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  #31  
Old 01-29-2013, 11:18 PM
michelej1 michelej1 is offline
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NPR,

http://www.npr.org/blogs/allsongs/20...d-macs-rumours

Why I've Never Liked Fleetwood Mac's 'Rumours'

by Bob Boilen

January 29, 2013 1:15 PM

It has happened over and over again in the past few years. Someone in their 20s tells me how much they love Fleetwood Mac, and in particular its monster-selling album Rumours. My reaction is always the same. Their reaction is invariably deep surprise. I could never stand that record.

In 1977, when Fleetwood Mac's 11th studio album came out, I was working in a record store in Rockville, Md. Needless to say, I heard Rumours a lot. I know the songs all too well. In fact, 35 years later I can still tell you the label and number on the spine of the record: Warner BSK 3010. (To keep track of inventory back before bar codes, we'd write down — on paper with an actual pen that went through carbon paper — the label and number of everything we sold.)

But it wasn't the constant in store listening that turned me off to Rumours. To understand my indifference — verging on disdain — toward this record, you have to think about the state of rock music in 1977. Here's what was selling well back then: the Bee Gees, The Eagles, Abba, KC and the Sunshine Band, Wings, Barry Manilow. In this era, of course, Rumours was No. 1 for 31 weeks. It was the ultimate easy listening album, a mere refinement on what felt like an old L.A. rock formula. But for a music geek looking for new adventures in music, what was great about 1977 were the brash fresh faces and sounds coming out of New York and London. Toward the end of 1976, Patti Smith had led the way for me, and then '77 gave us the debut albums by Talking Heads, Television, The Sex Pistols, The Ramones, Richard Hell, Wire, Elvis Costello, The Clash and on and on and on.

Having come from a generation that saw huge changes to the musical landscape (The Beatles released "I Want to Hold Your Hand" in 1964 and "A Day in the Life" just three years later), I always expected music to mine new territory. And in the early '70s — with Pink Floyd and Genesis, Bowie and Eno, even Elton John and Electric Light Orchestra — rock was taking chances. But at some point, it got comfy and really bloated and we wound up with Kansas, The Doobie Brothers and the Captain and Tennille.

So 1977 felt like one generation giving the big finger to the the previous one, and it felt good. Rock was shedding its skin; it was a constant amazing rush of wonder and surprise. Attitudes changed. My musical heroes were more likely to be DIY kids than superstars in supergroups. The shows I went to moved from soulless stadiums and arenas to clubs and found spaces. Small labels with tightly defined sounds were popping up everywhere, another middle finger to the corporate bloat that shaped and controlled the music we heard. We think of the Internet as redefining the music industry, but it had a precursor here.

We're a lot more territorial about music we share and hear in our teens and 20s. Back in 1977, my world had zero room or tolerance for a middle-of-the-road, though pretty, rock band like Fleetwood Mac. The shiny production on Rumours felt planned and orderly, which made it suitable for moms and dads in their 30s and up but not for unsettled 20-year-olds and teens. Which makes me wonder why so many in this generation are latching on to that sound.

This morning, 35 years after its release, I thought I'd give Rumours another chance and wirelessly streamed it to my home stereo. For the most part that perfect shine didn't sound as shiny. The pop charts these days are filled with clinical perfection, beats locked to clocks and sequencers that makes Rumours feel more like a casual home recording. Once I got past some of the goofy lyrics ("Lay me down in tall grass and let me do my stuff" made me laugh out loud), I found it to be a fine record, one whose influence is all over many of the records I hear now. Fleet Foxes really aren't that far from Fleetwood Mac in name or in sound ... a bit darker, perhaps. And where Fleetwood Mac, in 1977, was on the extreme pop side of the musical scale, Fleet Foxes feels somewhere in the middle, given the much more extreme landscape today, with, let's say, Carly Rae Jepsen on one side and, say, Godspeed You! Black Emperor on the extreme side.

It's all relative. In 2013, the lockstep dance beats — the heart of electronic dance music — and the drummers playing to click tracks — the heart of pop — make Rumours feel organic. And look at the cover art, with its wistful and graceful image of the soon-to-be-couple Mick Fleetwood and Stevie Nicks. Back then they seemed like hippies dressed too well. These days it seems like a painting from a long ago past, almost Renaissance.

I understand how art can be seen in such different light, that it's never as simple as just the music, that it's always wrapped up in the cultural zeitgeist. And most important, there's no right or wrong to loving what you love. But it's wise to keep an open mind, and that's easier to do as you get older. That said, I won't be putting Rumours back on the stereo anytime soon. Though there's strong songwriting on the record and the drums and harmonies stand out, there are plenty of bands these days making music equally wonderful and — for me — without the taint of the past.
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  #32  
Old 01-30-2013, 01:41 PM
michelej1 michelej1 is offline
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Looking back on Fleetwood Mac's 'Rumours' more than 35 years later

A new deluxe set drills deep on the classic album

By Melinda Newman Tuesday, Jan 29, 2013 7:25 PM for Hitfix

Read more at http://www.hitfix.com/news/looking-b...fxHgg4GssF8.99

Fleetwood Mac’s “Rumours” came out in 1977, before the internet and tabloid TV. Instead, all we had to do was listen to the lyrics to get all the drama. The album, which celebrates its 35th anniversary (one year late) with today’s release of a four-CD deluxe edition, chronicled the break-ups of three relationships: singer Stevie Nicks and guitarist Lindsey Buckingham were splitting after seven years together, keyboardist/singer Christine McVie and hubby/bassist John McVie had just divorced. Drummer Mick Fleetwood’s marriage to wife Jenny, who was not in the band, was unraveling, in part because she was having an affair with his best friend.

To be sure there were break-up albums before theirs: Bob Dylan’s “Blood on the Tracks” comes to mind, and ones after, Bruce Springsteen’s “Tunnel Of Love,” but no album has ever been quite so public a bloodletting as the life drains out of the various relationships.

The quintet took a year to record “Rumours” in Sausalito, Calif. at the Record Plant. While they were in the studio, their self-titled 10th album (and the first to feature Buckingham and Nicks) was gaining traction and was a clear sign that moving from the blues-based sound of the previous efforts to a pop-oriented sound was the right move commercially. That was only confirmed with "Rumours," which spent 31 non-consecutive weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard 200.

