Album Re-issued in Expanded and Super Deluxe Versions
January 28/29, 2013

Fleetwood Mac: Rumours (Deluxe Edition)
Written by Steven Rosen
American Songwriter
February 21, 2013

Rating: ★★★★★ (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.A.-based purveyors of plangent confessional pop-rock. To accomplish that, three of the band’s core members – drummer Mick Fleetwood, bassist John McVie and pianist/composer Christine McVie (John’s wife) had moved to L.A. and hired a California singer-songwriter pair, guitarist Lindsey Buckingham and his girlfriend, Stevie Nicks. Magic resulted. Not only did that give Fleetwood Mac three strong voices, but two were female – rare at the time.

Their finest album, 1977’s Rumours, addresses with heart and sharp insight the romantic disengagements and re-entanglements of the members in the free-spirited, free-love 1970s. It has just been reissued by Rhino Records in a four-disc edition that includes “Silver Springs” (originally left off the album), studio outtakes, live recordings from a 1977 tour, a vintage film about the making of Rumours, and a vinyl platter. (A smaller but “expanded” Rumours also is available.)

Fleetwood Mac at this point was a sum of some very strong parts. Christine McVie was a tunesmith worthy of the Brill Building’s heyday – Goffin and McVie? – yet had also been touched by Joni Mitchell. She also had perfect pitch – the outtakes and live cuts show she could find the right key, the perfect melodiousness, for her vocals right from the get-go. She has four songs on Rumours – the jaunty  “Don’t Stop” and “You Make Loving Fun,” and the introspective “Songbird” and “Oh Daddy,” a tribute to Fleetwood.

Nicks was at her vocal peak here. The huskiness, which she still could control, gave “Dreams,” “Gold Dust Woman” and “Silver Springs” a moody, bluesy sensuality that suited the subject matter and provided a touch of the mystic.

Buckingham’s three solo songs are a cornucopia of influences – Buddy Holly and Everly Brothers on “Second Hand News,” Americana and Appalachian folk on “Never Going Back Again,” and folk-rock/garage-rock on “Go Your Own Way.” The latter continues to amaze for the way the opening acoustic strumming – it slams like punk – fights with Fleetwood’s drumming. When it comes together, its raw driving urgency and the desperation of Buckingham’s thin, stretched voice keep you riveted.

The discipline that Buckingham the guitarist showed in service of these songs is particularly notable – he is a virtuoso guitarist whose finger-picking style and confident soloing could have led him to really show off. His restraint is one of his greatest contributions.

By Reviewer: Arielle Gelb

“…I’ve been getting out there with two ex-lovers and we’ve been playing songs which are so specific about each of us, you just wouldn’t know. We’re friends now but we can’t forget what happened between us.” This quote from rock Goddess Stevie Nicks, one of the lead vocalists in Fleetwood Mac, perfectly epitomizes the collective mindset of the band during the album creating process. The quote also demonstrates to the fan that song quality is the bands first and highest priority.

Full Review at Puluche

4 reasons to love Fleetwood Mac's reissued 'Rumours' 3-CD set
By Ken Paulsen
Staten Island Advance 

To commemorate the 35th anniversary of one of the biggest pop smashes of all time, Fleetwood Mac has reissued "Rumours" in a 3-CD set. Here's why it's so easy to recommend.

1) The original album is a pop masterpiece, from Lindsey Buckingham's breezy opening guitar strumming at the start of "Second Hand News," to the haunting vocals of Steve Nicks' "Gold Dust Woman." In between are songs that still get radio airplay every day because of their timeless appeal: "Go Your Own Way," "You Make Loving Fun," "Dreams" (the band's only No. 1 single) and "Don't Stop." Deeper cuts like Christine McVie's "Songbird" and Buckingham's "Never Going Back Again" would be signature songs for most acts. On "Rumours," they are the powerful tracks that keep you from ever reaching for the "next song" button on your iPod or CD player.

2) The bonus track "Silver Springs" is now the 12th song on "Rumours," and it fits in seamlessly -- where it should have been placed in 1977. Nicks wrote the song to her former lover Buckingham, but band leader Mick Fleetwood knocked it off the album, leaving Nicks devastated. The official reason was that there wasn't enough room on the album, but the potent lyrics had to be a factor: "I'll follow you down 'til the sound of my voice will haunt you / You'll never get away from the sound of the woman that loves you."  Can you blame Buckingham if he was freaked out by them?

3) The second CD features 12 previously unreleased live recordings from the band's 1977 concert tour and it provides a snapshot at the peak of its success.  Most tracks hew closely to the album versions; among the notable exceptions are "World Turning" and "Rhiannon," both from 1975's "Fleetwood Mac," and "The Chain," the one "Rumours" track with songwriting credits ascribed to the entire band. On the concert version of "The Chain," John McVie's signature bass line gives way to an extended, frenzied Buckingham solo. With the band singing the chorus in harmony, it's a song that could have been prolonged even further.

4) The third CD provides the biggest treat for fans who thought they had explored all of  "Rumours." Its 16 songs provide a peek at the evolution of the album's gems. For example, on a slower, stripped-down "Dreams: Take 2," Nicks' ethereal vocals blend magically with gentle accompaniment by McVie's organ. The final version is surely more polished and radio friendly, but "Take 2" is worth revisiting. The CD also shows where some smart decisions were made: "Never Going Back Again" was originally recorded as a Buckingham-Nicks duet. But Buckingham's sentiments -- no doubt inspired by his ex-lover -- are best expressed alone here. An instrumental version is also included, and once again you appreciate Buckingham's touch: The listener can be grateful that he recognized how the melody only needed seven lines of lyrics; the tune sounds naked without them. In addition, "early takes" of tracks such as "Songbird" and "Gold Dust Woman" show that McVie and Nicks, respectively, had it right all along.

The three-CD version, released by Rhino records, retails for about $20. A deluxe edition is available, featuring an additional CD of outtakes from the "Rumours" recording sessions, the 1977 documentary "Rosebud Film" and the entire album on 140-gram vinyl. Both versions (minus the vinyl, of course) are also available in digital formats.

The band is embarking on a tour of U.S. and Europe starting this spring, including a stop at Madison Square Garden in April.

Fleetwood Mac
Rumours: Deluxe Edition
By Jody Rosen - Rolling Stone

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." Then there's the country-rock lament "Silver Springs,” a B side that would have been another band's lead single.

Hi-Fi Choice UK
Direct Article Link

Fleetwood Mac - Rumours
Rated "Best New Reissue

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. It was also a bellwether of glimmering Californian possibility, the permissiveness and entitlement of the 70s done up in heavy harmonies. By the time it was made, the personal freedoms endowed by the social upheaval of the 60s had unspooled into unfettered hedonism. As such, it plays like a reaping: a finely polished post-hippie fallout, unaware that the twilight hour of the free love era was fixing and there would be no going back. In 1976, there was no knowledge of AIDS, Reagan had just left the governor's manse, and people still thought of cocaine as non-addictive and strictly recreational. Rumours is a product of that moment and it serves as a yardstick by which we measure just how 70s the 70s were. 

And then there's the album's influence. Though it was seen as punk's very inverse, Rumours has enjoyed a long trickle-down of influence starting from the alt-rock-era embrace via Billy Corgan and Courtney Love to the harmonies and choogling of Bonnie "Prince" Billy and the earthier end of Beach House. Rumours set a template for pop with a gleaming surface that has something complicated, desperate, and dark resonating underneath. 

Setting aside the weight of history, listening to Rumours is an easy pleasure. Records with singles that never go away tend to evoke nostalgia for the time when the music soundtracked your life; in this case, you could've never owned a copy of it and still know almost every song. When you make an album this big, your craft is, by default, accessibility. But this wasn't generic pabulum. It was personal. Anyone could find a piece of themselves within these songs of love and loss.

Two years prior to recording Rumours, though, Fleetwood Mac was approximately nowhere. In order to re-establish the group's flagging stateside reputation, in early 1974 Fleetwood Mac's drummer and band patriarch, Mick Fleetwood, keyboardist/singer Christine McVie, and her husband, bassist John McVie, moved from England to Los Angeles. The quartet was then helmed by their fifth and least-dazzling guitarist, the American Bob Welch. Not long after the band's British faction had relocated, Welch quit the band. Around the same time Mick Fleetwood was introduced to the work of local duo, Buckingham Nicks, who'd just been dropped by Polydor. The drummer was enchanted by Lindsey Buckingham's guitar work and Nicks' complete package, and when Welch quit, he offered them a spot in the band outright. 

