Customer Reviews: Behind the Mask
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on February 18, 2000
Reading's embarrassing review of this album (1.5 out of 5 stars), I was really shocked. Obviously, this is a record which polarizes both critics and fans, but I think we ought to be fair. The reality is that "Behind the mask" is a delightful exception to FM's later-era sound. "Tango in the night" was inconsistent and weird, showing that Lindsey's influence was probably becoming too big. However, "Behind the mask" is an attempt to go back to a more organic and less lightweight sound. "Save me" and the title track are among Christine's best songs ever, and "Affairs of the heart" proves that Stevie's voice is still good. Billy and Rick add some new color to FM's sound with the rockabilly of "When the sun..", the psychedelic "In the back..", and the classic rock of "Stand on..". All in all, there's absolutely no reason for bashing this album as 'uninspired' or 'lackluster'. I recommend you to check out Rick Vito's solo album "King of hearts", with backing vocals by Stevie on two songs.
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on February 19, 2008
I've read all the reviews by those who feel FM took a nose dive when Lindsey Buckingham left the band. I've also read the reviews by those who feel FM was just as good without him and that this album (as well as the album TIME ) should be given a break. I tend to agree with the latter reviewers. Everyone who "found" FM after Buckingham and Nicks joined could not possibly see the band without these two, and that anything put out under the FM name without those two should be regarded as a travesty.
I say BULL! Just as there was a very good Genesis before Phil Collins , there was a very good Fleetwood Mac (several, actually) before Buckingham and Nicks joined. There was even a Fleetwood Mac before Christine McVie. Mick Fleetwood and John McVie have always had a talent for finding good singers, players and writers to join the band.
The fact that Buckingham and Nicks brought the band a great deal more success doesn't take anything away from the pre and post B and N lineups. Give these lineups a chance. Open up a little and see what the other players have to offer. Danny Kirwin, Peter Green, Bob Welch,Dave Mason, Billy Burnette,Rick Vito....all these people are talented and worthy of a listen. And, like it or not, all are part of Fleetwood Mac history. They should be given some respect. After all, Mick Fleetwood and John McVie have made very few mistakes in choosing players. As long as John McVie and Mick Fleetwood are there, there will always be Fleetwood Mac.
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on September 9, 2004
Unless Lindsey Buckingham's music is your only reason for listening to Fleetwood Mac, this item is a must-have. Christine and Stevie showcase some of their best work here, including Affairs of the Heart, Freedom, and The Second Time by Stevie, and Skies the Limit and Save Me, excellent efforts by Christine.

One thing that did take me by surprise is how much I really did like the music of the "new" guys, Billy Burnette and Rick Vito. Their music fits very well with what we have come to know as Fleetwood Mac - highlights include Hard Feelings and Stand on the Rock.

In summary, listen to the clips at the bottom of this page; you will not be disappointed.
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on February 5, 2004
This is perhaps the most underrated Mac album ever made. It also in my opionion has one of the best covers of any of their albums. The "loss" of Lindsey B, who I consider to be a musical genius, did not hurt the appeal of the band at all during this period. In fact BTM is a much more satisfying effort than Buckinghams swan song, Tango in the Night, which was overly techy and has to many synthed vocals, as well as some very weak Stevie material. In contrast, BTM sounds like a band refreshed. And sounds like a real BAND effort with all members pulling their own weight. Both new additions, Rick Vito and Billy Burnette blend in well, play well, write well and sing well. Excellent collaborations ensue between Christine McVie and Burnette and Nicks and Vito. Nicks sounds better than she has since Mirage, her voice finally dried out from quitting drinking. Christine, as always, is in fine form and contributes some of her finest songs and best vocal performances ever. There is really not a weak song here, but highlights are "Skies the Limit", "BTM", "In the Back of My Mind" and "When the Sun goes down", a country rock romp by Vito and Burnette. It's a shame this lineup did not record more albums as they were a fine unit. Buckingham deserves all the credit he gets, but the Mac did just fine without him also.
