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Mining Co, Classic Rock Newsletter (8/27/1997), Fleetwood Mac--The Dance < Fleetwood Mac < Main Page

Mining Co, Classic Rock Newsletter (8/27/1997), Fleetwood Mac--The Dance

Mining Co. Classic Rock Newsletter, August 27, 1997

Fleetwood Mac -- The Dance

Dateline: 08/27/97

I've always made it a practice not to read others' reviews before doing my own. First of all, I don't want my opinion to be swayed in any way, pro or con. Secondly, I don't want to unintentionally plagiarize someone else's words and views. And finally, to be quite frank, I've never really cared what anyone else thinks about anything; I like what I like, and I don't like what I don't like.

But in the case of The Dance, I made an exception. I'd already listened to the CD and formed my opinion, so I was curious to see some of the other reviews out there. I found a list of about 10 reviews, and scanned them one by one. While most presented a pleasant and favorable attitude towards Fleetwood Mac's new live album, one thing seemed to be prevalent among them -- the suggestion that the words nostalgia, comeback, reunion and sentimentality were something to be ashamed of. The Dance appeared to be praised *in spite of*, and not *because of* these traits. Most reviewers acted surprised that a band of "aging rockers" from the 70s could actually present their songs in a fresh and original way. They seemed to say, "Yes, unfortunately the album is filled with sentimental sap, but hey! It's pretty good anyway!"

I have to admit that I didn't expect too much when I first put the headphones on to listen to The Dance. But it wasn't because, as the other reviewers felt, that this was yet another old-time "dinosaur" band looking for hype to cash in on the latest nostalgia craze. I was hesitant because Fleetwood Mac was one of my favorite bands in the past and I was afraid that they wouldn't measure up. I've been disappointed by reunions before (see my review of the Lynyrd Skynyrd concert), and just didn't want to face another one. Sometimes it's easier for me to live in my memories and not try to recapture them.

So with trepidation, I waited for the first song to play, not sure what to expect, and not sure that I wanted to find out. But from the moment the first vocals of "The Chain" wafted through the headphones, I was blown away! "Ahhh yes," I thought, "this is just how I remembered them!" Not a trace of disappointment -- just awe that they could sound this good after so many years. I had to share this with someone; I called over my significant other, who was watching TV in the other room and knew enough not to bother me when I was dissecting music, and told him to listen. He put on the headphones, and after a few moments he smiled, the nodding of his head in time to the music telling me all I needed to know. After much effort I got him to surrender the headphones back to me, and I continued through the rest of the CD.

By the time the second song, "Dreams," rolled around, my thoughts were confirmed: they still have it. The chemistry between the most famous incarnation of Fleetwood Mac -- Stevie Nicks, Lindsey Buckingham, Mick Fleetwood, Christine McVie and John McVie -- never left, it just got put on hold for a while. They can still conjure up those emotion-filled harmonies and belt out songs like nobody's business.

I can go on and on, elaborating on every single song and spewing praise for this great recording, but I think you get the picture. Heck, I even liked the new songs, not just the old standards! And I have to comment on the stroke of genius it took to include the USC Trojan Band in the performance at the end. "Tusk" just wouldn't have been the same without them. To hear those rising and swirling brass and percussion sections accompanying the savage and forceful vocals actually gave me goosebumps. I didn't even mind that the band continued through "Don't Stop," even though it wasn't originally recorded that way.

My only regret about The Dance is that I'm cable-challenged, and I wasn't able to catch the live performance on MTV. Also, the tour isn't coming anywhere in my general vicinity, so seeing Fleetwood Mac in concert is completely out of the question. But I have the release of the entire video to look forward to, and I'm sure it will soon become a favorite in my music video collection.

Reviewers can whine about the reunion craze and complain that too many old bands are coming out of the woodwork to cash in on the nostalgia of old classic rockers like us. But the truth of the matter is that they can't accept the fact that this kind music is timeless; it's been around for decades, and unlike so many flash-in-the-pan bands of today, will continue to delight, enthrall and entrance listeners for years to come.

Old dinosaurs? You and I know better, don't we?

-Patty Williams

Thanks to Karen for posting this to the Ledge and to Anusha for formatting and sending it to us.

Date: 1997-08-27         Number of views: 871

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