on 8 February 2005
An absolutely startlingly brilliant record. If you tend to go for 'alternative bands', then I can do nothing but recommend this masterpiece. And if you've pigeon-holed Fleetwood Mac as an OK but MOR rock/pop band then you seriously need to pick this one up. It's so strong, and so avant garde, that I suspect you may need to re-evaluate that assumption. It has a texture and unpredictability like nothing else I have ever heard. And if you're anything like me, you'll find yourself buying the rest of their records in the hope you'll find more of the same (which you never quite will, though its spirit occasionaly rises where you least expect it) !!!!
REM, The Smashing Pumpkins, DJ Shadow, and The Strokes to name a few have listed this record as an influence. Camper Van Beethoven actually covered the whole album. You don't get a better and more varied recommendation than that.
This is Fleetwood Mac with the gloss torn back and their hearts on their sleeves. This is what happens when you can no longer write sunny pop songs. This is what happens when the corporate slave turns against the corporate machine. It's just amazing and I cannot recommend it highly enough.
on 5 November 2015
Listening to 'Tusk' is to go on a sonic odyssey and reveals the sheer magic and talent of Fleetwood Mac at their most diverse and creative.
There is no point in comparing this infamous double album with its predecessor 'Rumours' as the whole motivation was to produce an album that was as different to 'Rumours' as it could possibly be. Having said that, perhaps the clearest link between the two albums is actually "Gold Dust Woman' which fittingly closes 'Rumours' with a starkly mystical otherness which sets it apart from the rest of that album, and acts as a taster for what was to come with 'Tusk'. In fact, 'Gold Dust Woman' could easily have been included on 'Tusk' (swapping places with the lush West Coast romance of 'Sara') and fit very nicely into its broad canvas, but 'Sisters of the Moon' kind of does that job instead as one of Stevie Nicks' left of centre mystical rockers - thematically, it is almost a sequel to 'Rhiannon'.
Nicks other contirbutions - 'Angel', 'Storms' and 'Beautiful Child' - would all seem to reflect aspects of her short-lived love affair with Mick Fleetwood, and whilst the first has the sexy groove of a lusty encounter, the other two are minimalist lush ballads that showcase that siren's classic voice as it took on its deeper tones following the gruelling 'Rumours' tour. Her first solo album, 'Bella Donna', in 1981 would continue to shine a light on this writing and performing zenith.
McVie's contributions are a quality bunch, but aside from the radio friendly 'Think About Me' - featuring classic Mac harmonies from all three singers - her songs are of a more moody hue here (a la 'Songbird'), but are nevertheless extremely effective and quite beautiful. Album opener 'Over and Over' showcases McVie taking full control of a wonderfully lilting ballad with her voice, rather than the piano, and is all the more powerful for it, whilst the Simon & Garfunkel-like 'sha-la-las' of 'Brown Eyes' hark back to pre-Buckingham-Nicks days at Kiln House. Simple joy in "Honey-Hi' makes you whistle along with a smile on your face, and the heartbreaking simplicity of 'Never Make Me Cry' is a gem of McVie's waiting to be discovered.
Buckingham's nine songs make up almost half of the album's total number, but are, collectively, relatively short time-wise, the longest being only just over 3 1/2 minutes (all of Nicks' five tracks are 5 minutes plus). The title track needs no introduction except to say that the genius of introducing the USC marching band half way through is testament to Buckingham's maverick creativity and insistence on exploring unusual and offbeat soundscapes to produce, much of the time, a sense of barely contained anger, frustration, but also humorous detachment. "What Make You Think You're the One' could be read as his ultimate dismissal of Nicks, and the vocal style is almost akin to pulling faces in time to a child thumpimg on a drum. That doesn't render it self-indulgent as much as it ultimately comes across as wryly amusing. 'Not That Funny', "I Know I'm Not Wrong' and 'The Ledge' are in a similar vein, but there is a real yearning beauty to 'That's All for Everyone', and 'Save Me a Place' is one of his loveliest compositions to date.
