By the time Fleetwood Mac released Rumours in 1977 they already had quite a history of recorded music behind them. They were formed in 1967 by guitarist Peter Green. Their most prolific and successful lineup was Mick Fleetwood (drums, percussion), John McVie (bass), Lindsey Buckingham (guitars, vocals), Christine McVie (keys, synths, vocals) and the mesmerizing Stevie Nicks (vocals).
Rumours is one of those timeless albums that has many memories attached to it if you were around when it first came out. I am one of those people. I never tired of hearing all the songs on this album and today it sounds just as new and exciting as it did when I first heard it. The difference now is it offers a more crystal clear fleshed out sound with a lot of added bonuses.
To date Rumours has sold an astonishing 45 million copies worldwide and the legend of the band and their music continues to grow. 35 years on the album still holds you spellbound and even the members of the band find it an incredible accomplishment that can be enjoyed today.
This 3 disc deluxe set features the original album remastered on disc one, a live recording from the album tour in 1977 on disc two and the third disc features demos, early takes in their stripped down naked forms as well as some strictly instrumental versions of songs.
I have always found it interesting and have garnered more appreciation for an album after listening to it in the formative stages. This music has a way of melting away the last 35 years and transporting you right back to that time period. You can never underestimate the power of music and Fleetwood Mac made utter enchantment on Rumours.
Stevie Nicks has one of the most recognizable female voices in rock and Christine McVie also made her mark with a beautiful delivery when she took the lead or added her parts to each track, notably the elegant and reflective “Songbird.” Both women stand out as stars in their own right and were very complimentary to each other and the band’s overall sound. Lindsay Buckingham also provides a very distinct vocal style while peeling off the guitar licks to either make the songs roll along and rock or make the atmosphere softer to easily fall in line with their lyrics that were so affecting and emotive. And of course on the bottom end you had Mick Fleetwood and John McVie laying down the very foundation of their most abundant sound.
As I recall, a few of the more popular songs on the radio when the album was released where “Go Your Own Way” and “Second Hand News.” Those tracks were made for radio hits. A nice surprise was some of the early takes and demos, particularly the strikingly beautiful demo with Stevie titled “Planets Of The Universe (Demo).” From this listener’s seat there is not an ineffective track on the recording. It remains one of the most consistent rock albums ever recorded and this is a fitting tribute to celebrate the 35h anniversary of its release. Per the usual there are many different configurations you can purchase or bundles that include T-Shirts and the like, so essentially it’s a collector’s paradise and very soon people will be putting all their mint collections on EBay and making their greenbacks. That aspect of it may put a sour taste in your mouth if your perception is that alone, however I try to focus more on the music and take away all that it has to offer now in this remastered form with all the bonus and live tracks. I am a music fan first and collector second.
With the release of these sets it further solidifies Rumours place set aside for rock gods and goddesses. They were a special band that made a legendary recording. The band will be out on tour to celebrate the music with you if you decide to catch them live this year or you can relive it all again and again with the wonderful sets being offered now.
Key Tracks: Second Hand News, Go Your Own Way, Planets Of The Universe (Demo)
Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck-Founder MuzikReviews.com
February 14, 2013