With nearly two years of production work and millions of dollars invested in its production, the 1979 double album, ‘Tusk’ (US#4/ OZ#2/UK#1), was always destined to be branded a ‘commercial flop’ by comparison to ‘Rumours’, irrespective of the fact that it sold in very respectable numbers and spawned the hypnotic ‘Tusk’ (US#8/ OZ#3/UK#6), and the sensual Stevie Nicks track ‘Sara’ (US#7/ OZ#11/UK#37) as top ten singles. Fleetwood Mac followed up the ‘Tusk’ album with a lengthy world tour resulting in their first ‘live’ double album set. ‘Fleetwood Mac Live’ (US#14/ OZ#20/UK#31) captured the artistry and kinetic energy of the quintet brilliantly.
By 1982, the five Macs reconvened en masse in the studio to work on their fourth studio album together as a unit. The result of their collective toils was the majestic ‘Mirage’ album, released in June of ’82 (US#1/ OZ#2/UK#5) - and my personal choice as favourite Fleetwood Mac album. Co-produced by Ken Caillat and Lindsey Buckingham, the album comprised twelve tracks in all, with writing and vocal duties shared equally between Buckingham, McVie, and Nicks.
Lindsey Buckingham kicks off the second half of ‘Mirage’ with his dreamy, quirky dedication to the ‘Big Apple’, New York City, on ‘Empire State’ (close to my personal choice of tracks on the album). The stylish ‘Straight Back’ from Stevie Nicks entrances listeners next. To follow comes one of my favourite Fleetwood Mac tracks of all time. Written by Christine McVie and Robbie Patton (scored US#26 hit in 1981 with ‘Don’t Give It Up’ - co-produced by McVie), ‘Hold Me’ (US#4/OZ#12) is a lush affair, defined by pristine vocal harmonies throughout, and was backed by a visually captivating promotional video. Lindsey Buckingham then touches on a slice of rock-a-billy for ‘Oh Diane’ (UK#9), before ears turn to his ‘Eyes Of The World’. The album is rounded out by Christine McVie’s lamenting ballad ‘Wish You Were Here’.