Tango in the Night (1987)


 
1. Big Love 2. Seven Wonders 3. Everywhere 4. Caroline 5. Tango in the Night 6. Mystified 7. Little Lies 8. Family Man 9. Welcome to the Room...Sara 10.Isn't it Midnight 11.When I See You Again 12.You and I (Part 2)

 

Around this particular time in history, not only did the fans not think there would be any more Fleetwood Mac, but the band themselves had pretty much given up on Fleetwood Mac. Then drummer Mick Fleetwood had to file for bankruptcy due to some bad real estate investments, and the band rallied to his cause to help him out financially and went on to produce, what many consider, an unpredictably very strong album. The band that enjoyed their biggest success in the latter half of the seventies became eponymous as a "seventies" band, so who knew exactly how they would respond a decade later in the midst of big hair and synthesizers?

This album bears a rather unique distinction as being very good in certain areas and very bad in others - in particular, the state of the band members themselves. In the "almost always consistent, neutral, and predictably great" department is Christine McVie. Her songs, as always, are very fresh, pleasant and radio friendly. She manages to release nothing but memorable tunes on this album, highlights being Everywhere and Little Lies, both received significant airplay deservedly.

Lindsey Buckingham produces the greatest results on this album. Actually, this is probably the best work he's contributed to any Fleetwood Mac album. As someone who had a reputation of being maybe a little bit too ambitious in his writing and production, he seems to have come up with a perfect balance on this album of pushing the envelope out of the band's comfort zone, yet not alienating fans or the general radio public. The leadoff single from the album,Big Love is a prime example and a great way to introduce a great band to a new audience. Everything else here of Buckingham's is in the same league, and any of his tunes could have been high charting singles had they been released.

Sadly, it's Stevie Nicks that brings the whole album down somewhat. Stevie had deservedly been the "star" among stars in this band since she joined in 1975. Unfortunately the high living of being a famous rock star took its toll on her, and while the band began the recording sessions for this album, she spent the majority of the time in drug rehab. Since Nicks didn't play any instruments, the band could feasibly record most of the album without her. The proceeded to do just that, much to her chagrin. When she did get back, she managed to contribute three songs, and only two of them are worth mentioning. Well...one anyway. Seven Wonders is her strongest piece, and where it pales in comparison to most of the songs by Buckingham and/or McVie, it was strong enough to climb the charts significantly. When I See You Again is actually a very pretty piece, but its very sparse, and almost seems as an afterthought to the album. Welcome to the Room...Sara is without a doubt her worse song ever as a member of Fleetwood Mac. Lyrically, it's about her recent stay in rehab. Musically, it's actually worse. This is really the only bad song on the whole album.

It's then very easy to see that if you were drawn to this band because of Stevie Nicks (and there were millions that fit into this category), you were extremely disappointed by this album. If you favored any of the other two leaders, or if you valued them all equally, then this ended up being a very smart, surprising addition to the band's catalog that responded well to the ever changing music scene.

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