Tango in the Night POLL (Fleetwood Mac)

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I disagree. Her songs are often the weakest but no way in hell would I want a Fleetwood Mac without her. She's peculiar: one of the few singer-songwriters who is both the most conventional, kitschiest member (Eagles fetish, New Age crap) and the weirdest vision.

otoh Buckingham is often a better arranger and producer and singer than songwriter; often his songs are about nothing and aren't anything except their arrangements. He's at best coaxing and shaping great songs out of McVie and Nicks.

the Rain Man of nationalism. (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 15 March 2017 00:31 (three years ago) link

*and HAS the weirdest vision

the Rain Man of nationalism. (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 15 March 2017 00:32 (three years ago) link

i mean i disagree too but that's bc her mac-oriented songs are all knockouts until mirage, which has "gypsy" anyway

the raindrops and drop tops of lived, earned experience (BradNelson), Wednesday, 15 March 2017 00:37 (three years ago) link

I agree that Buckingham works wonders on McVie's and Nicks' material, it's partly the reason why McVie's tracks sound so utterly magnificent on Tango, and partly the reason why Nicks was able to get away with phoning it in.

I can't wait to hear what the Buckingham-McVie record sounds like, although I still see no reason why it shouldn't be put out as a Fleetwood Mac record.

Coolio Iglesias (Turrican), Wednesday, 15 March 2017 00:38 (three years ago) link

stevie's songs can be really digressive but it's a good counterpoint to the precision of buckingham and mcvie, she gets adventurous in a way they do not

the raindrops and drop tops of lived, earned experience (BradNelson), Wednesday, 15 March 2017 00:38 (three years ago) link

With maybe one exception, her songs on Say You Will are her best on a Mac record since Tusk.

the Rain Man of nationalism. (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 15 March 2017 00:38 (three years ago) link

I can't wait to hear what the Buckingham-McVie record sounds like, although I still see no reason why it shouldn't be put out as a Fleetwood Mac record.

― Coolio Iglesias (Turrican), Tuesday, March 14, 2017

I bet Nicks and her lawyers rewrote her contract so that Fleetwood Mac isn't "Fleetwood Mac" without her. She's the star.

the Rain Man of nationalism. (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 15 March 2017 00:39 (three years ago) link

With maybe one exception, her songs on Say You Will are her best on a Mac record since Tusk.

― the Rain Man of nationalism. (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Tuesday, March 14, 2017 5:38 PM (two minutes ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

agreed. (what's the exception? "illume" is p dull imo)

the raindrops and drop tops of lived, earned experience (BradNelson), Wednesday, 15 March 2017 00:41 (three years ago) link

Yep. Classic Nicks example of wandering in search of a melody.

otoh "Running Through the Garden"! "Goodbye Baby"! The title track! "Thrown Down"!

the Rain Man of nationalism. (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 15 March 2017 00:45 (three years ago) link

Mine as well, tho Stevie's best moments—"Sara," "Gypsy," "Dreams," "Storms"—are undoubtedly really good, even if I sometimes question how much of what I like about them is wedded their arrangements and production.

― Naive Teen Idol, Wednesday, March 15, 2017 12:26 AM (eleven minutes ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

Yeah, the best of Stevie's stuff really is genuinely great - 'Sara' for me being the pinnacle of her songwriting for Fleetwood Mac, and I really love 'Sisters of the Moon' and 'Gold Dust Woman' ... I'd still rank her as my third favourite songwriter in this incarnation of Fleetwood Mac, vastly preferring McVie's well crafted pop and Buckingham's stuff like 'That's All For Everyone', 'Go Your Own Way', 'What Makes You Think You're The One', his tracks on Tango...

Coolio Iglesias (Turrican), Wednesday, 15 March 2017 00:46 (three years ago) link

On the Enchanted box set she includes a couple of demos of her best '90s songs ("Sweet Girl," "Twisted"), on which she and another guitarist (Jesse Vanenzuela on one!) play all the instruments and guess what -- the chord changes and melodies are all hers and survived intact. It's possible she was a better recordmaker by the '90s, but I'm reluctant to give Buck the lion's share of the credit for making her listenable; there's a faint whiff of misogyny.

the Rain Man of nationalism. (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 15 March 2017 00:49 (three years ago) link

stevie's songs can be really digressive but it's a good counterpoint to the precision of buckingham and mcvie, she gets adventurous in a way they do not

― the raindrops and drop tops of lived, earned experience (BradNelson), Wednesday, March 15, 2017 12:38 AM (eight minutes ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

Adventurous like on the stock '70s California soft rock of 'Angel' or adventurous like on the stock '70s California soft rock of 'I Don't Wanna Know' ... or adventurous like the meandering, take-your-time-getting-somewhere '70s California soft rock of 'Storms' or 'Beautiful Child'? The latter two which neither have the pop hooks of McVie's material or are as interesting as Buckingham's material?

