From the Vault...


Fleetwood Mac
"The Dance"

© Warner Bros. Records
Year of Release: 1997

track listing
  • The Chain
  • Dreams
  • Everywhere
  • Rhiannon
  • I'm So Afraid
  • Temporary One
  • Bleed To Love Her
  • Big Love
  • Landslide
  • Say You Love Me
  • My Little Demon
  • Silver Springs
  • You Make Loving Fun
  • Sweet Girl
  • Go Your Own Way
  • Tusk
  • Don't Stop

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    Fleetwood Mac
    "The Dance"

    In 1987, after their Tango In The Night release, Lindsey Buckingham had left Fleetwood Mac. Then in 1994, Christine McVie announced not to tour with the group.. "Never Say Never" is the old saying -- In 1997, the most popular lineup of Fleetwood Mac reunited, and recorded a live album, The Dance, which reached #1 on the Album charts, as once again made another breakthrough in their career. Not only having another #1 album to their name, they had become popular previously by supporting President Bill Clinton's first-term inauguration, using their hit "Don't Stop."

    Live albums are arguable -- most people do not prefer live albums, due to the gimmicks and tricks used in the studio, that probably cannot be duplicated on stage. Take the album's opening tune, "The Chain," originally from Rumours. The vocals do sound a bit worn, and Lindsey Buckingham's "Yeah Yeah Yeah's" at the end, just didn't appeal. (I remember watching them performing this song on television, and with the constant "Yeah Yeah Yeah's," I felt like shouting "Oh Shut Up Already!..." Luckily the repeated "Yeah Yeah Yeah's" were brief on this version.)

    Another song from Rumours, "Dreams" is not that bad. Stevie Nicks' sultry voice is enjoyable, yet the music here tends not to be as tight as heard on the studio version. "Everywhere," originally from Tango In The Night" has a tight sound musically, and vocally, Christine McVie is good; good is best to describe her voice, but could of been better.

    What a surprise on "Rhiannon" -- a much slower version, as it starts out, than heard on the Fleetwood Mac album. (One of the few good things about performing live is taking well-known songs and performing them differently.) After the first verse, they perform the song rhythmically as originally, and is just as good, musically and vocally (Stevie Nicks), as the original. Even towards the end, they perform it differently, slowing it down just a pace.

    "I'm So Afraid" (originally from Fleetwood Mac) shows a more blues rock edge. The music keeps your interest, likewise the "mystery" of the vocals. It could easily bring back the years when original Mac member Peter Green was in the band, with their mix of blues and hard rock.

    "Temporary One" features Christine McVie on vocals, and is quite impressive with this simple pop number. Another easy-going pop tune, "Bleed To Love Her," (written by Buckingham and John McVie), was a new tune at the time, as Lindsey explained before the song was performed.

    "Big Love" was never one of my most favorite Fleetwood Mac songs, yet it is performed differently than on the original on Tango In The Night. Only featuring guitar and vocals, Lindsey Buckingham provides the entertainment on this one. But more entertaining is "Landslide" -- Originally from the Fleetwood Mac release, Stevie Nicks vocals with just the guitar supplying the music, is overwhelming live, as it was in the studio.

    Another one in the category of "Performed differently live, than in the studio..." "Say You Love Me" features the banjo, rather than the electric guitars heard on Rumours. And, I'll have to admit on this one, it's worth listening to, repeatedly. However, "My Little Demon" just may have been another new tune for Fleetwood Mac at the time, yet I don't see it being a staple-hit as such favorites as "Say You Love Me," "Dreams," or "Rhiannon." This one I'll let pass on by.

    "Silver Springs" is another great slow ballad for Stevie Nicks. I can't recall if this was from a Fleetwood Mac or Stevie Nicks solo release; I've heard this song on the radio -- maybe it was this version -- it's another song that features Stevie Nicks at her best, with her sultry voice and music accompaniment, whether it be with the Mac, or on her own.

    Another Rumours favorite, "You Make Loving Fun" is just as entertaining as the original. "Sweet Girl" features the sultry voice of Stevie Nicks once again, and has a nice pop sound. "Go Your Own Way" (from Rumors) is just-as-good as the original.

    Another least-favorite Fleetwood Mac song (and album) is "Tusk." I'm sorry, but even the live version is simply not entertaining, despite a pretty good drum solo by Mick Fleetwood. (Most live concerts feature drum solos at extensive lengths -- maybe this one would of been better, if it had featured that.) Closing out the album is a very well-done version of Rumours' "Don't Stop."

    Live albums -- take them or leave them ... Fleetwood Mac's The Dance starts out slowly, (and most live concerts do), yet it does pick up into a good performance. It has its moments (like all concerts), and other moments can either be treated as entertaining or less-than entertaining. Either way, The Dance is a moderately good live release. Christine McVie has once again announced not to tour, but that does not rule out that she could record new material with (or without) Fleetwood Mac. We have yet to hear any new material from the Mac, but performing live for The Dance had been a long time since their last performance/tour. It's been a long time since 1997, since we've heard anything new, from Fleetwood Mac. We've seen a lot of "reunion" bands coming back; there's no reason not to have more than one.

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    R.L. Burnside--Come On In
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    The Chiffons--Best Of The Chiffons