid Rumor thread. It was said that Mick Fleetwood's playing on the title track was a backwards heartbeat and if you listened long enough you'd go into cardiac arrest.
  16. Jackson

    Jackson Forum Resident

    MA, USA
    Brilliant album, to cap off the previous two albums ''S/T, Rumours'' with an album as good as Tusk was quite an achievement, the next two ''Mirage, Tango In The Night'' are excellent as well.

    My favorite songs on Tusk are ''Save Me A Place, Sara, Not That Funny, Over And Over, Sisters Of The Moon and Angel'' but there isn't a single bad track on the album, not many double albums i can say that about.
  17. Ski Bum

    Ski Bum Happy Audiophile

    Long Island, NY
    IIRC, Tusk was one of the first pop/rock albums recorded digitally. May explain some of the brightness (early digital was often bright) and why the CD and LP don't sound much different.
  18. All those crazy recorded-at-home Lindsey tracks in 5.1 would have been wild!

    Tusk is in my top 2-3 FM albums because of these tracks. He was really on a roll at the time.

    The lp version of "I Know I'm Not Wrong" has never been on cd. I'll bet it never will be either.

    The original cd had an alternate mix (diff vocals, played faster, etc.)
    The 2-cd DE had 2 other versions of the song.
  19. Gene

    Gene Active Member

    New York, USA
    +1 :righton:
    johnaltman likes this.
  20. MusicFan76

    MusicFan76 Forum Resident

    East Coast, USA
  21. drbryant

    drbryant Forum Resident

    Actually, CD's were first sold in late 1982, and the first Fleetwood Mac CD was Rumours, which was issued fairly early on a West German manufactured "target" disc. Tusk wasn't issued until around 1987, if memory serves, with Sara edited in order to accommodate a two album set on one CD.

    It's a very clean sounding recording - it sounds digitally recorded (it's not), and was mixed digitally, again, if memory serves. I love it, but it did not sell up to expectations and was not regarded as a success. Most blame Lindsey, but I think that Christine, whose radio-friendly songs were so critical to the broad appeal of the self-titled album and Rumours, kind of ran out of gas on Tusk.

    Of course, she came back strong, cranking out the hits on Mirage ("Hold Me", "Love in Store") and Tango in the Night ("Little Lies", "Everywhere"). I find it interesting that Tango in the Night, kind of a forgotten album, is their second best selling album worldwide after Rumours. It was huge in the UK.
  22. dumangl

    dumangl Forum Resident

    I think Tusk is a great album.

    Which CD version sounds best is different from an appreciation thread so starting a new thread is appropriate.
  23. drbryant

    drbryant Forum Resident

  24. RubenH

    RubenH Forum Resident


    I also recall reading somewhere (pre-internet days) that it was the 1st (major) album recorded (not just mixed) digitally. I wish I had a source, but do not.
  25. johnHS

    johnHS Forum Resident

    I remember reading something years ago about the enormous price tag for recording that record 1 Million Dollars--Dr. Evil money!!
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