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Fleetwood Mac – Dancing Again (Masquerade MQ014/015)

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Dancing Again (Masquerade MQ014/015)

Irvine Meadows, Irvine, CA – October 17th, 1997

Disc 1 (45:46):  The Chain, Dreams, Gold Dust Woman, I’m So Afraid, Temporary One, Bleed To Love Her, Gypsy, Big Love, Landslide

Disc 2 (55:02):  Say You Love Me, You Make Loving Fun, Stand Back, Oh Daddy, Rhiannon, Second Hand News, Silver Springs, Tusk, Go Your Own Way, Don’t Stop.  Bonus tracks, The 40th Grammy Awards, Radio City Music Hall, New York, NY - February 25th, 1998:  Rhiannon, Go Your Own Way, Don’t Stop

Fleetwood Mac’s history reaches almost fifty years, dating to the early sixties, and they’ve experienced perhaps the most member changes and permutations in attitude and aesthetics than another other major pop group.  The Rumours outfit were the most successful and yet fragmented in the early to mid nineties.  Except for a one-off reunion for President Bill Clinton’s Inauguration Ball in 1993, only the faithful rhythm section held the band together through more lineup changes, unsuccessful albums and poorly attended tours.     

When the Rumours lineup came together again in 1997 it lead to the live album The Dance, a special on VH1, and a two and a half tour from September to November.

They played three shows at Irvine Meadows in Irvine, California and one of them was taped by Westwood One.  It was aired the week of May 18th, 1998 as “Summer Kickoff Concert Special” in syndication.  Eight songs, “Everywhere,”  ”Go Insane,” “Sweet Girl,” “My Little Demon,” “Not That Funny,” “Silver Springs,” “Songbird” and “The Farmer’s Daughter” were edited out of the broadcast for time considerations and to make sure the broadcast presented the band’s biggest hits.  

Sources differ regarding the source of the show.  Some claim it’s the October 18th show and others say it’s actually from San Francisco.  But the best source, the Fleetwood Mac Legacy website, definitively states this is the first of the three Irvine shows. 

The sound quality is excellent.  There is a perfect mix in the instruments and between band and audience.  No DJ commentary is present in the recording which means this is a syndication disc mailed to the radio stations in the network (each station would add their own breaks and stations ID’s).  

The show opens with three songs from Rumours.  ”The Chain” sounds slower and more serious and it’s followed by two Stevie Nicks songs “Dreams” and “Gold Dust Woman.”  Nick’s voice has aged in a good way, lending more of an edgy gravitas to the song that previous years.  

After an eight minute long version of “I’m So Afraid” featuring a wild Lindsey Buckingham guitar solo, they play the first of two new songs that were included on The Dance.  ”Temporary One” is a fast tempo rocking tune written by Christine McVie.  The chorus is very catchy and Buckingham includes a happy sounding break in the middle.  

Buckingham tells the audience how they got together again by working on “Bleed To Love Her.”  Another version would be recorded in studio and released in 2003 on Say You Will

“Gypsy” is the only song from 1982′s Mirage in the broadcast.  Buckingham speaks about leaving the band in 1987 after Tango In The Night and how he rearranged “Big Love” to reflect the change and the cycles.  He performs the Tango song in the same stripped down acoustic version he introduced in 1993 on a solo tour.  The first disc ends with “Landslide” which Stevie dedicates to Don and the entire audience.  

Christine McVie jokes that they dragged “Say You Love Me” out of Noah’s ark.  Buckingham plays a quick introduction on banjo before the song starts.  They follow with “You Make Loving Fun,” another McVie song.  

They follow with “Stand Back” from Nick’s 1983 solo album The Wild Heart.  Drenched in synthesizers over a disco beat, it is the most dated of all the material in the show and sticks out like a sore thumb.  It’s still a lot of fun though.  ”Rhiannon” starts off as a duet between Stevie and Christine on piano, singing a bit until the entire band come in for the rest of the tune.  

The show ends with “Tusk,” with canned horns, “Go Your Own Way” and “Don’t Stop.”

As filler, the label includes a recording of their set at the the 40th Grammy Awards in Radio City Music Hall in New York on February 25th, 1998.  They were nominated in three categories:  Best Pop Performance By a Duo or Group with Vocal for “Silver Springs” on The Dance, Best Pop Album for The Dance, and Best Rock Performance By a Duo or Group with Vocal for “The Chain” on The Dance (the didn’t win).

The short medley starts off with the Stevie singing the beginning of “Rhiannon” with Christine accompanying her on piano, lasting a minute and a half.  Mick counts in for the rest of the band to enter with a quick two minute version of “Go Your Own Way.”  Finally they end with two minutes of “Don’t Stop.”  It’s not essential but is a fun five and a half minute bonus.  

Dancing Again is pressed by the Japanese Masquerade label and packaged in a double slimline jewel case.  It’s a good document to have because of the sound quality.  

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If you liked this review, buy me a cup of joe. (Suggested: $3 a shot or $7.5 for a double)

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