Saturday, March 15, 2014

Songs that make me smile: TUSK

I love how certain songs and music you love (or not) can take you to a place, time, and feeling and just make you smile.

Tusk by Fleetwood Mac is one of those for me.

And I have to say just listening to it today has brought me so much joy and happiness if I could bottle it I would!
It's the title track to their 'experimental' album from 1979. Their own White Album if you will. At the time one of the most expensive albums ever made. A follow up to their instant hit album, Rumours, Tusk sold nowhere near as well.
There are two reasons the song strikes a chord with me; the song itself, and my memories of it as a child.
I would have been 8 when Dad bought the album Tusk, and I remember him particularly playing that song really loud. It is a song that needs to be played loud I think.
I also remember it's unusual but now iconic film-clip, set in a large stadium with a marching band (The University of Southern California Trojan marching Band) and Fleetwood Mac mucking about on it. I remember them carrying a cardboard cut out of John McVie and I couldn't work that one out, where was he? I know I spent a lot of time thinking about that. I now know he was in Tahiti holidaying. I was a strange kid but it all intrigued me somehow, it was funny and weird and large, in sound and in look. I have always loved large and overblown anything.
I also thought Mick Fleetwood was a bit weird jumping around all over the shop and Christine wasn't featured much. As an adult I realise Mick was probably on something, and as a drummer his mind must have been blown hearing his drum solos played out so amazingly, and that Christine never liked the limelight.
I remember the film-clip being played a lot on Countdown, so much so I figured it must have been number one, but I don't think that was the case. Maybe it was just played a lot or maybe I thought it was played a lot, the mind is a funny thing.
I remember Lindsay had no beard and looked so good looking, and he was laughing and having fun and I was so in love with him. Also a few of the marching band members hugged him and I thought I need to play an instrument to get into a marching band! I remember Stevie looking fabulously cool in a see through cream strapless dress and a floppy straw hat, I loved her baton twirling. I do remember Mum mucking about with some of her own marching girl moves which amused and embarrassed us equally. To see your Mum bust moves like that when you are 8 is strange. Mum had been a champion marching girl when she was a young girl.
That film-clip is ingrained into my soul, my childhood, my memories!
The song is also one of those great songs, an instant classic and because it is essentially an instrumental song, you don't hear it on the radio so much these day. In fact it's a song I rarely hear at all.
It starts with a tribal drum beat and what sounds like an audience over it and then after a few bars the vocals come in very soft but in beat with the drums. And then a few guitar chords in between beats. It builds slowly then a funky guitar beat with more singing and some tribal style chanting, and Lindsay shrieking, "Don't say that you love me". Very anthemaic and very addictive.
And the manic drum beat to the steel guitar solo, all the while that same original drum beat continuing and finally the brass section of the band striking in. Building to a loud cacophony of perfection.  
It is such a positive and uplifting image from my childhood, it awakens every sense and I will never tire of hearing it!
And I'm sharing it here today as I've had a rough week and I always revert to comfort music when I'm feeling weary. A Fleetwood Mac compilation came through my hands at work and the timing was serendipitous and I was also playing it in the car today feeling good after some time spent with fabulous friends. I flicked the volume up high, very high, and played it on repeat all the way home.

And just like that I got my mojo back!


PinkPatentMaryJanes said...


Cat Turner said...

Don't say that you love me!
Just tell me that you want me! Love Tusk too. Great blog. Glad it's brightened your spirits!