Fleetwood Mac Rumours Expanded & Deluxe (2013)

UCR readers pick Fleetwood Mac for two awards

2013-0129 Rumours Deluxe Edition

Ultimate Classic Rock readers have chosen Fleetwood Mac for two Ultimate Classic Rock Awards in their annual reader’s poll, Best Reissue or Archival Release (Rumours Deluxe Edition) and Best Rock Music Commercial (“Landslide” featured in Budweiser’s Clydesdales Brotherhood ad).

Though UCR doesn’t state how many people actually voted in the poll, Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours Deluxe Edition (30.1%) won by 10% over The Who’s Tommy: Super Deluxe Box Set (20.12%) in the Best Reissue Archival Release category and Budweiser’s Clydesdale Brotherhood ad (26.38%) by 3% over Led Zeppelin’s “Good Times Bad Times” American Hustle movie trailer (23.05%) in the Best Rock Music Commercial of the Year.

Rumours Expanded & Deluxe (2013)

Fleetwood Mac: Rumours Deluxe Edition

2013-0129 Rumours Deluxe Edition


Fleetwood Mac
Rumours Deluxe Edition (Warner Bros./Rhino)

In the parlance of Californication, fucking and punching. Rock & roll’s ultimate breakup album – four of five group members rending a pair of intraband partnerships and the fifth, founding drummer Mick Fleetwood, about to sunder his own marriage by taking up with Stevie Nicks – endures because it storms romantic volatility through a prism of rockstar sex, drugs, and a Beatlesque triad of singer-songwriters. Christine McVie’s sweet spot (“Songbird”) between the he said/she said of the UK survivors’ adopted Left Coast folk-pop duo, Buckingham (“Never Going Back Again”) and Nicks (“I Don’t Want to Know”), melts into layers of acoustic urgency and electric hush as animated by Fleetwood and John McVie’s heart-valve rhythms. The No. 8 bestseller of all time appended an hour’s worth of outtakes and demos to the 2004 reissue (Nicks’ early “Gold Dust Woman”), a trove now doubled on this 4-CD/DVD/vinyl LP set, including un-ironic Lindsey/Stevie duet “Doesn’t Anything Last.” An hour live on the ensuing world tour fills out the fourth disc, well-scrubbed to start – Christine McVie’s “Oh Daddy,” a slice of English balladry fit for Westminster Abbey – but exploding on Nicks’ eight-minute spook and spell “Rhiannon,” from Rumours’ eponymous precursor. Finally, a 30-minute video promo finds the 1977 quintet on a soundstage crackling through the hits, though an unidentified bowl appearance with high-flying Lindsey Buckingham guitar showcase “I’m So Afraid” borders on acid rock.

Raoul Hernandez / Austin Chronicle / Friday, August 16, 2013

Rumours Expanded & Deluxe (2013)

Music Review: Fleetwood Mac – Rumours: (35th Anniversary Expanded Edition)


Rumours Expanded Edition (2013)
Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours Expanded Edition (2013)

By Donald Gibson
Blog Critics
Thurday, March 28, 2013 at 11:06 pm

Of course they’ve scored plenty of hits over the years, but the prime catalyst of Fleetwood Mac’s legend, why they still generate a buzz and draw arena-sized audiences whenever they re-team for a tour—the band begins a new one next Thursday night in Columbus, Ohio—is Rumours.

For as much as been said and written about the 1977 album’s often-tumultuous creation, of infamous tales of band members feuding and fucking and shoveling through insane quantities of cocaine, its songs collectively remain the band’s crowning achievement. Recently released by Warner Music, Rumours (35th Anniversary Expanded Edition) illustrates over three discs just how driven these musicians were to have something to show for the soap opera their personal lives had become.

Only the second album to include Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks in the fray—the lineup was rounded out by Mick Fleetwood, Christine McVie, and John McVie—the Mac were at this point a pop/rock band, with mainstream hits like “Rhiannon” and “Say You Love Me” having moved them beyond the British-blues roots espoused by departed member Peter Green. And yet listening to some tracks on this set’s third disc, More From The Recording Sessions, reveals an unmistakable blues influence. The included demo of “The Chain,” most notably, finds Nicks summoning a feral, sobering vocal accompanied only by Buckingham’s stark, acoustic guitar. Comparably, Ms. McVie leads the band through a brooding take of “Oh Daddy,” her slinky keyboard riffs against a thick-and-sultry rhythm giving the song a heavier vibe than the light-string-embellished version on the finished album.

In fact the third disc is what makes this entire set essential—the first disc comprises the album proper (which, if you’re interested in this collection, you likely already own) while the second disc is a solid but nevertheless straightforward live performance from the Rumours tour—because it offers perspectives of songs that are, at times, drastically different than the ones to which we’ve been accustomed. Sometimes, as with early, scaled-down takes of “Dreams” and the B-side “Silver Springs,” they’re as good and, arguably, better than their most familiar versions.

Rumours Expanded & Deluxe (2013)

Fleetwood Mac: Super deluxe edition of Rumours box set

2013_rumours_1024x929By Paul Sinclair
Super Deluxe Edition (UK)
Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours album was the first major ‘super deluxe’ release of 2013 and was issued just over a month ago. We have previously posted a photo gallery of the box, but here we take a more in-depth look at the content within.

The 12-inch square slipcase is of high quality and quite sturdy. Within this resides a gatefold jacket which contains the vinyl and the five optical discs (four CDs and a DVD).

The large format 20-page booklet contains the same essay and quotes from the band that’s in the smaller booklet supplied with the three-disc set, but also has a ‘Rumours: Song by Song’ commentary which the cheaper version is denied. This is Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham talking specifically about each track (presumably separately) in October 2012. VERY interesting! Of course the larger format booklet also makes the most of all the great photos.

The CDs and DVD come in card jackets which slot into a gap on the right panel of the 12-inch gatefold wallet. Although these card wallets never exactly exude ‘deluxe’, at least having them allows you to store the discs separately, with protection. Many book-based super deluxe sets just have unprotected discs slotting straight into a back page.

Overall, the Rumours super deluxe box can be described as well designed, and unlike bulkier sets, is quite slim and easy to handle. If you have a vinyl collection of any significance, it will also slot in with your other records rather nicely.

