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Fleetwood Mac's 'Tusk' is Tops in Most Stores

New Mac album outsells Zeppelin's 'In Through The Out Door'

November 29, 1979
Fleetwood Mac, Stevie Nicks, Mick Fleetwood, rolling stone archive, old, photo
Cover art for 'Tusk' by Fleetwood Mac.

Two weeks after its October 12th release, Fleetwood Mac's Tusk appeared to be selling briskly, although consumer reaction to the LP was considerably less frenzied than that which greeted Led Zeppelin's In Through the Out Door.

Most of the approximately twenty stores contacted in an informal nationwide survey reported that Tusk, Fleetwood Mac's first album in three years, was the best-selling record in stock at the time, surpassing the two-month-old Zeppelin LP and the month-old Eagles album, The Long Run. A few stores, however, said sales were only fair to poor, and almost all said the record was not selling as quickly as Zeppelin's did the first week out.

"The first day we had it, it sold like crazy," said Ben Karol, president of New York's King Karol retail chain. "But after that, it slowed down considerably." Karol was selling the two-record set, which carries a list price of $ 15.98, for $ 13.98. Invariably, stores that were selling the album for less than ten dollars seemed to be having the greatest success.

"Obviously, we can't sell the record to a kid who walks into a record store with five or six dollars in his pocket," said Ed Rosenblatt, senior vice-president of Warner Bros. Records, Fleetwood Mac's label. "But we think this record is going to bring him back into the store the next day with more money."

Rosenblatt said that Warners has already received reorders for the album. The company's initial shipment, estimated at between 1.5 and 2 million sets, was the largest in its history.

This is a story from the November 29th, 1979 issue of Rolling Stone.

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