50 great things about Fleetwood Mac's "Tusk"

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Let's start with:

1. The drum sound

Josh in Chicago (Josh in Chicago), Sunday, 22 February 2004 23:47 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

2. the buzzy guitar sound on "the ledge."

fact checking cuz (fcc), Sunday, 22 February 2004 23:54 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

3. "sara"

the surface noise (electricsound), Sunday, 22 February 2004 23:54 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

4. genius-like simplicity in songwriting, example #1: "save me a place"

fact checking cuz (fcc), Sunday, 22 February 2004 23:55 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

5.Lindsay's yelling on "What Makes You Think You're the One"

Colin Beckett (Colin Beckett), Sunday, 22 February 2004 23:55 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

6. genius-like simplicity in songwriting, example #2: "that's all for everyone"

fact checking cuz (fcc), Sunday, 22 February 2004 23:56 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

7. lindsey buckingham's lo-fi home production.

fact checking cuz (fcc), Sunday, 22 February 2004 23:57 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

8. The hook on "Angel"

Colin Beckett (Colin Beckett), Sunday, 22 February 2004 23:58 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

9. The cover

Colin Beckett (Colin Beckett), Sunday, 22 February 2004 23:58 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

10. Lindsey Buckingham's obvious obsession with the current sucess of punk and new wave.

bahtology, Monday, 23 February 2004 00:07 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

11. the >$1 million studio bill

the surface noise (electricsound), Monday, 23 February 2004 00:09 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

12. songs that use the G A Bm chord progression like "storms" does *swoon*

The Lady Ms Lurex (lucylurex), Monday, 23 February 2004 00:12 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

13. The herky-jerky, coked-up sound of all the Buckingham material.

maypang (maypang), Monday, 23 February 2004 00:12 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

13. lindsay buckingham getting thanked as if he isn't in the band wtf?

The Lady Ms Lurex (lucylurex), Monday, 23 February 2004 00:13 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

15. so much packaging on the vinyl copy!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The Lady Ms Lurex (lucylurex), Monday, 23 February 2004 00:15 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

come on people. i can't think all by myself.

The Lady Ms Hivemind (lucylurex), Monday, 23 February 2004 00:41 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

16. the fact that the band re-created Lindsey's tile-lined bathroom in the studio to replicate the sound of his demos.

Josh in Chicago (Josh in Chicago), Monday, 23 February 2004 00:50 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

17. bootlegs from the 1979 tour where the material from "Tusk" rubs up uncomfortably against the stuff from "Rumours" and "Fleetwood Mac"

Josh in Chicago (Josh in Chicago), Monday, 23 February 2004 00:51 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

18. the absolutely chaotic yet strangely perfect arrangement of "What Makes You Think You're the One"

Josh in Chicago (Josh in Chicago), Monday, 23 February 2004 00:52 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

19. McVie's breathtakingly beautiful "Never Make Me Cry"
20. the super poppy harmonica (?) hook Lindsey sneaks into "I Know I'm Not Wrong"

Josh in Chicago (Josh in Chicago), Monday, 23 February 2004 00:56 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

"I Walk a Thin Line"

The part where Lindsey's voice goes up and you can't tell where his ends and Christine McVie's starts. Or maybe it's all Lindsey overdubs. Either way, that song RULES.

Will (will), Monday, 23 February 2004 01:13 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

umm, 21.

Will (will), Monday, 23 February 2004 01:14 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Stevie's voice!

Clarke B., Monday, 23 February 2004 02:06 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

23. Goes without saying, but "Tusk"!

Josh in Chicago (Josh in Chicago), Monday, 23 February 2004 02:13 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

24. You can say you like it and not look like a total fag.

maypang (maypang), Monday, 23 February 2004 02:18 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

25. whats wrong with looking like a fag?

The Lady Ms Lurex (lucylurex), Monday, 23 February 2004 02:20 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

26. The gorgeous, GORGEOUS production on "Brown Eyes"... wow those backing sha-la-la vocals are pure heaven.

Sean (Sean), Monday, 23 February 2004 02:23 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Hell yes, Sean, "Brown Eyes" is the swooningest swooner ever penned.

Clarke B., Monday, 23 February 2004 02:53 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

The title track gave marching bands throughout the world something new to play.

jim wentworth (wench), Monday, 23 February 2004 03:07 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

25. whats wrong with looking like a fag?

