Friday, July 2, 2010

Fleetwood Mac: The Dance (1997)

(As published in Real Groove ... )

Fleetwood Mac
The Dance

If, as Robert Christgau once wrote, the problem with Fleetwood Mac's Greatest Hits is that "the radio-ready format makes [the hits] seem blander than they actually are," the selling point of this live reunion should be not only that the hits are separated by new songs (four) and old album tracks (four) but also that the entire set is played a little rough around the edges by a middle-aged supergroup with both chops and something to prove. Longtime Mac fans--is there any other kind?--may fear that twentieth-anniversary renditions of "Dreams," "You Make Loving Fun," "Go You Own Way," etc. will fall short of the versions they so fondly remember. But with the exception of the unplugged "Big Love," the re-dos hold up, with "Rhiannon" improved by a loose Stevie Nicks vocal and "Tusk" by a tight University of Southern California Trojan Marching Band. Better yet, "The Chain," "Landslide," and "Silver Springs"--non-singles all and thus less susceptible to pointless iconoclasm or fawning veneration--sound so there you'd think Nicks meant every word. And if Buckingham's new "My Little Demon" has that old Mac magic, Christine McVie's new "Temporary One" has enough new Mac magic to neutralize nostalgia altogether.

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