It has been said of 'Tusk'that it is the sound of three burgeoning solo careers struggling to get out - this is probably truest of Buckingham, as his album 'Law and Order' really did continue the path he took on 'Tusk', but McVie seems to be in a continuity of maturity in her contribution to the classic Mac sound here, and Nicks is indelibly true to her own muse, as she is on every Mac and solo album. It's probably a good idea to have produced a double album to contain this broad range of sounds and approaches, but this doesn't mean that the album doesn't gel. Quite the contrary. The blend of styles, and the magic vocal harmonies, sit together surprisingly well, and document a massive step forward in the band's confidence and stunningly well produced songs.
I said at the beginning that 'Tusk' shouldn't be compared to 'Rumours' - ironically, whilst 'Rumours' is the template for the perfect pop album, it is definitely the pre-cursor to 'Tusk'. If you think of tracks like "Gold Dust Woman', 'Oh Daddy', and even 'Never Going Back Again', there is a diversity to 'Rumours' which often gets eclipsed by the hit singles off it. In the end, 'Tusk' is almost like a 'Rumours' being able to spread its wings.
on 14 January 2011
Every critic will tell you that Mcvie, Nicks and Buckingham were at their writing peak during the Rumours album. However, I would definitely disagree. The songs on this album are some of the finest ever written in Mac history.
Although it came under scrutiny in 1979 for being over-preduced and too experimental, it is nothing compared to the wacky and disturbingly wierd albums on the market today. Despite this fact, the experimental tracks are all those of Buckinghams, which I consider to be fantastic, particularly 'The Ledge', 'Walk a thin Line' and 'I Know I'm Not Wrong'. Also, besides 'Sisters of the Moon', Brown Eyes and possibly Angel, Stevie Nicks and Christine McVie's efforts on this album could have been cut on the Rumours album... they follow the same west-coast feel.
Each song on this album is a masterpiece; it may take a few listens to get into it, but I'm certain once you do, you will appreciate how multi-layered it is. From Buckingham's Clash inspired 'Not that funny', to Nicks's tear jerkinglly beautiful ballad 'Storms'- there is something for everyone on here- it's a rock classic and a masterpiece: a must have for any music fan
on 5 February 2004
I urge you to ignore the reviewer who gives this album 3 stars. This problem with this album is because it is so long (20 tracks) it is bound to contain something the listener does not like so much. However, if you take the 'best' 11 tracks from Tusk (starting with all of Nicks's), they compare at least as well as the 11 from Rumours, if not better. Trust me: it is an incredible album with some stunning songs.
Following the global monolith that was 1977's "Rumours" (the most successful Rock album in history at that point) – Fleetwood Mac didn't cow down to 'more of the same please' cries from WB executives pandering to a post-punk world that wanted (nay demanded) more radio-friendly relationship angst. Instead they stuck to their artistic guns, went all Communist and produced the workers warts 'n' all double-album sprawl that was "Tusk" in the autumn of 1979.
Not everyone was pleased – many of who were fans. I remember at the time "Tusk" was greeted with a kind of 'what's this all about?' bewilderment and even palatable disappointment. Sure it looked nice with its four beautiful but slightly wasteful and pointless inner sleeves. But what was this Neil Young grunge guitar from Buckingham on tunes that seemed to repeat a single lyric line from start to finish? Or that title-song used as lead off 7" single with the Trojan Marching Band sounding like an engineer with a bad ear-infection had recorded them in a very rusty bucket? And why were all the tunes so relentlessly whiny and miserable? While "Tusk" managed the top slot in the UK LP charts – it made only No. 4 in the USA – which after the juggernaut of "Rumours" was a major come down...
But of course time and distance has turned "Tusk" into an altogether different musical beast – revered and beloved by fans and even sometimes cited by the true faithful in moments of drunken abandon as 'better' than "Rumours". Well this truly awesome 2015 Warner Brothers '3-CD Expanded Edition' certainly wants to make you reassess and re-appreciate that 1978/1979 splurge of creativity – even put up a case that suddenly Fleetwood Mac's "Tusk" demands respect. And I think they're right. Here are the Sisters Of The Moon...
