Tango in the Night

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Tango in the Night
Fleetwood Mac - Tango in the Night.jpg
Studio album by Fleetwood Mac
Released 13 April 1987
Recorded November 1985 – March 1987
Genre Pop rock, soft rock
Length 44:28
Label Warner Bros.
Producer Lindsey Buckingham,
Richard Dashut
Fleetwood Mac chronology
Tango in the Night
Behind the Mask
(1990)Behind the Mask1990
Singles from Tango in the Night
  1. "Big Love"
    Released: March 1987[1]
  2. "Seven Wonders"
    Released: June 1987[1]
  3. "Little Lies"
    Released: August 1987[1]
  4. "Everywhere"
    Released: November 1987 (USA) / February 1988 (UK)[1]
  5. "Family Man"
    Released: December 1987 (UK) / March 1988 (USA)[1]
  6. "Isn't It Midnight"
    Released: June 1988[1]
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 3.5/5 stars[2]
Robert Christgau B+[3]
MusicHound 2/5 stars[4]
Pitchfork Media (8.7/10)[5]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide 4/5 stars[6]
The Guardian 4/5 stars[7]

Tango in the Night is the 14th studio album by British-American rock band Fleetwood Mac. Released in April 1987, it is the fifth and to date last studio album from the band's most successful line-up of Lindsey Buckingham, Stevie Nicks, Christine McVie, John McVie and Mick Fleetwood.[1]

Produced by Buckingham with Richard Dashut, Tango in the Night began as one of Buckingham's solo projects, but by 1985 the production had morphed into Fleetwood Mac's next album. It contains several hit singles, including "Big Love", "Seven Wonders", "Everywhere", and "Little Lies". The distinctive cover art for the album was a painting by Australian artist Brett-Livingstone Strong which was hanging in Buckingham's home. The painting is a homage to the 19th Century French painter Henri Rousseau, emulating his colorful jungle theme works such as The Snake Charmer and The Repast of the Lion. It was also used as the cover of "Big Love", the album's first single. The album has sold over 15 million copies worldwide. In March 2017, remastered deluxe editions of Tango in the Night were released, the first a double-CD set and the second a 3CD/1DVD/1LP boxset.[8]


After the completion of The Mirage tour in 1982, four of the members of Fleetwood Mac released five solo albums with varying degrees of success. Mick Fleetwood, Christine McVie, and Lindsey Buckingham each released one while Stevie Nicks released two.[9] John McVie retreated from music to pursue his passion for sailing.

In 1985, Christine McVie was called to record a cover of Elvis Presley's "Can't Help Falling in Love" for the soundtrack of the movie, A Fine Mess. McVie contacted Richard Dashut, Fleetwood Mac's producer at the time, to produce the track. Buckingham, Fleetwood, and John McVie were eventually brought in to supply the instrumentation. Greg Droman, a relatively new producer at the time, was also brought in to participate. Droman had recently relocated to Los Angeles at the suggestion of Joe Walsh. Dashut and Droman eventually bumped into each other at a recording studio owned by the Captain & Tennille, and "just hit it off". Just a few weeks later, Droman worked with Buckingham on a song for the Back to the Future soundtrack. Droman was called once again to engineer a Buckingham solo album. The project later morphed into a Fleetwood Mac album instead.[10]

Although the album took almost 18 months to complete, Stevie Nicks only spent a total of two weeks in the studio with the band as she was busy promoting her third solo album Rock A Little throughout most of this period. She sent demos of her songs to the band, recorded while she was on her world tour, for them to work on in her absence. The track "Welcome To The Room... Sara" was inspired by her 30-day stay at the Betty Ford Center to overcome her cocaine addiction in October 1986 (Nicks used the pseudonym "Sara Anderson" when she checked into the facility).[11][12][13]

When Nicks did go to the studio, she often felt unmotivated. "I can remember going up there and not being happy to even be there...I guess I didn’t go very often..." With vocal sessions taking place in Buckingham's master bedroom, Nicks would ask for some brandy, drink a few shots, and eventually run through "four or five songs" intoxicated. Because of this, Buckingham had to remove most of Nicks' vocals. As a result, Nicks is almost entirely absent on the majority of Buckingham and McVie's tracks.[14] To make ends meet, Buckingham recorded some of the vocals himself using a Fairlight, an early sampling synthesizer.[15] For example, on "When I See You Again", some of the vocals weren't even sung by Nicks. Instead, Buckingham assembled the vocal track by taking words and sentences that weren't hers, then tampered with them until they somewhat resembled Nicks' voice. "I had to pull performances out of words and lines and make parts that sounded like her that weren’t her.” After the middle eight, the rest of the song is sung in Buckingham's normal register. [5] ”That was in my estimation when everybody in the band was personally at their worst...by the time we did Tango in the Night, everybody was leading their lives in a way that they would not be too proud of today."[16]

