If you ask someone “Hey, do you listen to Fleetwood Mac?” the most common response you will receive is “who?”. Yes, Fleetwood are one of the lesser known 60’s/70’s bands, but let me assure you they deserve a lot more hype than they receive. Rumours
, Fleetwood’s twelfth album is a cunning example of exactly why they deserve more hype. What makes Rumours so great? Well, you could start with it being number twenty-five on Rolling Stone’s 500 greatest albums of all time
. Now, most of you are probably thinking “big deal Rolling Stones Magazine doesn’t know jack anyways”. In most cases this statement would be true, but the list is actually pretty darn solid. Here’s a link
Now back to FR. One of the things I love about this band is their unique style. Aside from the traditional guitar, bass and drums combination they add piano tambourine and women folk. Yes, there is a good band out there that has female members. I was as shocked as you are when I found out. Other than the addition of instruments and genders the great thing about this band is the range of musical styles. This album alone contains some rockin medium paced songs, some slower ones and even one sort of funky track (You Make Loving Fun). The songs aren’t that
different, but the slight contrast in this album makes it more of a fun listen and makes it less repetitive. This album also had extremely solid instrumentals. Nothing too overly fantastic, but extremely solid none the less. I’m just used to massive ‘wanking’ solos, so sometimes when I listen to other genres I miss the massive solos. Not in this case, however. This album is marvelous enough on its own to get my approval without the solos. Besides the vocals more than made up for any instrumental flaws, which were few and far between. Some songs actually did contain (IMO) some of the greatest song writing of all time. For example, “Never Going Back Again” the finger picking in that song is just amazing.
This album has a rather mellow overall feel. The fastest song on the album was probably Don’t Stop
, which tied a few others and even that track is moderately slow. The overall feel is actually sort of contrasting. It’s rich like dark chocolate, yet light like a plate of rice (food analogies ftw). I think a lot of the album’s richness comes from the guitar and combination. The two go together perfectly and create a nice wholesome feel. Some more of this album’s richness comes from the vocals. They’re very well harmonized. For example, the chorus of Go Your Own Way
. It’s brought to an emotional climax by the female group members underlying vocals and just really makes the song whole. There are several tracks that don’t have harmonized vocals as well, but the singers still do a great job in those, as well. This album has sort of a sad feel to it. The only tracks I can really consider sounding “happy” are Second Hand News
and You Make Loving Fun
. Regardless of the albums sort of depressing feel it’s pretty much a good listen at any time. It rarely gets boring because of the moderate contrast of songs and due to the fact that it’s not too heavy, or too soft virtually anyone can find it an appealing album. It’s particularly good to listen to when you’re sort of bummed out. It will suite your mood perfectly. Although, it you’re happy you can listen to it, as well. It won’t suite your mood but it won’t bring your mood down either.
This album is proof that you don’t have to play two minute solos to be a great guitarist. I loved the guitar in almost every track and was at least somewhat fond of it in every track. A stunning example of the great guitar work this album contains is Never Going Back Again
. It has got to be the greatest entirely finger picked track of all time, in my opinion. Several other tracks contain some great guitar work, as well. There’s actually a solo in Don’t Stop
. It’s fairly short, but well written and fit’s the song perfectly. A lot of the guitar work was chords, which usually tends to get boring, but it didn’t bother me on this album. Perhaps because of the addition of the piano. Besides all of the chord progressions were well written…for chord progressions. I wish I could say something more about the guitar, but there really isn’t anymore to be said.
The piano was fairly well written. Could’ve been better, but it certainly didn’t take anything away from the album since this is not a piano orientated album. The piano in this band is more of an addition to the traditional guitar, bass and drums trio. The majority of it were just chords. I don’t think their were any actual piano riffs, if such a thing exists. I’m sort of talking out of my arse when it comes to piano. But whether or not I know exactly what I’m talking about when it comes to piano I know that the piano was definitely a strong contributor to this albums atmosphere.
I was shocked when I looked into some of this albums bass lines. They’re exceptionally great. Extremely well written on pretty much every track, baring Never Going Back Again
. In that track it’s just two notes going back and forth. Other than that it was really top notch work. I was really surprised by this because this album has a sort of slow pace and the instrumentals aren’t overly complicated. When you have an album like that you usual expect the bass to be pretty simple too, right? Well, not in this case. The were phenomenal, though hard to hear at times. I have a great appreciation for this because I used to play bass and found it extremely difficult to right complex bass lines to slow music. It is indeed a difficult thing to do, but this bassist managed to pull it off. He also kept great timing throughout and I liked the tone of his amp.
Pros: Instrumentally sound
Extremely good vocals
Women folk not sucking
Good producing for time period
Cons: The chorus to Second Hand news
Overall Rating: 5/5
This album is a timeless classic and a must own for anyone really into sixties/seventies music. It’s one of few albums that I listen to daily. Actually, Even if your not too into music from this time period I still recommend getting it. It’s greatness knows no bounds. Some of the songs are really fun to play, as well. Not to mention challenging. It took me along time to get NGBA down perfect. Furthermore “Don’t Stop” is pretty fun to play too.