Released 4 December 2015 - "Tusk: 3-CD Expanded Edition" by FLEETWOOD MAC on Warner Brothers 081227950842 (Barcode 081227950842) is a 3CD Reissue/Remaster and plays out as follows:
Disc 1 "Tusk (Original Album)" 2015 Remaster (74:25 minutes):
1. Over & Over [Side 1]
2. The Ledge
3. Think About Me
4. Save Me A Place
6. What Makes You Think You're The One [Side 2]
8. That's All For Everyone
9. Not That Funny
10. Sisters Of The Moon
11. Angel [Side 3]
12. That’s Enough For Me
13. Brown Eyes
14. Never Make Me Cry
15. I Know I'm Not Wrong
16. Honey Hi [Side 4]
17. Beautiful Child
18. Walk A Thin Line
20. Never Forget
Tracks 1 to 12 are the double-album "Tusk" - released October 1979 in the UK on Warner Brothers K 66088 and in the USA on Warner Brothers 2HS 3350. It reached Number 1 in the UK and No. 4 in the USA LP charts.
Disc 2 "Singles, Outtakes, Sessions" (77:37 minutes):
1. Think About Me (Single Remix, 2:46 minutes) – February 1980 US 7" single on Warner Brothers WBS-49196, A
2. That's All For Everyone (Remix, 2:52 minutes)
3. Sisters Of The Moon (Remix, 4:43 minutes) – May 1980 US 7" single on Warner Brothers WBS-49500, A
4. Not That Funny (Single Remix) – February 1980 UK 7" single on Warner Brothers K 17577, A as "It's Not That Funny"
5. Sara (Single Edit, 4:40 minutes) – December 1979 US 7" single on Warner Brothers WBS 49150
6. Walk A Thin Line (3/13/79 Song No. 3)
7. Honey Hi (10/18/78 Version)
8. Storms (11/30/78 Version)
9. Save Me A Place (10/10/78 2nd Version)
10. Never Make Me Cry (4/17/79 Version)
11. Out On The Road (12/19/78 Demo – "That's Enough For Me")
12. I Know I'm Not Wrong (Demo – Lindsey's Song No. 1)
13. I Know I'm Not Wrong (10/10/78 Version)
14. I Know I'm Not Wrong (11/3/78 Version)
15. I Know I'm Not Wrong (4/25/79 Version)
16. I Know I'm Not Wrong (8/13/79 Version)
17. I Know I'm Not Wrong (1/23/79 Version)
18. Tusk (1/15/79 Demo)
19. Tusk "Stage Riff" (1/30/79 Demo)
20. Tusk (21/1/79 Outtake)
21. Tusk (1/23/79 Outtake Mix)
22. Tusk (6/4/79 USC Version)
Tracks 9, 11 and 13 to 22 are PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED
Tracks 6 to 8, 10 and 12 first appeared on the March 2004 2CD Remaster of "Tusk" and were Previously Unreleased at the time
Disc 3 "The Alternate Tusk" (79:44 minutes):
1. Over & Over (4/2/79) [Side 1]
2. The Ledge (3/13/79)
3. Think About Me (2/18/79)
4. Save Me A Place (10/18/78)
5. Sara (3/10/79)
6. What Makes You Think You're The One (2/24/79) [Side 2]
7. Storms (6/2/79)
8. That's All For Everyone (10/20/78)
9. Not That Funny (5/19/79)
10. Sisters Of The Moon (11/12/78)
11. Angel (4/2/79) [Side 3]
12. That's Enough For Me (9/29/78)
13. Brown Eyes (with Lindsey Buckingham & Peter Green, 9/20/78)
14. Never Make Me Cry (2/8/79)
15. I Know I'm Not Wrong (11/2/78)
16. Honey Hi (10/11/78) [Side 4]
17. Beautiful Child (10/8/78)
18. Walk A Thin Line (4/6/79)
19. Tusk (7/19/79)
20. Never Forget (6/29/78)
Tracks 1, 3, 4, 6 to 9 and 11 to 20 are PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED
Tracks 2, 5 and 10 first appeared on the March 2004 2CD Remaster of "Tusk" and were Previously Unreleased at the time
It's presented in a tactile and pleasing four-way foldout card digipak (dog photo embossed on the cover) - the four inner flaps having beautiful black and white outtake photos from a shoot that sees all five members of the band larking about in front of the camera (I think most of these are unseen). The other two flaps reproduce two sides of the four inner sleeves while each CD has the same colouring as the album cover. The 24-page booklet is a pleasingly in-depth affair with new Liner Notes from JIM IRVIN called "The Elephant In The Room: The Background To Tusk" (Pages 2 to 9) and Track-by-Track song analysis with contributions from LINDSEY BUCKINGHAM, STEVIE NICKS and MICK FLEETWOOD (Pages 10 to 15) followed by Lyrics, Photos and Reissue Credits. Long-time Rhino and Warner Brothers Audio Engineers BILL INGLOT and DAN HERSCH have handled the transfers and Remasters – and beautiful is the only word to describe it. The 2004 version had fabulous audio too but here they've somehow found more depth – sleepers like "Brown Eyes" and "Never Forget" sound breathtaking. The band trusted Inglot and Hersch with "Rumours" and anyone who's heard that beauty will know what to expect here...
