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47 of 50 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Finally Remastered!
I have been waiting years for this album to be remastered and re-released. It's still an album ahead of it's time (at least Lindsey Buckingham's songs). A hint of what was to come peeked out on 'The Very Best of Fleetwood Mac'. The sound quality is great - and I am glad the original album still holds up (the original cd version doesn't). I've been listening to this...
Published on March 30, 2004 by R. M. Ettinger

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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars CD 3 stars, Vinyl easily 5 stars
Like John said a few reviews ago, find this album on vinyl and burn your own cd. That's what I've attempted to do, but my burner is broken. Anyway there are at least two major problems with the CD. Most people know that Sara is edited, and that you can actually hear the edit when it takes place (ouch!). But then there is also a practically new version of I Know I'm...
Published on January 20, 2000 by SonOfPFunk


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47 of 50 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Finally Remastered!, March 30, 2004
By 
R. M. Ettinger "rme1963" (Cleveland Heights, OH USA) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Tusk: Deluxe Edition (US Release) (Audio CD)
I have been waiting years for this album to be remastered and re-released. It's still an album ahead of it's time (at least Lindsey Buckingham's songs). A hint of what was to come peeked out on 'The Very Best of Fleetwood Mac'. The sound quality is great - and I am glad the original album still holds up (the original cd version doesn't). I've been listening to this music since the original 1979 release date and I am sure I can hear things now that I never could before (some backing vocals on "Honey Hi"). Buckingham's music really stands out sonically ("I Know I'm Not Wrong", "Ledge"). But Stevie Nicks and Christine McVie have their moments.
The second disk of outtakes, demos and unreleased is nice - but not essential. You get a glimpse into what Buckingham can do production and arrangement-wise. The bass and drum lines on "One More Time (Over & Over) are great and stand out here vs the originally released version. It's nice to see how editing a piece of music not only doesn't compromise the song, but enhances it ("Sara"). At first I thought I wanted to hear "Sisters of the Moon" in its entirety and original arrangement. I was wrong. Buckingham did an incredible job w/Nicks' song. It's also nice to hear the cover of the Beach Boys' "Farmer's Daughter". Almost completely identical to the version on "Fleetwood Mac Live", but still good.
It's also nice to see the original album art included w/the cd. It definitely loses something from lp to cd - but whatta gonna do?
My original review gave the music 5 stars and the sound quality 3.5. I'm happy to say this is now a solid 5!
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36 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Get it in spite of the edited "Sara", March 1, 2001
By 
Michael Topper (Pacific Palisades, California United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Tusk (Audio CD)
"Tusk" stands as the peak, shining moment in Fleetwood Mac's entire career, a truly special album that transcended commercial expectation and still demands close attention. With all three songwriters in full bloom, Lindsey Buckingham was able to fashion stunning arrangements for their creations which made them work as both catchy pop tunes and avant-garde experiments. Stevie Nicks would never sound better, as she expanded her witch-poet persona into full blown explorations of the heart and mind; "Sara", with its airy harmonies and lacey, intricate overdubs, manages to evoke the flavor of its lyric with disarming grace. An instant classic, it appears in edited form here, which is of course the one frustrating gripe with the CD. "Storms" and "Beautiful Child" quietly build their moods with a mystical subtlety and craftsmanlike precision, while "Sisters Of The Moon" is kind of a Rhiannon Part Two. Buckingham responds with songs that take on a nervous, almost manic tone ("The Ledge", "Not That Funny", "What Makes You Think You're The One"), and then he cuts back with intimate torch moments that will tear you to pieces ("Save Me A Place"--which has the finest harmonies on any Fleetwood Mac record--and "Walk A Thin Line"). McVie ocassionally treads water, offering up middle-of-the-road pop like "Think About Me" and "Never Forget", although she too contributes the exquisite ballad "Never Make Me Cry", the glorious harmony exercise "Honey Hi" and the atmospheric "Brown Eyes".
Mention must also be made to the unique percussion sounds achieved for the album: Mick Fleetwood attains new heights of drum god status on "Brown Eyes", "What Makes You Think You're The One" and the title track; there is a tribal feel to his playing that is tempered by modern recording ideas. The famous "bathroom tile" echo shimmers on "That's All For Everyone" and "Walk A Thin Line", which saw Buckingham on his knees in front of a toilet, Brian Wilson-style, to achieve his aims. It is a credit to his production techniques that the arrangements are incredibly elaborate and yet at no point do they overwhelm the songs--indeed, their strength often lies in what is hidden. Many of the songs are not as immediately appealing as those on "Fleetwood Mac" or "Rumours", but they end up far more satisfying in the long run (indeed, after hearing "Go Your Own Way" a zillion times on classic rock radio, a gem like "Save Me A Place" can sound especially fresh). The group's creativity was so intense at this period, actually, that several A-quality Nicks songs, including "Watchdevil", "Lady From The Mountain" and "Beauty And The Beast" were left as outtakes and survive only on bootlegs. In sum, "Tusk" found Fleetwood Mac in a unique position, still reeling from the runaway commercial success of "Rumours" but intent on creating sound paintings that expressed the aftermath of the relationship turmoil that created that moment. What is needed now is a deluxe double CD-issue of Tusk, remastered with bonus tracks of outtakes from the sessions, since it is clear that many of these songs underwent interesting drafts before they made the final product.
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53 of 59 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars WOW!!!, February 1, 2005
By 
Steven Callaghan (Garden Grove, CA USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Tusk: Deluxe Edition (US Release) (Audio CD)
Wow!! This is an awesome, beautiful album. The second disc is worth twice the price. I remember all the criticism about this album when it came out. Everyone compared it Rumors which had been the number one album in the country for 52 weeks. No other album before or since has been number one for as long a time, so can you really compare anything to Rumors? I don't think so.

