Rumours [35th Anniversary 2LP Deluxe Edition] [VINYL]
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On February 4th 1977, after a year of recording through hedonism, scandal and relationship break-ups the British-American rock band Fleetwood Mac released their eleventh studio album, Rumours. Although troubled with tension and setbacks the second time round combination of Mick Fleetwood, Stevie Nicks, Lindsey Buckingham, John and Christine McVie, together with the production talents of Ken Caillat and Richard Dashut had created the band’s ultimate masterpiece. 2013 sees the seminal album reissued on its original format to celebrate 35 years since its release. This is the 2LP edition.
Rumours will never die. Many years from now, when physical formats are forgotten and music is delivered directly into the brain via some sort of digital syringe, it’ll be there: re-released for the umpteenth time, complete with a full holographic performance, Mick Fleetwood’s eyes bulging like ping-pong balls.
They’re hypnotising here. Staring from the back cover of this triple-disc repackaging marking the album’s 35th anniversary (and released a year too late for it), the founding father figure dominates their line-up, even beside Lindsey Buckingham’s impressive ‘fro. Arguably it was the drummer who guided the band through Rumours’ troubled gestation, as relationships frayed and failed around him.
But the background of Rumours is well documented, and its songs have been heard the world over. Forty million copies sold – a figure that few present-day acts can dream of matching (although Adele’s 21, with 25 million sales and counting, could be a contender). So what does this release have to offer over past, high-profile reissues?
Disc two is filled by 12 previously unreleased live tracks, recorded at shows in Oklahoma, Tennessee and South Carolina during 1977. It’s a well-sequenced affair that gels into a most enjoyable ‘as live’ set. The crowd is never too intrusive but always present; interaction between band members is crisply captured; and Rumours’ standouts are present and correct.
Amongst these tracks are three stowaways from Fleetwood Mac’s pre-Rumours commercial high, 1975’s eponymous album. Rhiannon is Stevie Nicks’ most notable moment in the spotlight, a song that will forever sparkle. It’s as effective over almost eight minutes here as it is on its sub-four single edit.
Go Your Own Way’s B side Silver Springs is, as on earlier reissues, added to the original Rumours tracklist. Disc three contains “More from the Recording Sessions”, selections that didn’t feature on 2004’s double-disc remaster. Included are several early takes, with vocal annotations included – “Keep it going to the B-flat,” instructs Buckingham, between lines, on Oh Daddy.
Nicks sings beautifully on the lyrically bitter Planets of the Universe, which she released solo in 2001. And a slow, skeletal demo of The Chain is far removed indeed from the Formula-One-famous album version, its tremendous outro yet to take shape.
With its extra content engineered to appeal to collectors and casual fans alike, this is a justified addition to the many Rumours already making the rounds.
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Top Customer Reviews
For me, Rumours is just about the best album ever made, and 'Go Your Own Way' is my favourite song, my desert island disc, the one that still sends a shiver up my spine and makes me smile and / or cry (or both) every time I hear it. Part of that is down to memories of earlier times evoked by the music (it just sounds like it came from better days, whether it really did or not); part of it is down to a knowledge of the intricate human relationships within the band and the messages these songs were sending from one member to another; but largely it's just down to the sheer quality of the music. The 'classic' Fleetwood Mac line-up really was just that - Mick Fleetwood the 'Daddy'; John McVie the quiet, morose, no-nonsense bass player, together forming a tight, world-class, instantly recognisable rhythm section; Christine McVie the stalwart keyboardist; Lindsey Buckingham the brash, neurotic Californian with a talent for guitar-playing that is sorely underrated, an ego the size of the Hollywood hills and a perfectionist's drive to push the musical envelope; and Stevie Nicks, slim and fair, every 70s schoolboy's fantasy star-child, all black lace, high boots and flounces, with a voice that rasps and soothes in equal measure.Read more ›
What struck me, however, by hearing this new re-mastered version was the immense sound quality. Listening to Dreams the bass becomes so vibrant and alive with Stevie Nick's voice backed up with incredible harmonies with the addition of crisp guitar sounds and thumping drumming. On the next track, Never Going Back Again the guitar is spread in the mix giving the listener a feeling of actually being involved with the playing. Much of the same can be described by most of the other songs on the album, making me for my part re-discovering it again. Never before had I noticed how great the production was, not only in regards of the sound quality but also how it was mixed, both simple but yet innovative.
I took my old CD to compare the two versions, the hypothesis being that maybe this great sound had simply eluded me some years ago. The difference was, however, similar to hearing a worn cassette tape and a regular CD. The separation of instruments was not to be heard, a lack of depth was evident and the mix was muffled as if one were listening to a worn LP.
There is also added material. Silver Springs, a single not included on the original version, has been tacked between what before was side A and B. A fine song and its odd inclusion actually does keep the flow of the album intact (I believe having it at the end would spoil the fine ending of the original). There is also a bonus disk consisting of demos of the songs.Read more ›
You get 3 CDs: the original album with an additional track not on the LP release from the `70s; a CD of live versions of many of the songs + some from the earlier self-titled album; a CD of out-takes and alternative versions (which are different to the out-takes etc. realised with the 2004 Rumours 2 disc set).
The first CD is the same version of Rumours as the2 CD 2004 remaster - so it sounds nice, if a little metallic/tinny. If you have that disc, this new release is still worth having for the 2 other discs.
The packaging looks ok, though cardboard sleeves inevitably scratch discs. The leaflet is pretty cool too.
HOWEVER....the packaging and quality control on this release is appalling. Hearing from other reviews here and on other sites that their discs arrived very scratched, I bought my copy from a high street retailer to avoid it getting jiggled in the post. I needn't have bothered (plus it was dearer than Amazon). It was factory sealed, though the booklet was horribly creased as if a baby had pushed it into the sleeve. Also, 2 of the discs were badly scratched. One had scuffs visible in any light, but played OK. The other had a single small but deep scratch that couldn't possibly have come from the sleeve and was so deep that the extras disc concerned won't play beyond track 12. Given the number of people who seem to have these problems with this set, it is as if some sort of accident has befallen a whole batch of these discs and no one is checking them before sealing them up.
So, if you order this, check the discs as soon as possible because honestly, I don't feel alone in saying that the scratches are hard to believe till you see them for yourself....Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Great value vinyl. Brought as a present and was pleased with packaging, etc.Published 9 days ago by Amazon Customer
have had Rumours by Fleetwood Mac on tape since the 70's but wanted CD so I can play it in the car. Great sound from great group.Published 14 days ago by jan
The CD was in very good condition, without any discernible scratches, and represents good value for moneyPublished 1 month ago by eymunk frattel
£20 for the Vinyl LP's AND the CD's/DVD... brilliant value and a worthy relook at a fantastic remastered album by Fleetwood Mac!Published 1 month ago by El Nombre