Disc One / The Album

The actual album on disc one isn’t remastered, so if you own the 2CD deluxe edition from 2004 then you’ll have an identical mastering. What has changed is the position of non-album track Silver Springs. In 2004 it was inserted into the running order between Songbird and The Chain. Here it simply gets appended to the album proper, becoming track 12.

Disc Two / 1977 Rumours World Tour

“Ladies and Gentlemen, please give a warm welcome to Fleetwood Mac!” – so begins this fantastic live CD which contains most of the Rumours album (no You Make Loving Fun, or I Don’t Want To Know) but actually starts with Lindsey Buckingham’s Monday Morning from the previous Fleetwood Mac album. The performances throughout are excellent, with a good balance of crowd reaction to music – the second part of “The Chain” is a good example of this as Buckingham’s ferocious guitar and Christine McVie’s Hammond Organ complement the rhythm section superbly.

The audio is crystal clear, with renowned engineer Bill Inglot involved in the mixing and mastering of this archive live material (and the demos – see below). Stevie Nicks’ voice on “Dreams” (like McVie’s on “Oh Daddy”) is pretty much faultless and what comes across most of all throughout the 12 tracks included on this disc is the personality of the band and a seemingly assured, relaxed approach they had to reproducing this material on the stage. This is obviously not a full show, and it’s just a pity more wasn’t included.

Disc Three / The Rosebud Film (DVD)

This DVD is the one element of the super deluxe edition that you cannot get anywhere else. Rosebud is a promotional film made at the time, which follows the band through rehearsals for the 1977 tour and includes snippets of interviews with band members, and some performance footage of them on stage. Although widely bootlegged, this is the first time it’s been available commercially.

What is a pleasant surprise is the fact that the audio has been mixed to 5.1 surround, which just adds to the enjoyment of this documentary. Christine McVie’s “Say You Love Me” and “You Make Loving Fun” are both played in full as the band rehearse, as is “Rhiannon.” Although there are six performances in this film, only two of them are actually from the album, “Go Your Own Way” and “You Make Loving Fun.” Regular tour closer “I’m Not Afraid” (from the previous FM album) is a suitably impressive end to Rosebud.

However great the film is, it’s just 30 minutes long, and it is the only thing on this DVD. There should be so much more on this DVD rather than just this content rattling around like a pea in a tin can, albeit a gold-plated pea. How Warners could have failed to find anything else of worth to put on this disc is incredible. Everyone knows a 5.1 surround version is readily available, and was indeed released by the very same label in Japan on SACD in 2011. Even a hi-res stereo mix would have been better than nothing.

Disc Four / More From The Recording Sessions

Disc five in this box set repeats the bonus disc of outtakes and demos in 2004′s 2CD deluxe edition of Rumours, but this CD is a further set of previously unreleased demos, early takes and instrumentals.

If that sounds like a barrel-scraping exercise, surprisingly it doesn’t turn out that way. In many ways this disc is much better than what was previously issued. “Dreams” (Take 2) makes the hairs stand up on the back of your neck, with Stevie Nicks singing sweetly to a minimal backing of just keyboard and guitar. It’s much better than the rather flat outtake that was previously issued. Likewise, a five minute demo of “The Chain” is very different from the final track, but is hauntingly good. This somehow wasn’t considered for the bonus disc in 2004, despite there being a section called ‘Early Demos’ on that CD.

“Roll the tape, we’ll just see what happens..” says Christine McVie before launching into a loose version of “Oh Daddy.” It’s a fascinating listen as she shouts instructions to the band throughout “Chorus!”… “keep it going to the B-flat..”, “repeat!” etc. Unlike the version on the other disc, her vocal is nice and high in this mix. Definitely work-in-progress, but really interesting.

Disc Five / Recording Sessions, Roughs and Outtakes

This is the disc from 2004, added here for the completists. As mentioned above, some of the stuff here is not great, including the dreaded ‘Jam Session’. Apart from the demos, the tracks here tend to resemble their finished studio counterparts a little bit more than on disc four.

Disc Six / Rumours on Vinyl

This LP version doesn’t include “Silver Springs” and is pressed on ‘heavyweight’ 140g vinyl. The pressing sounds reasonably good though and the only real letdown is a horrible, cheap plain white inner sleeve that shouts ‘budget’ at you. If this box is truly supposed to be a ‘super deluxe edition’ why did Warners not include the ‘deluxe’ 45RPM double vinyl version that is available separately, rather than the cheaper one disc alternative?


At around £50 (or equivalent) this set represents reasonable value. Warners appear to have rejected certain content elements, either due to time considerations (this box was released to coincide with a FM tour) or because it would have resulted in a higher retail price, which they presumably feared would put people off buying it. The almost empty DVD and lack of surround or hi-res are omissions that suggest a tight grip on the purse strings but also a blind spot for what the audience who buy these sets might want.

It is also still questionable whether your ‘average’ box set buyer actually wants a vinyl record in his or her super deluxe edition. Leaving that out and including a hi-res or surround DVD may have made the box even more appealing but kept the price the same.

One thing that isn’t really up for debate is the quality of the music on offer. Coupling the album proper with a live disc and the outtakes, really does make for an outstanding package, but of course that version exists for around £13 or $13. Because of this the three-disc set manages to demonstrate outstanding value. Whether the addition of a half hour promotional film on DVD, a vinyl record (that you may have no use for) and a further CD of previously released outtakes (that you may already own), is worth the extra cost is up for debate, and it will likely come down to how much the Rumours album means to you and/or whether you can spare the disposable income.

• UK – Order: Rumours (Deluxe Edition)

• USA – Order: Rumours (Deluxe Edition)

• CANADA – Order: Rumours (Deluxe Edition)

• GERMANY – Order: Rumours (Deluxe Edition)

Rumours Expanded & Deluxe (2013)

Rumours still strong after 35 years


Rumours Expanded Edition (2013)
Rumours Expanded Edition (2013)

By Doug Gallant 
The Guardian (Canada)
Friday, March 2, 2013

When Fleetwood Mac released Rumours in 1977, the band was already moderately successful, having reached the No. 1 spot on the Billboard album charts with its self-titled album a year earlier.

That record, the first to feature new band members Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks, had produced three major singles for them, “Rhiannon,” “Say You Love Me” and “Over My Head.”

While the success of that record must certainly have been gratifying for a band that until that point had been struggling with who and what it was, it paled in comparison to the success Rumours would achieve.

