Isn't It Midnight

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"Isn't It Midnight"
Single by Fleetwood Mac
from the album Tango in the Night
B-side "Mystified"
Released 6 June 1988 (UK)
Format 7", 12", CD single
Recorded 1987
Genre Pop rock, new wave
Length 4:06
Label Warner Bros.
Songwriter(s) Christine McVie, Eddie Quintela, Lindsey Buckingham
Producer(s) Lindsey Buckingham, Richard Dashut
Fleetwood Mac singles chronology
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"Isn't It Midnight"
"As Long as You Follow"
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(1988 UK)
"Isn't It Midnight"
"As Long as You Follow"
(1988 UK)

"Isn't It Midnight" is a song by Fleetwood Mac, taken from their 1987 album Tango in the Night. The song was co-written and sung by Christine McVie, with contributions from Lindsey Buckingham and her then-husband Eddie Quintela. It was the sixth and final single to be released from the album in 1988. The cover of the single features the portrait of Mademoiselle Caroline Rivière.

Despite not featuring on either the band's 1988 or 2002 Greatest Hits compilations, the song received acclaim from Steve Peake of Thought Co, who included it on his list of the band's top 8 songs of the 1980s.


In the United Kingdom, "Isn't It Midnight" was released as the follow-up to "Everywhere" and it charted at its peak position of number 60 on 18 June 1988.[1] It performed better in Ireland, where it reached the top 30, peaking at number 23. The song was also released as a single in the United States in both its original album cut and as a live performance culled from the Tango in the Night concert filmed at Cow Palace. The former version charted at number 14 on the Billboard Mainstream Rock chart.

This was the second official Fleetwood Mac song to be released on the 3-inch CD single format as well being issued on 7" and 12" vinyl. All formats contained the Tango in the Night track "Mystified", and the CD and 12-inch included the bonus tracks "Say You Love Me" (from 1975; it had previously been included as a bonus track on the "Everywhere" CD single) and "Gypsy" (from the 1982 album Mirage).[2]

The song was featured consistently throughout Fleetwood Mac's Tango in the Night and Behind the Mask concert tours, though it has not been played since 1990. When performed it featured added background vocals from band member Stevie Nicks as well as a heavier use of percussion and guitar in lieu of keyboards. It was rehearsed for the 1997 reunion tour The Dance, but was not performed. Its 1987 incarnation was filmed at Cow Palace, California, for the Tango in the Night live concert video, a performance that was later shown regularly on MTV.

Alternate versions[edit]

There are two alternate mixes of the song, one featured on the 1992 four-disc retrospective 25 Years – The Chain, and one on the Tango in the Night deluxe set released in 2017. The version on 25 Years – The Chain has an atmospheric, synth-driven and sparser arrangement when compared to the driving rock song of the album cut. The version found on the deluxe Tango in the Night set is a combination between this version and the final album cut after Lindsey Buckingham added significant guitar and vocal effects, revealing the song's evolution. The mix featured on 25 Years – The Chain is also included on the 1992 CD single "Love Shines".


In a retrospective review, Alexis Petridis of The Guardian called it an example of McVie's "bullet-proof" song-writing, a "confection of booming drums, precise, tinkly synth and wailing guitar solos that sounds as if it’s just waiting to appear in the background of a film starring Ally Sheedy."[3] Steve Peake of Thought Co. wrote that the song "celebrates everything that is great about the band: uncommonly astute melodic instincts, transcendent singing and Buckingham's own underrated but fiery lead guitar."[4] David Bowling of Blogcritics Magazine also grouped it as one of Christine McVie's strongest songs, noting that McVie delivers an atypical vocal in a song "about as hard as this incarnation of Fleetwood Mac gets".[5] Upon reflection, Stevie Nicks considers the track, among Buckingham's own songs on the album, as representative of his best contributions to any Fleetwood Mac album.[6]


Chart positions[edit]

Chart (1988) Peak
UK Singles Chart 60
US Mainstream Rock Tracks 14
Irish Singles Chart 23
Dutch Singles Chart 32


  • The Great Rock Discography, 6th Edition, Martin C. Strong. ISBN 1-84195-312-1
  • Fleetwood Mac Legacy for track listings

External links[edit]