One of my favorite albums of all time has been re-released in a souped-up, super-sized, Super Deluxe edition which includes re-mastered original tracks and previously unreleased takes from recording sessions and live recordings from their ’77 world tour. I am beyond thrilled about this, and have been spinning the three-disc album(s) all afternoon.
I have written quite a lot about this album, in its original format, so instead of giving an actual “formal” review I will do a track-by-track listen and three-sentence response. I encourage everyone to go out and buy the album, or spin it via your playlist/online music source of choice if you are a fan of Fleetwood Mac, and the Rumors album, I assure you, you will not regret it. This is definitely a real musical treat.
Editor’s note: Since there seems to be no YouTube videos of the remastered tracks I will include, where available, the original versions with each song. You can stream the album at Spotify here, to hear the new versions and the extra tracks, too.
Second Hand News –
I have such a vivid memory of my Mother listening to this song when I was a young girl, standing in the kitchen trying out one of her recipes from the cooking classes she was taking at the local college, this album spinning and turned up high, and her voice singing-a-long. I remember wondering what “stuff” they wanted to do in the tall grass exactly was.
One of those ultimate break-up, I am so better without you, jaded kind of songs, one of quite a few on what is pretty much an ultimate break-up album, most probably due to all the break-ups that were going on when it was recorded. Something about it though, even in the bitter lyrics like “players only love you when they’re playing“, is so beautiful, beautiful in a way that cannot help but gift some kind of hope. There is that feeling of freedom that often comes trailing along just behind the heartbreak of love’s ending.
Never Going Back Again
I have always had a bit of a crush on Lindsey Buckingham’s voice, and more than a little bit of a crush on Stevie Nicks’ voice, but I digress, I love the way Lindsey’s voice lilts and rises and falls in this song. The soft spots and the parts with a strength in conviction that I have recalled in the back of my mind when I have needed it. I love the juxtaposition of the carefree music meeting up with the definitive “this is over, never again” sentiment in the song’s lyrics.
I am loving the fact that the remastering has not stripped the songs of their original energy and exuberance, instead I feel like it is just a clearer and slightly crisper sound. This song immediately reminds me of my first job in the advertising industry, and the clock radio/tape player I had on my desk that I would play while I worked. I sat in a small pool of cubicles with other assistants, and it became a 3pm thing to play Fleetwood Mac on that tiny player, and we inevitably would all sing-a-long to this song each day, together.
Go Your Own Way
When Lindsey sings the lyric “you can roll like thunder” lyric always gives me pause and a bit of a sly smile recalling Stevie’s “thunder” reference in the song Dreams, with the lyric “thunder only happens when it’s raining“. It is impossible to ignore the slags and slashes at each other, and yet, the songs are also so melodious, catchy, and really quite beautiful. I cannot fathom what it would be like to write and record an album with someone I was in the midst of breaking-up with; I would much prefer getting on with my “going my own way” at times like that.
Such a lovely and lilting love song, Songbird is definitely on my list of favorite love songs of all-time. I always find this song a little out of place in the midst of all the endings and turmoil, but in some ways it is a nice respite from all the turbulence and sounds of “thunder“. I used to sing this to my daughter, Veronica, in the middle of the night to soothe her back to sleep when she was a baby.
I once heard a mash-up of this song and Alanis Morissette’s bitter break-up hit, You Oughta Know, and it was a very interesting mix, full of vitriol and
passionate anger. Both songs speak volumes of the kind of emotional upset that broken promises bring up when a relationship, most especially a marriage, fall apart. On another note, I love the bass guitar in this song so very much.
You Make Loving Fun
This has always been my least favorite song on the album and I have never been completely sure why. Perhaps this is because Christine McVie has never been a favorite vocalist of mine (one exception is her lilt in Songbird, which I love). Remastered version is still persists in being my least favorite track on the album.
I Don’t Want to Know
Fun and frolicky love song that carries with it all the trappings of a perfect pop song, to me. It is catchy, it makes you want to move, and the melody gets stuck in your head, playing on mental repeat long after the song is over. There is a playfulness here that is almost contagious.
I do love this song quite a lot, so I think my early surmising regarding Christine McVie is more contingent on the faster paced songs. I definitely prefer her voice/vocals in the slower songs. As a little girl this song seemed so bittersweet and sad, a song I would imagine singing to my own long-lost Father, though listening to it today it feels more like a song sung to a partner, more than a parental patriarchal figure.
Gold Dust Woman
My all-time favorite Fleetwood Mac song. This is my go-to Fleetwood Mac song for whenever I am feeling emotionally raw or need that kind of electrical current boost that only music gives to me. I love singing this song, as well.
Added to the remastered version, Silver Springs is a great addition the “mood” of the Rumors album. The song contains all those break-up, sadness and jaded melancholy to it that much of Rumors, in its original form, had/has. It was originally meant to be part of the original 1977 album release, but ended up being the b-side to the single release of Go Your Own Way.
The next tracks to follow are from the 1977 Rumors tour and are quite a delight, especially for me who has never had the privilege to see Fleetwood Mac play live (yet). I love the inclusion of Monday Morning, a longtime favorite of mine. I love the line “But you know it’s true, you only want me when I get over you.” I also really love the live version of Dreams and Go Your Own Way.
Here is a video clip of Go Your Own Way live, from 1977:
Next up, on this Rumors-extravaganza, are early takes and acoustic versions. I am absolutely in love with “take two” of Dreams, which is absolutely stripped down gorgeous. I also love the early demo of Gold Dust Woman, the vulnerability in the vocals, and the caught breathing/sighs throughout the song. I really am digging all these stripped down Stevie Nicks’ vocals on this album collection.