Rock Flashback: Fleetwood Mac’s “Tusk”

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Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham of Fleetwood Mac (Getty Images/Scott Gries)

Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham of Fleetwood Mac (Getty Images/Scott Gries)

This week in 1979, [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Fleetwood Mac[/lastfm] was back. The double album Tusk and its title song were riding high on the charts — although if it had been up to the band and its record label, it wouldn’t have been happening then.

[pullquote quote="I had to buy a seat for (the tape) on a commercial flight."]Tusk was not supposed to come out until the very end of 1979, just in time to find its way into Christmas stockings by the millions. But early that fall, an advance copy on cassette was leaked to a radio station in Cleveland. “To ensure its delivery,” the station’s program director said, “I had to buy a seat for [the tape] on a commercial flight.” He picked it up at the airport, drove it to the station, and put it on the air immediately.

In succeeding days, other stations obtained copies of the album. As a result, Warner Brothers decided to release it officially in early October. (The title song had come out as a single in mid-September, also probably sped to release by the leak.)

Here’s video from the TV show Solid Gold. No way they were getting Fleetwood Mac to appear in their studio, but they could get the USC Marching Band to show up. Their performance was intercut with the official “Tusk” video.

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YouTube commenters are notoriously dim, but not the one who observed, “[lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Stevie Nicks[/lastfm] twirling a baton … there are probably sexier things on this planet, but none come to mind at the moment.” Damn straight, my man.

Experience more Rock Flashbacks.

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