Most of the songs for “Rumours” were written was done on the spot, with the songwriters bringing their not-so-fully fleshed ideas into the studio for the others to noodle on. Often, as in the case of “Second Hand News,” Buckingham withheld revealing the lyrics until the last moment since he knew they weren’t likely to go down well with Nicks.

I got a copy of the deluxe set a few weeks ago and for the first time in years listened to the “Rumours,” as it was originally released 36 years ago, from start to finish.

How does it hold up? Remarkably well. It’s like visiting an old friend. The songs easily move into the next and weave everyone’s stories together. Even more fascinating is revisiting how the couples are talking to each other through the songs. For example on “The Chain,” (the one song co-written by all five) Buckingham sings, “And if you don’t love me now/You will never love me again/I can still hear you saying you would never break the chain.” On “Oh Daddy,” which Christine McVie wrote from Jenny’s perspective, she laments “Why are you right when I’m so wrong/I’m so weak but you’re so strong.” On “You Make Loving Fun,” Christine McVie is singing about her new love, the band’s lighting director (much to John’s dismay).Despite all the cocaine and alcohol that fueled the sessions, or maybe because of them, the overall effect is a voyeuristic look at three break-ups that are raw and complex, and despite their specificity, have a universal appeal for anyone who has found him or herself similarly entangled. The raw immediacy of the tracks still remains.

All the songs individually have held up as well, especially “Second Hand News,” “Dreams,” “Go Your Own Way,” and “I Don’t Want To Know.” The quintet created music that was not of the day —there’s no ‘70s equivalent of a dubstep drop or a hint of electroclash. Instead the production still sounds fresh and clean and not dated. Buckingham’s guitar playing is crisp, with John McVie and Fleetwood Mac’s rhythm section propulsive when need be and totally in retreat when a gentler touch is demanded.

Of course, the big mistake with “Rumours,” one due to time limitations on the vinyl and internecine fighting, is that Nicks’ delicate, searing “Silver Springs” was left off the album. That was corrected in 2001 on a DVD-Audio version and subsequent pressings have included “Silver Springs.”

The other three discs are fun, but not essential unless you're a big fan. Disc 2 includes live versions of much of the album from 1977, as well as other hits, including “Rhiannon” and “Monday Morning.” The other two discs feature outtakes, alternate versions of songs, and demos from the recording sessions, including two songs that didn’t make the album, “Planets of the Universe” and a lovely duet, “Doesn’t Anything Last.” The last disc, originally issued in 2004, also includes rough takes and outtakes. It's very fun an instructive to hear how the songs morphed and were constructed. For example, the demo of "The Chain" is slow and acoustic, but no less haunting.

A super-expanded version also contains “The Rosebud Film,” a 1977 doc looking at the making of “Rumours” and the original album on vinyl.

The current band, which does not include Christine McVie, will start a tour April 4 in Columbus, Ohio.

Read more at http://www.hitfix.com/news/looking-b...fxHgg4GssF8.99
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  #33  
Old 01-30-2013, 01:43 PM
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Paste Magazine by Ryan Reed,
Fleetwood Mac: Rumours 35th Anniversary Reissue

http://www.pastemagazine.com/article...y-reissue.html
Published at 2:09 PM on January 29, 2013

Besides squeezing out endless cash wads from the wallets of music buyers (an ever-diminishing breed), what’s the point of a fancy-ass remastered deluxe box-set reissue? In the case of Fleetwood Mac’s 1977 pop masterstroke Rumours, it’s a question especially worth asking.

It’s almost impossible to improve, sonically, on one of the warmest, richest recordings in the history of pop music. As a studio document—in terms of engineering, production and performance—Rumours is in the elite company of Dark Side of the Moon and Aja: albums with fidelity as high-class as the songs themselves. This new remaster gives each instrument a more crisp, modern definition, particularly on headphones: Check out Mick Fleetwood’s punchy hi-hat and snare on “Second Hand News,” Lindsey Buckingham’s punchier acoustic strums in the left channel of “Dreams,” the more prominent vocal echo during “Go Your Own Way.” But are these “improvements” necessary? Probably not.

This 35th anniversary package (It’s actually been 36 years) is stuffed to the brim with extras, most of which already showed up on the 2004 double-disc reissue. But they’re still marvelous: Stevie Nicks ballad “Silver Springs” is the most transcendent b-side ever recorded; Fleetwood Mac were so on fire during this fertile stretch that they didn’t even bother tacking it on to the actual album. The early run-throughs and demos are illuminating—proof that some of the greatest pop songs start off as silly doodles with gibberish melodies: On “Second Hand News,” Buckingham mumbles his way through about 20 percent of the lyrics (“Let me do my stuff” was the focal point, even in this unfinished version), as the band pitter-patters unobtrusively behind him. On an early version of “I Don’t Want to Know,” Buckingham and company are figuring out the track in real time, with Buckingham giving transitional cues (“Verse!”).

The most revelatory moment is the “acoustic duet” version of “Never Going Back Again,” which is hardly a “duet” since it features brushed drums, congas, piano, a delayed lead guitar figure and three-part vocal harmonies. It’s the maximalist flip-side to the original’s stripped-down simplicity. On the other side of the “essential” coin is “Mic the Screecher,” in which Fleetwood conjures nails-on-chalkboard screeches over aimless piano chords.

Live tracks from the ‘77 Rumours World Tour are worth seeking out for dedicated fans (especially a ripping take on “Monday Morning,” which harnesses more primal energy in its folky strut), even if none approach the quality of their studio counterparts: “Dreams” is played far too fast, losing its sexy, mystical voodoo; Buckingham’s blaring, out-of-tune guitar on “The Chain” is a distracting deal-breaker. A better live document is the “Rosebud Film,” a previously unreleased mixture of concert footage and chatty interviews. It captures the band in all their late ’70s glory: Buckingham, the afro-glam prince; Nicks, the witchy heartthrob; McVie, the elegant shadow-lurker; Fleetwood, the bearded class clown; McVie, the groove monster in awkwardly short jean-shorts.

