Great Rock Albums of 1987: Fleetwood Mac- Tango in the Night

Yet another album I didn’t take much notice of back in 1987 because I was too busy chasing the metal was Fleetwood Mac’s “Tango in the Night.” Previous albums “Rumours” and “Tusk” still got listens from me at the time and to a lesser extent so did “Mirage,” but I paid little attention to this one. Was I a fool? Possibly, but here’s the thing. When I listened to the album again, I immediately recognized the singles, at least the four big ones, “Big Daddy,” “Seven Wonders,” “Everywhere” and “Little Lies. So, this album must have had some sort of hidden impact on me.

While Gene Simmons might have once stated that KISS was a band where everyone contributed, (by 1987, that was becoming less and less the case for them), that was definitely the case for Fleetwood Mac. Take the four singles as an example. Lindsey Buckingham, Stevie Nicks and Christine McVie each have a lead vocal credit on one of them, Christine on two. On “Everywhere,” her lovely singing voice makes it a very pretty song but I want to mention “Little Lies.” What I like about this track is that while Christine sings the main vocal, Stevie Nick’s backing vocal on it is what helps make this song as good as it is. Now I’m sort of baffled why these two ladies didn’t sing more songs together on Fleetwood Mac albums. Jokes aside about Stevie Nicks singing like a sheep, her vocals on “Seven Wonders” is excellent, no further debate needed.

As for Lindsey Buckingham, I have always considered him a great singer. His vocals on “Big Daddy” prove it, though the grunting at the end sort of puts me off it. However, it’s not his vocals I am interested in. On posts about previous Mac albums, I have stated that Mr. Buckingham doesn’t get the respect as a guitarist that he truly deserves. On that single, while the grunting puts me off a little, it’s the guitar solo which saves it. But it’s the hidden gem on the album where he totally wails on the guitar. That happens to be the title track. Since “Rumours,” I have stated that Fleetwood Mac hadn’t put out a truly rocking track since “Go Your Own Way.” “Tango in the Night” comes the closest. The track doesn’t totally get rocking until the middle but when those power chords come, it is an awakening experience. Then Lindsey rips his best guitar solo since that famous rocker from “Rumours.” Let’s have more of this I say.

Unfortunately, the rest of the album doesn’t quite live up to the rest. I won’t call the other tracks filler, in fact, most of them are okay, they just don’t float my boat like the others but that’s me. If any of you voice your preference for one of those tracks, I won’t debate you on it. However, I won’t go out on a downer. I’ve sung the praises of Christine, Stevie and Lindsey, now it’s time to pay homage to a phenomenal rhythm section. John McVie’s bass can be heard very clearly on many of the tracks. Okay, he doesn’t play a bass line like he did on “The Chain,” but he is a brilliant bassist. Some goes for Mick, he doesn’t go nuts with drum rolls but he doesn’t have to because he doesn’t miss a beat. He never did on any Fleetwood Mac albums. So, in “Tango in the Night,” we get an album with some good material, definitely radio friendly, played by five artists who are all very talented and they bring that talent together so well.

Track Listing:

  1. Big Daddy
  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
FleFleetwood Maco

Lindsey Buckingham- guitar, keyboards, vocals

Stevie Nicks- vocals

Christine McVie- keyboards, synthesizers, vocals

John McVie- bass

Mick Fleetwood- drums, percussion

“Tango in the Night” would be the final album to feature Fleetwood Mac’s most successful lineup as Lindsey Buckingham would depart soon after it was recorded. At least it couldn’t be said that with this album, they didn’t go out with a bang.

Next post: Richard Marx

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11 Responses to “Great Rock Albums of 1987: Fleetwood Mac- Tango in the Night”

  1. Didn’t listen to them as I was too cool for Fleetwood Mac at the time. But now I am like them. This was a decent one. Can’t wait for your thoughts on Richard Marx.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I think the main problem is the two Nicks tracks that aren’t ‘Seven Wonders’ – she was distracted by her solo career and struggling with addiction. Take those away and it’s a pretty good record.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Little Lies was all over the charts in Australia so this album did good business here. I’m gonna call it up on Spotify

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I see this album listed everywhere as a fave. I’m more of a Hits set guy with them, these days, though I suppose we all like Rumours. And I use their 1971 Best Of as backing tracks for guitar practice, great blues, that early stuff. Anyway, I probably haven’t heard this all the way through but I’d know the singles.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I love that album! Lots of great songs, “Big Love,” “Everywhere,” “Tell Me Lies (my favorite song on the album!). ❤

    Liked by 1 person

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