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Happy 40th Birthday, Rumours!

As Rumours turns 40, tributes to Fleetwood Mac’s pinnacle work pour in from music critics.

Fleetwood Mac‘s classic 1977 album Rumours turns 40 today! Featuring some of the most recognizable tunes in rock music, Rumours has influenced generations of music listeners, providing the melodic soundtrack to their lives.

One of the album’s most popular tracks is the optimistic “Don’t Stop,” which Bill Clinton famously used as his 1992 presidential campaign song. But it’s the all-too-relatable relationship turmoil  expressed in songs like “Dreams,” “Go Your Own Way,” and “The Chain” — that still connects with audiences 40 years later.

“It was not awful at all, it was fantastic! We were rich, we were young, we were falling out of love with each other, but, hey … there was a lot of other men and women in the world, and we were all moving on. … So as bad as it was, it was still great.” —Stevie Nicks 

The tributes to Rumours have poured in all week from music journalists, who dissect the album’s enduring appeal.

“It’s an album that has eerie soothing powers when you hear it in the midst of a crisis, which might be why it hits home right now, with our minute-by-minute deluge of apocalyptic news, the rottenest month to be an American since FDR died.”  —Rob Sheffield, Rolling Stone 

Rumours is a brutal examination of the politics of relationships, personalities, and ambition.” —Jules LeFevre, Faster Louder

“To simply call Rumours a breakup album doesn’t do it justice. Most breakup albums have an end point — some triumph, a reward or promise about how some supposed emotional resilience might pay off. Rumours is an album of continual, slow breaking.” —Hanif Willis-Abdurraqib, MTV

“Was it the drama, musicality, character or celebrity culture which made Rumours so iconic? Likely, all of the above.” —Tom Cameron, Happy

Many albums lay claim to being the best of all time. But Rumours was designed not to have an inch of filler and achieved its goal with room to spare. Perhaps only the Beatles’ Revolver could muster that defence so convincingly. —Graeme Marsh, Stereoboard

Rumours By the Numbers

Billboard 200 US Albums 1
Billboard Year-end Album Chart 1
No. 1 Singles  1
(“Dreams”)
Top 10 Singles 4
Tracks on Original Album 11
Weeks at No. 1 31
Estimated Copies Sold Worldwide 40 million
Official reissues 3

 

 

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