In one particularly great scene, Nicks describes the band’s hodge-podge fashion: “I know sometimes we look like—you know, Lindsey’s all Chinese’d-out in his kimona, and I look like I’m going to a Halloween party, and Christine looks like she’s going to be confirmed in the Catholic church, and Mick looks like he’s going to a Renaissance fair, and John looks like he’s going to the beach.”

That unique blend of heavy and playful, mystical and muscular—it was never as potent as it was on Rumours. If there’s ever been an album that deserves the lavish, borderline-unnecessary reissue treatment, it’s this pop behemoth.
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Old 01-30-2013, 03:15 PM
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Fantastic album..one of my top fav..not perfect though. I don't wanna Know, I'm looking at you.....oh and Oh Daddy I have a love/hate relationship with.

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Old 01-30-2013, 04:39 PM
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Originally Posted by bluefox4000 View Post
Fantastic album..one of my top fav..not perfect though. I don't wanna Know, I'm looking at you.....
That's funny. Perfect or not, they should do it this tour, in honor of the reissue. If Stevie still doesn't like the song, let Lindsey do it alone.

Michele
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Old 01-31-2013, 01:08 PM
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Adelaide Now

http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/entert...-1226565705002

Album of the week: Fleetwood Mac's Rumours

Hit writers

January 31, 20139:54AM

ALBUM OF THE WEEK: Rumours is one of those albums where you know every song. Even if you think you don't, they've crept in by soft rock radio osmosis.

The band work on Mac time, so this 35th anniversary reissue actually arrives 36 years after the album was released in February 1977.

Rumours - already in 40 million homes - is one of the most complete albums in history and was fuelled by class A harmonies, class A drugs and beautiful music being made in studios and bedrooms between band members.

The vaults have been raided for more unreleased demos to show rock classics as works in progress. Lindsay Buckingham sniffles his way through an early take on Second Hand News with mumbled vocals and a runny nose and there's Go Your Own Way with lyrics - and vocals - that were yet to be polished. Buckingham says "That was good" at the end - he clearly hadn't heard his flat vocals back yet.

An early demo of Stevie Nicks' timeless Dreams manages to be acoustic but also intense. The album was so strong gems such as Nicks' Planets Of the Universe were left off - she'd later finish it and release it in 2001. "Did you get that? It wasn't wonderful or anything," Nicks says at the end of this demo. She's wrong. Her early Gold Dust Woman rocks too.

There's Christine McVie's Keep Me There (once called Butter Cookie) which ended up being an album highlight and The Chain (a Nicks solo version of which is a find here).

One of McVie's songs that did make the album (and made the album), Songbird is here in simple demo form - it'd be honed vocally later to become a soundtrack to weddings for decades to come. There's also an instrumental Songbird for Mac trainspotters' karaoke competitions.

Deluxe versions have a warts-and-all, un-airbrushed live concert from 1977 (check out Rhiannon), which captures a band who really loved each other flying high in their prime.

ALBUM OF THE WEEK

FLEETWOOD MAC - RUMOURS (WARNER)

Rating: 4.5/5

By Cameron Adams
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Old 01-31-2013, 01:11 PM
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Originally Posted by michelej1 View Post
That's funny. Perfect or not, they should do it this tour, in honor of the reissue. If Stevie still doesn't like the song, let Lindsey do it alone.

Michele
Man I LOVE that song! Prob because as Lindsey pointed out - its the most BN thing on the there! Wanna know what BN sounds like, skeptics? That.
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  #38  
Old 02-01-2013, 02:05 PM
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Consequences of Sound, Album Review: Fleetwood Mac – Rumours [Reissue]
By Jon Hadusek on February 1st, 2013 in Album

http://consequenceofsound.net/2013/0...mours-reissue/

5 Stars

I’ll admit: I’ve made love while Rumours spun on the turntable beside my bed. It was beautiful and sentimental, an unforgettable experience (that I probably shouldn’t be divulging in an album review). But there’s no record that better soundtracks sex than this one. Hell, if you’re between the ages of 25 and 36, there’s a decent chance that you were conceived to these songs. They’re romantic — tales of love and lust, love making and love breaking — infused with universal emotions that nearly everybody can relate to and understand. The critics gave it rave reviews, the general public bought 40 million copies, and the Grammy association crowned it Album of the Year in 1977. Rumours was a rare, ubiquitous success. How?

Heartbreak. The five musicians who wrote these songs were a complete mess at the time. Let’s take inventory: Drummer Mick Fleetwood’s wife cheated on him with his best friend; on-and-off couple Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks finally split prior to these recording sessions; and longtime Fleetwood Mac members Bob John McVie and wife Christine were going through a divorce. **** was ****ed up.

Yet, despite all these tumultuous relationships, the music survived. The McVies bickered and fought in social situations, but worked symbiotically while writing songs. Same goes for Nicks and Buckingham. The record label wanted an album, and Fleetwood Mac delivered. The band took that “****ed up ****” and turned it onto itself, crafting 12 songs about the age-old strife of Boy vs. Girl. Buckingham picked up his acoustic guitar and composed the sparse folk number “Never Going Back Again”. And why would he want to return to a relationship that left him teased and tortured? Nicks was (and remains) a beautiful woman — one helluva vocalist and songwriter. Clearly, their breakup affected him. He also countered with “Go Your Own Way”, an FM staple and a pointed piece of advice. “Loving you isn’t the right thing to do / How can I ever change things that I feel?” He sings it reluctantly.

Nicks was equally transparent with her lyricism. “Dreams” — the band’s only No. 1 single — is literally a direct reply to Buckinghams’ songs: “Now here you go again / You want your freedom.” The dialogue that runs throughout Rumours gives it unity. Rarely do multiple songwriters compile a set of songs that work so well together.

Christine McVie is the odd one out. At first listen, her songs don’t appear to fit the back-and-forth narrative outlined by Nicks and Buckingham. While they sing of post-separation angst, McVie waxes optimistic on “You Make Loving Fun”, clinging to the best parts of her marriage as it begins to crumble. “Don’t break the spell / It would be different and you know it will” — despite the song’s misleading title, you can tell by the longing in her voice that she’s aware of the distance growing between her and Bob John. Her words are tinged with denial, but she knows their spell is being broken. He made loving fun. Now, things are different.

