Tango in the Night
by David Chiu
Band photo by By Joe Bielawa, via Wikimedia Commons
After a five-year recording hiatus after Mirage, Fleetwood Mac reemerged in 1987 with Tango in the Night, which in retrospect was the band’s most slickest-sounding effort during the ’80s; the record is also notable for being to date the only studio album to feature the classic lineup of Lindsey Buckingham, Stevie Nicks, Christine McVie, Mick Fleetwood and John McVie. With its glossy production work by Buckingham and Richard Dashut indicative of most ’80s productions, Tango in the Night was a huge success, yielding major hits in “Big Love,” “Seven Wonders,” “Little Lies” and “Everywhere.” And like Tusk, Buckingham’s work in terms of the sound and production dominated Tango, adding a bit of experimentation to the instrumentation, whether it’s the drums, the multitracked vocals, or the keyboards, sonically akin to his then-recent solo record Go Insane. Aside from the aforementioned hits, there are some highlights to take note from the other album tracks: the devastating and dark title song, in which Buckingham’s fierce guitar work recalled “I’m So Afraid”; Nick’s rootsy-pop “Welcome to the Room…Sara” was a sequel of sorts to Sara; and McVie’s dramatic “Isn’t It Midnight” revealed a rocking side of the songwriter known for more for love songs and ballads. This special edition reissue of Tango of the Night features a trove of bonus tracks, including rarely heard B-sides (the excellent “Down Endless Street,” which should have perhaps been on the original album; early version of songs and demos, including a full version of “You and I (Part I and II)” (the former being the B-side of “Big Love”); there’s also 12” mixes of the album’s singles; a DVD of Tango’s promo videos; and a vinyl LP 2017 remastered of the album. Tango in the Night marked a turning point in the band’s history; shortly after the recording and before the accompanying tour , Buckingham left Fleetwood Mac; it wouldn’t be until 1997’s The Dance in which the classic five would reunite for an album. Amid the behind-the-scenes drama (sounds familiar?) that surrounded the making of Tango at the time, Fleetwood Mac managed to craft another huge hit album whose singles have since become part of their tour repertoire; it may not get the same critical attention as Rumours or Tusk, but this reissue cements Tango‘s important place in the band’s catalog.