I have no problem with it at all, but you know.. some might.

maypang (maypang), Monday, 23 February 2004 03:23 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

26. The inimitable way it maps the precise midpoint between insane creativity and complete collapse that only severe cocaine addiction among band members can produce.

m.e.a., Monday, 23 February 2004 04:04 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

27. The completely insane yet pleasingly non-obvious sequencing: "Over and Over" is the first song? "Never Forget" is the last song? "That's All for Everyone" is in the middle of the second side??

Douglas (Douglas), Monday, 23 February 2004 08:09 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

28. Mick Fleetwood's hair-raising fill 30 seconds before the end of "Over & Over"--a little crescendo just when we've been in what feels like the fadeout for a solid minute already.

Douglas (Douglas), Monday, 23 February 2004 08:15 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

29. Lindsay's acoustic rhythm guitar part in the right channel of "Over & Over," mixed so that the percussion of fingers-across-strings is generally much louder than whatever notes he happens to be playing, but the notes come through anyway (this effect is especially notable in the aforementioned fadeout).

Douglas (Douglas), Monday, 23 February 2004 08:18 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

30. the pleasurable anticipation as regards the CD reissue. Only 4 weeks to go!!

zebedee (zebedee), Monday, 23 February 2004 10:45 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

31. It originally got a rave review in NME, right in the middle of the punk wars...

mark grout (mark grout), Monday, 23 February 2004 11:14 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Douglas is so right regarding the song sequencing.

Sean (Sean), Monday, 23 February 2004 12:39 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Yeah, I third the head-scratching sequencing. It's one of those rare, sprawling double-albums where the weird, schizophrenic track order actually works. 'Specially the first song. "Exile," "London Calling," "Sign 'O'" all start out with clinchers, but "Tusk" makes you work from the start. Though it's hardly an ordeal.

32. The distorted power chords in "Sisters of the Moon," which sound like they're being played through a broken practice amp.

Josh in Chicago (Josh in Chicago), Monday, 23 February 2004 14:37 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Wait? What CD reissue?

Everyone else pretty OTM.

Baked Bean Teeth (Baked Bean Teeth), Monday, 23 February 2004 15:02 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

33. I received it for free and and sold it for money.

BrianB (BrianB), Monday, 23 February 2004 15:43 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Wait? What CD reissue?

dude, where ya been?
http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&q=rhino+fleetwood+mac+tusk&btnG=Google+Search

zebedee (zebedee), Monday, 23 February 2004 15:54 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

"Special thanks from the band to Lindsey Buckingham"

David Merryweather (DavidM), Monday, 23 February 2004 21:28 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

34. The subsequent modifications to the lyrics of Tusk by the USC student body at football games, turning the song into a scathing indictment of the UCLA student body

Todd Everlasting (Todde), Monday, 23 February 2004 22:45 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

This song is fairly traumatic for me, as I am an alum of the University of Southern California.
USC's marching band, plays on the track, of course... to this day, you hear this song an average of 500 times a day walking across campus. For the final horn bursts, though, you are supposed to shout along "U-C-L-A sucks!"

So...

34) It reminds me of the delicious hot dog I ate at the one college football game I ever went to, which I think was USC vs. Notre Dame ("we" lost).

Fuck! Major x-post with Todd!

Ben Boyer (Ben Boyer), Monday, 23 February 2004 22:48 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

damn, i was beaten to #33 and 34 by the above wiseguys.

TS: A-Claps vs. Tusk

gygax! (gygax!), Monday, 23 February 2004 22:50 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

two months pass...
35. Okay, so I got the reissue and finally heard the actual song "Tusk" all the way through for the first time -- do people not mention that weird breakdown moment where the drums cut out and everything goes backward because, even for this album and that song, it's THAT (wonderfully) fucked up?

So, 15 more to go?

Ned Raggett (Ned), Saturday, 15 May 2004 01:28 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

36 'Beautiful Child' - "There is so much pain" "I am not a child anymore". The way Stevie sings these, infact every line in this song, and then sings them again...this is recognition, this is chill down the spine music.

de, Saturday, 15 May 2004 01:34 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

that even noise weirdos like the Dead C's Bruce Russell recognize it's total fucking greatness

roger adultery (roger adultery), Saturday, 15 May 2004 02:03 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

37. the way christine mcvie's vocals yield/meld to lindsey buckingham's vocals in the chorus to 'think about me'

cinniblount (James Blount), Saturday, 15 May 2004 05:45 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

38. the way the lyrics in 'sara' only occasionally bother to rhyme

cinniblount (James Blount), Saturday, 15 May 2004 05:47 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

the longer version of sara is wonderful.

please don't shampoo your eyes (stevie), Monday, 26 October 2015 08:34 (two years ago) Permalink

i could possibly pass too if that 1980 Tusk tour the new live album is drawn from wasn't the same tour that yielded their 1980 live album, one of my favourite records of all time.

please don't shampoo your eyes (stevie), Monday, 26 October 2015 08:35 (two years ago) Permalink

Sara in 5.1 sounds like it could be pretty fucking amazing.