The group, essentially a new band under an old name, quickly cut 1975's self-titled Fleetwood Mac, an assemblage of Christine McVie's songs and tracks Buckingham and Nicks had intended for their second album, including the eventual smash "Rhiannon". It was a huge seller in its own right and they were now a priority act given considerable resources. But by the time they booked two months at Record Plant in Sausalito to record the follow-up, the band's personal bonds were frayed, there was serious resentment and constant drama. Nicks had just broken up with Buckingham after six years of domestic and creative partnership. Fleetwood's wife was divorcing him, and the McVies were separated and no longer speaking.

While Fleetwood Mac was a bit of a mash-up of existing work, Lindsey Buckingham effectively commandeered the band for Rumours, giving their sound a radio-ready facelift. He redirected John McVie and Fleetwood's playing from blues past towards the pop now. Fleetwood Mac wanted hits and gave the wheel to Buckingham, a deft craftsman with a vision for what the album had to become.

He opens the record with the libidinous "Second Hand News", inspired by the redemption Buckingham was finding in new women, post-Stevie. It was the album's first single and also perhaps the most euphoric ode to rebound chicks ever written. Buckingham's "bow-bow-bow-doot-doo-diddley-doot" is corny, but it works along with the percussion track (Buckingham played the seat of an office chair after Fleetwood was unable to properly replicate a beat a la the Bee Gees' "Jive Talkin'"). Like "Second Hand News", Buckingham's "Go Your Own Way" is upbeat but totally fuck-you. He croons "shackin' up is all you wanna do,"-- accusing an ex-lover of being a wanton slut on a song where his ex-lover harmonizes on the hook. Save for "Never Going Back Again," (a vintage Buckingham Nicks composition brought in to replace Stevie's too-long "Silver Springs") Buckingham's songs are turnabout as fairplay with lithe guitar glissando on top.

"Second Hand News" is followed by a twist-of-the-knife Stevie-showpiece, "Dreams", a gauzy ballad about what she'd had and what she'd lost with Buckingham. It was written during one of the days where Nicks wasn't needed for tracking. She wrote the song in a few minutes, recorded it onto a cassette, and returned to the studio and demanded the band listen to it. It was a simple ballad that would be finessed into the album's jewel; the quiet vamp laced with laconic Leslie-speaker vibrato and spooky warmth allow Nicks to draw an exquisite sketch of loneliness. "Dreams" would become Fleetwood Mac's only #1 hit.

Though Fleetwood Mac was always the sum of its parts, Nicks was something special both in terms of the band and in rock history. She helped establish a feminine vernacular that was (still) in league with the cock rock of the 70s but didn't present as a diametric vulnerability; it was not innocent. While Janis Joplin and Grace Slick had been rock's most iconic heroines at the tail-end of the 60s, they were very much trying to keep up with boys in their world; Nicks was creating a new space. And Fleetwood Mac was still very much an anomaly, unique in being a rock band fronted by two women who were writing their own material, with Nicks presenting as the girliest bad girl rock'n'roll had seen since Ronnie Spector. She took the stage baring a tambourine festooned with lengths of lavender ribbon; people said she was a witch.

Like her male rock'n'roll peers, Nicks sang songs about the intractable power of a woman (her first hit, "Rhiannon") and used women as a metaphor ("Gold Dust Woman"), but her approach was different. At the time of Rumours' release, she maintained that the latter song was about groupies who would scowl at her and Christine but light up when the guys appeared. She later confessed that it was about cocaine getting the best of her. In 1976, coke was the mise of the scene-- to admit you were growing weary would have been gauche. Nicks' husky voice made it sound like she'd lived and her lyrics-- of pathos, independence, and getting played-- certainly backed it up. She seemed like a real woman-- easy to identify with, but with mystery and a natural glamour worth aspiring to.

It's almost easy to miss Christine McVie for all of Nicks' mystique. McVie had been in the band for years, but never at the helm. Her songs "You Make Lovin' Fun" and "Don't Stop" are pure pep. "Songbird" starts as a plaintive ode of fealty and how total her devotion-- until the sad tell of "And I wish you all the love in the world/ But most of all I wish it from myself," (an especially heart-wrenching line given that McVie's not quite ex-husband was dragging a rebound model chick to the sessions and Christine was sneaking around with a member of the crew). She didn't hate her husband, she adored him, she wished it could work but after years of being in the Mac together, she knew better. Throughout, McVie's songwriting is pure and direct, irrepressibly sweet. "Oh Daddy", a song she wrote about Mick Fleetwood's pending divorce is melancholy but ultimately maintains its dignity. McVie, with typical British reserve, confessed she preferred to leave the bleakness and poesy to her dear friend Stevie.

As much feminine energy as Rumours wields, the album's magic is in its balance: male and female, British blues versus American rock'n'roll, lightness and dark, love and disgust, sorrow and elation, ballads and anthems, McVie's sweetness against Nicks' grit. They were a democratic band where each player raised the stakes of the whole. The addition of Buckingham and Nicks and McVie's new prominence kicked John McVie's bass playing loose from its blues mooring and forced him towards simpler, more buoyant pop. Fleetwood's playing itself is just godhead, with effortless little fills, light but thunderous, and his placement impeccable throughout. The ominous, insistent kick on the first half on "The Chain", for example, colors the song as much as the quiver of disgust in Buckingham's voice when he spits "never."

In the liner notes to the deluxe Rumours 4xCD/DVD/LP box set, Buckingham describes the album-making process as "organic." Rumours is anything but, and that is part of its genius-- it's so flawless it feels far from nature. It is more like a peak human feat of Olympic-level studio craft. It was made better by its myopia and brutal circumstances: the wounded pride of a recently dumped Buckingham, the new hit of "Rhiannon", goading Nicks to fight for inclusion of her own songs, Christine McVie attempting to salve her heart with "Songbird." That Fleetwood Mac had become the biggest record Warner Bros. had ever released while the band was making Rumours allowed for an impossibly long tether for them to dick around and correct the next album until it was immaculate.

Given the standalone nature of Rumours, it's difficult to argue that any other part of the box set is necessary. The live recordings of the Rumours tour are fine, lively even (perhaps owing to Fleetwood rationing a Heineken cap of coke to each band member to power performances). Only a handful of tracks on the two discs of the sessions outtakes lend any greater understanding of the process behind it. One is "Dreams (Take 2)", which is just Nicks voice, some burbling organ, and rough rhythm guitar gives an appreciation of her fundamental talent as well as Buckingham's ability to transform it; it makes the case for how much they needed each other. Another is "Second Hand News (Early Take)", which features Buckingham mumbling lyrics so as not to incense Nicks. The alternate mixes and takes (more phaser! Less Dobro! Take 22!), by the time you make it to disc four, just underscore the fact that Rumours did not hatch as a pristine whole. One does not need three variously funky articulations of Christine's burning "Keep Me There" to comprehend this.

Nevertheless, it is difficult not to buy into the mythology of Rumours both as an album and pop culture artifact: a flawless record pulled from the wreckage of real lives. As one of classic rock's foundational albums, it holds up better than any other commercial smash of that ilk (Hotel California, certainly). We can now use it as a kind of nostalgic benchmark-- that they don't make groups like that anymore, that there is no rock band so palatable that it could be the best-selling album in the U.S. for 31 weeks. Things work differently now. Examined from that angle, Rumours was not exactly a game changer, it was merely perfect.

Fleetwood Mac – Rumours – 35th Anniversary Super Deluxe Edition (Warner Bros)
The 13th Floor
by Marty Duda

It actually was 36 years ago this week that Fleetwood Mac released Rumours. In an era (the 1970s) when the album was king, Rumours was definitely royalty…it has sold over 40 million copies, topped both the US and UK charts, earned a Grammy  and spawned four hit singles (Don’t Stop, Go Your Own Way, Dreams & You Make Loving Fun). Now comes a hugely-expanded version…six discs in all…to celebrate the 35th (or 36th) anniversary and get a few more copies out into the public.

First of all, kudos to Warner Brothers Records NZ for actually releasing a physical version of this reissue. It’s an expensive package and more times than not these days, the labels simply release a digital version, leaving fans to have to toll the internet for something they can hold in their hands.

Let’s take a look at the “Super-Deluxe Edition”. It consists of the original album, plus the non-LP B-side Silver Springs on CD, a 12-track live CD recorded on the 1977 Rumours World Tour, a DVD containing The Rosebud Film, a 30-minute doco shot in 1977 featuring brief interviews and full-length performances of six songs, two CDs full of alternate takes, demos and studio noodling (one of which was released a few years back when Rumours was previously reissued, and finally (and best of all) a vinyl copy of the original album.

That’s a lot of material to wade through. I went for the vinyl copy first, and it sounded great, just like the original version I already own. In addition to the songs, one of the joys of listening to Rumours is the high quality of the production and recording. The record is still the best way to appreciate that aspect.

