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Tusk (1979) - Fleetwood Mac

    Featuring »

Lindsey Buckingham, Mick Fleetwood, John McVie, Christine McVie, Stevie Nicks

    Tracklisting »
Over & Over Listen.Lyrics availableFan interpretation available
  Date Performance: 1979, Running Time: 4:35
The Ledge Listen.Lyrics availableFan interpretation available
  Date Performance: 1979, Running Time: 2:02
Think About Me Listen.Lyrics available
  Date Performance: 1979, Running Time: 2:44
Save Me A Place Listen.Lyrics availableFan interpretation available
  Date Performance: 1979, Running Time: 2:40
Sara Listen.Lyrics availableFan interpretation available Midi available
  Date Performance: 1979, Running Time: 6:26
What Makes You Think You're The One Listen.Lyrics availableFan interpretation available Tabs available
  Date Performance: 1979, Running Time: 3:30
Storms Listen.Lyrics availableFan interpretation available
  Date Performance: 1979, Running Time: 5:28
That's All For Everyone Listen.Lyrics availableFan interpretation available
  Date Performance: 1979, Running Time: 3:04
Not That Funny Listen.Lyrics availableFan interpretation available
  Date Performance: 1979, Running Time: 3:19
Sisters Of The Moon Listen.Lyrics availableFan interpretation available Tabs available Midi available
  Date Performance: 1979, Running Time: 4:37
Angel Listen.Lyrics availableFan interpretation available Midi available
  Date Performance: 1979, Running Time: 4:53
That's Enough For Me Listen.Lyrics availableFan interpretation available
  Date Performance: 1979, Running Time: 1:48
Brown Eyes Listen.Lyrics availableFan interpretation available Tabs available
  Date Performance: 1979, Running Time: 4:56
Never Make Me Cry Listen.Lyrics availableFan interpretation available
  Date Performance: 1979, Running Time: 2:14
I Know I'm Not Wrong Listen.Lyrics availableFan interpretation available
  Date Performance: 1979, Running Time: 2:59
Honey Hi Listen.Lyrics availableFan interpretation available
  Date Performance: 1979, Running Time: 2:43
Beautiful Child Listen.Lyrics availableFan interpretation available Midi available
  Date Performance: 1979, Running Time: 5:19
Walk A Thin Line Listen.Lyrics availableFan interpretation available
  Date Performance: 1979, Running Time: 3:44
Tusk Listen.Lyrics availableFan interpretation available Tabs available
  Date Performance: 1979, Running Time: 3:29
  Comments: Recorded live at Dodger Stadium, Los Angeles, CA. Billboard US Hot 100 Singles Peak Position: 8 Peak Dates: Nov 3, 1979 - Nov 10, 1979 - Nov 17, 1979 Weeks on Charts: 15 Chart: Billboard UK Top 50/40 Singles Peak Position: 6 Peak Dates: Nov 17, 1979 Weeks on Charts: 7
Never Forget Listen.Lyrics availableFan interpretation available
  Date Performance: 1979, Running Time: 3:40
    Guest Appearances »

Peter Green, USC Trojan Marching Band

    Released »


    Format »

Domestic Vinyl/CD Album

    Other Appearances »
Lindsey Buckingham (Songwriter), Lindsey Buckingham (Songwriter), Christine McVie (Songwriter), Christine McVie (Songwriter), Stevie Nicks (Songwriter), Stevie Nicks (Songwriter), Peter Beard (Photography), Jayme Odgers (Photography), Norman Seeff (Photography), Vigon Nahas Vigon (Art Direction), Vigon Nahas Vigon (Design), Patrick Byrne (Studio Crew), Ray(mond) Lindsey (Studio Crew), Greg Thomason/Thompson (Studio Crew), Lindsey Buckingham (Produced By), Lindsey Buckingham (Produced By), Mick Fleetwood (Produced By), Mick Fleetwood (Produced By), Fleetwood Mac (Produced By), John McVie (Produced By), Christine McVie (Produced By), John McVie (Produced By), Christine McVie (Produced By), Stevie Nicks (Produced By), Stevie Nicks (Produced By), Ken Caillat (Recorded By), Richard Dashut (Recorded By), Hernan Rojas (Additional Recording By), Ken Caillat (Produced With), Richard Dashut (Produced With), Lindsey Buckingham (Some Tracks Recorded At Home By), Lindsey Buckingham (Some Tracks Recorded At Home By), Hernan Rojas (Recorded With Assistance By), Soundstream Inc. (Digital Mixdown Equipment Furnished By), Rich(ard) Feldman (Digital Mixdown Equipment Furnishing Ast)

