Tango in the Night POLL (Fleetwood Mac)

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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 (two years ago) link

alfred relentless otm

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

relentlessly*

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

you're crazy, belladonna is almost perfect

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

that's a great post tim, v otm

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

Tim F OTM

Carlotta's Portrait (Ross), Wednesday, 15 March 2017 08:33 (two years ago) link

Obviously, it's a great thing that the band had multiple songwriters at their disposal and I feel they worked on each others material really well - as a great band should do anyway - and I think that people are overlooking the fact that I said earlier that Nicks provided some great material. She's still my least favourite of the songwriters, though, and for all Nicks' highlights I'll bet you I don't miss her presence on the forthcoming Buckingham-McVie record, whereas I sure as hell missed McVie on Say You Will, which would have made for a great Buckingham solo record.

I guess now I know who on here is likely to overreact if one dares to state that Nicks is their least favourite element of Fleetwood Mac.

Coolio Iglesias (Turrican), Wednesday, 15 March 2017 11:56 (two years ago) link

what courage!

You're overlooking my writing that I don't care if you like her least; I disagreed with the suggestion that she needed more help than McVie or Buckingham.

Buckingham isn't capable of great solo albums. None of them are. He's released several good albums with several fine tracks.

the Rain Man of nationalism. (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 15 March 2017 12:06 (two years ago) link

xpost: As others have pointed out, thinking Nicks is third best is fine - pretty common in fact - but your justifications for that sit uncomfortably with me because they (perhaps inadvertently) appear to reduce the band's qualities to a two dimensional axis of pop smarts and arrangement invention, which I think as a schematic will fail to properly capture the magic of even the non-Nicks songs of that era.

Tim F, Wednesday, 15 March 2017 12:08 (two years ago) link

I didn't mean my sarcasm, Turrican. Think of it as friendly ribbing.

the Rain Man of nationalism. (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 15 March 2017 12:16 (two years ago) link

It's also common for listeners to recoil, as Naive Teen Idol remarked, from Nicks' dancing, voice, and witchiness but not so common to show impatience with Buckingham or McVie: producer geniuses and workaday musician, respectively, are more traditional signs of artistic integrity than the woman who risks looking like a fool on stage every night.

the Rain Man of nationalism. (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 15 March 2017 12:19 (two years ago) link

*musicians

the Rain Man of nationalism. (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 15 March 2017 12:19 (two years ago) link

tim otm

there's a union of performance and songwriting in stevie's songs which can make her more unfinished work (e.g. the songs on tango) feel like improvisations, but this is what enhances her great songs; there's this grand narrative drift to them. they can work like paragraphs or prose-poems, where as mcvie's and buckingham's songs tend to operate within more formal restrictions (there are of course exceptions, as each songwriter's approach crept into the others'). it's not a "better" or "worse" theory of songwriting; it enriches the others as a counterpoint while also being its own captivating swirl. this is why in isolation, on their solo records, they can and often do feel imbalanced. (lol i'm wondering if i'm just repeating tim's point)

"silver girl" was the other nicks song i thought didn't really work on say you will but everything else is really wonderful. there's an imbalance to that record too but it's one i find interesting—another buckingham solo record reengineered as a fleetwood mac record, but stevie was also on a kind of a roll imo between her tracks on that record and the good songs on trouble in shangri-la, and on stuff like "thrown down" they access the aura of the trio even in mcvie's absence

the raindrops and drop tops of lived, earned experience (BradNelson), Wednesday, 15 March 2017 12:20 (two years ago) link

if you're repeating my point you're certainly expressing it better.

And I think that's right about Say You Will - against the odds the album frequently implies McVie's presence even though she's not there.

It will be very interesting (and of course welcome, fantastic, etc.) if the Buckingham-McVie record does the same vis a vis Nicks.