Album tracks that stand out in the improvement stakes are the gorgeous Christine McVie opener "Over & Over" (the first of six compositions she did for the album – Tracks 3, 13, 14, 16 and 20 are the others) and both of the truly haunting love songs "Storms” and "Beautiful Child" by Stevie Nicks. Lindsey Buckingham's "The Ledge" and "What Makes You Think You're The One" both sound gimmicky still – but not so his brilliant and layered "That's All For Everyone" (fantastic harmonies) and the mellow "Walk A Thin Line". Christine's "Think About Me" is probably closest to that "Rumours" sound (the remixed single version has real clout) – but its Nicks who dominates the double with the soft and harsh – light and dark of "Sara" and "Sisters Of The Moon". It ends on a McVie ballad that is 'so' Fleetwood Mac – so slyly sweet - the plaintive and prophetic "Never Forget". A great job done by Inglot and Hersch...
Of the Extras - It won’t take long for fans to notice than the 2CD 'Expanded Remaster' of "Tusk" from March 2004 has superb previously unreleased outtakes like "Come On Baby (Never Forget)", "Kiss And Run" and "Farmer's Daughter" which are clearly a no-show here – so you can't quite throw that 2CD baby out of the bathwater just yet. What you do get in 2015 is the full 20-track album newly Remastered on Disc 1, six rare remixes/7" single edits of album cuts and 29 Previously Unreleased Versions/Outtakes across Discs 2 and 3 along with other tracks from previous reissues. There's even an entire 'Alternate Version' of the 2LP set on Disc 3 with a whopping 17 out of the 20 tracks being unheard before. You can't argue that you don't get diversity (quality and quantity too).
The first Previously Unreleased outtake from the sessions is a 3rd version of "Walk A Thin Line" dated March 1979 – Lindsey chugging away on Guitar while Mick hammers the drum kit and the ladies harmonise trying to find that mood and groove (its bloody good too). But then you're hit with something really special – the loveliest version of "Save Me A Place" which is all Buckingham vocals and high acoustic guitars. As a Previously Unreleased outtake (credited as a 2nd version) – it's properly worthy of the moniker 'bonus'. A really great variant of "Out On The Road" (an early version of "That's Enough For Me") graced the 2004 2CD set. Here we get a Demo that's all over the place but stylistically cool and interesting as they search for something inside all that chugging and vocal shouting (mumbles rather than words). One of the undoubted highlights of Disc 2 on the 2004 Remaster was Version No. 1 of "I Know I'm Not Wrong" which is an Instrumental in its earliest form. The compilers have decided (not surprisingly) to repeat it here but also follow it with 5 more rock-guitar variants – the song developing from take to take. In October 1978 Buckingham has a 'here comes the night' and 'I Know I'm Not Wrong' lyric in place while he ad-libs the rest. Come November 1978 the drums and guitar and more developed as are the full set of lyrics and suddenly the song is motorvatin'. By the time you get to August 1979 (the song as we know it) "I Know I'm Not Wrong" is almost fully formed. It might seem indulgent putting on six versions in a row - but actually when they're this good - it's a properly fab look into the process and it doesn’t bore because the song is great in the first place. It could just be me but I'd swear that there's an unidentified child's voice at the beginning of the January 1979 demo of "Tusk". Whatever you hear – it's more-drawn-out five-minutes is beautifully recorded with just Guitar and Drums whacking your speakers while Buckingham ad-libs vocals wails. The 'Stage Riff' version is an utter blast and even better – Buckingham playing a distorted guitar while Christine McVie gives it some Clavinet. By the time you get to the late January and early February 1979 mixes of the track – Buckingham has the 'don't tell me that you love me' roared chorus in place.