    Record Label »
Warner Bros. Records

    Catalogue Number »

2HS-3350 (US LP) K66088 (UK LP) 2X5-3350 (Cassette)

    Running Time »


    Liner Notes »

Produced by Fleetwood Mac (Special thanks to Lindsey Buckingham) with Richard Dashut & Ken Caillat)

Recorded at The Village Recorder, West Los Angeles, CA

This album is dedicated to Wing Commander Fleetwood and Morris Buckingham

    Reviews »

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There are 16 visitor reviews for Tusk. See them all here.

Review for rare edition
Review written by John Sposato (sposato@inmail24.com), December 29th, 2010

I have an unusual copy of this album from South Korea, licenced to local label Oasis. Much of the album was ordered to be cut by the censors in Seoul, as the country was more conservative in those days, meaning offensive tracks would be removed, which was common practise then. I suppose ones where there's obviosuly something going on in the studio were dropped, like maybe "Not That Funny".
Here's what was allowed: Sara, Angel, That's Enough for Me, Brown Eyes, Never Make Me Cry, I Know I'm Not Wrong, Honey Hi, Beautiful Child, Walk a Thin Line, Tusk, and Never Forget. The more popular tracks, mainly Stevies, are kept intact. Just one band picture is used. The elaborate packaging of other vinyl editions is also absent. A description of the band is Korean is included, but I don't know how I'd get that translated.
It is a constrast to the full LP which I also have. It is a bit of a comedown after Rumours and the 1975 LP.
If a copy like this makes it to the West, it is a curious find for the collector, even though it seems more like a promo sampler.

All of a piece, not a solo showcase, and better for it...
Review written by Jon the Moonspinner, February 17th, 2010

The members of Fleetwood Mac work very well together on stage, and this is replicated on the "Tusk" album to the nth degree. Despite Mick's stories of Lindsey going off and doing things on his own (banging boxes together in his bathroom, and so on), the overall feel of "Tusk" is one of unity. This was a Family of musicians. I felt the guiding hand of Buckingham all through this (the other members, of course, thank him in the notes), but that doesn't mean Stevie or Christine were AWOL at any time. I love it when Stevie's vocal comes up on a Christine song (or vice-versa), and the gritty, growling sense of musical discovery (again, due to Lindsey) is apparent throughout the course of the album. I used to hate hearing "Sara" on the radio (where it was practically sawed in half to save time), but now the full version can be heard on CD (in its proper setting) and this is cause for celebration. It is one of Stevie's crowning achievements. But wait, this album also offers "Storms", "Beautiful Child", "Sisters of the Moon", "Angel"--all fabulous! Christine's honey-mellowed voice is wonderful to hear on pop confections like "Think About Me" and "Never Forget", though Buckingham gives her a spooky, troubled ambiance on "Over & Over" and the menacing "Brown Eyes" (a killer tune). Lindsey does terrifically well on the frantic, frenetic rockers "The Ledge", "I Know I'm Not Wrong" and "Tusk" (heard on the box-set with a cute new intro). It's an amazing achievement that never grows old.

Ahead of it's time
Review written by (mauimarkee@yahoo.com), March 31st, 2009

I first heard this album on AM radio WRKO. I did not like it. It was not Rumours. I purchased it anyway, all $16 of it with my sophomore milk money and ice scream scooper earnings. I listened to it over & over, if you'll excuse the pun. Like most fans, it was hard, at first, to understand what Lyndsey was doing. I did like several of his songs, The Ledge, Walk a Thin Line, Save Me a Place, That's Enough for Me. The "harder stuff" at least for Mac i.e. 'Not That Funny,' was not for me. I did manage to see the Tusk Tour at Boston Garden, which was astounding. They were great.
This album is now my favorite of all time. I still give it quite a bit of play and consider it their masterpiece. I love all Lyndsey's work, especially Walk A Thin Line, Tusk, THe Ledge and That's Enough For Me. These were the songs that could be played on FM today and rock. I actually did meet him once and told him how much I apppreciate his work, on this album particularly.
Mick & John provide the perfect driving line for much of the songs and have so much class.
Stevie has never sounded better or written better. Sara, of course, hypnotic and masterfully produced (as is the whole Tusk album) Storms is wrenching and Beautiful Child, both tender and strong.
Christine scores with Brown Eyes, Over & Over is such a great song, I love it, and, Never Make Me Cry is so beautifully composed and sublime.
There are some songs that are Rumours throwbacks; Think About Me, Never Forget, Sisters of The Moon, all good!
Tusk is an album which demonstrates this band's skill and maturity. I love all it's colors, light and shadow. Tusk is an amazing signature piece for this unique and exceptional band; it highlights their incredible ability to express at simultaneously both profound pain and hopefulness. Bravo!

    Comments »

This is a double album released on a single CD. The vinyl version included the full album version of "Sara". The first CD edition of the "Tusk" album included the edited (4:37) version of "Sara" instead.

Where Rumours achieved greatness through turmoil, its double album followup Tusk is the sound of a band imploding. Lindsey Buckingham began to assume control of Fleetwood Mac during the Rumours sessions, but he dominates Tusk, turning the album into a paranoid roller coaster ride where sweet soft-rock is offset by feverish cocaine fantasies. Christine McVie and Stevie Nicks don't deviate from their established balladry, soft-rock and folk-rock templates, and all their songs are first-rate, whether it's McVie's "Over and Over" or Nicks' "Sara." Buckingham gives these mainstream-oriented songs off-kilter arrangements, so they can fit neatly with his nervy, insular, yet catchy songs. Alternating bracing pop-rockers like "The Ledge" and "What Makes You Think You're the One" with melancholic, Beach Boys-style ballads like "Save Me a Place" and "That's All For Everyone," Buckingham subverts pop-rock with weird arrangements and unpredictable melodies, which are nevertheless given accessible productions -- this is as weird as mainstream pop can get, pushing on the borders of the avant-garde. Even its hit title track is a strange, menacing threat punctuated by a marching band. Because of its ambitions, Tusk failed to replicate the success of its two predecessors (it still went double platinum), yet it earned a dedicated cult audience for fans of twisted, melodic pop. (Stephen Thomas Erlewine, All-Music Guide)

  • RIAA Certification : Album - Multi-Platinum (2 million, 10/22/84)
  • Charts Peak : US #1, UK #4 (Nov 1979)

    Fan Album Intepretation:

    The interpretation to this album was compiled after a month long discussion on the message board of the Penguin, The Ledge, with input from the interpretations from all of the individual songs contained on this album.

    This interpretation was written by Farrah. Thanks to Barbara II, Hillary, Janet, Tracy G, and everyone who contributed to the individual song interpretations. (November 9, 1999)

    In the All-Music Guide, critic Steven Thomas Erlewine writes that Tusk "is the sound of a band imploding." It is more likely, however, that Fleetwood Mac was reflecting.

    Rumours is the sound of a band exploding. So what happens after a band explodes? What happens after a "bubble called Fleetwood Mac" bursts, leaving five pieces of the bubble in five different places? Tusk is what happens.

