18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on July 22, 2000
A driver's license, a weather-worn Opal Manta and a functioning 8-track stereo. I took this album with me everywhere, from short trips to the store for Mom to solitary evenings at the drive-in. The breezy vocals and spirited music of "Mirage" were the soundtrack to my life, a melodic optimism that I took to heart and never relinquished.
Though Chris, Lindsey and Stevie have all produced more mature works as solo artists, seldom have they come together as they do on "Mirage." Christine contributes the quiet fire of her voice, just as her keyboards/synths embellish each melody with soulful delight. Lindsey's studied whimsy jumps out of the speakers with manic earnestness, just as his layered vocals insinuate themselves throughout the album. Stevie is in excellent voice, and with Lindsey's help, her songs are joyfully irresistable.
Though there are moments of Rock flash and dazzle in "Mirage," the album is steeped in Pop melodies and harmonies so rich they raise goosebumps. This is music that helped me to let loose my inhibitions and sing out...music that let me dream of and hope for adulthood. Eighteen years later, I realize that adulthood is not a guarantee of fun or freedom, and now "Mirage" encapsulates my precious memories of that Summer.
Roll down the windows, crank the volume and let "Can't Go Back" wash over you on a countryside drive. Take your portable player under the cobalt blue night sky, and softly serenade the stars with "Only Over You." And if you're not free to go anywhere, kick off your shoes and do a carefree dance to "Gypsy" right where you are. Remember the times when hope was something you didn't have to be afraid of, when heartache could be remedied by sweet Summers and beautiful music.
'Real life' is a delusion, at least as long as this "Mirage" endures.
39 of 45 people found the following review helpful
on November 9, 2004
This needs some treble in it and the volume is so low that it sounds muddy and never grabs your attention!
Come on Warner Brothers -- shine up this dusty classic!
31 of 36 people found the following review helpful
on October 5, 2004
Fleetwood Mac's "Mirage" album was the second album to follow-up their landmark late 1970's release "Rumours". "Rumours" was a huge commercial success that was built on the raw emotion of the band members. . The story of Fleetwood Mac's "Rumours" is well documented. During this time, Christine and John McVie's marriage was falling apart - as was the long term relationship between Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham. One common thread I have noticed about the core members is that they tend to wear their hearts on their sleeve. When emotions ran high,Mac was at their best. The emotions that were running through the band were the catalyst for this effort. Following "Rumours", Fleetwood Mac went in a very different direction and released what was much more of an experimental album - "Tusk". "Tusk" did have its moments from an artistic standpoint, but didn't have the commercial sales of "Rumours". On "Mirage", Fleetwood Mac attempts to move back to the mainstream formula that worked in the late 1970s - however the band doesn't abandon all of their experimentation. This album does produce some good music - the only drawback is that this album lacks the raw emotion that "Rumours" had.
One thing why I feel the emotion might be lacking is that Fleetwood Mac brought in outsiders to collaborate with the songs that were written on this album. It's not that Lindsey Buckingham, Stevie Nicks, and Christine McVie are going to abandon all of their songwriting - one of the three members will collaborate on each of the tracks. However, there isn't one track in which there is a joint collaboration among the three. You can make the argument that the band was going through the motions of recording together. However, given the talents of Fleetwood Mac - they are still able to find a way to gel things together. It was during the early 1980s where the members of Fleetwood Mac were beginning to branch out as solo artists - and each was finding some level of success. It almost seems like Fleetwood Mac was already fragmented - and that this album was a bit "forced". It's also worth noting that Fleetwood Mac would not record together another studio album for another 5 years following "Mirage". The influence of the outside artists is not bad - but I think it does take away from the raw emotion. Songs that have the outside influence are: "Love in Store" (Christine McVie with Jim Recor); "Book of Love", "Oh Diane", and "Empire State" (Lindsey Buckingham with Richard Dashut); "Hold Me" (Christine McVie and Robbie Patton), "Wish You Were Here" (Christine McVie with Colin Allen).