The live album also sounds very good and features a few songs from their previous album (Monday Morning, Rhiannon, World Turning) in addition to a healthy dose of Rumours tunes.

The Rosebud Film is a bit short, but entertaining. Mick Fleetwood’s constant mugging for the camera gets a tad tiresome and the whole band looks stoned throughout it, but it’s cool to see them in all their 70s glory.

The alternate takes and demos are good fun for those interested in the creative process. Sure there are a few tracks that simple feature unfinished songs sung slightly out of tune (usually by Lindsay Buckingham), but there are also insights into how this iconic album came together. For instance, The Chain, one of the highlights of the record, is a combination of two songs, one by Stevie Nicks and one by Christine McVie, that eventually were joined tighter in a studio jam. Early versions of both tunes are included here.

For those who were buying records back in 1977, when Rumours first appeared, the over-familiarity with the songs make be a draw-back (these songs were omnipresent on the radio back then), but younger listeners , especially those into contemporary indie rockers like Fleet Foxes and  Bon Iver, will probably hear the Fleetwood Mac influences in their work.

Either way, there’s no doubt that Rumours is one of the great albums and whether you’re an old or young fan, with six discs to explore, there’s something for everyone here.

On Fleetwood Mac's Rumours: 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.

Fleetwood Mac Rumours – 35th Anniversary Edition Review
A justified addition to the many Rumours already making the rounds.
by Mike Diver

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, Mick Fleetwood’s eyes bulging like ping-pong balls.

They’re hypnotising here. Staring from the back cover of this triple-disc repackaging marking the album’s 35th anniversary (and released a year too late for it), the founding father figure dominates their line-up, even beside Lindsey Buckingham’s impressive ‘fro. Arguably it was the drummer who guided the band through Rumours’ troubled gestation, as relationships frayed and failed around him.

But the background of Rumours is well documented, and its songs have been heard the world over. Forty million copies sold – a figure that few present-day acts can dream of matching (although Adele’s 21, with 25 million sales and counting, could be a contender). So what does this release have to offer over past, high-profile reissues?

Disc two is filled by 12 previously unreleased live tracks, recorded at shows in Oklahoma, Tennessee and South Carolina during 1977. It’s a well-sequenced affair that gels into a most enjoyable ‘as live’ set. The crowd is never too intrusive but always present; interaction between band members is crisply captured; and Rumours’ standouts are present and correct.
Amongst these tracks are three stowaways from Fleetwood Mac’s pre-Rumours commercial high, 1975’s eponymous album. Rhiannon is Stevie Nicks’ most notable moment in the spotlight, a song that will forever sparkle. It’s as effective over almost eight minutes here as it is on its sub-four single edit.

Go Your Own Way’s B side Silver Springs is, as on earlier reissues, added to the original Rumours tracklist. Disc three contains “More from the Recording Sessions”, selections that didn’t feature on 2004’s double-disc remaster. Included are several early takes, with vocal annotations included – “Keep it going to the B-flat,” instructs Buckingham, between lines, on Oh Daddy.

Nicks sings beautifully on the lyrically bitter Planets of the Universe, which she released solo in 2001. And a slow, skeletal demo of The Chain is far removed indeed from the Formula-One-famous album version, its tremendous outro yet to take shape.

With its extra content engineered to appeal to collectors and casual fans alike, this is a justified addition to the many Rumours already making the rounds.

Fleetwood Mac – Rumours [Reissue] 5 Stars
Consequence of Sound

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. Shit was fucked 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 “fucked up shit” 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”

'Rumours' – pop-rock perfection
by Brian Boyd
Irish Times

If you’re looking for full-on drink and drugs debauchery, celebrity psychosis, überdysfunctional inter-band relationships, lashings of money and ego, and extremities of fear and loathing, you have to look past the usual suspects (Zeppelin, Mötley Crüe et al) and steady your gaze on Fleetwood Mac. Going into the recording of Rumours – still one of the bestselling albums of all time – things weren’t pretty. Bass player John McVie and keyboardist Christine McVie had just divorced and weren’t on speaking terms. Singer Stevie Nicks and guitarist Lindsey Buckingham were in the middle of breaking up but still on speaking terms – if shouting at each other in ferocious rage counts as speaking terms. Drummer Mick Fleetwood had just got divorced, the group had just sacked their manager and their producer, and they were doing enough cocaine “to turn horses into unicorns” as the saying went. For good measure, Nicks and Mick embarked on a shortlived and very drunken affair.

These five people – all of whom had been romantically/sexually engaged with another band member at some time – had to sit in a room together and come up with 11 songs for a record companyimposed deadline. The only other time this kind of situation had occurred with a major band was with Abba – and they used the adverse circumstances to record some of their biggest hits. As did the Mac. But just to give some idea of the level of tension, suspicion, hatred, insecurity and paranoia that prevailed at the songwriting sessions, Christine McVie brought a new song to the table called You Make Loving Fun.

It was written about her new postdivorce boyfriend (who was also the band’s lighting director) and was seen as a personal attack on her erstwhile ex-husband. At around the same time, Mick Fleetwood started going out with Stevie Nicks’s best friend. The blizzard of cocaine was such that the band, seriously, wanted to give their dealer a credit on the album. The label demurred and a stand-off was only averted when said dealer was shot dead, allegedly by an organised crime gang.

Given all that went on, Rumours should have been a mess. The songs were recorded in a small, wooden, windowless studio with the band arriving at 7pm each night, getting off their collective heads until the early hours and only putting down music and vocals when they were too whacked out to keep on partying. Yet it’s as close to a near perfect pop-rock artefact as you could ever hope to hear, and its appeal lies in the fact that we are listening in to love breaking down. How did the band manage to stay together to finish the album?

Stevie Nicks now recalls it was a case of “I’m not the problem, I’m not quitting. You’re the problem, you should quit.” With no one prepared to give in, they effectively stayed together out of spite. Rumours is 35 years old now and there’s a special commemorative, expanded edition of the album just released. Pure music reality TV.

The Art of Falling Apart
John Robinson
The National

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.

Back with Second Hand News: Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours
By Oliver Hancock
Oxford Student Online

"Whether milking a cash-cow or hoping to disseminate their work to a new, younger audience, there is a sense that such an album is coming at the right time. The musicianship of the songs forms an interesting juxtaposition to the works of many of today’s new breed of guitar bands (From The Vaccines to Palma Violets), and, despite the recordings having inevitably aged, the songs themselves remain just as potent as they did in the 1970s."

Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours: Why the under-30s still love it
Ahead of the release of a special boxset edition of the Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours, James Lachno argues that the 1977 album has survived better than its punk rivals.
by James Lachno
The Telegraph

This Monday, a three-disc, 35th anniversary boxset of Fleetwood Mac’s 1977 masterpiece Rumours will be released. There’s never been a better time to celebrate the band and their gorgeous 11th album, both of which are more popular and fashionable than ever.

For many music fans in their mid twenties, Rumours has been the soundtrack to large portions of our lives. During my childhood, it used to initiate a brief ceasefire between me and my sister as we squabbled during long car journeys, and in my teens, Songbird often featured on the giddily romantic mix CDs I made for girlfriends. Recently, Go Your Own Way and The Chain – better known as the BBC's Formula One theme tune – have become 2am favourites for bleary-eyed twentysomethings desperate to keep a house party going. By contrast, pioneering punk hits released in the same year such as God Save the Queen and White Riot never seem to get a look in.

But why is Rumours so beloved among my generation? Its resilient popularity is, of course, in part due to the timeless quality of the music, which is warm and sweetly melodic, with coruscating harmonies, breezy rhythms, and virtuoso guitar flourishes. By 1977, Fleetwood Mac had had almost a decade to hone their songcraft, via several line-up changes and subtle changes in style, and Rumours shows a band at the pinnacle of their pop powers. It’s an album that’s chock-full of potential singles, all lushly produced to create an almost faultless, glossy soft-rock sound. It’s sold 40 million copies worldwide, making it one of the bestselling albums of all time, and everyone from family pop quartet The Corrs to Californian hardcore band NOFX have covered its songs. All of this is testament to its broad appeal.

But there’s more to it than that: right now the hippest bands around all want to sound like Fleetwood Mac. What started in the late-2000s with US folk-rock revivalists such as Fleet Foxes and Bon Iver has built up a head of steam. Last year saw the release of fine albums from trendy US acts such as Best Coast and Sharon Von Etten that bore the unmistakable influence of Fleetwood Mac’s classic Seventies period, as did work from blockbuster pop artists Mumford and Sons and Taylor Swift. Barely a cigarette paper, meanwhile, can separate the sound of Stevie Nicks’s songs from Rumours and those of the BBC's feted Sound Of 2013 poll winners, Haim.

