Tusk Press and Reviews

Some of the original write-ups around Tusk in 1979 and the reviews on the albums and singles that were published in music magazines. Will be adding more. 

"Tusk is the name of Fleetwood Mac double pocket Warner Bros. LP which is now in its 13th month of production. Members of the band flew by rented jet Wednesday (8) to Salt Lake City to do the digital sequencing at the Soundstream company. There are 20 cuts In the LP which was recorded at the Village Recorder 

- Billboard August 18, 1979


LOS ANGELES - Warner Bros. has recalled its entire shipment of the single 'Tusk" by Fleetwood Mac because of defective pressings. The defect is believed to be scratchy surface noise. 

The single's recall means about a week's delay in consumer availability. Promotional copies of the record, which were all in satisfactory condition, were received by radio stations Friday (14) with airplay beginning immediately.

The bulk of the singles were pressed by Capitol. The new pressings are being handled by CBS. The newly pressed records began being shipped Friday (21) and Monday and Tuesday (24 -25). "Tusk" is expected to be available in stores early this week. 

The defects were brought to Warner's attention by its various accounts nationwide. Considering the magnitude of both single and artist, Warner's opted not to go with anything less than a perfect pressing. It was also difficult to isolate which parts of the country received the defectives.

Fleetwood Mac has been huddled at Capitol Studios for three weeks mastering the "Tusk" album which will be released Oct. 12. It has taken nine months to produce the LP. 

- Billboard Magazine September 29,1979

Jump Fleetwood Mac Release

LOS ANGELES -'The premature airing of Fleetwood Mac's new "Tusk" album by the RKO chain of stations forced Warner Bros. to release the album a week earlier than scheduled.

The entire RKO chain of AM and FM stations had access to the album on Oct. 5 with airplay beginning immediately. "Tusk" wasn't scheduled for release until Friday (121. RKO stations that aired "Tusk" included KRTH-FM and KHJ-AM in Los Angeles; WROR-FM and WRKO-AM in Boston; WHBQ-AM in Memphis; WAXY-FM in Miami; WXI.O-FM in New York; WFYR-FM in Chicago; and KFRC-AM in San Francisco.

Warner's reportedly opted to ship the album the weekend of Oct. 5 to minimize the amount of poor-quality tapes that would have been circulated as a result of constant taping off the original unauthorized source. 

When Warner's got wind of the premature leakage, Los Angeles Superior Court granted it a preliminary injunction against the RKO chain, forbidding it from playing "Tusk" and boasting that the stations had an exclusive on the album in their market. 

The order also forbid any stations in the chain from disposing of any of its copies to presumably aid in tracking down the source of the unauthorized recording. 

Warner's initial intention of asking RKO for damages stems from the fact that the label's advertising and merchandising plans apparently had to be altered.

Another possible nicotine for Warner's threatened legal action was as a goodwill gesture to show that it didn't play favorites with the RKO chain. 

Premature leakage of the long-awaited superstar product is nothing unusual. Recent albums where stations jumped the gun include the Bee Gee's "Spirits Having Flown," Electric Light Orchestra's "Out Of The Blue," Paul McCartney's "London Town" and Linda Ronstadt's "Living In The U.S.A.," among others. 

At press time, Bob Hamilton, program director of KRTH in Los Angeles said he's not heard anything further from Warner Bros. nor have the other stations in the chain. 

- Billboard Magazine 1979

Released October 12, 1979
No.1 UK Top 100
No.4 Billboard Top 200
No. 2 Australia
No.11 Canada Top 100

Remastered and Reissued first in 2004

Then again in 2015 with an expanded Delux edition

Billboard Spotlight

FLEETWOOD MAC - Tusk. Warner Bros 2HS3350 Produced by Fleetwood Mac with Richard Dashul, Ken Caliat. Fleetwood Mac's hotly anticipated followup to Rumours continues in the band's tradition of making precision soft rock music with an accent on beautiful melodies, fluid harmonies, and superb vocal work. Given that this is a two-record set the band injects a few tracks that deviate from the traditional Fleetwood sound such as in 'Tusk', the album's Initial single. Yet the majority of tracks boast the group's svelte gently rocking sound that won't disappoint. In fact, there are a number of tunes that sound as if they were culled right off the 'Rumours" LP. The band has always been a stickler for quality and the playing of Mick Fleetwood (drums) Lindsey Buckingham, (guitar), John McVie (bass), Christine McVie (keyboards), and Stevie Nicks is first-rate all the way. Nicks, Buckingham, and Christine Mcvie penned all 20 songs which cover a broad base of styles. 