Rumours is quietly distraught, but it sounds so pleasant. On nearly every track, Nicks, McVie, and Buckingham bounce their voices off one another; their harmonies glisten, so cooperative and unified — in utter defiance of the estrangement depicted in the lyrics. Buckingham’s chiming guitar work sticks to the major key and gives these songs the accessibility that made them hits. Christine McVie’s keyboards are an underrated sonic element. She achieves a warm tonality that’s largely responsible for the record’s sexy mood. The sounds are passionate, the words are fragile. And what makes Rumours so remarkable and relevant is that it remains fragile and passionate 35 years later.

The folks at Rhino Records realized this, celebrating the album’s 35th anniversary with all-encompassing box set containing an LP, four CDs, a documentary, and nearly 50 live cuts, demos, and outtakes. In practicality, it’s excessive and overwhelming. Nobody needs three unfinished versions of “Songbird”. But from a historical, archival standpoint, this package is extremely valuable, as Rhino left in the studio banter and rough cuts from the recording sessions; you get to overhear Fleetwood Mac as they make the record.

Earlier this week, NPR blogger Bob Boilen published a dissenting piece called “Why I’ve Never Liked Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours”. He complains of “planned and orderly” production, “goofy lyrics”, and a record stained with the “taint of the past”. The first two points are just opinions, and to each his own. But I adamantly disagree with his closing statement. Just because a record is released in 1977, it’s tainted by the past? No. Aesthetically, Rumours sounds like an older record; however, the songs (and the emotions contained within them) hit with as much poignancy as they did three decades ago. As a 22-year-old in 2013, I can play this album and feel and emote and project my own sappy thoughts onto those of Buckingham, Nicks, and McVie. Or I can play it when I have a girl over and let it set the mood. I can’t help but think that the twentysomethings of the past shared a similar relationship with Rumours. And that’s why, after 35 years, it endures.

Essential Tracks: “Dreams”, “Never Going Back Again”, and “You Make Loving Fun”
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Old 02-02-2013, 03:40 PM
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Bloomberg News
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-0...ove-chaos.html

Fleetwood Mac’s ‘Rumours’ Spills Secrets of Love, Chaos

By Mark Beech - Jan 29, 2013

Fleetwood Mac’s nightly recording sessions in a cramped, windowless studio were fueled by booze and cocaine. The band’s complex romances left every member heartbroken. Shouting matches lasted longer than the songs.

Today, 35 years on, an anniversary box set of “Rumours” shows how the musical cocktail of two women and three men was shaken and stirred by their romantic splits. Newly released material shows the tracks getting endlessly reworked and improved as they squabbled.

It was a “crucifyingly difficult” process, drummer Mick Fleetwood notes. He was going through a divorce, with his wife dating his best friend. He never imagined the chaos would lead to a 40-million-selling LP: the best of 1977, according to the Grammy judges, and one of the finest efforts of the 1970s, maybe even of all time.

The American couple in the band added a pop edge to British blues. Californian Lindsey Buckingham had been inseparable from his singer girlfriend Stevie Nicks for five years. When Fleetwood asked him to join, Buckingham insisted she be included too. Now they were all arguing, and the frustrated guitarist started writing a bitter rant called “Strummer.”

On the box set, we hear how this evolved from a simple acoustic demo into a Celtic rag and finally a sleek piece of disco with hints of the Bee Gees, retitled “Second Hand News.” There’s a percussive roll which, it now turns out, was made by bashing an old Naughahyde chair near the mixing desk.

Romantic Links

Buckingham throws the opening words at his ex: “I know there’s nothing to say, someone has taken my place.” (Nicks was romantically linked to Don Henley of the Eagles, then Fleetwood himself.)

Her own breakup lyric “Dreams” is a swift rejoinder: “Now here you go again, you say you want your freedom.” The song’s first mix, nowhere near so radio-friendly, puts her voice starkly to the fore and buries its optimism.

This creative jousting inevitably leads to Buckingham replying, bluntly inviting her to “Go Your Own Way” because he was “Never Going Back Again.”

The band’s other couple, the McVies, were walking from the wreckage of an eight-year marriage. They were on such bad terms that they would only speak about music.

Christine McVie defiantly shows how she’s moved on with “Don’t Stop” about her on-tour romance with the band’s lighting director. “You Making Loving Fun” tells her husband that her new flame is much better.

Tender Songbird

Coproducer Ken Caillat recalls how huge rows in the Sausalito, California studio would be followed minutes later by the composition of sweet harmonies. He deserves credit for singling out the most tender ballad, “Songbird,” and taking it somewhere else -- more precisely, to the Zellerbach Auditorium, Berkeley, which had the right acoustic and a Steinway piano.

The younger Nicks had the tougher words, but McVie is outstanding with her performance here: “And I love you, I love you, I love you, like never before, like never before.”

When the LP came out, I was a very young punk bassist and hated it, of course. This expensively produced, sentimental mush was exactly the stuff we were rebelling against. Just a few years on and I got it. “Songbird” now moves me every time. The record’s soft rock has echoes in acts such as Sting, Heart, Kelly Clarkson and Neko Case, to name just four.

The creative madness which had threatened to sink records as varied as “Exile on Main Street,” “Pet Sounds” and “Station to Station” again resulted in an act coming out with its best. Miracles do happen. As the lyric has it, “thunder only happens when it’s raining.”

The album is available on Warner as a remaster; a 3-CD version including the original album, bonus tracks and live material ($16); and a box with further outtakes, a DVD and a vinyl LP ($86). Rating: ***** for the shorter versions; *** for the large box because it’s too much for all but the most dedicated fans.

Fleetwood Mac’s tour starts in April.
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Old 02-02-2013, 03:47 PM
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Leah Mclaren, The Globe and Mail, February 1, 2013

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/arts/...rticle8108305/

The Album That Made Divorce Cool

Stevie Nicks, that five-foot-one-inch rock goddess in a floppy hat, one-time lover of cocaine, tranquilizers, Lindsey Buckingham, Don Henley and Mick Fleetwood, a woman who doesn’t just live in California but embodies that state with every fibre of her tiny, glittering, ragged-voiced, flat-ironed blond being, once said that “to be in Fleetwood Mac is to live in a soap opera.” And so it proved to be.