Portugese Review
Fleetwood Mac relança álbum 'Rumours' e volta à estrada
Agência Estado

São Paulo - As diretrizes do álbum de separação implicam que este seja gravado após o fato, com ex-amado ou amada à distância, servindo de amarga inspiração para a catarse musical. No entanto, "Rumours", o grande clássico do gênero, teve musas e criadores - duas crises e um triângulo amoroso - enclausurados no mesmo espaço por meses até dar luz a pérolas como "Dreams", "You Make Loving Fun", "You Can Go Your Own Way", e outras, praticamente um álbum inteiro de clássicos que definiram a época.

Spanish Review
Se reedita «Rumours», de Fleetwood Mac, uno de los mayores éxitos del pop
pablo martínez pita

He aquí uno de los discos más importantes de la historia del pop. No en el sentido de uno de los más interesantes o mejores, que eso ya queda a merced de la opinión de cada uno (aunque en su momento hubo práctica unanimidad sobre sus bondades entre público y crítica). «Rumours» (1977), de Fleetwood Mac, marcó un hito, lo que se traduce en que es uno de los álbumes más vendidos de la historia, con 40 millones de copias.

The game-changing ’70s AOR blockbuster turns 35 with a super deluxe boxset...
Piers Martin

“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. Thirty-six years after its release – and with more than 40 million copies sold (so far) in at least 80 official international editions – you would imagine that every last drop, every demo, druggy anecdote and hazy recollection, has been squeezed out of one of the biggest records of all time, the eighth best-selling LP in history. You’d assume that anything worthwhile that could add to the enjoyment and understanding of Rumours must have surfaced by now. For a start, Mac completists and even fairweather fans will already have the 2004 2CD reissue that came with a full set of rough mixes and outtakes from those fabled album sessions at the Record Plant in Sausalito, just north of San Francisco. Worryingly, that same disc is included in this “super-deluxe” 4CD+DVD+LP boxset – a package designed to celebrate the album’s 35th anniversary but which actually turns up, as if stoned, the following year.

Like Star Wars or Snickers, there’s never really a bad time to reissue Rumours. Sooner or later everyone finds a way in to it – or looks for a way out, if your parents raised you on Rumours and Tusk in the ’80s. It’s the evergreen baby boomer blockbuster that eased Bill Clinton into the White House and now finds itself a post-ironic hipster lifestyle accessory; Florence Welch, for one, is an eternal student of Stevie Nicks’ cosmic witchcraft. Today, 45 years after they formed, Fleetwood Mac’s twilight period – commencing with 2003’s reunion for Say You Will and drifting through two further “reunions” for world tours, including one this year – has lasted far longer than the band’s vital, late-’60s incarnation.

And it’s all because Rumours is as near perfect an album as anyone will ever make, and its lurid backstory of emotional turmoil and narcotic excess, endlessly recounted in prurient detail, is never less than fascinating. Though short on wildly revelatory material, this boxset ties up a number of loose ends from 1976-’77, focusing on the period when the Mac set about recording the follow-up to ’75’s Fleetwood Mac, a surprise US No.1 and the first album made by the group’s new line-up after fate had parachuted in two young Californian dreamers, Buckingham and Nicks, in late ’74 to rescue Mick Fleetwood’s rudderless British blues outfit.

The chemistry between the five was immediately apparent. Now there were three distinctive songwriters in the group, Buckingham, Nicks and Christine McVie, who would also complement each other in harmony. Buckingham, the firebrand guitarist and craftsman, began to develop an intuitive musical partnership with McVie on piano that started with “World Turning” and led to them fleshing out McVie’s Rumours cuts such as “You Make Loving Fun”. His lover Nicks cast her spell with “Rhiannon” and “Landslide”. John McVie and Fleetwood, solid but soft, glued it all together.

Flushed with cash and confidence after the success of Fleetwood Mac, they headed to the free’n’easy hippy town of Sausalito in February ’76 to bed down in the new Record Plant studio, a dark, wooden, windowless den that for the next two months would amplify the band’s precarious emotional state. Though it worked wonders for the music, the longer they spent in each others’ company, the more unstable the inter-band relationships became. Exacerbated by cocaine and booze and the sessions’ no-limits atmosphere, the McVies’ marriage crumbled as Christine fell for the band’s lighting director, Buckingham and Nicks split, and Nicks began an affair with Fleetwood, whose own marriage was in trouble. Speaking to the BBC in 1989, Christine described it as a time of mellow drama: “Even though eveything was going wrong around us, somehow the music was great.” During the recording, she and Nicks rented separate apartments by the harbour, while the guys took over a house by the studio. “God help you, what went on in there,” Fleetwood recalls.

Tasked with extracting the songs from this soap opera were producers Richard Dashut and Ken Caillat, who worked exhausting 18-hour days with Buckingham to get exactly what he wanted. And much credit to them for unearthing the treasure on Disc 3. Compared with the full-band outtakes of Disc 4, these unreleased demos reveal Rumours in its naked state and shed new light on the songs’ progress. The evolution of “The Chain” can be traced from the chorus of a smoky Nicks acoustic ballad (called “The Chain”) on to which is welded the second half of McVie’s “Keep Me There”, formerly a bluesy shuffle named “Butter Cookie” included on Disc 4. Another Nicks song, “Gold Dust Woman”, starts life as a drowsy hoedown. Two tracks dated “2-4-76” show how driven Buckingham was in the studio: always a wonderfully natural player, he strums though “Second Hand News”, working out the words to fit as he goes, and loveliest of all, perhaps the one true gem here, is a duet with Nicks on “Never Goin Back” that he embellishes with a haunting solo. Throughout these sketches there’s never a sense of five people breaking up with each other in sessions Nicks has described as “like being in the army”.

In addition to Disc 2’s live set culled from various dates on the ’77 US tour, there’s an eye-opening DVD of the seldom seen 30-minute documentary The Rosebud Film, commonly known online as Rosebud, the name of director Michael Collins’ production company. Collins was something like the Mac’s official cameraman during the Rumours era and shot stacks of footage onstage and off. Word has it he’s currently putting the finishing touches to a longer Rumours film, having rescued the reels from his Santa Barbara home before it burned down in the 2008 wild fires. Rosebud captures the Mac lithe and hairy at an enormous outdoor show in Santa Barbara in May ’76 tearing through “World Turning” and “I’m So Afraid” and contrasts this with grainy indoor footage of “Rhiannon” and “Go Your Own Way” performed on a sound stage as they rehearsed for a proposed UK promo trip that autumn. Best of all are the candid clips that punctuate the songs: “I’m a legend in my own mind,” mumbles John McVie in one, while a radiant Nicks dissects the band’s image thus: “Lindsey’s all Chinese god in his kimono and I look like I’m going to a Halloween party, Christine looks like she’s going to be confirmed in the Catholic church, Mick’s going to a Renaissance fair and John’s going to the beach.”

A cute description of the five misfits on the verge of becoming the most famous band in the world. Having almost destroyed them, Rumours would change their lives forever. For all the baubles and padding presented with this definitive edition, the disc you’ll turn to again and again is the one you’ve been playing all your life.

Q+A - Mick Fleetwood

Heading into the Record Plant to start Rumours in early ’76, did you have any inkling it would turn out the way it did?
I don’t think we had an inkling of the effect the album would have in terms of sales but I do have memories that we felt we had done something that we felt really great about. When we made the first album with Stevie and Lindsey [’75’s Fleetwood Mac], it felt that something was happening that was incredibly synchronistic and flowing and not hard to do, and that reminded me of the feeling of when me and Peter started Fleetwood Mac and had success with our first album [’68’s Peter Green’s Fleetwood Mac]. This time, we were all really involved in the music and we felt great about it, but I know we were all horribly emotionally dysfunctional and in many ways awfully unhappy, and so all of that came out in the diary that was Rumours. Even though a lot of them are construed as pop songs, they have a darkness to them, which I think is why Fleetwood Mac has survived on a nice level where it never became so saccharine and sweet. There’s a darkness that has always been there. But those songs are literally a plea for love, and that became the legacy of Rumours. It was a chronicle of a moment in time for five people who were totally miserable in the romantic realm and yet incredibly happy and productive musically.