Best cuts: Storms. The Ledge. Brown Eyes. Never Make Me Cry: Walk A thin line,' "That's All For Everyone", "Sisters Of The Moon", 'Tusk" "Over & Over" 

Dealers: Despite it's $15.98 price tag this is one of the most awaited albums of the last five years by a bonafide supergroup.

- Billboard October 20, 1979

TUSK - Fleetwood Mac - Warner Bros. 2HS 3350 - Producers: Fleetwood Mac, Richard Dashut and Ken Callat - List: 15.98. This is The Mac's most adventuresome LP to date, and it'll probably be six months before people really realize what a creative masterpiece the two-LP set is. Oddly produced and a million dollars in the making, it represents a bold step into the avant-garde from a band that most people thought would never change musically. The patented Mac sound is still intact, but Lindsey Buckingham's interesting arrangements and Mick Fleetwood's primal drum work are the keys to the music here.

- Cash Box October 20, 1979

From its beginnings as a respected blues rock band in 1967 to its present-day status as one of the most successful bands in pop music history, Warner Bros. recording group Fleetwood Mac has always been in a league of its own. 

Although such stellar rock personalities as Peter Green and Bob Welch have fronted the band at one time or another through the years, the rhythm section of bassist John McVie and drummer Mick Fleetwood has always been the band's musical core. 

The current lineup - McVie, Fleetwood, guitarist Lindsey Buckingham, and vocalists Stevie Nicks and Christine McVie - has produced three albums ("Fleetwood Mac," "Rumours" and "Tusk"), sold more than 20 million albums and played before more than two million people in 10 countries around the world. Other accolades that the Fivesome have garnered since 1975 include selling an incredible 13 million copies of "Rumours" worldwide and winning the 1978 Grammy Award for Album of
the Year.

"Tusk" is the group's most adventuresome LP to date, and although the patented Fleetwood Mac sound remains intact, it may be six months before people finally make their way through the unusual production, primal rhythms, and hidden lyrical meanings, and begin to come to grips with the band's latest masterpiece.

The new double album contains 20 brand new songs written by the band's three resident composers (Buckingham, Nicks, and Christine McVie) and an unusual cover package featuring the work of world-renowned photographer/artist Peter Bear, as well as photographers Norman Seef and Jayme Odgers. "Tusk" also surpasses the band's own record-setting "Rumours" LP in the sheer number of albums to be pressed and shipped initially.

While the band has been racked by personal and emotional upheavals since the present line-up formed in 1975, drummer and manager John McVie best sums up the band's situation by saying, "We love the music we create and, more than that, we love working together. It is for the music that we stay together." 

- Cash Box October 27, 1979 (cover feature)

FLEETWOOD MAC - Tusk, Warner Bros. 21453350. 
Produced by Fleetwood Mac with Richard Dashut. Kett Cailtat. 

Quite frankly. I approached this album with much reservation. After all, the band spent enough publicized time and money in making. "Tusk." which Instilled in me an "okay. show me what all that time and money was worth" attitude. As a firm supporter of underdogs, I even wished that "Tusk" would be well enough below par so that it could be critically attacked.  

The release of the title cut as the first single, with its incessant jungle-sounding percussive beat, at first armed me with a firm starting point for my Mac attack by adding high-octane fuel to my argument.  

But low and behold, 'Tusk" is a far more compelling work than I ever imagined it would be. None of the other 19 songs sound anything like "Tusk." They are more in the mainstream of Fleetwood Mac's harmonious and melodic soft rock sound. 

Because this is a double album, Mac took advantage of it to gamble on a few cuts that could be called "experimental." "Tusk" is certainly an obvious one, as is Lindsey Buckingham's "Not That Funny,' which sounds more like the sound emanating from a youthful new wave band. 

Whitt each track doesn't measure up as a gem, there is enough substance here to make "Tusk" an artistically successful venture. If the best of "Tusk" were consolidated into a single-pocket LP, Mac would have an incredible followup to "Rumours. 

For the most part I find the Stevie Nicks compositions the most sensitive and emotional. "Storms," (perhaps the most memorable track). "Sara." "Sisters Of The Moon" (with its dreamy "Rhiannon" flavor), "Angel" and "Beautiful Child" (a dramatic love ballad stand out from the rest. 

Nicks has developed into an arresting singer and her writing talents are in full bloom on these moving tunes that pinpoint Fleetwood Mac's distinct and much-copied mellow approach.  

Mick Fleetwood on drums. John McVic on bass, Christine McVie on keyboards and guitarist Lindsey Buckingham enhance these songs with the kind of orchestration that are not overpowering, yet not laid-back enough to lull one to sleep. 

