Home » Album Review: Fleetwood Mac Rumours [reissue]

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



Stevie Nicks

MAY 3, 2024 – MAY 5, 2024
Lovin’ Life Fest
Charlotte, NC

MAY 7, 2024
Enterprise Center
St Louis, MO

MAY 10, 2024
WinStar World Casino & Resort
Thackerville, OK

MAY 14, 2024
Bridgestone Arena
Nashville, TN

MAY 18, 2024
Frost Bank Center
San Antonio, TX

MAY 21, 2024
Yaamava’ Resort & Casino – Yaamava’ Theater
Highland, CA

MAY 24, 2024
BottleRock Napa Valley
Napa, CA

MAY 27, 2024
Delta Center
Salt Lake City, UT

MAY 30, 2024
Ball Arena
Denver, CO

Gainbridge Fieldhouse
Indianapolis, IN

JUN 9 
Mohegan Sun Casino
Uncasville, CT

JUN 12
MVP Arena
Albany, NY

JUN 15
Hersheypark Stadium
Hershey, PA

JUN 18
Van Andel Arena
Grand Rapids, MI

JUN 21, 2024 (with Billy Joel)
Soldier Field
Chicago, IL

JUL 12, 2024
BST Hyde Park
London, England

^ Non-Live Nation show

Previous 2023 dates

March 10, 2023 – BILLY JOEL
Los Angeles, CA
SoFi Stadium

March 15, 2023
Seattle, WA
Climate Pledge Arena

March 18, 2023
Las Vegas, NV
T-Mobile Arena

May 12, 2023
Raleigh, NC
PNC Arena

May 16, 2023
Knoxville, TN
Thompson-Boling Arena

May 19, 2023 – BILLY JOEL
Nashville, TN
Nissan Stadium

May 22, 2023
Atlanta, GA
State Farm Arena

May 25, 2023
Orlando, FL
Amway Center

June 16, 2023 – BILLY JOEL
Philadelphia, PA
Lincoln Financial Field

June 20, 2023
Toronto, ON (Canada)
Scotiabank Arena

June 23, 2023
Chicago, IL
United Center

June 27, 2023
Louisville, KY
KFC Yum! Center

August 5, 2023 – BILLY JOEL
Columbus, OH
Ohio Stadium

August 8, 2023
Milwaukee, WI
Fiserv Forum

August 12, 2023
Houston, TX
Toyota Center

August 15, 2023
Austin, TX
Moody Center

August 19, 2023 – BILLY JOEL
Kansas City, MO
Arrowhead Stadium

September 23, 2023 – BILLY JOEL
Foxborough, MA
Gillette Stadium

September 27, 2023
Pittsburgh, PA
PPG Paints Arena

October 1, 2023
New York, NY
Madison Square Garden

October 4, 2023
Buffalo, NY
KeyBank Center

October 7, 2023 – BILLY JOEL
Baltimore, MD 
M&T Bank Stadium

October 28, 2023
Memphis, TN
FedEx Forum

November 1, 2023
Savannah, GA
Enmarket Arena

November 4, 2023
Allentown, PA
PPL Center

November 7, 2023
Detroit, MI
Little Caesars Arena

November 10, 2023 – BILLY JOEL
Minneapolis, MN
U.S. Bank Stadium

November 29, 2023
San Diego, CA
Viejas Arena

December 2, 2023
Inglewood, CA
The Kia Forum

December 5, 2023
Palm Desert, CA
Acisure Arena

December  8, 2023 – BILLY JOEL
Phoenix, AZ
Chase Field

December 12, 2023
Sacramento, CA
Golden 1 Center

December 15, 2023
San Francisco, CA
Chase Center

FEB 10, 2024
Mark G Etess Arena
Atlantic City, NJ

FEB 14, 2024
UBS Arena
Belmont Park, NY

FEB 17, 2024
CFG Bank Arena
Baltimore, MD

FEB 21, 2024
Bon Secours Wellness Arena
Greenville, SC

FEB 24, 2024
Hard Rock Live
Hollywood, FL

FEB 28, 2024
Smoothie King Center
New Orleans, LA

MAR 3, 2024
CHI Health Center
Omaha, NE

MAR 6, 2024
Simmons Bank Arena
North Little Rock, AR

MAR 9, 2024
AT&T Stadium
Arlington, TX
Billy Joel


2022 Tour

Stevie Nicks

Jazz Aspen Snowmass
Snowmass, CO
Labor Day 2022

Ravinia Festival
Highland Park, IL
September 8, 2022
September 10, 2022

Pine Knob Music Theatre
Clarkston, MI
September 13, 2022
w/ Vanessa Carlton

Sea Hear Now Festival
Asbury, NJ
September 17, 2022

Xfinity Center
Mansfield, MA
September 19, 2022
w/ Vanessa Carlton

Maine Savings Amphitheatre
Bangor, ME
September 22, 2022
w/ Vanessa Carlton

Sound on Sound Festival
Bridgeport, CT
September 24-25, 2022

Ohana Festival
Dana Point, CA
September 30, 2022

Hollywood Bowl
Los Angeles, CA
October 3, 2022
w/ Vanessa Carlton

Ak-Chin Pavilion

Phoenix, AZ
October 6, 2022
w/ Vanessa Carlton

Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion

The Woodlands, TX
October 9, 2022
w/ Vanessa Carlton

Ameris Bank Amphitheatre
Alpharetta, GA
October 12, 2022
w/ Vanessa Carlton

Ascend Amphitheater
Nashville, TN
October 16, 2022
w/ Vanessa Carlton

Credit One Stadium
Charleston, SC
October 19, 2022
w/ Vanessa Carlton

PNC Music Pavilion
Charlotte, NC
October 22, 2022
w/ Vanessa Carlton

MIDFLORIDA Credit Union Amphitheatre
Tampa, FL
October 25, 2022
w/ Vanessa Carlton

iTHINK Financial Amphitheatre
West Palm Beach, FL
October 28, 2022
w/ Vanessa Carlton

Orion Amphitheatre
Huntsville, AL
October 31, 2022


Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion
The Woodlands, TX
November 2, 2022
w/ Vanessa Carlton

Ak-Chin Pavilion
Phoenix, AZ
November 5, 2022
w/ Vanessa Carlton