Tango in the Night

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Tango in the Night
Fleetwood Mac - Tango in the Night.png
Studio album by Fleetwood Mac
Released 13 April 1987
Recorded November 1985 – March 1987
Genre
Length 44:28
Label Warner Bros.
Producer
Fleetwood Mac chronology
Mirage
(1982)Mirage1982
Tango in the Night
(1987)
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
SourceRating
AllMusic3.5/5 stars[2]
Blender4/5 stars[3]
Chicago Sun-Times3/4 stars[4]
The Guardian4/5 stars[5]
Los Angeles Times4/4 stars[6]
Mojo4/5 stars[7]
Pitchfork8.7/10[8]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide2.5/5 stars[9]
The Village VoiceB+[10]

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 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.[11]

History[edit]

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.[12] 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 enlisted to supply the instrumentation. Greg Droman, a relatively new producer at the time, was also brought in to participate. He had recently relocated to Los Angeles at the suggestion of Joe Walsh. Dashut and Droman bumped into each other at a recording studio owned by Captain & Tennille, and "just hit it off". Just a few weeks later, Droman worked with Buckingham on "Time Bomb Town" for the Back to the Future film soundtrack. Droman was called once again to engineer a Buckingham solo album, which morphed into a Fleetwood Mac album.[13]

Although the album took almost 18 months to complete, Stevie Nicks spent a total of only two weeks in the studio with the band, as she was 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 tour, for them to work on in her absence. "Welcome to the Room... Sara" was inspired by her 30-day stay at the Betty Ford Center to overcome cocaine addiction in October 1986 (Nicks used the pseudonym "Sara Anderson" when she checked into the facility).[14][15][16]

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 didn’t go very often." With vocal sessions taking place in Buckingham's master bedroom, Nicks would ask for brandy, drink a few shots, and run through "four or five songs" intoxicated. Because of this, Buckingham had to remove most of Nicks' vocals. As a result, she is almost entirely absent on most of Buckingham and McVie's tracks.[17] Buckingham recorded some of the vocals himself using a Fairlight, an early sampling synthesizer.[18] For example, on "When I See You Again", he created Nicks's vocal by re-assembling separately recorded takes: "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 remainder of the song is sung by Buckingham.[8] "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."[19]

Tango in the Night is the final studio album released by the 'classic' line-up of Buckingham, Nicks, Christine McVie, John McVie, and Fleetwood. This line-up has since, however, reconvened for live performances.

With pressure on Buckingham to keep the project focused and moving forward, things came to a head shortly after the release of Tango in the Night. At a band meeting at Christine McVie's house to discuss the accompanying tour, he announced his departure. "The album was well received," noted Fleetwood. "Somewhat sadly, the kudos of that was never really fully attributed to Lindsey because he wasn't present… He was coerced and persuaded to do that album – mainly by me. And, to his credit, he put aside everything that he'd dreamt of doing, including making his own album, for Fleetwood Mac; but then realised that he'd made a mistake... Lindsey was not being heard. We just didn't get it."[20]

Following Buckingham's sudden departure, guitarists Rick Vito and Billy Burnette were hired to replace him on the subsequent tour[19] and remained as full members of the band until the 1990s.

Commercial performance[edit]

Tango in the Night is the band's second biggest selling studio album[21] 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.[22]

The album was a success in the United States, where it peaked at No. 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 3× Platinum in October 2000 for selling 3 million copies in the United States.[23] Four singles from the album reached the Billboard Top 20: "Big Love" (No. 5), "Little Lies" (No. 4), "Everywhere" (No. 14) and "Seven Wonders" (No. 19).[1] The album was particularly successful in the UK where it reached No. 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 8× Platinum (2.4 million copies),[24] and it is still currently one of the UK's Top 100 best selling albums of all time.[21] Three singles were Top 10 hits in the UK: "Big Love" (No. 9), "Little Lies" (No. 5) and "Everywhere" (No. 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 Albums Chart.[25]

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

Outtakes[edit]

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.”[17]

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.[26] The other, "Special Kind of Love", features more polished yet hesitant production with fleshed out lyrics.[8] Both tracks subsequently appeared on the deluxe edition of Tango in the Night.[11]

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]

Tango in the Night  – Standard edition (1987)
Side one
No.TitleWriter(s)Lead vocalistLength
1."Big Love"Lindsey BuckinghamBuckingham3:37
2."Seven Wonders"Nicks3:38
3."Everywhere"Christine McVieC. McVie3:48
4."Caroline"BuckinghamBuckingham3:50
5."Tango in the Night"BuckinghamBuckingham3:56
6."Mystified"
  • C. McVie
  • Buckingham
C. McVie3:08
Side two
No.TitleWriter(s)Lead vocalistLength
1."Little Lies"
  • C. McVie
  • Eddy Quintela
C. McVie3:40
2."Family Man"
Buckingham4:08
3."Welcome to the Room... Sara"NicksNicks3:37
4."Isn't It Midnight"
  • C. McVie
  • Quintela
  • Buckingham
C. McVie4:06
5."When I See You Again"NicksNicks with Buckingham3:49
6."You and I, Part II"
  • Buckingham
  • C. McVie
Buckingham2:40

Personnel[edit]

Fleetwood Mac

Production

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

Charts[edit]

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/Sales
Canada (Music Canada)[51] 5× Platinum 500,000^
Germany (BVMI)[52] 2× Platinum 1,000,000^
Spain (PROMUSICAE)[53] Platinum 100,000^
Switzerland (IFPI Switzerland)[54] Platinum 50,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[55] 8× Platinum 2,500,000[56]
United States (RIAA)[23] 3× Platinum 3,000,000^

^shipments figures based on certification alone

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l The Great Rock Discography. 6th Edition. Martin C. Strong. Page 378. ISBN 1-84195-312-1
  2. ^ Henderson, Alex. "Tango in the Night – Fleetwood Mac". AllMusic. Retrieved 8 December 2017. 
  3. ^ Collis, Clark. "Fleetwood Mac: Tango in the Night". Blender. Archived from the original on 19 October 2006. Retrieved 9 December 2017. 
  4. ^ McLeese, Don (30 April 1987). "Fleetwood Mac: 'Tango in the Night' (Warner Bros.)". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved 8 December 2017. (Subscription required (help)). 
  5. ^ Petridis, Alexis (23 March 2017). "Fleetwood Mac: Tango in the Night review – timely reissue coasts from gloss to gloom". The Guardian. Retrieved 8 December 2017. 
  6. ^ Hochman, Steve (12 April 1987). "Fleetwood Mac Restored". Los Angeles Times. 
  7. ^ Male, Andrew (June 2017). "Beyond Perfect". Mojo (283): 41. 
  8. ^ a b c Nelson, Brad (11 March 2017). "Fleetwood Mac: Tango in the Night". Pitchfork. Retrieved 8 December 2017. 
  9. ^ Coleman, Mark; Kemp, Mark (2004). "Fleetwood Mac". In Brackett, Nathan; Hoard, Christian. The New Rolling Stone Album Guide (4th ed.). Simon & Schuster. pp. 303–04. ISBN 0-7432-0169-8. 
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  11. ^ a b Sinclair, Paul. "Fleetwood Mac / Tango in the Night super deluxe edition confirmed". Super Deluxe Edition. Retrieved April 4, 2017. 
  12. ^ Evans, Mike (2011). Fleetwood Mac: The Definitive History. 397 Park Avenue South, New York, NY 10016: Sterling. p. 209. ISBN 978-1-4027-8630-3. 
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