Christine McVie, whose writing and singing is also an integral part of Fleetwood's success formula, contributes her share of poignant ballads like the opening cut "Over And Over." "Think About Me" a more rocking, guitar-punctuated tune backed with superb harmonies), "Brown Eyes" (with its softly swaying hypnotic effect), and "Never Make Me Cry" with its minimal orchestration that shows off McVic's vocal range. 

"Honey Hi" and "Never Forget," both on side four. are also McVie compositions that have charming hooks and strong melodies. though not as strong as the above. 

The third songwriting member of the group, Buckingham. makes his presence felt with some of the album's more rocking tunes and ones that deviate most from the traditional sound. 

"What Makes You Think You're The One." is backed by a steady drum, bass, and guitar beat and is one of the more sarcastic and lighthearted tunes. Each time Buckingham asks "What makes you think you're the one," I get the feeling he is singing it with a smirk on his face. 

"That's All For Everyone" is one of the catchiest tracks. with its melodic undercoating and harmonies. The tune has an instantaneous grabbing effect on the listener. "The Ledge" is a country-tinged choppy rocker, while "Save Me A Place," is another country-oriented tune that sounds like something on the Leonard Cohen /Phil Spector album with its slow delivery. 

Buckingham's most moving ballad is "Walk A Thin Line," supported by Mac's harmonies. 

"Tusk" has a $15.98 price tag which plays a more pivotal role than the music it contains.

 - ED HARRISON Billboard Magazine Oct 27, 1979

Tinkling the ivories

FLEETWOOD MAC "Tusk” (Warner Bros., 2HS3350).

I have dedicated about three weeks to reviewing this album, although that may not necessarily show in the finished product. Fleetwood Mac spent two years making this album, and it may not show in the finished product either.

The problems started when I first received the album. just about had a nervous breakdown when first decided to play it, as the double album consists of five covers. It took about 10 minutes of shuffling through the covers to discover that I had received two copies of sides three and four.

After finally obtaining sides one and two, I proceeded to listen to the album. Listened to the album in the afternoon, at night, two o'clock in the morning, loud, soft, bass up, bass down, treble up, treble down, power off, left speaker, right speaker, both speakers, standing on my head, lying down, standing up. whistling, cheering, talking, and still could not get to sleep.

I was not impressed. If “Tusk” is the gorilla (record parlance for monster hit) that is to rescue the industry from the doldrums then someone better send for the cavalry.

“Tusk” is similar to both “Rumours” and “Fleetwood Mac,” but its 20 songs do not have the strengths of the latter two albums.

Soft living in southern California seems to have affected the band, and perhaps the strains in the various relationships that the band was going through during “Fleetwood Mac” and “Rumours” have settled down. 

Generally speaking, the songs are less appealing than the last two albums. Of the 20 songs, 11 are shared equally by Stevie Nicks and Christine McVie, while Lindsey Buckingham handles the other nine.

The Nicks and McVie numbers are generally in the same vein, although weaker than on the previous two albums, with just the occasional inspiration such as “Sara” by Nicks with its beautiful, drawn out, ending, especially with Mick Fleetwood’s quiet, but effective, drumming. “Think About Me” is Christine McVie’s highlight, which would be a much better single release than “Tusk.” The story behind the “Tusk” single exemplifies what the band tried to do, but failed. According to “Melody Maker” interview with the bassist, John McVie, “Tusk” originally was a sound check warm-up jam, that was taped. Lindsey Buckingham took the tape home put some words to it, and Mick Fleetwood decided on using a brass band. So the Los Angeles Dodgers Stadium was hired, and so was the University of Southern California’s Trojan Marching Band. And hey, presto, single!

Buckingham’s songs are the more energetic and rousing, but they lack overall melody line, especially “Save Me Place,” which was apparently recorded in his home studio using the bathroom as an echo chamber.

To me, the whole album is totally unjustified. The money spent on the packaging, the production, and the meaningless photography is wasted. Fleetwood Mac has become the Wings of the West Coast 

- Nevin Topp The Press Nov 15, 1979 (New Zealand)


FLEETWOOD MAC - TUSK (3:36); producers Fleetwood Mac. Richard Dashut, Ken Carllat. Writer Lindsey Buckingham, publisher Fleetwood Mac BMI Warner Bros. WBS49077. The first single from the eagerly awaited' Tusk" LP is an eerie combination of vocals and a heavy percussion track. Not as accessible as the band's past efforts and different from other top 40 fare, this cut does possess a hook though it may be hard to get a handle on at first. 