In my opinion, Tusk was a landmark album, one that only comes about every once in a while. It had the power to change the way we listen to music. Like many people, when it came out, I did not like any of the songs. Well, that's not exactly true since I was one of the members of the USC Trojan Marching Band that recorded Tusk with the band. I even got to play five nights at the Forum in LA on the Tusk Tour. But even though I was that into the album, I still didn't like the music. It was difficult to listen to. It wasn't what I was used to listening to.

On top of all that, it was an expensive album with two twelve inch discs, yes, before CDs. It was competing with the past success of Rumors and with the Eagles Hotel California which was just a single album. Lots of people considered Tusk to be a failure.

Because I was on the album, I played it from beginning to end over and over. It took me about three months before I realized that I was beginning to like the songs, then I started to really love the songs. That's the first time I understood the concept of "ground breaking" music. Fleetwood Mac had not just given us more of the same, which they could have done and we all would have loved it. They had given us something that had never existed before, which is why it was difficult to listen to at first. We'd never heard anything like it before. It was different. We couldn't instantly like it. We had to grow. Our ears had to change. It evolved us, and there was no going back.

If you've never listened to Tusk, I hope you give it a try. If you're a fan of Tusk, I hope you buy this new version and listen to the second disc which contains new versions of the old songs. It's hard to believe that this album is 26 years old. I've definitely crossed over to being an old timer, because it seems like yesterday that I was first listening to these songs. Thank you Fleetwood Mac.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An overlooked masterpiece, December 22, 1999
By 
This review is from: Tusk (Audio CD)
Not to offend anyone, but I have to say that it is easy to identify those who reviewed Tusk after just hearing it and those who reviewed it after really listening to it (more than once or twice, that is). I have to admit that after only one "hearing" of this album, I was surprised at how different it sounded from all other post-blues-era Fleetwood Mac. Being a huge Fleetwood Mac fan, I was initially disapointed...however, once I had listened to it a few more times, my opinion of it changed dramatically. Having been brought up listening to Rumours and Tango in the Night on long road trips with my parents, I fell in love with the catchy, timeless, listener friendly hits found on those albums. What I initially heard on Tusk was not what I had grown accustomed to (with the exception of "Sara"). The more I listened however, the more I realized that it was not meant to be like anything else they recorded. Like some of the other reviewers have said, that is the beauty of it. Tusk, is truly a masterpiece, painstakingly crafted to reach the deepest of emotional regions. I will forever regard this as the best Fleetwood Mac album ever recorded. I brought this album along with me when I studied and travelled abroad in Europe last Spring and that is when I fell in love with it. Now when I listen to it, I am reminded of the long train rides through European countrysides, the self-discoveries I made during that time, and the early times I spent with my girlfriend. This album is not intended to make you dance or make you want to go out and party....it is to be listened to and reflected upon. Not all music has the capability to hypnotize and mesmerize...this album does. It's depth can only be compared to the emotional density found in classical music. I normally don't care too much about what other peoples opinions of music are (hence this being my first review) but I felt I had to say something about this very special and very much underappreciated album. I am so happy to see that there are many others out there who have felt the power of