Fleetwood Mac 1979
Home » ALBUM REVIEW: Tusk, Deluxe & Expanded editions

ALBUM REVIEW: Tusk, Deluxe & Expanded editions

Fleetwood Mac reissues Tusk with unreleased alternate takes and live renditions.

(Editor’s note: The article was edited for grammar. The original published article can be accessed by clicking on the link at the bottom of the page.)

Tusk, Fleetwood Mac’s 1979 opus was a daring experiment, one that defied commercial possibilities while expanding the band’s musical parameters into areas that were otherwise unimaginable. It was especially daring considering the fact that the band had just come off two LPs that had broken them wide open in the States, Fleetwood Mac and Rumours, albums that would go one to become among the best-selling albums in all of music history.

Helmed by the most successful line-up in their lengthy history — that being the front line axis of Lindsey Buckingham, Stevie Nicks and Christine McVie — the band continued to venture even further from their blues based roots, having been hailed as the champions of soft-rock radio in all its endearing essence. In truth, Mick Fleetwood and John McVie, the band’s namesakes and longtime standard bearers, had become token players in their own outfit, having ceded control to the trio responsible for their hits. Nevertheless, Fleetwood Mac was more potent and impressive commercially than at any time in their storied history, flush with widespread acclaim and ready to take on the world.

While the album was successful by most standards — it reached the Top 5 in the U.S., spent over five months in the Top 40, and was certified double platinum by virtue of selling two million copies — it didn’t come close to matching the levels achieved by its two immediate predecessors. Warner Bros. blamed RKO radio for playing the album in its entirety prior to release, encouraging volumes of home taping. The album cost over $1 million to make, the most expensive record in pop music history up until that time, and with consumers forced to shell out an extra $2 to cover the price of the resulting double album, economics discouraged those on a budget from making a ready purchase. It did produce a pair of hits in “Sara” and the title track, but given the fact it bore 20 tracks in all, expectations were never fully realized.

Tusk can now be seen as the bold effort it is, and it’s possible to appreciate all it has to offer.

Nevertheless, in retrospect, it is a fascinating album, a brilliant combination of excess, eccentricity, and studio savvy. Consequently, any reason for reexamination is well worth the time and effort. To be sure, this 2015 version isn’t its first reissue; an extensive re-release was launched a decade ago, but it pales in comparison to the expansive treatment the album is accorded this time around. Offered now as a six-disc set in its most elaborate configuration, it features an entire side of outtakes, rarities, works in progress and demos, as well as two discs culled from live recordings extracted from the Tusk tour, an alternate version of the album as it was first intended, and a DVD containing a surround sound mix of the original recordings.

Tusk deluxe is housed in an elaborate box that also boasts heretofore unseen photos and an extensive essay by journalist Jim Irvin, who, in turn, offers insights about the circumstances surrounding the album’s recording while reflecting on the general bewilderment it cast on an unsuspecting record label, music critics and the public in general, most of whom were either too confused or too overwhelmed to give it the time and attention the album deserved. As Irvin points out, many second generation copies were obtained from used record stores, discarded by the original owners simply because they had no patience for digesting it all.

More than 35 years later, Tusk can now be seen as the bold effort it is, and in listening to the various rehearsals and formative versions of its staple songs, it’s possible to appreciate all it has to offer. (Buckingham’s multiple takes on “I Know I’m Not Wrong” and his slow construction of “Tusk” offer fascinating insights into the way the genesis of the record was fashioned, one layer at a time.) No, it’s hardly a perfect record, but in terms of sheer brashness and bravado, it sets an exceptionally high bar.

Lee Zimmerman / Glide / Wednesday, December 23, 2015

stevienicks

LIVE IN CONCERT (2023-2024)

