Updates ya’ll! I am busy cracking on with projects and may add an episode guide to Buffy at some point.
End of updates.
This weeks album review is the fantabulous Fleetwood Mac and their seminal album Rumours. I realized that this whole alphabetical review system was getting a bit testosterone heavy so I thought I would transition into some equal territory with a mixed bag of genders and talent.
Fleetwood Mac are one of my childhood hero bands. I used to dance to them in my nappies, them and Phil Collins…?
Another band I don’t remember discovering, they have always for me existed in the realms of awesome music and I have my Mother again to thank for that.
Fleetwood Mac are one of my absolute favorites. I can’t really rank them but they are definitely in my top ten favorite bands, probably in my top 5. OKAY they are my second favorite band if you’re going to push me on it…geez!
I am lucky enough to have seen them live as you will undoubtedly know if you have read this blog before. It was the second best gig I have ever been to. Oooh Fleetwood Mac, a consistent second. You can read up about that experience here.
The reason this might be such an amazing album is because everyone was heartbroken and mad at each other. The McVies were divorcing, Stevie and Lindsey were calling things a day and Mick had just found out his wife was cheating on him with his BFF! So the media were having a field day, this was enough gossip to quench the appetite of a very hungry caterpillar. This is how the album title ‘Rumours’ was born.
It was a rough album but damn was it worth it.
Without further ado here’s a review of the best album to have ever been recorded…ever! Yeah that’s right they come first sometimes too!
Second Hand News - So the fun thing about reviewing a band like FM is that there are three songwriters and three separate singers so there’s an added element of variation
and competition. I actually think Stevie Nicks is the biggest talent of the band but when it comes to this album, I really believe McVie and Buckingham have it in the bag. This is one of those happy-sad songs, the music is upbeat and exciting but the lyrics are dark and harrowing. The band apparently thought this was the best way to kick off such an emotionally charged album as it would lure the listener into an optimistically pessimistic state. Buckingham has also stated that he wanted to make it a super upbeat song to mask the hurt in the lyrics which is a common coping mechanism it would seem for him in his songwriting. It’s a bit strange that the backing vocals are from Stevie Nicks on this track considering she was the subject matter…awkward.
Dreams - I find it hard to believe that this was Fleetwood Mac’s only number one single in the USA. It was their only number one hit anywhere in the entire music listening universe, like seriously WTF? It’s a great song but it’s by no means their only great hit single. Would you say this is even their most famous track? I’m not sure I would agree, what about Man of the World or Albatross or The Chain or Rhiannon or Tusk or Go Your Own Way or Landslide or Big Love or Songbird or Never Going Back Again or Don’t Stop or You Make Loving Fun or Sara…You get my point
Never Going Back Again - I’ve been playing this a lot over the past couple of years, my obsession started when I had a nasty break up but it grew when I realized I had completely fallen in love all over again with this track from when I had first heard it. Another break up track from Buckingham but one that is rather more obviously bitter. This has one of my favorite guitar solos of all time of which I saw live but then because Buckingham is a rather showy genius blew my mind straight after by shredding out ‘Big Love’ solos which kind of kick the shit even out of this masterpiece. Buckingham I believe is an underrated guitar player, he is up there with giants such as Hendrix and Page. Don’t believe me? Eat me!
Don’t Stop - This was the second single to be released peaking at #3 in the USA. A Christine McVie song sung by both McVie and Buckingham. It was originally written for Mrs McVie’s then husband Mr McVie whilst they were in the midst of a separation…dramarama. It’s one of the less angsty break up on the album, in fact if you didn’t know otherwise you might just think it was an inspirational track about never giving up on your bid for democratic leadership…*AHEM!
Bill Clinton AHEM*
Go Your Own Way - This peaked at #10 are you freaking kidding me? Although it did reach #1 in the Netherlands so apparently all of what I said for the Dreams commentary is complete bullshit and you should disregard everything I have said ever…damn you Wikipedia! More back up vocals from Nicks as well as McVie. I’m surprised any of the members survived the recording of this album. It musta been hella awkward.
Songbird - And the winner is. It’s my absolute favorite track on Rumours. Covered by the likes of Eva Cassidy and er Glee. It has become one of the worlds most beloved love songs. It’s interesting then to hear that Christine McVie who wrote and sung the song beautifully has described it as a song about ‘nobody and everybody’. I think that’s a rather beautiful and selfless way to describe such a beautiful song.
The Chain - This was a group effort with Nicks writing the lyrics and the rest of the band contributing the music. It’s kind of the Fleetwood Mac anthem, the song that keeps them bonded, it keeps them chained together forever in affinity. That’s really sweet and all but it always just reminds me of Formula One . I don’t even watch F1. It’s the same with Albatross always being associated with Marks and Sparks. Great bass from John McVie, one of the best uses of bass in rock and roll, if not the best. Tell me a bass solo as great or as recognizable as this?
You Make Loving Fun - Oh Mrs McVie you adulterer! This is allegedly about Christine McVie’s affair with the bands lighting director, so very incestuous were this bands affairs. It’s a nice upbeat track though and I think the lady McVie is one of the best love song writers of all time. I think she’s the underrated songwriter in Fleetwood Mac and for me she wins the songwriting contest on Rumours hands down so start appreciating the lady McVie.
I Don’t Want to Know - This is the Stevie Nicks song that replaced Silver Springs on the album. I personally think that was a good choice. It’s an upbeat happy song to add to such an conflicting album. It suffers from being a little forgettable and in all honesty it is my least favorite track on Rumors.
Oh Daddy - This is a great track but it really creeps me out when people sing about their ‘Daddy’s’ in a sexual or romantic way. This ultimately makes me cringe whenever anyone uses this terminology, which is why I can never fully enjoy this track which is a shame because everything else about the track is phenomenal.
Gold Dust Woman - I think this is Stevie’s best track on the album. I like Dreams but it’s been played to death. It’s a shame when the world ruins music like that via advertising or being covered over and over or getting supreme air play. Dreams for me has been murdered and I’ll listen to it and I feel mildly meh about it which is a shame. Gold Dust Woman is dark, scary and witchy which is where Nicks shines brightest. Whilst recording this track Nicks wrapped her head up in a scarf to block all of her senses, I’m not sure how much that helped but there we go.
Rumours is one of the most iconic best selling albums of all time. It did it’s best in the USA earning 13 x platinum…which is like a lot, something like 19 million and that’s just in the USA. It is one of 7 albums to have sold over 40 million records. It was recorded all over the place in 1976.
If you are ever going to invest in an album it should be this one. It is phenomenal, it takes you on the journey of heartbreak and hope which is a very emotional process, this album can soundtrack those feelings almost perfectly.
Thanks so much for reading.
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