As the band’s manager, what made you choose Sausalito as the place to record?
The problem for me, the mother hen, was that everyone was disintegrating, including my marriage which was blown out. We were all literally breaking up at the same time, all five of us, and I thought, oh shit, if we stay in LA there’s going to be people whispering in people’s ears and we won’t be focused. So I put my old sly fox hat on and thought, What are we gonna do to keep this bunch together, including me? And I thought, get them out of LA so there’s no distractions, there’s only the studio and it’s in a place we don’t know. I was familiar with the Record Plant in LA and so I drove up to Sausalito on my own and found the Record Plant there and thought this is perfect. It’s a little artsy, eclectic town, we can rent a house and we found the girls an apartment on the harbour. Me, John and Lindsey and the road crew rented a house that was part of the Record Plant up in the hills in Sausalito. And I thought this is where we’re gonna start this album in unbelievably potentially dysfunctional situations, especially for Lindsey and John – and for Stevie and Christine – because their relationships were going up in smoke. And then me and Jenny, my then wife, we separated – she was involved with a dear friend of mine. So we had the full diablo of a soap opera unfolding.

You were only in Sausalito for two months, but the stories have lasted a lifetime.
No doubt, heh heh. We were in Sausalito and then we went to about four or five different studios to finish that album. It’s as if we were in Alcoholics Anonymous: they call someone who’s emotionally upset “Oh, you’re just ‘going geographical’.” What that means is you’re not actually solving the problem, you’re putting it off. You do something you shouldn’t be doing – you go, oh fuck it, I’m going to buy a car or I’m going to make myself feel good. Jumping from studio to studio, we kept being distracted from the real problem, and the real problem was something that nearly destroyed the band, which was: We can’t take this anymore. So after Sausalito we went to Wally Heider’s studio, we went back to the Record Plant in LA, we went to another mixing studio, and it was sort of insane. So we set up camp and we went, OK, we’ll re-focus, and off we went and we got it done. But all of the original tracks were cut at the Record Plant in Sausalito and then we ripped them to pieces several times, re-overdubbed, all sorts of stripping down. The original drum tracks I am pretty damn sure were all cut in Sausalito.

What would go on in the studio and the house you shared?
The whole social thing of our drug intake was drinking and cocaine. Pot smoking was just something we did. There was a lot of shenanigans going on, but it didn’t destroy our work to my knowledge. Looking back, cocaine was a huge part of it and I probably took the lion’s share of that, but we all partook. Quite frankly, and it’s public knowledge, me and Stevie were probably the prime candidates in those days. We’d all stay up for four days working and then go to sleep for two days. It was silver paper on the windows. It was a bunch of fairly young people doing their thing. But having said that, it’s so strange looking back and asking, “Was that music created in a drug stupor?” And you go no, we were just a bunch of young, crazy people having fun.

Photo credit Herbert Worthington
Rating: 9 / 10

Fleetwood Mac: Rumours 
(35th Anniversary Edition)
Reviewed by: Scott McLennan
Rip It Up

Infamously recorded amid a blur of incestuous bandmate rooting and powder caches to rival Guy Fawkes’ stash, Rumours’ remarkable tracks outshine the tumultuous tales of their creation even 35 years on.

Rumours sits firmly in the top 10 selling albums of all time for good reason. Despite its familiarity, each track remains as magnificent as a full moon setting over a lake. Many of the tunes have been reimagined, recontextualised or granted new life by entertainers as diverse as Hole (post-Kurt), Bill Clinton (post-election victory) and Eva Cassidy (post-mortem) over the last three decades, but none can recreate the divergent conflagrations that rage on the original.

Whether fuelled by the wisdom of Christine McVie, the ethereal gossamer whirls of Stevie Nicks or the vengeful snarl of Lindsey Buckingham, the power of The Chain, Go Your Own Way and Songbird remain staggering. Although the live disc here offers little in the way of divergence to pique the senses (save a hint of the then-forthcoming Tusk and a few flat vocals from Nicks on Don’t Stop), the lost tracks deliver raw insight.

A pivotal counterpoint to the punk forces brewing on the other side of the Atlantic, Rumours remains a multi-faceted snapshot of the ‘70s – equal parts dreamy Hollywood Boulevard flair and crumbling Sunset Boulevard tragedy.

Rating: 4.5/5

Fleetwood Mac: Rumours - Super Deluxe Edition (LP 2013)
Reviewed by: Jason Strange
The AU Review

Before I talk about the record, I have to ask this question. This iconic album has been re released a number of times. Digitally remastered, bonus tracks, demo tracks, live tracks, everything possible. So what more can they squeeze out with a "Super Deluxe Edition" that we haven't heard already? And is this just another example of a record label milking a cash cow dry?

But let's focus on the actual album itself. Rumours is by far one of the most talked about records in Fleetwood Mac's career. We know about the internal turmoil going through the band during the time of the writing and recording of this album. The love affairs, the fights, the massive drug addictions and of course the talented musicians that were lost in the haze of their personal lives. We know that when Rumours was released, it was one of those landmark albums that is still highly regarded today some 35 years after its release. All of those combustible elements internally led to a great record. And isn't that always the case. Adversity leads to the best music.

Rumours is centred around two massive singles. 'Don't Stop' and 'Go Your Own Way'. While the bands chief lyricists, Stevie Nicks, Christine McVie and Lindsey Buckingham worked independently on the lyrics for the songs not realising that they all shared a common theme of love gone wrong and moving on. It's the tracks that didn't receive the initial radio air play (which wasn't many as half the album were released as singles in the end) that are the most telling on that period of time. A song like 'Second Hand News' which relates to finding out second hand that a loved one is messing around or 'I Don't Want To Know' where you can hear the pain that the band members were feeling internally come out through the music. The band only wrote one song together on the album, the track 'The Chain', which I find to be the weakest of the tracks as it lacks the deep seeded emotion hidden in the other tracks. Nonetheless, the reason why this album worked so well was behind the seriousness of the themes, the music was glorious examples of pop inspired folk with upbeat major chords and a real positive flow in the music alone. A complete juxpostion to the lyrical content.

So how have they milked this one compared to the other re issues? A live set from the Rumours tour in 1978 plus out takes, demos and instrumentals from the recording session. Sadly nothing you couldn't have tracked down before or if not, you wouldn't have wanted to. The live set is of great quality and listening to it I got a touch of a feeling that if the reunion lasts and comes down to Australia, it will be truly amazing. The demos from the original recordings were nothing special and only hardcore fans might get something out of it but its just a marketing ploy to make you pay another $30 for an album you may already have. I'd save the money and just relistening to the Rumours album next month when this is released.

Rating - original album 8.5/10
Rating - live album 7/10
Rating - demos 4/10

Both the 3CD and Super Deluxe editions are available for pre-order via Amazon or iTune.

Bernard Zuel

"If you're already sold on the album, you may be wondering if it's worth getting the extras. Although it has some decent crunch at times and includes Rhiannon, Nicks's hit from Rumours' self-titled predecessor, I don't think much is to be gained from the live disc. For committed fans, there are more rewards in the rarities/demo material. The demo of The Chain has an eerie, foreboding element to it that suggests it could have been a completely different song; likewise an early version of Silver Springs is lower, less optimistic and intriguing. And for those who doubted at the time, Nicks's compelling and stark Planets of the Universe - a demo not released until 2004 - will convince you there was a lot more than scarves and witchy stuff going on there."

Much more to this review at SMH.com

Photo by Sam Emerson
At 35, Rumours is still one album you can believe in

Mention the year 1977 to lads of a particular musical bent and you're likely to be regaled with a torrent of memories about the excitement surrounding new releases by the Pistols, Buzzcocks and The Clash, seeing the latter in Trinity and watching our own Radiators from Space develop into the best Irish band of their generation.

All of that did take place, of course, as well as Bowie releasing the iconic single Heroes (UK chart placing No 24 and didn't feature in the US charts at all, so it's taken a while for the song's significance to become apparent) but in the wider world the album charts were dominated by the Eagles' Hotel California and Rumours by Fleetwood Mac.

Both of those records were inescapable for most of that year, with Rumours emerging in January and dominating the airwaves and in-store plays for 12 months or more. The story of Rumours and Fleetwood Mac in general is now the stuff of rock'n'roll legend. Although big sellers in their blues-rock incarnation in the mid-Sixties, by the early Seventies Fleetwood Mac were a busted flush, until bassist John McVie's notion of incorporating the Californian duo of Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks opened the key to the golden door. An eponymous 1975 album cracked the million-mark Stateside but the band themselves were cracking up by the time they started work on the much-anticipated follow-up. McVie and his wife Christine were splitting up, as were Buckingham and Nicks and big bags of cocaine were sitting beside the recording console -- what could possibly go wrong?


What eventually emerged from the madness and chaos was a record which seemed like glossy but slightly left-field west coast pop-rock on the outside but contained a bitter, fractious undertow.

Buckingham's Go Your Own Way and Nicks's Dreams were clearly telling both sides of the same story, while The Chain, despite providing the BBC's Formula 1 theme for decades, just sounded plain weird.

And what's more, 35 years later the album still sounds great.

