The Second Disc

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Reissue Theory: Fleetwood Mac, “Tango in the Night”

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Tango in the NightWelcome to another installment of Reissue Theory, where we focus on great albums and the reissues they could someday see. As we welcome one of our favorite ladies in rock back to her famous band, we remember their last album altogether and the pop success it enjoyed.

One of the best pieces of classic rock news to come out of this nascent year is easily the announcement of singer/keyboardist Christine McVie returning to Fleetwood Mac. McVie retired from the band (and touring in general) after the band’s incredibly successful The Dance tour in the late 1990s, leaving singer Stevie Nicks, singer/guitarist Lindsay Buckingham, bassist (and ex-husband) John McVie and drummer Mick Fleetwood to continue as a quartet, but made two surprise appearances with the band in England last year, later expressing her desire to rejoin the band.

While no official plans have been firmed up (beyond the possibility of a full tour), it certainly provokes one to think of the phenomenal albums the quintet have created – in particular, their final set as a quintet, 1987’s Tango in the Night. One of the band’s most modern (for its time, anyway) productions was also one of its most rapturously received, going triple platinum in the U.S. (and eight times platinum in the U.K., where it was the first Mac album since the Peter Green era to chart higher in England than the States) and spinning off four Top 40 hits. For all its success, though, it’s one of two by this lineup of the band (the other being its predecessor, 1982’s Mirage) that have not been remastered or expanded by Warner Bros./Rhino.

I think you know where this is leading, of course: after the jump, we’ll be looking out for love for Tango in the Night, and imagine what an expanded reissue might look like!

The general history of Fleetwood Mac alone is one for the books. After gradually moving away from blues rock (with guitarists like Peter Green, Jeremy Spencer and Bob Welch at the helm), the addition of power couple Buckingham and Nicks (whose eponymous 1973 album is one of the greatest high-profile LPs unreleased to CD) gave the band a chart-topping album with their 1975 self-titled LP, which had hits in “Rhiannon” and “Say You Love Me.” Against all odds, the band survived sex, drugs and three relationships gone awry (Buckingham and Nicks, the McVies and Fleetwood and his wife) to create Rumours in 1977, a pop masterpiece that yielded four Top 10 hits and went 19 times platinum in the United States.

Follow-up albums Tusk (an ambitious 1979 double LP) and Mirage (1982) were commercially successful though not as rapturously received as Rumours, and the band largely went their separate ways through the decade. All but John McVie took stabs at a solo career, with Nicks having the most chart success with singles like “Edge of Seventeen,” “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around” with Tom Petty and “Stand Back.” (Buckingham had more modest successes with “Trouble,” “Go Insane” and the maniacally catchy “Holiday Road” from National Lampoon’s Vacation.)

But the past was starting to catch up with the band: Fleetwood went bankrupt while Nicks and John McVie suffered drug-related issues, with Nicks checking into the Betty Ford Clinic. Would Mirage (decidedly not a favorite of Buckingham’s) be their last effort? Fortunately, Buckingham gradually invited his old bandmates to participate in what was conceived as another solo album with producer Richard Dashut, and another Fleetwood Mac LP began to form.

EverywhereTango in the Night bears heavy elements of Buckingham’s solo work – propulsive and jittery, with occasional flashes of out-there trickery (the echoing repetition of “Caroline,” the off-kilter choruses of singles “Big Love” and “Family Man”). But there are some shining moments for the band’s leading ladies. Nicks wrote or co-wrote “Seven Wonders,” “Welcome to the Room…Sara” and “When I See You Again” and, by most accounts, committed them to tape pretty quickly (she only spent about two weeks recording with the band, otherwise busy with promoting her 1985 solo album Rock a Little and battling addiction). But it’s McVie that really gets to shine on Tango: the singer who gave us “You Make Loving Fun,” “Say You Love Me” and the beautiful Rumours deep cut “Songbird” is in rare form, writing or co-writing nearly half the record, including major singles “Everywhere” and “Little Lies,” plus forgotten single “Isn’t It Midnight” and album side “Mystified.”

Shortly after the release of the album, Buckingham succumbed to the pressure of what he felt was having to steer the band, and departed. The band continued as a sextet, adding singer/songwriter/guitarists Rick Vito and Billy Burnette and chasing a more adult contemporary sound on Behind the Mask (1990) and Time (1995), the latter of which saw Nicks and Vito depart, replaced by Bekka Bramlett (daughter of Bonnie) and Dave Mason of Traffic. (The classic lineup, sans Christine McVie, have recorded one album, Say You Will (2003) and a 2013 EP.)

While reissues of Fleetwood MacRumours and Tusk were heavy on outtake material, a healthy deluxe version of Tango in the Night could be assembled from released material. Four non-LP B-sides turned up during the singles period for the album, and five dance mixes were commissioned from major remixers. (A new mix of “Isn’t It Midnight” would surface on a box set in 1992.) These tracks, combined with a few possible things in the vault, give us the bonus disc we present to you as part of this Reissue Theory post.