She went on to add, in a much more recent interview, that 2013 would be “the Year of Fleetwood Mac.” Here, again she was correct.

While classic-rock reunions come and go – a tedious conveyor belt of pot-bellied boomers in pleather pants desperately cashing in on youthful glory – this year’s much-anticipated reunion of Fleetwood Mac could not have been better timed. It’s been three and a half decades since the band members overcame their toxic web of mutual heartbreak, divorce and addiction, crammed themselves into a sweaty studio, and emerged with Rumours, quite possibly the most uplifting collection of breakup songs ever written. Just rereleased as a digitally remastered box set, the album, which produced four Top 10 U.S. singles, is the eighth-highest-selling album of all time.

In addition to the new release, the band is preparing for its most ambitious North American tour since the eighties. It won’t be a full reunion – Christine McVie, ex-wife of bassist John McVie (whose name accounts for the “Mac” in Fleetwood Mac) and one of the band’s best songwriters, will not be taking part, having long ago scooped up her royalties and permanently retired to the English countryside.

But that isn’t stopping the waves of adulation pouring forth from both sides of the pond for what is arguably the greatest British-American rock ’n’ roll fusion of all time – and the most drama-prone. In the band’s most famous incarnation, it was composed of two established couples: Stevie Nicks and her long-time partner, guitarist Buckingham; and the McVies; plus Mick Fleetwood on drums. By the time the Rumours tour was finished, Nicks had thrown over Buckingham, first for Henley (of the Eagles), and later for Buckingham’s best friend, Mick Fleetwood. The McVies divorced after Christine’s torrid affair with the band’s lighting director. Add soap, coruscating harmonies and guitar flourishes, and lather vigorously.

But Rumours is more than a big ol’ melodrama. It’s also the record that defined the baby-boomer generation. More than anything by the Beatles. More than anything by the Rolling Stones. It is that rarest of pop-cultural artifacts: a work of art in conversation with itself – a shifting dialogue of angry kiss-offs (Go Your Own Way, The Chain), sexual boasts (You Make Loving Fun) and earnest laments (Songbird) that sum up the emotional condition of a generation learning to live according to an individualistic ethic.

To put the album in context: The cultural shift we’ve come to call the generation gap was actually the popular emergence of the Freudian notion that self-discovery was the key to personal fulfilment. Fleetwood Mac’s original audience was the first generation to believe and act, en masse, as though it was their job to live not according to the circumscribed roles bestowed upon them at birth, but in keeping with Shakespeare’s maxim: “To thine own self be true.” Rumours, which came out in 1977, long after the dust from the sixties had settled, was essentially a pop paean to this new way of life.

The album was (and still is) the unofficial soundtrack of the culture of divorce – a string of easy-listening theme songs for a generation unchained from social expectation. Back in the seventies, the invention of the Pill, combined with the rise of feminism, dovetailed neatly with this new ethos, and a generation of women and men who once might have stayed in stifling marriages suddenly saw a practical way out. Fleetwood Mac, along with Erica Jong, Marilyn French, Sonny & Cher and ABBA, provided the common pop wisdom at the time. And the wisdom was simple: If you’re not happy, get the hell out.

For better or for worse, it’s a relationship mantra most of us live by today. Since the release of Rumours, we have come to see divorce as a disruptive but necessary liberation – something to be endured, overcome and succeeded at in the all-consuming quest to live a fully self-actualized life.

While the ideas in Rumours remain culturally pertinent, it’s the catchy tunes, breezy rhythms, genius guitar lines and lush harmonies that truly explain its ability to endure the test of time. Go into any hipster dive bar in Brooklyn, Parkdale or Hackney, and you are likely to hear it being played, alongside such contemporary inheritors of its sound as Haim, Bon Iver and Fleet Foxes.

The irony, of course, is that when Rumours was released, it was roundly rejected by the counterculture hipsters of the time – punk-rock fans – who saw it for the earnest collection of accessible soft-rock hits that it is. Could anyone have foreseen its eventual success as a generation-defining work of pop art? Certainly not the five baby boomers who made it – they were too busy getting wasted, having affairs and getting divorced. How nice, then, to know that people do sometimes get back together, even if it is only to cash in on their youthful glory.
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Old 02-02-2013, 08:14 PM
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The National

The art of falling apart, John Robinson on Feb 2, 2013

Read more: http://www.thenational.ae/arts-cultu...#ixzz2JnJ7mmcX

The centrepiece of Fleetwood Mac's biggest-selling album starts with the sound of an exasperated profanity - a strange beginning, or so it first appears, for so stirring a song, on so ubiquitous a collection.

Rockers love it, and for a long time, part of the piece has been the signature tune of BBC motor racing coverage. For the members of Fleetwood Mac, The Chain has become nothing less than an anthem: to see footage of the band performing the song is to witness a group in near-delirious celebration of themselves and their enduring connection. We will never, they tell their ecstatic arena crowds, break the chain.

If that fact feels like a cause for celebration now, it certainly didn't at the time of the song's composition. Rather than being connected by some kind of mystical interlocking of energies, at the time they made Rumours, Fleetwood Mac were more manacled together by circumstance. A group until recently chiefly made up of two couples - John McVie (bass) and his wife Christine McVie (keyboards and vocals); Lindsey Buckingham (guitar, vocals) and Stevie Nicks (vocals) - the relationships were now breaking down. Amid this emotional scene, they faced a challenge: to write and record the follow-up to an album (1975's Fleetwood Mac) that had debuted their new and sophisticated transatlantic pop-rock sound, and become a platinum seller.

The album they made, rather than reflecting the ease brought about by the dramatic improvement in their professional lives, instead anatomises the relationship fallout that engulfed the band while holed-up in a windowless studio in Sausalito, California, working on it. Buckingham, the studio perfectionist and inspired pop arranger, wrote the hostile Go Your Own Way for (more accurately "at") Nicks. Christine McVie wrote the optimistic Don't Stop for her soon to be ex-husband, reminding him that things would look brighter with passing time. This was possibly only a small consolation for the fact that she had also written You Make Loving Fun for her new boyfriend, Fleetwood Mac's lighting director. Nicks wrote the slightly vaguer, disappointed Dreams ("You say you want your freedom …") for Buckingham. Nicks also wrote Gold Dust Woman about another damaging affair - her relationship with cocaine.