Powered by monster hits like “Dreams,” “You Make Loving Fun,” “Don’t Stop” and “Go Your Own Way,” the Rumours album became a milestone recording for the band.

The critics loved it, the music buying public loved it and the industry loved it.

Rumours won that year’s Grammy Award for album of the year and found its way into the record collections of literally millions of people.

And it’s still selling.

Some people, myself included, re-purchased the album every time it was released in a new format, going from vinyl to cassette to CD. If I’d seen it in DVD-audio I likely would have bought that, too.

With sales of 40 million copies worldwide, Rumours currently ranks as the ninth best- selling record of all time, one notch behind the Bee Gees’ Saturday Night Fever and one notch ahead of Shania Twain’s Come On Over.

So why the musical history lesson?

It’s because Fleetwood Mac has chosen to celebrate Rumours’ 35th anniversary by re-releasing it.

And not only have they re-released the original Rumours CD the world has embraced all these years, they’ve released both an expanded version and a deluxe version of the album.

The expanded version, which I was fortunate enough to find in my inbox, is a three-disc set.

Included in that package are the original album, the B-side “Silver Springs,” a dozen unreleased live recordings from the group’s 1977 world tour and an entire disc filled with unreleased takes from the Rumours recording sessions.

The deluxe edition, which sells for just under $100, features all the material from the expanded edition plus an additional disc of outtakes, a DVD and a vinyl copy of the record.

The DVD features The Rosebud Film, a 1977 documentary about the album.

Listening again to Rumours, I could not help but be amazed at how consistently good this record was.

The writing was brilliant, the performances were almost flawless and the production was gorgeous.

There are so many beautifully melodic pop/rock songs here that I can still sit down and listen to over and over again, despite the amount of exposure they’ve received since this record first saw the light of day.

What’s even more amazing, perhaps, is the fact that this record got made at all.

When Rumours was being recorded the band, internally, was a mess.

The two couples in the band — John and Christine McVie and Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks — had essentially split, and Nicks had gravitated, so the story goes, towards drummer Mick Fleetwood.

That kind of emotional turmoil might have caused some bands to call the whole thing off, but instead the members incorporated what they were going through into songs like Go Your Own Way and Dreams.

The expanded version of Rumours is really worth having if you have a soft spot for the band.

The live disc for example, in addition to including versions of some of Rumours’ best material, also features songs from the eponymous album that preceded it, most notably versions of “Rhiannon” and “World Turning.”

The unreleased recordings culled from the studio sessions feature demos and early takes.

Some are particularly interesting because the changes from these versions to the final album versions are so dramatic.

A case in point is “I Don’t Want to Know” which went from being somewhat rough around the edges to a being a wonderfully poppy thing with great harmony vocals.

There’s a lot to absorb here, and most of it is worth your time.

If you’re really high on this record and are prepared to travel, you can also hear them do this material live again.

The original Fleetwood Mac Rumours lineup, with the exception of Christine McVie, is touring for the next three months. There are several dates in Canada, but the closest, sadly, is in Toronto.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars.

Doug Gallant, a reporter with The Guardian, writes his music review column for The Guardian every week. He welcomes comments from readers at or 629-6000, ext. 6057.

Rumours Expanded & Deluxe (2013)

Review: Rumours: 35th Anniversary Expanded Edition – Fleetwood Mac

Rumours Expanded Edition (2013)
Rumours Expanded Edition (2013)

By Andy Snipper
Vintage Vinyl News
Saturday, March 2, 2013

Not too many albums from 1977 have retained their listenability over the intervening years, but Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours is one of those and it may have even improved over the years.

The stories of excess and debauchery are legend and the internecine bitching and fighting that the 11 tracks of the original release represent have all been discussed ad nauseam in the years since, but given a chance to listen to the album without baggage and with many years since, I last listened to it as a whole it really does hit the mark.

The songs are, these days, MOR classics; the basis of Radio 2 or Melody FM shows and repeated day after day but there is still a freshness to the sound of Rumours when you listen to the album and don’t just have it in the background that grabs your attention anew. It doesn’t hurt that the remastering is superb.

Just listening to “Never Going Back Again,” your ears pick up on the jaunty little ragtime picking that is so familiar but the counterpoint of the mandolin against the guitar suddenly comes as a little bit of a surprise and the structure of the song sounds more apparent this time around. When that leads into the overblown country rock of “Don’t Stop” and on to “Go Your Own Way” with the multi-layered harmonies that are sooo familiar you suddenly start to realize that every track on the album is a classic. Formula 1 fans familiar with the guitar outro from “The Chain” might get a real kick out of hearing the whole track — it really is better this way!

The playing throughout is top grade, this is Fleetwood Mac after all, but the production and the sheer effortlessness of the music means that you can just concentrate on the music and ignore all the “stuff” that nearly meant that this album was never made.

Disk 2 is a live show from the 1977 World tour and while you get repeats of the best tracks from the Rumours album, you also get a fabulous version of “Rhiannon” and an extended “World Turning” that will have you up and dancing whatever your musical persuasion.

Overall, I am more than pleased to hear just how well the album has lasted — it is amazing to think that it was released in the same year as Never Mind The Bollocks, Here’s The Sex Pistols, Marley’s Exodus and Television’s Marquee Moon and still stands up without the nostalgia factor.

Rumours Expanded & Deluxe (2013)

Fleetwood Mac Rumours

(Photo by Herbert Worthington)
(Photo by Herbert Worthington)

By Piers Martin
Uncut (UK)
Friday, March 1, 2013

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

“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 Going 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.

Fleetwood Mac Rumours Expanded & Deluxe (2013)

Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours still flying 36 years later

Fleetwood Mac Rumours

Forty million people weren’t wrong. Rumours, one of the greatest-selling albums in the history of music, has just been reissued in a “35th Anniversary edition” that includes all sorts of bonus goodies for Fleetwood Mac fans.

Of course, when the majority of the band was going through breakups and divorces during the year it took to record Rumours, it was either going to result in lameness or greatness. Can you imagine singing songs about your ex with your ex while your personal life is in such turmoil?

That’s exactly what the band was experiencing throughout the recording of Rumours.

But somehow, the band persevered and crafted an album that will be enjoyed (as the Moody Blues once wrote) by our “childrens’ children children.” It undoubtedly already is.

It’s a marvelous three-disc set that features the original album, a slew of outtakes and demos, and a dozen in-concert songs from the Mac.

