In 1975 Fleetwood Mac released their legendary white album. It launched them into the mainstream and made them into superstars. Two years later they released an album of mythic proportions, their eleventh studio album, Rumours. It is one of the highest selling albums of all time, and in some people's opinions (including mine), possibly the greatest rock record ever made. You can't escape hearing this on classic rock radio. Whether you like Fleetwood Mac or not, you have to admit this album had an enourmous impact on pop music as we know it.
Mick Fleetwood: Drums
John McVie: Bass
Christine McVie: Keyboards, Vocals
Lindsey Buckingham: Guitar, Vocals
Stevie Nicks: Vocals
Now I'll start by saying one thing that I know is true. Fleetwood Mac has a sensational rhythm section. Mick Fleetwood's drumming is just so powerful. John McVie, I believe, one of the finest ever. His bass playing doesn't blow your mind, but seems to always add a perfect groove into each song that makes it complete. The bass playing and drumming go together very well, mainly because these two have been together in a band for so long.
Another thing that is true is that I'm a huge Fleetwood Mac fanboy. I'm extremely biased and I hope that doesn't turn you off.
Everybody should know what this album is about. Breakups and divorce. Stevie and Lindsey were breaking up. John and Christine divorced the previous year. Mick was going through a divorce with his wife. And to top it off, their addictions with cocaine had become out of control. All of this fueled the ultimate breakup album.
There is a lot of anger found here. "Second Hand News" kicks it off with Lindsey saying he realizes that Stevie no longer wants him and he doesn't give a crap. "Never Going Back Again" is similar. Lindsey (the most underrated guitarist ever) uses beatiful guitar picking and nasty lyrics to say he'll never go back to Stevie. Stevie threatened to quit the band if they added "Go Your Own Way" to the album. But you can't blame them because it's such a great song. The chorus is one of the catchiest lines known to man. But every line in the song is about how Lindsey doesn't want Stevie in his life any longer. Great guitar playing all around, this is a staple in the world of classic rock radio. Another song that can be heard constantly on those stations is "Dreams." You have to know this song. Stevie explains in this song that Lindsey only pretends to not hate her because of the music they are forcing themselves to create.
Now, not every song on here is about pain and angst. There's the hopeful "Don't Stop." This is probably my favorite song. The piano playing is wonderful, along with the bass. The 6/8 adds a really neat touch. Lindsey sings the first verse, Christine the second, and all the third harmoniously after a spectacular little guitar solo. Since Christine was trying to avoid John, she had to write songs about other people she loved. "Songbird" is a perfect example. Recorded live in front of no audience, this is probably her finist work. The piano playing is beautiful and the lyrics are perfect. "You Make Loving Fun" is Christine's big hit from the album. The high pitched singing during the chorus is Christine utilizing her weird voice in the best way.
"The Chain" sums up the album perfectly. Buckingham's screaming guitar lights the song on fire. Every member contributed writing credits. It was written about how they knew that they had to stay together to create some of the greatest music known to man, despite all the troubles. Something very cool happens in this song. It completely stops, followed an amazing bass solo, just out of no where. Lindsey wails on the guitar more and the band chants together, "The chain will keep us together." This is a song that leaves me blown away every time.
The ending of the album is nothing short of epic. "Oh Daddy" was Christine's tribute to the band's leader, Mick. This haunting ballad is full of perfect musicianship. The album ends with the chilling "Gold Dust Woman." The cowbell and bass create a creepy atmosphere as Stevie sings about how cocaine is destroying her life. The guitar playing at the end is wicked and crazy, as you hear wild screaming in the background. Pretty epic.
Fleetwood Mac did make one enourmous mistake in creating this album. Arguably the band's greatest song, "Silver Springs" was left off because Lindsey was offended by Stevie's Lyrics. They replaced it with the album's worst song, "I Don't Want To Know." If you've ever heard "Silver Springs," you'll agree.
You may not agree with me that this album is so good, probably just because you don't like Fleetwood Mac. Don't be turned off by the balls on the cover, buy this CD now!
Final Rating: 5/5 without a doubt