Top critical review
5 people found this helpful
The Revolving Door policy of Fleetwood Mac
on June 4, 2001
Mick Fleetwood and John McVie have always kept membership in Fleetwood Mac open - soley based on talent and intuition. It's the sort of policy that allowed musicians such as Peter Green and Lindsey Buckingham to grace this wonderful and ever changing band. But nobody ever thought Lindsey Buckingham would be replaced. Following his departure after the release of "Tango In The Night", the band hit the road with guitarists Billy Burnette and Rick Vito; two accomplished session musicians. The result was a surprisingly inspired tour that opened up some space on stage for Christine McVie and Stevie Nicks to really capitalize on their shared harmonies. By the time the band got to the east coast, one could spot signs in the masses at their shows reading "Lindsey who?" It was another testament to the band's incredible talent at sheer survival. Nonetheless, the culminating album after that tour ended up as a lumbering cluttered attempt at recapturing the magic that resulted from Buckingham's playing and producing. "Behind The Mask" was not without it's merits especially with Christine McVie's collection of songs, some of which were the strongest of her career. Her utterly beautiful title track wowed fans and left them wondering why the rest of the album couldn't be as great. Not surprising was a certain Lindsey Buckingham who provided acoustic guitar on the track. Stevie Nicks turned out a few memorable tracks, none of which really add anything new to her catalog. For some reason, Warner Brothers never released any of her contributions as singles, which could explain the tepid sales of "Behind The Mask" in the U.S. Nicks's greatest contribution to the record is her smart and warm back up and harmony singing to much of the album - her attempt at taking up some of the slack left empty by Buckingham's departure. Highlights include "Love is Dangerous", the very Pink Floydish "In The Back of My Mind" and the very Eric Claptionish "When The Sun Goes Down". Following the supporting tour of "Behind The Mask", Nicks and McVie officially announced their departure from the band, a very grim and depressing day for longtime fans. Ah but 1997 and "The Dance" were not far off and look what happened....Fleetwood Mac continues at the top of their game. This release was, if nothing else, an interesting document of the rollercoaster ride that is the essence of Fleetwood Mac.