The 35th anniversary edition of Rumours is released next Friday

- George Byrne
Herald.ie (Ireland)

Rolling Stone (Germany) - February, 2013 issue

Inklusive aller Tracklisten
Jornal Do Commercio (Brazil)
Kingfm.net (Germany)

Rumours, de legendarische plaat van Fleetwood Mac, komt opnieuw in een geremasterde versie uit. Luc De Vos is fan.
'Rumours' was een wereldwijd succes. Er werden meer dan 40 miljoen exemplaren van verkocht. De plaat wordt beschreven als een 'ellendig mooie' plaat, of ook wel 'dé echtscheidingsplaat'. You can go your own way was het eerste singletje dat Luc De Vos kocht.
Radio1.be (Netherlands)

O Fleetwood Mac volta para celebrar 35 anos de Rumours
A banda começa em maio uma turnê de 35 shows nos EUA
Jornal Do Commercio (Brazil)

(Rhino, Expanded and Deluxe editions)
Daily Mail - UK

Fleetwood Mac’s 1977 album Rumours wasn’t so much a rock record as a fully fledged soap opera.
Fuelled by drugs and  tangled romances, it chronicled the five members’ raw emotions with classic songs like Don’t Stop, Go Your Own Way and Dreams.

Keyboardist Christine McVie described the sessions as a ‘nightly cocktail party’ while drummer Mick Fleetwood said they were ‘crucifyingly difficult’. 

But the Anglo-Americans pressed on to finish ‘the most important album we ever made’.

On Monday — 35 years after its original release — Rumours is back.  The landmark album is being re-issued in two packages with bonus material, out-takes and live recordings to mark the band’s reunion tour (UK dates are expected to be in late September).

A three-CD version, selling at around £12, contains the original album, bonus tracks and the live material. For Mac maniacs, a ‘deluxe’ edition, close to £50, is  bolstered by further outtakes, a DVD and copy of Rumours on vinyl.

So how does it all stand up three-and-a-half decades on? Very well indeed. Echoes of the album’s radio-friendly hooks and harmonies can now be heard in modern bands like The Pierces and Haim.

The album has even been the focus of a TV episode of Glee, while an a cappella cover of Don’t Stop is currently heard on a Seat cars’ advert.

The main reason why Rumours continues to fascinate is the way it vividly documents the band’s twisted relationships. Mick was in the throes of a painful divorce from Jenny Boyd and would go on to have an affair with Mac singer Stevie Nicks.

Bassist John McVie and keyboardist Christine had just broken up after eight years of marriage, while Stevie and guitarist Lindsey Buckingham were heading for the rocks following a five-year romance.

The band poured the trauma into their writing: Buckingham’s Go Your Own Way was a hurtful parting shot at Nicks, who responded with Dreams; Christine McVie aimed Don’t Stop at John to show him how she had moved on; he suggested the title Rumours because the group, without admitting it, were all writing songs about each other.

The songs pushed founder members Mick and John away from their roots in British blues to something that sounds contemporary even today.

The rollicking Don’t Stop remains a radio staple while The Chain is the BBC’s theme tune for its Formula 1 coverage.

Stevie once told me: ‘What I remember aren’t the bad nights when we weren’t speaking to one another but the night Dreams was written.

'I walked in and handed a rough cassette to Lindsey. He was mad with me at the time but he played it and looked up at me and smiled.

‘We knew what was going on was very sad. We were couples who couldn’t make it through the perils of fame but we still looked on each other with a lot of respect. It was a shame we had to break up but we got Go Your Own Way and Dreams out of it all. How upset can you be about that?’

The bonus material is strong — especially the songs left off the original album. Of the alternate versions of album tracks, the picks are an early incarnation of Dreams and a new version of I Don’t Want To Know. Less impressive are the jam sessions on the deluxe edition, while the live songs from 1977 don’t add anything.

But the real joys are to be found by listening again to the original, 39-minute album. It’s no wonder Fleetwood Mac were so keen to overcome the tribulations and finish a record with some of the catchiest, most intriguing songs of the Seventies.

Fleetwood Mac - A Look Back At Rumours
by Cameron Smith
Female First - UK

Fleetwood Mac’s landmark album ‘Rumours’ gets re-released next week, and we thought we’d look back at the album to figure out just why it’s so revered throughout the musical community, to the point that it even got its own episode of Glee dedicated to it.

Many albums have a difficult start in life, but Rumours might just be one of the most tumultuous productions ever to pull through the difficulty and pull out the other side. The production of the album was so filled with problems during production it’s a miracle that it even got made, let alone became the unifying factor that would keep the band together for years to come.

Fleetwood Mac was a band built on relationships, with not one, but two couples in the five person group. 1977 though saw both partnerships break down though, with bassist John McVie and keyboardist Christine McVie filing for divorce and vocalist Stevie Nicks leaving guitarist Lindsay Buckingham for the arms of drummer Mick Fleetwood.

Full Article at Femalefirst - UK

Photo by Sam Emerson
35 years of Rumours: Will a reissue add to Fleetwood Mac’s classic album?

It’s 35 years since the release of Rumours, but will yet another version add anything to the classic, asks Stuart Bathgate, or are reissues just a cynical ploy by record companies to capitalise on our memories?

YOU bought the record. You’ve got the CD. Perhaps, in the early days of the Walkman, you also had it on tape. All in all, you might well reckon you’ve done your bit by Rumours, Fleetwood Mac’s classic 1977 album. Bought it, bought it again, bought it a third time and given at least two versions to the charity shop.

Ah, but you don’t have the expanded or the deluxe 35th anniversary edition, do you? And you want them, don’t you? Or at least, that’s what the band and their record company hope.

More than 40 million copies of Rumours, in its various guises, have been sold to date, and now the aim is to shift a few more when those two new versions are released on Monday. Which, incidentally, as you may have noticed, is almost a month after the 35th anniversary ended. They always did take their time getting projects finished, Fleetwood Mac, and this one has been no different.

Great article... Check out the rest at Scotsman.com

Fleetwood Mac: Rumour has it
The New Zealand Herald
By Scott Kara

"Fleetwood says the band is looking to return to New Zealand at the end of the year or early 2014"

Out of the pain of love turned sour came an album that has entranced the world for 35 years, writes Scott Kara

Mick Fleetwood was perhaps in the best position to see how rock 'n' roll's most famous soap opera unfolded during the writing and recording of Rumours.

He was, as he explains in his dapper and chatty drawl on the phone from his home on the island of Maui in Hawaii, the only one in the group not in a relationship with one of their bandmates.

Check out the full interview with Mick at The New Zealand Herald

This article is also a full page spread in the January 26th issue.

Rumours are true — the Mac are as good as ever
Day and Night - Ireland January 25, 2013

With Fleetwood Mac set to embark on a major world tour this year, it’s little surprise that their best-selling album has been dusted down and repackaged for a new generation.

Released in 1977, Rumours has shifted in excess of 40 million copies to date and continues to resonate as perhaps the quintessential break-up album. 

Each of the five members who formed the band’s “classic line-up” in the mid-1970s was going through the wringer emotionally. John and Christine McVie’s eight-year marriage had hit the rocks. The much younger couple, Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks, had drifted apart to such an extent that they were barely talking. And Mick Fleetwood, who had founded a very, very different incarnation of the group 10 years earlier, was coming to terms with the fact that the mother of his two children had been having an affair with his best friend.

Listen to the songs anew all these years later and it’s remarkable just how candidly their travails are laid bare. There’s jealousy, bitterness, regret, pain and passion throughout.

And there are allusions to other preoccupations, too, not least Nicks’s well-documented issues with cocaine.

The evergreen quartet of Go Your Own Way, Dreams, Don’t Stop and The Chain demonstrate just how capable the quintet were at mining mass-appeal pop with a message.

And the success of these singles played a major role in the album’s phenomenal popularity.

Yet — as was the case with those other late-70s purveyors of break-up pop, Abba — Fleetwood Mac didn’t always keep a close watch on the quality control. A handful of tracks haven’t aged well and some feel slight, not least Oh Daddy — McVie's good natured ode to the band’s avuncular figure, Mick Fleetwood.

Even the additional material that comes with this three-disc anniversary edition, including early demos and alternate takes, cannot hide the fact that the album is far from perfect.

Buckingham put it well some time ago when he noted: “It was unnerving to see something that became a real phenomenon, when the music itself didn't necessarily warrant it.” 

KEY TRACKS Dreams (Take 2); Songbird (Demo)

Fleetwood Mac 'Rumours' Pitch-perfect pop before they went their own way ★★★★★
by Andy Gill

Album review: Fleetwood Mac, Rumours: Super Deluxe Remastered Version (Rhino) ANDY GILL Independent UK It speaks volumes about the enduring quality of Fleetwood Mac's Rumours – here repackaged in an expanded heritage edition comprising, in its most lavish format, four CDs, one DVD and audiophile vinyl album – that not even the twin taints of appropriation as Top Gear theme and political anthem have managed to diminish its appeal. It remains one of pop's most impervious generational touchstones.