As mentioned above, the band does not abandon the idea of experimentation. For starters - if you want to hear Fleetwood Mac with a bit of a country-edge, listen to the track - "That's Alright". Fleetwood Mac is able to pull this off very well - especially with Stevie Nicks on lead vocals. I've never thought that Lindsey was a very strong songwriter, he does have strengths in a lot of other areas. In particular, when it comes to background vocals, I feel Lindsey Buckingham is the best in the business. "That's Alright" is a great example on how Lindsey's background vocals blend in beautifully. It seems that on Stevie Nicks tracks, she finds a way to blend Lindsey's voice in - and does it very well.. There almost is a magic when this duo works vocals together. It's good on "Mirage" that we hear more of this.
Two Lindsey Buckingham and Richard Dashut tracks also show some more experimentation. The songs "Book of Love" and "Oh Diane" are retro-style tracks that aren't like anything heard from Fleetwood Mac before. While "Mirage" has a lot of 80s type tunes (i.e. "Hold Me" and "Gypsy"), it is good that it also has some tunes like these two tracks. Both "Book of Love" and "Oh Diane" sound like late 1950s tracks. In fact, I think Lindsey does a tremendous job on the lead vocals of both of these tracks. "Oh Diane" could easily have been a song played on 1959 radio and nobody would bat an eyelash. While not my favorite track "Empire State" sound like a tune that could have easily been played in early 1980s dance clubs. Finally, the Christine McVie penned track "Only Over You" 'gives inspiration to Dennis Wilson" has almost an R&B influence to it.
This is the album that contains two of Fleetwood Mac's biggest hits. There is "Gypsy" that features Stevie Nicks on lead vocals. Once again, Stevie writes a song and finds a great way to get Lindsey's background vocals in - listen to the end when Lindsey sings "Lightning Strikes - maybe once - maybe twice" - that's real good stuff. The other big hit on this collection was "Hold Me". This is a terrific duet between Christine and Lindsey - I wish there would be more duets like this. Other songs that are very good and worth a listen are "Eyes of the World" - this is a Lindsey penned track and he is in excellent form on his guitar. "Can't Go Back" is another Lindsey penned track and has a very catchy beat. "Love in Store" is the opening track and features Christine on lead vocals, but both Stevie and Lindsey will also contribute some vocals.
The CD liner notes feature all of the lyrics to all of the songs. Each song includes all of the songwriting credits. There are also all of the studio and engineering credits included. I think its also worth noting that Fleetwood Mac produces all of the sounds on this album - although they might have collaborated with outside songwriters, they don't bring in outside musicians. I think the serious Fleetwood Mac fan will like this album, but it will take a few listens before it grows on you. It's still not Rumours - overall I'd give it 3 1/2 stars.
19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on December 16, 1998
Since the glorious resurrection of Fleetwood Mac and the success of "The Dance" I have returned to the albums I haven't listened to in a long time. "Mirage" is not considered to be their greatest work, indeed Lindsey Buckingham's own comments tend to be negative. But this is a band which has recorded at least three genuine classic albums (Fleetwood Mac/Rumours/Tango in the Night). So I think it is time to re-evaluate "Mirage" and to appreciate its qualities. It begins wonderfully with Christine McVie as reliable as ever. Whereas "Tusk" sounds like a collection of solo material, they are at once sounding like a band again. "Love in Store" is catchy and full of wonderful Buckingham Nicks harmonies. A couple of strong Lindsey Buckingham songs and Stevie Nicks' memorable and moving "Gypsy" lead into "Only over you". This is not one of the album's highlights. It smacks of an attempt to recreate "Songbird" and doesn't live up to the task. "Empire State" is weak and "Straight Back" sounds lacklustre and overproduced. "Hold Me" however finds Christine and Lindsey bringing things back into focus. 16 years on and it's still a striong song. And then there is "Oh Diane". Apparently Lindsey hates it, but I will always remember fondly it as the first Fleetwood Mac song I ever heard when it was issued as a single here in the UK. A simple, old fashioned love song which is underrated, as indeed is "Mirage". It's still Fleetwood Mac for heaven's sake. There are more good songs on this than on most albums, so let's enjoy it for the many fine moments it contains.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on May 6, 2011
I can't add much more to the reviews of the actual music on this album (which is superb), but I think all buyers should be aware of the completely sub-standard mastering that went into this CD release. How it made it past the quality control ears of the band, particularly Mr. Buckingham, is beyond me. My old cassette copy of this album sounds better than this original CD release. DO NOT BUY this CD version. Wait for the re-mastered release which, according to Wikipedia (which, of course, is always dead spot on), should be out sometime in 2011. This album's music deserved better treatment than this disgraceful product. Barely one star.