Given its confessional, incestuous nature, John McVie suggested the album be titled Rumours - an album that has since become so popular that it can regally turn up, as it does here, a year late for its 35th-anniversary edition. Over the course of the material collected here, meanwhile (a three-CD "expanded" edition that includes a live album and a CD of working roughs; a "deluxe" edition that adds to this another disc of near-complete mixes, and a DVD of Rosebud, a much-bootlegged 1977 documentary film), you can intimately chart the band's progress through their unenviable task.

The toxic, humid mood is tough to hide, even outside the songs. In photos of the period, Christine McVie is seldom seen without a bottle of white wine. In the Rosebud film, Buckingham asks McVie how he wants to do something, and McVie just shrugs blankly. "I don't care," he says, "I just want to go home." The album took a year to make, during which time the mastertapes began to degrade from overuse - as if the very hardware of the recording studio was reminding them how damaging it could be to go over the same emotional issues.

The only group composition on an album made by self-obsessed individuals, it is The Chain that best articulates Fleetwood Mac's situation at the time - its three discrete elements articulating the band's estrangement from one another. As you can hear over the course of this set, one part comes from a rather sleepy Nicks song called The Chain. The concluding guitar blowout comes from an outro to a McVie composition called Keep Me There. The verse comes from a reworked old song by Buckingham. It's not called The Chain because of some cosmic understanding between band members. It's called The Chain because it comprises three utterly separate elements that have been pragmatically stuck together by Lindsey Buckingham. Hence, one presumes, his exasperated swearing on the lead-in.

Time has made it an anthem, but the expedient composition of the song reveals an important truth about the pragmatism at the heart of Fleetwood Mac. Once a stalwart hard rock band, necessity had forced them to change so often that by the time they arrived at the line-up that made Rumours, the band were in their third distinct phase. Fronted by the mercurial Peter Green, at the end of the 1960s the band had enjoyed chart success with an eerie and lyrical take on the blues. When Green left, mellower songs were written to diminishing commercial returns by another guitarist, Bob Welch. When Welch departed, Mick Fleetwood (the drummer for and sergeant major of the band) doggedly searched again for new musicians.

As is often the case with relationships, Fleetwood went looking for one thing, but found another - he went looking for a guitarist, but found the defining sound of the 1970s. Buckingham and Nicks, musically speaking, were an odd couple (he a meticulous tunesmith and arranger; she a far vaguer writer, her wafty persona part white witch, part reiki masseuse), but their talents, even when directed at one another, helped create an affluent, supremely harmonious new sound.

For the "Me" decade, Fleetwood Mac delivered the "me" album. Rumours, with its gleaming tunes and subtext of "we need to talk about us" is as indivisible from the affluent American culture of the period as a woman in a beret discussing her aura. At precisely the moment when punk rock was thought to have the monopoly on rawness, Fleetwood Mac provided all of the emotional rancour and disappointment ("Being with you/Isn't the right thing to do …") of the most ardent punk band, and yet delivered it in the most fabulously smooth and appealing fashion. These are hard words that are softly intimated.

Still, as modern as it sounded - critics said it was "very 1970s", even in the 1970s - there were still traces of the band that Fleetwood Mac had once been. Christine McVie's Don't Stop (later Bill Clinton's election campaign song) was based on the kind of gutsy piano shuffle that would have pleased the blues aficionados they once played to. On Go Your Own Way and The Chain, John McVie and Mick Fleetwood provide groovy rhythm support for Buckingham's screaming lead guitar.

Things never quite become unhinged, however. McVie's piano is Bluthner grand rather than battered barrelhouse, and Buckingham's guitar is simply another texture that he adds to his palette in his ongoing mastery of studio dynamics. Throughout the album, in fact, we find the very signifiers that we formerly associated with the wild and searching nature of 1960s rock music to have been repurposed and redirected. Turned inwards, in order to articulate a set of raw, domestic, and individual truths.

On Rumours, the band's disparate talents (Buckingham's folky pop melodies; Nicks's mystic incantations) are all likewise polished to serve the streamlined sound. It is probably Christine McVie's writing, however, that seems most absolutely in tune with the times. You Make Loving Fun, a sprightly funk on a Fender Rhodes piano, is a tidy, Steely Dan-like groove. Her solo showcase Songbird, meanwhile, is a classic confessional ballad of the period, simultaneously completely personal and instantly universal. That it was recorded in an empty concert hall, a rose and a bottle of champagne atop the piano should almost go without saying.

That mix of public and private is the peculiar genius of Rumours: it transformed the utterly specific human resources problems arising from a rock group's workplace romances into the ninth biggest-selling album of all time. The album's massive commercial success, meanwhile, has become a different kind of chain for the band: a diamond-studded leash and collar that has kept them together long after it would arguably have been healthier to part. The band will tour again this summer.

Successive generations of fans, meanwhile, have come to the record seduced by its melodies, and stayed for the emotional veracity of the songs. A younger generation has found its own labels ("coke rock"; "divorce rock") as an ironic way to distance themselves from their enjoyment of such a mainstream, even unfashionable record.

Neither are wrong: from the very start of its lifespan, Rumours has been an album impossible to separate from the circumstances of its making. In 1977, Stevie Nicks didn't shy away from the fact that the torrid romantic narrative behind the album would help sell it. Of the story, to Rolling Stone magazine she shrugged, "Am I going to try and say that's not interesting?" Today, in the liner notes for the album, she has hardened her position: "The truth about Rumours," she says, "is that Rumours was the truth."

John Robinson is associate editor of Uncut and the Guardian Guide's rock critic. He lives in London.


