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A great package of middling Fleetwood Mac music


Fleetwood Mac, "Tango in the Night: Deluxe Edition" (Rhino/Warner Three discs, DVD and LP)

When they say "deluxe edition," they're not kidding.

For sheer luxurious presentation it would be difficult to exceed this package being brought out in honor of the 30th anniversary of Fleetwood Mac's second-best seller, the record that gave us "Big Love" and "Little Lies." From the original cover painting in tribute to the great French proto-surrealist Henri Rousseau to the live performance DVD, LP and disc of outtakes included on this new remastered edition of the record, you would think it was as treasurable as a Led Zeppelin or Beatles artifact.

But it's not. And if anything can persuade you of the dangers of pop music nostalgia decades after the fact, this package will go a long way toward it. It does not speak well of the '80's, that's for sure. There will always be those who will swear fealty to Lindsey Buckingham's tenure with the band but so much of this, in the 21st century, sounds bland, colorless, over-produced and under-performed. (Stevie Nicks does not sound especially good.)

That being said, there is ample testimony from those who will tell you that as nostalgia acts go, they've been dynamite in live performance. This record has sold 15 million copies to date and is doubtless a favorite of many. To have an entire disc of extended remixes of "Big Love," "Seven Wonders," "Little Lies," "Everywhere" and "Family Man" will be for them, manna from heaven.

For those of us who never caught them live and, therefore for whom the band was never much more than a Billboard chart pleasantry and an intriguing source of salacious tales of rock romance, this is as much a source of puzzlement as anything else. What if the time has finally come to tell the band, decisively, to stop thinking about tomorrow? It would be a miracle if their yesterday was substantial enough to propel them there. A glorious package though.

2 1/2 stars (out of four)



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