Coolio Iglesias (Turrican), Wednesday, 15 March 2017 00:52 (three years ago) link

"I Don't Wanna Know" is as precise as any McVie!

the Rain Man of nationalism. (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 15 March 2017 00:53 (three years ago) link

agreed with alfred on the faint whiff of misogyny

the raindrops and drop tops of lived, earned experience (BradNelson), Wednesday, 15 March 2017 00:54 (three years ago) link

"Storms" doesn't sound like Nicolette Larson, Carly Simon, Kenny Loggins, or however you define California soft rock.

the Rain Man of nationalism. (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 15 March 2017 00:55 (three years ago) link

and I haven't even mentioned the half dozen great solo songs on which Buckingham is nowhere near

the Rain Man of nationalism. (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 15 March 2017 00:56 (three years ago) link

we could also talk about "silver springs" which has like two choruses and sounds enormous in a way that basically no other rumours track does

the raindrops and drop tops of lived, earned experience (BradNelson), Wednesday, 15 March 2017 00:57 (three years ago) link

I think Stevie is just one of those songwriters who does her best work bouncing off someone else. There's nothing wrong with that. She's not a typical singer-songwriter, more like Madonna.

Josh in Chicago, Wednesday, 15 March 2017 00:59 (three years ago) link

"beautiful child" wanders and builds itself up block by block as much as "sara" and every time she sings "i am not a child anymore" it sounds like years have passed

the raindrops and drop tops of lived, earned experience (BradNelson), Wednesday, 15 March 2017 00:59 (three years ago) link

^^^ yes. And her timbre changes!

the Rain Man of nationalism. (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 15 March 2017 01:00 (three years ago) link

I can't believe we're re-litigating Nicks' contributions. I got no problem with someone ranking her last among the three, but to call her flaws worse than McVie's homilies or Buckingham's formalist vacuity misses the point of a band complementing its members' strengths.

the Rain Man of nationalism. (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 15 March 2017 01:04 (three years ago) link

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bKIC_Kza4Ek

Jersey Al (Albert R. Broccoli), Wednesday, 15 March 2017 01:07 (three years ago) link

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RPEhIoKeTg0

Jersey Al (Albert R. Broccoli), Wednesday, 15 March 2017 01:07 (three years ago) link

0s, but I'm reluctant to give Buck the lion's share of the credit for making her listenable; there's a faint whiff of misogyny.

― the Rain Man of nationalism. (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, March 15, 2017 12:49 AM (nine minutes ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

I'm not reluctant in the least - it's a well known fact that Buckingham did a great deal of arranging and production on the others songs - just check the album credits, or even accounts from the band members themselves. A chord progression and a melody is one thing, but a great arrangement and production can give life to something that can be unremarkable at its core.

Coolio Iglesias (Turrican), Wednesday, 15 March 2017 01:08 (three years ago) link

Sure, but that's no more the case with McVie or Buckingham's songs. She's not a lesser songwriter b/c her songs needed the glittering arrangements as much as her colleague did.

the Rain Man of nationalism. (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 15 March 2017 01:10 (three years ago) link

alfred relentless otm

the raindrops and drop tops of lived, earned experience (BradNelson), Wednesday, 15 March 2017 01:11 (three years ago) link

relentlessly*

the raindrops and drop tops of lived, earned experience (BradNelson), Wednesday, 15 March 2017 01:12 (three years ago) link

pretend i linked to another fleetwood mac thread where ppl marveled over her piano demo for "gypsy". her songs are not just arrangements

(i make the argument that "seven wonders" is but it's not her song!)

the raindrops and drop tops of lived, earned experience (BradNelson), Wednesday, 15 March 2017 01:18 (three years ago) link

No, she's a lesser songwriter, at least in my opinion, because neither do I think she's as great at the pop hooks at McVie is, but nor do I find her material as interesting as Buckingham's. Like I've said, the best of her material is truly great, but when it comes down to it the majority of my Fleetwood Mac highlights come from the others.

