If there was one band that seemed to dominate the airwaves when I was growing up, it was Fleetwood Mac. Oh, there was some stiff competition in the mid 1970s to early 1980s, and Fleetwood Mac was by no means my favorite group, but if I had to choose just one band that I recall hearing — on the radio, in stores, at parties — more than any other, it was them.
Starting with their 1975 hit eponymous album, Fleetwood Mac, and then followed up in 1977 by an even bigger hit, an ENORMOUS hit called Rumours, their music just.simply.saturated. Their next album, the double LP Tusk, generated a few hits, but neither it nor any of their subsequent albums ever came anywhere near the success of Rumours
But now, this interesting thing has happened. A tribute album has been released, titled Just Tell Me That You Want Me, I’ve given it a listen on Spotify, and I’m surprised by my reaction to it.
You see, I have a longstanding preference for albums over singles, more specifically, I prefer what are sometimes called the deeper cuts, the songs on albums that weren’t played to death on the radio.
And yet, as I look at the track listing for the tribute album, I’m shocked by how few of their megahits are included. Out of 17 songs total, only four are culled from the Fleetwood Mac and Rumours albums.
So, you might say, this must be my kind of album, right?
Well, surprisingly, this just wasn’t the case.
See, I love the art of interpretation, and while I rarely find myself wanting to hear Fleetwood Mac music, much less the megahits, from those 1975 and 1977 albums, the one thing that could get me excited about those songs again would be for contemporary musicians to record new versions, versions that aren’t note-for-note reproductions, versions that put a fresh spin on the originals, changing up the instrumentation or the tempo, therefore breathing new life into tunes that had been played to death.
And so, much to my surprise, as I listened to the album I found myself missing songs like Monday Morning, Over My Head, and Say You Love Me, or Second Hand News, Never Going Back Again, Don’t Stop, Go Your Own Way, The Chain, You Make Loving Fun, and I Don’t Want To Know.
There are some great tracks on Just Tell Me That You Want Me, really, there are. Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top fame does a very cool, slowed down version of an 1970 song Oh Well, Swedish pop singer Lykke Li does an interesting, reverb-drenched take on the Rumours-era B-side Silver Springs, The Kills do a stripped down, low-fi version of the Rumours megahit Dreams, and The Crystal Ark reinvents the Tusk title track as an all-out electronic concoction.
But for now, since the tribute album got me thinking of the old hits from the mid to late 70s, I thought I’d choose one of them for this week’s Video Fridays installment, just because.
Happy Weekend, everyone!