Rumours represents, along with The Eagles Greatest Hits, the high-water mark of America's Seventies rock-culture expansion, the quintessence of a counter-cultural mindset lured into coke-fuelled hedonism. Its very sound, with those winsome melodies, those West Coast harmonies, and that rhythm section lagging fractionally, imperceptibly behind the beat conjures a fantasy world of luxurious, liberal excess and Californication, captured with sleek perfection.

The album's story is well-known now, rock's premier case of strife bringing forth sweetness, as Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham batted the tattered remnants of their relationship back and forth in song. She had only to refer to “thunder” in “Dreams”, for him to snipe back “You can roll like thunder” in “Go Your Own Way” – but both songs are equally sublime, as too are Christine McVie's attempts to cheer the troops up in songs like “Don't Stop” and “You Make Loving Fun”.

Heaven only knows how they managed to remain focused (and civil) enough to bring the project to such glorious fruition, a process here sketched out across two CDs of revealing demos and outtakes, the best of which may be Buckingham's exquisite “Brushes” – the original demo for “Never Going Back Again” – on which his delicate, lace-like threads of multi-tracked guitar intertwine with the crystalline sparkle of dulcimer or harp.

Hearing the band develop its definitive voice in these performances, one's interest is sharply piqued for the imminent reformation tour: it may not be as intriguing as Bowie's comeback, but there's a peculiar magic in operation here that deserves treasuring.

 Download: Don't Stop; Go Your Own Way; Dreams; The Chain; You Make Loving Fun

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.
By Mark Beech

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.

Fleetwood Mac's 35 years of 'Rumours'
By Denise Quan, CNN

It's 35 years after the release of Fleetwood Mac's groundbreaking album "Rumours," and Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham are holding hands.

Maybe it's true that absence makes the heart grow fonder. Or maybe it's a put-on, knowing that fans are still intrigued by the complicated interpersonal drama that drives the band.

"Rumours" gave listeners a voyeuristic peek into the messy romantic lives of the quintet. "Go Your Own Way" was Buckingham's anguished kiss-off to Nicks. "Don't Stop" was Christine McVie's song of encouragement to her soon-to-be ex-husband, John McVie.

A special anniversary reissue of "Rumours" is now available, with expanded and deluxe versions featuring previously unreleased demos and early takes, along with a dozen live recordings from the group's 1977 world tour.

In April, Nicks and Buckingham will join drummer Mick Fleetwood and bassist John McVie for their first tour in three years. In addition to their arsenal of beloved hits, they're hoping to crowd-test three newly recorded tracks.

"We have two brand new songs and one really, really old song," Nicks said.

The "old" tune predates Fleetwood Mac: an unreleased nugget written for the "Buckingham Nicks" LP, which marks its 40th anniversary this year.

The two "new" tracks were penned by Buckingham. Last year, he went into the studio with Fleetwood and McVie to record eight songs they hoped would become the catalyst for a new Fleetwood Mac album. But Nicks had reservations.

"We really didn't want to rent a house for a year and then make a whole record with 13, 14, 15 songs on it, then have most of the people who are thinking about buying it buy one song," she explained. "So we did the three songs, and we'll see how the world reacts to that. If they love those three songs, then maybe they might talk us into doing something else."

Maybe Nicks and Buckingham's hand-holding isn't for the cameras. Maybe it's to remind each other that despite their differences, they remain personally supportive and unified in their commitment to the juggernaut that is Fleetwood Mac -- even if it means playing mostly vintage hits for their upcoming tour.
"That's okay," Buckingham conceded. "That's part and parcel with what we do."

"We laugh," added Nicks, "but (the classics are) why we all have a beautiful house."

Looking back on Fleetwood Mac's 'Rumours' more than 35 years later
A new deluxe set drills deep on the classic album

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.

Fleetwood Mac: Rumours 35th Anniversary Reissue

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.

Fleetwood Mac - Rumours (35th Anniversary 3CD Deluxe Edition)
BY Gary K
The Digital Fix

They don’t make ‘em like this any more. No. Really. They don’t. They don’t dare. Rumours. The behemoth. The monster. That arch scrawl of poisoned confessional re-fashioned as a loose-limbed, brown-skinned, white-toothed exemplar of US radio rock. LA to the core but an ocean away from California dreamin’, Rumours is shadowy and sorrowful. On one level, it looks and sounds breezy and carefree. From a distance there’s little to pick between Fleetwood Mac and their smooth contemporaries. But the likes of The Eagles and The Doobie Brothers, while matching them for drive-time, cross-party appeal, lacked the Mac’s dark heart and their genre-crossing musicality. West Coast vibes never sounded quite so…overcast

They don’t make ‘em like this anymore because they can’t. More than a generation on and albums are a gamble, a high risk expense. These days, even established artists record on a spreadsheet, a project tracked in such miniscule detail that the drummer knows three weeks in advance he’s doing cymbals on a Friday at 8.30am. Fleetwood Mac, already side-tracked by a mess of break-ups and divorce, would arrive at their studio in the evening, have dinner, get royally smashed into the early hours…and then start recording. Young pups, you think you’re rock ‘n’ roll? This lot were getting to the studio not even sure of what they’d put down the day before.

Of course, part of Rumours’ appeal remains, in part, due its irresistible, legendary booze/coke-fuelled genesis, a back story that chimes with our wrong-headed but classic perception of a cooler, libertarian age of rock. But, more tellingly, its smartest trick isn’t even the way in which it tricked the world into splashing out for a peep into a cursory and candid documenting of relationships devastated by riches and fame. (Its gazillion sales are from another age and, like so many of the big hitters from the 70s and 80s, unlikely to ever be repeated.) No, the real eyebrow raiser is how a set of such likeable songs permeated popular culture to such a degree that everyone loves it, everyone rates it. Still. Rumours demolishes notions of cred, dismisses artistic divides, stomps on compartmentalisation. 35 years on, it sounds like, feels like, an oddity, somehow out there and ineffably challenging.

The clipped funk clatter of ‘Second Hand News’ is an unexpected opening, a disorienting departure. Stevie Nicks, furthering her noir visions, developing her white witch persona with ‘Dreams’ and the epic cod-psychedelia of ‘Gold Dust Woman’. Lindsey Buckingham, on the searing ‘Go Your Own Way’ and the sparse, acoustic ‘Never Going Back Again’ is forever in two minds for all his bile (recurring theme: I hate you, you bitch…but if you, you know, ever change your mind...) In contrast to the bitterness of the source material, Christine McVie was always one step ahead, matching her band mates for candour but ditching recrimination in favour of wide-eyed and love-struck. (Dismissing the likes of ‘Don’t Stop’ and ‘You Make Loving Fun’ for their frothiness misses the point. An album of a mere eleven songs can only handle so much heartache.)

The songs, the songs, the songs. Oh, the songs. Rumours is an almost ridiculous display of song craft. McVie’s contributions are classically cut but they’re timeless. Perhaps that’s why they endure. When you hear her swoon all over a line like “And I love you, I love you, I love you…like never before”, you simply want to toss it at the feet of the current crop. There you go. Got one of them in you? Nah? Didn’t think so. It’s up to Nicks and Buckingham to lower the lights and provide the magic hour ingredients. Nicks would match and even top her contribution here on later records (‘Sara’, ‘Sisters of the Moon’) but ‘Dreams’, a radio staple to this day, is shattering. Buckingham gives notice of the madness to come with a methodology that seems to embrace the tenets of the popular song while simultaneously dismantling them. ‘The Chain’ – what the hell is it? What were they on? And then there are the vocals: rich, three part harmonies that manage to mesh three distinctly different singers into one unique, brittle whole. On both ‘The Chain’ and ‘Gold Dust Woman’, and their dizzying, monstrous hooks (“And did she make you cry, make you break down / Did she shatter your illusions of love?”), Fleetwood Mac achieve a special and rare alchemy.

If you (foolishly) wanted to attempt a Rumours for the new century, you could get so far with the key ingredients. And when you switch listening mode from the accumulated comfort of letting the whole damn thing almost wash over you for decades to re-connecting on an un-blinkered ‘critical’ level, the key componentry is clear enough. Three lead singers. (Two girls, three guys? Perfect.) Decidedly above average (but non-virtuoso) musicianship. Solid legacy (with a dash of sexy line-up re-arrangement). A sackful of big, big tunes (rockers and ballads both.) Easy? Right? Bollocks. Hey, even the band recognised the futility of a repeat and followed up with the ambitious and sprawling Tusk, a schizoid double that rewards effort but confused the masses.