Naive Teen Idol, Thursday, 29 October 2015 02:01 (two years ago) Permalink

The _Live_ record is way overdue for a cleanup/expansion, but with this new package we're not likely to get it. Annoyed that I'll have to shell out for two vinyl LPs to get the live stuff. But like NTI says, this one could be a doozy in 5.1 -- wonder if LB was involved in the 5.1 mixes?

Jeff Wright, Thursday, 29 October 2015 03:49 (two years ago) Permalink

More likely Ken Caillat, who did the Rumours 5.1 (and an unreleased 5.1 of the S/T I believe ).

Naive Teen Idol, Friday, 30 October 2015 18:49 (two years ago) Permalink

one month passes...

i like when he super-close-mics the guitars so the scraping of the strings becomes an important, if still subtle, compositional element.

anyone get the deluxxe edition? it's amazing. so many rough versions of the title tune.

wizzz! (amateurist), Thursday, 10 December 2015 02:44 (two years ago) Permalink

also those fucked up backing vocals (are they all lindsey?) on "walk a thin line"

i'm sure this has all been mentioned upthread.

wizzz! (amateurist), Thursday, 10 December 2015 02:46 (two years ago) Permalink

Yeah, I third the head-scratching sequencing. It's one of those rare, sprawling double-albums where the weird, schizophrenic track order actually works. 'Specially the first song. "Exile," "London Calling," "Sign 'O'" all start out with clinchers, but "Tusk" makes you work from the start. Though it's hardly an ordeal.

this is key. i think the album kind of teaches you to listen to it by starting with a dirge-like song in which the strange subtleties of the arrangement are paramount.

wizzz! (amateurist), Thursday, 10 December 2015 02:52 (two years ago) Permalink

opener is still far and away my favourite on this

licorice oratorio (baaderonixx), Thursday, 10 December 2015 09:49 (two years ago) Permalink

the live version of over and over is so much better, so less lethargic, with such an incandescent guitar solo

I don't have the time or energy to make a counterargument (stevie), Thursday, 10 December 2015 10:46 (two years ago) Permalink

the sequencing on this album made it very difficult to get into. obvs now i love it and can read some genius logic into it as amateurist does above, yet i remember almost giving up at some point

flopson, Thursday, 10 December 2015 13:51 (two years ago) Permalink

"Think About Me" is neck in neck with "Little Lies" as best McVie single.

The burrito of ennui (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Thursday, 10 December 2015 14:04 (two years ago) Permalink

The 'alternate Tusk' isn't exactly a revelation, per se, but it's pretty enjoyable if you know the album as well as some of us here do, and you can pinpoint the very slight differences in some of these songs. It sounds as if these "alternate versions" are, in a few cases, just the basic tracks without the overdubs, and /or with scratch vocals. One exception is the early version of "That's All For Everyone," which is just a sound in search of a song at this point. Interesting how the original plan (???) was to let the descending marimba part be the "hook."

Jimmywine Dyspeptic, Thursday, 10 December 2015 14:57 (two years ago) Permalink

"Storms" might be the best Stevie song, save maybe "Silver Springs."

One of the strange miracles of Fleetwood Mac is how Buckingham was brought into the band as a package with his longtime partner Nicks, but it's McVie who turns out to be the perfect pair for him. Somethings they sing in close harmony, sometimes they just double each other, sometimes they trade off, but their voices just mesh so perfectly.

Per those crazy Bucky backing vocals, if we haven't talked about it or if it isn't common knowledge, I think it's pretty safe to assume all or most of the Lindsey tracks are overwhelmingly him alone, with only the occasional help from one of his bandmates.

Josh in Chicago, Thursday, 10 December 2015 15:15 (two years ago) Permalink

Depends. "What Makes You Think" has Fleetwood on drums but Buck on piano, while "Walk a Thin Line" is all Buck.

The burrito of ennui (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Thursday, 10 December 2015 15:16 (two years ago) Permalink

I was just listening to the former yesterday, and it sounds like Bucky and Mick on drums, or at least multiple drummers. Mick doing the weird fills and stuff and Bucky doing some of the other hitting. (I recall the Classic Albums Rumours doc, or maybe the book, talking about tracks on even that album featuring Bucky hitting things along with Mick). I mean, "The Ledge" is all Bucky, for sure, as is "Walk a Thin Line." And most of the other Bucky-led stuff, iirc.

