By Howard Cohen
Sept 27th, 2016
Fleetwood Mac, “Mirage (Deluxe).” Oft-delayed remaster of original 1982 album, plus a disc of outtakes highlighted by Christine McVie’s randier take of “Hold Me” and Stevie Nicks’ demos of “Smile at You” and “If You Were My Love.”
The angry “Smile at You,” later rerecorded in a considerably tamer version on “Say You Will” in 2003, would have given “Mirage” the edge some critics said it lacked after the left-field turn of the preceding “Tusk.” Her cut would have been a better choice than Lindsey Buckingham’s pointless and grating side two opening number, “Empire State.”
“I loved ‘Smile at You’ because it was a real rock and roll song,” Nicks said. “Only thing I can say is when it all came to push and shove we had 19 songs [recorded] and it was 12 songs on the real record. That means 13 to 19 had to go. I lost songs all the time I thought should be on records. But when you are in a band it’s a team and it’s a vote and Lindsey always had a bit of a stronger vote and I kind of went with that.”
The attractively packaged “Mirage” reissue also includes a live disc from the Mirage Tour from The Forum in Los Angeles from Oct. 21-22, 1982, originally issued on VHS. A 180-gram vinyl LP is tucked inside, too. Original co-producer Ken Caillat offers a new 5.1 surround and stereo remix.
“Back then we would paint with indelible colors,” Caillat said. “I had a philosophy early on that I wanted to always have the musician hearing the track as closely as possible to what I expected the end result would be. An engineer friend pulled me aside and asked, ‘Have you listened to ‘Mirage’ in awhile?’ I hadn’t played it and I was surprised how great it sounded. I was pleased with our sounds. We were always pleased with our sounds on the records.”