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on August 18, 2001
I think Lindseyphiles are too hard on this one. Personally I think Mask is far better than Tango. I think the reason Mask bombed is the same reason Lindsey's last solo album bombed: The Mac was perceived as a bunch of tired old fogeys by 1990. How wrong! Christine contibutes two classics, Skies the Limit and Save Me, as well as the solid Behind the Mask. Her collaboration with Billy Burnett on the ballad Do You Know is excellent. Burnett and Vito have great songs, to which Stevie and Christine contribute great vocals. When It Comes to Love and When the Sun Goes Down are catchy pop songs, In the Back of My Mind is as good and freaky as Lindsay's specialties. Hard Feelings is a decent ballad. Burnett did a good job here! Love Is Dangerous and Stand on the Rock are great Vito rockers. Stevie is dynamite vocally on Love Is Dangerous. Freedom, though not written by Stevie, is one of her best rockers. However, Stevie's Affairs of the Heart and The Second Time are spoiled by ragged vocals. Still she is much better here than on Tango.
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on June 21, 2013
I'm a casual Fleetwood Mac fan. I hear their hits on the radio and that's has far as I go with them....Until I heard this tape back in 1990...Wow! Now I decided to jump into the 21 century and get the MP3 version of this album. Highly Recommend
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on January 15, 2005
Now I being a huge Lindsey Buckingham fan thought for sure this would not compare to any classic lineup album. Believe me it does! It opens with the warm "Skies The Limit". Next is "Love Is Dangerous" which features Stevie and newcomer Rick Vito. It is strange not to hear Lindsey with her, but he sounds great. Third up is "In The Back Of My Mind" Which is a good Billy Burnette addition, though it has the strangest opening... Next is "Do You Know" A slower Burnette/McVie song. A favotie of mine next is "Save Me" a McVie classic. Next is my favorite Stevie song "Affairs Of The Heart" a beautiful well paced song with terrific vocals. seventh is a Vito/Burnette almost countryish song. Its alright, i've never been a country fan. The title track is next and farly underrated (as was Tango In The Night) but is a great addition. After that is "Stand On The Rock" by Rick Vito and is so-so. My very favorite song tied for fav on this cd is burnettes cold "Hard Feelings". "Freedom" is a co-written Nicks song that i think is ok. Yet another great one is "When It Comes TO Love" which may strike you at first as a sappy love song, but believe me its terrific. Finally closing is Stevie's "The Second Time" which almost reminds to much of "When I See You Again" off Tango. SO minus a few alright tracks this cd is killer. A vastly underrated CD that is too bad. I hate to say it, but it is somewhat nice to see what Fleetwood Mac is like when Lindsey isnt in the studio. A nice break from his strange additions (Not that they aren't missed). So yes i would rate this cd a 5 1/2 if i could.
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on September 25, 2014
I like Fleet Wood Mac's melodies. A little rockabilly,no Buckingham, we got Nicks. I'm listening to it while writing this review. Love is dangerous playing now,great tune! If you're a Mac fan like me you won't be disappointed and will be a welcome addition to your collection. Enjoy!!!
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on January 8, 2001
I still have to give "Behind the Mask" 5 Stars.Billy Burnette and Rick Vito are Brilliant on this CD."When the Sun Goes Down," Rick and Billy's duet,is fantastic,and "Stand on the Rock," by Rick Vito,is one of my favorite numbers from the album,along with Stevie Nicks and Rick's cut,"Love is Dangerous." I remember hearing this song on the hard rock stations when the record came out.Stevie had to work alot harder on this CD because the BackBone was gone,and she comes out a winner."Affairs of the Heart" has got to be one of her better songs,along with the last cut,"The second time." All you hear is Stevie's beutufull vocals,and guitar.Christine McVie's,"The Skies the Limit," is a great opening number.Its like she's telling us no mater what happens to Fleetwood Mac,nothing can stop us.I got to see this concert when they were touring for "Behind the Mask." It was one of the greatest show's I've ever seen.
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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.
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