This Live ‘Rhiannon’ Is Stevie Nicks at Her Witchiest

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Brittany Spanos
·2 min read
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Fleetwood Mac’s The Dance gets all the (well-deserved) attention for being Fleetwood Mac’s best live album. But the band’s first live release, 1980’s Fleetwood Mac Live, is overdue for some rightful acclaim of its own. Ahead of an upcoming deluxe reissue, let the band’s live take on “Rhiannon” show you just how raw and mesmerizing this album really is.

Stevie Nicks’ performances of “Rhiannon” in the Seventies have long been legendary. By 1980, when this particular live cut was delivered in London while touring in support of Tusk, she had been charming audiences with her tale of a Welsh witch for four years straight. The beauty of this live performance is the spell-casting mood Nicks is able to pull off, like she’s improvising the song and its story on the spot. Her drawn-out take on the song’s bridge and outro — more muted in the studio version from the band’s self-titled 1975 LP — builds from a quiet storm to a full hurricane, helping draw out the track to nearly eight minutes. Insert your own visual of the rocker twirling endlessly with one of her many shawls.

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Fleetwood Mac Live was originally a compilation of live cuts from the band’s Tusk tour, but the upcoming reissue features 14 bonus tracks taken from shows that the band’s most iconic line-up performed between 1977 and 1982. Set to be released in April via Rhino, the special box set includes three CDs, two vinyl LPs, and a bonus 7-inch single with demos of “Fireflies” and “One More Night.” The accompanying reading material features a booklet, an itinerary of the Tusk tour and liner notes by David Wild.

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