image of Christine McVie, Tusk era

SONG OF THE WEEK: Brown Eyes (Alternate Version)

Tusk is often lauded for being Fleetwood Mac’s most experimental album, but it certainly could have gone deeper into the sonic jungle if you listen to the alternate versions found on the deluxe version of Tusk. Take “Brown Eyes,” the Christine-McVie-penned song that takes listeners on a sensuous, slow-burn ride. In the alternate version, Christine sings the original lyrics, which describe something more of a platonic nature than the romantic innuendos shared on the final release. Tusk scholars would argue both sets of lyrics reflect different stages of the relationship Christine is depicting, with the final version actually being the edgier take.

Fleetwood Mac’s elusive founder Peter Green performs on “Brown Eyes,” but on the first-released version, his part is reduced to just a few seconds at the end of the song. His full solo can now be heard on The Alternate Tusk, and in the below YouTube clip.

In the deluxe version of Tusk, liner notes, Lindsey Buckingham and Mick Fleetwood share their recollections of the track:

Lindsey: I don’t remember Peter Green coming in, so I don’t think I made any judgement on whether to use it or not. Mick would ultimately have had the decision to use his playing or not. And it was Christine’s song to do with as she wished.

Mick: Peter was living in L.A. then and hanging out at my house a lot. He was still as he is now, changed, but he used to pop into the studio occasionally. I don’t know if he was that interested or not, but he did play on this song, which I love. Classic, slinky, killer stuff from Chris. The band’s playing really shines. I can’t recall why we only used Peter at the very end, but it’s great that he’s on here, because it’s Peter and it’s his band.

Brown Eyes (Original Lyrics)

Ooh…

If you’re ever feeling lonely
Don’t forget to call on me
Through all the years I’ve known you
You’ve always been good to me

Sha-la-la, sha-la-la, sha-la-la-la, la, la, la… (ooh-ooh…)
Sha-la-la, sha-la-la, sha-la-la-la, la, la, la… (ooh-ooh…)
Sha-la-la, sha-la-la, sha-la-la-la, la, la, la… (ooh-ooh…)
Yesterday’s tears

Sha-la-la, sha-la-la, sha-la-la-la, la, la, la… (ooh-ooh…)
Sha-la-la, sha-la-la, sha-la-la-la, la, la, la… (ooh-ooh…)
Sha-la-la, sha-la-la, sha-la-la-la, la, la, la… (ooh-ooh…)
You’re over the sad years

Sha-la-la, sha-la-la, sha-la-la-la, la, la, la… (ooh-ooh…)
Sha-la-la, sha-la-la, sha-la-la-la, la, la, la… (ooh-ooh…)
Sha-la-la, sha-la-la, sha-la-la-la, la, la, la… (ooh-ooh…)

Don’t worry ’cause there’s always someone
To take your troubles away
It’s easier to share than worry
It’s always better that way

Sha-la-la, sha-la-la, sha-la-la-la, la, la, la… (ooh-ooh…)
Sha-la-la, sha-la-la, sha-la-la-la, la, la, la… (ooh-ooh…)
Sha-la-la, sha-la-la, sha-la-la-la, la, la, la… (ooh-ooh…)
Yesterday’s tears

Sha-la-la, sha-la-la, sha-la-la-la, la, la, la… (ooh-ooh…)
Sha-la-la, sha-la-la, sha-la-la-la, la, la, la… (ooh-ooh…)
Sha-la-la, sha-la-la, sha-la-la-la, la, la, la… (ooh-ooh…)
You’re over the sad years

Sha-la-la, sha-la-la, sha-la-la-la, la, la, la… (ooh-ooh…)
Sha-la-la, sha-la-la, sha-la-la-la, la, la, la… (ooh-ooh…)
Sha-la-la, sha-la-la, sha-la-la-la, la, la, la… (ooh-ooh…)

I want you to know
I want you to know
I want you to know I’ll always be there

Sha-la-la, sha-la-la, sha-la-la-la, la, la, la… (ooh-ooh…)
Sha-la-la, sha-la-la, sha-la-la-la, la, la, la… (ooh-ooh…)
Sha-la-la, sha-la-la, sha-la-la-la, la, la, la… (ooh-ooh…)
Yesterday’s tears

Sha-la-la, sha-la-la, sha-la-la-la, la, la, la… (ooh-ooh…)
Sha-la-la, sha-la-la, sha-la-la-la, la, la, la… (ooh-ooh…)
Sha-la-la, sha-la-la, sha-la-la-la, la, la, la… (ooh-ooh…)
You’re over the sad years

Sha-la-la, sha-la-la, sha-la-la-la, la, la, la… (ooh-ooh…)
Sha-la-la, sha-la-la, sha-la-la-la, la, la, la… (ooh-ooh…)
Sha-la-la, sha-la-la, sha-la-la-la, la, la, la… (ooh-ooh…)

I want you to know
I want you to know
I want you to know I’ll always be there

Ooh…
Ooh…