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Were "Mirage" the first Fleetwood Mac album, it wuld probably not have been a disappointment. Unfortunately, living up to the standars of their massive hit "Rumours" proved to be a tough task indeed. "Hold Me," is an excellent single, and there are plenty of other agreeable, radio-ready songs on this album. But ultimately, it lacks the fierce emotions that fueled the band's best work. Ardent fans will love this album, casual fans will probably find it wanting.
10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
After the highly experimental Tusk was released in 1979, Fleetwood Mac would not release another studio album until Mirage in 1982. The album marked a return to the Southern California sound that they created on their first two albums together. Tusk is a great album, but was missing was the vocal interplay between the vocalists, especially Lindsay Buckingham and Christine McVie. They pair up for some great numbers together including the album's biggest hit, the sprightly "Hold Me" which ranks as one of the best songs in their catalog. Ms. McVie provides the bouncy "Love In Store" and "Only Over You" which is about her relationship with Beach Boy Dennis Wilson. Mr. Buckingham is in fine form on the deep "Book Of Love" and the fun "Oh Diane". Stevie Nicks was the unquestioned star of the band at this time after the release of her hugely successful solo debut, Bella Donna. But she doesn't coast here with the exceptional "Gypsy" particularly standing out. Mirage was a return to the top of the charts, peaking at number one in the fall of '82. It would be the last time they would hit number one until their big comeback with The Dance in 1997.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on January 29, 2005
When asked why was this album called 'Mirage' in 1982, Christine McVie, with her typical english humour, replied "because that's what the band is now". One feels that isolation in the album, and concludes that it was probably broken only when the extense tour to promote it was over. The album happened as the result of coincidences, since (as it would be the tonic for at least three more upcoming Fleetwood Mac albums) it was going to be a solo Lindsey Buckingham album, in which he, almost confused by the mixed reviews that the raw and experimental Tusk album (1979) had gotten through the press, the fans and even the rest of the band, was wanting to return to a somehow 'popper' approach to the music, without leaving the experiments in its entirety. He took the role as the producer of the recordings of the band (formally, as he already was the main producer since he joined in), and the arrangements were, as always, in his hand. Stevie Nicks was saying, prior to the release of Mirage, that it was going to be 'Rumour-esque'... and it's clear that it was the attempt, although the results were not as succesful, mainly because the quality of most of the songs was far inferior than the ones we could find in Rumours, and because this albums sounds more fragmented.
Still, the results, even though not as brilliant, are not bad at all. The tight and strong rhyhtm section that gives the band its name (Mick Fleetwood on drums and John McVie on bass guitar) is still there... and in song quality terms, the album is saved, especially because of the two women in the band. Singer/songwriter Stevie Nicks was already beginning to have a very own shining star as a solo artist, having released her wonderful album Bella Donna in 1981, but her loyalty to Fleetwood Mac was untouched and she remained a member of the band after a few dates of a solo tour to promote her own release. But one feels that she was somehow 'punished' for her success, as she's only allowed to perform three of his numbers in this album. She manages to shine, nonetheless, since "Gypsy" is one of the best songs in her album, and even in her whole carrer, an astonishing travel to her youth, and projecting it with suggestive metaphores ("lightning strikes, maybe once, maybe twice") to her troubeled present. "That's Alright", a simple country-ish rock ballad, is another of the high points on the album, showcasing some of Stevie's roots; and "Straight Back" has to be one of her most underrated rockers ever. It could have used a little more guitar, and perhaps that's the way they'd work it out nowadays, but it is still a great song, with brilliant witchy imagery and strong harmonies by Christine McVie, in one of the few duets between the two women of Fleetwood Mac.