For me the 'Alternate Tusk' is a brill idea that works way better than it should. All 20 songs run in the same order but all are alternates (17 never heard before). While "The Ledge" is virtually indistinguishable to the finished track – both "Over And Over" feature thrilling new passages – a longer piano run on "Over and Over" and a different arrangement/added duet Stevie Nicks vocals on "Think About Me". The gorgeous "Save Me A Place" is another outtake winner – all beautiful acoustic guitars and ensemble vocal harmonies that makes Fleetwood Mac feel as special as Don Henley and Glenn Frey whenever they pitch their larynxes at any song. Stevie Nick's "Sara" started out as a monumental 16-minute demo, proceeded to a "...I want to be a star...I don't want to be a cleaning lady...." mix at 8:48 minutes, made the album version at 6:30 and then got chopped further down to a 7” single edit at 4:40. Here they use the 8:48 minute version – very cool stuff.
I actually prefer the unreleased 'more guitars' version of "What Makes You Think You're The One" - better to my ears than the finished article which seemed to loose something to over production. The very acoustic guitar take of "Storms" still has that aching pain in her vocal and lyrics – but the finished version that's on the album is still the one. "Never Make Me Cry" is radically altered and fab for it too. But one of the real prizes on here will be the 5:09 minutes of "Brown Eyes" with Peter Green's guitar work which was relegated to an uncredited 'end section' of the song on the album at 4:27 minutes. Now you can 'hear' those famous licks and Greeny-style as it trucks along to the finish line (how good is this)...
Reissues and Remasters come in for stick from fans – and in some cases – rightly so (look at Disc 2 of McCartney's 2012 version of "Ram" – pitiful 33 minutes of which 80% is unlistenable dreck). But presently languishing in Amazon's empty warehouse at £7.99 (March 2016) – Fleetwood Mac's 2015 3-CD Deluxe Edition overhaul of "Tusk" is not one of those crappy cash-ins. Time to welcome the mongrel back into your musical doghouse...
on 2 October 2012
Tusk was Fleetwood mac's answer to Punk or should I say Lyndsey Buckingham's answer to not doing Rumours part 2. Although not as successful as Rumours, Tusk has some great highlights including the title track. However Be warned of the single disc version with a single edit of Sara. When this was originally issued record companies felt it better to edit tracks or omit tracks so that a double album would fit on one disc. This was all rectified with the re-mastered double set, with the full version of sara restored. The second disc has demos and out takes and is quite interesting as well.So don't fall in the trap I really think this should be deleted as it has now been replaced with the complete version of the album.
on 20 September 2005
I first came across Fleetwood Mac in the 70's with the release of "Rumours" and fell in love there and then. I expected to be disappointed with "Tusk"; after all you can never quite re-experience the feeling of first love, right? But I was surprised back then and I'm surprised still, because "Tusk" is a fantastic example of why Fleetwood Mac are have the longevity they've had - they can cover so many moods, styles and sounds on just one album. I bought this cd because I've kept the original vinyl double album, long after my hi-fi has given up, and have relied on a home taped version of the album all these years, to hear my favourite songs in the world. Hearing them again, so perfectly reproduced and re-presented in new ways with the out-takes and remixes this album contains, has been an utter joy. The ethereal harmonies provided by Buckingham and McVie on the 2 best songs on the album - Beautiful Child and Storms - offsetting the earthy-yet-ethereal voice of Stevie Nicks, had passed me by on the original album. How sound quality and reproduction have improved! This is a great album - for baby-boomers like me, updating their vinyl music collection into cd format, and for anyone who's only ever heard the million-selling "Rumours" and wondered whether The Mac could do it again...
on 17 January 2016
I have always loved this album, it is the one album I continually go back to time after time. I have purchased this multiple times since it was released and have owned 2 vinyl copies and 2 CD versions prior to the release of this deluxe version.