The history since is complicated and beautifully messy. After the relative failure of both Tusk and the easier to digest Mirage, 1987’s Tango in the Night embraced modern production techniques and gave them an unexpected mega-seller. Since then a slew of session musicians have messed with the formation. Sadly, Christine McVie appears to have made her exit permanent. Mick Fleetwood and John McVie, needless to say, are the indefatigable spine forever. Solo albums have been hit and miss but, crucially, Nicks’ and Buckingham’s most recent work was their best for a couple of decades. Which bodes well for the inevitable forthcoming tour but also makes the prospect of a new Fleetwood Mac album (hinted at by Fleetwood) something to welcome rather than fear.

This re-issue sidesteps the usual lazy anniversary grabbing. Don’t forget the packaging, that semi-legendary artwork. In the digital age, holding Rumours in your hand remains a joy. Those of us who still marvel at the original vinyl with its four page lyric/photo book get to drool again. There are additional photos from the era and comments from the band, looking back. (Nicks illuminates: “Somehow it doesn’t sound old. It’s almost creepy how it doesn’t get old.”) Most, of course, continue to have a fondness for its fanciful, wonderfully ludicrous cover but its (original) back cover tells the best story: John McVie in shades and caught mid-clap (?), Buckingham sporting the kinkiest afro, Nicks the epitome of Orange Country blonde, Fleetwood aping á la Marty Feldman at the back and Christine McVie hidden beneath fringe and scarf, her Roman profile turned away from her band-mates, distracted, not quite there. A pose that looks further into the future than surely she could ever have known at the time.

A wealth of previously unreleased material shines bright. A live disc from the ’77 tour confirms what a sharp live proposition they were but the real treasure comes in the form of a selection of outtakes from the original sessions. Remember that Spitting Image sketch that featured an ad for a Stevie Nicks ‘Best of’ – the one where her flat, growling monotone meant you couldn’t actually distinguish the words? A live acoustic ‘Dreams’ and ‘Gold Dust Woman’ with just Nicks on vocals buries that one. An alternate ‘Go Your Own Way’ misses backing vocals but a shed-load of guitar up-front sells it as a genuinely worthy addition. Elsewhere, Buckingham ballses up ‘I Don’t Want To Know’ and says “verse” before singing the verse. ‘Silver Springs’, ‘Planets of the Universe’ and ‘Doesn’t Anything Last’ makes claims for inclusion on the original release. Best of all is McVie’s ‘Keep Me There’, the architecture of which was eventually stripped for ‘The Chain’ and which still stands alone as something magical. An early demo of ‘The Chain’ makes clear what was chopped and what was kept.

Shortly after REM broke big with Green, Peter Buck said his secret ambition was to write a song that sat square in the canon as an unquestionable pop classic, a tune that everyone, as soon as it came on the radio, would know and (hopefully) love. He eventually came up with just one, which, by anyone’s standards, is good going. On Rumours alone, with ‘Dreams’, ‘Go Your Own Way’, ‘The Chain’ and ‘Songbird’, Fleetwood Mac managed four. As Christine McVie says on a live demo of the latter here, “Just roll the tapes, let’s just see what happens.” Yeah. Let’s see.



Expanded And Deluxe Versions Of Fleetwood Mac’s Pop Masterpiece Include
Unreleased Session Recordings And Live Performances

Current Band Lineup To Embark On 34-City U.S. Tour In April
With Tickets On Sale Today

 Rumours Available January 29 From Rhino

LOS ANGELES – Fleetwood Mac, one of rock’s most enduring, beloved and successful bands, will circulate a fresh round of Rumours next year with expanded and deluxe versions of the album in celebration of it’s 35th anniversary. Rumours made the band one of the most iconic bands of the 1970s and garnered wide critical praise, earned the Grammy® for Album of the Year, and has now sold more than 40 million copies worldwide since its 1977 debut.

In  celebration of the release, the current lineup of the band, Mick  Fleetwood and John McVie, both original members since 1967, and Lindsey  Buckingham and Stevie Nicks, who joined the band in 1975, will kick off  and their first U.S. tour since 2009 in April. The 34-date jaunt  features stops in Philadelphia, New York City, Boston, Chicago and a  special appearance at the historic Hollywood Bowl in Los  Angeles. Tickets for the first run of shows are on sale now at LiveNation.com.

The expanded edition’s three CDs includes the original album and  the b-side “Silver Springs,” a dozen unreleased live recordings from the  group’s ’77 world tour, and an entire disc filled with unreleased takes  from the album’s recording sessions. The deluxe edition includes all of  the music from expanded version, plus an additional disc of outtakes a  DVD that features “The Rosebud Film,” a 1977 documentary about the  album, and the album on vinyl. RUMOURS will be available January 29 from  Rhino as the expanded edition ($24.98) and the deluxe edition ($99.98).  Digital versions will also be available.

Mick Fleetwood, John McVie, Christine McVie, Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks recorded Rumours  against a backdrop personal turmoil, chronicling their raw emotions in  songs like “Go Your Own Way,” “Gold Dust Woman” and “Dreams,” the latter  becoming the band’s first number one smash.

The disc of 12 unreleased live recordings from the band’s 1977 Rumours tour  features performances from concerts in Oklahoma City, Tulsa, Nashville  and Columbia, S.C. The songs include album tracks like “The Chain,” “Oh  Daddy” and “Songbird” as well as “World Turning” and “Rhiannon,” two  tracks from the group’s 1975 eponymous release.

Producers also have compiled a selection of  16 unreleased recordings from the album’s sessions including early takes  of “Go Your Own Way,” “I Don’t Want To Know” and the popular b-side “Silver Springs.” There are also several demo recordings, including one  for the outtake “Planets of the Universe,” plus an instrumental version  of “Never Going Back Again.”

The deluxe edition of Rumours features three additional pieces. First is an 18-track compilation of session outtakes originally released in the 2004 reissue of the album. Next is the original album on 140-gram vinyl. Finally, there is a DVD with “The Rosebud Film.” This 1977 documentary  by Michael Collins includes interviews, rehearsal footage and live  performances of: “World Turning,” “Rhiannon,” “Say You Love Me,” “Go  Your Own Way,” “You Make Loving Fun” and “I’m So Afraid.” 

Track Listing

Disc 1
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”
12.        “Silver Springs” b-side

Disc 2: Live, 1977 “Rumours” World Tour
1.           Intro
2.           “Monday Morning”
3.           “Dreams”
4.           “Don’t Stop”
5.           “The Chain”
6.           “Oh Daddy”
7.           “Rhiannon”
8.           “Never Going Back Again”
9.           “Gold Dust Woman”
10.         “World Turning”
11.         “Go Your Own Way”
12.         “Songbird”

Disc 3: More from the Recording Sessions
1.           “Second Hand News” (Early Take)
2.           “Dreams” (Take 2)
3.           “Never Going Back Again” (Acoustic Duet)
4.           “Go Your Own Way” (Early Take)
5.           “Songbird” (Demo)
6.           “Songbird” (Instrumental, Take 10)
7.           “I Don’t Want To Know” (Early Take)
8.           “Keep Me There” (Instrumental)
9.           “The Chain” (Demo)
10.         “Keep Me There” (With Vocal)
11.         “Gold Dust Woman” (Early Take)
12.         “Oh Daddy” (Early Take)
13.         “Silver Springs” (Early Take)
14.         “Planets Of The Universe” (Demo)
15.         “Doesn’t Anything Last” (Acoustic Duet)
16.         “Never Going Back Again” (Instrumental)

Disc 4: 2004 Reissue Roughs & Outtakes
1.           “Second Hand News”
2.           “Dreams”
3.           “Brushes (Never Going Back Again)”
4.           “Don’t Stop”
5.           “Go Your Own Way”
6.           “Songbird”
7.           “Silver Springs”
8.           “You Make Loving Fun”
9.           “Gold Dust Woman #1”
10.         “Oh Daddy”
11.         “Think About It”
Early Demos
12.        “Never Going Back Again”
13.        “Planets Of The Universe”
14.        “Butter Cookie (Keep Me There)”
15.        “Gold Dust Woman”
16.        “Doesn’t Anything Last”
Jam Sessions
17.        “Mic The Screecher”
18.        “For Duster (The Blues)”

“The Rosebud Film” by Michael Collins

Vinyl LP
Side 1
1.           “Second Hand News”
2.           “Dreams”
3.           “Never Going Back Again”
4.           “Don’t Stop”
5.           “Go Your Own Way”
6.           “Songbird”
Side 2
1.           “The Chain”
2.           “You Make Loving Fun”
3.           “I Don’t Want To Know”
4.           “Oh Daddy”
5.           “Gold Dust Woman”

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