Tim F, Wednesday, 15 March 2017 12:34 (two years ago) link

btw "nicks wrote some good songs but i'd rather be hamburger meat than listen to her solo work" is the purest driven nonsense

the raindrops and drop tops of lived, earned experience (BradNelson), Wednesday, 15 March 2017 13:05 (two years ago) link

mooncalf meat

the Rain Man of nationalism. (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 15 March 2017 13:16 (two years ago) link

I'd say that not checking out Nicks' solo material or being remotely interested in hearing it based on the fact that she's the element of Fleetwood Mac I'm least interested in makes absolute sense.

Coolio Iglesias (Turrican), Wednesday, 15 March 2017 13:24 (two years ago) link

Guys, not sure why you are circling the wagons here. It's no crime to be put off by Stevie. It doesn't mean you're a misogynist. It doesn't mean that she doesn't add something essential to the Fleetwood Mac venn diagram. And it doesn't mean her lyrics aren't more personally involving than Lindsey or Christine's. The elaborate cultural critiques of how people listen to music and how they "refuse" to hear what makes her great seem wholly unnecessary.

Stevie isn't for everyone. For many, her bleat needs sweetening. For my part, I like her best in small doses. And while I think Say You Will to be her most consistent set of songs, I find that I miss McVie more on that record than I do Stevie on Tango In the Night.

Naive Teen Idol, Wednesday, 15 March 2017 13:33 (two years ago) link

as alfred and tim already said i don't take issue with considering nicks the least of the three fleetwood mac songwriters but i take issue with the methods by which ppl itt have arrived at that conclusion, e.g. describing nicks' songs reductively as "stock '70s california soft rock," a description that mcvie's and buckingham's songs don't necessarily escape and which is at least partially a consequence of buckingham's production

the raindrops and drop tops of lived, earned experience (BradNelson), Wednesday, 15 March 2017 14:12 (two years ago) link

and Nicks' best solo songs ("Stand Back," "I Can't Wait," "Edge of Seventeen," "Rooms on Fire," a couple others) don't sound like California soft rock either.

the Rain Man of nationalism. (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 15 March 2017 14:20 (two years ago) link

as alfred and tim already said i don't take issue with considering nicks the least of the three fleetwood mac songwriters but i take issue with the methods by which ppl itt have arrived at that conclusion, e.g. describing nicks' songs reductively as "stock '70s california soft rock"

No, not all of her songs, just those songs that I applied the description to, which should have been blatantly obvious simply by reading the post.

Coolio Iglesias (Turrican), Wednesday, 15 March 2017 14:30 (two years ago) link

Some serious over-reacting by the Stevie Nicks fanclub itt.

Coolio Iglesias (Turrican), Wednesday, 15 March 2017 14:32 (two years ago) link

I think we can all agree that FM minus Bucky is pretty bad, and that since his addition in 1975 or whenever he has been pretty essential to its existence and operation.

Josh in Chicago, Wednesday, 15 March 2017 14:37 (two years ago) link

They all are. Every one. Including the rhythm section, which we haven't mentioned.

the Rain Man of nationalism. (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 15 March 2017 14:38 (two years ago) link

Yes, what I meant is that on at least two, possibly three occasions, the band would not have released an album at all without Buckingham's intense participation.

Josh in Chicago, Wednesday, 15 March 2017 14:40 (two years ago) link

That is, Tusk, Tango and Say You Will you're all bolstered by ready to go Buckingham solo tracks. The rhythm section absolutely makes everybody better, which is why they show up on a couple of those solo tracks, including cuts like Trouble.

Josh in Chicago, Wednesday, 15 March 2017 14:42 (two years ago) link

Sorry for the messy voice to text, I hope any that makes any sense.

Josh in Chicago, Wednesday, 15 March 2017 14:42 (two years ago) link

two weeks pass...

I take a crack at it. Thanks, thread!

the Rain Man of nationalism. (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Friday, 31 March 2017 01:42 (two years ago) link

Whenever I sing the chorus of 'Little Lies', I always pinch my nose to do Stevie's bit.

The Roger Waters Experience (Turrican), Friday, 31 March 2017 01:55 (two years ago) link


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