Coolio Iglesias (Turrican), Wednesday, 15 March 2017 01:19 (three years ago) link

(and I'm about as interested in Nicks' solo stuff about as much as a cow is interested in becoming a burger)

Coolio Iglesias (Turrican), Wednesday, 15 March 2017 01:20 (three years ago) link

you're crazy, belladonna is almost perfect

a but (brimstead), Wednesday, 15 March 2017 01:20 (three years ago) link

Diehard Mac fans have seen the clip from the SYW making-of documentary in which Buckingham at his most passive aggressive and smug explains why it's bad that she changes verb tenses in a song. Nicks, annoyed, replies, "Would you tell Bob Dylan his verb tenses are wrong?"

My larger point is that Nicks, like Dylan, is not an instrumentalist: she uses a piano or guitar as tools instead of weapons that need mastering. If you like her less than McVie or Buckingham as personage and songwriter, I get it and I won't argue...but she's not a lesser songwriter b/c she can't play piano as well as McVie or guitar as well as Buck.

the Rain Man of nationalism. (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 15 March 2017 01:22 (three years ago) link

idk i'm finding turrican's argument that nicks is a lesser songwriter just bc she is neither christine mcvie or lindsey buckingham super convincing

the raindrops and drop tops of lived, earned experience (BradNelson), Wednesday, 15 March 2017 01:23 (three years ago) link

(and I'm about as interested in Nicks' solo stuff about as much as a cow is interested in becoming a burger)

― Coolio Iglesias (Turrican),

I'm not sure this is the appropriate metaphor to use for a woman whom male critics have called, for example, a mooncalf.

the Rain Man of nationalism. (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 15 March 2017 01:24 (three years ago) link

she can also write circles around the two of them lyrically

the raindrops and drop tops of lived, earned experience (BradNelson), Wednesday, 15 March 2017 01:24 (three years ago) link

Has anyone heard the whole of McVie's 1984 solo album? "Got a Hold on Me" is certainly great. Bucky plays guitar on that one, but who is Todd Sharp, the other guitarist/writer? This sounds like Tom Petty, or maybe Bryan Adams:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rb5mjCHNKLs

Josh in Chicago, Wednesday, 15 March 2017 01:25 (three years ago) link

The album's a tuneful bore. I do love a track called "The Smile I Live For."

the Rain Man of nationalism. (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 15 March 2017 01:26 (three years ago) link

I remember a time on ILX when McVie got the flak as the Dull One.

the Rain Man of nationalism. (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 15 March 2017 01:26 (three years ago) link

idk, also, what a great melodic detour the bridge of "gypsy" is

the raindrops and drop tops of lived, earned experience (BradNelson), Wednesday, 15 March 2017 01:29 (three years ago) link

There's nothing wrong with not being a technically great instrumentalist, plenty of great songs have been written by people that are not particularly great instrumentalists. But that's not what we're talking about - we're talking about songwriting, and I find Nicks' songs don't hit my pleasure centre in the way the others songs do, for reasons I've already stated.

Coolio Iglesias (Turrican), Wednesday, 15 March 2017 01:30 (three years ago) link

tbh the Mac could've prevented an ILM meltdown by crediting every member like they smartly did on "The Chain."

the Rain Man of nationalism. (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 15 March 2017 01:30 (three years ago) link

"gypsy" even has that great mini-hook, "lightning strikes / maybe once, maybe twice"

the raindrops and drop tops of lived, earned experience (BradNelson), Wednesday, 15 March 2017 01:31 (three years ago) link

I'm not sure this is the appropriate metaphor to use for a woman whom male critics have called, for example, a mooncalf.

― the Rain Man of nationalism. (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, March 15, 2017 1:24 AM (six minutes ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

I'm perfectly sure you're reading something into it which isn't even there. A bit like Tipper Gore reading Twisted Sister lyrics.

Coolio Iglesias (Turrican), Wednesday, 15 March 2017 01:35 (three years ago) link

you're crazy, belladonna is almost perfect

― a but (brimstead), Tuesday, March 14, 2017 6:20 PM (sixteen minutes ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

the raindrops and drop tops of lived, earned experience (BradNelson), Wednesday, 15 March 2017 01:38 (three years ago) link

A bit like Tipper Gore reading Twisted Sister lyrics.

Or the lyrics to "Sit on My Face, Stevie Nicks" for that matter.

Hideous Lump, Wednesday, 15 March 2017 03:39 (three years ago) link

Man am I sorry I started this...

First off, Christine's songs are often every bit as transformed by or reliant on Lindsey's production and arrangements as Stevie's. For instance, "Hold Me" has a lovely verse but almost no chorus whatsoever in its demo form. In the final version, it has a layered vocal part that I didn't even realize was saying "hold me" until a number of years ago (I grew up hearing it as "I wanna ... I wanna ... I wanna ... Fee-eel"). Does that make her less of a songwriter? Not really. It makes him an amazing arranger tho.

Stevie, as Alfred points out, is more of a weirdo – which is a good thing and bad. The good is, candidly, that it makes her more distinctive – she's *not* Nicolette Larson. And really, how many other famous singer songwriters from that era were true oddballs? And how many were women? There's something brave there that I admire.

The thing is, I don't really like it that much. In the main, I find her whole aesthetic—the witch schtick, the dancing, the croaky voice and intense self-involvement—to be off putting. And the problem is, it invades almost everything she does. On her best songs, I don't mind it – but I usually have to overlook it. Only in the case of "Gypsy" and maybe a handful of others do I think her essential Stevie-ness actually adds to the song.

This is all most irrelevant to Tango as she pretty much phoned in her songs, performances and persona. But whether it's the guitar whining against McVie's rumbling bass in "Dreams" or the guitar and Rhodes pirouetting behind the vocal in "Storms," the main reason I find what the band does with her songs essential to their success is that they keep me from mainlining Stevie, which I'm not sure I could otherwise handle. For very long anyway.

Naive Teen Idol, Wednesday, 15 March 2017 06:05 (three years ago) link

I conceive of Buckingham-Nicks era FM as a tightly clustered venn diagram of hooks / arrangement / aura, which then maps onto the special skill of each of the 3 lead performers (though, crucially, Nicks' songs still have hooks, McVie's songs still project an aura, etc.)

Obviously, Nicks' work projects the strongest aura of the 3: songs like "Sara" and "Beautiful Child" and "Silver Spring" and "Gypsy" project a sense of autobiographical depth that may well go beyond what was intended or is really there; at their best these songs feel like they mean more than other songs, every line pregnant with resonance (both lyrically and in their performance) (this is one reason why Nicks is in some ways at least as good a point of comparison for Tori Amos as Kate Bush - Amos inherited Nicks' capacity for meaningful/resonant opacity).

Turrican's critique of Nicks relies on being unable, or refusing, to see that quality (this is not a criticism of Turrican really - there's a lot of qualities other people see in music that I won't or can't), or to see it as valuable. I think this undersells Nicks, but I also think it undersells Buckingham and McVie, who at their best also reach towards that auratic quality, just as McVie and Nicks benefit from Buckingham's arrangement smarts and Nicks and Buckingham frequently rival McVie for pop cut-through. The band in this era had a mutually reinforcing three-legged stool structure; reducing it to two legs makes the whole thing fall down in my opinion.

Tim F, Wednesday, 15 March 2017 07:15 (three years ago) link

Yep. Classic Nicks example of wandering in search of a melody.

otoh "Running Through the Garden"! "Goodbye Baby"! The title track! "Thrown Down"!

― the Rain Man of nationalism. (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, March 15, 2017 12:45 AM (six hours ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

I don't mind "Illume" and think "Silver Girl" is the Nicks dud on this album. But "Destiny Rules" and "Everybody Finds Out" and "Smile At You" are awesome as well.

I guess I love almost everything on that album.

Tim F, Wednesday, 15 March 2017 07:18 (three years ago) link

that's a great post tim, v otm

niels, Wednesday, 15 March 2017 08:29 (three years ago) link

a guy once convinced me Lindsey deserved more or less all credit for Stevie's songs, and so I was really shocked when I heard those demos which make it clear she's a fantastic songwriter

she def has the best solo material

niels, Wednesday, 15 March 2017 08:31 (three years ago) link


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