On this day:At 7th September of 1997, Fleetwood Mac went to No.1 on the US album chart with 'The Dance'. The album went on sell over 5 million copies in the US alone.
Live albums aren't easy to pull off, but this recording of Fleetwood Mac's 1997 reunion concert comes out a winner. The Dance marks the first time the most popular lineup of the band had performed together in 10 years and the program (along with the following tour) proved to be a moving and lucrative investment.
The song set includes the typical mix of familiar songs along with a few new ones. Like most live albums, there is an air of predictability that hangs over the proceedings, although this never becomes a major problem. No matter how contrived the reasoning behind the band's reunion, the audio version of The Dance retains all of the cathartic emotion and sheer excitement of that evening's performance.
The band sounds great, and all three of the vocalists are in good form. It is true that Stevie Nicks has lost a noticeable amount of her vocal range. This is especially jarring on "Dreams," where Nicks' inability to reach the higher notes lessens the impact of number. However, Nicks' intensity as a performer carries her through, and her now-lowered actually benefits several of that evening's selections.
The same is true of Lindsey Buckingham, who does not seem to be able to reach the very top of his range with the ease that he once did. In many ways, he doesn't even sound like the same man when comparing that evening's performance of "Go Your Own Way" to the 1977 studio version. But Buckingham's voice has only increased in sheer power.
No matter how you choose to look at it, there is no doubt that Christine McVie looks and sounds better than ever. Never having been much of a clothes horse in the past, Christine looks absolutely stunning in a tailored suit and an extremely flattering bob, and she sounds terrific.
On the night of this particular concert, she delivered knockout renditions of "Everywhere," "You Make Lovin' Fun," and "Say That You Love Me" - all three of which remain bright highlights on this recording. Even with her unassuming and humble nature, Christine managed to steal much of the show without even conspiring to.
Without mincing any worlds, all else that needs to be said of the band's performance is that the skills of rock's greatest rhythm section, Mick Fleetwood and John McVie, have only improved with time. The biggest surprise of all, however, is Lindsey Buckingham's continued prowess on the guitar. Always one of the criminally underrated guitarist, Buckingham emerges on The Dance as an absolute genius on the strings.
The band sounds particularly fantastic on the four newly-written songs, all of which are worthy enough to stand next to the classics. Lindsey Buckingham's "Bleed To Love Her," a moving love song with a unique bent and a nearly acoustic arrangement, is the best of the new material (even though it borrows the bridge from Buckingham's own 1992 composition "You Do or You Don't").
Buckingham's neurotic ditty "My Little Demon" is also a great addition to the set, and is one of his most straightforward compositions. Buckingham also introduces both numbers before performing them, and his stage comments reveal him to be a likeably warm and soft-spoken man.
Christine McVie is back in top form with the bouncy "Temporary One" - her newly-penned contribution to The Dance. Very much in the style of her most endearing Mac compositions, "Temporary One" features the most memorable refrain McVie has written since 1987's incomparable "Little Lies."
The remaining newly-written song, Stevie Nicks' stark "Sweet Girl, is a tense and wrenching number that far outshines most of the material that she contributed to 1990's Behind The Mask and her 1994 solo recording Street Angel. The song memorably makes the swift transition from spirited verses to a moody chorus, with a killer lyrical hook ("I used to dance across the stages of the world"). It easily ranks among her finest songs of the 90's.
Most of the Mac's signature numbers are faithfully performed, with arrangements that are very similar to their studio counterparts - yet there are a few surprises. The major departures come with a new ballad-like opening for "Rhiannon," an epic guitar solo to close "I'm So Afraid," and the addition of a marching band to "Don't Stop."
All of these deviations are interesting, especially Lindsey's amazing acoustic rendition of "Big Love," which is surprisingly superior to the heavily-produced 1987 studio version. Some of the evening's other standout moments include Stevie's wrenching rendition of "Landslide," the thundering opening performance of "The Chain," and a vibrant version of Christine's "Say That You Love Me" (with John singing for the first time on back up).
The highlight among highlights, however, is the addition of the Nicks-penned, former B-side "Silver Springs" (which failed to make the cut on Rumours) to the set list, with Nicks giving the song such a passionate performance that one may wonder why it was ever scrapped in the first place. Justifiably, the song has since finally become widely recognized as one the Mac's signature songs, and even snagged the group a 1998 Grammy award nomination.
The belated gratification must have been sweet for Stevie, who admitted to having previously been frustrated over the song's inexplicable exclusion from that colossal 1977 album. The heavy radio air-play of "Sliver Springs," the high-rated cable airing of the filmed concert, and all the publicity surrounding the group's reunion combined sent The Dance all the way to the #1 position on the Hot 200 and has sold a whopping five million copies in the US alone.
This is a powerhouse band sounding (literally) better than ever. A joyful listening experience.#FleetwoodMac #PopRock#Album #Adultcontemporary#Onthisday #ClassicRock#SoftRock #Rock#Billboardcharts #TheDanceAlbum