Tango in the Night is, to date, the final studio album released by the 'classic' line-up of Fleetwood Mac consisting of Lindsey Buckingham, Stevie Nicks, Christine McVie, John McVie, and Mick Fleetwood, before Buckingham's departure from the band in the summer of 1987. This line-up has reconvened for live performances, however.

With pressure being placed on Buckingham to keep the project focused and moving forward, things came to a head shortly after the release of Tango in the Night when he announced his departure from the band shortly before their scheduled tour in 1987. Following Buckingham's sudden departure, two musicians were drafted in to replace him (Rick Vito and Billy Burnette), who proceeded to complete the tour in 1987-1988 with the rest of the band.[16]

Commercial performance[edit]

Tango in the Night is the band's second biggest selling studio album[17] after the phenomenally successful Rumours which was released 10 years earlier. The intervening albums, Tusk (1979) and Mirage (1982), although big sellers in key territories, had not matched their predecessor's huge success. Tango in the Night was a worldwide hit with several singles from the album becoming popular all over the world. "Little Lies" and "Everywhere" in particular are now considered classic hits of the late 1980s and they continue to appear on retrospective albums of that decade.[18]

The album was a success in the United States, where it peaked at #7 for three weeks, spending more than seven months within the top 20, and more than ten months within the top 40. It was certified 3x platinum in October 2000 for selling 3 million copies in the US.[19] Four singles from the album reached the Billboard Top 20: "Big Love" (#5), "Little Lies" (#4), "Everywhere" (#14) and "Seven Wonders" (#19).[1] The album was particularly successful in the United Kingdom where it reached #1 three times during 1987-88 for a total of five weeks, and spent more than eight months within the Top 10 of the UK albums chart. It is the seventh biggest selling album of the 1980s in the UK, being certified 8x Platinum (2.4 million copies),[20] and it is still currently one of the UK's Top 100 best selling albums of all time.[17] Three singles were Top 10 hits in the UK: "Big Love" (#9), "Little Lies" (#5) and "Everywhere" (#4). A total of six singles were eventually taken from the album over a period of 15 months.[1] The album has spent 115 weeks in the Top 75 of the UK Album Chart.[21]

"Big Love", "Seven Wonders", "Little Lies", "Family Man" and "Everywhere" were all released as extended 12" remixes in most territories.[1]


Four songs from the Tango in the Night sessions that did not make the final album cut subsequently became B-sides. "You and I (Part 1)" was the B-side to the single release of "Big Love".[1] "Seven Wonders" was released with the Stevie Nicks-penned instrumental track "Book of Miracles" as the B-side. This eventually became the song "Juliet" on Nicks' 1989 solo album, The Other Side of the Mirror. McVie's "Ricky" was the B-side to "Little Lies" and Lindsey Buckingham's "Down Endless Street" was issued as the B-side to "Family Man".[1] Nicks also contributed two additional songs that failed to make the final cut. "Ooh My Love", like Juliet, eventually made its way onto Nicks' solo album, The Other Side of the Mirror, while "Joan of Arc" remains unreleased. "“I still want to record it,” she explained. “The song has its really good moments but it’s not good enough to go out as that version”.[14]

Two additional tracks, both cowritten by McVie and Buckingham, also failed to appear on the final product. "Where We Belong", which incorporates Buckingham's "folksy fingerpicking" and McVie's "brilliant pop simplicity" was written as a duet, but it never truly developed.[22] The other, "Special Kind of Love", features more polished yet hesitant production with fleshed out lyrics.[5] Both tracks subsequently appeared on the deluxe edition of Tango in the Night.[8]

An 'alternate mix' of "Isn't It Midnight" was issued on the 1992 4-disc boxset, 25 Years – The Chain and is substantially different from the version included on the album. It has different backing vocals and a noticeable lack of guitar effects which were eventually added by Buckingham in the final mix of the song.

