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"Tango in the Night"
Promotional single by Fleetwood Mac
from the album Tango in the Night
Genre New age, rock
Label Warner Bros.
Songwriter(s)Lindsey Buckingham
Producer(s)Lindsey Buckingham & Richard Dashut

"Tango in the Night" is a song by British–American rock band Fleetwood Mac from their album of the same name. The song received airplay and reached No. 28 on the Billboard Album Rock Tracks chart. However, the title track was overshadowed by the album's hit singles. [1]


Following the release Lindsey Buckingham's second album, Go Insane, the guitarist began crafting songs for what he intended to be his third solo album. Among the songs recorded for the album was "Tango in the Night". [2] By late 1985, Fleetwood Mac reconvened to record a new studio album, so Buckingham allowed the band to include the song as the title track. [3] The drum track for "Tango in the Night" originated from a jam session between Mick Fleetwood and Buckingham, which became the basis of the song. Buckingham took further inspiration from live versions of " I'm So Afraid" during the making of the title track. [4] The song possesses a stepwise descending harmony and a I-VII-VI chord progression. [5]

An early demo of the song, included on the 2017 deluxe edition of Tango in the Night, featured a trembling vocal line at the end of every chorus, which was eventually incorporated into another Buckingham-penned track, "Caroline". [6] The Miami Herald praised the rhythm section of Fleetwood and John McVie on "Tango in the Night", saying that there was "a new sense of muscle" to their contributions on the deluxe edition of Tango in the Night. [7] Pitchfork commented that the song's "sense of space imparts the feeling of rowing through fog and mystery", and further added that the song's "coordinated staccato harmonies" are warmer and brighter on the deluxe edition. [6] The Guardian wrote that "the title track surges from quiet tension to florid solos". [8] Dave Fawbert of ShortList praised the song's instrumentation, mentioning that the "synth-harps and soft percussion [give] way to a big, angry chorus where Mick and John lay down the groove". [9] Ultimate Classic Rock stated that the title track "is just as dysfunctional as the album’s recording process — and that’s what makes it work. Jumping between whispered tones and explosive guitar solos, past and present tenses, loneliness and the sudden lack of, the song is a masterpiece of bewilderment, lyrically and sonically." [10]


Fleetwood Mac


Chart (1987) Peak
US Album Rock Tracks (Billboard) [11] 28
Chart (2021) Peak
UK Singles Downloads ( OCC) [12] 26


  1. ^ Deriso, Nick (14 April 2015). "Fleetwood Mac hit big with Tango in the Night, then imploded: 'It was difficult for everybody'". Something Else!. Retrieved April 4, 2016.
  2. ^ Fleetwood, Mick; Bozza, Anthony (October 2014). Play On (first ed.). New York, NY: Little, Brown and Company. p. 268. ISBN  978-0-316-40342-9.
  3. ^ Evans, Mike (2011). Fleetwood Mac - The Definitive History. New York: Sterling. p. 236. ISBN  978-1-4027-8630-3.
  4. ^ Fleetwood, Mick; Davis, Stephen (1990). Fleetwood: My Life and Adventures with Fleetwood Mac. New York: William Morrow and Company. pp. 270–271. ISBN  0-688-06647-X.
  5. ^ Moore, Alan (January 1992). "Patterns of Harmony". Popular Music. 11 (1). Cambridge University Press: 83–84. doi: 10.1017/S0261143000004852. S2CID  162086782.
  6. ^ a b Nelson, Brad. "Fleetwood Mac Tango in the Night". Pitchfork. Retrieved April 5, 2017.
  7. ^ Cohen, Howard (9 March 2017). "Stevie Nicks: Recording 'Tango' in my ex-boyfriend's bedroom was 'extremely strange'". Miami Herald. Archived from the original on 24 March 2018. Retrieved 27 January 2024.
  8. ^ Petridis, Alexis (23 March 2017). "Fleetwood Mac: Tango in the Night review – timely reissue coasts from gloss to gloom". The Guardian. Retrieved 27 January 2024.
  9. ^ Fawbert, Dave (30 January 2017). "Dissecting Tango in the Night: Fleetwood Mac's pop masterpiece". Shortlist. Retrieved 27 January 2024.
  10. ^ Hernandez, Stephanie (5 October 2024). "Underrated Lindsey Buckingham: Most Overlooked Song From Each LP". Ultimate Classic Rock. Retrieved 1 February 2024.
  11. ^ "Fleetwood Mac Chart History: Mainstream Rock Songs". Billboard. Retrieved 2019-10-30.
  12. ^ "Official Singles Downloads Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 10 September 2023.