Monday, January 24, 2022

"As Long As You Follow" by Fleetwood Mac

Song#:  3735
Date:  12/03/1988
Debut:  81
Peak:  43
Weeks:  14
Genre:  Soft Rock

Pop Bits:  Following the Mac's 1987 triple-platinum LP Tango in the Night, singer/songwriter Lindsey Buckingham left the band in an acrimonious fashion. Prior to him leaving, the band had already signed contracts for a tour, so the balance of the Mac hired in Billy Burnette to take on Buckingham's spot along with additional guitarist Rick Vito. With the new lineup, the band went out on tour in the fall of '87. They would finish up in the summer of '88. To keep the band's momentum going following the tour and the success of Tango in the Night, it was decided that a hits compilation would be assembled and released. Greatest Hits would cover the Buckingham/Nicks era between 1975's Fleetwood Mac and Tango in the Night. It would include fourteen chart hits along with two new tracks recorded by the new lineup. One of the new tunes, the Christine McVie/Eddy Quintela-penned "As Long As You Follow" would be issued out as a single. It would do very well at AC reaching #1 while also getting to #15 Rock. Over at Pop, the song fizzled before it could reach the Top 40. Despite the lackluster result of the single on the Pop chart, the album was able to reach #3 and quickly go platinum. While the other new track on the LP, the Stevie Nicks-penned "No Questions Asked," would not be pushed out as a single, it garnered enough airplay to reach #37 on the Rock chart. As with many hit compilations by superstar artists, the Mac's Greatest Hits continued to consistently sell over the years and in 2000 it was certified for sales of over 8 million copies making the band's second biggest selling LP after their 1977 classic mega hit Rumours, which has racked up over 20 million in sales.

ReduxReview:  This is a lovely tune from McVie, but I do think it is missing that magic touch that Lindsey Buckingham provided as a producer. As pretty as the song was, it had an older soft rock sound that just wasn't quite fitting in with the other hits of the day. It still had a good Mac sound to it and that seemed to resonate with long-time fans who made it a hit at AC. However, it just wasn't a tune that was going to cut through the rap, freestyle, and glam rock hits of the day on the Pop chart. The Mac would release two pretty awful studio albums before reuniting for the live LP The Dance, which was okay. As of this posting date their last studio LP was 2003's Say You Will, which I enjoyed. But in general, the true prime days of the Buckingham/Nicks era ended with Tango in the Night.

ReduxRating:  6/10

Trivia:  The new lineup of the band would record one album together. In 1990, they would issue out Behind the Mask. Its first single, "Save Me," another McVie/Quintela composition, would do fine at AC (#6) and Rock (#3), but it could only reach #33 at Pop. Further singles failed to chart at Pop and that left the album peaking at #18 and only going gold. It was the band's worst showing on the chart since the 1974 pre-Buckingham/Nicks LP Heroes Are Hard to Find. The band's complicated history continued to be complicated over the years. Stevie Nicks would leave, but then both Nicks and Buckingham would return for a performance in 1997, which was recorded and the subsequent live album The Dance would result. It would hit #1 and sell over 5 million copies. Then Christine McVie would leave the band. She would return in 2014, but then Buckingham would be "dismissed" from the band in 2018. The last time the band recorded a studio album was in 2003 with Say You Will. That was at a time when Buckingham and Nicks were heading up the band. It would be a #3 gold seller. Both Buckingham and Nicks would release a few solo albums over the years while Buckingham and McVie would release an album together in 2017 that got to #17 (and was very good).


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