Recorded mostly during the world tour supporting Tusk, the Super Deluxe re-issue of Fleetwood Mac’s band’s 1980 album, Live, gives fans a raw, back-to-basics two-LP representation of the band as opposed to the polished radio-friendly version or the growing experimental side led by Lindsey Buckingham in the studio. Whether it’s his songwriting or arranging or guitar playing, Buckingham’s creative presence is noticeable throughout this expanded concert document and displays that he’s such an integral element in the Mac musical attack.
Like the band’s studio releases, the live setting finds Buckingham, Stevie Nicks and Christine McVie splitting vocal duties and offering differing emotional shades in their songwriting. Stylistically, the changing musical moods run from his deteriorating mind on an extended “Not That Funny” and the building intensity developed during “I’m So Afraid” to Nicks weaving her mystical ways on “Sarah,” “Landslide” and, of course, “Rhiannon” and, finally, McVie yearning and melancholy moments highlight her value as the perfect buffer between the other two on “Say You Love Me,” “Over and Over” and “Over My Head.”
The Super Deluxe version compiles 3 CDs and 2 LPs that feature a remastered version of the original release on both 180-gram vinyl and CD plus more than an hour of unreleased live music recorded between 1977 and 1982 on the third CD. The set also includes a bonus 7-inch single featuring previously unreleased demos for “Fireflies” and “One More Night.”
Highlights from the extra tracks include “The Chain,” “Sisters of the Moon,” “Second Hand News” and “Gold Dust Woman.” As the saying goes, the more the merrier, which enables “Live” to successfully depict the strengths of this lineup and these performances.