this album and have come to appreciate this album for what it truly is, and that is a unique musical masterpiece. For those who failed to notice, and who claimed it was boring, unexperimental?, unlistenable, or trite, all I can say is that you have to give it another chance. This was Lindsey Buckinghams creative offspring, and he wasn't going for the commercial sound that Fleetwood Mac had mastered with Rumours, he seemed to be driven by a creative force within him that needed to be explored...not for the sake of selling records but for the sake of it being fresh and ingenius. According to the interview I saw on Fleetwood Mac on VH1, not even all of the other band members were sure of what the album was going to sound like when they were recording it. They simply confided in him and his vision and went to painstaking measures to mold and fashion their talents to his ideas. Sometimes, begrudgingly at that. When it was completed, they even chose to move forward with out reflecting much on what they accomplished, feeling that it was so burdensome on the band. However, now that they have all moved on, they hear it almost as objective listeners and critics, and have claimed it to be a remarkable fusion of sound, lyricism, and creativity. I think, that in due time, anyone who listens to this album will feel that it is more than just a rock album, but that it is music for the heart, mind, and soul, which is what the human advent of artwork is intended to reach. If it could be put on canvas it might be worth millions, and if it was a book it would be an American classic, and required reading for all adults (but probably banned in China). However, all of this is only my opinion and I'm sure the songs mean different things to everyone who listens to them, but I do have to say that it is worth investing not only your money in, but sufficient time as well, because when the music does hit you, you will have opened yourself up to a rare beauty that does not come along too often.
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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars CD 3 stars, Vinyl easily 5 stars, January 20, 2000
By 
This review is from: Tusk (Audio CD)
Like John said a few reviews ago, find this album on vinyl and burn your own cd. That's what I've attempted to do, but my burner is broken. Anyway there are at least two major problems with the CD. Most people know that Sara is edited, and that you can actually hear the edit when it takes place (ouch!). But then there is also a practically new version of I Know I'm Not Wrong, and its horrible. I'm sure there are other differences, but I only played the CD twice, and then immediatly sold it. However, on vinyl, Tusk is a masterpiece. Lindsey Buckingham proves to be an excellent producer/songwriter. Of the 20 songs, 5 are stellar Buckingham songs: Save Me A Place, What Makes You Think You're The One, That's All For Everyone, I Know I'm Not Wrong, and Walk A Thin Line. Despite a few extremely slow parts (Brown Eyes, Beautiful Child), the other 15 songs are great. Anyway, YOU WANT THIS. Look for the vinyl. Tusk is BY FAR the greatest FM album, and my #3 favorite album of all time.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the greatest albums of the rock era, October 24, 2006
This review is from: Tusk: Deluxe Edition (US Release) (Audio CD)
An ambitious and often misunderstood recording, TUSK is possibly the Mac's most rewarding effort - even if it's not as accessible as the band's other records. The critics hated it and after selling 18 million records and spending over 30 weeks at #1 with RUMOURS, TUSK's sales of 4 million copies and "only" hitting #4 on the Hot 100 was considered a big disappointment. Originally released as a mammoth, seventy minute-plus double record set, Tusk is anything but commercial. I will always argue, however, that this usual experiment is the best work that the members of any lineup of Fleetwood Mac were ever involved with. Heck, I will even go as far to argue that TUSK is one of the greatest recordings of the rock era, period.

