Fleetwood Mac

1. Second Hand News
2. Dreams
3. Never Going Back Again
4. Don't Stop
5. Go Your Own Way
6. Songbird
7. The Chain
8. You Make Loving Fun
9. I Don't Want to Know
10. Oh Daddy
11. Gold Dust Woman

Lindsey Buckingham (vocals, guitar)
Mick Fleetwood (drums, percussion)
Christine McVie (vocals, keyboards)
John McVie (bass guitar)
Stevie Nicks (vocals)

Peter Green's Fleetwood Mac (1968)
Mr. Wonderful (1968)
Then Play On (1969)
Kiln House (1970)
Future Games (1971)
Bare Trees (1972)
Penguin (1973)
Mystery to Me (1973)
Heroes Are Hard to Find (1974)
Fleetwood Mac (1975)
Rumours (1977)
Tusk (1979)
Mirage (1982)
Tango in the Night (1987)
Behind the Mask (1990)
Time (1995)
Say You Will (2003)

Chris Swinney: backing vocals on tracks 1 & 9 , voice on track 11

Ken Caillat – producer, engineer, mastering
Richard Dashut – producer, engineer
Fleetwood Mac – producers
Cris Morris – assistant engineer
Ken Perry – mastering
Charlie Watts – mastering
Desmond Strobel – design
Larry Vigon – calligraphy
Herbert Worthington – photography
Recorded 1976 at Criteria Studios, Miami; Record Plant Studios, Sausalito and Los Angeles; Zellerbach Auditorium, Berkeley; Wally Heider Studios, Los Angeles; Davlen Recording Studio, North Hollywood

Released 4/2-1977
Reviewed 19/2-2012

warner bros

The fourth of February 1977 was the date when one of the best selling albums ever was released. More than 40 million sold albums later after peaking all the big charts (UK, US, Australia and Canada, among others) it has now gone 35 years since the release and I to me this is just the kind of album we're searching for when we review albums. One of those kinds of album you almost never get to hear because this album is just as good today as it was when it was released in 1977.

To play 'Rumours' is almost like going out for dinner and have one of those perfect meals where everything from starters to main course and dessert is just perfect in every way. Every song is like a party in your ears and you're the centre of attention. The somewhat rocky opening Second Hand News sung by Lindsey Buckingham quickly turns in to the toned down mid-tempo song Dreams sung by Stevie Nicks. A song on which numerous of covers has been made during the years but the question is if anyone has come close to Stevie Nicks heartbreaking pitch. Never Going Back is another song sung by Buckingham and it's an acoustic guitar song that sounds almost like a classic folk music hymn. The following Don't Stop is quite a contrast towards this and this is another song by Buckingham but this time in duet with Christine McVie and their male and female voices are interlaced beautifully. The fifth song is the first single of the album making it to tenth on the US Billboard charts. It's an angry song, quick and written by Lindsey Buckingham aimed towards his wife Stevie Nicks because of the problems they were going through at the moment when they made 'Rumours'. Side one on the original LP vinyl are then ended by the calm and soft Songbird sung by Christine McVie again with almost only her piano accompanying.

Side two are then opened by the in motor sport circuits immortal classic The Chain. This is the only song on the album written by all the members of the band and despite the song never being released as a single it's still today played on the radio regularly. The song is in itself quite unique beginning like something quite normal for a rock song in the 70's but sung by all the members. Then after about three minutes the song is completely turned around as one of the most unique bass-guitar parts ever made starts. The song is about standing strong together no matter what happens, which probably makes it a necessary song to do back in those days considering the difficulties they went through when recording the album. The CD-edition released in 2004 (which of course doesn't have a side on and two) have had the song Silver Springs placed in front of The Chain. This is a song that wasn't even included on the vinyl editions but it's an answer to Lindsey Buckinghams Go Your Own Way by Stevie Nicks, but somewhat slower and more beautifully melancholic.

The Chain is followed but Christine McVies classic rock song You make Loving Fun, sung by McVie herself and an almost angelic choir in the chorus. The song made it to ninth on the Billboard charts as it was released as the fourth single of the album in September of 1977. The following song, I Don't Want To Know, is just like Silver Springs written by Stevie Nicks aimed at Lindsey Buckingham but this time it's a more traditional rock song sung by the both of them in duet. The tenth (or eleventh) song on the album is Oh Daddy and it's another of McVies ballads and just like the previous one this is a toned down song built around her beautifully deep pitched voice. The instrumental usage is somewhat frugally used but not as much as in Songbird. The concluding song of the album is Gold Dust Woman, which also was the B-side on the You make Loving Fun-single. The song has an almost Eastern sound on it and Stevie Nicks voice is much more trembling than on the other songs on the album, which is said to be a result of her covering her face (except the mouth of course) with a blanket at four in the morning after recording all day long to intensify her inner emotions and become more expressive in her voice.

I'm not trying to say that 'Rumours' is a perfect album by any means. It's not divine or without faults and other kind of error spots but when you play this album from beginning to the end you're not even close to thinking about it. Every song just falls beautifully at their place with perfect precision expressing a great variation in the material. The three vocalists are all very expressive presenting actually experienced emotions at the time and the songs are all written in a phase of real emotion like love, anger, betrayal and consideration. The production is big and expensive and still today it's pretty good compared to albums released today. Not strange, perhaps? The band spent more than six months in the studio recording and another two were spent in post-production. When the album was released in February 1977 a full year had passed since the band entered the studio, which in those days was an extremely long time for an album to be recorded.

In my point of view this is one of the best illustrations to an album receiving a full point score. It just works on every level and nowhere along the way is there a feeling of things not working. The album is ended beautifully (twice) and before reaching the end we've been given everything from real rockers to acuostic guitar-songs and duets. This is an album that has everything and still today very few albums have reached the same kind of quality as this album. Congratulations to your 35 years!




Label: Warner Bros
Three similar bands: Buckingham Nicks/John Mayall's Bluesbreakers/Eddie Boyd
Rating: HHHHHHH (7/7)
Reviewer: Caj Källmalm

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