Fleetwood Mac – Rumours (1977)
Usually by album #11 in a discography, bands will release a Greatest Hits Collection.
Listening to Rumours, it sounds like Fleetwood Mac did just that.
Full of hits and familiar tunes, yes, but instead of a retrospective compilation, this was a studio album of entirely new material.
I will forever associate Don’t Stop with Bill Clinton & Gold Dust Woman with the solid Hole cover, both reference points becoming increasingly positive over time. Dreams, Never Going Back Again, Go Your Own Way and You Make Loving Fun are among the other tunes likely to elicit the reaction, “Oh yeah, I like this song!”
The strange thing about my recent immersion in this record is that for its timeless, classic status, I’d argue there’s only one truly great song in the set. Ten other very good songs of course, a soap opera behind the scenes to further boost the legacy, but only the opener of side two stands out to me as individually spectacular.
Few songs are as spectacular as The Chain: the delicious dobro, the propelling bass & pounding kick drum, the triple vocal harmony. On the all time top ten, no question.
Which would make the whole Rumours package greater than the sum of its parts and perhaps that’s what makes this such a a great record. That may be a defining characteristic of many other classic albums as well.
Sadly, I’m embarrassingly unfamiliar with their complete albums outside of Rumours and Tusk. A problem I hope to rectify, maybe not in the next eight years, but it’s certainly on my long range to-do list!