Stevie Nicks turns in five of her very best compositions to the album, and, for the most part, she seems to have been in a highly introspective mood. She penned the set's biggest hit single, the nearly seven-minute mini-opus "Sara" (#7 Pop), which explores some very personal subject matter in a poetic and ambiguous manner - all while seducing the listener with an irresistibly hypnotic groove. Nicks also plays up her mystic persona on the intoxicating "Sisters of the Moon," which can send chills down the listener's spine like an unexpected gush of wind. Stevie even flirts with moderately hard rock on the intense "Angel," which works it's driving melody to the fullest extent in addition to laying down an instantly memorable refrain.

The best of Nicks' material, however, are the gorgeous, refreshingly unsentimental ballads "Storms" and "Beautiful Child." Stevie has commonly been described by fans and critics as a the perpetual woman/child, always just one the verge of reaching full maturity - she is destined to reach for the sky, yet is doomed to walk the earth. This unusual predicament has left Nicks with tremendous gift for crafting songs with universal themes that still manage to carry a unique edge. This is exactly what allows the very best of Nicks' to stand out from the compositions that other writers have been churning out for centuries. "Storms" and "Beautiful Child" are perfect examples of this, and both songs arguably remain her finest song-writing achievements.

Perhaps the stereotypical woes of sudden stardom are to blame, but, as with Stevie Nicks, TUSK also finds Christine McVie in a somber, soul-searching mood. Fortunately, this suits the longtime Mac muse well, and her dark husky voice has seldom sounded more beautifully pained. In fact, the McVie-penned opening number, the mournful "Over and Over," is actually what sets the pace for the entire double record set. The song, which is an extremely rare exception of a cry of desperation that never sounds pathetic or self-pitying, is an absolute tour de force for McVie, and lets listeners know that the band had no intention of simply recreating RUMOURS. It with some irony then that McVie also contributes the most RUMOURS-esque cut on the album. The blaring mid-tempo rocker "Think About Me" (#20 Pop) is the closest thing tusk has to bright AOR of RUMOURS, but even it has slightly dark edge that separates it from the polished pop of the previous record.

After those first two compositions, the bulk of the tracks penned by McVie are featured on the last half of the album. In addition to "Over and Over" and "Think About Me" (which are both sequenced near the very beginning of the record), Christine also delivers the intense ballad "Brown Eyes," the elegant folk of "Honey Hi" and "Never Forget," which plays like an homage to the very best pop of the Brill Building era. While all of Christine's material is remarkably solid (as is the rest of the disc's material), my absolute favorite McVie-penned track on the album (along with the aforementioned "Over and Over") is the heartbreaking piano ballad "Never Make Me Cry." The tender simplicity in the arrangement, melody, and lyrics combine seamlessly with the gorgeous melancholy in McVie's voice to create a haunting hymn to neglected love that resonates in the mind long after the track has ended.

Lindsey Buckingham really took control over the recording, with his name even signaled out from the rest of the band members as a "special thanks" on the production credit. In addition to creating amazing sonic landscapes for the material by Stevie Nicks and Christine McVie, Buckingham also delivers nine original compositions that are nervy, frantic, and fantastic. The lean, fist-thumping rock numbers "The Ledge," "What Makes You Think You're the One," and "Not That Funny" each have a primal energy that seems to radiate through the speakers. Each of these tracks have a stripped-down, blistering urgency that leaves the band sounding more like tried-and-true rockers rather than pampered MOR superstars who are recording the followup to a massive success.

TUSK also allows Buckingham to pay homage to many of his own early influences and musical heros. He seems to channel Buddy Holly on the rootsy rockers "That's Enough for Me" and "I Know I'm Not Wrong," while the lush, tight harmonies of "Save Me a Place" and "Walk a Thin Line" both rival even the very best of the Beach Boys. Impressive variety is present in all of Buckingham's tracks, which are all arranged and performed with a wide assortment of surprises and unexpected turns. On one end of the spectrum is the soft tones of the somewhat distressful "That's All for Everyone," while the thunderous stampede of the avant garde title track (#8 Pop) is on the clear opposite end.

