The 35th anniversary reissue of ‘Rumours’ recently hit the shelves and Fleetwood Mac are back to take it on the road. But before that Eve Barlow paid rock goddess Stevie Nicks a visit in Malibu to recall its making
I DON”T EVER TIRE OF THOSE SONGS. I DON”T GET HOW YOU COULD
A word to the wise. If one day you imagine yourself making one of the greatest albums of all time, ponder ﬁrst how far you’d be willing to go to sacriﬁce mind, body and soul for art. Heartache? OK. Sleepless nights? Sure. Months living in a studio? Saves on rent. And as folklore has it, getting a roadie to blow cocaine up your bum? Er, hang on…
In the legends of rock’n’roll, sacriﬁces are made, reputations ruined (Or forged) and every now and then questions are asked such as: how on earth are the likes of Keith Richards, Ozzy Osbourne or, in this case, Stevie Nicks , still breathing? The making of Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours ‘ is a fable of such proportions it continues to fascinate over three and a half decades on. Debates occur which is their greatest record (Tusk’ was so expensive! But ‘Tango In The Night’ is ‘8os heaven! But ‘Rhiannon’ is on ‘Fleetwood Mac!). Hell, arguments continue over which line up was best – Peter Green’s English blues verses the Californian soundtrack of Nicks, Lindsey Buckingham et al. But anyone who disagrees that ‘Rumours’ is not just the Mac record supreme but also one of the greatest albums ever made full stop can be disarmed by the facts.
Try some of these on for size: a) ‘Rumours’ has sold over 40 million copies worldwide, outselling all Fleetwood Mac records and, well, most records in history. 2) ‘Rumours’ has several diamond (miles better than platinum) certiﬁcates and a Grammy. 3) The songs are so famous they’ve generated sales for countless others (Tori Amos, Elton John, Biffy Clyro, Boy George, Lykke Li, Keane, Willie Nelson, John Frusciante, Hole, NOFX, uh, The Corrs), and, in the case of Bill Clinton, votes in the 1992 US election! Also, they generated an entire posthumous career for one woman (Eva Cassidy) who just happened to record a cover of one of those tracks (Songbird’) before she died. What’s more, ‘Rumours’ continues to incinerate the record books. In 2011 it re-entered the US album charts at Number One. That may have had something to do with a certain migraine called Glee covering all its hits. But look at it this way, even the enormous wangdom of all-singing-all-dancing high school berks couldn’t destroy the magic of ‘Rumours’. Nevertheless, sales and popularity alone are no guarantee of quality. It’s the myth, the rumours surrounding ‘Rumours’, that makes it a seminal work for generations to fall in love with over and over. Besides, it’s unlikely to be repeated because it comes with one caveat — don’t try this at home, folks… Continue reading