Some of the live material was recorded in Columbia in 1977, so there’s a good chance some of you just might have enjoyed those firsthand at the Carolina Coliseum. What an unforgettable evening that was!

It’s interesting to note that the superb Stevie Nicks’ number Silver Springs has been added to the original album, where it belongs. When Rumours was first issued (actually 36 years ago) Silver Springs was relegated to the B-side of Go Your Own Way because of vinyl space limitations.

It’s difficult to fathom that the two ladies in the Mac were much older at the time than most everyone thought. Christine McVie, then a youthful 34, had already been in the band for almost seven years when Lindsey Buckingham and Nicks joined.

Even more surprising to many is that Nicks, who was a waitress when she entered the Fleetwood fold, was already 28. Yes, she looked way younger than that!

The demos and outtakes are fun to listen to for many reasons. For example, Nicks’ demo of The Chain is sparse and actually quite uneventful. But Buckingham’s stellar arranging skills took a very simple song and made it into an extremely powerful piece of work.

Never Going Back Again was originally called Brushes simply because Buckingham didn’t want Nicks to hear the final lyrics until late in the recording process. A working version of the song and a lovely instrumental version are included in this edition.

I found it extremely amusing that the working title of Nicks’ haunting Dreams was Spinners, simply because it reminded the band of a song by the soul group The Spinners that the band had heard. It’s not unusual for musicians to write or drastically change lyrics late in the recording process.

McVie’s You Make Loving Fun, Oh Daddy and the mega-hit Don’t Stop prove just how much the band today misses her “warm ways” in the studio and on the road.

Her stunning rendition of Songbird was said to have brought her former husband, bassist John McVie, to tears when he heard it for the first time.

This new edition does have some problems. The remastering of the album is a little too heavy on the bass and the packaging is a wee-bit flimsy. Not only that, the live disc contains only 12 songs, so it makes no sense that they left off other material performed during that spectacular tour of the United States.

If you want to know more about this classic album, I strongly suggest that you check out producer Ken Caillat’s captivating book Making Rumours that came out last year. It is a spellbinding read as it documents in detail the crazy, drug-fueled sessions from someone who was present during the entire process.

Yes, the Ken Caillat who produced Rumours is the father of Colbie Caillat, a Grammy Award winner just like her dad! She’s best-known for her hits Bubbly and Lucky and her fine long-player debut Coco.

Fleetwood Mac is currently rehearsing for a world tour that begins in April. The band, now down to just four members since Christine McVie retired more than a decade ago, will play at Atlanta’s Philip’s Arena on June 10.

In the meanwhile, longtime Mac fans can once again savor an album that will certainly never go out of favor. As Buckingham later wrote in his solo hit Go Insane “the Rumours were flying,” and 36 years later, they still are.

The band kicks off a 34-city U.S. tour April 3, with a stop in Atlanta on June 10.

Ed Turner / Augusta Chronicle / Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Rumours Expanded & Deluxe (2013)

4 reasons to love Fleetwood Mac’s reissued Rumours 3-CD set

Rumours Expanded Edition (2013)
Rumours Expanded Edition (2013)

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 Stevie 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.

Ken Paulsen / Staten Island Advance / Friday, February 15, 2013

Rumours Expanded & Deluxe (2013)

Fleetwood Mac Rumours (Rhino)

Rumours Expanded Edition (2013)
Rumours Expanded Edition (2013)

Fleetwood Mac’s 1977 album Rumours has sold over 40 million albums to date. To this day, Rumours is inextricable from the story of its creation, a process that took over the band members’ lives at the exact time four of its members were severing romantic ties and a fifth was dealing with a breakup of his own.

This three-disc expanded reissue, featuring the remastered album with sparkling original B-side “Silver Springs,” a disc of early takes, and a concert from 1977, does the original album, and its story, justice. The original work may be difficult to listen to with fresh ears, but the disc of additional studio recordings has to it a nice fly-on-the-wall feel, and previously unreleased cuts such as “Keep Me There” and “Planets of the Universe” nicely augment the album proper. Say what you will about Rumours, but it sure was interesting. (

Author rating: 9/10

Frank Valish / Under the Radar / Thursday, Feb 14, 2013

Rumours Expanded & Deluxe (2013)

Music review: Fleetwood Mac Rumours

Fleetwood Mac Rumours

Fleetwood Mac Rumours (Warner Bros.)

In 1977 they were everyone’s favorite rock ‘n’ roll soap opera, this band of ex-spouses and ended lovers, and it’s often been said that genuine raw emotion played a key role in the artistic and commercial success of Rumours and the initial Buckingham-Nicks version of Fleetwood Mac.

“The truth about Rumours,” says singer-songwriter Stevie Nicks in the liner notes of the superb 35th-anniversary reissue of the album, “is that Rumours was the truth.”

Singer-singwriter-guitarist Lindsey Buckingham and Nicks had broken off a longtime relationship. Founder-bassist John McVie and singer-songwriter-keyboardist Christine McVie’s marriage ended in divorce. Founder-drummer Mick Fleetwood and Nicks were “rumoured” to be sleeping together. And so on.

But miraculously, they all stuck together musically. Indelible songs like “Go Your Own Way,” “Gold Dust Woman,” “Don’t Stop” and “Dreams” resulted.

The three-disc expanded edition includes a live disc recorded at ’77 dates in Oklahoma City and Tulsa (Buckingham can be heard noodling the chords to “Tusk,” which was yet to be born) and a third disc has alternate takes, the outtake “Planets of the Universe” and demos from the “Rumours” studio sessions. The pricey deluxe edition includes all this plus an additional outtakes disc, a DVD and a vinyl version of the album.

Gene Triplett / OKC / Friday, February 8, 2013

Rumours Expanded & Deluxe (2013)

Listening post: Fleetwood Mac Rumours

2013-0129 Rumours Deluxe Edition


Fleetwood Mac, Rumours: Deluxe Anniversary Edition (Warner Bros., three discs). It’s certainly not news that Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours is a pop masterpiece, a high-water mark in the annals of ’70s California-based rock and pop. Very few self-respecting record collectors or rock historians would consider their collection complete without it. We all know the story of its creation – how the songs reflected the romantic turmoil within the band, as various relationships crumbled, principally the very torrid one between singer Stevie Nicks and guitarist/songwriter Lindsey Buckingham. What we may not know is what a fantastic live ensemble this particular lineup of Fleetwood Mac was. This new anniversary edition gives us a beautifully remastered version of the original album, with the inclusion of the revered outtake “Silver Springs” tacked on, and a whole disc’s worth of alternate versions and outtakes, too. But the grand prize is the full live concert from the 1977 Rumours world tour, which takes up a full disc. This is the holy grail for Mac fans, and makes the anniversary edition a must-have. 4 stars

Jeff Miers / The Buffalo News / Friday, February 8, 2013

Rumours Expanded & Deluxe (2013)

Fleetwood Mac Rumours

2013-0129 Rumours Deluxe Edition

Fleetwood Mac Rumours
Rhino / Warner Bros.; 1977/2013

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.