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Old 02-02-2013, 08:19 PM
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Forbes Magazine by Michele Catalano, Contributor , February 2, 2013
http://www.forbes.com/sites/michelec...-iconic-album/


35 Years Of Rumours: A Retrospective On Fleetwood Mac's Iconic Album


There are skeletons in my musical closet

I’m fourteen years old and I have two albums sitting on my bedroom floor. It’s winter, maybe late February. There’s a heavy snow falling, enough snow to send most fourteen year olds outside to do stupid things like attach themselves to car bumpers so they can slide down the slick streets. Not me. I’ve opted to stay in and study. Not schoolwork. I was never the kind to study for school on a Friday night. I’m studying music.

On my right side is Led Zeppelin’s The Song Remains the Same, an album I’d been listening to non-stop since Christmas. On my left is Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours, an album I’ve yet to put on my turntable. It was a gift from my grandfather, who knew someone who knew someone at a record label who gave it to him to “give to that granddaughter of yours that likes music.” That’s me.

I’m into rock and roll. I’m into deep lyrics about stairways to heaven and hobbits. I’m into noisy guitars and the high pitched wails of Robert Plant. I’m not into whatever this Fleetwood Mac group is selling me. That’s for people who like pop music. Not for rockers like me.

But something compels me to give it a try. What can it hurt? No one is around. None of my friends will know that I’m sitting here listening to what is ostensibly a top 40 album while I’m supposed to be rocking the hell out.

On my right side is Led Zeppelin’s The Song Remains the Same, an album I’d been listening to non-stop since Christmas. On my left is Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours, an album I’ve yet to put on my turntable. It was a gift from my grandfather, who knew someone who knew someone at a record label who gave it to him to “give to that granddaughter of yours that likes music.” That’s me.

I’m into rock and roll. I’m into deep lyrics about stairways to heaven and hobbits. I’m into noisy guitars and the high pitched wails of Robert Plant. I’m not into whatever this Fleetwood Mac group is selling me. That’s for people who like pop music. Not for rockers like me.

But something compels me to give it a try. What can it hurt? No one is around. None of my friends will know that I’m sitting here listening to what is ostensibly a top 40 album while I’m supposed to be rocking the hell out.

And my god, that bass line on ‘The Chain.” Even beyond the words, those precious few notes speak to me of a certain darkness. The last minute and fifteen seconds of the song encompass everything the members of Fleetwood Mac were trying to tell me about life and love and loss and misery.

Trust no one. Everything is a lie.

The stories unfolding in front of me while listening to Rumours are far removed from hobbits and heaven. There’s a level of profundity that’s a startling revelation to a fourteen year old. Music nowhere near the simplistic pop I thought I would find on the album? Another revelation. Rumours is just a different version of rock and roll, I think. A more complex, intricate and even intimate version.

It wasn’t until many years later that I fully understood the process behind the making of Rumours and everything that led up to it. The breakups, the drugs, the romantic entanglements and estrangements, they all served a purpose in creating what is truly one of the greatest albums ever made.

35 years later (it’s really 36 years, but it’s their anniversary so we’ll let them call it 35) with the stories all public knowledge, the background of Rumours only adds to the mystique of the album and the band.

The just released 35th anniversary reissue contains three discs encompassing the original album, twelve unreleased tracks and B-sides, acoustics, demos and instrumentals. Very few albums in history are worth this kind of attention 35 years after their inception. If such lavish attention all these years later keeps Rumours alive, so be it. Let every generation discover and ingest what I took in at fourteen, with the benefit of having the whole story at hand.

Does an album that’s already had a celebratory reissue deserve another one? When that album is Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours, the answer - my personal one - is yes.
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Old 02-06-2013, 03:20 AM
michelej1 michelej1 is offline
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By Tom Moon February 5, 2013 8:29 am
http://kunm.org/post/fleetwood-macs-...mours-bit-much

An expanded version of Fleetwood Mac's 1977 album Rumours comes out this week, to mark the 35th anniversary of one of the top-selling albums of the '70s. The deluxe set includes demos, outtakes from the recording sessions, live recordings and a documentary DVD, along with a vinyl pressing of the original album.

The original 11 songs of the pop-rock classic Rumours can be experienced easily in one sitting. Apparently, that's just not enough anymore. When the die-hards plunk down their $85 for the superpremium version, they'll get intimate early glimpses of familiar tunes like "Songbird" and a version of "The Chain" with completely different verses.

We've seen a bunch of these Special Editions of landmark albums in the past few years. Nirvana did one for Nevermind. The Smashing Pumpkins issued a five-disc marathon containing presumably every scrap from sessions for its commercial breakthrough from 1995, Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness. And to mark the 25th anniversary of his hit record So, Peter Gabriel put together a box that includes an unusual collage-like demo disc entitled So DNA. It chronicles the evolution of the songs from early inspiration through the final product.

This kind of peek behind the curtain can be fascinating. But to be honest, sometimes it's less than that. For every revealing moment on the expanded Rumours, there are two or three tracks that don't add much to what we already know about this iconic album. Listening to a full disc of demos and outtakes can teach this much: Not every step in the creative process is intended for public consumption. Sometimes the well-known final versions are all you really need.


Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Last week, Fleetwood Mac released an expanded version of their 1977 album "Rumours," marking the 35th anniversary of one of the top-selling albums of the 1970s. The deluxe set includes demos, outtakes, live recordings and a documentary DVD, along with a vinyl pressing of the original album. It's one of a number of anniversary editions to be released lately. And to critic Tom Moon, too much of a good thing can be a bad thing.

TOM MOON, BYLINE: The original 11 songs of Fleetwood Mac's classic "Rumours" unfold in a little over 39 minutes. For several decades, that's been perfection. But apparently, it's just not enough anymore. When die-hards plunk down their $85 for the superpremium version, they'll get intimate early sketches of familiar tunes like "Songbird."

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "SONGBIRD")

FLEETWOOD MAC: (Singing) And the songbirds are singing like they knew the score. And I love you, I love you, I love you like never before.

MOON: And among the surprises is this version of "The Chain" with completely different verses.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "THE CHAIN")

MAC: (Singing) I won't want to watch you go, no. And I won't even try. There you go down the road. Don't look to me to say goodbye. And if you don't love me now, you will never love me again. I can't stay and hear you say you would never break the chain.

