Mirage (Fleetwood Mac album)

Mirage is the thirteenth studio album by British-American rock band Fleetwood Mac, released on 2 July 1982 by Warner Bros. Records.[12] This studio effort's soft rock sound stood in stark contrast to its more experimental predecessor, 1979's Tusk. Mirage yielded several singles: "Hold Me" (which peaked at number four on the US Billboard Pop Chart, remaining there for seven weeks), "Gypsy" (number 12 US Pop Chart), "Love in Store" (number 22 US Pop Chart), "Oh Diane" (number nine in the UK), and "Can't Go Back" (number 83 in the UK).

Studio album by
Released2 July 1982
RecordedSpring 1981 – March 1982
LabelWarner Bros.
Fleetwood Mac chronology
Tango in the Night
Singles from Mirage
  1. "Hold Me"
    Released: June 1982[1]
  2. "Gypsy"
    Released: August 1982
  3. "Love in Store"
    Released: November 1982
  4. "Oh Diane"
    Released: December 1982
  5. "Can't Go Back"
    Released: April 1983
Professional ratings
Review scores
Classic Rock[4]
The Guardian[5]
The Philadelphia Inquirer[6]
Rolling Stone[8]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide[9]
The Village VoiceB+[11]

Background edit

After the completion of the worldwide Tusk Tour, the band took a year-long hiatus. During this time, Stevie Nicks, Mick Fleetwood, and Lindsey Buckingham had each started solo careers, Nicks to multi-platinum, number-one success with 1981's Bella Donna.[13] Unlike the band's previous four albums, Fleetwood wanted the band to record Mirage outside of Los Angeles; he also sought to eschew the experimentation found on Tusk and instead replicate the commercial appeal of Rumours.[14] To achieve this, producer Ken Caillat scouted for potential studios and came across Le Château in Hérouville, France. The band agreed to record at the facility, although Caillat said that certain members, particularly Nicks and Buckingham, were difficult to work with. The band hired a chef that cooked whatever the band wanted, but Caillat believed that both Buckingham and Nicks were unappreciative of the experience as the two would complain about the food and the lack of television. In an attempt to appease them, Caillat brought the two video machines with baseball games taped by one of his friends in Los Angeles.[15]

In a 1981 interview with BAM magazine, Nicks reported that her original three submissions for Mirage were "That's Alright" (with the working title "It's Alright"), "If You Were My Love", and "Smile at You", although she said that Buckingham encouraged her to replace the latter song with a different composition. Nicks agreed with Buckingham, stating that "It's kind of a bitter song and that's really not where any of us are at right now, even thought it's a wonderful song. My songs don't take long to record, so it shouldn't be a problem."[16] "Smile at You" later appeared on Fleetwood Mac's 2003 album, Say You Will.[17]

The Nicks-penned "Gypsy" (number 12 Pop, number four Rock, and number 16 in Canada) was the second single from the album and was accompanied by a video directed by Russell Mulcahy. The edited version of "Gypsy" that appears on the album and single releases runs for only 4:24, but a 5½-minute version had been originally recorded. The latter version was (initially) used in the video, and was not available on CD until the release of 1992's retrospective box set 25 Years – The Chain.

Of the other two compositions from Nicks on the album, "That's Alright", which was one of the three songs she originally submitted for inclusion on Mirage, dated back to the Buckingham Nicks days of 1974, while "Straight Back" was written in the winter of 1981 and referred to her separation from then-lover, producer Jimmy Iovine, and the disruption she experienced to her newly established and highly successful solo career in order to rejoin Fleetwood Mac for the 1982 project (Nicks refers to this on the DVD commentary to her 2008 retrospective Crystal Visions – The Very Best of Stevie Nicks). "Straight Back" was also a US rock radio hit in late 1982.[13]

Of Christine McVie's four compositions, three were written in collaboration with other writers: "Love in Store" with Jim Recor, ex-husband of Nicks' friend Sara Recor who later married Mick Fleetwood, "Hold Me" with singer-songwriter Robbie Patton whose second album she had recently produced and "Wish You Were Here" with lyrics from erstwhile John Mayall drummer Colin Allen. The other, "Only Over You", was credited "With thanks to Dennis Wilson for inspiration."[18] McVie had recently ended her relationship with Wilson, a member of the Beach Boys, who would die by drowning the following year.[19]

Three of Lindsey Buckingham's five contributions were written with co-producer Richard Dashut including the UK top-10 single "Oh Diane". Buckingham came into the studio with "Can't Go Back and "Eyes of the World", while his other three songs on the album were written shortly after his arrival in France.[20] On "Empire State", Buckingham played a 19th century lap harp gifted to him by Mick Fleetwood.[21]