Tango in the Night: Expanded Edition (Warner Bros./Rhino)

Disc 1: Original LP (released as Warner Bros. 25471, 1987)

  1. Big Love
  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

Disc 2: Bonus material

  1. You and I, Part I (B-side to “Big Love” – Warner Bros. 28398, 1987)
  2. Book of Miracles (Instrumental) (B-side to “Seven Wonders” – Warner Bros. 28317, 1987)
  3. Ricky (B-side to “Little Lies” – Warner Bros. 28291, 1987)
  4. Down Endless Street (B-side to “Family Man” – Warner Bros. 28114, 1987)
  5. Big Love (Arthur Baker Extended Remix) (12″ A-side – Warner Bros. 20683, 1987)
  6. Seven Wonders (Jellybean Extended Remix) (12″ A-side – Warner Bros. 20746, 1987)
  7. Little Lies (Jellybean Extended Remix) (12″ A-side – Warner Bros. 20761, 1987)
  8. Family Man (Arthur Baker Extended Guitar Version) (12″ A-side – Warner Bros. 20842, 1987)
  9. Everywhere (Jellybean Extended Version) (U.K. 12″ A-side – Warner Bros. W 8143-T, 1987)
  10. Isn’t It Midnight (Alternate Mix) (from 25 Years: The Chain box set – Warner Bros. 45129, 1992)
  11. Big Love (Buckingham/Nicks Vocal) – the 12″ mixes indicate that Stevie recorded at least some vocals for this song; the fullest possible version of that would be cool to hear
  12. Joan of Arc (Outtake)
  13. Special Kind of Love (Demo/Outtake)

Fleetwood Mac 1987


What would you say about a reissue of Tango in the Night? Let us know below!

Written by Mike Duquette

January 14, 2014 at 11:12

Posted in Features, Fleetwood Mac, Reissues

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26 Responses

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  1. I’d certainly buy a deluxe ‘Tango In The Night’ if one surfaced, but then, I tend to buy most Mac-related releases. I’d really like to see ‘Bare Trees’, ‘Penguin’ and ‘Mystery To Me’ get expanded – those albums are all too often overlooked.


    January 14, 2014 at 12:02

  2. Bugger the album. All I want is a US 12″ of Big Love featuring the Arthur Baker Extended Remix, with the exclusive US dub mixes on the B-side.


    January 14, 2014 at 12:45

    • Get yourself over to a blog called Burning The Ground. Paul the owner has ripped all the Tango 12″ singles and the sound quality is brilliant.


      January 14, 2014 at 14:07

      • I usually don’t explicitly advocate “illegal” downloads – and the second they’re released officially, I replace ’em with the real deal – but Burning the Ground is an *essential* resource if you dig ’80s dance as much as I do. So many mixes that have just fallen through the cracks are there in amazing quality (specifically thinking of “Everybody Wants to Run the World” for the Sport Aid charity).

        Mike Duquette

        January 14, 2014 at 19:47

      • Thanx for BTG info. I loathe downloads however!


        January 15, 2014 at 02:11

      • Well, there are 14 copies of the 12″ for sale on discogs, so fill yer boots!


        January 16, 2014 at 03:21

  3. When I saw the album cover, I thought, “Wow, it’s FINALLY being reissued!”

    It really is a “mirage”.

    Maybe one day…


    January 14, 2014 at 12:58

  4. Didn’t the band release a VHS of a concert from the tour? It would be nice to have that on a DVD/BluRay (despite the absence of Buckingham.) Also, the DVD/BluRay could be padded with all the promo videos from the album. In addition, of any of this lineup’s albums, this is the one that is really screaming out for a 5.1 mix. Buckingham layered the recordings with lots of cool little passages that would work well in surround sound. So throw a BluRay onto those two discs and this would be an awesome (and long overdue!) reissue. 1987 was a great year. It also gave us Prince’s Sign O’ the Times, Sting’s Nothing Like the Sun, Roger Waters’ Radio KAOS and Crowded House’s debut (ok that last one came out in ’86 but it didn’t get noticed until ’87.) All four of those could really use a deluxe treatment as well.


    January 14, 2014 at 13:47

  5. The Album is already in works to be re-realesead this year, plus two other albums, one for sure is MIRAGE. Both are 2 disc set. The track list is uncertain yet.


    January 14, 2014 at 15:21

    • Your lips to Lindsey’s ear. gemo 🙂


      January 14, 2014 at 18:48

      • Amen to that! I thought I’d read that Rhino had at one point alluded to plans for the entire catalogue from 1975-1995, up to “Time,” when they announced the initial reissues. I was a little young to be receiving press releases at the time, though 🙂

        Mike Duquette

        January 14, 2014 at 19:45

    • Oh, cool… If they put “Cool Water” on it, I’ll probably buy it. Thanks!


