Call me home: The best of Fleetwood Mac

No boomer band inspires so many professions of love; no band in its sixth decade provokes so many well wishes, so much longing for new material. Besides the inauguration, no other event got my social media feeds swollen than the announcement that erstwhile singer-keyboardist Christine McVie and guitarist-supergenius Lindsey Buckingham had recorded their own album with the redoubtable Mick Fleetwood and John McVie as a rhythm section. Stevie Nicks demurred, as is her right; these people, lovers and friends and blood rivals since the Ford administration, understand, and the rest of us don’t.

The magic of Fleetwood Mac relies on the public’s willingness to accept a congeries of paradoxes: subversive noise treated as pop, with a blues bottom, sung alternately by a Kate Bush who wanted to join Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers; a trooper who kept her head down behind a Fender Rhodes trilling, as the act’s best technical voice, masochistic laments; and a studio obsessive, as beautiful and slender as a redwood, inventing a harmonically bent derivation of punk.

Although I get polite list revision suggestions every time I post one of these, the following songs represent as close to an ideal car/desk experience with this band as I think you’ll get. Of course I omit songs. It’s my list, goddamn it. I wanted “Never Forget,” a new favorite thanks to a Cut Copy mix released a decade ago; I wanted “Goodbye Baby,” as resigned and my-heart-will-go-on a lullaby by Stevie Nicks as anything by her sister of the moon Christine, found on 2003’s Say You Will, among the most underrated of modern albums; I wanted “Eyes of the World,” a 1982 rebel yell from Buckingham, infuriated about recording a staid response to Tusk, proving he shouldn’t become a rock critic.

And now a deluxe edition of Tango in the Night, a recording so fraught that Buckingham reduced Nicks to a mewling sample, introduced synths as billowy as a dozen pillows atop a sea of cognac, and allowed Arthur Baker and Jellybean Benitez to transform the four singles into calm elongations of desires ungratified, suitable for dance clubs. I hope you’re not making plans.

1. Sara
2. The Chain
3. Go Your Own Way
4. Bare Trees
5. Albatross
6. Hold Me
7. Little Lies
8. Monday Morning
9. I Don’t Want to Know
10. Gypsy
11. You Make Loving Fun
12. The Ledge
13. Brown Eyes/Never Make Me Cry
14. Warm Ways
15. Songbird
16. Blue Letter
17. Thrown Down
18. Mystified
19. Think About Me
20. Seven Wonders (12″ Extended Mix)
21. Say You Will
22. That’s All For Everyone
23. Everywhere
24. Not That Funny
25. Bleed to Love Her
26. Dust
27. I’m So Afraid
28. Hypnotized
29. Second Hand News
30. Love in Store

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