BY HOWARD COHEN
On Friday, March 10 (re-scheduled till March 31), Fleetwood Mac releases a 30th anniversary expanded edition of one of its most popular and influential albums, “Tango in the Night.” The lavishly packaged reissue offers a remastered version of the original album, a disc of B-sides and outtakes, plus another disc of 12-inch dance mixes of its hit singles like “Big Love” and “Little Lies” and a vinyl LP.
For Stevie Nicks, the group’s star attraction, recording her parts for the 1987 album proved difficult. After the completion of a ragged tour for her third solo album, 1985’s “Rock a Little,” she went into rehab at the Betty Ford Center for a cocaine addiction. After her release, she was misguidedly placed on a Klonopin regimen. Few in her inner circle thought rehab would stick unless she was dosed on anxiety medication. They were wrong.
Her first test: joining her Fleetwood Mac band mates for the 1986 tracking sessions for “Tango in the Night.” The band hadn’t recorded since the release of “Mirage” in 1982.
Nicks’ ex-boyfriend Lindsey Buckingham, the group’s guitarist, was co-producing the band’s efforts, again, but this time the tension was poisonous, even by Fleetwood Mac’s standards.
“When I started recording for ‘Tango,’ they were recording at Lindsey’s house up on Mulholland somewhere. He lived there with his girlfriend Cheri and this record was being recorded at his house and I didn’t find that to be a great situation for me. Especially coming out of rehab,” Nicks said in an interview last year. “And then I was on Klonopin and not quite understanding why I was feeling so weird and this doctor kept saying, ‘This is what you need.’ It’s the typical scenario of a groupie doctor. Discuss rock and roll with you, so in order to do that he would keep upping your dose so you’d come in once a week.”
Nicks sets the scenario: “I can remember going up there and not being happy to even be there and we were doing vocals in their master bedroom and that was extremely strange. In all fairness, it was like the only empty room and they had a beautiful master bedroom all set up like a vocal booth but I found it very uncomfortable, personally. I guess I didn’t go very often and when I did go I would get like, ‘Give me a shot of brandy and let me sing on four or five songs off the top of my head.’” Continue reading