Behind the Mask (album)

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Behind the Mask
Fleetwood Mac - Behind the Mask.jpg
Studio album by Fleetwood Mac
ReleasedApril 10, 1990
StudioThe Complex, Los Angeles, Vintage Recorders, Phoenix, Arizona
LabelWarner Bros.
ProducerGreg Ladanyi
Fleetwood Mac
Fleetwood Mac chronology
Tango in the Night
Behind the Mask

Behind the Mask is the fifteenth studio album by British-American rock band Fleetwood Mac, released in 1990. It was the first album released by the band after the departure of guitarist Lindsey Buckingham. He was replaced by Billy Burnette and Rick Vito, both guitar players, singers and songwriters. Fleetwood Mac thus became a six-piece band with four singer/songwriters. The album was not as successful as its predecessor, Tango in the Night, nor did it spawn any big hit singles although "Save Me" made the US Top 40, while "Love Is Dangerous" and "Skies the Limit" enjoyed some airplay.[1] "Save Me" and "Skies the Limit" were much more successful in Canada, where they both reached the Top 30. Though it barely reached the US Top 20, the album entered the UK Albums Chart at number 1[2] and achieved platinum status there.[3] Following the album's release and subsequent world tour, bandmembers Stevie Nicks and Rick Vito left the band, though Nicks would rejoin in 1997.

The cover for the album was created by photographer Dave Gorton. He stated that the band did not wish to appear on the front cover of the album and Mick Fleetwood himself suggested that he create an image that "spiritually symbolised" the band instead.[4] The album cover earned a Grammy nomination in 1991 for "Best Album Package".

The song Freedom was written by Stevie Nicks with Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers guitarist Mike Campbell. Campbell would join Fleetwood Mac in 2018.

Critical reception[edit]

The album received very mixed reviews. AllMusic retrospectively gave the album 1.5/5 stars, their lowest rating of any Fleetwood Mac album, calling Buckingham's departure "a severe blow" for the band and saying that "the songs are among the least inspired the band ever recorded."[5] Other critics, however, praised the new line-up. The Los Angeles Times gave the album 3.5/5 stars, commenting that "[w]ithout Buckingham's obsessively unique vision, the group has embraced an all-for-one, one-for-all attitude for what sounds like the most truly group effort since Rumours, or perhaps even since 1972's Bare Trees."[6] Rolling Stone rated it as 4/5 stars, claiming that "the addition of Rick Vito and Billy Burnette is the best thing to ever happen to Fleetwood Mac" and that "[n]ot since Rumours has Fleetwood Mac recorded pain so unwaveringly and sounded this together."[7]

Track listing[edit]

Side one
No.TitleWriter(s)Lead vocalsLength
1."Skies the Limit"Christine McVie, Eddy QuintelaC. McVie3:45
2."Love Is Dangerous"Rick Vito, Stevie NicksNicks, Vito3:18
3."In the Back of My Mind"Billy Burnette, David MalloyBurnette, Nicks, C. McVie7:02
4."Do You Know"Burnette, C. McVieBurnette, C. McVie4:19
5."Save Me"C. McVie, QuintelaC. McVie4:15
6."Affairs of the Heart"NicksNicks4:22
7."When the Sun Goes Down"Vito, BurnetteBurnette, Vito3:18
Side two
No.TitleWriter(s)Lead vocalsLength
1."Behind the Mask"C. McVieC. McVie4:18
2."Stand on the Rock"VitoVito3:59
3."Hard Feelings"Burnette, Jeff SilbarBurnette4:54
4."Freedom"Nicks, Mike CampbellNicks4:12
5."When It Comes to Love"Burnette, Dennis Morgan, Simon ClimieBurnette, C. McVie4:08
6."The Second Time"Nicks, VitoNicks2:31


Fleetwood Mac
Additional musicians
  • Producers: Greg Ladanyi and Fleetwood Mac
  • Engineer: Greg Ladanyi, Bob Levy, Dennis Mays
  • Assistant engineers: Craig Porteils, Duane Seykora, Brett Swain, Paula Wolak
  • Photography: Dave Gorton
  • Mixing: Greg Ladanyi
  • Mastering: Stephen Marcussen
  • Programming: Stephen Croes, Dan Garfield
  • Art direction: Jeri Heiden

Charts and certifications[edit]