    Before we examine Tusk as a whole, we need to examine it in three distinct parts: Lindsey, Stevie, and Christine. Here are three distinct songwriters struggling to be a "band" in the conventional sense, after the explosion called Rumours.

    Tusk has been called Lindsey Buckinghamís first solo album. Lindsey got a taste of the creative freedom he obviously cherishes in his solo career. He experimented with new sounds in the studio, on the bathroom floor, wherever he could extract music. Then he came back to work on Stevie and Christineís arrangements. It was not until then, according to Mick Fleetwoodís 1990 book, that Fleetwood Mac was able to fall into its "usual lunatic studio habits."

    Lindseyís songs, as we can see from the Penguinís individual interpretations, tell a story. His story begins (as does Christineís) with an ending, with the anger and defeat apparent in "The Ledge." "Save Me A Place" calms Lindsey down so that he may make a crucial statement in the lyrics to "What Makes You Think Youíre The One?" : I love you, now itís time for you to stop hurting me.

    "Itís not that funny is it
    When you donít know what it is
    But you canít get enough of it"

    Listen to the taunting tone of the music and lyrics of "Not That Funny." In this part of the story, Lindsey feels that he has gotten his revenge. Now that the score has been settled in song, Lindsey can move on. In "Thatís Enough For Me", he gives up and asks for 'her' back. There is more hope in "I Know Iím Not Wrong", when he almost brightly sings of "the dreams of a lifetime". But before long, it is obvious that 'she' has said no to him. He repeats the "donít blame me" line from "Not That Funny", the angry, vengeful song of the set.

    "But no one was listening
    I walk a thin line . . .
    ĎStay by my sideí
    But no one said nothin"

    Here Lindsey seems to be giving up Ė but he is also saying something like, ĎHello? Look at me . . . help me or Iím going to go insane!í (pun very much intended). And then he does go insane, facing a personal implosion in Tusk. But weíll talk more about that song later.

    Did Lindsey mean to have these wildly original songs fall into a storyline? Maybe not. In Songwriters on Songwriting, Lindsey explains the creative process behind Tusk as such: "You start putting strokes on the canvas . . . and the colors will lead you in a direction you didnít expect to go." This applies to both the music and the lyrics. All we know for sure is that Lindsey wanted his contributions to Tusk to have a "folky, organic sound, maybe a little bit campy."

    Stevieís songs tell a story as well . . . but her songs slowly but surely reveal a story to those who are willing to listen and understand. Her lyrics begin very mysterious and repressed; Stevie then opens up and bares her soul.

    "Sara" is the most mysterious of Stevieís songs. Fans have had debates over who Sara is, what Sara means to Stevie. The best way to examine "Sara" as the first in a chain of songs that allow Stevie to bear her soul is to look at what has been left out. (To those of you who may have qualms about this, hereís a small aside. We study Shakespeare by digging through first drafts and figuring out what was left out. So there is nothing wrong with looking at "Sara" in raw form.)

    "Hold on
    The night is coming and the starling
    Flew for days"

    This verse was cut from the album. It has a meaning so subtle that it is almost purely personal to Stevie. Then there are lines like "No sorrow for sorrow/you can have no more" and "Smile for my Sara . . ." which color this song with the meaning it deserves. But "Sara" doesnít get this meaning on Tusk; she is forced to remain an enigma for the fans to solve. But Stevie will tell us more.

    In "Storms", Stevie is talking to herself. She is still not revealing much here, but she allows the listener to feel the torment sheís in through her raspy voice and painful chords. In "Sisters of the Moon", she reveals another torment altogether:

    "So we make our choices
    When there is no choice
    And we listen to their voices
    Ignoring our on voice"

    It is a creative torment, quite similar to what her bandmate Lindsey was dealing with.

