Sunday, April 11, 2021

"Family Man" by Fleetwood Mac

Song#:  3460
Date:  04/02/1988
Debut:  95
Peak:  90
Weeks:  4
Genre:  Soft Rock

Pop Bits:  By this point in time, the Mac's 1987 album Tango in the Night had spawned four Pop Top 20 hits. The fourth one to chart was the #14 Christine McVie led "Everywhere," which topped the AC chart. Since the band seemed to be on a roll, the label decided to push out this fifth single. It probably wasn't the best idea especially since Lindsey Buckingham, who led this track, had already left the band (see below). Therefore, it made promoting the single very difficult and that showed with the song's month-long stay at the bottom of the Pop chart. It did a little better at AC getting to #23. The tune would wrap up singles from the album, but one other album track, "Isn't It Midnight," would earn enough airplay to reach #14 on the Rock chart.

ReduxReview:  There was absolutely no reason to release this single. I think it was a half-hearted effort by the label to eke out some extra profit from the album and it didn't work. I liked the song as an album track and enjoyed Buckingham's flamenco guitar solo, but it was not a good single candidate. While the previous four singles had somewhat of a Fleetwood Mac feel, this one definitely sounded like a Buckingham solo effort. The production techniques were a natural extension from his solo album Go Insane and no other Mac member helped with the vocals. It was an oddball track that worked fine on the album, but it was forgettable as a single.

ReduxRating:  4/10

Trivia:  The recording of Tango in the Night was tumultuous with Lindsey Buckingham basically turning what was to be a solo album into a Mac project. He was unhappy most of the time and the near lack of participation by Stevie Nicks didn't help. Still, the album was a hit and the band had signed up to do a tour set to start in September of '87. However, Buckingham was not keen on doing the tour and was ready to go back to his solo career. In early August of '87, the band got together to discuss everything. The meeting didn't go well. Accounts of what happened at the meeting vary, but in the end Buckingham left the band. Since Mac had contracts in place for the tour, they had to go out regardless of Buckingham's departure. They hired on two guitarists to help out, Billy Burnette and Rick Vito. Without Buckingham on board, the set list for the tour was altered to omit Mac songs highly associated with Buckingham such as the #5 hit from Tango in the Night "Big Love." The tour was successful and a VHS tape based on two of their shows was assembled and released. Over the years band members would come and go with Stevie Nicks, Christine McVie, and Lindsey Buckingham returning and exiting at various times. While the classic Rumours era lineup of the band would get together and tour at certain points (basically, when they got along), they would never record an album together again. The Mac would release three studio albums after Tango in the Night. One without Buckingham, one without Buckingham and Nicks, and one without McVie. However, during one of their full reformations, the band did issue out the 1997 live album The Dance. It would be a big hit reaching #1 and selling over five million copies. As of this posting date, the current iteration of the band included everyone except McVie.


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