  1. ^ Giles, Jeff. "25 Years Ago:Fleetwood Mac Release 'Behind the Mask' Without Lindsey Buckingham". Ultimate Classic Rock. Retrieved 12 April 2015.
  2. ^ a b "Behind the Mask Chart Stats". Chart Retrieved 11 December 2011.
  3. ^ British Phonographic Industry online database Archived 27 October 2015 at the Wayback Machine.
  4. ^ Gorton, Dave. "D. Gorton . Behind the Mask". D. Gorton official website. Retrieved 11 December 2011.
  5. ^ Henderson, Alex. "Fleetwood Mac Behind the Mask review". AllMusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 11 December 2011.
  6. ^ Hochman, VE (8 April 1990). "Behind the Mask review". Los Angeles Times.
  7. ^ Berger, Arion (31 May 1990). "Behind the Mask review". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 23 February 2012.
  8. ^ "Billy Burnette, March 18 - 31 , 2000". The Penguin. Retrieved 24 October 2016.
  9. ^ "Fleetwood Mac – Behind the Mask (Album)". (in German). Media Control Charts. Retrieved 11 December 2011.
  10. ^ "Fleetwood Mac – Behind the Mask (Album)". Australian - Media Control Charts. Retrieved 11 December 2011.
  11. ^ "Top Albums/CDs – Volume 51, No. 26, May 12, 1990". Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 11 December 2011.
  12. ^ "Fleetwood Mac – Behind the Mask (Album)". Gfk Dutch Charts (in Dutch). Media Control Charts. Retrieved 11 December 2011.
  13. ^ "InfoDisc : Tous les Albums classés par Artiste > Choisir Un Artiste Dans la Liste". Archived from the original (PHP) on 5 October 2013. Retrieved 31 January 2014. Note: user must select 'Fleetwood Mac' from drop-down.
  14. ^ "Album – Fleetwood Mac, Behind the Mask". (in German). Media Control Charts. Retrieved 11 December 2011.
  15. ^ a b "Hit Parade Italia – Gli album più venduti del 1990" (in Italian). Retrieved 31 January 2014.
  16. ^ "ビハインド・ザ・マスク/フリートウッド・マック-リリース-ORICON STYLE-ミュージック" [Highest position and charting weeks of Behind the Mask by Fleetwood Mac]. (in Japanese). Oricon Style. Retrieved 10 October 2013.
  17. ^ "Fleetwood Mac – Behind the Mask (Album)". Media Control Charts. Retrieved 11 December 2011.
  18. ^ "Fleetwood Mac – Behind the Mask (Album)". Media Control Charts. Retrieved 11 December 2011.
  19. ^ Salaverri, Fernando (September 2005). Sólo éxitos: año a año, 1959–2002 (1st ed.). Spain: Fundación Autor-SGAE. ISBN 84-8048-639-2.
  20. ^ "Fleetwood Mac – Behind the Mask (Album)". Media Control Charts. Retrieved 11 December 2011.
  21. ^ "Fleetwood Mac – Behind the Mask". (in German). Media Control Charts. Retrieved 11 December 2011.
  22. ^ "Allmusic: Behind the Mask : Charts & Awards: Billboard Albums". Retrieved 1 May 2014.
  23. ^ a b Ryan, Gavin (2011). Australia's Music Charts 1988–2010. Mt. Martha, VIC, Australia: Moonlight Publishing.
  24. ^ "Top 100 Albums of 1990". RPM. 22 December 1990. Retrieved 7 April 2010.
  25. ^ "Dutch charts jaaroverzichten 1990" (ASP) (in Dutch). Retrieved 2 April 2014.
  26. ^ "Les Albums (CD) de 1990 par InfoDisc" (in French). Archived from the original (PHP) on 23 October 2014. Retrieved 29 January 2014.
  27. ^ a b c d e f g "Behind the Mask Billboard Singles". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 11 December 2011.
  28. ^ "Save Me Chart Stats". Chart Retrieved 11 December 2011.
  29. ^ "In the Back of My Mind Chart Stats". Chart Retrieved 11 December 2011.
  30. ^ "Gold-/Platin-Datenbank (Fleetwood Mac; 'Behind the Mask')" (in German). Bundesverband Musikindustrie. Retrieved 31 January 2014.
  31. ^ "Dutch album certifications – Fleetwood Mac – Behind the Mask" (in Dutch). Nederlandse Vereniging van Producenten en Importeurs van beeld- en geluidsdragers. Enter Behind the Mask in the "Artiest of titel" box.
  32. ^ "The Official Swiss Charts and Music Community: Awards (Fleetwood Mac; 'Behind the Mask')". IFPI Switzerland. Hung Medien. Retrieved 31 January 2014.
  33. ^ "British album certifications – Fleetwood Mac – Behind the Mask". British Phonographic Industry. Select albums in the Format field. Select Platinum in the Certification field. Type Behind the Mask in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.
  34. ^ "American album certifications – Fleetwood Mac – Behind the Mask". Recording Industry Association of America. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH.