Release Date: Jan 29, 2013
Record label: Rhino
Fleetwood MacRumours (Deluxe Edition)(Rhino)Rating: 5 stars (out of 5) To be a fan of tuneful, tastefully literate rock in the mid- to late- 1970s was to walk among giants. The better the albums were, the more sophisticated and polished the songs and arrangements, the better they sold and the bigger their cultural impact – Jackson Browne’s The Pretender, Steely Dan’s Aja, the Eagles’ Hotel California, Boz Scaggs’ Silk Degrees, Joni Mitchell’s Court And Spark, Paul Simon’s Still Crazy After All These Years. Yet the biggest and most enduring of all those “sophisticated rock” albums came from the unlikeliest of sources – Fleetwood Mac, which had started in late-1960s Britain as a psychedelicized blues-rock outfit and, through a long and complex evolution of personnel and direction, became L.
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.
If you’re one of the 45 million people who’ve bought Rumours, you know its glories – the uncanny fusion of pop hooks, 1950s rock exuberance and heavenly harmonies: Stevie Nicks, in "Dreams," revealing the poison dart beneath her faerie wings; Lindsey Buckingham baring his fangs in "Go Your Own Way"; the scent of Laurel Canyon sycamores (and Humboldt County pot) wafting over it all. This edition adds a disc of live cuts from the Mac's 1977 tour, a 140-gram vinyl copy of the original LP, a documentary with glimpses of the famous intraband tensions, and outtakes like "For Duster (the Blues)" that capture the band’s roiling blues-rock magnificence. The real revelations are recordings that part the curtains on the making of Rumours, like Christine McVie's solo-piano-demo rendition of "Songbird.
Fleetwood Mac's Rumours would never be just an album. Upon its release in 1977, it became the fastest-selling LP of all time, moving 800,000 copies per week at its height, and its success made Fleetwood Mac a cultural phenomenon. The million-dollar record that took a year and untold grams to complete became a totem of 1970s excess, rock'n'roll at its most gloriously indulgent.
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.
The game-changing ’70s AOR blockbuster turns 35 with a super deluxe boxset…“Times were a lot crazier then – anything was possible. Budgets were not important and doing drugs was the norm. In the mid-’70s there was a sense that you could do no wrong.” So said an eyeliner’d Lindsey Buckingham, reminiscing in the 1997 Classic Albums documentary on the making of the ultimate classic album, Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours.
Fleetwood Mac's 1977 album Rumours has sold over 40 million albums to date. To this day, Rumours is inextricable from the story of its creation, a process that took over the band members' lives at the exact time four of its members were severing romantic ties and a fifth was dealing with a breakup of his own. .
It seems fitting in a way that a big reason for the existence of this “Expanded Edition” of Rumours is also a big reason why the original album had such magical appeal. That is, the always-dynamic, often turbulent relationship between Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks. In 2012, Buckingham and Fleetwood Mac’s namesake rhythm section of Mick Fleetwood and John McVie held sessions to record tracks for a new album.
A justified addition to the many Rumours already making the rounds. Mike Diver 2013 Rumours will never die. Many years from now, when physical formats are forgotten and music is delivered directly into the brain via some sort of digital syringe, it’ll be there: re-released for the umpteenth time, complete with a full holographic performance, drummer Mick Fleetwood’s eyes bulging like ping-pong balls.