Though commonly thought of as a failure, or at least a commercial disappointment, TUSK represents Fleetwood Mac taking a huge commercial and artistic chances and emerging with one of the greatest achievements of the rock era.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Horrid remaster, May 3, 2009
This review is from: Tusk: Deluxe Edition (US Release) (Audio CD)
When I saw Bill Inglot's name attached to this remaster I thought, thank goodness they got somebody with a proven track record. I own at least a couple dozen discs remastered by Inglot, and while I suppose some could accuse him of having a heavy hand with the equalizer, I generally find the results spectacular. His Dionne Warwick hits CD from a decade or so ago is just stunning.

So imagine how disappointed I was when I popped this disc into my car stereo and heard the flattest, dullest sounding recording I've ever heard associated with the name "Fleetwood Mac". Now, granted, Tusk always had a hot high-end, even on LP. The original CD was delightfully bright throughout, but could certainly be accused of being shrill in spots. I expected any remastering to correct that occasional harshness. What I did not expect was for the remastering to dull the sound so dramatically.

Gone are the wonderful details formerly audible in the brilliant guitar work on this record. Gone is the sense of space and ambiance in the vocals. Gone are the high, airy harmonies in songs like "Sara" and "I Walk A Thin Line". Mick Fleetwood's wonderful cymbals have been defanged and deflated. Even the lowly triangle on "Honey, Hi" has been rendered a square.

All of that sonic goodness has been replaced by an awfully tubby, booming, intrusive and annoying mid-bass. It sounds like Tusk as played on the cheap Sears stereo my parents gave me in the early '80s. Horrid.

The only good thing I can say about this remaster is that the deep bass has been enhanced, which it probably needed to be - at least a bit - to compensate for the original's hot high-end. Unfortunately, with the high-end sanded flat, the deep bass now sounds entirely out of proportion with the rest of the material.

All this clumsy sonic tweaking has dramatically altered the balance of the vocals and instruments in the mix as well, resulting in weird artifacts. The block work in "Honey, Hi" for example goes from being a minor background element to becoming an intrusive annoyance, like there's a cricket loose in the room. Christine McVie's vocals are pushed right off the soundstage in several tracks - she ends up sounding like she's singing off in a distant corner of the studio, with the band drowning her out. The results sound nothing like any prior releases of Tusk - the LP, the tracks from the original Greatest Hits CD or The Chain boxed set. That's a sign something has gone terribly wrong with this remastering. You'd think *somebody* at the studio would have noticed . . .