      January 14, 2014 at 20:10

  6. “…it certainly provokes one to think of the phenomenal albums the quintet have created – in particular, their final set as a quintet, 1987′s Tango in the Night. ”

    Can’t say I’m often provoked to think of this album. Not one of my favorites. It certainly pales compared to the 1975 album, Rumours, or Tusk.

    But I would like a deluxe Mirage reissued. I wasn’t terribly fond of that album (apart from its two big MTV hits) either, but I’d like to see the rare, excellent B-side “Cool Water” finally get issued on CD.

    A shame that it was never included on any compliations, including the boxed set The Chain, the way “Silver Springs” has (deservedly) been frequently issued over the years.


    January 14, 2014 at 19:49

    • Isn’t there an ongoing discussion about “Silver Springs” and the mix they’ve used on recent remasters? I seem to recall a discussion somewhere noting it was not the same as what originally appeared on 45.

      Mike Duquette

      January 14, 2014 at 19:51

      • You’re right about that… I have the original 45 mix (which was included on The Chain), and then there’s the mix that’s been used lately. The latter version is about 20 seconds longer, and Stevie’s vocals at the end are much more prominent. That version can be found on various reissues of Rumours.


        January 14, 2014 at 20:21

  7. Doing an 18 hour FM thon last summer in Cleveland, we received word that does match the rumor (pun intended) regarding the re-issue of Mirage and Tango. Mick was supposedly saying these were in the pipe during his (exclu$ive) meet-n-greets before the shows.

    As for Tango coming out of one of Lindsey’s solo work, I believe that to a point. Christine’s cover of “Can’t Help Falling In Love” from the soundtrack to the film “A Fine Mess” was said to be the point where she got (Elvis fan) Lindsey into produce/play… then Mick, Mick brought in John…. “Hey maybe we should make a new album”…… you get the idea. I think that track would also be a fine bonus item, if it really was part of the story. (Of course, Stevie only put in a few weeks on the album, so she wasn’t on the track etc….)

    Along the same lines, a great Etta James cover “Roll With Me Henry” was recorded by Christine McVie with Billy Burnette and the FM’90 crew – that would make a great bonus track for a BEHIND THE MASK reissue… one can dream.

    “Cool Water” should most certainly be included on the reissue of MIRAGE, perhaps also with a bonus DVD of the hour-long FLEETWOOD MAC LIVE film from that time (only ever on VHS I think).


    Todd R.

    January 14, 2014 at 22:08

    • Oh, and why can’t we have an FM Video collection on DVD? Come on!!!!

      Todd R.

      January 14, 2014 at 22:11

  8. I’m reading lots of great additional suggestions here, the best parts being the DVD live & music vid combos for both “Tango” and “Mirage.” CD/ DVD has seemed to have worked very well for those expanded ABBA reissues. Ditto on “Cool Water”…loved it! I hope Rhino/ Warner makes both of these reissues happen!

    Charles Klaus

    January 14, 2014 at 23:33

  9. Deluxe Tango would be delicious….but what I’m jazzed about is the return of Christine!! For me, is is the SOUL of Fleetwood Mac. Not to mention my crush for her rages on! Yeah.

    Silver Spring 45 mix is superior, as well.

    Sean Anglum

    January 15, 2014 at 10:43

  10. Add me to the growing chorus of those eagerly awaiting a “Tango” reissue. That was back in the days of the CASSETTE Walkman… and I had that poor thing running “Tango” almost non-stop hiking all over my college campus. Can’t remember if buying it on CD was just an upgrade or if it was because I’d worn out the tape! While I’m posting I’ll also add another positive vote for the Burning the Ground website. (Yay for DJPaul!)


    January 17, 2014 at 23:45

  11. About time this and Mirage were remastered! By the way, there is no Buckingham /Nicks version of Big Love. Stevie recorded a few additional vocals for the 12″ versions of most of Tango’s singles, that’s all.


    January 19, 2014 at 07:44

  12. Tango’s a fine album (love “Big Love” and especially the precious “Mystified”) but like one of the other commenters, what I wanna see is some reissue love for the Bob Welch era albums. Irritates the hell out of me that these aren’t at least available on Spotify.

    Johnny Bacardi

    January 20, 2014 at 07:15

  13. Yes! I would love to see Tango (along with Mirage) FINALLY get re-released and include bonus material!

    Mark B

    January 20, 2014 at 10:00

  14. And how about ‘Buckingham Nicks’ being made available?


    March 30, 2014 at 20:20

  15. My sister received our tickets for the 2/12/15 show in Milwaukee…pinching ourselves because neither of us has ever seen the Mac live! Naturally, this article caught my attention, and I’d really go for CD/DVD packages for both “Mirage” and “Tango.” Ditto on “Cool Water,” can’t believe it was skipped on “The Chain.”

    Charles Klaus

    November 10, 2014 at 00:59

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