It was a damned difficult birth: What would follow "Rumours", the highly acclaimed 1977 Grammy-decorated album sold in astronomical numbers? Fleetwood Mac gave the answer two years later with the double LP "Tusk" - commercially not as successful as its predecessor, it offered a series of experimental approaches, which mainly sprang from Lindsey Buckingham's wealth of musical ideas.
It was a difficult phase in which the group found itself after the mega success of "Rumours". The recordings for the follow-up LP were clouded. Privately, it crunched in many corners. Mick Fleetwood's marriage had failed, he found the closeness to Stevie Nicks, which he then gave up for her friend Sara. Lindsey Buckingham, on the other hand, was dissatisfied with his artistic situation and, fascinated by the current punk and new wave scene, sought fulfillment outside the pop mainstream. He had matured with Nicks from guitarist to the actual musical head of the group and complained bitterly to Fleetwood: "It seems to me as if I am sacrificing too much for the band. I'm giving it all away.
If I have a great idea, I put it in a song by Stevie, there's nothing left for me." This changed with the recently re-released "Tusk" (review in this issue): Buckingham recorded some songs at home with Fleetwood's blessing, but not to the delight of John and Christine McVie, for example playing the drum sound he wanted on a Kleenex box, which Fleetwood then refined in the studio. The result of this way of working: Nine out of twenty "Tusk" titles were written by Buckingham - in the previous album it was just three out of eleven.
Apropos studio: After "Rumours" the group decided never again to go on a pilgrimage from studio to studio looking for suitable recording possibilities. Fleetwood's suggestion to buy his own "and set it up according to our sound engineers' specifications" was rejected as too expensive. Instead, Mac spent $1.4 million to customize a recording room in Los Angeles Village Recorder Studio. Fleetwood: "The sound walls were the best in the world, the control room was equipped with all comforts, the foyer had English beer on tap. No technical finesse was too expensive for us."