Billy Joel and Stevie NicksStevie Nicks

FEB 10, 2024
Mark G Etess Arena
Atlantic City, NJ

FEB 14, 2024
UBS Arena
Belmont Park, NY

FEB 17, 2024
CFG Bank Arena
Baltimore, MD

FEB 21, 2024
Bon Secours Wellness Arena
Greenville, SC

FEB 24, 2024
Hard Rock Live
Hollywood, FL

FEB 28, 2024
Smoothie King Center
New Orleans, LA
TICKETS

MAR 3, 2024
CHI Health Center
Omaha, NE
TICKETS

MAR 6, 2024
Simmons Bank Arena
North Little Rock, AR
TICKETS

MAR 9, 2024
AT&T Stadium
Arlington, TX
Billy Joel
TICKETS

MAY 3, 2024 – MAY 5, 2024
Lovin’ Life Fest
Charlotte, NC
TICKETS

MAY 7, 2024
Enterprise Center
St Louis, MO
TICKETS

MAY 10, 2024
WinStar World Casino & Resort
Thackerville, OK
TICKETS

MAY 14, 2024
Bridgestone Arena
Nashville, TN
TICKETS

MAY 18, 2024
Frost Bank Center
San Antonio, TX
TICKETS

MAY 21, 2024
Yaamava’ Resort & Casino – Yaamava’ Theater
Highland, CA
TICKETS

MAY 24, 2024
BottleRock Napa Valley
Napa, CA
TICKETS

MAY 27, 2024
Delta Center
Salt Lake City, UT
TICKETS

MAY 30, 2024
Ball Arena
Denver, CO
TICKETS

JUN 4
Gainbridge Fieldhouse
Indianapolis, IN
TICKETS

JUN 9 
Mohegan Sun Casino
Uncasville, CT
TICKETS

JUN 12
MVP Arena
Albany, NY
TICKETS

JUN 15 
Hersheypark Stadium
Hershey, PA
TICKETS

JUN 18
Van Andel Arena
Grand Rapids, MI
TICKETS

JUN 21, 2024
Soldier Field
Chicago, IL
TICKETS

JUL 12, 2024
BST Hyde Park
London, England
PRESALE SIGNUP

Two Icons One Night presented by Live Nation
^ Non-Live Nation show


Previous 2023 dates

March 10, 2023 – BILLY JOEL
Los Angeles, CA
SoFi Stadium

March 15, 2023
Seattle, WA
Climate Pledge Arena

March 18, 2023
Las Vegas, NV
T-Mobile Arena

May 12, 2023
Raleigh, NC
PNC Arena

May 16, 2023
Knoxville, TN
Thompson-Boling Arena

May 19, 2023 – BILLY JOEL
Nashville, TN
Nissan Stadium

May 22, 2023
Atlanta, GA
State Farm Arena

May 25, 2023
Orlando, FL
Amway Center

June 16, 2023 – BILLY JOEL
Philadelphia, PA
Lincoln Financial Field

June 20, 2023
Toronto, ON (Canada)
Scotiabank Arena

June 23, 2023
Chicago, IL
United Center

June 27, 2023
Louisville, KY
KFC Yum! Center

August 5, 2023 – BILLY JOEL
Columbus, OH
Ohio Stadium

August 8, 2023
Milwaukee, WI
Fiserv Forum

August 12, 2023
Houston, TX
Toyota Center

August 15, 2023
Austin, TX
Moody Center

August 19, 2023 – BILLY JOEL
Kansas City, MO
Arrowhead Stadium

September 23, 2023 – BILLY JOEL
Foxborough, MA
Gillette Stadium

September 27, 2023
Pittsburgh, PA
PPG Paints Arena

October 1, 2023
New York, NY
Madison Square Garden

October 4, 2023
Buffalo, NY
KeyBank Center

October 7, 2023 – BILLY JOEL
Baltimore, MD 
M&T Bank Stadium

October 28, 2023
Memphis, TN
FedEx Forum

November 1, 2023
Savannah, GA
Enmarket Arena

November 4, 2023
Allentown, PA
PPL Center

November 7, 2023
Detroit, MI
Little Caesars Arena

November 10, 2023 – BILLY JOEL
Minneapolis, MN
U.S. Bank Stadium

November 29, 2023
San Diego, CA
Viejas Arena

December 2, 2023
Inglewood, CA
The Kia Forum

December 5, 2023
Palm Desert, CA
Acisure Arena

December  8, 2023 – BILLY JOEL
Phoenix, AZ
Chase Field

December 12, 2023
Sacramento, CA
Golden 1 Center

December 15, 2023
San Francisco, CA
Chase Center



2022 Tour

Stevie Nicks

Jazz Aspen Snowmass
Snowmass, CO
Labor Day 2022

Ravinia Festival
Highland Park, IL
September 8, 2022
September 10, 2022

Pine Knob Music Theatre
Clarkston, MI
September 13, 2022
w/ Vanessa Carlton

Sea Hear Now Festival
Asbury, NJ
September 17, 2022

Xfinity Center
Mansfield, MA
September 19, 2022
w/ Vanessa Carlton

Maine Savings Amphitheatre
Bangor, ME
September 22, 2022
w/ Vanessa Carlton

Sound on Sound Festival
Bridgeport, CT
September 24-25, 2022

Ohana Festival
Dana Point, CA
September 30, 2022

Hollywood Bowl
Los Angeles, CA
October 3, 2022
w/ Vanessa Carlton

POSTPONED
Ak-Chin Pavilion

Phoenix, AZ
October 6, 2022
w/ Vanessa Carlton

POSTPONED
Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion

The Woodlands, TX
October 9, 2022
w/ Vanessa Carlton

Ameris Bank Amphitheatre
Alpharetta, GA
October 12, 2022
w/ Vanessa Carlton

Ascend Amphitheater
Nashville, TN
October 16, 2022
w/ Vanessa Carlton

Credit One Stadium
Charleston, SC
October 19, 2022
w/ Vanessa Carlton

PNC Music Pavilion
Charlotte, NC
October 22, 2022
w/ Vanessa Carlton

MIDFLORIDA Credit Union Amphitheatre
Tampa, FL
October 25, 2022
w/ Vanessa Carlton

iTHINK Financial Amphitheatre
West Palm Beach, FL
October 28, 2022
w/ Vanessa Carlton

Orion Amphitheatre
Huntsville, AL
October 31, 2022

RESCHEDULED SHOWS

Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion
The Woodlands, TX
November 2, 2022
w/ Vanessa Carlton

Ak-Chin Pavilion
Phoenix, AZ
November 5, 2022
w/ Vanessa Carlton