The album returned the group to the top of the US Billboard charts for the first time since their 1977 album Rumours, spending five weeks at number one. It spent a total of 18 weeks in the US top ten and has been certified double platinum for shipments in excess of two million copies in the US. It also reached number five in the UK where it has been certified platinum for shipping 300,000 copies, and number two in Australia.[22]

Deluxe edition edit

A deluxe edition of Mirage was released on 23 September 2016. This expanded reissue features a remaster of the original album, 13 live tracks, B-sides, outtakes, plus other songs that did not make the final cut. Some of these songs include "Goodbye Angel" and "Teen Beat", which were both released on 25 Years: The Chain, and "Smile at You", later released on Say You Will.[23] and "If You Were My Love" later released on Stevie Nicks' solo album 24 Karat Gold: Songs From The Vault. The DVD-Audio disc contains both the 5.1 Surround and 24/96 Stereo Audio mixes of the original album. Reviews of the deluxe edition were very favorable, but several[who?] noted the absence of a re-release of the "Mirage Live" 1982 concert video release, which to date has not been released on DVD in the United States and United Kingdom.

Track listing edit

Side one
No.TitleWriter(s)Lead vocalsLength
1."Love in Store"C. McVie3:14
2."Can't Go Back"Lindsey BuckinghamBuckingham2:42
3."That's Alright"Stevie NicksNicks3:09
4."Book of Love"
6."Only Over You"C. McVieC. McVie4:08
Side two
No.TitleWriter(s)Lead vocalsLength
1."Empire State"
  • Buckingham
  • Dashut
2."Straight Back"NicksNicks4:17
3."Hold Me"
  • C. McVie
  • Buckingham
4."Oh Diane"
  • Buckingham
  • Dashut
5."Eyes of the World"BuckinghamBuckingham3:44
6."Wish You Were Here"
C. McVie4:45

Personnel edit

Fleetwood Mac

Additional musician

  • Ray Lindsey – additional guitar on "Straight Back"


Mirage Tour video / DVD edit

Two of the final shows of the Mirage tour were filmed in Los Angeles in 1982. Originally released on VHS and CED videodisc in 1983, many tracks were edited out, with the loss of "Second Hand News", "Don't Stop", "Dreams", "Brown Eyes", "Oh Well", "Never Going Back Again", "Landslide", "Sara", and "Hold Me", reducing the 135 minute show to just 80 minutes on cassette. Three of these tracks, "Second Hand News," "Brown Eyes," and "Hold Me" would later be officially released on the expanded 1980 Fleetwood Mac Live album in 2021. The running order was also completely rearranged so that Nicks' "Gypsy" followed "The Chain", whilst "You Make Loving Fun" and "Blue Letter" were moved to the first half of the edited show.

The performance also includes what is often referred to as the "speaking in tongues" version of "Sisters of the Moon", in which Nicks delivers the song's coda in such intense gravelly vibratos that her words are rendered mysteriously indecipherable.

The concert was not released on DVD until 2003, but this was limited to Brazil on the Studio Gaba label and featured an unmastered soundtrack.

In 2006 a good quality release was issued in Australia, with an added special feature comprising six Stevie Nicks solo promotional videos for some of her singles released between 1981 and 1986. This collection had previously been issued separately on VHS in 1986 under the title Stevie Nicks – I Can't Wait, and exclusively includes a live solo version of her top ten hit "Leather and Lace" (a duet with Don Henley), which was recorded on the final night of Nicks' 1981 Bella Donna tour. The clip was not included in the 9-track edit of Nicks' "White Wing Dove" live concert VHS release in 1982, and neither was it included in the DVD supplement to her 2008 retrospective Crystal Visions – The Very Best of Stevie Nicks. To date, this is the only DVD availability of this live performance.

In 2009, another DVD incarnation of the Mirage concert was released under the title Fleetwood Mac – In Performance by the Showline label on a region-free disc.

Charts edit

Certifications edit

Certifications for Mirage
Region Certification Certified units/sales
Australia (ARIA)[51] 2× Platinum 140,000^
Canada (Music Canada)[52] Platinum 100,000^
France (SNEP)[53] Gold 100,000*
Germany (BVMI)[54] Gold 250,000^
Spain (PROMUSICAE)[55] Gold 50,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[56] Platinum 300,000^
United States (RIAA)[57] 2× Platinum 2,000,000^

* Sales figures based on certification alone.
^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.

References edit

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Bibliography edit