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Rolling Stone (04/01/2004), Big Macs < Fleetwood Mac < Main Page

Rolling Stone (04/01/2004), Big Macs

Rolling Stone, Issue 945, April 1, 2004

Big Macs

Lindsey Buckingham's three great albums - "FLEETWOOD MAC," "RUMOURS" and "TUSK" - get a deluxe reissue
By Bud Scoppa

FLEETWOOD MAC/ Reprise/Warner Bros.

Fleetwood Mac ****l/2
Rumours *****
Tusk ****

The one-time British blues band Fleetwood Mac had burned through five guitar players when the three remaining members took a chance on the barely known Californian Lindsey Buckingham and his singer-girlfriend Stevie Nicks. But an instant reaction occurred when Buckingham and Nicks first played with their new mates in an L.A garage. Buckingham, who'd never led a band, decisively took charge, leading Fleetwood Mac's transformation from journeyman combo to rock royalty.

Buckingham blended Nicks' nasal alto and ethereal songs and his own fold-rock guitar style with what was at hand - Christine McVie's elegant balladry and propulsive keyboards, her hubby John's inventively melodic bass playing and Mick Fleetwood's loping drum grooves. Making extensive use of celestial harmonies and foregrounding the rhythm section, Buckingham defined the Mac sound on 1975's Fleetwood Mac, paced by Christine's "Say You Love Me" and Nicks' trippy "Rhiannon." On the subsequent Rumours (1977), they transformed that sound into a song cycle inspired by the split-ups of the band's two couples. Every song hit home, from smashes such as "Don't Stop" to the angst anthem "The Chain." Rather than picking up the pieces, as his ex had hopefully mused on Rumours' "Gold Dust Woman," Buckingham scattered them like confetti on 1979's Tusk, his perversely brilliant million-dollar flip-off. At once the encapsulation and deconstruction of the California soft-rock ethos, Tusk revels in its bipolarity, as Buckingham's ragged throwaways piss on what might've been the proper follow-up to Rumours.

Few albums recorded since then blast out of the speakers with such shimmering authority. And while only hard-cored Buckingham-philes will want to comb through the two discs' worth of demos and outtakes that accompany Rumours and Tusk, they provide a fascinating glimpse into the wheelhouse of one of rock's most undervalued visionaries.

Thanks to MS for the submission.

Date: 2004-04-01         Number of views: 1740

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