This is a companion piece to Main Stream’s 2CD One More Rumours (a collection of Rumours outs/demos) and in a sense it actually holds up better as a listening experience. For one thing, the sound here is outstanding; only in a couple of places are their any noticeable dropouts or elements of “muffling” – for example, the soul cover “I’ve Been Loving You To Long” (an Otis Redding classic sung with gusto by Buckingham) doesn’t have quite the crystal fidelity of the other tracks, but it also sounds like it was recorded live in the studio, possibly captured with some room mics rather than fed directly into the board and taped from that.
Also, some genuine rarities are included: the Redding cover, “If You Were My Love” and “Smile At You” didn’t appear on the official Mirage album. (The latter song, a Nicks tune, would eventually surface on last year’s Say You Will Mac comeback album.) Listening to the various versions of “Gypsy” isn’t that rewarding, although comparing the slow version to the others is interesting; Nicks actually sings it in a slightly lower tone! And the last two tracks, “I’m Alright” and “That’s Alright,” while having more or less the same lyrics, are completely different musical concoctions, the former a gentle folkrock ditty and the latter a more upbeat rocker with subtle country flavorings.
Intriguingly, I found notation on a Mac fan site of a prior boot (possibly a fan-traded item) called Mirage Outtakes with the following tracklisting:
That's alright, Book of Love, Wish you were here, Gypsy, Wild Heart instrumental, Eyes of the World, If you were my love (Stevie), Hold Me, Straight back, Blue Monday (Lindsey), Love in Store, Goodbye Angel (Lindsey), Smile at you, Oh Diane, No questions asked, As long as you follow, Down endless Street.
This would further suggest that even more Mirage rarities exist, and if Warners/Rhino continues on with its Mac expanded reissues program (the official new edition of Rumours is a two disc set) there will clearly be plenty of material to choose from for the Mirage reissue.
As with the Rumours set Main Stream has thematic artwork that ties into the official album. Nice job all around. -- OSWALD