Jessica Hopper / Pitchfork / Friday, February 8, 2013

Rumours Expanded & Deluxe (2013)

Fleetwood Mac: Rumours (Expanded Edition)

Rumours Expanded Edition (2013)
Rumours Expanded Edition (2013)

It seems fitting in a way that a big reason for the existence of this “Expanded Edition” of Rumours is also a big reason why the original album had such magical appeal. That is, the always-dynamic, often turbulent relationship between Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks.

In 2012, Buckingham and Fleetwood Mac’s namesake rhythm section of Mick Fleetwood and John McVie held sessions to record tracks for a new album. Nicks, meanwhile, was on an extended solo tour in support of her latest solo album. According to Buckingham, when Nicks returned she was none too interested in contributing to a new Fleetwood Mac album. She was, however, keen on reviving Buckingham Nicks, the name under which the two singer-songwriters had recorded before fate brought them to Fleetwood Mac. Nicks claimed she had a “long lost” song she wanted to do for a long-awaited CD issue of Buckingham Nicks (1973). Buckingham claimed it was a Fleetwood Mac song all along.

Oh, these rock ‘n’ roll kids …

Thing was, Fleetwood Mac were set to do a tour in 2013. In lieu of a new album to promote, Warner Brothers decided on a “35th Anniversary” re-issue of Rumours. Rumours was originally released in February 1977. You do the math.

Oh, these rock ‘n’ roll record companies …

The story of Rumours has been told many, many times. It has been told, through its songs, to anyone who has listened to the album. As far as the album itself, well, if you cannot recognize Rumours as one of the most complete, satisfying, musically-accomplished, memorable, hummable, which is to say, best, albums of the rock’n’roll era, you need to figure out what it is that is holding you back. If you are one of those people who believe it’s “too soft,” “too clean,” “too SoCal” … you need to get over yourself. Because, musically, what you have here is one of the most powerful rhythm sections in all of rock, meshing with a prodigiously-talented guitarist and arranger, in service of some impeccable songwriting and some unwieldy sex appeal.

Oh, Rumours

If there is any “new” perspective to be gleaned, maybe it’s a bit of old perspective. As with all such massive cultural achievements, it’s nearly impossible now to imagine Rumours in its original context. The juggernaut that Fleetwood Mac became after its release now seems inevitable, so much so that you imagine Fleetwood Mac the juggernaut creating the album in the first place. But, of course, that was not the case. Rumours was, basically, a “difficult second album”. The band had had unexpectedly huge success with their first Buckingham-Nicks-assisted album, Fleetwood Mac (1975), but that success had come gradually, eventually reaching a peak at the top of the charts. Who knew if the band could sustain it? Not Warner Brothers, who were putting the pressure on for a follow-up. Not the band themselves, who were, well, you know the story …

Really, then, you might want to go back and marvel at the supreme level of confidence these songs project. It’s there in every drum crash on “Dreams”, every three-part vocal on “The Chain”, every twinkle of Buckingham’s guitar on “Never Going Back Again”. Yes, the band consisted of all experienced professionals. But they were also at a crucial career point, in complete personal and emotional turmoil, and having cocaine for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Go back and stand in amazement at how Rumours reaps all the possible benefits of that scenario without suffering any of the potential pitfalls. Every song is an open-and-shut case, a tightly-sealed, end-of-story work of pop-rock perfection.

Which means items like discs of live material and outtakes are superfluous at best. Then there is this matter. Rumours was in 2004 reissued in remastered form and with a disc of outtakes. This package should have satisfied those fans who were curious about the band’s creative process and wanted to hear some works-in-progress. There is really no justification for this 2013-model, three-disc “Expanded Edition”, other than a financial one. Buckingham has said that, while the band had to approve the tracklist, he could have done without the release.

It’s easy to agree, and that is why this package does not get the perfect score the original album deserves. Disc One reprises the 2004 remastering, the audio quality of which is always a subjective issue. To these ears, though, it sounds fine. Disc Two tosses in some live performances from the Rumours tour. They show that, despite the multiple overdubbing and laboring over the studio versions, the band could replicate them and play them well. “Dreams” and “Rhiannon” are too fast. The cocaine, maybe? A perfectly enjoyable but hardly essential listen.

Disc Three has a bunch of outtakes that were not used for the 2004 release. That means they are outtakes that were not deemed fit for an outtakes album. They are mostly rough, and reveal little except that the coda from “The Chain” came from an unused Christine McVie song. A couple tracks are worth hearing more than once, due to the inherent appeal and strength of Nicks’ voice. An early “Dreams” take is minimal and almost ghostly. An early “The Chain” has nothing more than a few lyrics in common with the album version. An acoustic Nicks ballad, it finds her emoting more than on the finished product, in the process revealing why hardly a warm-blooded male in the Western Hemisphere could have resisted her.

The three-disc package is priced reasonably, surely targeting old fans who will, psychologically at least, get a kick out of buying “new Fleetwood Mac” product. Meanwhile, many other Fleetwood Mac albums languish in the CD dark ages, and a new Fleetwood Mac album sits in the studio, in need of some female vocals.

Oh, Fleetwood Mac …

Rating: 7/10

John Bergstrom  / PopMatters / Friday, February 8, 2013

John Bergstrom has been writing various reviews and features for PopMatters since 2004. He has been a music fanatic at least since he and a couple friends put together The Rock Group Dictionary in third grade (although he now admits that giving Pat Benatar the title of “first good female rocker” was probably a mistake). He has done freelance writing for Trouser Pressonline, Milwaukee’s Shepherd Express, and the late Milk magazine and website. He currently resides in Madison, Wisconsin with his wife and two kids, both of whom are very good dancers.

