Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Stones That Roll: Landslide

Fleetwood Mac: Landslide

What has gotten into you, J. David, you may be asking. When we see your name on a SMM post, we can usually expect an alt-country song, maybe some old prog, or a new wave/power pop tune. Or something about TV or the Mets. But lately, we’ve had Miles Davis, William DeVaughn, and a couple of fake pop bands.

And now, Fleetwood Mac.

And not even the cool, bluesy Fleetwood Mac that never gets played on the radio (except, occasionally for “Oh Well” and maybe the original “Black Magic Woman” or “Sentimental Lady,” if the DJ is showing off).

Not even the experimental Fleetwood Mac that recorded “Tusk” (which I love).

But instead,“Landslide,” the Stevie Nicks tune that was a moderate hit from the band’s first album with Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham.  Who are you, and what have you done to J. David?

Look, I chose the song because it fits the theme, and avoids the obvious (although I expect to get to those guys next), but it is actually one of my favorite Fleetwood Mac songs. I’ll admit that the Fleetwood Mac album, and Rumours, are great albums (and I love the song “Tusk,” if not the album so much), but I don’t go out of my way to listen to them. To me, they exist in a world of good music that has just been overplayed, and usually, I’d just rather listen to something else.

Not surprisingly, the song is rooted in Nicks and Buckingham’s relationship, at a time when their professional and personal lives were not going well, she was living in the Rockies, and the landslide metaphor related to everything that was crashing down on her. A month or so ago, Angela Hughey wrote an excellent “Five Good Covers” piece about the song at Cover Me, and she is a fine writer, so just go here and read it after you finish my piece, if you want to learn more about the song, and hear five good covers of it. There’s also a “Best Fleetwood Mac Covers Ever” piece over there from a year ago, in which I wrote about covers of other Mac songs, but Seuras Og (who, like me writes both here and there), acknowledged his own attraction to “Landslide,” and posted yet another cover. So read that, too.

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