Fleetwood Mac: Rumours
Thirty-five years after its release, we can revel in the most accomplished slice of adult contemporary rock ever made
Rumours is unique in being a 20th-century masterpiece that did more damage to rock’n’roll than any other album in the history of music. It’s impossible not to revel in the songcraft of Christine McVie’s Songbird. Lindsey Buckingham’s Go Your Own Way is the ultimate drivetime anthem. The Chain is the last word in soft rock excitement and the slick studio sophistication of Don’t Stop is too tasty to resist. But Rumours is also the 30 million-selling monster that, by making it OK to be a moaning, self-obsessed rock star peddling commoditised emotion to the record-buying public, set in motion a terrible chain of events. We can blame Rumours for the vast majority of horrific middle-of-the-road rock that blighted the 1980s, not to mention any number of bland singer-songwriters aiming to sound intimate while also wishing to appeal to the widest demographic possible, and we can thank it for helping make punk happen as a reaction to it.
Now, 35 years after its release, on a three-CD special edition or, better still, a 45rpm vinyl double album that expands the clarity of this exercise in sonic science, we can revel in the simple pleasure of listening to the most accomplished slice of adult contemporary rock ever made. Continue reading