I have to say, I've been terribly disappointed with a number of "remastered" discs over the past couple of years. Not only are these "remasterings" not correcting for obvious flaws, they're frequently introducing new flaws and end up sounding far worse than the original releases. Botched jobs like this are simply encouraging me to save my money and spend it on something other than records. The studios really need to get their act together if they want to continue cashing in on the remaster gravy train.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fleetwood Mac's Most Underrated Recording, June 10, 2002
This review is from: Tusk (Audio CD)
Fleetwood Mac's TUSK took a beating from the same public and critics that had so adored their earlier RUMORS, which remains one of the most popular releases in recording history. But time has been particularly kind to TUSK, and where RUMORS remains Fleetwood Mac's penultimate pop statement, TUSK now plays as the band's penultimate "art rock" statement. The entire tone of the album is quite unlike anything Fleetwood Mac--either in earlier or later incarnations--ever created, and as in the earlier RUMORS the music here reflects the various emotional states of the band's members, states that range from nerve-wracked edginess to a resigned and tranquil sadness.
The edginess here comes largely from Lindsey Buckingham, who launches a series of jittery and frequently vitriolic recordings with the jumpy "The Ledge"--recordings that read very obviously as manifestations of his on-going frustration with former lover Stevie Nicks; Nicks in turn responds with a series of songs that possess a tone of exhausted romantic splendor, most notably in "Storms" and "Beautiful Child." And the blue-voiced Christine McVie, in the midst of her own private traumas, balances out both with a series of tranquil sounding recordings that nonetheless possess an often meloncholic tone, as in the opening cut "Over and Over."
As usual, the thing that holds these diverse recordings together is the way Buckingham, Nicks, and McVie's voices blend and the whole band's talent for generating a cohesive musical sound. Although "The Ledge" would seem to be a Buckingham diatribe against Nicks, she offers one helluva back-up vocal on the piece; it is impossible to imagine Nick's "Sara" (which Nicks subsequently described as about her brief affair with Mick Fleetwood) without the gloriously dripping and soaring back-up vocals of both Buckingham and Nicks; and Buckingham and Nicks's background blends give McVie the perfect setting for such soft-rock cuts as "Over and Over," "Brown Eyes," and "Never Forget Tonight."
Throughout the entire recording the band as a whole is first rate, sharp-toned when required and dreamy when appropriate. And to my mind, this is really the last cohesive Fleetwood Mac recording, the last time the entire band would work as a team to create music: later recordings such as MIRAGE and TANGO IN THE NIGHT would certainly have their points, but they were largely made with each vocalist recording independently from the other members of the band. TUSK is glitchy, edgy, meloncholic, dreamy, explosive, and quietly haunting, and while its unusual nature prevents it from being a popular favorite it is nonetheless Fleetwood Mac at its best. Recommended.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Buckingham's Opus, April 20, 2001
This review is from: Tusk (Audio CD)
After the major success of Rumours, everyone expected Fleetwood Mac's follow up to be Rumours II. Instead Lindsay Buckingham used the clout he had at the time to release a sprawling two record set, Tusk, that was anything but a Rumours clone. Mr. Buckingham urged the other two songwriters in the band, Stevie Nicks and Christine McVie, to push their creative boundaries and the results are challenging but overall immensely satisfying. Ms. McVie sticks the closest to her roots on songs like the upbeat "Think About Me" and the soft "Never Tonight", but on "Brown Eyes" there is gorgeous vocal interplay between the three singers. Ms. Nicks is on the top of her game on the mystical "Storms", "Sisters Of The Moon" and the lush "Angel". Her crowing moment is "Sara" which appears in its edited form on the cd. Even in its abbreviated form, the song is absolutely stunning and brilliant, but to experience its full power the nine minute version is required listening. The song peaked at number 7 on the charts and deserved higher. As good as the Ms. Nicks is on the album, it's Mr. Buckingham's baby and he has never been better. He experiments with the production sound all over the album and he shows he has almost as good an ear as one of his idols, Brian Wilson. "That's Enough For Me" has a crazy fuzz guitar on it, "The Ledge" is a bizarre sounding number, "Never Make Me Cry" is a great duet with Christine McVie, but the creme de la creme is the title track. It is an amalgamation of world beat sounds, weirdly distorted vocals and an appearance by the USC Trojans marching band. John McVie lays down his heaviest bass line ever and Mick Fleetwood plays tribal like drums fills that make up a completely original and brilliant piece of music. To show the band's popularity at the time, the song, which hardly has a top 40 radio sound, became a top ten hit, peaking at number 8. Obviously Tusk did not come close to matching the sales of Rumours, but what album could. It was considered a disappointment, but in hindsight a double album of experimental tunes that sells over 5 million copies can hardly be considered disappointing.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tusk Deluxe, March 28, 2004
By 
Joe (Howell, NJ United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Tusk: Deluxe Edition (US Release) (Audio CD)
Having owned the original CD edition of 'Tusk' for many years, I was excited to hear that this was one of the Fleetwood Mac albums chosen to be given the lavish reissue treatment. It was well worth the anticipation, for this edition is a dream come true for anyone who enjoyed 'Tusk' the first time around.
The second disk of bonus material is awesome, with lots of interesting versions of tracks that made the album, and a few that stem from the recording sessions. The standout is a 9 minute rough cut of "Sara" that is not to be missed! I felt like I was hearing the song for the first time again, but in a completely new and awe-inspiring way. "Storms" also is presented in a unique version that sounds even more intimate than it's released counterpart. Equally effective are rough takes of "Think About Me," "Never Make Me Cry," and of course, Lindsey's tracks, which work as an effective contrast to Stevie and Christine's material.
Highly recommended for any Fleetwood Mac fan -- this is the essential version of 'Tusk.' I'm keeping my fingers crossed that 'Tango In the Night' and 'Mirage' will get the same special treatment!
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Tusk: Deluxe Edition (US Release)
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