MOON: We've seen a bunch of these special editions of landmark albums in the last few years. Nirvana did one for "Nevermind." The Smashing Pumpkins issued a five-disc marathon containing presumably every scrap from the 1995 "Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness." And to mark the 25th anniversary of his hit record "So," Peter Gabriel put together a box that includes an unusual demo disc entitled "So DNA." Each track is a collage tracing the evolution of the songs from very early inspiration...

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

MOON: ...through the final product.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

MOON: This kind of peek behind the curtain can be fascinating. But to be honest, sometimes it's less than that. For every revealing moment on the expanded "Rumours," there are two or three tracks that don't add much to what we already know about this iconic album. Listening to a full disc of demos and outtakes can teach us this much - not every step in the creative process is intended for public consumption. Sometimes the well-known final versions really do tell the whole story.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "NEVER GOING BACK AGAIN")

MAC: (Singing) Been down one time, been down two times. Never going back again.

SIEGEL: Music critic Tom Moon.

(SOUNDBITE OF CREDITS)

SIEGEL: I'm Robert Siegel.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish. You're listening to ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR
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Old 02-11-2013, 05:55 PM
michelej1 michelej1 is offline
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Blog on the Track, stuff.co.nz
All a bunch of Rumours
SIMON SWEETMAN Last updated 12:40 11/02/2013

http://www.stuff.co.nz/entertainment...nch-of-Rumours

Christine McVie believes it was her estranged husband John who made the call that the new record Fleetwood Mac was creating sounded like "a bunch of rumours". And so, Rumours was what it was called.

Rumours came into my life when I was about 11 years old; by that stage it had been out a decade already and I had in fact listened far more closely to Tango In The Night (and Tusk) and - in fact - the green-cover Greatest Hits album before getting, retrospectively, to Rumours.

Turns out, actually, that I had heard Rumours - all my life up to that point; my father had the tape in his car. And there were the ubiquitous hits covered on the Greatest Hits album (Don't Stop, Dreams, Go Your Own Way, You Make Loving Fun).

But hearing Rumours for the first time, knowingly, was a moment. It was special. Because - as Christine McVie's narration would go on to tell me, the back-story was as important to the album as the songs...around the time of Tango In The Night I was obsessed with the excellent made-for-TV documentary, Fleetwood Mac at 21.

I've thought about all of this over the last few days reviewing the 35th Anniversary Edition of Rumours; a three-disc set that features the original album and two bonus discs: one with studio outtakes, one a live gig from the 1977 Rumours World Tour.

There was a decent fill of Rumours outtakes offered with the 2004 reissue of the album on double CD - and I've got a couple of copies of the album on vinyl. I've read two books that deal specifically with the making of Rumours and the story behind the making of the album and I've read close to a dozen others about Fleetwood Mac's (overall) story.

Rumours is one of those monumentally huge albums. Whilst I (almost) understand the punk fans of the era being still thoroughly revolted by the album - and its concept/conception - at the same time I'm sorta baffled; to my mind anyone who likes music needs to hear - and hold dear this album. If not for the actual music then for the story.

How could five people so strangely entwined and bitterly divided create this perfect pop music? That's the question I have in mind every time I listen to Rumours.

And it was the same last week when the 35th Anniversary Edition arrived.

It's a treat to hear the demo versions of what would become The Chain - if you never have; two distinct songs, the band capable of marrying up tunes to make perfect unions while the marriages within the band were crumbling.

And the live CD shows the now show stopping hits as tentative crawlers...newborn songs heading out into the world. For the first time, or thereabouts...

But it's the original album that still baffles and captivates. How could they have relegated Silver Springs to mere b-side? (Here it is included at the end of the CD, in 2004 it was placed between Songbird and The Chain, the (new) opener to Side Two.

I still prefer Tusk - that album is the true masterpiece, for mine. And the eponymous album that launched the Buckingham/Nicks era is strong; some days I'm more invested in that than Rumours. But Rumours is the one that tells the story - the incredible tale, the breakups and the almost-nonchalant restarts; the band's three songwriters kicking off new relationships and boasting about those while dogging their exes. Two of the band's songwriters sparring - even while Lindsey Buckingham continued to shape Stevie Nicks' material so as to make it her best.

Rumours is the album that has Buckingham stepping into his role as the band's sonic visionary.

Rumours is the album that sees Christine McVie slipping into the background, for the first time in nearly a decade - she was always a supporting player but she had been the silent strength of the band, despite her huge contributions to Rumours she is, slowly but surely on the way out.

And Stevie Nicks' persona is on the rise - her way of inhabiting a song, creating a role for each song - that started with Rhiannon (and maybe Landslide, even) on the previous album but it's Rumours where this really resonates; where she announces this with Gold Dust Woman and Dreams and her role in The Chain.

Rumours is so beautifully, perfectly spit-polished. Hard work and cocaine and booze and loads of money...throw enough vices and cash together to swirl with superb songwriting.

I hear Rumours as a punk album. You probably think that's absurd. But there's something very punk-spirit to me about the setting for these songs, if not the actual songs.

I probably didn't need the extras that came with the 35th Anniversary Edition - but I welcomed them anyway. As a fan does.

Fleetwood Mac's music has meant more to me across the 36 years of my life than any other band; all versions of the band....

And Rumours is huge. Bigger than any of us. Bigger than just about any other album by any other band.

So what do you make of Rumours? Are you a fan? Or will you never give it the time of day? And how about the anniversary edition? Does this interest you at all? Anyone else sucked in by the story behind the making of the album?

And if not Rumours what's your favourite Fleetwood Mac album?

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Old 02-11-2013, 06:24 PM
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Originally Posted by bluefox4000 View Post
Fantastic album..one of my top fav..not perfect though. I don't wanna Know, I'm looking at you.....oh and Oh Daddy I have a love/hate relationship with.

Mick
I'm perplexed by the general disdain and lack of love for "I Don't Wanna Know." For me, it's a very catchy Buckingham Nicks duet. Given that, with the absence of Christine, Fleetwood Mac is essentially Buckingham Nicks, so I wish they would perform this song, as well as some tracks from that album.

If they had any sense at all, instead of another "no new album" tour, they would have re-released that album and marketed the tour as such. But I guess it doesn't matter, since ticket sales are very strong.
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