    "I still look up
    I try hard not to look up
    That girl was me"

    Stevie once said that she wrote "Angel" to be lighthearted and funny, but it ended up becoming completely serious and intense. "That girl was me" . . . here she seems to be directly (and maybe humorously) telling us that the "girl" sheís always singing about is herself. Maybe we knew that already. But Stevie takes a major step in confirming that.

    "Beautiful Child" is that last and most revealing song of Stevieís sequence on Tusk. She gives us numbers . . . "you fell in love when I was only ten". Mick fell in love with Jenny Boyd when he was sixteen, according to his book (Stevie would have been ten). Stevie told us this years before Mick would reveal it bluntly in his book. Lindseyís work on this song also makes it intensely revealing as he blends one of himself with two Stevies to create a painfully truthful chorus.

    Christineís songs on Tusk are mainly haunting melodies reminiscent of "Songbird", rather than her more familiar upbeat style. Her first song on the album, also the first song on the album, is "Over and Over." The album begins with the feeling that everything is over. "And I said, could it be me? / could it really, really be?" . . . and Christine believes it is her fault, that it could all be her.

    Tracy G said in one of the album interpretations that Christine McVie has very low self-esteem. The songs on Tusk support this idea. Sure, there are the traditionally "happy" Chris lyrics in "Think About Me" and "Never Forget", but the haunting tracks in which Christine questions and even berates herself stand out more. "Never Make Me Cry" is tragic like "Why". In "Honey Hi", she sings the line, "bittersweet, but what can I do?" The "what can I do?" gives us the sense that there is nothing that Christine can do; more accurately, that Christine believes that there is nothing she can do. She accepts the fact that the honey will always be bittersweet, never just sweet.

    Now that weíve looked at the separate pieces of a band that had exploded two years earlier, we have to try to figure out the elusive meaning of Tusk as a whole. In one way, itís the story of what happened to the bubble called Fleetwood Mac after the bubble burst. One interesting way to look at this bubble is to examine the pictures on pages 2 and 5 of the Tusk CD booklet.

    On page 2, Fleetwood Mac literally looks like it is floating in an invisible bubble. Chris and John have their feet on the ground. Lindsey is soaring, Stevie has hit the ceiling, and Mick is floating upside down. Then we turn to page 5 and find a much darker scene . . . Christine is wrapped in a shawl, cold and devastated, holding on to Lindsey. As Stevie descends into a pit of smoke, Mick tries to hold her up with one hand, his other hand holding up a structure standing behind him. John is not there at all.

    Of course the haunting and meaningful pictures in the album sleeve are not what Tusk is all about. Letís look now at the title track.
    So what is "Tusk"? Mick has mentioned that it is his slang word for the male sexual organ. According to the song interpretation on the Penguin, there is much more to the song in terms of rage and emotion. But we must accept, first of all, that Tusk is a reference to part of the male genitalia. Admitting that something contains an overt sexual reference does not mean that we are denying that it has meaning at all. (Let us recall Reginaís profound interpretation of "Slow Dancing".) Tusk contains many layers of meaning; by this we mean both the album and the song.

    Lindsey layers meaning like he layers melodies. There is a loud and direct melody from what are probably the second and third brass in the USC Marching Band. Tusk! Lindsey is directly saying (or shouting) that heís angry, furious with what heís had to put up with. The woodwinds and the first trumpets layer on a calmer countermelody. Tusk! Thereís something covertly funny about this exclamation. The drums pound out a savage-like beat. Real savage-like . . . Tusk! He just wants to go wild. The sound of wind in the background. Tusk! Is anyone listening?

    We can look at the entire album in layers like this. The white album gave us the band as a whole. Rumours gave us a band exploding. Tusk is the sound of the pieces of this explosion reflecting on themselves and on one another. The meanings of the separate pieces are intricately layered over one another to give us one composition called Tusk.

  •     Last Modified »
        Tracklisting »
    Discography entry submitted by Christy Valkman. All Music Guide review submitted by Luke Arnott.