Speaking of keyboardist/singer/songwriter Christine McVie, her songs are also strong and competent. With "Only Over You" being a track that I ALWAYS skip (the only one by her at that), at least two of the others ("Wish You Were Here" and "Hold Me") deserve extreme praises. Whilst the first one features a haunting melody, vulnerable lyrics, a great lead vocal and ends up the album with an oh-so-powerful guitar/piano duel with Buckingham (and it's injustly underrated most of the times), the second one, a huge hit single around the world thanks to its own merits, is a vocal duet with Lindsey Buckingham which proves just how good do their voices sound together, when joined by a catchy melody and the impressive bed of arrangements that Buckingham prepared for the ocassions. It is one of the anthems of the 80's rock. "Love In Store" was also a single, which featured touching harmonies between Nicks and Buckingham, but was a little bit weaker in terms of lyrics.
From Buckingham's side we get two REALLY good songs ("Can't Go Back" is a short and simple way of showing desperation and dispair with very well-crafted short verses; and "Eyes Of The World", in spite of the never-ending repetition in the chorus, is a rocker that works out perfectly as a crowd-pleaser), another pleasant one (the meaningless but catchy "Book Of Love") and two that help the quality of the album to become lower: "Oh Diane", a terrible attempt to pay tribute to Elvis Presley or another 50's idols (strangely enough this was a succesful single in some european countries), and "Empire State", which is not helped that much by the weird instrumental background and the terribly bad lead vocal. He did explorations in terms of sounding, of course, in both his songs and the songs by the girls, and that's what we thank him a lot for.
A mixed bag, really. You'll really like some of the songs in this album, and you'll probably hate some others. Plus there's the problem of the horrible mastering that this had to suffer in the transference to CD, which lets the mix be only partially audible throughout the songs. This needs urgent remastering with bonus tracks (there are lots of studio outtakes; rehearsals like "If You Were My Love" or "I've Been Loving You Too Long"; B-sides or hidden songs from the sessions like "Cool Water", "Goodbye Angel" or "Teen Beat"; alternate versions of songs from other albums like "Smile At You" and so on...), and one really hopes that a reissue would help this album to be more appreciated between fans. For now, buy this version only if you're a really big Fleetwood Mac fan. If not, there are always the compilations to get the hit singles. Oh, and by the way, the title of the album was really an idea of Lindsey Buckingham's aunt.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on March 25, 2000
"Gypsy" is one of the greatest songs I've ever heard.This song was a left over from Stevie's "Bella Donna" mega hit. Lindsey made the song a classic as he always does with Stevie Nicks recordings,like Sara and Dreams.All I can say is these five Artist belong together.Every time they go on there own its not the same.I can still picture "Gypsy" on MTV when the station first started.I never seen a more beutifull video then this one."Hold Me"is another great song from the album,but "Gypsy" is a Masterpiece.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on January 14, 2000
Mirage is a great album! But if you want this album because your a Lindsey fan, don't buy it. His songs are the worst on Mirage. Stevie and Christine really sound great! Love in Store is a very good song, I love the words! My favorite part is when Stevie, Lindsey and Chris sing all together at the end! That's Alright is a country song, which Stevie sounds excellent on (as usual)! Gypsy, what can you say besides that it's Stevie's best song on here! Next is Only Over You. I can't listen to Mirage without playing this at least twice. Christine was NOT trying to make another Songbird. If you think this your nuts! Straight Back is a very different song that I can't explain! I said different not a bad song. Hold Me is a great song. Christine and Lindsey's voices blend so good. At first I wasn't too sure if I'd like it but it's excellent! Wish You Were Here is a very sad song, I cried the first time I heard it. Is it just me or does the beginning sound like Silver Springs? Excellent song! I don't understand why people don't like Mirage, it's a great cd. As I said Lindsey's songs are weak but the rest are worth it!