Monday, September 05, 2022

My Music Monday

Not a theme per se, but I'll just use one of the title from the last six days to use as the Monday post in September. 

I'm going with Fleetwood Mac's "Tusk", as I was mostly sure no one wanted Madonna and maybe not Elvis and I'd already done "Telling Stories" a few years back.

"Tusk" was the lead off single from the much anticipated 1979 album of the same name.  

Had you heard any other Fleetwood Mac songs from this iteration of the band up until this point, you wouldn't have known it was the same group had the DJs not told you their name. 

It was................different. 

And in 1970's terrestrial radio terms, different is bad. 

Still, stations had no other new material from the band to play, so play it they did. It hit the top 10, but didn't stay there long. The album itself, which would come weeks later, kind of met the same fate. Too experimental (it really really wasn't), and not radio friendly.  That last part is true. 

Almost nothing on the album stuck to the 3 minute single format save a small handful of songs. And those weren't what programmers wanted to play or hear, including today's selection. 

The song itself is different in so many ways. No harmonies - for which the band is known. No cohesiveness in terms of standard instruments.  They're there..........but good luck picking some of them out. 

Most of it is the rhythm section of Mick Fleetwood and John McVie and then there is the 110 member USC Trojan Marching Band.  Most of the vocals are Lindsey Buckingham. 

The majority of the song was recorded in the studio, but the marching band portion was taped at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles.  The band - save John McVie - showed up for the recording day, which from where the video comes. 

This is two years before MTV. I don't know it was truly meant to be a video, but the record company made it one. 

Late in the song, Buckingham does a fey-voiced spoken "real savage like" vocal which for the last 40 years has irked the fuck out of me.  It kind of ruins the song for me completely. 

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