Josh in Chicago, Thursday, 10 December 2015 15:24 (two years ago) Permalink

do we really call him "Bucky"?

tylerw, Thursday, 10 December 2015 15:25 (two years ago) Permalink

I got the facts about "What Makes You Think" from Paul Zollo's interview with Buck in the early '90s for Zollo's book on songwriters.

The burrito of ennui (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Thursday, 10 December 2015 15:26 (two years ago) Permalink

do we really call him "Bucky"?

― tylerw, Thursday, December 10, 2015 10:25 AM (54 seconds ago)

Christine calls him "arsehole" and Stevie "dickhead" iirc

The burrito of ennui (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Thursday, 10 December 2015 15:26 (two years ago) Permalink

Third time posting this itt, but it's a great quote.

Lindsey: Oh yeah, that’s one of the classic drum tracks. I love that. That’s one of the great drum tracks that I’ve ever heard. That’s up there with "Instant Karma." That was a great moment. That was just Mick and myself late at night in the studio, me at the piano. We put a cassette player that has one of those really cheap mikes in it, we put that right under his snare, and it was so explosive the way he heard it in the cans, he got off on it, and he just turned into an animal. And it was just two-piece, there was no Christine or anybody putting any constraints on what could or couldn’t be done. That has to rate as one of my top-five moments with the band.

how's life, Thursday, 10 December 2015 15:29 (two years ago) Permalink

take that, Christine!

The burrito of ennui (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Thursday, 10 December 2015 15:32 (two years ago) Permalink

It's a helluva snipe!

how's life, Thursday, 10 December 2015 15:32 (two years ago) Permalink

the worst part is she probably would dig playing that loosey goosey piano

The burrito of ennui (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Thursday, 10 December 2015 15:34 (two years ago) Permalink

the sequencing on this album made it very difficult to get into. obvs now i love it and can read some genius logic into it as amateurist does above, yet i remember almost giving up at some point

― flopson, Thursday, December 10, 2015 1:51 PM

had the exact same experience

niels, Thursday, 10 December 2015 15:36 (two years ago) Permalink

i think the multiple I Know I'm Not Wrongs are the most illuminating section of the box set, really pulling back the curtain on Buckingham's process, and the song's evolution - and also the evolution of the album's sound. Am mildly disappointed that the new live tracks aren't often of a standard with their 1980 Live album from the same tour, but I'm such a ridiculous stan of that album it shouldn't be a surprise to me (Save Me A Place is lovely, though).

I don't have the time or energy to make a counterargument (stevie), Thursday, 10 December 2015 15:37 (two years ago) Permalink

yeah, i think the 'i know i'm not wrong' outtakes plus the title track outtakes are the most illuminating things in the deluxe edition.

the live tracks are very hit and miss -- kind of surprise to hear christine fall out of tune so often. maybe the monitors were bad.

wizzz! (amateurist), Thursday, 10 December 2015 18:29 (two years ago) Permalink

also didn't the 1980 live album have tons of unacknowledged studio overdubbing?

wizzz! (amateurist), Thursday, 10 December 2015 18:30 (two years ago) Permalink

well, maybe not /tons/

wizzz! (amateurist), Thursday, 10 December 2015 18:30 (two years ago) Permalink

One of the strange miracles of Fleetwood Mac is how Buckingham was brought into the band as a package with his longtime partner Nicks, but it's McVie who turns out to be the perfect pair for him.

There is a dark reason behind this: Stevie and Lindsay both acknowledge that he would refrain from (or at times, flat out refuse) helping Nicks out on her songs beyond the bare minimum guitar work... which is really unfortunate obviously.

Jersey Al (Albert R. Broccoli), Thursday, 10 December 2015 18:47 (two years ago) Permalink

And also not really true, because when she was out of commission during the "Tango" era he (and she) has said he more or less created her songs around what few of her takes were good enough to use.

xpost "What Makes You Think You're The One" might be a two-man operation, but there is clearly still overdubbing. I mean, no doubt, the rest of the band is not there, but even this crazy song is not just a live in a room take. I'm always surprised what is going on in some of these even simple songs, especially with a micromanager like Lindsey around.

Josh in Chicago, Thursday, 10 December 2015 18:49 (two years ago) Permalink

also, McVie unlike Nicks was a musician and unlike Nicks not his lover.

The burrito of ennui (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Thursday, 10 December 2015 18:52 (two years ago) Permalink

Did McVie ever have a substance abuse problem? Wouldn't be surprised if she and Buckingham were often left working together on clean-up duty while John, Stevie and Mick were out of pocket.