Rumours Expanded & Deluxe (2013)

Fleetwood Mac’s legendary Rumours album turns 36

Fleetwood Mac Rumours

Whenever a music publication makes a list of top rock albums, Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours is there. While the album actually came out 36 years ago, the band is celebrating with what’s being called a 35th anniversary expanded edition.

Members of Fleetwood Mac, from left, Lindsey Buckingham, Stevie Nicks, Christine McVie, Mick Fleetwood and John McVie, pose with their Grammys for “Rumours” in 1978.

“We’ve been waiting a long time to put this out,” Stevie Nicks told Rolling Stone. “If you were a Fleetwood Mac fan, you get to hear the songs turn into the songs without a lot of overdubbing. It’s very simple.”

Rumours is the kind of album that transcends its origins and reputation, entering the realm of legend,” writes Stephen Thomas Erlewine of “It’s an album that simply exists outside of criticism and outside of its time, even if it thoroughly captures its era.”

The album is noteworthy of course for such songs as “Go Your Own Way,” “Don’t Stop,” and “You Make Lovin’ Fun,” but also for the band’s own romantic turmoil as the album was being made, which bleeds through into the music.

“That really was a lot of the appeal of Rumours,” Lindsey Buckingham admitted in the same Rolling Stone interview. “The music was wonderful, but the music was also authentic because it was two couples breaking up and writing dialogue to each other.”

The band recently added more dates to their upcoming tour, which begins April 4 in Columbus, Ohio, and which will include many songs from “Rumours.”

Christine McVie will not be a part of the tour. In 2012, when the tour was announced, Nicks told Rolling Stone, “(McVie) went to England and she has never been back since 1998, so it’s not really feasible, as much as we would all like to think that she’ll just change her mind one day. I don’t think it’ll happen. We love her, so we had to let her go.”

The band’s 1975 song “Landslide” appeared in Sunday’s Budweiser Super Bowl commercial, one of the most popular ads of the night.

Gael Fashingbauer Cooper / NBC News / Monday, February 4, 2013

Rumours Expanded & Deluxe (2013)

35 Years of Rumours: A Retrospective on Fleetwood Mac’s iconic album

Fleetwood Mac Rumours

I’m fourteen years old and I have two albums sitting on my bedroom floor. It’s winter, maybe late February. There’s a heavy snow falling, enough snow to send most fourteen year olds outside to do stupid things like attach themselves to car bumpers so they can slide down the slick streets.  Not me. I’ve opted to stay in and study. Not schoolwork. I was never the kind to study for school on a Friday night. I’m studying music.

On my right side is Led Zeppelin’s The Song Remains the Same, an album I’d been listening to non-stop since Christmas. On my left is Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours, an album I’ve yet to put on my turntable. It was a gift from my grandfather, who knew someone who knew someone at a record label who gave it to him to “give to that granddaughter of yours that likes music.”  That’s me.

I’m into rock and roll. I’m into deep lyrics about stairways to heaven and hobbits. I’m into noisy guitars and the high pitched wails of Robert Plant. I’m not into whatever this Fleetwood Mac group is selling me.  That’s for people who like pop music. Not for rockers like me.

But something compels me to give it a try. What can it hurt? No one is around. None of my friends will know that I’m sitting here listening to what is ostensibly a top 40 album while I’m supposed to be rocking the hell out.

So I drop the album on the turntable. Lower the needle. I get through the first side unscathed, hardly taken in by the pop sensibilities and jangly beats. I’m about to give up and turn back to Jimmy Page and my air guitar when I decide to flip the album and keep trying. “The Chain” starts up.

I’m mesmerized.

There’s something about the song that reveals all the layers beneath the surface of what I thought was just another radio friendly album by a band I’d never admit to liking.  I listen to “The Chain” three more times before going back to the first side. I start the album over and listen with a better understanding of what I’m actually listening to.

I think about all those articles about Fleetwood Mac in Creem magazine and all those other rock rags I read. I dig through stacks of saved magazines and look for pieces on the band. I want to know their history. I want to know their lives.

After five listens of Rumours, it seems I do know their lives. They are lives of complications, of heartbreak and pessimism but of love and optimism. So many complex feelings, so many things that at fourteen I’m struggling to understand yet so many feelings that are vaguely familiar, having seen adults in my own life go through breakups and reconciliations.

And my god, that bass line on ‘The Chain.” Even beyond the words, those precious few notes speak to me of a  certain darkness. The last minute and fifteen seconds of the song encompass everything the members of Fleetwood Mac were trying to tell me about life and love and loss and misery.

Trust no one. Everything is a lie.

The stories unfolding in front of me while listening to Rumours are far removed from hobbits and heaven. There’s a level of profundity that’s a startling revelation to a fourteen year old.  Music nowhere near the simplistic pop I thought I would find on the album? Another revelation. Rumours is  just a different version of rock and roll, I think.  A more complex, intricate and even intimate version.

It wasn’t until many years later that I fully understood the process behind the making of Rumours and everything that led up to it. The breakups, the drugs, the romantic entanglements and estrangements, they all served a purpose in creating what is truly one of the greatest albums ever made.

35 years later (it’s really 36 years, but it’s their anniversary so we’ll let them call it 35) with the stories all public knowledge, the background of Rumours only adds to the mystique of the album and the band.

The just released 35th anniversary reissue contains three discs encompassing the original album, twelve unreleased tracks and B-sides, acoustics, demos and instrumentals. Very few albums in history are worth this kind of attention 35 years after their inception.  If such lavish attention all these years later keeps Rumours alive, so be it. Let every generation discover and ingest what I took in at fourteen, with the benefit of having the whole story at hand.

Does an album that’s already had a celebratory reissue deserve another one? When that album is Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours, the answer – my personal one – is yes.

By Michele Catalano, Contributor / Forbes / Saturday, February 2, 2013

Rumours Expanded & Deluxe (2013)

Album Review: Fleetwood Mac Rumours [reissue]

2013-0129 Rumours Deluxe Edition

Album Review: Fleetwood Mac – Rumours [Reissue]

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”

Jon Hadusek / February 1, 2013

Rumours Expanded & Deluxe (2013)

Looking back on Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours more than 35 years later

2013-0129 Rumours Deluxe Edition

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.

The current band, which does not include Christine McVie, will start a tour April 4 in Columbus, Ohio.

