Fleetwood Mac – Tusk – On Japanese Vinyl

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A distinguished member of the Better Records Rock and Pop Hall of Fame.

FOUR EXCELLENT SOUNDING SIDES ON QUIET JAPANESE VINYL! This Captiol-mastered, Japanese-pressed LP has excellent sound on the first two sides and SUPERB sound on sides three and four. I doubt you’ve ever heard the title track rock like this! 

We dug up a few Japanese copies of Tusk that were mastered at Capitol. Because they were made from the real tapes, these don’t have the typical smeary subgen sound associated with Japanese pressings. We found that the best Japanese copies could hold their own with the best domestics on sides one and two, and could win outright on sides three and four.

Four Amazing Sides

Side one is RICH, WARM, and SWEET. The top end is lovely — silky sweet with lots of extension. The vocals are full-bodied with lots of breath and ambience. Detail lovers will freak out over the hi-res sound on this side.

Side two is big, bold, and full of life! Storms sounds particularly good — clean, clear, and very present.

The real magic here begins at the edge of side three. The moment the needle hits the grooves, you’ll be blown away by the AMAZING CLARITY and PRESENCE. The bass is deep, tight, and full-bodied. The vocals are silky sweet and the electric guitars have tons of meaty texture. The highs are delicate, the bottom end is superb, and the drums are clean and crisp, but not overly so. The overall sound is open, spacious, and super transparent – you can easily pick out each vocal line.

Side four is stunning as well. Drop the needle on Beautiful Child for some of the best Fleetwood Mac sound you’ll ever hear anywhere. Stevie’s voice is breathy beyond belief. The bass and guitars are also Right On The Money. The title track is dynamic and lively with excellent clarity.

Talkin’ Tusk

Tusk suffered from high expectations, and disappointed those looking for Rumours II. There is much on this album that compares to the best of Rumours but the weak material somewhat drags the album down as a whole. About three quarters of Tusk is excellent. I made a 60 minute tape of that material and play it with great pleasure. I could tell you about lots of wonderful qualities the best tracks on the album have, but it would take too long. Sorry!

Sonically, the best sounding material ranks right up there with anything the band ever did, but there are more experimental moments such as What Makes You Think You’re The One that are never going to be Demo Quality.

One high point (both musically and sonically) is “Beautiful Child”, possibly the best song Stevie Nicks ever sang. If you listen carefully, and give yourself over totally to the sentiment of the song, and your eyes don’t well up, try opening up a vein and letting some of the ice water pour out, then try it again. Repeat if necessary. If that doesn’t work just give up and put on a Diana Krall CD.