Top positive review
it'll be better than before...
14 September 2012
When I first heard the 'Rumours' FM in my teens, I wasn't that impressed. I couldn't relate to the songs, couldn't envisage them as a proper band (which seemed important at the time), and frankly it all seemed a bit girly. In other words: the 'melodic country rock' format seemed too simple, whilst the content was maybe too grown-up. I was much more drawn to the 'second hand blues' of the original Peter Green incarnation.
But now they have nostalgia on their side, and it was time for another listen. And it can't be denied that the band had more than their fair share of songwriting talent: Stevie Nicks who, even in her twenties, sang and wrote like a world-weary veteran; Christine McVie, whose blues-tinged numbers often pull something unexpected out of the bag; and Lindsey Buckingham bringing some intensity and muso cred to it all.
It was Buckingham who, in his roles as guitarist and producer, 'pulled the mess together' as the sleevenotes put it - at least, as far as anyone did. His work frequently lifts what might otherwise have been slightly mundane songs. The 'thinking person's guitar hero'? I'd say he's more a Phil Manzanera type, who is all about serving the song. Where the girls score is on the lyrics; even today, their direct frankness and honesty comes as a bit of a shock. At the time, with most women still singing bland words written by men, it must have seemed revolutionary.
It's an intriguing and unique mix of male and female, British and American elements. As for the eponymous Fleetwood and Mac - well, let's just say that Peter Green did them a better turn even than he knew, in naming his band after them.
So do I now think Everywhere or Seven Wonders are better than Oh Well and Man of the World? well, as I say nostalgia might well be a factor (and Seven Wonders is a very nostalgic song anyway); but whatever the reason, I do think they're just as exhilarating.
There, I said it. If you want to throw me out of NURD (the National Union of Rock Dads), so be it.
PS To say a word about the actual CD: I think this was the right package for me. Just the right amount of a good thing, and fantastic value at a fiver.