Melinda Newman / Hit Fix (Inside the Music) /Tuesday, Jan 29, 2013

Fleetwood Mac Rumours Expanded & Deluxe (2013)

Fleetwood Mac: Rumours 35th anniversary reissue

Rumours Expanded Edition (2013)
Rumours Expanded Edition (2013)

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.

©  Ryan Reed / Paste Magazine / January 29, 2013

Fleetwood Mac Rumours Expanded & Deluxe (2013)

Stevie Nicks recalls Rumours sessions as 35th anniversary reissue hits stores

2013-0129 Rumours Deluxe Edition

The 35th anniversary reissues of Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours hit stores today. The band’s historic 1977 album is available as a six-disc Deluxe Edition and a three-CD Expanded Edition. The deluxe package offers a remastered version of the original record plus the B-side “Silver Springs,” along with a variety of demos and outtakes, a CD of a ’77 concert performances, a DVD boasting a making-of documentary and a high-quality vinyl LP.

As fans familiar with the history of Fleetwood Mac know, at the time Rumours was being recorded, all five members of the band were going through major personal turmoil. Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham, who were a couple when they joined the group in 1975, were in the process of breaking up. In addition, John McVie and Christine McVie had just divorced, while Mick Fleetwood‘s own marriage was on the rocks. This upheaval was reflected in, and inspired, many of the tunes that wound up on the album, including such hits as “Dreams,” “Go Your Own Way” and “Don’t Stop.”

Speaking with ABC News Radio about the Rumours sessions, Nicks admitted that as hard as that time may have been emotionally for the band members, it also was a very positive period for the group, in part because of the quality of the music being made.

“We were all writing little movies around what was really happening and we were digging it,” she explained. “We were having a lot of fun recording those songs, even though we were falling apart…If anything was keeping us from falling apart it was going into the studio every day. And we were totally having a great time.”

The singer also maintains that although she and her band mates may have been experiencing a lot of hurt with regard to the state of their relationships, on the whole, they had little to complain about.

“We were rich. We were young,” said Nicks. “We were falling out of love with each other but, hey, there was a lot of other…men and women in the world. [And] we were all movin’ on and we had these great jobs. So, as bad as it was, it was still great.”

Following its release in February 1977, Rumours went on to top the Billboard 200 chart en route to winning the Grammy for Album of the Year. It has sold more than 19 million copies in the U.S. alone, making it the ninth-best-selling album ever released in the States. Fleetwood Mac fans can expect to hear plenty of tunes from the record if they check out a show on the band’s upcoming North American tour, which kicks off April 4 in Columbus, Ohio.

ABC News Radio  / Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Fleetwood Mac Rumours Expanded & Deluxe (2013)

Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours spills secrets of love, chaos

2013-0129 Rumours Deluxe Edition

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.

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.


By Mark Beech / Bloomberg News / Wednesday, January 29, 2013

Mark Beech writes for Muse, the arts and leisure section of Bloomberg News. The opinions expressed are his own. Muse highlights include Manuela Hoelterhoff on arts, Ryan Sutton on New York dining and Rich Jaroslovsky on tech. To contact the writer on the story: Mark Beech in London at or To contact the editor responsible for this story: Manuela Hoelterhoff at


Fleetwood Mac Rumours Expanded & Deluxe (2013)

Fleetwood Mac’s 35 years of Rumours

(Neal Preston)
(Neal Preston)

(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.

Denise Quan / CNN / Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Rumours Expanded & Deluxe (2013)

Q&A: Fleetwood Mac on reissuing ‘Rumours,’ making new music


Few expected the reunion of Fleetwood Mac’s classic Seventies lineup back in 1997, and even fewer could have predicted it would still be going strong in 2013. On April 4th, in Columbus, Ohio, the band begin a North American tour with a set list that will include new songs. And on Tuesday comes the release of expanded editions of Rumours, their multi-platinum, career-defining disc from 1977.

“After all this time you would think there was nothing left to discover, nothing left to work out, no new chapters to be written. But that is not the case,” singer-guitarist Lindsey Buckingham tells Rolling Stone.

Buckingham, drummer Mick Fleetwood and singer Stevie Nicks recently gathered for interviews in a huge, wood-paneled room at the Village Recorder, a legendary recording space in West Los Angeles. More than three decades earlier, the band spent 13 months there making the 1979 double album Tusk, the surprisingly experimental follow-up to Rumours.

“We have a connection with this building like we have with nothing else,” said Nicks. “It’s hallowed ground.”

At the interview Nicks and Buckingham held hands, Fleetwood sitting beside them as votive candles flickered around the room. (Bassist John McVie stayed home, and former singer-keyboardist Christine McVie has been retired to the English countryside since 1998.)

Rolling Stone‘s cover story about the making of Rumours featured a photo of you all in bed together. Were the stories of romantic turmoil true?

Stevie Nicks: They’re all true. [Laughter]

Lindsey Buckingham: That really was a lot of the appeal of . The music was wonderful, but the music was also authentic because it was two couples breaking up and writing dialogue to each other. It was also appealing because we were rising to the occasion to follow our destiny. So you had to live in denial, you had to learn to compartmentalize your emotions and do what needs to be done. It brought out the voyeur a little bit in everybody.

‘I am more appreciative of the fact that we are really family,’ says Lindsey Buckingham

Nicks: Most people, when they break up, you don’t see each other for a while. You hope that you don’t run into that person ever at that point. In our situation, the breakups were going on, and we had to go to work the next day. It was very hard. You had to walk in with your head high and an open heart. We had to be very focused, and we knew that because no matter how hard it was on us – and it was awful – we still wanted to make a great record. Nobody was going to say, OK, I’ll just quit.

You knew you were going to the studio at 2 [p.m.], and you knew you would be there until 3 or 4 in the morning. And you couldn’t sit there at the board and glare at your ex-partner. You had to be a grownup. Even though there were a thousand people around us saying to do this or do that, we still had to gather together as a fivesome and say, “We’re not going to let this beat us.”

When you do the Rumours songs now, do any of those original feelings ever come back?

Buckingham: Oh, I hope not.

Nicks: I think the original feelings do come back. They take me right back to where we were. The songs morph a little bit every time we do them. Instrumentally, they morph. “Gold Dust Woman” is sometimes Indian. Sometimes it’s just rock & roll. It travels, and all these songs do that. To me, they are always exciting. I never feel bored when we burst into one of our big hit songs, because what they were all written about was so heavy that they could never be boring.

