Fleetwood Mac-Mirage 1982
After two records about cheating on each other, it was inevitable that Stevie Nicks, Lindsey Buckingham, Christine and John McVie, and Mick Fleetwood would begin to cheat on Fleetwood Mac. They were traveling in separate limos by the end of the bad-tempered Tusk tour, where Buckingham had kicked Nicks onstage, and they’d circled Europe on Hitler’s old train. “Looks like the end of the line,” the New York Post warned in March 1981, as solo careers started to proliferate. Fleetwood released The Visitor in June. Where Tusk had taken a year to record, Nicks’ debut album, Bella Donna, was nailed in a few days, released in July, and certified Platinum by October—just as Buckingham’s Law and Order limped to No. 32. Her blousy mystique was the antithesis of his uptight theme, and to dent his fragile ego further, it had been validated by serious men: collaborators Tom Petty, Don Henley, and producer Jimmy Iovine, who she was now dating. According to Buckingham’s then-girlfriend, Carol Ann Harris, he liked to refer to “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around” as “Stop Draggin’ My Career Around.”
Fleetwood Mac retreated from the insular strangeness of Tusk and returned to straightforward pop songcraft for Mirage. Boasting a glossy, friendly production that makes even the lesser numbers pleasant and ingratiating, Mirage nonetheless suffers from a lack of substance. Rumors had raw emotion to give it a core, and Tusk had Lindsey Buckingham’s runaway ambition. For its part, Miragesounds as if its sole goal is to sustain Fleetwood Mac’s popularity, and while there may be a handful of terrific songs — notably the hit singles “Gypsy,” “Love in Store,” and “Hold Me” — it simply isn’t as compelling as the group’s previous three albums.