Tango in the Night (2017 Remaster) [Deluxe Edition]
Rumours might be Fleetwood Mac’s most dramatic album, but Tango in the Night is their most poignant. Stevie Nicks had just left rehab after touring a successful third solo album, Rock a Little. Christine McVie made a solo album, too (1984’s Christine McVie). Mick Fleetwood had gone through bankruptcy, and John McVie struggled with a drinking habit that, by 1987, had culminated in a seizure. By the time the band started recording, they hadn’t played together for four years. Lindsey Buckingham says that Mirage was an attempt to go back to something like Rumours: commercial, simple, up the middle. But in a way, Tango in the Night comes closer. Not so much in its sound, but in how it fits into its musical surroundings. As a great pop band, Fleetwood Mac has never been ahead of the times—if anything, they’re always just behind them enough to serve as a kind of summary or reflection. Where Rumours feels like mid-’70s pop-rock, Tango feels like the late 1980s: the synthesizers and drum machines (“Everywhere”), the gauzy surfaces (“Seven Wonders”), the sense of everything being suspended in pink perfumed mist (“Little Lies”). Several of the songs started out as demos for a new Lindsey Buckingham solo album, and reflect his obsession with the studio even more than Tusk. Mick Fleetwood says it took him years to understand that Buckingham (who co-produced the album at his home studio) was making the album as a kind of goodwill gesture, to cinch up loose ends. In an interview from a month before the album came out, Buckingham says he worked hard to make Tango great, because it’d probably be their last album together. He was right.