Josh in Chicago, Thursday, 10 December 2015 18:56 (two years ago) Permalink

she did her fair share of booze and coke, but as a sensible person and professional has cut her intake. She never did AA. A recent Mick interview alluded to Christine sitting in her English country garden enjoying a glass of white wine.

The burrito of ennui (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Thursday, 10 December 2015 19:00 (two years ago) Permalink

Tango has the most Buckingham-McVie collaborations, so I think you're right

xpost

The burrito of ennui (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Thursday, 10 December 2015 19:03 (two years ago) Permalink

one month passes...

Listening to my parents' vinyl copy (which Mom says they bought for Xmas '79, because the holiday season was the only time my parents bought records back then) ATM, and am struck again by how weird the sequencing is: three of the five Stevie tracks are on the first LP, and the fourth kicks off the second; no Christine songs at all on side two...

"Damn the Taquitos" (C. Grisso/McCain), Monday, 18 January 2016 05:28 (one year ago) Permalink

it's been said upthread, but i'm always baffled at how "That's All for Everyone" was buried in the middle of side 2. Could've been a single. Heartbreakingly beautiful song. I was disappointed that the 10/20/78 demo on the recent reissue has a gibberish vocal. That marimba line is a stroke of genius.

flappy bird, Monday, 18 January 2016 18:11 (one year ago) Permalink

Seems like that of the Lindsay stuff on the album, it would have been the biggest no-brainer to put out as a single. But their chart game suddenly fell off majorly..."Tusk" & "Sara" both get into the top 10, but then "Think About Me" peaks at #20, and "Sisters of The Moon" (issued on 45 almost seven full months after the LP) lands at lands at #86. Oddly enough, the title tracks aside, all of the singles are b/w Lindsay tunes (but not "TAfE").

"Damn the Taquitos" (C. Grisso/McCain), Monday, 18 January 2016 18:36 (one year ago) Permalink

Keep in mind: Rumours notwithstanding, it was still unusual for an act to release more than two singles per album. Singles-wise, Tusk performed fine.

Thriller, of course, changed this dynamic.

The burrito of ennui (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Monday, 18 January 2016 18:39 (one year ago) Permalink

On a related note, I've recently been going through my vinyl backlog, which includes a lucky bargain purchase some time ago of all the 80s Mac albums and the first two Lindsay solos. I was quite delighted to hear for myself that Law & Order is basically "TUSK II".

"Damn the Taquitos" (C. Grisso/McCain), Monday, 18 January 2016 18:41 (one year ago) Permalink

Law & Order rules. That cover though...good god does that guy have issues.

flappy bird, Monday, 18 January 2016 18:46 (one year ago) Permalink

...further explored by him and the naked lady in the artwork for Go Insane.

"Damn the Taquitos" (C. Grisso/McCain), Monday, 18 January 2016 18:48 (one year ago) Permalink

good god does that guy have issues.

See also:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_nLiQBV6A7c

Such an insane counter to the song's happy go lucky rep.

Josh in Chicago, Monday, 18 January 2016 20:34 (one year ago) Permalink

check out the audience particpation at the end of this!

http://www.youtube.com/v/_nLiQBV6A7c%26fs=1%26hl=en

how's life, Monday, 18 January 2016 21:14 (one year ago) Permalink

sorry this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=44dS8g4uoNw

how's life, Monday, 18 January 2016 21:15 (one year ago) Permalink

I read somewhere at the time that the audience's affection for it astounded him.

The burrito of ennui (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Monday, 18 January 2016 21:18 (one year ago) Permalink

It's a pretty dopey song. He's done it every time I've seen him, dog barks and all.

Man, Lindsey needs some kind of boxed set.

Josh in Chicago, Monday, 18 January 2016 22:20 (one year ago) Permalink

one year passes...

that when you put on this record it feels like coming home

I think hearing the first 5 seconds of Over & Over with an emotional hangover finally convinced me that Tusk is indeed a stronger record than Rumours

niels, Monday, 1 January 2018 19:09 (two weeks ago) Permalink

absolutely

flappy bird, Tuesday, 2 January 2018 20:21 (two weeks ago) Permalink

again, what a strange yet perfect opener for an album

flappy bird, Tuesday, 2 January 2018 20:25 (two weeks ago) Permalink

I've listened to it regularly ever since I first curled up with it on headphones when it came out, aged 9, so yeah it does feel like home. I think "Honey Hi" is probably the most welcoming / nurturing track though.

attention vampire (MatthewK), Tuesday, 2 January 2018 20:53 (two weeks ago) Permalink


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