The Fleetwood Mac Song Featuring Over 100 Musicians

Rock acts have set some world records that might be interesting to hear. For instance, the Who set the Guinness World Record for the shortest concert ever with their 13-second show, which had to end after Roger Daltrey’s health issues. The Cure holds the record for most encores at a music concert, as they returned to the stage five times at the end of three of their shows. KISS has the record for the most flame projectiles ever launched during a concert, while Metallica is the world’s first music act to perform on every continent.

Fleetwood Mac also set a jaw-dropping record back in 1979 with a single. At that time, Lindsey Buckingham asked the band for permission to follow a more experimental approach and work on songs at his home before presenting them. The result of this plan was ‘Tusk,’ which was a 20-track double album spawning three hit singles ‘Think About Me,’ ‘Sara,’ and the record-breaker title track, ‘Tusk.’

When they were thinking about a title track for the then-unnamed album, Mick Fleetwood suggested using Buckingham’s rehearsal riff. Producers created a drum-driven production, while Fleetwood and Buckingham experimented with playing interesting objects like lamb chops and a Kleenex box on the track. Recalling the recording process, Lindsey Buckingham told Mojo in 2016 that his mind was racing with thoughts, and he wanted to subvert the norms.

Here is what Buckingham said:

“I was losing a great deal of myself. My thought was, let’s subvert the norm. Let’s slow the tape machine down, speed it up, or put the mike on the bathroom floor and sing and beat on a Kleenex box! My mind was racing.”

However, these weren’t why Fleetwood Mac set a record with the song. Mick Fleetwood came up with an exciting suggestion during the recordings: He wanted to recruit the University of Southern California’s Trojan Marching Band to play on the single. Speaking to British GQ in 2015, Mick said that he encountered a local brass band outside his hotel room in Barfleur, France, and thought it would be a brilliant idea to recruit the marching band.

Recalling how he came up with the idea, Mick Fleetwood said the following:

“I was in a room in the town square with a horrific hangover, and I was woken by the sound of the local brass band that relentlessly went round and round the square. As the day went on, they got drunker and drunker. But one thing was apparent. Everyone followed the brass band around the town, and I thought, ‘What a good idea!’”

At the time, Trojan Marching Band had 112 members, and a mobile studio had to be installed in Los Angeles’ Dodger Stadium to record them. The session was also filmed for a promo video. In the end, Fleetwood Mac set a record for the highest number of musicians performing on a single, thanks to the Trojan Marching Band’s contributions. The idea belonged to Mick Fleetwood, but it wouldn’t be fair to discard Lindsey Buckingham’s efforts in ‘Tusk.’