- Billboard Magazine September 29, 1979 

FLEETWOOD MAC (Warner Bors. WBS 49077) Tusk (3:36) (Fleetwood Mac Music-BMI) (L.Buckingham) The first single from the eagerly-anticipated "Tusk" package may mystify some with its droning drum beat, the inclusion of the USC Marching Band and dissonant break. Don't be scared off, though. In its own way, this track has a mesmerizing quality that sneaks up on the listener. Progressive Mac. 

- Cash Box September 29, 1979

FLEETWOOD MAC, "TUSK" (prod. by band) (writer: Buckingham) (Fleetwood Mac, BMI) (3:36). The title track from their much anticipated and still forthcoming LP is a unique departure from previous Mac offerings. The drum-led rhythm and chant-like vocals merge into a thick tribal dance. WB 49077. 

- Record World September 29, 1979

FLEETWOOD MAC - SARA(4:31); producers Fleetwood Mac, Richard Dashut, Ken Cailliat, writer Stevie Nicks, publisher. Fleetwood Mac BMI. Warner Bros. WBS49150 Second release from "Tusk" is more in line with the accessible Fleetwood Mac sound. Stevie Nicks' lead vocals and the mid-tempo backing gives the tune its melodic texture.

- Billboard Magazine December 15, 1979

FLEETWOOD MAC (Warner Bros. WBS 49150) Sara (4:37) (Fleetwood Mac Music — BMI) (S. Nicks) The second single off of the group's "Tusk" LP makes a high entry onto the pop singles chart this week and with good reason. A lush, entrancing | Stevie Nicks composition, with effectively echoed lead vocals by Nicks, it sports a glistening arrangement of wispy keyboards, light guitars, wind-like  harmonies and a full, steady rhythm section. A Top 40 powerhouse.

- Cash Box Deember 15, 1979

FLEETWOOD MAC, "SARA" (prod. by group) (writer: Nicks) (Fleetwood Mac, BMI) (4:37). While Stevie's vocals haunt, the inimitable McVie-Fleetwood rhythm section hypnotizes on this follow-up to the top 10 title cut from their adventurous "Tusk" LP. Warner Brothers 49150. 

- Record World December 15, 1979

FLEETWOOD MAC, "THINK ABOUT ME" (prod. by group) (writer: McVie) (Fleetwood Mac, BMI) (2:39). Christine McVie contributes one of her made-for-radio jewels with the irresistible melody & rich vocal harmonies backed by an incessant rhythm track. Warner Brothers 49196. 

- Record World March 8, 1980

FLEETWOOD MAC (Warner Bros. WBS 49198) Think About Me (2:39) (Fleetwood Mac Music — BMI) (C. McVie) The third and latest single from Fleetwood Mac’s “Tusk" set is pure Christine McVie. In the mold of “Say That You Love Me,” McVie’s contributions are immediately recognizable, from the lead vocal to the light and bouncy melody. Some gritty guitar and pounding keyboard work balance the feathery harmonies for a truly joyful, uncomplicated pop hit. 

- Cash Box March 8, 1980

FLEETWOOD MAC -Sister Of The Moon (4:14); producers: Fleetwood Mac, Richard Dashut, Ken Caillat; writer: Stevie Nicks; publisher: Fleetwood Mac BMI. Warner Bros. WBS49500. The fourth single from the "Tusk" album is a haunting Stevie Nicks song that recalls the chilling sound of "Rhiannon." Nick's identifiable vocal gracefully interprets the poetic charm of the song with Mac's efficient backing.

- Billboard Magazine May 24, 1980

FLEETWOOD MAC (Warner Bros. WBS 49500) Sisters Of The Moon (4:14) (Fleetwood Mac Music-BMI) (S. Nicks) The great white witch of Fleetwood Mac, Stevie Nicks, casts her inviting incantations over the Top 40 airwaves once again on this edited re-mix of the track from the "Tusk” LP. Lindsey Buckingham's guitar notes cry out like a banshee in the night, rising to a fever pitch at the cold close. Mysterious and marvelous, this is prime Mac.

- Cash Box May 24, 1980

FLEETWOOD MAC, "SISTERS OF THE MOON" (prod. by Group) (writer: Nicks) (Fleetwood Mac, BMI) (4:14). Shooting for the fourth top 20 hit from "Tusk," Mac chooses Stevie's bewitching tale with it's dark, unrelenting rhythm. A haunting vocal-guitar mix makes this a favorite with AOR programmers and should also garner heavy pop airplay. Warner Brothers 49500. 

- Record World May 24, 1980

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