The deluxe version is well presented in a good quality box with loads of quality photographs and Interesting notes. The music is absolutely top quality, sound and production are 2nd to none and simply endorses my previous opinion of the greatness of this album. The original album has always been brilliant but the out takes especially the appearance of Peter Green are very welcome as is the live tracks especially the ones from Wembley as I was there and brings back memories of just how good Fleetwood Mac were that night. The star item in the box however is the DVD with the 5:1 mix of the album which is sonically stunning.
I've said it before & I'll say it again:"Rhino do the best reissues." This two-disc take on Fleetwood Mac's Tusk is far superior to the prior-budget price version, which edited the sublime joy that was Sara. The first disc takes in the original Tusk double-album & adds a single-mix of Sisters of the Moon; while the second disc takes in earlier versions/alternate takes/outtakes relating to the recording of Tusk and is worth buying for these stunning curios. This is even better than that deluxe reissue of The Velvet Underground's Loaded & chance to reassess a great, great album...
Tusk was famously the follow-up to the bestselling Rumours (1977) and along with Fleetwood Mac (1975) is the centrepiece of their career (stuff like Mirage & Tango in the Night were distinctly underwhelming). This was the era when Lindsay Buckingham became the mainman, while Christine McVie & Stevie Nicks were more than equal. Tusk is better than Rumours as (i) it's a double-album, the three-songwriters having much to offer (ii) it was recorded in relationship-turmoil, everyone likes a car crash. See: The Visitors, Low, Blemish, Music for a New Society (iii) Camper Van Beethoven recorded the whole album in tribute to it (iv) DJ Shadow sampled Brown Eyes on one of his early recordings (v) the band insisted on a ping-pong table in the studio, the Beastie Boys followed suit on their Tusk: 1989's Paul's Boutique (vi) it's not overplayed/overfamiliar like Rumours (vii) it's quite insane in parts (viii) because it is...
The cocaine-Californian thing has been done wonderfully by others- Warren Zevon, Steely Dan, The Eagles' Hotel California ,Gene Clark, Steve Stills- this does feel like a band living on the edge, in their own world where they can have anything they want. I'm reminded a little of The Band in The Last Waltz or The Stones around Exile on Main Street. Despite the gossip-related problems, this is a wonderful collection of songs- perhaps they were miserable, but in that place, they created something beautiful & enchanting. Perhaps it's a record like Blood on the Tracks, Here My Dear, Station to Station or Third/Sister Lovers that was ultimately more fun to listen to than make?
There is still hints of that perfect FM-country of Rumours- Think About Me, Angel- so I never understood why people didn't take to this set. Many of the tracks could have been put on Rumours & people would have eaten it up! Buckingham & co were getting more adventerous- the production is more experimental and probably has more in common with Lee'Scratch'Perry or PIL than Dire Straits. Tusk is not Metal Machine Music though...
Every track on it is wonderful- from the mad-brass inflected title track (sort of a rap!) to the gorgeous Brown Eyes to Buckingham's modern inversion of Eddie Cochran on The Ledge. I just don't get people who don't get Tusk!- what's not to get? The six-minute plus ethereal joy of Sara?- Nicks bettering herself with Sisters of the Moon and Storms, which are the kind of songs you could lose yourself in (& explains why a few girls I knew in the 80s tended to model themselves on Stevie...). McVie's gorgeous Over and Over is just hypnotic- but the song I could listen to UNTIL THE END OF TIME would be That's All For Everyone, which has a wonderful hook & like many of the great records, doesn't go on long enough...
Tusk is now available in complete, expanded form and is now ripe for rediscovery after the Mac's succesful return last year. It's also one of the great double-albums, easily ranking alongside Warehouse (Songs&Stories), Exile on Main Street, Being There, Sign'O'the Times, Sandinista!, Spirit of 76, Check Your Head & The White Album. A great reissue and Fleetwood Mac's masterpiece, as far as I'm concerned...
on 23 April 2016
I am so glad Tusk has finally receive the deluxe treatment.There is loads of great bonus material here that has not been released before.Very well presented with fascinating artwork and album notes from the band.An essential buy for F.M. fans.Very good value.I strongly recommend this.