Track listing[edit]

Side one
No. Title Writer(s) Lead vocals Length
1. "Big Love" Lindsey Buckingham Buckingham 3:37
2. "Seven Wonders" Sandy Stewart, Stevie Nicks Nicks 3:38
3. "Everywhere" Christine McVie C. McVie 3:48
4. "Caroline" Buckingham Buckingham 3:50
5. "Tango in the Night" Buckingham Buckingham 3:56
6. "Mystified" C. McVie, Buckingham C. McVie 3:08
Side two
No. Title Writer(s) Lead vocals Length
1. "Little Lies" C. McVie, Eddy Quintela C. McVie 3:40
2. "Family Man" Buckingham, Richard Dashut Buckingham 4:08
3. "Welcome to the Room... Sara" Nicks Nicks 3:37
4. "Isn't It Midnight" C. McVie, Quintela, Buckingham C. McVie 4:06
5. "When I See You Again" Nicks Nicks 3:49
6. "You and I, Part II" Buckingham, C. McVie Buckingham 2:40

Tango In The Night: 2017 Deluxe Edition[edit]

Disc One: Original Album - 2017 Remaster[edit]

  1. "Big Love"
  2. "Seven Wonders"
  3. "Everywhere"
  4. "Caroline"
  5. "Tango In The Night"
  6. "Mystified"
  7. "Little Lies"
  8. "Family Man"
  9. "Welcome To The Room… Sara"
  10. "Isn’t It Midnight"
  11. "When I See You Again"
  12. "You And I, Part II"

Disc Two: B-Sides, Outtakes, Sessions[edit]

  1. "Down Endless Street"
  2. "Special Kind Of Love" (Demo)*
  3. "Seven Wonders" (Early Version)*
  4. "Tango In The Night" (Demo)*
  5. "Mystified" (Alternate Version)*
  6. "Book Of Miracles" (Instrumental)
  7. "Where We Belong" (Demo)*
  8. "Ricky"
  9. "Juliet" (Run-Through)*
  10. "Isn’t It Midnight" (Alternate Mix)*
  11. "Ooh My Love" (Demo)*
  12. "Mystified" (Instrumental Demo)*
  13. "You And I, Part I & II" (Full Version)*
  • Previously Unissued

Disc Three: The 12” Mixes[edit]

  1. "Big Love (Extended Remix)
  2. "Big Love (House On The Hill Dub)
  3. "Big Love (Piano Dub)
  4. "Big Love (Remix/Edit)
  5. "Seven Wonders (Extended Version)
  6. "Seven Wonders (Dub)
  7. "Little Lies (Extended Version)
  8. "Little Lies (Dub)
  9. "Family Man (Extended Vocal Remix)
  10. "Family Man (I’m A Jazz Man Dub)
  11. "Family Man (Extended Guitar Version)
  12. "Family Party (Bonus Beats)
  13. "Everywhere” (12” Version)
  14. "Everywhere (Dub)

Disc Four: The Videos (DVD)[edit]

  1. "Big Love
  2. "Seven Wonders
  3. "Little Lies
  4. "Family Man
  5. "Everywhere

Plus a High-Resolution Stereo Mix of the Original Album


Fleetwood Mac


  • Lindsey Buckingham – producer, arranger, additional engineering, cover concept
  • Richard Dashut – producer, cover concept
  • Greg Droman – engineer
  • Brett-Livingstone Strong – cover painting
  • Greg Gorman – cover photo
  • Jeri Heiden – art direction



Region Certification Certified units/Sales
Australia (ARIA)[47] 4× Platinum 280,000^
Canada (Music Canada)[48] 5× Platinum 500,000^
Germany (BVMI)[49] 2× Platinum 1,000,000^
Spain (PROMUSICAE)[50] Platinum 100,000^
Switzerland (IFPI Switzerland)[51] Platinum 50,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[52] 8× Platinum 2,500,000[53]
United States (RIAA)[19] 3× Platinum 3,000,000^

^shipments figures based on certification alone


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Preceded by
Whispering Jack by John Farnham
Swedish Chart number-one album
3 June 1987
Succeeded by
Whitney by Whitney Houston
Preceded by
…Nothing Like the Sun by Sting
The Innocents by Erasure
Lovesexy by Prince
UK number one album
31 October 1987 – 13 November 1987
7 May 1988 – 20 May 1988
28 May 1988 – 3 June 1988
Succeeded by
Faith by George Michael
Lovesexy by Prince
Nite Flite by Various Artists