When you think Fleetwood Mac, you think Rumours. And who could blame you? That record redefined rock and is teaming with breakup anthem after breakup anthem, each more ‘fuck you’ than the last. Almost anyone could relate. As such, one couldn’t be blamed for entirely missing the band’s follow up album, Tusk.
The fact that this album even exists is a marvel in itself, because after all the affairs and drugs that culminated in the creation of Rumours, you might expect the band to decide to close up shop on a high (quite literally). But not only did they keep at it, they came back with a hugely experimental double disk.
The tracks on Tusk range from mellow, to punk-inspired, to guilty, to downright confrontational, a range of emotions that are rarely quite so well-encapsulated on a record. Tusk opens with the soft, mellow Over & Over, a lullaby-like track that could put you straight to sleep, and is immediately followed by The Ledge, which stands in stark contrast to the previous song, with its guitar-heavy, punk-influenced vibe. The album also features the almost laughable Not That Funny, which listeners can’t help but smile at due to its doo-whop sound contrasted with overtly agitated, confrontational lyrics.
I could present hundreds of convoluted arguments as to why Tusk was and is entirely underrated, but they won’t fit into the word limit for this article. So, instead, I’ll tell you what it all boils down to: Tusk had an impossible task when it comes to following up Rumours, so the true fineness of the record was overlooked. However, I will say that had Tusk been the breakout album of an undiscovered band, it would have been hailed as a triumphant debut redefining its genre.