Fleetwood Mac's nimbly synchronized The Dance ( out of four) glides into the '90s with nary a stumble, sound proof that the '70s supergroup and its classic pop-rock are aging gracefully.
The 17-track live album showcases the hearty and heartfelt music of the band's most successful and fertile incarnation: Stevie Nicks, Lindsey Buckingham, Mick Fleetwood, Christine McVie and John McVie.
Two decades after the release of 1977's huge-selling Rumours, the Mac resurfaced in May to perform two private shows that became the basis for The Dance and an MTV special. A reunion tour starts Sept. 17 in Hartford, Conn.
Rather than a nostalgic bloc of five uneasy pieces, the reunited quintet displays the same musical chemistry and emotional glue that produced such enthralling hits as The Chain, Say You Love Me and Go Your Own Way, all resubmitted in peak form on The Dance. Even Don't Stop, backed by the 85-piece USC Trojan Marching Band, is reinstalled as a class act after its cheesy tenure as the Democratic theme song for 1992's presidential campaign.
The standouts are ex-lovers and onetime foes Buckingham and Nicks. Once the band's low-profile studio prodigy, singer/guitarist Buckingham oozes charisma and vitality in the bluesy I'm So Afraid, spirited Big Love and his new contributions, Bleed to Love Her and My Little Demon.
Nicks' abraded vocals are more vigorous and confident than ever in the pretty Silver Springs, a mystical rendering of Rhiannon and the acoustic, heart-melting Landslide.
From the tribal Tusk to the sunny You Make Loving Fun to Christine McVie's upbeat new Temporary One, The Dance documents a remarkable band regaining its footing.
By Edna Gundersen, USA TODAY
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