1001 Songs Challenge,  1970s,  Music

1001 Songs Challenge #509: Tusk (1979)

On 11 February 2019 I set myself the challenge of reading 1001 Songs You Must Hear Before You Die by Robert Dimery (ed.) and following the book’s advice to the letter. I’ve previously read 1001 Films… and started 1001 Albums… but felt 1001 Songs… would be a sensible place to start for what I have in mind here.

My challenge is to read about one song per day and listen to it (YouTube and Spotify, I need you tonight!) before sharing my own thoughts. Some songs I will love, others I’ll hate, and I’m sure there will be those that leave me perplexed but listen to them I shall.

I’ll also try, and most likely fail, to pinpoint the best song from the 1001 on offer but I’m nothing if not foolhardy. Instead of one song, I’m predicting I’ll have about 100 favourites by the end and may have to resort to a Top 10 so far to maintain any semblance of sanity.

So long as I post every day (including Christmas) then this challenge should come to an end on Wednesday 8 November 2021. Staying with the Barney Stinson theme I am hoping that the whole experience will prove to be… legendary!


Fleetwood Mac – Tusk (1979)

We’re continuing in the UK and staying in London for our guests today. We’re checking back with Fleetwood Mac for, I believe, their third appearance on our list. Back in 1977 the group enjoyed huge success with the album, Rumours, but when we catch up with them two years later it is with the release of a double album entitled Tusk and, as they so often do, 1001 Songs have thought carefully about their song choice and elected to go with the title track. 

Lyrically, there is not a lot to Tusk. Guitarist and singer Lindsey Buckingham has lead vocal and poses a series of questions seemingly from a concerned lover. We hear worries about someone staying or going and just a general lack of transparency in a relationship. It sounds uncomfortable territory. In the chorus the narrator says he wishes for this person not to love him but just to want him. It seems that is enough. 

Tusk is more notable for its production and music than the lyrics. Fleetwood Mac were being very experimental at this stage. The song has the sound of University of Southern California’s Trojan Marching Band throughout. Drums play a key part here but there is variety with the likes of Kleenex boxes and even legs of lamb being used in the studio to create a spot of percussion. Why not? All told it’s a peculiar mixture but an interesting piece of avant garde all the same from the group.


Favourite songs so far:

The Animals – House of the Rising Sun (1964)

Simon & Garfunkel – The Sounds of Silence (1965)

The Doors – The End (1967)

The Beatles – A Day in the Life (1967)

Rod Stewart – Maggie May (1971)

Pink Floyd – Wish You Were Here (1975)

Fleetwood Mac – Go Your Own Way (1977)

Meat Loaf – Bat Out of Hell (1977)

Queen – Don’t Stop Me Now (1978)

The Police – Roxanne (1978)

My name is Dave and I live in Yorkshire in the north of England and have been here all my life. I hope you enjoy your visit to All is Ephemeral.

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