Thursday, March 19, 2020

"Big Love" by Fleetwood Mac

Top 10 Alert!
Song#:  3077
Date:  03/28/1987
Debut:  52
Peak:  5
Weeks:  16
Genre:  Rock

Pop Bits:  The last time Fleetwood Mac was on the Pop chart was 1982, the year they released their LP Mirage. A hiatus would follow that saw most band members pursuing solo projects. The break lasted so long that Stevie Nicks would record two solo discs. Lindsey Buckingham had released his second solo effort in 1984 and the following year was back in the studio working on more solo material including a song for the soundtrack to the hit film Back to the Future. Around the same time the rest of the Mac started to reconvene and it wasn't long before work began on a new Mac album. Buckingham tried to juggle recording a solo disc and a Mac album at the same time, but eventually he had to let the solo work go in order to concentrate on creating Mac's new album, Tango in the Night. The sessions lasted a grueling eighteen months and it all took a toll on the band. When the LP was finally finished, this first single was issued out. It became a multi-chart hit reaching #2 Rock, #5 Pop, #7 Dance, and #23 AC. The album would be their fifth Top 10 reaching #7.

ReduxReview:  I remember when this song came out and how strange and almost exotic it was. I loved the rolling drums, the big chorus, and the build up to the end. At the time it was quite different and sounded technologically advanced. It put Fleetwood Mac in the future. It certainly wasn't "Go Your Own Way" or "Don't Stop." Apparently this was originally meant for Buckingham's solo disc and it certainly sounds like his own effort rather than one by the band. It would have been interesting to see how this single would have done if recorded and released as a Buckingham solo track. Would it have gone Top 10?  I'd like to think so, but doing it under the Fleetwood Mac name where they are returning from a six-year absence certainly helped it along. I thought it was a really cool track and it prompted me to buy the album. It is still a great track although it doesn't sound quite as adventurous now as it did at the time.

ReduxRating:  8/10

Trivia:  Lindsey Buckingham was a fan of new recording technology and he put it to good use on his Go Insane solo album and then again with Tango in the Night. "Big Love" was certainly a song that pushed Fleetwood Mac into the future. During sections of the song, "uh/ah" vocal grunts are heard by what sounded like a male with a female answering. Many folks thought the female response voice belonged to Stevie Nicks, yet it wasn't. Both voices were actually Buckingham. Using studio trickery, Buckingham altered his voice to make it sound like a female. So he was just really "uh/ah"-ing himself.


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