I grew up listening to Fleetwood Mac in my dad’s truck and songs like “Rhiannon” and “Landslide” were staples in my childhood repertoire, but I never actively chose to listen to the group on my own. This week’s release of ‘Just Tell Me That You Want Me: A Tribute to Fleetwood Mac’ bridges the gap between our generation and our parents’. We follow artists like Lykke Li and MGMT and can relate to their style while still learning the lyrics and vibe from one of the most talented groups of all time (at least the 70s).
A few comparisons:
Antony’s version of “Landslide” is stuffy and his swallowed sound takes away from the beautiful nature of the song. Stevie Nicks’ rough, imperfect voice makes it drum up feelings of nostalgia and the fear of growing older, connecting you to the song and the band. This is lost with the cover album version and Antony makes you feel depressed as opposed to hopeful like in the original.
“Gold Dust Woman” is incredibly spot-on with Karen Elson adding more depth and clarity to the sound, giving it a more robust and emotional feel.
I applaud The Crystal Ark for their efforts at re-vamping “Tusk,” but given the track’s exploding qualities in Fleetwood Mac’s glory days, there was no way it could even touch the classic. Fleetwood Mac used a real college marching band (The University of Southern California Trojan Marching Band) to bring the song to life with booming horns, pounding drums and hollerin’ lyrics.
Billy Gibbons rocks “Oh Well” and he transforms the tune into something he would have performed with early ZZ Top. The original brought us filtered down blues, but in this version Gibbons takes this very basic blues riff and puts the meat back on the bones.
“Rhiannon” is my favorite track on the cover album because Best Coast brings a fresh, airy overlay to a dated tune and just makes you want to forget about real life and dance for a while.
More than any other band on the album, MGMT stuck to their personal sound. Their typical spacey, out-of-body experience gave Bob Welch’s “Future Games” more of an overall theme, giving you something to hold on to during the longest track on the album.
“Hold Me” re-recorded by HAIM was gorgeous, flirty and sung by lady rockers as opposed to the Fleetwood boys. I preferred it to the original because of the cover’s drippy, almost desperate sound.
Give the album a listen below, and try to talk your Fleetwood Mac-loving parents into learning a little about artists that you listen to. Which songs did you love/hate? What is your take on cover albums in general?
‘Just Tell Me That You Want Me: A Tribute to Fleetwood Mac’: Tracklist
1). “Albatross” – Lee Ranaldo Band Featuring J Mascis (4:16)
2). “Landslide” – Antony (3:33)
3). “Before The Beginning” – Trixie Whitley (4:46)
4). “Oh Well” – Billy Gibbons & Co. (4:45)
5). “Rhiannon” – Best Coast (3:07)
6). “Think About Me” – The New Pornographers (2:56)
7). “Angel” – Marianne Faithfull (4:59)
8). “Silver Springs” – Lykke Li (4:11)
9). “Gold Dust Woman” – Karen Elson (5:43)
10). “Storms” – Matt Sweeney And Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy (4:46)
11). “Straight Back” – Washed Out (3:44)
12). “That’s All For Everyone” – Tame Impala (3:43)
13). “Sisters Of The Moon” – Craig Wedren with St. Vincent (3:45)
14). “Dreams” – The Kills (4:46)
15). “Gypsy” – Gardens & Villa (4:40)
16). “Tusk” – The Crystal Ark (5:30)
17). “Future Games” – MGMT (9:02)