What is it like to look closely at Rumours again so many years later?

Nicks: We’ve been waiting a long time to put this out. If you were a Fleetwood Mac fan, you get to hear the songs turn into the songs without a lot of overdubbing. It’s very simple. When I listen to it, I think if I was 20 years old, I would definitely want to be in that band. There is something strangely timeless about it that makes you feel like it was just recorded last year. I now know why I went to Lindsey and said, “I think we should give this a chance. This is a really good band.” It’s quite an interesting group of crazy people that managed to meld their styles together.

Mick Fleetwood: The cause and effect of that album was so humongous – not only for us as musicians, but what it did and what it allowed for the journey. It was the start of something for sure – the enormity of everything we were faced with and were going to go through, and the opportunities, and the opportunities maybe blown and then retrieved. Now we’re sitting here excited about going out and playing. This album wasn’t the trigger for us doing this, but it’s quite a story.

Nicks: It’s pretty great that it’s coming out at the same time.

Fleetwood: I’m glad it is. It wasn’t planned that way at all.

Nicks: There’s a lot of great stuff on it, and a lot of creepy, weird stuff that never got on an album – just cool stuff, little minute things, little snippets of stuff that’s really intriguing.

Since it is coming out at the same time as your tour, will it affect your set list at all?

Nicks: There are a lot of songs on Rumours that are in the set no matter what. I think what will happen is we’ll end up talking about it onstage. Most of those songs are in our set anyway. We’ll just end up telling stories and talking about how these things happen. It’s always fun to share that with your audience.

Fleetwood Mac’s reunion in 1997 for The Dance live album was fairly unexpected, but you’ve managed to stay together ever since. How did that happen?

Nicks: The Dance was very strong, and I think it really opened up our eyes. We had been apart for a long time. I absolutely did not think Fleetwood Mac was coming back at that point. Then all of a sudden it was, and it was like, all our plans were canceled, everything was flipped over, and Fleetwood Mac was coming back.

Buckingham: I took off in ’87 because –

Nicks: You quit.

Buckingham: [Nods] I quit because things were getting a little too crazy, and I wanted to try to get my feet back on the ground. We did Clinton’s inauguration in ’93, and that was sort of the catalyst and had a delayed reaction. I think by the time you cut to ’96, when we contemplated doing The Dance, there had been enough time where we all settled down as people. The craziness that existed in ’87 and ’88 was gone. We were – for all intents and purposes – adults. I think the time apart helped us appreciate each other. The group has always been a group of people you can say maybe didn’t belong in the same band together, but it’s the synergy that makes it so magical. We were able to see that more clearly.

Lindsey had hesitated in the past to come back, so did something get resolved?

Buckingham: There were a number of false starts where I was trying to make solo albums. They would get constantly folded into group efforts. In retrospect I can say fair enough that you call yourself a band member and you’ve got to step up to the plate when the need arises. So that was an issue I had for a number of years that has come and gone. I am more appreciative of the fact that we know each other, we’ve been through so much together and we are really family.

Nicks: What else happened is I went into rehab on December 12th, 1993 and came out on the 27th of January – 47 days to come off of Klonopin. I nearly died. And I think one of the reasons that Lindsey left is because I was very, very high on this horrific tranquilizer. I didn’t even make it to most of the recording sessions for [1987’s] Tango in the Night. I was sick. And I think he was horribly worried that I was going to die. That’s one of the reasons you [turns to Buckingham] wanted to quit. We had this huge tour and it was booked. We were at Chris’ house and [Lindsey] stood up and said “I quit,” and I – being so high and so messed up – just raged across the room and I wanted to kill him.

When I came out of rehab, I did a small three-month tour, and I got through it. I was going to be OK, and everyone knew I was going to be OK. And I think that’s when Lindsey thought Fleetwood Mac could go on, because his beloved ex-girlfriend was not going to die. She was going to make it.

So everything since then has been different from what it was before?

Buckingham: It’s still evolving, and that’s the beauty of it too. I’ve known Stevie since high school. We were a couple for many, many years, and we’ve been a musical couple forever. After all this time you would think there was nothing left to discover, nothing left to work out, no new chapters to be written. But that is not the case – there are new chapters to be written. It’s quite extraordinary.

You have some history in this studio.

Buckingham: We recorded Tusk in Studio D.

Nicks: Thirteen months. We were here a lot.

That was right after Rumours, so you had a lot of freedom.

Buckingham: That was my line in the sand, the Tusk album. It was clearly an undermining of what was expected of us.

Nicks: It was the opposite of Rumours.

Buckingham: It was an undermining of upholding the brand, which we now represented. It was also an undermining of what a lot of groups find themselves doing, which is painting themselves into a corner by doing only what’s expected of them. It was a stand for art and for spontaneity and for the left side of the palette. It certainly did not perform commercially in the same way, nor would we have necessarily expected it to. It was a double album, for one thing. I would have liked to have been a fly on the wall when Warner Bros. put that on in their boardroom and listened to it for the first time. Over time it has been vindicated as a piece of work. It has become a darling for the indie bands, or at least the mentality of what that represents.

Nicks: Studio D was covered with Polaroids and shrunken heads and angel wings, and all of our stuff was in there. You walked into that room and there were big massive tusks on each side of the board, and the board was called Tusk. All of those songs – “Save Me a Place,” “Sara” – it became something so beautiful and so ahead of its time. I would have liked to be a fly on the wall too when they played it, because they had to be horrified. I was a little horrified myself over that 13-month period, but it was an experience. We were going to the top of the mountain, and it was very spiritual. And again, we were having serious relationship problems during Tusk, but when we went into that studio and saw those tusks, and all the amazing stuff we collected and brought in every day, we became part of a world that was fantastic.

What are your current recording plans?

Buckingham: When Stevie was on the road, and not long after her mom had passed away, Mick, John and I got together and we cut a bunch of tracks, and they turned out great. They were all done in Stevie’s keys. They were done with her in mind. Subsequently, Stevie and I have gotten together, and she’s sung on two of those. There’s also another track that dates back to [pre-Fleetwood Mac project] Buckingham-Nicks that Stevie and I built up from scratch. There’s a lot of stuff there. Some of this we will do in the show. We’re not pushing it. We’re just going to wait and see what everybody wants to hear.

Steve Appleford / Rolling Stone / Monday, January 28, 2013