Wednesday, February 13, 2013

FLEETWOOD MAC "Rumours" (Remastered / Reissued)

(Remastered / Reissued)

36 years following its
original release, a rock
classic is reborn. And 
you can believe the
"rumors" — this reissue
is a fabulous treat!

After a string of less than blockbuster releases, Fleetwood Mac finally struck gold with their 1975 self-titled record. And with what would become known as the band's ultimate line-up (Mick FleetwoodJohn McVieLindsey BuckinghamStevie NicksChristine McVie), Fleetwood Mac was poised to conquer the world with their next release, Rumours.

Produced by Fleetwood Mac, along with Ken Caillat (yes, Colbie's dad) and Richard Dashut, Rumours was a success of epic proportions. Released in February 1977, the record spawned an incredible four Top Ten singles ("Dreams," "Go Your Own Way," "Don't Stop," "You Make Loving Fun") and now has amassed staggering worldwide sales in excess of 40 million copies.

Rock historian and author, Brent Jensen, stated in a recent interview that in his opinion, the records and bands we grew up with during the 1970s and early 1980s  "replaced friends" in our lives. Jensen's theory certainly holds true, especially in the case of this record.

The new expanded, three-record 
Rumours reissue is a fabulous treat.
Rumours is filled with personal songs that perfectly and poetically address romance and relationships, as well as the pain of living through the subsequent breakups. In 1977, Fleetwood Mac were our "friends." They never judged us for making sketchy life choices — band members clearly had made enough of their own. We all seemingly discovered the passion, and endured the heartache of experiencing love — together. And it's the vulnerability of the lyrics combined with the honesty of the musical performances that created a record that has so famously stood the test of time — maintaining absolute freshness, more than three decades later.

Over the years, many much-touted reissued classics have fallen short of fan expectations — delivering little more than remastered tracks that are barely distinguishable from the original versions  and perhaps a bonus  nugget  or two. However, the newly released, three-disc  Rumours  set truly is impressive.

Disc One simply is the (re)remastered Rumours record in its entirety, along with the (nearly) lost gem, "Silver Springs," now positioned in its rightful place among the 11 other iconic staples. Lindsey's guitar has never sounded so crisp and Mick's drums sound beefier than ever. And the vocals, of course, still sound splendid.

The 20-page "story of" booklet included in the 
Rumours reissue further enhances the experience.
Disc Two captures the band live in concert at various locations during the 1977 Rumours world tour — and it just burns! Filled with raw power, energy and emotion from both band and audience, Disc Two transports listeners back in time and places them center stage, row "D." Hey man, quit boggarting my doobage! It adds a whole new dimension to the Rumours experience and makes this reissue worth every penny. It also completely validates my 35-year argument that Christine McVie was, in fact, the heart and soul of this team.

Disc Three offers numerous outtake, demo and alternative versions of old favorites as well as a couple of unknown tracks — including a real prize, "Keep Me There." Disc Three presents the band, warts and all — garbled lyrics, false starts and studio background chatter — an honest and pure fly-on-the-wall peek behind the scenes during the making of a true rock classic.

Whether it's your first encounter, or you're a longtime fan who is reconnecting, Rumours remains a magical piece of work. And this deluxe reissue proves that it is as engaging now as it was the day it was released. Simply put, in 2013, Fleetwood Mac are still our "friends."

-Christopher Long
(February 2013)

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