August 1982: Fleetwood Mac Rule Billboard 200 with MIRAGE

Friday, June 18, 2021

By 1982, the dust had finally settled from the maelstrom that surrounded Fleetwood Mac's 1979 album, Tusk. The sprawling and experimental double-album had been a huge hit, but still paled in comparison to the monster sales and cultural influence of its 1977 predecessor, Rumours.

Following Tusk with a victory-lap Live album, the members of Fleetwood Mac eventually met up in France, setting up shop at at the famed Chateau d'Herouville outside of Paris. Soon, the band began putting together what would become their thirteenth studio effort, Mirage.

"My recollect was I asked the band if I could record overseas to help me out with some tax issues. And very kindly they did that," drummer Mick Fleetwood told Rolling Stone in 2016. "But in truth, knowing me, I think the main purpose of it was to get them the hell out of L.A. so that we could make an album without imploding."

Released on June 18, 1982, Mirage proved that Fleetwood Mac still had that old fire. The record raced up the charts to peak at #1 for the week of August 7, 1982. The album remained atop the Billboard 200 for five weeks straight. It finally fell to John Cougar's American Fool on September 10, 1982.

The album was something of a singles bonanza: Lead single "Hold Me," released June 1982, stormed up the Hot 100, peaking at #4 for the week of July 24, 1982. The #1 song in America that week: Survivor's "Eye of the Tiger." Second single "Gypsy" peaked at #12 on the Hot 100 for the week October 23, 1982. The third single from Mirage, "Love in Store," made it's way to #22 on the singles chart. In the UK, "Oh Diane" was released as the third single instead of "Love in Store." It was a hit, peaking at #9 on the British charts.

"I don't think it would be wrong to say it sort of got overlooked," Mick Fleetwood said about the Mirage album in retrospect. "If you were a sort of super-intellectual critic, which is maybe not a great place to come from, it would be fair game to say the album kind of went backwards. Having said that, the amazing thing is that, looking back on it now, in the present day, so many of those songs are at a very high level in the continuing story of Fleetwood Mac. The fact that we're talking about it again is actually really cool. Because we ended up making a far better album than we gave ourselves credit for for many years."